There is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.It gets better. Read it all. And this is a big-time Republican insider. A big-time banker. Let's hope those who listen to big-time Republican insiders and big-time bankers read it all. And take notice. Send it to anyone you know who listens to big-time Republican insiders and big-time bankers. Because we need them to read it all and take notice.
For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.
We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.
Please read below the fold for more.
Paulson says there are legitimate questions about the economic consequences of acting, but he says the economic risks of doing nothing are "profound." He easily eviscerates the argument that we can't act alone, and that the rest of the world needs to do its part, by pointing out that we can't lead if we're not taking care of our own responsibilities. He warns that the danger here is more dire than that of the financial collapse, because although many still suffer from that collapse, government action then was able to avert complete catastrophe. But climate catastrophe can't be averted by last minute action.
He discusses the science, and that the Arctic is melting even faster than had been predicted. He points to the recent scientific studies that revealed that the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now irreversible. He wonders what other thresholds will be unexpectedly passed.
I’m a businessman, not a climatologist. But I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with climate scientists and economists who have devoted their careers to this issue. There is virtually no debate among them that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible.Paulson supports a carbon tax, and he succinctly obliterates the argument of those in his own political party. He points out that a carbon tax is government interference because it is paying a high cost to help repair the damage from climate-related disasters such as Hurricane Sandy or Oklahoma tornadoes:
In a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities, public funding to pay for adaptations and disaster relief will add significantly to our fiscal deficit and threaten our long-term economic security. So it is perverse that those who want limited government and rail against bailouts would put the economy at risk by ignoring climate change.Climate change is a severe national security risk. The world's foremost expert on the economic impacts of climate change now says the costs will be even more devastating than had been previously estimated. Averting climate catastrophe is extremely affordable, if we act now.