In the latest news in the climate change wars, you’ve got Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, of Australia, saying climate change amelioration will “clobber the economy.”
On the other hand you’ve got the World Bank saying fighting climate change would help grow the world economy adding up to $2.6 trillion a year to global GDP in the coming decades.
And you’ve got a group of U.S. business leaders, current and former investment executives, and former U.S. cabinet secretaries saying if global warming continues unchecked, it is likely to cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity, inundated housing and infrastructure along coasts, and plunging crop yields in key farming regions by mid-century.
Now you’ve got a natural gas pipeline eruption in Kansas where crops and trees have withered since a dark, oily plume burst from the line while crews were trying to perform maintenance. Natural gas condensate can come in various compositions, but typically contains benzene, a carcinogen.
There’s also a group of international scientists who have published a letter in the prestigious magazine Nature saying Harper’s plans to promote his beloved tar sands in Alberta can only lead to catastrophe. Separate projects assessed in isolation usually fail to measure their combined effects, they say. All projects such as pipelines, fracking, LNG and tar sands need to be looked at as a whole and be decided in an international treaty. Do Harper and Abbot appear to be standing alone here?