NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 28, 2008

As the debate over global warming rages, one thing has become increasingly clear: by any reasonable measure, the costs of attacking this problem will be enormous.  The economics of global warming aren't uncertain; by almost all estimates, the costs will be staggering, says Townhall Magazine.

For example:

  • The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says 1.7 percent of the world's gross domestic product a year will be needed to pay for global warming -- an amount exceeding $1 trillion a year, and a sum greater in size than the total GDP of all but about 15 countries.
  • The 26-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says global warming costs over the next 50 years will exceed $4.5 trillion, or roughly $900 billion a year.
  • The United States, as the world's largest economy, will be expected to pay at least $200 billion of that annual tab -- possibly more.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, analyzing the recently failed Climate Security Act of 2008, estimates it would have cost American $1.2 trillion a year in inflation-adjusted dollars by 2030.

Suffice it to say, the estimates all basically come down to the same thing: cutting the world's output of CO2 by 80 percent by 2050 would be the largest project ever undertaken by mankind, says Townhall. 

And considering any of the three recent cap-and-trade bills proposed in Congress -- which could end up costing U.S. consumers $6.7 trillion through 2050 -- the benefits are ridiculously small.

No matter how this is spun, proposals to battle global warming would be disastrous to world economies, says Townhall.

Source: Terry Jones, "Free Market: Sledgehammer Solution," Townhall Magazine, August 2008.


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