Thursday, August 26, 2021

Economists must grapple with climate tipping points before it's too late — David Roberts

A groundbreaking new model suggests that we've massively underestimated the social costs of carbon...
What is the true cost of carbon, including externality?

Canary Media
Economists must grapple with climate tipping points before it's too late
David Roberts

See also



Peter Pan said...

Memo: It's too late.

Ahmed Fares said...

Fixed link to first article above:

Economists must grapple with climate tipping points before it's too late

On the subject of externalities... tote bags.

The Cotton Tote Crisis

You can get cotton bags pretty much everywhere. How did an environmental solution become part of the problem?

Recently, Venetia Berry, an artist in London, counted up the free cotton tote bags that she had accumulated in her closet. There were at least 25.

An organic cotton tote needs to be used 20,000 times to offset its overall impact of production, according to a 2018 study by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. That equates to daily use for 54 years — for just one bag. According to that metric, if all 25 of her totes were organic, Ms. Berry would have to live for more than a thousand years to offset her current arsenal.

source: The Cotton Tote Crisis

Here's another quote from Canada's Financial Post:

Take plastic bags for example, which are public enemy number one. Conventional thinking suggests that banning single-use plastic bags will result in people using reusable bags, and that this reduction in plastic use will have a positive impact on the environment. Research from Denmark’s Ministry of the Environment actually challenged that conventional wisdom when it sought to compare the total impact of plastic bags to their reusable counterparts. The Danes found that alternatives to plastic bags came with significant negative externalities. For example, common paper bag replacements needed to be reused 43 times to have the same total impact as a plastic bag. When it came to cotton alternatives, the numbers were even higher. A conventional cotton bag alternative needed to be used over 7,100 times to equal a plastic bag, while an organic cotton bag had to be reused over 20,000 times. We know from consumer usage patterns that the likelihood of paper or cotton alternatives being used in such a way is incredibly unlikely. These results were also largely confirmed with the U.K. government’s own life-cycle assessment, which concluded that these alternatives have a significantly higher total impact on the environment.

source: Trudeau’s 'plastic ban' won’t help the environment. It could actually harm it instead