Climate science is fun and all, but I think we pretty much know what we need to know at this point. I’m thinking maybe I need to start paying more attention to global energy economics:
As China and India’s energy consumption grows, coal stands to make the largest gains from shifts in future fossil fuel usage, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday in its World Energy Outlook (WEO).
The outlook focuses on the need to offset and accommodate the growing energy consumption of these growing economies. The IEA outlines several models for growth in China and India, highlighting the consequences that development in these countries will have in terms of energy demand, the global economy, and the environment.
The WEO says that economic development fuelling increased energy needs in these two countries is almost certain, so immediate actions should be taken to ensure development in the most environmentally friendly terms possible.
Yes, and you may want to seriously consider Peak Oil:
or a good source is:
http://www.lastoilshock.com, and then get David Strahan’s book [Amazon CA or UK].
Peak Oil is either in the next decade [most], or last year [T. Boone Pickens], and Peak Gas ~several decades later. BIG PRESSURE to burn, gasify, or synfuel more coal, A Bad Thing, unless CO2 sequestered.
All this means that the investment required for mitigation, like rebuilding further inland, will be done with less and less cheap energy from oil…
The Evil Trio: Water, Peak Oil, Global Warming.
So far, it’s been very hard to find AGW analyses that well-integrate the effects of Peak Oil; the Stern report doesn’t really. Perusal of the entire Econ section of the Stanford bookstore didn’t yield much. Energy seems to be under-considered for its role in economic growth and wealth: see Ayres & Warr [read the conclusion, if nothing else]:
Other things being equal, people with less exergy [energy x efficiency] are poorer. Unless there are incredible efforts to replace oil/gas, as a whole, the world will get poorer. If os, that means that a lot of economists’ models that assume people wil lbe richer 100 years from now, and hence climate mitigation can wait, i.e., a positive *discount rate*, are fantasizing. The disocunt may even be *negative* for a while.