Actually Laurie, and PGL of Angry Bear who links to David, the best study of the issue indicates that global warming is most likely a net benefit to the US economy. Carbon dioxide and greater temperature makes plants grow faster. The author, Yale economist Robert Mendelsohn writes:
Climate change is likely to result in small net benefits for the United States over the next century. The primary sector that will benefit is agriculture. The large gains in this sector will more than compensate for damages expected in the coastal, energy, and water sectors, unless warming is unexpectedly severe. Forestry is also expected to enjoy small gains. Added together, the United States will likely enjoy small benefits of between $14 and $23 billion a year and will only suffer damages in the neighborhood of $13 billion if warming reaches 5C over the next century. Recent predictions of warming by 2100 suggest temperature increases of between 1.5 and 4C, suggesting that impacts are likely to be beneficial in the US.
Speaking personally, I have undergone a greater shift in mean temperature by moving from Canada to the US than will occur in 100 years of global warming and I like it! My fellow Canadians, still stuck in the frozen north, will be glad to know that in the future they too can have warmer temperatures without giving up their prized health care system.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005