The Economics of Global Warming

A Senate panel on Tuesday examined the economics of global warming. Sen. Bernie Sanders questioned the high cost of doing nothing to reverse climate change. He also cited the benefits of creating clean renewable sources of energy. "What I fear very much is that our old friends in the coal industry, in the fossil fuel industry, the automobile industry simply continue to want us to go the old way and are not looking at a bold new future. If we look at a bold new future, we can talk about the cre

A Senate panel on Tuesday examined the economics of global warming. Sen. Bernie Sanders questioned the high cost of doing nothing to reverse climate change. He also cited the benefits of creating clean renewable sources of energy. "What I fear very much is that our old friends in the coal industry, in the fossil fuel industry, the automobile industry simply continue to want us to go the old way and are not looking at a bold new future. If we look at a bold new future, we can talk about the creation of a significant number of good-paying jobs as we transform our economy away from fossil fuels and dependence on foreign oil. " Sanders said during an Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing. "Some say it is going to be very expensive to move forward. That's a fair question. But what happens if we don't move forward. How much will flooding cost? How much will drought cost? How much will war cost as we fight over resources?

The hearing, according to a post on Grist, "was largely devoted to stoking fears about the potential costs of meaningful action.

"The high point was Bernie Sanders, the leading environmental magazine and Web site added, "who berated the hearing for not including anyone who could testify to the consequences of inaction, or the potential for growth that action creates by improving efficiency and pushing new technologies to market."

"I find it hard to be talking about the cost of moving away from emissions without looking at at fact that we're driving cars that get 15 miles per gallon," said Sanders. "The day will come when our people will be driving cars that get 50, 60 miles per gallon." Sanders talked up the potential for growth in solar energy, a better rail system, and better efficiency, as well as the costs of the natural disasters and wars over scarce resources that climate change could bring. "What I fear very much is that our old friends in the coal industry and the fossil fuels industries simply want us to continue the same old way, but not pursue a bold new future."

To read the Grist post, click here.

To watch the senator at the Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing on global warming, click here.