Social Scientists Predict Large Imminent Climate Change Drop in GDP and Foreign Aid


Climate Adaption Cost vs Australian GDP Article Image
Climate Adaption Cost vs Australian GDP. Source Cashless Adaptation to Climate Change: Unwelcome yet Unavoidable?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A climate study published by University of Sunshine Coast social scientists predicts a dramatic decline in rich country GDP and foreign aid, starting in the next decade.

Pacific Islands must stop relying on foreign aid to adapt to climate change, because the money won’t last

July 31, 2020 12.34pm AEST

Patrick D. Nunn Professor of Geography, School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast
Roselyn Kumar University of the Sunshine Coast

The storm of climate change is approaching the Pacific Islands. Its likely impact has been hugely amplified by decades of global inertia and the islands’ growing dependency on developed countries.

The background to this situation is straightforward. For a long time, richer developed countries have been underwriting the costs of climate change in poorer developing countries, leaving them reliant on Western solutions to their climate-related issues.

But as rising sea water continues to encroach on these low-lying Pacific islands, inundating infrastructure and even cemeteries, it’s clear almost every externally sponsored attempt at climate adaptation has failed here.

And as the costs of adaptation in richer countries escalate, this funding support to developing countries will likely taper out in future.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/pacific-islands-must-stop-relying-on-foreign-aid-to-adapt-to-climate-change-because-the-money-wont-last-132095

The Conversation article is based on a commentary published by the authors in 2019.

Cashless Adaptation to Climate Change: Unwelcome yet Unavoidable?

Patrick D. Nunn1,* and Roselyn Kumar1
1School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia *Correspondence: pnunn@usc.edu.au
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2019.08.004

Many developing countries are dependent upon richer countries for underwriting costs of climate-change adaptation. This is unsustainable: as the costs of adaptation in richer countries escalate, the willingness to allocate funds to developing countries is likely to decrease. Although unpalatable, developing countries should consider returning to times when adaptation cost nothing.

Read more: https://www.cell.com/one-earth/pdf/S2590-3322(19)30008-9.pdf

So why is GDP and foreign aid about to plummet? From “Cashless Adaption” commentary.

Future External Funding Is Likely to Decrease

Underpinning the second reason is that the amount of external funding allocated over the past decade for climate-change adaptation in Pacific Island countries has increased, partly because of the increased visibility of adaptive challenges and partly because of the evolution of a global conscience, as demonstrated by the 2015 Paris Agreement. The inclusion of a goal to keep warming below 1.5C in the Paris Agreement was due largely to pressure from Pacific Island countries and might appear to bode well (Figure 1). Yet since Paris, several larger countries (such as Australia and the United States) have expressed reservations about the costs of compliance as well as skepticism about the efficacy of the Agreement and its scientific basis

Although such views alone are unlikely to derail the global accord underpinning the Paris Agreement, another issue that could prove fatal looms large. This is the issue of the sharply rising costs that developed (donor) countries will incur in a decade or so as they endeavor to climate proof their most vulnerable re- gions. It seems unlikely that these coun- tries will be able to sustain their present levels of adaptation funding to developing countries in the face of this increasing expense.

Read more: Same link as above

In a way this rash prediction is not the fault of the social scientists who authored the commentary, they simply took extreme climate predictions presented by other parties and drew completely logical inferences based on those extreme predictions.

What the social scientists didn’t pick up on is most climate scientists have learned the hard way that if you make firm predictions which are likely to fail within the span of your professional career, the internet never truly forgets – even decades later those predictions will be remembered and ridiculed.

Let us hope the professors pick up on their mistake and withdraw this rash climate prediction, before it becomes yet another internet climate prediction joke.

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