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Planning for Climate Change

Patrick Condon, January 1, 2008

The debate about the reality of global warming, and the human role in precipitating climate change, has been largely put to rest. Four working groups from the United Nations–sponsored Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (2007) have come to a consensus that would be gratifying if it were not so frightening. Yes, the globe is warming they say. Yes, humans are the primary agent for this change. Yes, the consequences may be dire. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (2007) was also released last year by the Treasury Department of the British Government, whose only task was to assess the financial implications of global warming. That report warned that the costs of correcting this problem were affordable in the short term, but if nothing was done soon, the coming global economic calamity would make the depression of the 1930s look like a period of great luxury.