I commend you for getting citations on the damage already being caused by climate change and also for making intelligent observations about the resilience of systems. I do have a few counterarguments about the costs of climate change.

First it is impossible to identify which weather events are caused by climate change. Even more pointedly, it is impossible to identify which weather events are attributable to anthropogenic industrial and agricultural CO2 production.

Second, climate has changed before. Indeed it has always been changing for 4 billion years. Not more than 15,000 years ago, much of North America and Europe was covered by glaciers of the latest Ice Age. You could walk from Siberia to Alaska. Then the climate changed and sea level rose 50 meters or more. This was all before any human burnt a lump of coal.

Third, much of the cost of weather events is due to unwise development. There have been hurricanes in Texas before. The one in 1900 wiped parts of Galveston off the map and killed over 6,000.


Hurricane Harvey was particularly destructive to Houston due to poor urban planning that put housing and blacktop over wetland areas and made the area much more prone to flooding. The US has an insurance program, the National Flood Insurance Program, that however well intentioned and helpful, provides economic motivation for building in hurrican and flood prone areas. Much of its losses are from repeaters. Paying the coverage to help people move away from the coast would reduce costs dramatically over two decades. Similarly people are building houses in forested areas known to burn periodically and forests are mismanaged so the fires are larger than usual.

Stopping all CO2 production won’t stop hurricanes, floods, or forest fires. Climate change or not, there are numerous measures that can be taken to reduce the costs of natural perils. It is inaccurate to attribute damages or changes in costs from such perils as being solely or even mostly due to anthropogenic climate change, as is assumed in the studies you cited.

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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