But Costs

Strong ethical considerations may dominate financial concerns. But to invoke ethics when speaking about money might be seen as deflection. Best to parry the objection directly, *then* top it with ethical considerations.

Examples

It’s not clear to me there is any social cost of carbon. Except maybe to politicians and environmental groups.

(Roy)

Objections and Replies

Carbon cost. Social cost of carbon on means something to politicians
☞ SCC comes from economics, and some estimate that half of the world’s GDP is related to biodiversity.

Common sense. My common sense tells me that
☞ Mine tells me that uncertainty increases risks and risks cost money {1}. Yet contrarians appeal to uncertainty each and every day. Fancy that.

Decarbonization. To decarbonize an economy will cost us a fortune
☞ Morgan Stanley estimates that the investment could bring $3 trillion to $10 trillion of earnings before interest and taxes. Costs come with benefits.

Programs. All these socialist programs are a waste of—
☞ Nothing compares to military spending {2}.

Trillions. There will be multi-trillion costs
☞ Morgan Stanley estimates we’ll need to invest 50 trillion by 2050. The more we stall, the more it’ll cost. If you’re serious about costs, stop trying to stall.

Notes

{1} Check how reinsurers, insurers, and actuaries look at this matter. You should see discussions that tend to be grounded in reality.

{2} Invoking military spending usually shuts off concerns about the cost of social programs.

Readings

2020-09. A Near-Term to Net Zero Alternative to the Social Cost of Carbon for Setting Carbon Prices.

Resources

2022; The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring; McKinsey shimes in.

2021-02; The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review.

2021; Accelerating Decarbonization of the U.S. Energy System.