Ambrose Evans Pritchard is entirely correct here in this insistence that we’re all so over climate change now:
Capitalist technology is already solving the climate crisis but Extinction Rebellion hasn’t noticed
The climate rebels are out of date: we have the technical means to solve the problem at no net economic cost
He’s a little excitable at the idea of no net economic cost. I’d say that’s not quite true, not as yet. But we’ve definitely put in place the activities which will lead to it being true. Solar is getting cheaper and cheaper – I’m told that perovskites are going to ratchet costs own another order of magnitude over time – and that’s all that was ever required. Get that cheap enough and everything else becomes feasible, even cheaper than fossil fuels. Because with really cheap solar you can go batteries, hydrogen, compressed air, all sortsa things.
The great catastrophe so feared by our new age Puritans has in a sense been averted already, if only they could see it. The free market is cracking the carbon challenge with a speed and efficiency that the environmental Left could never achieve.
We have the technical means to solve the problem at no net economic cost – indeed, the green switch can be levered into a net economic gain – and without any need to stop travel, live on beans, or to forgo our affluent lifestyle.
No net cost is a bit iffy which we’ll get to.
The net-zero switch is already happening very fast. The most elegant way to bring it forward even faster is to give markets the signal of a Pigou carbon price that ratchets up systematically, as proposed by the International Monetary Fund.
Well, actually as suggested by William Nordhaus, which we’ll get to about that iffiness of no net cost.
gaining support in the US Congress from both parties and a roster of Nobel economists of all stripes.
Well, yes, Bill there actually gaining his Nobel for suggesting it.
The no net cost though does depend upon exactly how we do this. If we go out and tear down everything we’ve already built then there will be massive costs. If, instead, we only replace stuff as it wears out and needs replacing anyway then clearly things are a lot cheaper. Which is the point of having the carbon tax rise over time – to make people replace with non-emitting when it is time to do so. Because that carbon tax might not bite much now but it will, sure as Hell, in a couple of decades. So, when you build now for the future build non-emittive.
All of this being why we’re getting so much screaming from XR and the like of course. For them the aim is to replace the economy. Being able to deal with climate change without replacing capitalism and industry isn’t the point at all. They want to kill capitalism and industry, the climate change is only the excuse. Give it a decade and we’ll all be able to see that the dealing with it is proceeding apace and no need to tear up the present society at all.
Thus the screaming about how we must do it now – the opportunity is disappearing before their very eyes.