On the eve of the first anniversary of the U.K. launch of the infamous No Pressure video, Canada’s taxpayer-funded national broadcaster, the CBC announces:
Climate change could cost Canada billions a year as early as 2020, depending on how severe it is and how well the country adapts, says a report released Thursday morning.
The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy [NRTEE] looked at the cost of climate change on Canada’s prosperity, public health and in coastal areas affected by weather events.
The government-funded think-tank estimates the cost of climate change for Canada could start at roughly $5 billion per year in 2020 and increase to between $21 billion and $43 billion per year by 2050.
Notice how neatly this think-tank conflates “climate change” with “weather events”?! Oh, well, I suppose it would be too much to expect a CBC reporter to look beyond the news release and media-backgrounder – conveniently prepared for instant media consumption by NRTEE.
But I must give credit where credit is due: at least the CBC provided a link to the actual report (a 168 page 9.67 MB.pdf). It seems that this opus from the NRTEE is the fourth in a series of six with the rather curious (if not Orwellian) over-arching title of “Climate Prosperity”.
Not surprisingly, this report contains a number of graphics that look remarkably like (you guessed it!) a hockey-stick (some of which were cleverly found by the CBC to use as illustrative graphics in their article).
These model(ler) prophets of “Climate Prosperity” appear to be blissfully unaware of the increasingly shaky foundations of their underlying assumptions. Their spiffy website notes:
Unless global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are brought down and Canada invests in adaptation, the economic impacts of climate change on Canada could climb to billions of dollars per year.
Paying the Price: the Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada – the fourth report in the NRT’s Climate Prosperity series – is the first national study to show what the economic consequences to Canada could be as a result of climate change, under four separate scenarios involving two factors: global GHG emissions and Canadian economic and population growth.
Although Canada contributes approximately 1.5% of global emissions, the report concludes that climate change impacts brought about by increased world-wide emissions have a real and growing economic cost to Canada. It also shows that adaptation – our capacity to manage the impacts to come – while not cost-free, is a cost-effective way to alleviate some of those impacts.
Based on NRT original economic modelling, the report finds that the economic impact on Canada could reach:
•2020: $5 billion per year
•2050: Between $21 and $43 billion per year
Canadians can and should use economic information to decide how to best prepare for, and respond to, the impacts of climate change.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Paying the Price highlights areas where additional research and analysis on climate change impacts and adaptation are needed for Canada. Having clearly identified economic risks associated with a changing climate, we need to turn our attention to exploring the economic opportunities of adaptation — to both cope and prosper through inevitable degrees of climate change. [emphases added -hro]
Lest there be any doubt, this report boldly claims (p. 2):
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT COPING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT PROSPERING THROUGH IT.
And here’s what they’re all about (p. 6):
Emerging from the famous Brundtland Report, Our Common Future, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE or Round Table) has become a model for convening diverse and competing interests around one table to create consensus ideas and viable suggestions for sustainable development. The NRTEE focuses on sustaining Canada’s prosperity without borrowing resources from future generations or compromising their ability to live securely.
The NRTEE is in the unique position of being an independent policy advisory agency that advises the federal government on sustainable development solutions. We raise awareness among Canadians and their governments about the challenges of sustainable development. We advocate for positive change. We strive to promote credible and impartial policy solutions that are in the best interest of all Canadians. We accomplish that mission by fostering sound, well-researched reports on priority issues and by offering advice to governments on how best to reconcile and integrate the often divergent challenges of economic prosperity and environmental conservation.
The NRTEE brings together a group of distinguished sustainability leaders active in businesses, universities, environmentalism, labour, public policy, and community life from across Canada. Our members are appointed by the federal government for a mandate of up to three years. They meet in a round table format that offers a safe haven for discussion and encourages the unfettered exchange of ideas leading to consensus.
We also reach out to expert organizations, industries, and individuals to assist us in conducting our work on behalf of Canadians.
The NRTEE Act underlines the independent nature of the Round Table and its work. The NRTEE reports, at this time, to the Government of Canada and Parliament through the Minister of the Environment. The NRTEE maintains a secretariat, which commissions and analyzes the research required by its members in their work. [emphases added -hro]
Needless to say, I was not in the least surprised to find (p. 27):
// EXTENT OF CLIMATE CHANGE Our assumptions about global GHG emissions trajectories relied on well-established scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), representing possible climate futures in the absence of climate mitigation policy.
Nor was I surprised to find that their bibliography and endnotes were liberally sprinkled with references to TEEB (the latest kid on the United Nations Environment Program’s acronymic block which I had reported on almost a year ago here, here and here)
And, of course, this opus is all “peer-reviewed”. According to p. 145 there were 60 “experts who provided peer review and other advice throughout the research process”. In keeping with the “transparency” standards of the IPCC, this document provides no indication of the “expertise” or affiliations of these 60 “experts”.
But speaking of expertise … rather conspicuous by its absence is any mention of Dr. Ross McKitrick or his work. Is it possible that this glaring omission was by design in order to preserve the sanctity of the NRTEE’s “original economic modelling“? Nah … must be just a purely coincidental oversight!