Going Green = Making $$$

The University of Maryland just released a review of economic studies of climate change. Here are the five key findings:

  1. Impacts will occur across the country;
  2. Impacts will be unevenly distributed across regions, economic sectors (with ag, energy and transport as standouts) and society;
  3. Negative impacts will outweigh benefits for most sectors that provide essential goods and services;
  4. Impacts will strain public budgets (for example, replacement and maintenance of infrastructure in the face of sea level rises);
  5. Secondary effects can include higher prices, lower income and job losses.

These are sobering conclusions, and presumably the costs will vary depending on the abruptness of the change. After all, there are points at which could tilt the system far enough to capsize the canoe.

On the other hand, there's the potential to create a plethora of investment opportunities and jobs when as a nation we tackle this issue head-on. The "CleanTech" field which would benefit from such a commitment is already growing by leaps and bounds. And a recent study found that additional investment in CleanTech will be $14-19 billion between 2007 and 2010, resulting in 400,000-500,000 new jobs.

Less strain on public budgets? More jobs? Sounds pretty good to me, and I imagine other parents would agree wholeheartedly.