Do Not Pay Attention to the Gorilla: The Costs of AB 32

There’s a ton of bickering back and forth, between environmentalists and climate change deniers about the cost of AB 32, our landmark greenhouse gas regulation bill.  They argue about energy cost, and just how much of the state’s GDP, in either direction, will be affected due to proposed regulations.  

Clearly, there will be an impact. Will the increase in green jobs offset the (at least initially) higher cost of energy? How much will the cost of energy increase, and how long will it take to come to some sort of equilibrium. These are all good questions, but for some reason, both sides are ignoring the massive gorilla waiving his arms in the scene, the original reason we started all of this.

Climate change itself has massive costs for California, mitigation is an end unto itself. In this SacBee article today, the costs of climate change itself are pretty much ignored.

California is particularly vulnerable to climate change. We face big risk along our coast of losing homes and property to rising sea levels.We face the danger of desertification of our Central Valley, long the produce market of  America. We are inching close to not only not being able to grow food, but not even being able to provide enough drinking water for the state.

And yet, while we spend years calculating the price of action against climate change, we continue to fail to price in the risk of inaction. When we truly consider the cost of inaction, is there any doubt as to the right course of action?  

One thought on “Do Not Pay Attention to the Gorilla: The Costs of AB 32”

  1. However jobs are being lost en masse in our state, and will the Democratic and Progressive establishment still cheerlead for AB32 even if we have lost 1 million jobs since July 2007?

    I dont think we should kill AB32 or suspend it, but we need to make it hurt less to business, while still being mindful of the environment. Without new businesses or employees there will be less revenue to the government to do the good works it does.  

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