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'We're Not Moving Fast Enough': Study Shows Costs of Melting Permafrost Could Total $70 Trillion

'We're Not Moving Fast Enough': Study Shows Costs of Melting Permafrost Could Total $70 Trillion

Jake Johnson, staff writer

An alarming study released Tuesday found that melting permafrost could add nearly $70 trillion to the global costs of climate change unless immediate action is taken to slash carbon emissions.

"We have the technology and policy instruments to limit the warming but we are not moving fast enough."
—Dmitry Yumashev, Lancaster University


Melting of the permafrost and the subsequent methane release resulting from it would mean the extinction of all sentient life, i am not sure how they managed to put a price tag on that.


The psychopaths that run this world don’t value life. They only value $$$. That’s why the cost is couched this way. It might be the only thing that catches their attention/concern.


True, but said psychopaths never willingly pay for anything with “their” own money, especially if it is a result of their malfeasance.
In their mind any projected costs to society would be born by the public.


So, realistically, our work – the rest of us – is to remove power from psychopaths, remove psychopaths from power, and organize society, the economy, and our own lives and awareness, non-psychopathologically.


“By the year 2300”. LOL.


“Estimated to reach $1,390 trillion by the year 2300 if emissions cuts are not better than the Paris Agreement. However, the costs of the current business-as-usual path could be more than $2,000 trillion.”
Who will be around to write the check I wonder?


That’s exactly what my post was referring to.


I think that estimate is for the projected cost of turning it around before the extinction would wipe us out. However Bodeswell is correct.
*As the Merchants of Greed are only interested in profits, not humans or other lifeforms, they might decide not to “waste” their money on saving the world, but only on putting more into their safes.
*Some fly on the wall reported on a big meeting with Big Energy around the turn of the century. Their scientists did a full layout of what was coming if we continued our fuel use and recommending that it be reduced to an absolute minimum.
*When they finished their pitch, they were thanked for their input and dismissed.
*The boards sat in silence for a minute or two, then one of them said, “OK, the world is coming to an end. How can we profit from that?”
*When I read that, it pretty well explained the problem we’re dealing with. (or actually not dealing with.)


Arctic melting has been deemed irreversible. The arctic is going to melt and the permafrost is going to thaw and release its organic content in the form of methane to the atmosphere and all you can worry about is money? All the money in the world won’t put the methane back in the permafrost.


Justin Trudeau and the Premiers in Alberta insist we can burn tar sands oil for the next 40+ years and use the revenues to find other solutions to CO2 emissions. Justin Trudeau, as example claims giving 12 million to Loblaws to upgrade their fridges an example of this.

Capitalism just makes people STUPID. Money for brains has the same outcome as shit for brains.


Have I mentioned lately that your grandchildren will live in a dystopian hellscape?

Cuts “better than the Paris Agreement?” Not a single signatory to that agreement has hit their emission reduction target – even though they easily attainable, insufficient targets they set themselves. With Paris in place, emissions are predicted to keep rising annually through 2030.

So that makes three global issues that have now devolved into farce:
Finding the will to combat certain climate chaos.
Reducing military spending and confrontation.
A negotiated peace process in the MidEast.

All consigned to business-as-usual status, forever more. All hopeless.

This is how human civilization crumbles – under the weight of negligence leading directly to violence and catastrophe. Good riddance, except the part where we take a couple hundred years of evolutionary beauty down with us.

Now watch some commenters come along to tell me that if we just elect Democrats, every’ll be just fine.


It’s stupid to express the cost of melting permafrost in dollars! What’s at stake is the continued existence of our SPECIES!!!


"In an interview with the Guardian, Dmitry Yumashev called his study’s results “disheartening,” but said nations of the world have the technological capacity to confront the crisis.
What’s needed, he said, is urgency and political will."

Ok . . . I don’t even know where to start with the “technological capacity” part so I’ll move on to:

“Political will”. Anyone else feel nauseous when you see that term repeatedly tossed out as if that could actually do anything to stop the current biosphere collapse and 6th mass extinction?

Here is video of Cory Morningstar filmed in 2010 (with only 971 views). In this 11 minute piece she articulates truths that are catastrophically being played out just as she powerfully, heartbreakingly articulated 9 years ago.

She ends with (paraphrased):

“we have to bring the system to its knees to save our species . . . it’s up to us . . . our goverments are not going to to it for us”

This is why I abhor the catchphrase “political will” as used by Yumashev in this article. It is a counterproductive, useless term and dangerously misleading in the context of this oligarchic, capitalist structure.

Expecting our current political system to demonstrate healthy “political will” is the epitome of crazy making.

As expressed in several comments above, power lies in the hands of malignant narcissists and psychopaths who will only find the “political will” to continue to pillage and destroy until nothing is left.

I realize there are activists/scientists who feel that to get people to understand the gravity of this predicament (yes, predicament) humans have placed themselves in they must talk dollars----i.e. monetize the collapse in an attempt to generate a sense of urgency.
This (having to put a dollar amount on ecosystems) exemplifies just how utterly f—ed humans are!


And yet, after reading this, how many of us will drive our internal combustion vehicles a mile-and-a-half to Costco and buy plastic bags full of inexpensive, pre-washed and separated organic broccoli florets that were grown 1500 miles away? I realize that one person’s actions will not result in 74 trillion dollars worth of blowback and that (with all due respect to Caroline above) political will is necessary to right the ship and reverse its course, but who the fuck keeps electing these morally bankrupt assholes? And who among the current crop of degenerates will actually dismantle the current paradigm and help usher in a new one?

One one. Can you guess who? (Hint: It ain’t “Bernie” or “Elizabeth” or “Tulsi”. As if we’re ever likely to be on a first-name basis with any of them.)

I agree, but how?

Face it people. It’s over. If we had begun 30 or 40 years ago, we might have a chance. But now? Forget it. We may as well just enjoy whatever life we have left because the planet as far as human beings are concerned is over. It’s done. The self-reinforcing feedback loops has begun. It’s going to be fun to watch.


Pretty much. In terms of the actually environmental effects. Here’s where “political will” comes into play, though. A lot people are going to have their lives disrupted, including the ultimate disruption–and in fact, already are-- by the utter greed of the past and current crop of capitalists. That much is a given. But in order to ameliorate the damage (as best we can) to those of us who will still be around, there will still be decisions that need to be made, on a large scale as well as more personal ones.

My question again: Is there anyone out there who has a great enough sense of the big picture and the ability to bring us together as a global society to change our behavior and do whatever we can, and the willingness to do so?

The answer, again: Only one.

Economic interests? Is that all there is to consider? Does anyone really think the powers that rule the world right now will be swayed by threats of economic costs? I doubt they will care even if an entire country is drowned.

What about the plant and animal life? What about the fact that human beings will probably begin to die off? Or perhaps we all will die off. Who will care about how many trillions of dollars something will cost when there won’t be anyone to pay anything? Those unfortunate enough to be left alive will die slowly anyway.


One of my biographical obsessions is the immortal mathematical logician Kurt Godel, who ended his days at Princeton as maybe the world’s loneliest man. His only buddy was Albert Einstein, who spent much of his time worried about his good friend’s encroaching madness. Godel came to believe in (along with contradictory orthodoxy about obeying authority) a vast web of conspiracy to make people stupid.

It got to the point where Godel refused to eat suspicious-looking food, and the discoverer of Incompleteness (in a way, a mathematical analog of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty) starved himself to death.