In today's column, Polly Toynbee writes:
Political pessimists fear that nothing short of the catastrophic flooding of New York, with millions dead, will make the rich world understand that climate change really is the greatest global terror of all. Now the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development issues a warning on the future of the Alpine skiing industry. Could a lack of snow in Klosters, Gstaad and Courchevel have the same electrifying effect on powerful opinion formers without millions having to die first?
The OECD warning actually says that:
There will also be "winners" and "losers", both in terms of regions – for example Alpes Maritimes, Steiermark/Styria, and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia are considerably more vulnerable than Grisons, Valais, and Savoie
Switzerland would suffer the least
Courchevel is of course in the Savoie, and Gstaad and Klosters are of course in Switzerland. But then naming the ski resorts that are actually vulnerable would not be quite so evocative of the rich and famous.
She also writes:
this week Douglas Alexander made a resoundingly important environmental announcement on re-regulating buses - but it went hardly reported.
She also writes:
A reversal of climate change needs strong action by the state at home and abroad, especially in the EU; Tory shrink-the-state Euroscepticism can't do that. It needs admission that the damaged environment is a market failure; the Tories can't admit that.
Really? Apparently, according to Zac Goldsmith, writing in the, er, Guardian:
George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, speaking in Japan today, will describe environmental pollution as a market failure. "It is a classic case of what economists call an externality. Because the pollution is external to the market, polluting can make life easier, while the true cost is paid not by the polluter, but by everyone else." Given what we can expect if even the most conservative climate change predictions are accurate, failure to correct this market failure is not an option.