While the estimated costs for dealing with climate change vary enormously, they still provide a useful foil for considering how much to spend to fund defences against asteroids and comets. In late 2007, ‘sceptical environmentalist’ Bjorn Lomborg told Scientific American the impact of global warming would likely cost about 1% of world GDP ($658bn) and should be addressed by spending one-twentieth of 1% of world GDP ($33bn) on new non-carbon-producing energy technology.23 At the higher end of such cost projections, Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, estimated that damages from climate change would amount to 5% or more of world GDP (over $3.29tr).24 Stern claimed that to effectively deal with the problem, global annual expenditures of 1% of GDP ($658bn) would be necessary.25 The upper limit for damage caused by an asteroid or comet could exceed the worst projections likely to be wrought by climate change, while the low-end estimate for climate-change mitigation costs – $33bn – would be sufficient to purchase not only the equipment needed to find, track and study threatening asteroids and comets, but also field an operational system to deflect them. The key is to do something before the next devastating impact – in contrast to the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, which saw tens of millions of dollars in improvements to the tsunami-warning system come only after disaster struck.
CBS News 09 ( “Global Warming May Spread Disease” February 11, 2009 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/20/tech/main512920.shtml) JM
Climate warming is allowing disease-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi to move into new areas where they may harm species as diverse as lions and snails, butterflies and humans, a study suggests. Pathogens that have been restricted by seasonal temperatures can invade new areas and find new victims as the climate warms and winters grow milder, researchers say in a study in the journal Science. "Climate change is disrupting natural ecosystems in a way that is making life better for infectious diseases," said Andrew Dobson, a Princeton University researchers and another co-author of the study in Science. "The accumulation of evidence has us extremely worried. We share diseases with some of these species. The risk for humans is going up." Climate changes already are thought to have contributed to an epidemic of avian malaria that wiped out thousands of birds in Hawaii, the spread of an insect-borne pathogen that causes distemper in African lions, and the bleaching of coral reefs attacked by diseases that thrive in warming seas. Humans are also at direct and dramatic risk from such insect-born diseases as malaria, dengue and yellow fever, the researchers said. "In all the discussions about climate change, this has really been kind of left out," said Drew Harvell, a Cornell University marine ecologist and lead author of the study. "Just a one- or two-degree change in temperature can lead to disease outbreaks." Richard S. Ostfeld, a co-author of the study, said, "We're alarmed because in reviewing the research on a variety of different organisms we are seeing strikingly similar patterns of increases in disease spread or incidence with climate warming." Ostfeld is an environmental researcher at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies. In the study, the authors analyzed how warming temperatures already are letting insects and microbes invade areas where they once were barred by severe seasonal chills. They said mosquitoes are moving up mountainsides, spreading disease among animals formerly protected by temperature. They also found some pathogens reproduce more often in warmer temperatures, so there are more germs around to cause infection.
Paine 99 (Michael, scientist/author, space.com, “How and asteroid impact causes extinction”, November 5th, 1999, Accessed 7/11/11, AH)
The world economy grinds to a halt as people take to the hills. Anarchy sets in, civilization breaks down. Accusations fly over the lack of warning -- where was Spaceguard, the proposed international search effort for large asteroids? People in Brazil feel less vulnerable than most of the world's population. They are on the opposite side of the Earth from the predicted impact point. But one hour after the impact Brazilians notice some brilliant meteors. Then more meteors. Soon the sky gets brighter and hotter from the overwhelming number of meteors. Within a few minutes trees ignite from the fierce radiant heat. Millions of fragments of rock, ejected into space by the blast, are making a fiery return all over the planet. Only people hiding underground survive the deadly fireworks display. Within three hours, however, massive shock waves from the impact travel through the Earth's crust and converge on Brazil at the same time. The ground shakes so violently that the ground fractures and molten rock spews from deep underground. Maybe Brazil wasn't the best place to be after all. The survivors of the firestorms, tsunami and massive earthquakes emerge to a devastated landscape. Within a few days the Sun vanishes behind a dark thick cloud - a combination of soot from the firestorms, dust thrown up by the impact and a toxic smog from chemical reactions. Photosynthesis in plants and algae ceases and temperatures plummet. A long, sunless Arctic winter seems mild compared to the new conditions on most of the planet. After a year or so the dust settles and sunlight begins to filter through the clouds. The Earth's surface starts warming up. But the elevated carbon dioxide levels created by the fires (and, by chance, vaporization of huge quantities of limestone at the impact site) results in a runway greenhouse effect. Those creatures that managed to survive the deep freeze now have to cope with being cooked. Many species of plants and animals vanish. The few hundred thousand human survivors find themselves reverting to a Stone Age existence