In East Asia we call global warming 'typhoons' by mattsteinglass

Last weekend Typhoon Ketsana caused massive flooding that killed over 300 people in the Philippines. It then moved on to Vietnam, where it killed 101 people (and counting). In the Philippines it caused an estimated $100 million in damages. In Vietnam it had the bad luck to strike a major city, Danang, so the damages were higher. Preliminary estimates by the national Storm and Flood Control Committee came in today: $600 million.

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A week after Ketsana, the Philippines is about to get hit by another typhoon. Typhoon Parma currently boasts wind speeds of 120 knots, faster than Ketsana. It will hit the northernmost island of the Philippines within the next couple of days. It is currently heading towards Taiwan and China. (Taiwan suffered hundreds of deaths in Typhoon Morakot in August.)

But clearly trying to limit rising CO2 emissions will be very costly, and it would be much cheaper to just adapt to climate change. And limiting CO2 emissions would especially hurt poor people in developing nations. Surely it would be much worse for people in developing nations to have to pay an extra couple of dollars a gallon for gas than to deal with 120-knot typhoons every week or so during monsoon season, or however frequent they’re likely to become by 2050 if CO2 levels and temperatures continue to rise unabated.


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