“Do you have citations for the damage you claim is being inflicted today by climate change?”
Yes, here are a few:
Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year
Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S…
Climate change has cost the government $350 billion - here's what it will cost you
By Our planet is warming, putting at risk not only our physical well-being, but our wallets. Last Friday, 13 federal…
Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States
Episodes of severe weather in the United States, such as the present abundance of rainfall in California, are…
“The side of the ledger you haven’t looked at is the enhanced survivability and resilience of modern civilization.”
While modern civilization is more resilient at the local scale, it is less resilient at the global scale. When a disaster hits a locality, aid can be poured in from all over the globe. But when the problem is global in scope, it poses a more serious challenge.
An economy is rather like an ecosystem; it coordinates a huge range of activities. It can be quite effective in circumventing some problems, just as an ecosystem can rebalance itself in response to, say, a wildfire. But some minor perturbations can destroy an economy, just as can happen with an ecosystem. When snakes from other places showed up on Guam, the entire bird population was pretty much wiped out. And now the trees are disappearing.
The more complex a system is, the more easily it can fail due to tiny perturbations.
“I am saying any alarmist response is unwarranted. We can drive and take planes and eat hamburgers as we move our houses back from the coast.”
Yes, we will need to continue most of our activities, but we will also need to phase them out as quickly as is economically feasible. That’s why a carbon tax is the preferred solution: it let’s people make their own decisions about where and how to cut back. And by the way, “moving our houses back from the coast” means abandoning coastal cities. In the USA, that covers a LOT of valuable real estate. See, for example, this web page. The cost of recreating these cities further inland would easily run into the trillions of dollars.