Sunday, March 30, 2014

About Using GDP to Define Disasters

This is a point that tends to get lost in the shuffle, from Climate Science Watch:
GDP also does not fully account for humanitarian disasters to poorer countries. Extreme impacts in poor, tropical areas (which are expected to be the first to experience the most severe disasters) may not significantly affect global GDP because of the low standard of living – but they still matter.
The GDP of the poorest 20 countries in Africa is 0.12% of world GDP (in 2011). That's hardly a blip on charts like this, but if a disaster totally obligerated these 20 countries it would be almost undescribable.

1 comment:

George Montgomery said...

It's obscene to use percent changes in global GDP to hide the impact of weather disasters on individual countries, particularly the more vulnerable Third World countries. It's analogous to using the impact on global GDP to define earthquakes e.g. the 2010 Haitian earthquake wouldn't rate using that criterion.