A thought experiment is a means of exploring a concept, hypothesis or idea through extensive thought. When finding empirical evidence is impossible, we turn to thought experiments to unspool complex concepts.
One specific thought experiment was particularly worthwhile - the total effect of climate change on the global economy. Below are some very incomplete notes from that experiment.
Climate change is happening, and it’s effects are being felt in events globally, but it’s impossible to measure the total effect it might have. Also, some of the events that have occurred may have occurred whether or not we had a climate crisis. If the economy is really the sum total of all our commercial interactions - that might be a good proxy. The type of weather events (floods, fires, etc) are so wide ranging that it’s clear climate change will affect everyone but to the degree that it will change their economic behaviour is not. For the sake of this experiment, limit to coastal towns because that’s likely where the rise in sea levels will have the most drastic effect. There are a striking number of cities that are vulnerable, so it’s clear the effect will be drastic. Especially with cities like London and Shanghai - whose economic output is incredible. I’m estimating in the 100’s of billions of dollars, but wouldn’t be surprised if it surpasses 1-1.5 trillion.