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The New Scientist has published a Cambridge study of the impact on British consumers of a 50% cut in emissions by 2050, paired with government incentives to encourage electric cars, cooking and heating. Their conclusions: Most consumer goods would have very small price increases in constant dollars: 1% for food, clothing and cars; 2% for alcohol, tobacco and electronics; 0% for communications. Electricity rates would go up 15%, (which could be partly offset by efficiencies or time of day pricing). The major impact for consumers would be on air travel, which would go up 140%.

One major element of the Copenhagen discussions is NOT evaluated in this study: the demands of the developing world for huge, ongoing cash transfers to pay for the impacts of climate change.

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The more you understand, the easier it is to manage well.

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