Social Scientists Predict Large Imminent Climate Change Drop in GDP and Foreign Aid

Climate Adaption Cost vs Australian GDP Article Image
Climate Adaption Cost vs Australian GDP. Source Cashless Adaptation to Climate Change: Unwelcome yet Unavoidable?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A climate study published by University of Sunshine Coast social scientists predicts a dramatic decline in rich country GDP and foreign aid, starting in the next decade.

Pacific Islands must stop relying on foreign aid to adapt to climate change, because the money won’t last

July 31, 2020 12.34pm AEST

Patrick D. Nunn Professor of Geography, School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast
Roselyn Kumar University of the Sunshine Coast

The storm of climate change is approaching the Pacific Islands. Its likely impact has been hugely amplified by decades of global inertia and the islands’ growing dependency on developed countries.

The background to this situation is straightforward. For a long time, richer developed countries have been underwriting the costs of climate change in poorer developing countries, leaving them reliant on Western solutions to their climate-related issues.

But as rising sea water continues to encroach on these low-lying Pacific islands, inundating infrastructure and even cemeteries, it’s clear almost every externally sponsored attempt at climate adaptation has failed here.

And as the costs of adaptation in richer countries escalate, this funding support to developing countries will likely taper out in future.

Read more:

The Conversation article is based on a commentary published by the authors in 2019.

Cashless Adaptation to Climate Change: Unwelcome yet Unavoidable?

Patrick D. Nunn1,* and Roselyn Kumar1
1School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia *Correspondence:

Many developing countries are dependent upon richer countries for underwriting costs of climate-change adaptation. This is unsustainable: as the costs of adaptation in richer countries escalate, the willingness to allocate funds to developing countries is likely to decrease. Although unpalatable, developing countries should consider returning to times when adaptation cost nothing.

Read more:

So why is GDP and foreign aid about to plummet? From “Cashless Adaption” commentary.

Future External Funding Is Likely to Decrease

Underpinning the second reason is that the amount of external funding allocated over the past decade for climate-change adaptation in Pacific Island countries has increased, partly because of the increased visibility of adaptive challenges and partly because of the evolution of a global conscience, as demonstrated by the 2015 Paris Agreement. The inclusion of a goal to keep warming below 1.5C in the Paris Agreement was due largely to pressure from Pacific Island countries and might appear to bode well (Figure 1). Yet since Paris, several larger countries (such as Australia and the United States) have expressed reservations about the costs of compliance as well as skepticism about the efficacy of the Agreement and its scientific basis

Although such views alone are unlikely to derail the global accord underpinning the Paris Agreement, another issue that could prove fatal looms large. This is the issue of the sharply rising costs that developed (donor) countries will incur in a decade or so as they endeavor to climate proof their most vulnerable re- gions. It seems unlikely that these coun- tries will be able to sustain their present levels of adaptation funding to developing countries in the face of this increasing expense.

Read more: Same link as above

In a way this rash prediction is not the fault of the social scientists who authored the commentary, they simply took extreme climate predictions presented by other parties and drew completely logical inferences based on those extreme predictions.

What the social scientists didn’t pick up on is most climate scientists have learned the hard way that if you make firm predictions which are likely to fail within the span of your professional career, the internet never truly forgets – even decades later those predictions will be remembered and ridiculed.

Let us hope the professors pick up on their mistake and withdraw this rash climate prediction, before it becomes yet another internet climate prediction joke.

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July 31, 2020 10:07 pm

Social Scientists should be aware that the general public is becoming very, very tired of seeing their tax money and their own money being squandered on pointless ‘Climate Change’ and ‘renewable’ Energy Boondoggles. This alone may make their predictions come true through the ballot box.

Lawrence Ayres
July 31, 2020 10:18 pm

The authors continue the drowning island meme when satellite studies show most islands expanding. Truth no longer matters as much as toeing the consensus line. Never once do the “climate scientists” broach the subject of expanding and unsupportable population growth or the movement of people from less populous islands to main islands in the search for jobs and money. Many of these islands do sink due to the extraction of fresh water from the lens that overlays the salt water. The biggest yet unreported problem is too many people and too little land. Climate change does not come into it.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Lawrence Ayres
August 1, 2020 4:44 am

The solution for low-lying islands is obvious. Simply invite the Chinese in to build sea defenses and raise the level of the land, they are pretty good at it and will only ask that you let them build an airstrip and military base as payment.

July 31, 2020 10:24 pm

Social scientists rediscover the ancient proverb “fool me once”.

Reply to  n.n
August 1, 2020 1:28 am

Social Science isn’t science at all.

Reply to  brians356
August 1, 2020 6:34 am

Social science is an oxymoron.

“Scientists predict” is the lead in to
A pile of steaming farm animal
Waste products

Reply to  brians356
August 1, 2020 11:09 am

You’re right, social science is a consensus-driven philosophy. I should have wrote “scientists” in quotes, or, perhaps, so-called social “scientists”.

D Cage
Reply to  n.n
August 1, 2020 11:05 pm

I as an engineer had a low opinion of social science so I did a degree in it. I discovered that like much of academia any work that does not go along with a trendy lefty image will get zero publicity but surprisingly large amount of it is still done unlike in climate science where it is entirely dogma with zero thought.

Remember the Maldives cabinet meeting anyone? I notice we never see an annual reminder of that event from them.

July 31, 2020 10:43 pm

1. The Paris agreement requires developed countries to spend US$100b annually climate adaptation for developing countries.
2. Australians emits only 1% of total emissions so maybe we give US$1b.
3. But maybe we give more – what’s the calculations? Do Australians agree to these calculations.
4. Australia already spends about US$3b on foreign aid – mostly in local pacific region on projects decided by Australians.
5. Australia and similar countries will just reduce their existing aid.
6. Additionally, AFAIK most aid from Europe is not aid but finance.

But biggest issue is China is technically a developing country.

Reply to  Waza
August 1, 2020 2:34 pm

“But biggest issue is China is technically a developing country.” By what criteria? This is another phony narrative. Who says they are? They can put people into space and they’re “developing”?

July 31, 2020 10:56 pm

Social Science is akin to Military Intelligence; but worse. Oxymorons’r’Us.

D Cage
Reply to  lee
August 1, 2020 11:17 pm

I thought like you till I studied it and saw the headline stuff is the climate science of the field. Sloppy left wing dogma of zero value. You mostly need to specifically look for anything worthwhile. A social science post graduate and lecturer pointed out on climate change that without correlation of cause and effect the premise is definitely false and even with it you need to understand the mechanism to be sure it is cause and effect not coincidence and she always worked on that assumption in her work. She did a project that proved most obesity was cookery education not income as an example of correlation not being cause and effect but it got no publicity outside a small field and none at all from government departments.

July 31, 2020 11:09 pm

As in any standard catastrophic prediction, everything that is obviously not bad at all by looking at our real world’s actual data trends is just about to turn bad. Tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Yawn.

Mike Dubrasich
July 31, 2020 11:15 pm

Yet since Paris, several larger countries (such as Australia and the United States) have expressed reservations about the costs of compliance as well as skepticism about the efficacy of the Agreement and its scientific basis.

I love Australia. I really do. Wonderful country, wonderful people. But let’s face it, they are small population-wise. The Oz pop is 25.5 mil. They rank 54th in national populations, behind Madagascar, Yemen, Uzbekistan, and Nepal among others.

I rank them near the top in guts, glory, pizazz, good humor, good looks, and sportsmanship. But not in population.

There is no reason at all that Australia should be shipping cash to other countries to pay climate extortion. To buy rugby balls maybe, but not windmills for Tahiti. Let the Tahitians buy their own, or possibly live without them. Samoa is doing fine without Oz bucks. Bikini Atoll is kaput anyway. Indonesia has 10 times as many people as Australia. Maybe Indonesia should buy rugby balls for Oz, or windmills, or electric surfboards.

In regard to efficacy, we’d all like some of that. In our medicines, masks, government, schools, and other stuff. But not in useless, stupid, and phony climate ripoff “agreements” which are disagreeable scams perped by grifters.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
August 1, 2020 12:12 am

Australia with suffer from the effects of climate change. They say more drought and bushfire.
So other countries should pay Australia.
I think because Canada will benefit from climate change, Canada should be sending us $$$ to adapt to bushfires. Maybe Canadians pay a fuel levy for us here in Australia.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Waza
August 3, 2020 9:45 pm

No, according to our climate insane it’s will all be bad here too
All bad all the time
Besides our idiot Govt already gave all our money away trying to buy a UNSC seat, which Xi flicked away

Trudeau is such a Moron

J Mac
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
August 1, 2020 9:23 am

RE: “But not in useless, stupid, and phony climate ripoff “agreements” which are disagreeable scams perped by grifters.”

Perfect! Shout it from the roof tops!

Ian McClintock
July 31, 2020 11:58 pm

Social Scientist is indeed an oxymoron and this diatribe illustrates the author’s ignorance of the science underlying the way greenhouse gasses operate and their limitations. Making the claims they have, clearly exposes this fact.

If they had bothered to actually check the science, they would quickly find that the principal dominating greenhouse gas unequivocally is water vapour and that carbon dioxide is only a minor bit player.

They would learn that greenhouse gasses only operate at specific wavelengths and that carbon dioxide is effectively active over only a minor radiation spike centred on 14.9 microns in the electro-magnetic range of Earths outgoing radiation spectrum.

This area is also covered by the very much higher atmospheric concentration and broader operating spectrum of water vapour, severely limiting any additional restriction on infra-red radiation emissions by carbon dioxide to outer space.

A careful reading of the current IPCC AR5 Report would also reveal, hidden in the main text of the Report, that man’s addition to the current level of atmospheric greenhouse gasses from burning fossil fuels was just 3.8% with a further .5% from land use change.

95.7% of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is from natural sources.

Nature does not, cannot, discriminate between natural emissions and anthropogenic emissions because the carbon dioxide molecules are identical.

The combination of these factors therefore clearly discloses the fact that anthropogenic carbon dioxide cannot be anything but a very minor, trifling, global influence on temperature determination.

It is no wonder that these facts are never publicly discussed by ‘Climate change’ advocates as it immediately highlights the ridiculous impossibility of the nonsensical claims being made about man’s influence on our climate.

Hans Erren
Reply to  Ian McClintock
August 1, 2020 5:05 am

95.7% of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is from natural sources.

No it is not, check with dr Roy Spencer

D Cage
Reply to  Hans Erren
August 1, 2020 11:26 pm

What we can say for sure is ANTS are greater producers of CO2 equivalent gases than mankind, fossil fuel included by a very large margin. Also the UN / Attenborough while spouting the bilge of man made climate change showed clearly the zero correlation of fossil fuel use areas with greatest warming ones. comment image

Curious George
Reply to  Ian McClintock
August 1, 2020 9:52 am

Are “social” and “socialist” still two distinct words?

Joel O'Bryan
August 1, 2020 1:05 am

Any of these island economies totally dependent on tourism is getting decimated right now. And they will continue to be hammered into poverty and desperation as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and international restrictions continues into next year. Not sure how this can end well at all. Mass migrations to NZ and Australia are likely in those islands that have close relations with those two countries.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 1, 2020 1:17 am

How do you “climate proof” a region, no matter how much money you can throw at the task. What do these people think they are saying? It beggars belief anyone with even a passing knowledge of Earth history could say something like this.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
August 1, 2020 5:51 am

Moderately cross

You need to urgently move to West Anglia


August 1, 2020 1:44 am

There used to be a maxim in business ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity.’

In this case a country such as the UK is, in law, obliged to provide 0.7% of its GDP as foreign aid.

Setting aside that with smaller gdp’s the amount of foreign aid will reduce, looking at the bigger picture, in order to provide that £17 billion the UK would have needed to make sales of £100 billion assuming a profit margin of around 17%.

These are vast numbers, whereby numerous people in numerous companies in the UK would have needed to work full time in order to generate that £100 billion of ‘sales’. What will then happen? Lets look at a second maxim whereby ‘foreign aid is the transfer of money from the taxes of poor people in rich countries to the tax dodging rich people in poor countries.’

Foreign aid and the climate fund are very blunt instruments to extract vast sums of money, with little evidence they achieve anything.


Gerry, England
Reply to  tonyb
August 1, 2020 7:13 am

Since the UK government has been running a deficit in its accounts for years and is increasing its debt pile and borrowing, every bit of the money wasted on foreign aid is borrowed! Borrowing money to give it away is probably quite rare as a loan reason at your local bank.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 1, 2020 1:51 am

I sympathise with the idea that us low-landers have to rediscover the old skill of building our own canoo in the garden.

Stephen Skinner
August 1, 2020 3:01 am

The whole of the AGW hysterics are a much like this guy:
comment image

August 1, 2020 4:27 am

These guys are right: cash aid will plummet. Has no one noticed how severely the West has damaged its economies in the name of Wu Flu? Not long before all kinds of money spigots get turned off. They can make up any reason they want, including the one these authors fabricate.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Michael
August 1, 2020 5:26 am

‘Like’ – To use the modern measure of agreement.

Phil Salmon
August 1, 2020 4:46 am

“Western” nations such as the US and UK face imminent severe economic decline which could become entrenched for decades, or terminal, due to these five factors:

1. The covid19 pandemic. Economies like the UK with a larger service sector and more small businesses in “fly by night” evanescent insubstantial areas, are being hit hardest by covid19.

2. Economic self-harm from climate and green ideology. Loss of nuclear generation and expertise, loss of reliable economic fossil fuel generation and its replacement by unreliable uneconomic and intermittent renewables. Combined with simple ignorance among policy-makers of the implications of intermittency. The impending destruction of the automobile industry, with resultant severely increased cost and difficulty in transportation resulting in “peasants tied to the land” as in old Tsar-imperial Russia. With massive loss of productive land due to wind and solar plants.

3. Growing insular nationalism, with examples such as Brexit and US isolationism. Return to tariffs and defensive trade.

4. Ideological and racism-driven trade wars with a growing list of racial enemies such as China, Russia and Iran. “Black lives matter” provides moral licensing for unlimited racism against China, Russia, Iran etc.

5. A brain drain of academic fleeing the toxic social and political environment of “western” academia, taking their talent and ideas elsewhere, notably to China.

There will be no recovery from the covid19 recession-depression.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Phil Salmon
August 1, 2020 11:38 am

Phil, your #’s 1 and 2 are trivially true. Your #’s 4 and 5 are outright loopy. Your #3 would be a good thing for returning manufacturing infrastructure to the U.S., a critical precondition for economic and strategic growth. Your conclusion of a never-ending “recession-depression” is reminiscent of all the other predictions of never-ending “recessions-depressions.” Otherwise, keep on truckin’!

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Dave Fair
August 2, 2020 3:12 pm

Keep on trucking I shall – with my shiny new electric truck! What could possibly go wrong? Looking for the road signs for the sunlit uplands ahead… must be somewhere?

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Phil Salmon
August 2, 2020 3:25 pm

You may reconsider your complacency after China seize Foxcon and kick Apple into the South China Sea.

Hans Erren
August 1, 2020 5:01 am

Yes GDP will drop, but the cause is not climate change, it’s covid-19

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Hans Erren
August 1, 2020 3:07 pm

Not covid-19 but the reaction to it. If it was caused by covid then the economy would be hammered because the working population would be decimated with illness and death. Instead the working population is fine but has been instructed to stay at home to ‘save lives’.

Wolf at the door
August 1, 2020 5:41 am

Toodleloo to money to Tuvalu ! (Sorry!)

J Wurts
August 1, 2020 6:19 am


Another “Nobel Peace Prize” winner?

The lead author, Patrick D. Nunn, from the link at the top of this article, his profile page – under Honours – has this item…

“… shared award of Nobel Peace Prize to IPCC (2007)”


Bruce Cobb
August 1, 2020 6:50 am

Toodles too to the raison d’etre of the now-biennial COP gabfest parties and attempted extortion of the “rich” countries. The next one is scheduled for November 2021. What if they held a Climate party, and nobody showed up?

Climate believer
August 1, 2020 7:32 am

“But as rising sea water continues to encroach on these low-lying Pacific islands, inundating infrastructure and even cemeteries”

They must all have a post-it note stuck somewhere on their computer that says ‘when writing about pacific islands don’t forget to mention flooded cemeteries’ because without fail they all do slip them in somewhere.

There have been two instances I believe of cemetery flooding. One on Enniburr (Enubuj) island, part of the Kwajalein atoll, that by all accounts contained about 20 Japanese soldiers hastily buried near the beach during the conflict to regain the islands by the Americans, and one back in 2008 on an island in the Majuro atoll, again very close to the shoreline and flooded by a storm surge.

Neither of these two incidents have anything to do with any fantasy about encroaching sea levels.

It takes about 5 mins to compare old Pacific islands wartime aerial reconnaissance photos, of which there are many, with google sat images today, to see nothing has really changed in over 75 years.

August 1, 2020 7:44 am

You mean Social “Scientists”. Just because someone calls themself a “scientist” doesn’t make them one.

Reply to  Art
August 1, 2020 4:11 pm

Say what? I didn’t post this! Someone stole my name.

August 1, 2020 8:00 am

Shouldn’t the islands be gone by now with the arctic ice! If the GDP drops it won’t be from the climate but more likely from the excess of communism.

Adaptation funding. what is that and how is it used?

old engineer
Reply to  Olen
August 1, 2020 12:53 pm


I was going to reply with some snarky comment like ” it’s tax money from poor people in rich countries to build fancy airport terminals and ocean front hotels on islands.” But I decided to google “Adaptation funding” first.

OMG! There is a real Adaptation Fund coming out of the UNFCCC. See:

From the website:

“The Adaptation Fund finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change. Initiatives are based on country needs, views and priorities.

The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and since 2010 has committed US$ 720 million to climate adaptation and resilience activities, including supporting 100 concrete adaptation projects.”

There is lots more interesting stuff at the website.

August 1, 2020 11:16 am

Their only concern for “foreign aid” is as much as they have external debt, and need for goods and services that they cannot source on their own. That said, there is always private smoothing functions (e.g. charity) that, while old-fashioned, has filled in missing links.

Coeur de Lion
August 1, 2020 2:19 pm

Why haven’t we seen a study of the Green Climate Fund? Its salary scales are on line. There’s a list of ‘approved’ projects which look like normal third world aid. How many have been completed since Paris. (5 yrs). Any?

August 1, 2020 4:18 pm

I agree that there’s likely to be a dramatic decline in rich country GDP and foreign aid, starting in the next decade. Not because of adapting to climate change, but because all those rich countries have long been living well beyond their means and the consequences of those massive debt loads will hammer them.

Also take into consideration the possibility of a Democrat sweep in the upcoming election, which will add 10s of trillions in spending (and to the US debt load) if they keep all their promises (like all that insane spending on fighting climate change) while at the same time crashing the economy.

As the US economy goes, so goes the rest of the world’s economy, so then there certainly will be a dramatic decline in the world’s rich country GDP and foreign aid. And the poor countries will be hit equally as hard.

August 2, 2020 5:34 am

“Patrick D. Nunn Professor of Geography, School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast
Roselyn Kumar University of the Sunshine Coast”

A social science version of geography?
And that version of geography enables social scientists to to proclaim delusional nonsense about atmospheric, land surface and oceanic processes?

Even the description ‘hubris’ far understates the immensity of self aggrandisement and puffery in their proclamations.
As a fellow worker told me when I took a job in Washington DC; “I always thought I had a huge ego. After arriving at HQ in DC, I discovered that the average ego in this building makes my big head a big toe in comparison.”
A polite understatement, I soon learned.
Yet the egos of these Sunshine Coast social scientists make Washingtonian dirigible sized egos appear insignificant.

“The storm of climate change is approaching the Pacific Islands. Its likely impact has been hugely amplified by decades of global inertia and the islands’ growing dependency on developed countries.”

“Global inertia”?
Is that a new pseudo-scientific description?
Did these buffoons bother to calculate their alleged ranges of “global inertia”?

“hugely amplified by decades of global inertia”?
More pseudo-scientific psychobabble meant to infer maximum danger and damage without real science.

Let us guess, these Sunshine Coast social scientists want funding from the ‘climate change’ free money trough?

Lawrence E Todd
August 2, 2020 1:52 pm

Social scientists are neither social or scientists

Johann Wundersamer
August 12, 2020 1:35 am

Eric, you really believe “What the social scientists didn’t pick up on is most climate scientists have learned the hard way that if you make firm predictions which are likely to fail within the span of your professional career, the internet never truly forgets – even decades later those predictions will be remembered and ridiculed.”


Instead looks like the game to play is “Hatred Splitting Society” :

“Die Flüchtlingskrise erschüttert ganz Europa. Staaten bauen mehrfache Zäune an ihren Grenzen und Gesellschaften spalten sich auch innerlich.” –>

– The refugee crisis has shaken the whole of Europe. Countries are building fences on their borders, and societies are also internally divided.

“Viele Menschen, Religionen, Ideologien und Gesellschaften betrachten sich als vergebend, gerecht und menschlich – dennoch haben sie Glaubensinhalte, die voller Feindseligkeit und Vorurteile sind, und die ihre Anhänger ermutigen, ihnen sogar die Erlaubnis geben, andere zu hassen und rachsüchtige Handlungen zu begehen. ” –>

– Many people, religions, ideologies and societies consider themselves forgiving, just and humane – yet they have beliefs that are filled with resentment and prejudice that encourage their followers, even give them the permission, to hate others and to act revengefully.

“Wir dürfen nicht unsere Gesellschaften spalten und die Umwelt zerstören, um hohe Wachstumsziele zu erreichen.” –>

– We do not need to dissolve our societies and destroy the environment in order to achieve high growth objectives.


– The question is not who says what, but who does what.

Zieht euch warm an; This is getting good:

Go put your coat on, when they find out then grab your ankles, ’cause here comes papi chulo.

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