Feature

Planetary disaster looms

The week's news at a glance.

London

Global warming will hurt the world’s economy as badly as the Great Depression did, according to a major study commissioned by the British government. The report, by former World Bank economist Nicholas Stern, says that unchecked warming will cause calamitous droughts and floods that could reduce global gross domestic product by up to 20 percent a year. Taking steps now to cut greenhouse gases, Stern argues, would cost only about 1 percent a year of global GDP. The British government has been trying to position itself as a global leader in combating climate change. This week it signed global-warming crusader Al Gore as an unpaid advisor on environmental issues.

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