Brett King, author of Bank 3.0 and Breaking Banks gives a risk/reward analysis of the cost of dealing with climate change in this article on medium.com, “Why Denying Climate Change Makes No Logical Sense Today.” Worth a read.
I think the larger case for responding to climate change is even greater than the one that he makes. Most responses to global warming involve moving to more efficient, economical use of energy. We would increase energy efficiency of buildings and machines. We would switch to renewables like solar and wind, and maybe to nuclear power generation. Some might argue against nuclear, but I think it could be a sensible transition measure given the tradeoffs.
What do these get us in the long run? Quite a bit. On the increasingly small chance that virtually every climate scientist in the world is wrong, look what we’ve accomplished if we still move to reduce carbon emissions. We’re not pumping so much coal effluent and auto emissions into the air, and these are a known hazard to human health and wildlife. We’re not going to be scrambling for diminishing fossil fuel reserves and despoiling landscape and destroying wildlife in the process. These are not outcomes we ought to fear or avoid.