Massive economic costs of climate change
ECONOMIC COST OF #CLIMATECHANGE ARE ‘MASSIVE’, JPratt27, 17 Mar 17 Funding efforts to fight climate change is “a waste of your money,” the director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney said in a press conference today.
But Mulvaney is dangerously wrong: in fact, experts say that that the economic costs of climate change are so massive that delayed action, or inaction, is the most expensive policy option out there.
Mulvaney was defending President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, which cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent — making good on Trump’s threat to dismantle the agency.
“Regarding the question as to climate change, the president was fairly straightforward,” Mulvaney said.
“‘We’re not spending money on that anymore.’”
That’s a really bad idea, for a couple of reasons.
But first, let’s get this out of the way: there is overwhelming evidence that climate change is real, and caused by carbon emissions.
Scientifically, the debate’s over and this is our fault — no matter how much Scott Pruitt or Ryan Zinke try to duck responsibility on behalf of humankind.
Sitting out on global warming is a bad deal for America
Second, there are big chunks of the US economy that depend on the global temperature staying put — like the agriculture and fish industries, for example. …….as global temperatures climb, severe droughts, extreme rain and snowfall, flooding, and heatwaves have already started to increase — making it a lot harder to grow crops no matter how much they love guzzling down that CO2.
Unchecked climate change will hit farmers where it hurts
We’ve started seeing some of the consequences of climate change on agriculture already, according to a government report: high temperatures in 2011 cost meat producers more than $1 billion dollars in what the EPA called “heat-related losses.” …..
Nationwide, The Risky Business Project estimates that anywhere from $66 billion to $106 billion of coastal real estate is probably going to hard to enjoy without a snorkel by the year 2100.
This is bad for more than just Mar-a-Lago: massive coastal flooding could also have major ripple effects on the economy, according to a report by government-sponsored mortgage company Freddie Mac.
Coastal businesses could relocate or simply go under, taking jobs with them.
Lenders and mortgage insurers could also suffer huge losses because, the report says, “It is less likely that borrowers will continue to make mortgage payments if their homes are literally underwater.”
It gets worse: “Non-economic losses may be substantial as some communities disappear or unravel. Social unrest may increase in the affected areas.”
“It is less likely that borrowers will continue to make mortgage payments if their homes are literally underwater.”
Big picture, global warming could cause the global economy to plummet — leading to a 23 percent drop in gross domestic product per person by the year 2100, according to a 2015 study published in Nature.
“We’re basically throwing away money by not addressing the issue,” Marshall Burke, an assistant professor at Stanford University, told TIME.
Even bankers agree — and they’re not known for being tree-huggers……….
waiting to start fighting global warming — or sitting out the fight altogether — is a bad deal for America’s future. Given President Trump’s claims about his business acumen, he, of all people, should see that.
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