By Fredrica Syren:
The one argument I often hear for why we should not take action to fight climate change is that it’s too expensive. When I hear that, I really don’t know if I should laugh or cry. The fact is that climate change is as much of an economic problem as an environmental one. The problem is that the world hears all about the devastating and dangerous affects of global warming but we hear very little about the financial burden of climate change.
As we already know, global warming affects our weather, oceans, snow, ice, ecosystem, wildlife, our health and society. And let’s be real, shall we? Despite what some people say, there are NO NATURAL causes that can explain these changes. Scientists from all over the world agree that global warming is man-made and will only continue to get worse unless we make dramatic changes — all over the world.
Okay, so if you are one of those who simply refuse to believe the scientific data that global warming is real and created by humans, I guess there is very little to do. However, if you are a believer but think we can’t afford to do anything about it, then know this: global warming is very expensive. Global warming causes extreme weather like droughts in California, where now for example agricultural business is suffering from extremely high temperatures and lack of water. It also causes extreme storms like Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which impacted millions of people and caused over $65 billion in economic losses. Ten thousand jobs disappeared after Sandy because more than $1 billion in tourism was lost. These are just two examples in the U.S. alone. Global warming affects natural resources and agriculture worldwide, and carries with it a huge economic impact.
I think it’s too hard for anyone to worry about the damage and effects of global warming anywhere but where they are located. The problem is that we have world leaders who might not consider global warming their highest priority and, therefore, are not translating the science of global warming or its consequences into how it will affect jobs and wallets. Increased awareness for the public is needed for sure. The U.N. International Panel On Climate change has done a good job in the last year to report on scientists finding that climate change is real, man-made, and a serious threat to humans. Now we need them also to provide the data on how it effects the global economy so maybe this global warming vs. economy debate can come to a halt.
The sad truth is that, as the global warming vs. the economy debate continues, the most expensive thing we can do is to do nothing.