Climate Change Could damages US economy, Intensify Inequality

Not only does it harm the environment, but climate change could have a strong negative impact on the US economy as well, and even that by as much as 20% drops in income if current trends continue, according to a study published in the Journal Science on Thursday.

Public Policy professor Solomon Hsiang, principal author of the study says that large-scale economic losses and potentially the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in American history is about to take place soon if climate change is not taken seriously.

Overlooking all the intense international criticism, President Trump said on Thursday that he was “proud” that the US has moved out of the Paris Climate Accord saying that this move will save US jobs and American sovereignty.

Experts are fearing that due to extreme weather conditions, economic activity might move to the North and West, leaving the already hot and relatively poor southern states in a crisis for jobs. Robert Kopp, a professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey, also co-author of the study said, “In the absence of major efforts to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience, the Gulf Coast will take a massive hit. Its exposure to sea-level rise — made worse by potentially stronger hurricanes — poses a major risk to its communities. He added, “Increasingly, extreme heat will drive up violent crime.”

Hsiang agrees with him saying that climate change would seriously affect Americans’ economic potential for decades to come.
Some regions stand to gain, however. Cooler and richer counties, along the northern border with Canada and in the Rocky Mountain area, could benefit as the costs of medical care, agricultural products and energy decline.

READ MORE:  World has three years to avert dangerous climate catastrophe, experts warn

By analyzing the potential impact of rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, more intense storms, and continuing sea-level rises on a wide array of fields, including agriculture, criminality, health, energy demand, the labor market and coastal economies, the  interdisciplinary team of climatologists and economists came to the conclusion that, for every 0.55 degree rise in temperature, the US economy will lose about 0.7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and each additional degree of warming will cost more than its previous one.

One comment

  1. Mark Richardson

    According to Wadhams et al (Nature, 2013) the global economic cost of melting our Arctic ice cap would be $60 trillion, nearly the global GDP for 2013.

    While several recent studies have shown that the Southern US is going to be hit hard quite a few of us feel that the Southwestern US will also be hit hard due to groundwater depletion and water supply scarcity of as much as 10-15 million acre’-feet annually by mid-century, enough to supply the annual household water-use needs of 80-120 million people.

    One criticism I have of all of these recent studies is that they treat the US like an island and do not explore climate change impacts south of our border that could easily see us having to play host to an 8-9 sum of refugees, which will greatly complicate our own problems.

    A specific criticism I have of this article is that the headline could use some proofreading and modification to repair an obvious flaw.

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