Global warming is draining our economy
We have already lost billions because of climate change. According to a University of Maryland study, costs already accrued include:
- -----$1.3 billion – the amount of damage associated with crop loss as a result of Georgia’s drought in 2007
- -----$300 million – reconstruction costs for the damage caused to rail transportation by Hurricane Katrina
- -----$272 million – insured catastrophic losses in 2007, as a result of increasing flood damage.
- The cost is projected to be far greater. The total cost of global warming will be 3.6 percent of GDP if present trends continue, according to a report from Tufts University.
- Four global warming impacts alone – hurricane damage, real estate losses, energy costs, and water costs – will come with a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (in today's dollars) by 2100, according to the same study.
- Losses will be massive to state economies. The impact of global warming on three sectors – tourism, electric utilities and real estate – together with hurricane damage would shrink Florida’s GDP by more than 5 percent by the end of the century, according to another report from Tufts University.
Waiting to act will only cost us more
- Delaying just two years will require twice the effort. An analysis of 2008 climate legislation shows that waiting just two years to tackle global warming would require more than double the annual cuts in emissions to achieve the same cumulative goal – 4.3 percent in annual cuts versus 2 percent.
- We should not delay investment and job creation. Companies are waiting for new rules before they invest billions in new power plants and other projects. A cap is necessary to unfreeze this investment. A cap will also create new manufacturing jobs, like making steel for wind turbines. See our online map, featuring 1,200 green jobs in key manufacturing states.
Damage from global warming grows more deadly
Science shows that climate measures are needed now more than ever.
- Massive hurricanes. Warming ocean temperatures are unleashing violent hurricanes, reaching new levels of intensity and aggression previously unseen. A landmark MIT study in 2005 confirmed that hurricane intensity has doubled over the last 30 years. Since that study, no fewer than 16 other studies have supported the link between global warming and hurricane intensity, illustrating a growing and grave threat to humanity.
- Increasing drought. Higher temperatures are evaporating water at a rapid pace, putting water supplies, livestock and crops in danger. Severe drought conditions began damaging wide swaths of North America, southern Europe and southern and central Asia at the turn of the century and in 2004, the Western U.S. experienced the most severe drought in 80 years and one of the most severe in 500 years.
- More frequent and severe wildfires. As the climate warms, hot, dry summers are creating tinderbox conditions ideal for wildfires. “Since 1986,” Steven W. Running reported in Science magazine in August 2006, “longer, warmer summers have resulted in a fourfold increase of major [U.S.] wildfires and a sixfold increase in the area of forest burned, compared to the period from 1970 to 1986.”
- Accelerated flooding and coastal erosion. Rising sea levels, caused by global warming, not only flood the land but also erode more coastline with higher ocean waves, threatening coastal populations and habitats. Over the 20th century, the seas rose between four and eight inches – ten times the average rate of the last 3,000 years. If sea level continues to rise, thousands of square miles of land in densely populated areas such as the eastern U.S. may be lost in a century or two.
Cutting emissions is a bargain
The cost of a carbon cap to American families and the U.S. GDP is almost too small to calculate, finds our comprehensive analysis of economic models.
- In present-value terms, the median projected impact of climate policy is less than one-half of one percent of U.S. GDP for the period 2010-2030, and under three-quarters of one percent through the middle of the century.
- In the year 2030, the U.S. economy is projected to be nearly double today’s size. The median forecast cost to the U.S. economy of capping greenhouse gas emissions is only 0.58 percent, according to an EDF study.
- The overall cost of capping greenhouse gases for the average American family will amount to 1 percent or less of household budgets over the next two decades.
Or, Read On . . .
Climate action obstructionists (oil/gas/coal lobbyists' elected stooges) are trying to halt climate legislation by tacking on 450 worthless amendments to the Climate Legislation currently in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
With amendments like these, even environment-friendly legislators would have a hard time voting for the bill:
- 50 amendments to allow each of the 50 states to opt out of the pollution reduction requirements.
- 50 amendments to allow utilities from each state to avoid paying for global warming pollution credits.
- amendment calling for review of the tax status of the Environmental Defense Fund.
- amendments to eliminate all the tax benefits for businesses involved in the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP).
- amendment to use Presidio, part of San Francisco's Golden Gate National Recreation Area, as a national storage site for sequestered carbon dioxide.
- amendment to turn Nevada's Yucca Mountain into a carbon dioxide storage site.
Stop the economic and glacial meltdown
before it is too late.
before it is too late.
We will make history in 2009. Whether this is the year we change America's energy policy direction or the year in which we lose an opportunity to act is up to us. Please take action!
Photograph Credits: Global Warming Art
McCarty Glacier - July 7th, 1909 by Ulysses Sherman Grant, USGS photo library, public domain. August 11, 2004 by Bruce F. Molnia, USGS, public domain
Bear Glacier - 1920: Photograph by unknown photographer in the collection of the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Public domain by virtue of age. 2005: Photograph by Bruce F. Molnia of the USGS, in the collection of the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Public domain as a work of the US government.
Northwestern Glacier - July 27, 1909: Photograph by Ulysses S. Grant in the collection of the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Public domain by virtue of age. 2005: Photograph by Bruce F. Molnia of the USGS, in the collection of the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Public domain as a work of the US government.
Muir and Riggs Glaciers - August 13th, 1941 by William O. Field, National Snow and Ice Data Center, may be used freely if properly cited. August 31, 2004 by Bruce F. Molnia, USGS, public domain,
Pedersen Glacier - 1920: Photograph by unknown photographer in the collection of the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Public domain by virtue of age. August 8th, 2005: Photograph by Bruce F. Molnia of the USGS, in the collection of the National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. Public domain as a work of the US government.