The US must act now on climate or pay heavily later

(Eco Business, 5 Dec 2018) Climate change could cost the country more than US$100 billion annually by 2100.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is usually a day for chaotic shopping and gorging on leftover Turkey, but this year was a little different.

In the early afternoon, the Trump Administration released a major new report, the National Climate Assessment, that describes how climate change will dramatically impact and alter America. Releasing it at this time should have hidden the report from press and public scrutiny, as its results stand in stark contrast to the policies pursued by Trump. But if this was the strategy, it backfired horribly. Instead, it began a new, national conversation about climate impacts.

The cost of inaction

The report, which includes input from 13 federal government agencies and contributions from more than 300 scientists, shows that Americans are already paying for climate change. It has made storms more damaging, heat waves deadlier, wildfires more common, allergies worse and some diseases more widespread.

These impacts are likely to get worse across the country. Depending on the region, Americans could experience an additional month or two of days with maximum temperatures above 38C by 2050. This severe heat will become commonplace in the south-east by 2100.

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Eco Business, 5 Dec 2018: The US must act now on climate or pay heavily later