Climate Change Will Severely Damage U.S. Economy
Unmitigated climate change will make the United States poorer and more unequal, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
The researchers who conducted the study claim that states in the South and lower Midwest, which tend to be poor and hot already, will lose the most, with economic opportunity traveling northward and westward.
"Unmitigated climate change will be very expensive for huge regions of the United States," said Hsiang, Chancellor's Associate Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. "If we continue on the current path, our analysis indicates it may result in the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country's history."
The pioneering study may settle the debate over whether climate change will help or hurt the U.S. economy, being the first to use state-of-the-art statistical methods and 116 climate projections developed by scientists around the world to price the impacts of climate change the way the insurance industry or an investor would, comparing risks and rewards. The team of economists and climate scientists computed the real-world costs and benefits: how agriculture, crime, health, energy demand, labor and coastal communities will be affected by higher temperatures, changing rainfall, rising seas and intensifying hurricanes.
"In the absence of major efforts to reduce emissions and strengthen resilience, the Gulf Coast will take a massive hit," said Kopp, a professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University-new Brunswick. "Its exposure to sea-level rise -- made worse by potentially stronger hurricanes -- poses a major risk to its communities. Increasingly extreme heat will drive up violent crime, slow down workers, amp up air conditioning costs, and threaten people's lives."
Trump is not just denying that the climate is changing but is also defunding hurricane prediction programs.