Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, October 28, 2016

Washington (AFP) – Delaying efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. $150 billion per year, the White House warned Tuesday in a report on the economic consequences of inaction on climate change.

“Although delaying action can reduce costs in the short run, on net, delaying action to limit the effects of climate change is costly,” the report said.

“A delay that results in warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, instead of 2 degrees, could increase economic damages by approximately 0.9 percent of global output,” the report said.

That figure represents approximately $150 billion in terms of the estimated 2014 U.S. GDP.

“These costs are not one-time, but are rather incurred year after year because of the permanent damage caused by increased climate change resulting from the delay,” the report said.

The United States was 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer during the last decade than the 1901-1960 average.

It was also the warmest ten-year period on record both in the United States and worldwide, the report added.

President Barack Obama, who made the battle against climate change a core promise of his 2008 election campaign, has faced opposition from lawmakers.

In early June he announced a major initiative that aims to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Climate change is a hot-button issue in American politics.

Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, are against any new law touching on it, with some even disputing the existence of global warming. Others cast doubt on whether humans are to blame for the phenomenon.

In 2009, Obama pledged to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.

AFP Photo/Patrick Stollarz

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • We’re again, focusing on the wrong things here. To address the issue of GCC, we don’t need conservative input or approval, since all THAT means essentially, is time wasted. What we need to do is 1st of all, take the crisis as seriously as it is. 2nd, fill Congress, the Senate & the W.H., every voting year, w/representatives who see this as a life or death issue – as it truly is – for the future of not just human-kind, but all life on the planet. Conservatives don’t have the inherent intelligence to think that broadly & until they do, we should exclude them completely from the conversation, since their input is ‘destructive’ – NOT ‘PRODUCTIVE’… Lets think about it in those terms & then we can move more quickly forward, or do we not agree upon the importance of such an evolving perspective?

  • howa4x

    The most ironic part of the climate change debate is that red states will suffer more damage than blue states, and they are the ones denying the existence of it, and fighting to stop the debate. This is the worst example of voting against you own constituents interests, and especially children and future generations who will feel the most damaging effects of any climate change. So what we have now, is older Americans who make up the base of the GOP , selfishly refusing to recognize danger to the future generations. It is not the older ones who will suffer the consequences but the young who will have to live through this. The is the shameful, and cynical strategy of the republicans to bet everything on the here and now, and mortgage the future for the profits o the 1% today.

    • jointerjohn

      How much can they care about the long-term repercussions when so many of them believe that Jesus is abut to swoop down and take them to celestial Disney World any day now?

  • Allan Richardson

    If, hypothetically, an alien species wanted to ruin Earth for us who live here so they could move in on a planet with the climate suited for their kind, what would they do first? They would send in secret agents disguised as humans to persuade us that our actions are not ruining the climate, then wait for us to render ourselves extinct. After we have all died of our folly, they would land their colonizing ships and take over this planet.

    Just saying, if someone really wanted to make the human species extinct, that someone would do just what climate deniers are doing.

  • mah101

    One person’s cost is another person’s gain. Who gains from these costs?

    • The beauty of Democracy is that we ALL benefit equally, by our combined & equitable sacrifice. We’ve harmed ourselves by ‘shrinking’ our thinking to that like the ultra-wealthy and corporate-fabricated ‘persons’, who tell us, ‘consumption is what we want…’ No, we want a sustainable earth, that produces the food, air, water & energy that sustains us, at reasonable or no cost, as it was, when we could grow it, pluck it, drink it, breath it & reside upon it – all for FREE!!! It sounds utopian, but so what? It is what is was, back before there was no money or ‘capital’ valuation added to somebody bringing it, instead of us going to the source, exercising our way there, in the consumption of the healthful bounty of a plentiful Earth… Lets be intelligent & demand of ourselves, the virtues required to save our planet & thru our Democracy, show the world how they too, can do the same, by putting all our effort and capital toward a sustainable future, that can last a million generations & more into the future!!! The REAL beauty of Democracy is also that it teaches one not only to think, but to think BIG!!!