The Price We Pay | Seventh Generation
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The Price We Pay

Author: the Inkslinger

The report says that while it might not be cheap to engineer the 80% reduction in emissions we need to head the climate crisis off at the pass, the bill is peanuts compared to the one we'll get if we choose to simply sit back and wait for what scientists say is the inevitable. The burden of just four of the predicted disasters -- hurricane damage, real estate losses, energy expenses, and water costs -- will come to $1.9 trillion (yes, that’s a “t”) annually by 2100 if we do nothing today. That’s almost 2% of the U.S. gross domestic product. Add in even more troubles from climate upheaval and we could be looking at a cost twice the size. None of this is a newsflash. At its core, the report is little more that an-ounce-of-prevention-worth-a-pound-of-cure wrapped in a fancy cover. Still, politicians like details and economists like risk assessment, and for those we need some comparative numbers, which the report provides. But let’s dig a little deeper. First, the report is telling us we’re crazy if we don’t pick up the Precautionary Principle and run with it on this one. Because who in their right mind would ever want to gamble that such an enormous bill might come due? You and I would never do this in our own lives. Why would our civilization want to place such a bet with its life support system? Second, it is the last nail in the coffin of inaction. How much more evidence do we need that the climate crisis is serious business and that the costs of ignoring it represent an economic meltdown that make the costs of prevention look like pocket change? None. Equipped with evidence, the only question is what are we going to do about it. In light of last week’s implosion of the at-least-it’s-a-start Warner-Lieberman climate bill, the answer is one we still seem to be waiting for. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions. photo: Eric Schmuttenmaer