Published: Sat, November 24, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Climate change will hugely affect U.S. economy

Climate change will hugely affect U.S. economy

"This report makes it clear that climate change is not some problem in the distant future".

"Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities", the report reads.

Climate change is taking an increasing toll on the nation's environment, health and economy, and the damage will intensify over the century without swift action to slash greenhouse gas emissions, according to a major scientific report released Friday by federal agencies.

The report also finds that the US will be 3-12 degrees hotter by the end of the century, depending on how much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere.

The report lays out the impacts of climate change on natural resources and environmental services in USA territories from Puerto Rico to the country's Midwest region, which comprises 18 percent of the country's GDP through agricultural production.

And in what might be the only angle that might appeal to Trump, it outlines how the issue could cost the economy billions of dollars, perhaps more than 10% of the GDP by the end of the century. President Trump has been vocal in his skepticism about man-made climate change and the effects it is allegedly having both on temperatures and extreme weather events.

Compiled by more than 300 scientists, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II is a congressionally mandated report that spans more than 1,000 pages.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said the new report was "largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that.there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population".


"The changing climate of the Northeast threatens the health and well-being of residents through environmental changes that lead to health-related impacts and costs, including additional deaths, emergency-room visits and hospitalizations, higher risk of infectious diseases, lower quality of life, and increased costs associated with health-care utilization", the report says. "As a climate scientist it is nearly surreal".

Trump, administration officials and elected Republicans frequently say they can't tell how much of climate change is caused by humans and how much is natural.

Study co-author Andrew Light, an global policy expert at the World Resources Institute, told The Associated Press that the release " "is a transparent attempt by the Trump administration to bury this report and continue the campaign of not only denying but suppressing the best of climate science".

Mr Trump and several members of his Cabinet have also repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, arguing the causes and impacts are not yet settled.

Trump tweeted this week about the cold weather hitting the East including: "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?".

While the report was initially scheduled to be released next month, CNN reported, the Trump administration decided to make it public on Friday afternoon - during a holiday weekend.

David Easterling, director of the technical support unit at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Centers for Environmental Information, said there had been "no external interference" in the report.

"With the lives and health of millions of Americans at risk from worsened hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and air pollution, we urge President Trump and his administration to heed the dire warnings in this report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources to save American lives", said Harold P. Wimmer, national president of the American Lung Assn.

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