How Unchecked Climate Change Will Impact the US Economy

by RP Siegel
Jul 19, 2017 9:30 AM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs


The biggest obstacle standing in the way of prioritized, coordinated, effective action against cataclysmic climate instability over the coming years and decades is the US Republican party. These individuals and their ideological followers stand in defiance of reason, science and a global consensus on the need for urgent action in the name of protecting the fortunes of their patrons.

Since the only criteria that this group deems worth considering are economic, this newly released report jointly authored by distinguished faculty from Rutgers, Berkeley, Princeton and the University of Chicago could potentially attract their attention. The report, “Estimating Economic Damage from Climate Change in the United States,” integrates climate science, econometric analyses, and process models “to construct spatially explicit, probabilistic, and empirically derived estimates of economic damage in the United States from climate change.” In other words, these are deeply researched projections of what this is going to actually cost us, in dollars and cents terms. These results are quite dramatic

According to the analysis, published in the journal Science, “the combined value of market and nonmarket damage across analyzed sectors—agriculture, crime, coastal storms, energy, human mortality, and labor—increases quadratically in global mean temperature, costing roughly 1.2% of gross domestic product per +1°C on average.” Here in the US, today, that would be equivalent to $223 billion or about 37% of last year’s military budget.

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RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post.