Reducing our contribution to global warming may be expensive. The actual global warming, however, is likely to be much more expensive.
In support of that last claim is a new report that is the most definitive look to date at the economic impacts of climate change on Washington. (There’s a shorter one for Oregon (pdf), published in 2005.)
I thought this lede from the Seattle Times was a great summary:
A warming climate could cost Washington governments and businesses tens of millions of dollars every year in drought-stricken crops, forest fires and tightened water supplies, according to a new state study.
It is the first such analysis illuminating how rising temperatures and shifting snow patterns could ripple through the economy.
Yakima Valley farmers could experience more crop losses as snowpack declines. Forest fires could double in size, driving up the costs of fighting them and hurting tourism. Dairies in Whatcom County might produce less milk. Cities, including Seattle, could spend millions more on water conservation or expand their water-storage dams. More than 50 square miles of Washington land could wind up underwater if sea levels rise two feet.
More media coverage here and here.
One of the report’s primary authors is Yoram Bauman, a PhD economist and longtime Sightline associate. I contributed to the report in a small advisory capacity.
It is very good, thanks for posting it on your site. In a nut shell Yea, it’s happening, and for a multitude of reasons. We aren’t going to stop it anytime soon or not at all. Eliminating cars won’t stop it, although I like the idea of decreasing energy use if for nothing else,to slow foreign dependence on oil, an equally scary topic.Better start fortifying costal areas and keep the economies strong for the funding. Say hello Water World.Below is an excerpt:In addition countries like Indonesia, Malaysia etc. often suffer from large scale forest fire. If we analyze the whole thing we may arrive at the three decisions :(01) Global warming and dimming is being caused mostly due to natural phenomenon’s and its man-made component is insignificant.(02) It is not possible to stop the man-made activities behind the creation of this crisis.(03) No particular country or countries may be held responsible for the creation of this hazard.