The argument is often put forth by climate contrarians that we cannot afford to do anything about climate change. Recent legislation to even begin addressing greenhouse gas emissions died last year in the U.S. Senate, because the PR campaigns of the fossil industries (oil, coal, natural gas) convinced the public that such legislation would mean higher energy taxes. What is always missing from this equation, however, is the costs of doing nothing about climate change.
Last May, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences noted that we are already beginning to see the impacts of climate change across the country, and since then, there have been massive flooding across the globe. Among the countries hit by mega -floods are Pakistan, China, Australia, the Philippines, Brazil, and Sri Lanka. Climate change is though by scientists to contribute to the shifts in La Nina and El Nino patterns in the Pacific Ocean, thought to have affected these mega-floods directly.
So, what do you suppose the costs of these floods might be?
Reuters reports major losses to labor and industry for the Australian floods alone. These include coal miners, Â mining contractors, port/rail operators, agriculture, retail, insurers, tourism, coal seam gas. The global re-insurer, Swiss Re, has long published concerns re: the costs of climate change, and addresses the Australian floods, among other "secondary perils". Barclays estimates insured losses @ $6Billion, and total losses around $20Billion. This is for the Australian floods alone.
While you might be wise to begin seriously considering flood insurance, you might also wonder why we (Americans) are such a reactive, rather than a proactive society.
But to be paralyzed by the PR campaigns of fossil fuel industries, which spin reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a "tax", is to invite much greater financial losses in the future. And if you haven't recently been in Australia, be thankful!!!