Sunday, July 2, 2017

Climate Change Damages U.S. Economy, Increases Inequality #Science #Sociology

Unmitigated climate change will make the United States poorer and more unequal, according to a new study published in the journal Science. The poorest third of counties could sustain economic damages costing as much as 20 percent of their income if warming proceeds unabated.

States in the South and lower Midwest, which tend to be poor and hot already, will lose the most, with economic opportunity traveling northward and westward. Colder and richer counties along the northern border and in the Rockies could benefit the most as health, agriculture and energy costs are projected to improve.

Overall, the study -- led by Solomon Hsiang of the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Kopp of Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Amir Jina of the University of Chicago, and James Rising, also of UC Berkeley -- projects losses, economic restructuring and widening inequality.

Science Daily:  Climate change damages US economy, increases inequality

The Rockhouse has no intention of flogging anyone with the change and the graphic above is something you probably knew intuitively already.  The relative impact by economic group may not have been so intuitive, however.

If emissions growth is not slowed, then the resulting 6-10°F (3-5°C) of warming above 19th century levels projected for the last two decades of this century will have costs on par with the Great Recession -- except they will not go away afterwards and damages for poor regions will be many times larger.

- SD

The poor people take it the worst and that's probably not a surprise but we don't need to flog the immorality of that since there has been science published on Ithaka previously regarding the rise of social dysfunction in parallel with financial disparity.  It seems that alone is a sufficient imperative to drive doing something about the problem.

As to whether doing anything will actually work.  (Science Daily: Turning the climate tide by 2020)

The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate bending-down of the global greenhouse-gas emissions curve, leading experts caution. Aggressive reduction of fossil-fuel usage is the key to averting devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise, the authors argue in a comment published in the scientific journal Nature this week. In the run-up to the G20 summit of the planet's leading economies, the article sets six milestones for a clean industrial revolution. This call for strong short-term measures complements the longer-term 'carbon law' approach introduced earlier this year by some of the current co-authors, including the Potsdam Institute's Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, in the journal Science. Thus a full narrative of deep decarbonization emerges.

- SD

Skipping to the conclusion:

"The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020," concludes Hans Joachim Schellnhuber from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, co-author of both the Nature comment and the Science article. Action by 2020 is necessary, but clearly not sufficient -- it needs to set the course for halving CO2 emissions every other decade. In analogy to the legendary Moore's Law, which states that computer processors double in power about every two years, the 'carbon law' can become a self-fulfilling prophecy mobilizing innovations and market forces, says Schellnhuber. "This will be unstoppable -- yet only if we propel the world into action now."

- SD

Ed:  there are heavy doses of purple in that discussion

Fair enough but you don't often see scientists getting scared.  After years of dealing with the insufferable intransigence of greedy politicians, it's not surprising to see their fear this may not get fixed.  Using 'brutally clear' was a bit much of a muchness, tho.

"I encounter five types of clarity every morning before breakfast and that's just while I read the news" - The Mad Hatter

We don't need more clarity beyond the obvious that the world's scientists are pushing the information about climate change and the only opposition comes from Republicans.  Pop quiz:  of those two groups, which would you expect to see in front of the Nobel Prize Committee for Science any time soon.

Ed:  why isn't Trump being blamed for this?

Donald Trump is irrelevant; if it were not him, it would not be some other.  Making this about personalities only insults us all and we have bigger problems to solve which won't be helped by needless and spurious diversions.  The Late Show can play that kind of cheesy crap but we don't want it here.

Ed:  you don't call this flogging?

Well, I didn't bring a number of 8x10 glossy photographs with an explanation on the back of each one.

Ed:  is this Alice's Restaurant or a discussion of climate control?  (WIKI:  Alice's Restaurant)

These days it can be tough to tell, can't it.

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