Posting in Energy
How much could climate change cost your state? Public policy group offers state-by-state assessment.
In case you missed this development: In late April, a federal appeals court in California upheld a state air pollution law that puts stricter limits on carbon dioxide emissions than the federal law. The law had been challenged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Association. California has the right to request waivers from the federal standards because it had clean air regulations on the books before the federal government did.
In any case, the appeals court dismissed the case for many reasons, most of all because it couldn't see evidence that the laws had caused injury or economic harm. Although I'd be willing to bet that there is another appeal in the offing.
Which brings me to the theme of this post: the need for states to exercise individual rights and policies about climate change, even if the federal government won't or can't do anything about it. A public policy and research organization called American Security Project suggests that ignoring climate change will have a specific economic impact in every one of the 50 U.S. states, depending on what local governments decide to do about it. Here's the video describing the impetus behind the project, called Pay Now, Pay Later.
American Security Project board member Christine Todd Whitman, the former New Jersey governor and a former Administrator of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency said:
“Too often the debate about climate breaks down over cost, with many Americans rightfully concerned about what limiting pollution would do to our economy. But what this series of reports shows is that there is a cost on the other side of the ledger, too. There will be costs to our economic security from climate change—and significant ones at that—if we do nothing but continue business as usual.”
Yes, this organization has a political agenda, but I got a kick out of reading some of the individual state write-ups. I looked at three very different ones, including my home state of course. Here are some highlights:
Colorado: The challenge is that the state is heavily dependent on natural resources for its $11 billion recreation and tourism industry and for its $5.5 billion agricultural industry. The opportunity: Colorado sets up as fourth in the nation for solar and geothermal resources and 11th for wind power generation potential.
Florida: The biggest potential impact of climate change would be on Florida's real estate and the costs of severe weather. The report suggests: "As early as 2025, Florida will likely see economic losses of at least $27 billion each year." Agriculture and tourism would contribute to that hit. On the plus side: the state obviously has vast untapped renewable energy potential, especially in solar.
New Jersey: Ah, my home state. The Jersey Shore. Climate change could affect the coastline, which the report suggests represents close to $100 billion in land and property values and generates at least $30 billion in tourism for the state each year. The good news is that New Jersey could generate up to a third of its electricity from renewable energy sources; looking beyond its nuclear legacy, the state has lots of research and development going on in solar and wind generation.
What are the implications for your state? Click on the map to find out.
May 11, 2011
Hmmm... no mention of extended growing seasons in northen latitudes... opening up of new farmlands... more food. Remember all those tree leaf fossels found in the arctic? Maybe Greenland will become green again, and become the new Breadbasket of the World.
Just the same old spun another way. This time those pushing this agenda (rich and powerful individuals looking to consolidate and increase their wealth) have realized that enough people of moderate influence are aware that the cost they are asking of them and the rest of society to bear for their benefit is so great and lose of standard of living so significant, they are using, they hope a more persuasive scare tactic of ???not paying more today means you will pay more tomorrow??? even if this is very difficult (near impossible) to prove. Alter all the other scare tactics of ???peak oil??? has not worked-we were supposed to be on the decline by the earlier to mid-eighties and guess what, we have discovered not only more oil such that there was an oversupply by the mid-nineties, there is now the theory that the earth actually produces this oil on a continual basis. Then there was the scare tactics of the sixties and seventies that by this time the earth would burn up or coastal cities would be to a great degree under water or the air so polluted we would not be able to breathe without the aid of special apparatus etc. Let us not forget the hole in the ozone layer, which is now repairing itself. Yes climate change is real, in fact is it a necessary function for human and other species existence on his planet. Without it we, these other species and diverse vegetation we rely on for our existence and progression would not exit! Climate was different in the past as were the species??? and lands of the past and we and they will be different in the future. We will evolve, adapt or transform to meet these conditions as all species have since the being of time on this planet. What has changed today are the existence some cleaver people with little to no conscience which have no sense of community and very little care for other human existence such that they will attempt to exploit these natural changes as changes in the stock or commodity markets to profit from others ignorance or apathy. What makes this even worse is that there are so called ???independent??? and ???informative??? news sites such as this one which employs misinformed or deliberately manipulating bloggers which constantly promote this false and deceitful agenda - also known as ???useful idiots.??? We must care about what we dump in the air and water such as chlorine and fluoride or other toxic chemicals but CO2 is a food we provide to vegetation which they in turn provide us with the air (oxygen/nitrogen) we breathe. Stop one we stop the other!
There are a lot of conflicts between federal policies and state policies that need to be cleared up. Issues such as border security that are being hashed out in court to decide if the states are overstepping the federal government on issues important to the states. The constitution states that the federal goverment is responsible for many things and spells out those functions and leaves the unspecified things to be handled by the states. The lack of effort by the federal system hurts the states in many areas and this leads to the states to find their own fixes. Also, federal mandates that cause the states to spend money they do not have is another problem to be addressed. The one conflict in the article about California regulating CO2 at a higher standard than federal regulations is a good example of federal vs state issues. California won the judgement, for now, because it had policies in place before the federal government did. The research by Secure American Future shows that there may be a cost for doing nothing vs doing something distasteful now. This is a better way to make choices if the information is consistent. I believe that there is a change happening in global climates but I don't know how fast the changes are happening or if the suggested remedies would work. I do believe that human population is reaching unsustainable levels that are causing supply problems with potable water and the food chain.
"We will evolve, adapt or transform to meet these conditions as all species have since the being of time on this planet." But the right-wing conservatives do not believe in evolution!
"I do believe that human population is reaching unsustainable levels that are causing supply problems with potable water and the food chain." How much of a humanitarian are you? Do you provide aid to people who live in unsustainable parts of the world? Are you one of the many people fed guilt trips by slick charity marketing to help keep 500,000 people alive in an area Mother Nature meant to support 2,000? Are you contributing to the global overpopulation you speak of through your charity? Are you ready to face the tough questions the world is rapidly pushing at us?
Interesting questions, I am not very much of a humanitarian, but I will help people when they ask for help, not cash or donations. I am more Malthusian than a wet hanky do gooder. I do not provide aid to people living in unsustainable parts of the world directly or knowingly. Those who have lived in such areas for generations have the skill set to live there without my help. I do not feel guilt to help or not help. I do feel compassion, but I won't let that trick me into giving money better spent teaching skills. I am a cheap bastard and do not give to most charities, I do donate to the red cross so that they can help in emergency situations like what happened recently with tornados. I would rather donate work to help. I am ready to face those tough questions, just don't know the answers. There are a few extreme scenarios that can cause the global civilization to collapse and mankind is forced to go back to the methods we used 200-300 years ago. There are other scenarios where oil gets used up and there is no substitute, this is a slower decline. Are these the tough questions or are there a whole different set?
Wow...I'm glad I read this because sometimes I think I may be out of touch with everybody else around me....but by reading this, I know I'm not alone in my behavior.