Black Friday report shows climate change already very expensive in US

Alicia Cross
November 28, 2018

"This assessment is the most enduring and authoritative statement of the science on climate change impacts on our nation, but true to form, the Trump Administration is trying to bury this years-in-the-making report by releasing it during a long holiday weekend", Representative Frank Pallone said in a statement following the report's release.

He said the report addresses the United States, but that it should have also looked at China, Japan and all of Asia. Trump has argued that "raking" forests would mitigate wildfire risk, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has backed up the president's assertions, claiming that poor forest management was the real risk - not climate change.

Previous research, including from USA government scientists, has also concluded that climate change could have severe economic consequences, including damage to infrastructure, water supplies and agriculture.

'Climate change is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us, ' the report detailed.

"The area burned by wildfire from 1984 to 2015 was twice what would have burned had climate change not occurred", the authors state.

"Whatever happened to Global Warming?"

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.

The most obvious cry for help on global warming is coming right now from Northern California, where the fast-moving Camp Fire turned entire subdivisions in Paradise into grim rectangles of grey rubble in a matter of hours, as those surrounded by flames frantically called and texted their family members to say goodbye.

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'Over shorter timescales and smaller geographic regions, the influence of natural variability can be larger than the influence of human activity, ' the report says.

"What the US needs to do is participate in a long-term conversation about how you get to innovation, and it's going to need to be a conversation again that doesn't start with alarmism", Sasse said. "So I want clean air, I want clean water, very important".

The report also comes amid a presidential administration that has been the most pro oil and gas industry on record and one whose policies, particularly rolling back Obama-era environmental policies, have set environmentalists on edge.

To put it more plainly, the seasons will change and there will still be cold days during global warming.

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, has said he does not view climate change as a problem for the state to take on, except in terms of trying to cope with the damage being done by rising seas.

The president said he read some of the report "and it's fine" but not the part about the devastating economic impact.

"If we're clean, but every other place on earth is dirty, that's not so good", he said.

The decisions Trump makes - or, more likely, doesn't - on climate change are not the sort of thing that are easily reversible. In mid-2017, the USA withdrew from the Paris climate change accord, the only country to have approved the historic accord then withdraw from it. Related: Could Oil Prices Fall To $40?

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