White House Issues Bold Climate Change Warning

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The White House said Tuesday in releasing a report meant to bolster a series of actions President Barack Obama has proposed to address global warming that putting off expensive measures to curb climate change will only cost the United States more in the long run.

“Each decade we delay acting results in an added cost of dealing with the problem of an extra 40 percent,” said Jason Furman, chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “We know way more than enough to justify acting today,” Furman told reporters.

The report drew its conclusions from 16 economic studies that modeled the costs of climate change. It was released as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds public hearings on its plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants – the centerpiece of Obama’s climate action plan.

Last month, a bipartisan report commissioned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and environmentalist Tom Steyer forecast a multibillion-dollar price tag for climate costs, such as property losses from storms, declining crop yields and soaring power bills during heatwaves.

At a Senate budget committee hearing on Tuesday examining the costs of not addressing climate change, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions said the United States must also weigh the consequences of acting on climate.

Because of the estimated 3 degree rise in Earth’s temperature, the U.S. government is instilling mandates now to avoid paying $150 billion annually because of climate change damage.

The battle with climate change has already resulted in 200 municipalities being named in a class-action lawsuit initiated by Farmers Insurance Group for “failure to prepare for climate change.”

Michael Gerrad, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, said “one could easily imagine architects and engineers being accused of professional malpractice for designing structures that don’t withstand foreseeable climate-related events.”

In 2013, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $20 billion dollar project to combat climate change and the threat of rising sea levels with the construction of flood gates and levees.
At the time, Bloomberg said : “Whether you believe climate change is real or not is beside the point. The bottom line is: We can’t run the risk.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee added cities need to become “climate change friendly”. Construction needs to withstand extreme weather, power needs to be rerouted during outages, and cities need to be protected from flooding and provide assistance to their residents in moving out of badly affected areas.

In the report entitled, “Risky Business”, climate change is viewed as a catalyst of a coming financial crisis.

Contributor Hank Paulson, former Secretary of the US Treasury and CEO of Goldman Sachs said: “The good news is if we act immediately we can avoid the very worst outcomes. So a huge takeaway here is that taking a cautious approach, waiting for more information, a business as usual approach, is actually radical risk taking. It is very important that government and business act soon.”

Hopefully, those actions will be taken sooner rather than later.

Sources: HuffingtonPost.com and Investigative Headline News for July 29, 2014

About Mike Neuman

Identical twin; Long-time advocate of protection of our environment; Married; Father to three sons; Grandfather to one granddaughter; Born and raised in Wisconsin; Graduate of University of Wisconsin; post graduate degrees in agricultural economics and Water Resources Management fro UWMadison; Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work for 31 years with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Retired from DNR in 2007; Biked to school crossing guard site 2 X daily for 7 years retiring in 2019; in addition to being an advocate of safeguarding our environment, I am also an advocate for humane treatment of animal, children, and people in need of financial resource for humane living. I am presently a Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin. I oppose all long (>500 miles) distance travel (via fossil fuel burning) for nonessential purposes and all ownership of more than one home. I am opposed to militarism in any form particularly for the purpose of monetary gain. I am a Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; especially against those in authority who are not acting for the public good?in a timely fashion and in all countries of the world not just the U S.. My identical twin, Pat, died in June 2009. He was fired from his job with the National Weather Service despite having a long and successful career as a flood forecaster with the Kansas City National Weather Service. He took a new position in the Midwest Regional Office in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Pat’s work for the NWS went sour after he began to see the evidence for concern about rising global temperatures shortly after relocating to Minneapolis, and how they appeared to effect of flooding on the Red River that flows out of Canada before entering the U.S. in North Dakota. . Pat and I conversed on a regular basis with other scientists on the Yahoo Group named “Climate Concern “ and by personal email. The NWS denied his recommendation to give his public presentation o n his research at the “Minneapolis Mall of America” in February 2000, which deeply affected h,im. I will h He strongly believed the information ought be shared with the public to which I concurred. That was the beginning of the vendetta against my brother, Patrick J. Neuman, for speaking strongly of the obligations the federal government was responsible for accurately informing the citizenry. A way great similar response to my raising the issue of too many greenhouse gases being emitted by drivers of vehicles on Wisconsin highway system, my immediate supervisors directed: “that neither global warming, climate change nor the long term impacts upon the natural resources of Wisconsin from expansion of the state highway system were to be any part of my job requirements, and that I must not communicate, nor in a memorandum to all the bureau, shall any person who works in the same bureau I do communicate with me, neither verbally on the phone, by email.

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