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This Isn’t A Movie Plot. New Climate Change Report Shows Earth in Trouble

by | November 29, 2018

Climate change is here, it’s expensive, and it’s deadly, according to a dire new report from Federal scientists.  And the risks aren’t just down the road, according to Vox. The 1,600-page report directly connects climate changes to ongoing issues like declining water levels in the Colorado River Basin and the spread of ticks carrying Lyme disease, phenomena that are currently costing Americans resources and lives.

“The impacts and costs of climate change are already being felt in the United States, and changes in the likelihood or severity of some recent extreme weather events can now be attributed with increasingly higher confidence to human-caused warming,” according to the new the report, the second volume of the fourth National Climate Assessment.

climate change
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Climate Change Report Shows Our Earth is Dying

Climate Change Report 

The assessment comes from the US Global Change Research Program, a consortium of 13 federal agencies including the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA. It’s required by law and is released in installments over four years.

The Four Key Take a-ways From The report. 

  • It’s here now, we are not waiting anymore
  • We have seen nothing yet to how bad this can get
  • It’s going to be incrdibly expensive
  • We can STILL DO SOMETHING

What was surprising about the latest installment of the National Climate Assessment was that it was rushed to release — surprising even many of the 300 scientists who contributed to it, as Robinson Meyer reported in The Atlantic:

John Bruno, an author of the report and a coral biologist at the University of North Carolina, told me that he only learned last Friday that the report would be released today. “There was no explanation or justification,” he said. “The [assessment] leadership implied the timing was being dictated by another entity, but did not say who that was.”

Originally, the report’s release was scheduled to coincide with the American Geophysical Union’s December meeting in Washington, DC, a major gathering of scientists. It’s not clear why it was rushed out this week instead, but many scientists and observers saw it as an attempt to bury the findings.

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A White House spokesperson downplayed the report’s significance, telling the BBC that it was “largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that… there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population.”

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Climate Change Will Kill Thousands and Shrink Off Global Economies 

Higher temperatures will also kill more people, the report says. The Midwest alone, which is predicted to have the largest increase in extreme temperature, will see an additional 2,000 premature deaths per year by 2090. There will be more mosquito- and tickborne diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. West Nile cases are expected to more than double by 2050 due to increasing temperatures.

Expect asthma and allergies to be worse due to climate changeNo one’s health is immune from these change, the report concludes according to CNN. People will be exposed to more foodborne and waterborne diseases. Particularly vulnerable to higher temperatures in the summer, children, the elderly, the poor and communities of color will be at a much greater risk for illness and death.

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What Can We Do

“If we’re going to run this country like a business, it’s time to address climate as the threat multiplier we know it is before more lives are lost,” said Robert Bullard, an environmental scientist at Texas Southern University said to CNN. 

“In Houston, communities of color have endured back to back major weather events without the acknowledgment from Washington that climate change is the cause. We’ve known for years that it’s true and it’s important to our organizing and our local policy efforts that information like this is not only considered, but believed and acted upon.”

“The findings in the Trump administration’s NCA report show how the health and daily lives of Americans are becoming more and more interrupted because of climate change,” said Beverly Wright, founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and a professor at Dillard University. “We challenge the administration to finally begin using this information to rebuild and strengthen the communities in the direct path of the atrocities wrought by the fossil fuel industry and decades of poor policies that have neglected our concerns. The science is undeniable, let’s fix it.”

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Emma Williams

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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