Plenty of studies have confirmed that poorer nations will suffer disproportionately through climate change. This man-made phenomenon will destroy agriculture, spread disease, and annihilate basic resources in already unstable nations. It will bring about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – war and conquest, famine, and death.
This new study is the first to show that this effect also applies to the US, the world’s sole superpower. It’s a sobering thought to know that the most powerful and wealthy country on Earth is just as vulnerable to climate change as the rest.
Of course, what happens to the wider world also affects America.
“Although the bulk of the economic damage from climate change will be borne outside of the United States,” the team write in their study, “impacts outside the United States will have indirect effects on the United States through trade, migration, and possibly other channels.”
The economic cost of climate change on both America and the wider world has been looked into before, and the news is always grim. The collapse of climate change mitigation efforts would rob the world of a $19 trillion paycheck, at the very least. Even by 2030, the US economy would lose $2 trillion, and the hour’s getting a little late to stop this from happening.
You know what would actually boost the global economy, and the US’ in particular? Massive investment in clean energy. Less climate change nightmares, less infrastructural damage, fewer heat waves, more productivity. Cheaper energy, improved electricity supplies. Better trade and cooperation with the rest of the world.
Indeed, that’s one of the key benefits of the Paris agreement – so it’s a shame that this compelling argument falls on deaf ears in the White House.