For Jim Adams’ Thursday Inspiration prompt, Jim said to respond by either by using the prompt word free, or by going with the above picture, to which I added the words “Nothing Is.”
For Jim’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Friday Faithfuls prompt, which was about climate change to respond whether if we think that climate change is a real thing, or if we think that it is just a hoax.
I’m combining Jim’s two prompts with the premise that climate change is not a hoax and if we don’t deal with it now, which means making serious investments in programs designed to abate climate change, we should be prepared to suffer dire consequences.
According to a Morgan Stanley study, climate-related disasters cost the world $650 billion from 2016-2018. A report by the consulting firm Deloitte suggests that inaction on combating climate change could cost the U.S. economy $14.5 trillion by 2070.
An analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, which administers the federal budget, predicts that floods, drought, wildfires, and hurricanes made worse by climate change could cost the U.S. federal budget about $2 trillion each year — a 7.1% loss in annual revenue — by the end of the century. The report also warned the U.S. government might have to spend an additional $25 billion to $128 billion each year in areas such as coastal disaster relief, flood insurance, crop insurance, health-care insurance, wildland fire suppression, and flooding at federal facilities.
Addressing Climate Change Is Expensive
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization with 38 member countries, puts the cost of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in a way compatible with the Paris climate accord, at $6.9 trillion a year, to 2030. And a 2019 World Bank estimate suggests the necessary global infrastructure investment would cost $90 trillion by 2030.
But on the positive side, the Deloitte report suggests that, while measures that help people adapt to these negative impacts incur costs, evidence shows that the future benefits of action overwhelmingly outweigh the future costs of inaction. In addition, the UK National Audit Office estimates that, for every £1 spent on protecting communities from flooding, around £9 in property damages and wider impacts can be avoided.
Further, economic studies postulate that United States economy could gain $3 trillion if it rapidly decarbonizes over the next 50 years. This once-in-a-generation transformation could add nearly 1 million more jobs to the U.S. economy by 2070.
So, when it comes to effectively dealing with climate change, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.