Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, damaging everything from human health to infrastructure and agricultural production, according to a government report issued on Friday.
The Congressionally-mandated report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impacts of global warming in every corner of American society, in a dire warning at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil fuels agenda.
“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” according to the report.
It said global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, alter coastlines, and boost costs in industries from farming to energy production.
While it said that many of the impacts of climate change – including more frequent and more powerful storms, droughts and flooding – are already underway, the projections of further damage could change if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply curbed: “Future risks from climate change depend primarily on decisions made today,” it said.
The report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, supplements a study issued last year that concluded humans are the main driver of global warming, and which warned of potentially catastrophic effects to the planet.
The studies clash with policy under President Donald Trump, who has been rolling back Obama-era environmental and climate protections to maximize production of domestic fossil fuels, including crude oil, already the highest in the world, above Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Trump last year announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Deal agreed by nearly 200 nations to combat climate change, arguing the accord would hurt the U.S. economy and provide little tangible environmental benefit. Trump and several members of his cabinet have also repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change, arguing the causes and impacts are not yet settled.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Environmental groups said the report reinforced their calls for the United States to take action on climate change.
“This report makes it clear that climate change is not some problem in the distant future. It’s happening right now in every part of the country,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, the director of climate science at the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the report’s authors.
Previous research, including from U.S. government scientists, has also concluded that climate change could have severe economic consequences, including damage to infrastructure, water supplies and agriculture.
Severe weather and other impacts also increase the risk of disease transmission, decrease air quality, and can increase mental health problems, among other effects.
Thirteen government departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, were part of the committee that compiled the new report.
Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Rosalba O’Brien
Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst
President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.
Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.
Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”
Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.
Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."
Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.
"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.
"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."
Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report
Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.
"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."