Economic changes wrought by climate change will hit the hardest in areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, a new study from the Brookings Institution shows.
The study's authors point out that while climate change is a major issue for people in blue states, the heaviest toll will be paid by people in red states, which the authors argue could be used to broker political compromise.
The study used "county-by-county statistics" to compute "climate-change vulnerabilities" including agricultural yields, mortality, coastal damage and risk to labor.
"According to the map, climate change could actually bestow net economic benefits... on the Pacific Northwest, parts of the Interior West, the upper Midwest, and New England, even as it creates stark losses in the Southwest, Southeast, and Florida," the study notes.
Taking the sunny view that Trump-loving areas in line for rising seas, brutal droughts, and other climate havoc are rational actors who might be convinced to support progressive notions of how to mitigate the dangers, the authors write that "the current gridlock might not be as permanent as it now seems."
[caption id="attachment_1436683" align="alignnone" width="469"] County-by-county breakdown of how climate change will play out economically/Brookings Institute[/caption]
"Many of the jurisdictions that have selected political leaders opposed to climate policy are the most exposed to the harms of climate change," the authors note.
However, they do concede there is a possibility this will not play out that way.
"A poisonous cocktail of right-wing ideology, distrust of distant Washington, and fear of short-term job losses will continue to make it hard to implement any sort of federal legislation to tackle climate change," the study says.
Read the study here.