Here is why every American needs to be worried about the economic consequences of climate change: A “megadrought” that dwarfs the one now ravaging the Southwest will come this century if world leaders don’t do something to slow the rise in global temperatures.
You don’t need to be a card-carrying member of Environmental Defense Fund to be concerned about what this will do to our agriculture, industry and big Western cities that help fuel our economy.
Drought costs our nation $9 billion a year under “normal” drought conditions. What a megadrought will cost, we can only imagine.
NASA, along with researchers from Cornell and Columbia universities, warn that if man-made climate change continues unchecked, there is an 80-percent chance the United States will face a drought that lasts as long as three decades across the Central Plains and the Southwest.
If and when that happens, there will be severe water shortages that dry out vegetation and prompt massive wildfires.
It would not be the first so-called megadrought to hit our part of the world; the last one occurred during the 13th century. But the scientists behind this latest study predict the next one will be far more severe than previous episodes unless we take action.
Some Americans find noisy environmentalists and polar bears uninteresting or even annoying, I know. This is not about that, this is about real, tangible economic problems right here in America that will affect us and our children - soon.
We may not always agree about the significance of climate change impacts around the world. But as we’ve seen in our past, when Americans look for solutions to problems we all face, and that threaten our economic future, we can find common ground.
So let’s get to work.
Re: "Let's get to work."
It's time EDF flip these articles to focus on the solutions. What, exactly, is the "work" Schneider speaks of? With wolrdwide emissions rising at record pace, what good does a little bit of trimming around house hold. Where's the data? What does switching to electric and solar *functionally* accomplish? Data please.
My point is that EDF and others might be better served by showing and teaching young folks how to write their representatives. Show them how to comment on an EIS. Show what the Federal Register is, and how to use the information. Teach them to run for office. Invite them to A court hearing and discuss the administrative process, and how they can influence it.
People already know that emissions are a problem. They don't know that minor household tweaks make no difference with respect to lowering emissions. They don't know how or why to vote. They don't understand that they are needed in town hall. (Folks at EDF might not know about emissions trends either. I suggest looking at emissions studies by IEA, which include the effects of energy tweaks to western household lifestyles and energy policies, to very little effect -emissions are exploding, and will continue to rise for decades despite western efforts. EDF should be clear eyed about this data).
So, I call on EDF to demonstrate, with data and real world examples, that these tools - the tools of democracy, the tools that get people involved in society - actually work far better than gimmics and tweaks to consumer habits.
Hi "climatecote" and thanks for taking the time to write this comment. I agree completely that empowering voters, young and otherwise, must be a central pillar of any effective strategy to fight climate change. EDF is deeply involved in such efforts: Defend Our Future, for example, is our new, on-going campaign to help young voters support elected officials who want to act on climate change.
This particular blog post draws attention to the fact that a “megadrought” afflicting the United States for decades - which is what NASA and others say has an 80 percent chance of happening this century - is the sort of calamity that might get the attention of even those who don’t typically worry about climate change issues.
Why are we not talking about one of the major reasons for climate change? Not even the Environmental Defense Fund and other well respected environmental activists? A crucial player in the warming of the earth is not discussed at all and it is the elephant in the room. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the US released this statement "A new report from FAO says livestock production is one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity." If people had less access to meat and poultry instead of the ease in which they get it, it was treated like a precious commodity by consumers, we would not see the waste of food that we see now. There is too much food if we are throwing it away. We see it every day even I our own families. How much food is being thrown away. We obviously have to much. The big farms need to quit producing more cattle and stop cutting down the rainforests for grazing.
anna kilkerFebruary 14, 2015 at 11:41 am