Letter: Enough of a climate crisis for you?
In a recent letter, “Vail Daily shows bias with ‘climate crisis,'” the author asks, “Who is saying there is a crisis?” The answer: Every scientific body of national or international standing, like the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, NASA, The AAAS, and about 200 other scientific academies worldwide.
They all stand behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which speaks for all of them on climate change. And the IPCC has tens of thousands of the world’s best climate scientists, worldwide, and the world’s best economists, volunteering their time. That’s because there is no greater honor for a scientist than to be allowed to contribute to the work of the IPCC.
The IPCC says we have just a decade left to phase out fossil fuels or we will have “catastrophic” climate change which will cause “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse.” Enough of a crisis for you?
If you doubt this, take a look at the first chapter of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “Uninhabitable Earth,” (The Times calls it “brilliant”) by googling “PBS.org “Uninhabitable.” It begins, “It is worse, much worse, than you think,” and proceeds to produce the peer-reviewed scientific evidence to back up that statement, including what’s already happening and what the science shows the future holds for us, according to whether we act now or we don’t.
“Uninhabitable Earth” explains in plain English why it’s now clear that even the IPCC’s scary reports have been much too optimistic and why the Paris Accord’s goal are totally inadequate to prevent “catastrophic” global warming. Without Green New Deal-scale emissions cuts starting in 2021, it will be too late to prevent the over $160 trillion in economic damage to the United States that future climate disasters will cause, according to Forbes. Just a half-degree Celcius increase in global temperatures will cost the United States $13 trillion and we’re already locked into at least a 1.5-degre increase and heading for a 4 to 5 degree increase, according to the IPCC.
What most people also don’t know is that scaled-up clean energy will be “essentially free” by 2030 (UBS, Financial Times). An in-depth analysis of the Green New Deal’s energy plan shows it will pay for itself and then some. Two-thirds of the cost will be paid by private investment (vox.com, May 18, 2019) and the final third will be massively counterbalanced by a $500 billion annual increase in the U.S. GDP, according to the IPCC.
That will be mainly due to all that free energy and the over 8 million good, permanent, local jobs that it will create (Stanford University’s solutionproject.org). Getting rid of fossil fuels will also cut down on the over 200,000 deaths annually in the U.S. (9 million globally) caused by carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels (MIT.edu) and the over $800 billion that costs American annually in medical bills (forbes.com).
The contrast between total and irreversible global disaster and a safe, healthy and prosperous future could not be starker.