GP Quiz, Climate Change, It Does Matter

Some years ago I was at a dinner party and was discussing [that’s a good word] climate change with another guest. He was a nice guy, successful in his field and rich. He was not used to being disagreed with and facts that I was bringing up were very frustrating for him. Finally he said the good news is in fifty years we will both be dead and it won’t matter. He was a representative of about 15% of the population according to a recent U of Michigan survey. But he was wrong, in 50 years climate change will matter, much more than it does today. And it matters today.

First of all, climate change is real and is based on facts. To name two, it is factual the planet is warming. It is also factual glaciers are melting and oceans are rising. Both are having factual impacts.

Below is a summary of the number of billion dollar disasters and total cost of natural disasters in the previous four decades. Notice the trend. It is affecting all of us today and will affect our grandchildren even more.

Time Periods, Total Number of Natural Disasters and Total Cost by Decade.

1980s (1980-89) Total Number – 28; Total Cost – $127.7 Billion

1990s (1990-99) Total Number- 52; Total Cost – $269.6 Billion

2000s (2000-09) Total Number – 59; Total Cost – $510.3 Billion

2010s (2010-19) Total Number – 119; Total Cost $802.0 Billion

Following is the first four years of this decade. Notice the increase in both total number per year and total cost. The total number in 2023 equaled the entire 1980s. In both 2021 and 2022, the cost for each of those years significantly exceeded the 1980s. There is no hiding from this.
2020 Total Number – 22; Total Cost $95 Billion
2021 Total Number- 20; Total Cost $145 Billion
2022 Total Number – 18; Total Cost $165 Billion
2023 Total Number – 28; Total Cost – $92.9 Billion. [Natural disasters in December not fully included]

Following are some the current consequences of increasing natural disasters.

Increasing insurance costs for homeowners plus the inability to buy homeowners insurance in high risk areas. [There are numerous articles on this. Two good ones are a September, 2023 article in Policygenius entitled “Home insurance prices up 21% as homeowners are left to deal with climate change, turbulent market” and in April, 2024 Motley Fool” entitled “How Will Climate Change Impact Homeowners Insurance in All 50 States”?

FEMA in 2022 changes their rating service to take into considering flooding in high risk areas. This makes flood insurance more expensive.

Decrease or end of long-term mortgages in high risk areas [Once source is “Climate change concerns and mortgage lending” in January, 2024 Journal of Empirical Finance.]

On National and Global level, climate change affects agriculture. One study projected that by 2030 crop failures will be 4.5 times higher than today and by 2050 crop failures will be 25 times higher than the current rate. There are a number of reasons for this including rising tempertures, droughts, extreme weather events. One source provided by the EPA is entitled “Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply”

Climate change is one reason for increasing migration. A March, 2023 article published n the Journal of Global Health stated that the number of displaced people hit an all time high of 100 million. This number is expected to increase with more frequent weather related disasters due to climate change.

The consequences of climate change are here and whatever the affects to us today, they will be much greater for our grand children in the future. However, the game is not over, there is much we can do Nationally and Globally. There are many reasons to be optimistic. We have brilliant scientists, new technology and other tools to help our grandchildren.

As an Independent Moderate, it has been clear to me for years that Democrats overwhelming support programs which can counter the affects of climate change. At the same time, Republicans, overwhelming do not believe climate change is an issue. A March, 2024 article by PEW backs this up. The research stated only 23% of Republicans believe climate change is a major threat to the US while 78% of Democrats believe it is an issue.

Republicans are absolutely wrong on this issue. It is a major reason for grandparents who care about the future of their grandchildren need to support Democrats on the local, state and National level. We as a country can deal with climate change, but right now, Republicans are a ball and chain holding the country back. Until Republicans at all levels change their position on this issue, they should get no support or votes.