Climate Change is Already Impacting Our Daily Lives in 4 Key Ways
Everyone knows that climate change poses environmental risks, but the real cost is hidden. Many of us are just now coming to grips with the economic cost of climate change. Researchers have been able to calculate how much climate change will cost the world in the coming years. A U.S. government report in November 2018 highlighted how climate change might impact global G.D.P. Regulators are proposing a carbon tax as a form of immediate national action. The lack of action results in direct costs to consumers. Here’s a peek at how climate change may be increasing your daily living costs in the future.
Loss of Farmland
One direct result of hotter weather in agricultural areas is the increased potential for drought. Droughts reduce crop yields and make food scarcer, which raises the cost of food production. Food not only costs more to produce but more to transport because of hazardous conditions. The direct result of these changes means you and your family pay more for weekly groceries. It also impacts the cost you’ll pay at restaurants and other foodservice venues. The rising cost of food may even result in sweeping changes to how we farm in the future.
One direct result of climate change is more violent storms like tornadoes and hurricanes. These violent storms can wipe out infrastructure in the areas impacted by them. More frequent hurricanes mean coastal areas are less desirable due to reconstruction costs and rising seas. Home insurance rates are increasing as a direct result of climate change, while homeowners in coastal areas ravaged by hurricanes may expect to pay more in the future. Think you’re not impacted because you don’t live on the coast?
Climate change studies show that flooding is the most common type of severe weather. Flood zones are increasingly expanding across the U.S. because of climate change. This can leave some homeowners caught unaware that they may need to purchase additional flood insurance to cover their home’s value.
Increased Utility Cost
Many electrical utility companies are struggling to keep up with demand due to an aging grid. Increased natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding can cause mass infrastructure failure. Replacing the aging power grid with a new one costs millions of dollars, and these costs are often passed on to the consumer. Many electrical conglomerates in the United States serve multiple states in the area. You may be paying for the cost of rebuilding the power grid in a neighboring state struck by a hurricane in the form of additional taxes on your bill. These additional costs will grow as climate change results in more severe weather.
Food production isn’t the only industry that will see a massive impact from climate change. Maine is already harvesting fewer lobsters each year as the oceans warm. Global fish yields are down 4% since 1920. The North Atlantic and the Sea of Japan has endured a decline of 35%. While the search for green energy sources will definitely create jobs over the next few decades, old industries will be impacted. We’ve already seen the closure of several coal mines as they become unprofitable to sustain in the face of climate change.