Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Climate Change and Economics

This article considers the possibility of climate change causing an economic crash.

Honestly, that's not "if" it's "when" and "how bad." Here are some things that will pretty obviously wreck the economy:

* Right now if you own property in a fire or flood zone, it is still worth money. But it won't last. As climate worsens, so will disasters, until places become uninhabitable. First the high-value viewy properties will lose value. Then a disaster will hit, and suddenly large swaths of them will be completely worthless. BOOM ... smaaaash.

* Major weather mishaps will cause major crop losses. When those get big enough, like the Dustbowl did, they can devastate whole regions and the economy at large. That's going to happen again.

* Catastrophic biosphere collapses could also wreck the crops. If we lose the bees -- not just the domestic honeybees, but all the wild types -- we are screwed, There goes about a third of the food supply and almost all of the fresh produce. When people have to spend a lot of their income on food, they don't buy much else, and the economy tanks. We might still be able to avert this one if we throw a lot of effort into saving the bees.

* Also on the topic of crops, California produces a huge portion of our food, and effectively all of many produce crops. That's all supported by unsustainable water practices. Sooner or later, that bubble is going to burst. We will again lose a large portion of the food supply, which will have to be shifted elsewhere if it can be. Some things won't grow well anywhere else -- that's our only Mediterranean climate on Turtle Island.

* There's a hidden tipping point with travel. If fossil fuels become too expensive, too scary, too restricted, or just unavailable -- before they get replaced with something else -- then people won't be able to travel. Aside from some parts of the oldest cities, most of America's infrastructure assumes cars. Without that, it all falls apart, including the economy.

Now imagine those things going off in succession like a string of firecrackers, interspersed with an assortment of floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other disasters.
Tags: economics, environment, news, safety
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