NEW YORK -- Climate change deniers in the US – those that dismiss global warming a hoax or argue that any increase in temperature is part of the earth’s natural cycle – are often backed by big business, with many traditional industrialists believing moves towards curbing carbon emissions would have an negative impact on their bottom line.
However, a bi-partisan report on climate change published on Tuesday has revealed the price of doing nothing to stop global warming, which could run to many billions over the next 25 years in property loses, declining crop yields and a greater demand for electricity due to rising temperatures.
The commission that produced the report, chaired by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and George W Bush’s former treasury secretary Hank Paulson, paints a devastating picture of the costs of climate change on US business, and is designed, according to the authors, to move to debate away from the highly polarised politics that blight the issue and onto the economic risks.
Reported by Reuters, climatologist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, described the analysis as “the most detailed ever of the potential economic effects of climate change on the US," and lands just weeks after President Obama pushed regulators to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 30 per cent by 2030.
Called the “risky business” report, the research show that bigger storms and higher sea levels will increase coastal damage, costing the US £35billion within the next 15 years, while crop yields could suffer a 10 per cent decline through drought and flooding within 25 years.
The report comes as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last month was the hottest May on record, with land and sea surfaces 1.33 degrees higher than the 20th century average. The report also warned that four out of five of the hottest Mays have happened in the past five years.
Here are nine political cartoons that put climate change into perspective: