Pay now or pay later: New report details costs on climate inaction.

This polar bear decided not to do anything about climate change until it was too late!  But misery loves company, and soon we might all be facing the dire consequences of delaying action to fight climate change.

The American Security Project has just released a 50-state report on the economic losses that each state will experience due to climate change. The report examines individual industries that will be most affected by climate disruptions and estimates the future economic toll that these industries face. The results are both eye-opening and terrifying.

Water scarcity, damaged agriculture, air pollution, wildfires and sea level rise are all factors that will cost individual states millions to billions of dollars every year.

Conservative climate skeptics need to listen up: by failing to mitigate the effects of climate change now, we are digging ourselves and our children a huge hole.  The ladder needed to get out of that hole is getting longer and more expensive every day. Putting off action to de-subsidize our enormous investment in fossil fuels is not saving us any money – it means paying doubly tomorrow.

Below are a few of the highlights from the report. 

  • Washington: $2.3 billion losses to the state economy from damaged natural ecosystems affecting hunting, fishing and wildlife watching – threatening 42,000 jobs
  • Colorado: Possible losses of over $2.5 billion from farm and ranchlands damaged by climate change
  • North Carolina: Loss of 16% of tourists to the popular Outer Banks beaches every year starting in approximately 2030
  • Maine: $500 million at risk from decreased lobster populations resulting form warmer ocean waters
  • New Mexico: Water scarcity and increased wildfires could cost the state $488 million per year
  • California: Sea-level rise threatening the San Francisco Bay area would cost between $6 billion and $30 billion every year
  • Montana: The iconic glaciers of Glacier National Park will be gone completely by 2022 – already 27 of the parks original named glaciers have disappeared.

For additional information about the impact of climate on states, visit the Global Warming Campaign web page of The Wilderness Society.