New U.S Climate Report Warns of Economic and Environmental Catastrophe


Josh Hobbs, Editor

On Friday, November 23rd, a new scientific report made by 13 federal agencies shared some troubling news going into Thanksgiving weekend. The new report has predicted that if “significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming,” our country will see approximately 10% of the American economy vanish by the end of the century, and several severe environmental issues that will harm millions of citizens across the U.S. With the recent wildfires in California, crop failures in the midwest and damaging hurricanes on the east coast, the U.S. is already seeing the effects of climate change vastly throughout the country.

The report states that our economy will be hurt if we do not change our ways. The effects of climate change could cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Farmers will be greatly impacted in terms of the quality and quantity of their crops due to higher temperatures, droughts, and flooding. We will also see major health impacts due to the increase in temperature across the country. This increase will create more mosquito and tick-borne diseases such as Zika. It is also expected for asthma and allergies to worsen as the temperatures continue to grow.

Past reports have been recognized for their very precise future calculations, which is a big reason why this report is so concerning for the country. On the other hand, this one stands out from past reports due to its findings are completely against what President Trump’s environmental deregulation agenda plan to do. Trump’s plan claims it will ‘spur economic growth’. President Trump has shown throughout his presidency that he will take aggressive steps in allowing this agenda to take place throughout the country. In past instances, he has shown such aggressive steps whether it’s withdrawing from the Paris climate deal back in 2017, promoting the Keystone pipeline or approving offshore oil wells in the Arctic, which all have shown would harm the environment.

Many scientists and politicians in support for protecting the environment hope that this report will force politicians to come together and discuss solutions to this massive problem. Scientists who worked on the report told reporters that administration officials did not seem to try to suppress their findings on the report, which was not typical. Some suggest this might be the case due to the time the report was released, 2 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving.

Nevertheless, people like Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton hope that “This report will weaken the Trump administration’s legal case for undoing climate change regulation…”. He also hopes that the report, “…strengthens the hands of those who go to court to fight the [people who oppose environment protection plans].”

What is also important about the report is that we can still make changes and now, more than ever, is time to take action. The report says that one of the most immediate impacts that can slow down climate change is the reduction of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. This can save thousands of lives and also save billions of dollars according to the report. Our government needs to address this problem among Congress and throughout the world in order to have any chance of saving this plant for future generation.