When Congress debates the federal budget, climate change rarely gets mentioned as a deficit driver. Yet paying for climate disruption was one of the largest non-defense discretionary budget items in 2012, finds a new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council, reports David Biello at Scientific American. Indeed, when all federal spending on last year’s droughts, storms, floods, and forest fires are added up, the U.S. Climate Disruption Budget was nearly $100 billion, over $1,000 per taxpayer, more than what the government spent on education or transportation. And US taxpayers paid this climate disruption tax, which was three times what private insurers paid out to cover losses from extreme weather. “It is in effect a climate disruption tax,” says Daniel Lashof, report co-author and director of the NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air, comparable to increasing sales taxes by nearly 3 percent. Overall, the insurance industry estimates that 2012 was the second costliest year in U.S. history for climate-related disasters, with more than $139 billion in damages. Greenhouse gas pollution continues to increase, recently touching 400 parts-per-million. And as it rises, so will the price.
Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here: http://signon.org/sign/we-are-the-clean-99?source=c.em.cp&r_by=487176 . This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is in 2 years!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.
For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/index.php?author=mary-ellen-harte
Climate change is already melting the Arctic, queering weather and threatening food supplies. So who’s paying the price for all these global warming impacts? So far, U.S. taxpayers are bearing the brunt. Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=whos-paying-the-price-for-global-wa-13-05-19
NRDC description and press release: http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/taxpayer-climate-costs.asp ; download the report: http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/files/taxpayer-climate-costs-IP.pdf