A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Teresa Werner: Assessment details current, future economic climate change impacts; call legislator

The recently released National Climate Assessment issued by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, and 10 other federal scientific agencies specifically details the current and future economic impacts of climate change.

The study stresses that if left unchecked, emissions of heat-trapping gasses from the burning of coal, oil, and gas could eventually cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars in damage to critical infrastructure and property and disruption of business supply chains along with severe impacts on the health and well being of US citizens. 

For our area, rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity and affect water supplies.

This means higher prices on many products we use every day along with growing healthcare costs from poor air quality, heat-related illnesses and the greater than before spread of tick and mosquito-related diseases.

It is almost ironic that the National Climate Assessment was released on Black Friday because the best gift I can think to give my children is not offered in those recent sales but is that of a livable earth for them and generations to come.  

While some businesses and communities have been taking action, those actions do not yet approach the scale required to avoid substantial damages. We need to increase our reduction of emissions of heat-trapping gases that are making the situation worse. 

Both scientists and economists agree that the best way to reach that goal is to put a price on carbon pollution. 

That is why it was so exciting to see that the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 7173, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by 2 Republicans and 3 Democrats.  This bill utilizes a market-based approach to spur innovation and growth instead of using regulations to drive down carbon pollution while putting money in people’s pockets and creating jobs

This is the first bipartisan climate bill in a decade. 

It is commendable that Representatives Deutch (FL), Rooney (FL), Fitzpatrick (PA), Crist (FL) and Delaney (MD) decided to work together on solving the issues instead of the politics associated with climate change. Representative Trott, a Republican from Michigan, has just added his name as a co-sponsor.

Representatives Massie, Chabot, and Wenstrup from the Greater Cincinnati area should also add their voices to make this bill great. 

Find out more about the bill at this website

Probably the most effective action you can take this moment to ward off the effects of climate change is to write to your elected representatives today.

Teresa Werner lives in Villa Hills, is a mother of two and has worked for the last 31 years in the telecommunications sector. After searching for an organization that was non-partisan, positive and respectful, and had a good solution for climate change, she joined the Citizens’ Climate Lobby in 2017.

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