Extreme Temperature Diary- June 2, 2018/ Hot Topic: Mitigating Now Saving Later

Saturday June 2nd… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s main climate change related hot topic: 

 Mitigating Now Saving Later

People who are successful in life usually have the foresight to imagine how they would like to live X number of years in the future establishing goals, seeking an education, making plans for a career, and saving for retirement. Those who live hand to mouth always living for today and thinking that the future will take care of itself usually struggle. Likewise businesses, whether they be large corporations or those of the mom and pop variety, are usually successful by making goals looking to the future, seeing how customer’s needs change via making good forecasts of changing markets, recognizing how new technology may affect them.

By now any smart and savvy infrastructure and energy gurus will recognize that climate change will play a big part in future plans. New studies indicate that savings by good mitigation plans could amount to literally trillions of dollars in the long run. Like those in mid career putting a little from each pay check into a 401K knowing that they will be reaping a good retirement, those investing in projects mitigating emissions affecting climate change know that there will be big future savings dividends for their children and grandchildren. I’ll be referring to this Stanford article for today’s hot topic:  

https://news.stanford.edu/2018/05/23/reducing-emissions-save-trillions/

Quoting passages from the article: 

Failing to meet climate mitigation goals laid out in the U.N. Paris Agreement could cost the global economy tens of trillions of dollars over the next century, according to new Stanford research. The study, published  May 23 in Nature, is one of the first to quantify the economic benefits of limiting global warming to levels set in the accord.

The researchers found a large majority of countries – containing close to 90 percent of the world’s population – benefit economically from limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees instead of 2 degrees. This includes the United States, China and Japan – the three largest economies in the world. It is also true in some of the world’s poorest regions, where even small reductions in future warming generate a notable increase in per capita gross domestic product.

“The countries likely to benefit the most are already relatively hot today,” said Burke. “The historical record tells us that additional warming will be very harmful to these countries’ economies, and so even small reductions in future warming could have large benefits for most countries.”

The projected costs from higher temperatures come from factors such as increases in spending to deal with extreme events, lower agricultural productivity and worse health, the scientists said.

The new research helps shed light on the overall economic value of the Paris Agreement, as well as on the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the accord because of concerns that it is too costly to the U.S. economy. The researchers calculated that the overall global benefits of keeping future temperature increases to 1.5 degrees are likely in the tens of trillions of dollars, with substantial likely benefits in the U.S. as well. They note that these benefits are more than 30 times greater than the most recent estimates of what it will cost to achieve the more ambitious 1.5 degrees goal.

Climate map

Percentage gain in GDP per capita in 2100 from achieving 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming instead of 2 degrees. (Image credit: Marshall Burke)

Not mentioned in the article but in the above graphic I do find it interesting that a few countries located in higher latitudes, such as Russia, would be negatively affected by keeping planetary conditions cool probably due to a longer growing season from a warmer climate. Nevertheless, just about all northern clime countries do have large coastal cities that would be affected negatively by substantial sea level rise if allowed to happen if there is not much mitigation of emissions going forward.

Just imagine what savings of trillions of dollars could do for the future. Instead of having to put money and resources into huge sea walls to protect coastal cities, for example, if the climate became stable funds would be available for education and other societal needs. Like fighting disease it’s best to invest in taking care of one’s health now, proverbially nipping any growth in the bud, instead of trying to find an expensive cure later. So too, the more one stashes away for retirement, usually the bigger that nest egg will be. Keep global averages below 1.5C instead of 2.0C or higher will give a much bigger environmental nest egg to all. So, keep fighting for environmental health today. Any fruitful fight will be like stashing 401K funds away for humanity to have a bright future.

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Sunday we should see at least a one day break from dangerous heat across most of the country since a front will have made it as far south as the Gulf coastal area. Particularly west Texas should see a nice little reprieve from near record heat:

Let’s arbitrarily proclaim that heat episode number 2 is over for the U.S. even though much hotter conditions will rapidly build in the Plains again next week. Those in areas where the mercury will reach 85F and higher will just need to be careful to roll windows down for passengers in parked vehicles as a precaution.

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The Climate Guy

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