Last week, the federal government released the latest (4th) report in the national climate assessment. Much overlooked by the current administration, the report focused on the science of climate change as well as the current and future impacts on the United States.
Current Impacts of Climate Change
Impacts of climate change are already being felt across the country. From the devastating wildfires in California to the overwhelming destruction caused by hurricanes in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, more frequent and extreme weather events have occurred. In addition to the cost of human lives which can never be quantified, the impact on communities, the economy, and infrastructure may take months, if not years, to repair.
Future Impacts of Climate Change
In the immediate years ahead, we can expect these events to worsen and will see their toll not only in communities, but in our current natural and manufactured ecosystems, human health and safety, and in our national and global economy. The following impacts are also highlighted in the report:
- Stress on water supplies and availability in the United States due to rising air and water temperatures, intense droughts, and decreasing surface water quality
- Increased exposure to waterborne and foodborne diseases
- Increased natural disasters, including fires, flooding, and eroding shorelines which create vulnerable infrastructure in every U.S. region. This includes access to roads, the viability of bridges, and the safety of pipelines.
- Increased frequency and severity of asthma and allergies
- Substantial net damage to the U.S. economy, including annual losses in some sectors in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
And these are just the top 5 impacts we took away. The entire report has many, many more national consequences.
Global Prioritization of Climate Change
“Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades”
Transformations in Law
This is a conversation that needs to happen at a global level. Working in a bipartisan fashion and alongside the broader global community, our lawmakers need to place climate change among top-priorities in their everyday decision making. Through development methods, military planning, and disaster management, each government department can either perpetuate or halt decisions made regarding climate change and its current and future impacts.
Transformations in Energy
Consumer habits are slowly starting to trend toward renewable energy. If enough momentum continues, companies and governments alike can focus on increasing renewable energy products and contributing policy actions to make it accessible on a broader and more affordable scale. By reducing our reliance on coal and other natural resources, we can avoid serious consequences and shortfalls on the horizon.
Transformations in Investments
As a consumer, one of the greatest impacts you can make is in your investment choices. Do you know where your 401k investments are held and who they are funding? Most traditional 401ks do not support ESG (economic, social, and governance) rated social investments. Rather, most focus on the very large-scale businesses that are contributing to climate change with non-sustainable business practices.
Our environmental portfolio is made up of companies addressing their long-term environmental impacts, focusing on sustainable business practices, and prioritizing their effect on the surrounding environment – at a local and national level.
At Invested Interests, we believe that a national conversation regarding the truth about climate change needs to be brought to light, across party lines, for the good of our lives and the lives of future generations.