U.S. Faces 'Immediate Threat' From Climate Change, Report Says
Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from internet essentials from Comcast. Connecting more than six million low income people to low cost high speed internet at home. So students are ready for homework class graduation and more. Now, they're ready for anything. The United States is facing an immediate threat from climate change that is according to the most comprehensive federal climate report to date. It was released by the Trump administration on Friday, and it warns repeatedly that climate change could eventually kill thousands of Americans and cost the country's economy. Hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century. Andrea Dutton isn't associate professor of geology at the university of Florida and an expert on rising sea levels, and she joins me this morning. Professor. Good morning. Good morning, David. So it's a pretty grim picture of America's future in this report. I mean, heat related deaths. Intensifying droughts, talk to me more about what you see our country looking like at the end of the century of if climate. Changes left largely unchecked. Well to me, the real important message from this report is not just what the country will look like at the end of the century. But what already looks like today? So this report really helps us to connect the dots and draw a direct connection between the warming that we've seen the atmosphere, and the changes that we see in our lives and our communities in our livelihoods because climate change can be very abstract for a lot of people two degrees celsius of warming doesn't sound like that much. It doesn't it doesn't sound like a lot. But if you think about it, the analogy, I often use is if you have a child who has a fever, and their culture is a couple of degrees higher if it's that way permanently. Then they'd be pretty sick. And you would be worried about it. That's quite a metaphor two years. I so you're saying that a lot of what we're seeing in terms of these fires and other natural disasters. I mean, that's a sign that we're experiencing consequences. Right. This moment. Absolutely. So this report shows us that climate change the profound effect on the health in the wealth of the American people that Americans are already paying for climate change as it's making storms more damaging heat waves more deadly the wildfires more common like we see in California and diseases more widespread. So is it too late to do anything about it? If forty seeing all this now, absolutely not. And so that's one challenge is that people see this as a black and white issue either. The, you know completely solve the problem or it's a complete doomsday. And that's not true at all. Basically the messages that the sooner that we fix it the better, and that we faster that we reduce those emissions the less we risk in and the cheaper the at Titian will be so president tr. Trump has said that he's not willing to quote sacrifice the economic wellbeing of the United States in order to fight climate change. Does he have a point do environmental regulations that would would confront climate change cost? American industries in a significant way. Now, quite quite account or to that. So there may be some cost up front, but with this report really does too much greater degree than previous reports. Is it includes a much broader in quantification of how climate change impacts will affect us in terms of our economy. So one obvious things that regional economies and industries that depend on natural resources or favorable climate such as agriculture tourism or fisheries they would be the most vulnerable to growing impacts of climate change and could cost the cost could reach hundreds of billions of dollars annually just in some sectors of own. Can I ask you? I mean, you might not have felt it so significantly in Florida. But there was some really cold weather across the country in recent days, and I was in Michigan for thanksgiving and felt it and this led President Trump to tweet basically that there's this record breaking cold, and he was suggesting where is global warming. Should we be interpreting this cold weather in in the way that the president seems to be absolutely not? And so there is a difference between climate which is looking at the long term trend that we're experiencing and and day-to-day weather, which is what he's commenting on. And are you up to mystic? I am up to mystic because I go I talked to a lot of people about this issue. And when I look around there's actually already a lot of action taking place, there's a lot happening at the local level and at the state level as well Andrew doesn't as an associate professor of geology at the university of Florida talking to us about this big new climate change report. We appreciate your time this morning, professor. Thank you.