Climate change is happening now and economic costs are enormous

Wendy Koch at USA Today had a good cover story this weekend on the many ways climate change is impacting the economy, the military, the environment and human survival:

The economic costs of all these changes are enormous — not only for those directly affected but also for the nation's taxpayers, who are stuck with the bills for disaster relief, national flood insurance and drought-related crop losses. In February, f or the first time, the non-partisan General Accountability Office said climate change puts the U.S. government at "high risk " of financial exposure. NOAA says 11 extreme weather and climate events last year alone in the United States cost more than $1 billion each.

Climate change will also strain the U.S. military by triggering unpredictable water, food and energy shortages, according to a 2012 study commissioned by the CIA and done by the National Research Council, a private non-profit group. Emanuel says Defense Department officials worry about the political unrest that climate disruptions could cause, putting the threat in stark terms: "It's right up there with (North) Korea and Iran."

This piece is a good overview of the basic science of climate change, as well as the economic costs, so read it all and pass along to anyone still denying the need to address this global crisis.

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