“Neither Governor Perry nor the bulk of Texas’ citizens may be interested in climate change, but climate change is interested in them.” ~ Matt Yglesias, commenting on the massive drought and terrible wildfires ravaging Texas.
There has been a long drought all across the Southwest for many years now. Wildfires are only getting worse. The Wallow Fire which burned across western New Mexico earlier this summer was massive and virtually unstoppable. Many ranchers lost their livelihood when the fire swept into grazing lands.
Meanwhile, we have massive flooding in the Southeast; tornadoes all across the country in places like Massachusetts and Arizona that rarely see tornado activity; increased hurricane activity and ferocity of tropical storms; and just an overall pattern of more chaotic, surprising and destructive – and expensive – weather. I know a lot of people think that tighter environmental regulations create an undue economic burden. But what if that burden is less – and more fair – than the burden that is borne by people and places hurt by these storms?
On a less macro-policy scale, campfire bans may seem like a terrible affront to personal liberty, but in a bad drought with high winds, lighting a campfire that soon turns into a wildfire that burns homes and cattle and wilderness lands strikes me as much worse. You can think of climate change legislation on similar terms.
For a state-by-state rundown of projected costs associated with climate change, go here.