National Climate Assessment Report Warns of Grave Situation
Photograph courtesy of Willian Justen de Vasconcellos, unsplash.com .
(APN) ATLANTA — The fourth National Climate Assessment Report, released on November 23, 2018, warns of worsening natural disasters, new food and waterborne diseases, crop production failure, and economic devastation by the end of the century.
This is the third in a series of Atlanta Progressive News articles focusing on the crisis facing humanity regarding Mother Earth.
Previously, we looked at how other nations are granting legal personhood to Mother Earth and to specific rivers; and at how youth in the United States are bringing a groundbreaking federal lawsuit to force the government to act on climate change.
There continues to be scientific consensus that climate change is real and that the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The National Climate Assessment Report (NCAR) is a Congressionally-mandated report prepared by some three hundred top scientists from thirteen federal agencies.
“The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years,” the NCAR website says.
The Trump Administration appears to have attempted to hide the latest climate report. President Donald Trump has publicly said he does not believe the report and has said that his gut knows more than the climate scientists.
Climate change is already being felt in communities across the country as evident by disasters in 2018, such as Hurricane Florence’s record flooding in North Carolina, category five Hurricane Michael’s destruction in Florida and Georgia, and the deadly wildfire in California that destroyed the City of Paradise and killed over eighty people, with almost one thousand still missing.
Hurricane Florence in North Carolina killed 3.4 million chickens and 5,500 pigs and polluted the flood water with animal feces and rotting carcasses.
Agricultural damage from Hurricane Michael in Georgia has surpassed 1.2 billion dollars, with cotton and pecan farmers suffering the worst damage.
As carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere, it will causes heating of the planet that results in extreme climate change, further resulting in melting of the Antarctic icecap, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, flooding, more Category Five hurricanes and tornadoes, violent storms with heavy downpours, deadly heat waves, severe droughts causing dangerous wildfires, and new diseases affecting public health.
“Extreme weather and climate related impacts on one system can result in increased risks on other critical systems, including water resources, food production and distribution, energy and transportation, infrastructure, public health, international trade and national security,” the report states.
Natural disasters since 2015 have cost the U.S. nearly four hundred billion dollars.
“Annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century,” the report says.
In Georgia, the 2007 drought cost the agriculture industry 339 million dollars in crop losses, according to www.statesatrisk.org .
As Georgia becomes warmer, the State will experience more droughts, resulting in more wildfires; and the coastal areas will experience sea level rising with inland flooding, and more category five hurricanes destroying homes and infrastructure.
The report predicts that if the federal government does not take action immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emission, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth in the country.
“If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences,” Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, said in remarks to the UN and the public in September 2018.
Climate change will hurt vulnerable communities and low-income populations the worst.
In spite of all this scientific evidence, most Members of U.S. Congress are so indebted to the fossil fuel industry until they appear to be incapable of protecting the environment for future generations.
The fossil fuel industry gives millions of dollars each year, mostly to Republicans and “conservative” groups, to influence policy.
Politicians are not doing enough, fast enough to stop the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere. Currently, the CO2 levels are 400 parts per million (ppm), or 50 ppm above what is safe and healthy to preserve a livable planet.
It is mind blowing that so many politicians, in the face of so much scientific evidence, still continue to deny the reality of climate change.
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2019)