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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Are We Engaging in "Risky Business" With Our Environment?



“Risky Business” is a new report that details the potential impact of global warming.  Developed by the Risky Business Project and supported by both sides of the political spectrum including Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, previous NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and donor Tom Steyer. It details some of the risks the U.S. economy faces in the future as a result of climate change.

Global warming is currently a hotly contested issue with people jumping in on either side with a slew of arguments both for and against the topic. It is unlikely that any resolution will be forthcoming soon. However, by understanding the potential consequences of Global Warming it is possible to see at least one perspective. 

Report Highlights:

-By 2050 $66-$106 billion in coastal cost with potential $238-$507 billion cost endured by 2100.

-By the middle of the century the average American will see 27 to 50 days over 95°F.

-Outdoor labor productivity may decline 3%.

-Temperatures may raise at certain times of the year beyond human capacity to adapt requiring additional air conditioning.

-Heightened use of air conditioning may put pressure on energy production.

-Northern states will have an agricultural boon and Southern states will see agricultural decline.

The report sees a new risky normal in climate change that is projected to impact energy, agriculture, and coastal infrastructure.  It moves into explanations and the potential impact on each U.S. region. The report seeks to develop a general understanding of potential changes in various parts of the country and provides some suggestions for change.

Conclusions propose business adaptation, including risk assessments in reports, and a strong stance from the public. The analysis seeks to raise awareness of the potential problems the country could face if we fail to control green house gas emissions and pollution. Businesses are encouraged to join in solutions that counter emerging problems.

Global Warming is a correlation and not yet a causation meaning that factors are associated but science has not yet conclusively said X causes Y. However, protecting the environment, finding efficiencies in business operations, conserving energy costs, reducing waste, and innovating technology are core responsibilities of running a solid business. Cost saving improvements and enhanced product development can go hand-in-hand with developing and protecting the environment.

See the Report:

http://riskybusiness.org/pdf

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