This week the White House released a climate report on its blog. (Did you know the White House has a blog?) You can "get it" just from the title: The cost of delaying action on climate change
As political/scientific statements go, it's blunt and to the point. The longer we wait to act to reduce emissions, the more it will cost the economy, and the less likely we will to succeed.
John Podesta, the semi-new chief of staff, is the co-author, and displays a hard authority in his prose:
If delayed action causes the mean global temperature increase to stabilize at 3° Celsius above preindustrial levels, instead of 2°, that delay will induce annual additional damages of 0.9 percent of global output. To put this percentage in perspective, 0.9 percent of estimated 2014 U.S. GDP is approximately $150 billion. The next degree increase, from 3° to 4°, would incur greater additional annual costs of 1.2 percent of global output. These costs are not one-time: they are incurred year after year because of the permanent damage caused by additional climate change resulting from the delay.
Clearly no one can contemplate a rise in temperatures beyond 3 degrees Celsius — except a few nutty scientists and writers, and perhaps a few climate refugees, such as an old friend moving to Portland.
Cliff Mass, a meteorologist in the Seattle area, makes a compelling argument for the Pacific Northwest as the place for climate refugees…and has an idea how to keep the Californians out.