When billions of dollars in climate-change damages are reported, profits made by those whose activities cause and magnify such impacts are seldom mentioned.
Among harms caused by burning fossil fuels are not only flooding, erosion, wildfire, and crop losses, but also the hazards of extreme storms – now scientifically confirmed to be a result of climate-change.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions reports that warming oceans and higher sea-level are expected to intensify storm damage in coming years. Storm intensity is primarily a result of the difference in temperature between the ocean and atmosphere. The greater that difference, the more power driving the storms. Storm frequency and intensity are both increasing in the “North Atlantic Basin” on America’s East Coast, among the most at-risk regions on earth. This is largely attributed to climate change.
Record-breaking U.S. hurricane destruction in 2017 is a prime example. The National Hurricane Center reports that over $300 billion in damage was caused in the U.S. last year – more than the total for the previous ten years combined.
Scientists also warn that higher temperatures are already adding some 20-percent to the amount of rainfall during such storms, further compounding public harm. Like other climate-change impacts, hurricanes penalize all citizens and property-owners in harm’s way. Yet, those who make billions profiting from the combustion of fossil-fuels that cause these problems remain untouched. In fact, U.S. taxpayers subsidize the industry by some $50 billion annually. It’s time to confront these problems by curbing their causes and holding the fossil-fuel industry accountable.
Center for a Sustainable Coast