Hoppy Kercheval dismisses Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that climate change poses an even greater threat to mankind than terrorism. Writing on July 26, he said the effects of climate change are uncertain and proceeds to catalogue known deaths from terror attacks around the world since 1968 (tens of thousands).
However, leaving aside for a moment reports predicting future deaths from climate change reaching as many as a million per year by 2030 (see World Health Organization, DARA), scientists have now managed to prove well over a hundred thousand each year attributable to human caused climate change since 2000.
The increasing number, severity and land area affected by droughts and heat waves were worsened as rising temperatures gave rise to malaria, dengue fever, diarrhea, and starvation. They can even be a factor driving some regions into war and jobless young men into terrorism.
Kercheval ends his piece asking why he rarely sees a cost benefit analysis on policies to halt climate change. There are many. In 2014 Citizens Climate Lobby commissioned a study by REMI which found that among other benefits, implementing a carbon fee and rebating it to American families would add 2.8 million jobs in the US over 20 years. Maybe Kercheval should instead be asking, “What is the cost of inaction on climate change?”