The Cost of Ignoring Reality
On 1/17/2020, the Houston Chronicle ran a story (see below) on a report issued by McKinsey & Company, one of the largest and probably best known business consulting firms in the world, regarding climate change.
The report concluded that absent major preparation climate change will do substantial damage to the world’s economies and wreak havoc on communities and economic activity across the globe. According to McKinsey, all business and policy decisions need to be examined through the lens of climate change. The Southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the United States will be among the hardest hit by the physical effects of climate change.
McKinsey’s predictions are dire, but they are in line with the studies and predictions of all the most respected scientific groups, the world’s largest corporations, and almost all developed, first-world countries.
Then there is Donald Trump, climate denier in-chief. Not only is his attitude hurting us and holding us back, it is a clear, strong example to leaders of other countries that they can avoid taking action. All these leaders have to say is that the U.S., the world’s leading economy and one of the biggest, if not the biggest, emitters of greenhouse gases, has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, is not meeting any of the necessary emission targets, and has no clear government policy requiring the U.S. to do anything. In other words, if the U.S. is not taking action, why should we as a small struggling country take action?
Virtually every action taken in the U.S. to prevent global warming has come from the private sector and state and local governments. In this instance, Trump’s words and actions align. He denies global warming is real and he scoffs at climate science and climate scientists, and all of his actions are designed to entirely eliminate or water down regulations and policies needed to address global warming and environmental pollution of every sort.
If we somehow avert climate catastrophe, it will truly be a miracle. Trump needs to lead, follow or get out of the way. Nobody has ever won the America’s Cup dragging an anchor behind them.