Former U.S. Treasury Secretaries Assess Catastrophic Cost of Climate Inaction With CNN's Fareed Zakaria
Just a few days after Michael Bloomberg and a group of economists and former politicians spelled out the economic risks of ignoring climate change in the Risky Business report, two committee members hit CNN's airwaves for further discussion.
Former U.S. Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson, Risky Business Risk Committee member and organization co-chair, respectively, appeared on CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS for a couple segments to discuss the costs of climate inaction and denial from some Republicans.
"I think the cost of inaction is quite high—it's actual radical risk taking," Paulson said. "There's a tendency for people to say, ‘let's wait until we have more information, but the longer you wait, you get to a dangerous point—a dangerous position, where the only things you can do then is to adapt to these adverse consequences as opposed to being able to prevent them. Because one of the things that I think is pretty clear is that if we act soon, we can avoid the most adverse consequences."
Next, the duo talk solutions with Zakaria, including why we should settle for nothing less than a "full-court press," Rubin said.
"What I've said about a carbon tax is some people that oppose it are opposing it because they don't like the government playing a big role. And, you know, the perverse aspect of that is, frankly, those that are resisting taking action now are guaranteeing that the government will be playing a bigger role, because we're seeing now and we're going to see an increasing number of natural disasters, Mother Nature acts," Paulson said. "We have forest fires, we have floods, we have big storms and storm surges, we have killer tornadoes. And what happens? When those events occur, one part of society gets hit particularly hard, and government comes in.
"And that's the role of government. Government should come in, but we all pay."
By Stephanie Eick
You may not realize it, but you likely encounter phthalates every day. These chemicals are found in many plastics, including food packaging, and they can migrate into food products during processing. They're in personal care products like shampoos, soaps and laundry detergents, and in the vinyl flooring in many homes.
- 7 Types of Plastic Wreaking Havoc on Our Health - EcoWatch ›
- Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Results in Decline in Toxic Phthalates ... ›
- Phthalates Exposure in Womb Linked to Autistic Traits in Boys ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Many congressional districts with the most clean energy potential are current fossil fuel hubs, potentially reducing political barriers to a just transition away from the energy sources that cause climate change, a Brookings report says.
- Israeli Oil Spill Is a 'Severe Ecological Disaster' - EcoWatch ›
- Endangered Sea Turtles Recovering After 'Cold Stunning' Event ... ›
As the weather grows more severe, and its damages more expensive and fatal, current weather predictions fall short in providing reliable information on Earth's rapidly changing systems.
- Are New Extreme Global Warming Projections Correct? - EcoWatch ›
- Are We Really Past the Point of No Return on Climate? Scientists ... ›