Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Former U.S. Treasury Secretaries Assess Catastrophic Cost of Climate Inaction With CNN's Fareed Zakaria

Climate
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.​"

 

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is seen on October 19, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. Denis Doyle / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday that former Secretary of State John Kerry will sit on his National Security Council (NSC) as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Susanna Pershern / Submerged Resources Center/ National Park Service / public domain

By Melissa Gaskill

Two decades ago scientists and volunteers along the Virginia coast started tossing seagrass seeds into barren seaside lagoons. Disease and an intense hurricane had wiped out the plants in the 1930s, and no nearby meadows could serve as a naturally dispersing source of seeds to bring them back.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Fridays for Future climate activists demonstrate in Bonn, Germany on Sept. 25, 2020. Roberto Pfeil / picture alliance via Getty Images

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2019 and have continued climbing this year, despite lockdowns and other measures to curb the pandemic, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday, citing preliminary data.

Read More Show Less
The Argentine black-and-white tegu is an invasive species that can reach four-feet long. Mark Newman / Getty Images

These black-and-white lizards could be the punchline of a joke, except the situation is no laughing matter.

Read More Show Less
Smoke covers the skies over downtown Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 9, 2020. Diego Diaz / Icon Sportswire

By Isabella Garcia

September in Portland, Oregon, usually brings a slight chill to the air and an orange tinge to the leaves. This year, it brought smoke so thick it burned your throat and made your eyes strain to see more than 20 feet in front of you.

Read More Show Less