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

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.​"

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.

Read More Show Less

In many parts of the U.S., family farms are disappearing and being replaced by suburban sprawl.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
General view of the empty Alma bridge, in front of the Eiffel tower, while the city imposes emergency measures to combat the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, on March 17, 2020 in Paris, France. Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Half the world is on lockdown. So, the constant hum of cars, trucks, trains and heavy machinery has stopped, drastically reducing the intensity of the vibrations rippling through the Earth's crust. Seismologists, who use highly sensitive equipment, have noticed a difference in the hum caused by human activity, according to Fast Company.

Read More Show Less
The current rate of CO2 emissions is a major event in the recorded history of Earth. EPA

By Andrew Glikson

At several points in the history of our planet, increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have caused extreme global warming, prompting the majority of species on Earth to die out.

Read More Show Less
The "Earthrise" photograph that inspired the first Earth Day. NASA / Bill Anders

For EcoWatchers, April usually means one thing: Earth Day. But how do you celebrate the environment while staying home to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus?

Read More Show Less