Analysis & Opinions - Union of Concerned Scientists

Stopping Climate Change Is Not Enough

| Jan. 27, 2021

Last summer, one of us was locked inside their home in the Seattle area, not because of the pandemic, but because the air was full of smoke from fires raging hundreds of miles away in California. The other was peering through an orange afternoon haze for the same reason—thousands of miles away in Maine.

And sadly this was not the first year that a long, heartbreaking wildfire season has had hemispheric consequences, or that the impacts of human-caused climate change have cost lives and livelihoods in America. It was one of the worst, however. Climate impacts in the US cost our economy nearly $100 billion in 2020—almost double the previous year's costs.

Over the past four years our country has been battered by the advancing impacts of climate change—fires, smoke, floods, droughts, storms, heat. These costly impacts are affecting our health, our homes, our jobs, our communities, and our natural heritage. At a time when climate change impacts have outstripped some of the most dire predictions, the Trump White House relaxed rules meant to slow warming and failed to act in any way to improve our ability to prepare. The inaction of the federal government at that critical time set our nation back in terms of readiness, resources, and resilience....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:

Clement, Joel and Lara Hansen."Stopping Climate Change Is Not Enough." Union of Concerned Scientists, January 27, 2021.