This piece is contributed by Mark Schapiro, an international writer specialising in environmental issues. He is currently working on his new book titled CARBON SHOCK.
On the heels of the hottest spring in memory, and its accompaniment—drought—came the first-ever comprehensive assessment, from theRisky Business troika of Steyer-Paulson-Bloomberg, of the hundreds of millions of dollars that climate change is likely to cost the U.S. economy over the coming decades. Then President Obama admonished environmental leaders to prepare the public for the costs to come from shifting our energy grid away from fossil fuels.
There is a fundamental element missing from these otherwise welcome revelations, which I address in an OpEd in the Los Angeles Times, titled The Carbon Tax We’re Already Paying. In order to more fully understand the economic consequences of climate change, and how much we’re willing to pay to slow the process down, the article makes the case that it is essential to understand how the current costs of climate change have been masked by an accounting system that lets fossil fuel companies off the hook. These costs have been hiding in plain sight. And if energy is going to get more expensive as we shift toward a less fossil-fuel intensive energy grid, then the fundamental question remains: Who pays?
This article arises out of reporting for my book, called CARBON SHOCK: A Tale of Risk & Calculus from the Front-Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy—a narrative chronicle grounded in the places where new angles are emerging as the same chaotic forces reshaping our weather patterns are transforming economic decision-making, shifting economic and political power, and upending our understanding of the real risks and costs of fossil fuels.
CARBON SHOCK will be available next month. So, have a look; pre-order if you’re inclined, or ask for it at your local independent bookstore. And please help spread the word!
More to come. Also I’m on twitter (@schapiro): I’ll never be a multiple tweet/day man, but I will keep an eye on stories and developments that I think are interesting and relevant to the ongoing debates about the fundamental economic challenge of our time.
Mark Schapiro has produced award winning work in all forms of media. His latest book CARBON SHOCK investigates the backstory of our carbon footprint and has based this message on it.