FORBES | According to recent data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA, 2022 tied as the fifth warmest year on record. Why does this matter? Well, a warming climate directly affects the health of you as an individual – and your family, communities, businesses, and our overall economy. We are seeing these effects now and scientists anticipate that they will grow.
Yes, climate change and changing weather patterns create an environmental crisis, but increasingly we are realizing they create a health crisis, and a food crisis, and ultimately a threat to our economic security and to the stability of our federal budget.
The budgeting agencies of both the White House (Office of Management and Budget) and the United States Congress (the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office or CBO), have both projected sizable budgetary impacts from climate change. The CBO states it succinctly: “Climate change increases federal budget deficits, on net.” A reduction in economic output related to lower worker productivity and damage to physical capital and the corresponding drop in income and payroll taxes will create a drag on federal revenues, while mandatory and discretionary spending demands will increase.
Indeed, climate change touches nearly all aspects of what in the aggregate comprises our national economy. And it is through this policy lens of the federal budget (The author served on the Budget Committee of the U.S. Senate from 1995 until 2002 and testified before that committee on May 10, 2023) that our elected public officials are called upon to look to the future, assess, and react to public risk. While Congress is notorious for delaying action until absolutely necessary — as we saw with the recent debt limit debate — I hope our elected officials will begin in earnest to address climate change and its impact, as we are in uncharted territory and there will come an unpredictable time in the future when failure to act will balloon budget costs exponentially.
Read more at Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrist/2023/06/14/how-a-changing-climate-is-a-threat-to-the-stability-of-our-federal-budget/?sh=3d750c565650