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Pay Now, Pay Later: Global Warming and Damage to Connecticut

Pay Now, Pay Later: Global Warming and Damage to Connecticut

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Published by Eygenia85z
Pay Now, Pay Later: Global Warming and Damage to Connecticut
Pay Now, Pay Later: Global Warming and Damage to Connecticut

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Published by: Eygenia85z on Jun 29, 2012
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Pay Now, Pay Later: Connecticut
dmittedly, the eects o climatechange, a complex and intri-cate phenomenon, are dicultto predict with precision. Inormedscientic and economic projections, as we have used in our research, however,allow us to see that Connecticut acessignicant losses in industries crucialto its economy i no action is taken.Moreover, data shows Connecticut ispoised to benet rom the research,development, and distribution o renewable energy technologies.Connecticut has the resources orsolar, wind, and biomass energy generation, reducing greenhouse gasemissions to slow the costly eectso climate change and enlarging themarket or green industry employ-ment.
Should we ail to take actionagainst climate change, Connecticutresidents have much to lose.
 The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the cost o protecting Connecticut’scoast rom the potential damages o a 20-inch rise in sea level could be between $500million and $3 billion by the end o the century.
 Rising temperatures threaten wildlie and orestry in Connecticut, which draws both stateresidents and visiting tourists to the state’s campgrounds, helping to generate nearly $300million in annual revenue.
Nationwide adoption o green energy legislative policies will create 17,000 jobs in cleanenergy and green technology industries in Connecticut, and an increase o $2 billion instate revenue.
According to a new study, a ailure to mitigate the eects o climate change could beginto cause serious gross domestic product and job losses within the next several decades.Between 2010 and 2050, it could cost Connecticute $9.5 billion in GDP and over 36,000 jobs.*
Pay Later: The Cost o Inaction
Climate change will have a negativeimpact on many o the industries thatdene the liestyle o Connecticutresidents. In a high emissions scenario,Connecticut is expected to see longer,more intense heat waves and morerequent fooding.
Flooding and arising sea level will signicantly aectcoastal communities, home to 60% o Connecticut’s population.
empera-ture increases o 8-12
F in the winterand 6-14
F in the summer will alterthe protability o the agriculture, winter recreation, and wildlie indus-tries.
Climate change poses a seriousthreat to Connecticut’s economicsecurity.
Rising Sea Level, Rising Costs
Te threat o rising sea levels hasthe potential to devastate the stateo Connecticut.
By 2100, sea levelsalong the Connecticut coast areexpected to rise between 10 inches
Sources: National Wildlie Federation,
Global Warming and Connecticut
; Federal Emergency  Management Agency 
*GDP numbers are based on a 0% discount rate. Job losses are measured in labor years, or entire years o ulltime employment. Backus, George et al., “Assessing the Near-erm Risk o Climate Uncertainty:Interdependencies among the U.S. States,” Sandia Report (Sandia National Laboratories, May 2010),141.
(accessed  March 23, 2011).
5.55003,0000500100015002000250030003500Assistance toConnecticut forMarch 2010 FloodMinimum Cost of Protecting CT Coast from Rising Sea Level(20 inches)Maximum Cost of Protecting CT Coast from Rising Sea Level(20 inches)
Cost of Recent Flooding Compared to Cost of Protecting the Coast (Millions $)
1100 New York Avenue, NW|Suite 710W|Washington, DC 20005 202.347.4267| 
and two eet 
. o the 2 millioncoastal residents (and Connecticut’stourists), this could present unlim-ited economic and inrastructuraldamage.
Wetlands and marshes alongConnecticut’s shores currently providenatural protection rom fooding andsea level fuctuations, saving the stateabout $13,000 per acre annually 
oreach o the approximately 17,500 acreso tidal wetlands in Connecticut.
 More requent disastrous weatherevents, including hurricanes and winter storms, will destroy bothnatural barriers and man-made damsand levees.
 Approximately 32,000homes along Connecticut’s 100-yearoodplain will be in danger,
 whichplaces the state in a position to loseover $18 billion in property damageand business interruption
, accordingto the Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency.
Te rise in sea level willalso impact wildlie by threateningsalt marshes and estuaries that serveas habitats and ood sources or many species o birds and sh; or example,the Long Island Sound lobster popula-tion has already declined by 70% as aresult o warmer waters.
Shellsh areparticularly susceptible to the diseasesassociated with warmer waters.
 With several deepwater seaports,Connecticut is uniquely positionedor an advantage in the shipping andreight trade, as well as shipbuilding,seaood preparation and packaging,commercial shing, and water trans-portation.
Te maritime sectoraccounts or nearly $2.7 billiono gross state product (GSP) and employs more than 30,000 stateresidents
I damage to ports occursat projected levels, these industries,and the individuals who rely on thisincome, will lose substantially due torising sea levels and environmentaldisasters.
 Threats to Connecticut’s BeautiulLandscape
 As a state covered in 60% wood-lands and 360,000 acres o armland,Connecticut’s economy has much tolose as a result o impacts on agricul-ture. State agriculture income averages$350 million per year.
Under a highemissions scenario, dairy production would drop by 15% during the peak summer season. Fruit production,specically apples and pears, will beharmed by an increase in precipita-tion.
Higher temperatures willyield some benets, lengthening thegrowing season and making Connect-icut more suitable or warm-weathercrops.
Pests and weeds will alsoincrease, however, eliminating some—i not all—o these benets.
Further-more, as the climate o Connecticutbegins to change, the environment willbecome unsuitable or many species o birds that provide natural insect andpest removal.
Unortunate or a top nationalsupplier, maple syrup productionin Connecticut will also be severely aected, and may cease by 2080
.Maple syrup is not only a crucialsource o income to those who produceit, but a part o Connecticut history.Places like Hebron, host to numerousmaple syrup estivals, will be signi-cantly impacted.
Furthermore, risingtemperatures will likely threaten thespecies o trees—maple, beech, andbirch
—that attract oliage viewers.
Te orested Connecticut land-scape provides ample opportunity or residents and tourists alike toappreciate hunting, shing, and  wildlie viewing, which suppliesnearly 10,000 jobs and brings in anaverage o $830 million annually 
  An additional $500 million comesrom the sale o orestry products.
 Te state’s timberlands also providethe necessary environment or theprotable camping industry. Over900,000 tourists—nearly 40% arerom out-o-state—visit Connecti-cut’s state parks and campgroundseach year. Campground visitorsspend almost $300 million eachyear, which directly and indirectly aects the hotel, ood service,transportation, and entertainmentindustries.
Culture and tourism generatesover $14 billion or the stateeach year—approximately 8%o GSP
Connecticut has muchat stake should climate changecontinue unmitigated. Increasedtemperatures, greenhouse gases,and related eects will impactall industries tied to tourism,including the recreation andhospitality industries that rely ontourists and visitors to the state, as well as agricultural sustainability and the productivity o Connecti-cut’s ports.
Pay Now: TheBenefts o TakingAction
Te Constitution State has longbeen an innovative leader amongits peers, and with several renew-
Source: Connecticut Department o Labor 
Connecticut's LaborForce Projected tobe Directly Affected
1100 New York Avenue, NW|Suite 710W|Washington, DC 20005 202.347.4267| 
able energy generation options and ew energy-intensive industries, Connecticutis in a position to become a model or energy eciency, too.
Connecticut isalready investing $58 million annually in green technology, making it 4
innational rankings o energy efciency 
Te state has the ability to use biomass, wind power, landll gas, and hydroelectric power to generate energy; in addition,Connecticut is leading the nation as one o the top 10 states in terms o solar powercapacity.
 Te state’s existing eorts are already putting Connecticut on a path to success.Te state is a signatory to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a group which pledges to cap and reduce the amount o carbon its power plants emit 10%by 2018.
Te Connecticut Energy Eciency Fund supports businesses and house-holds in their ventures to invest in clean energy by providing resources, supportprograms, and nancial incentives to encourage more ecient energy usage habits.
  Adopted in 2005, the state’s Climate Change Action Plan outlines recommenda-tions or changing transportation standards, adjusting building eciency, increasingrecycling, clean energy supply programs, and climate change education.
By 2007,Connecticut had an average return o our to one on energy eciency investmentsand had enrolled 16,000 residents as clean energy options customers.
Investment in clean energy will provide new employment opportunities to Connect-icut residents. Should nationwide adoption o green energy legislative policies beimplemented,
Connecticut could see an introduction o almost 17,000 jobs in clean energy and green technology industries and an increase o $2 billion in state revenue
An investment in clean energy options provides Connecticut with the opportunity to reduce the uture damage o climate change while enhancing the existing economic structure withnew revenue and employment markets.
Connecticut must consider action on climate change not just in terms o cost, but also in terms o opportunities. I we giveConnecticut’s population, businesses, and investors clear and consistent signals by properly oering initiatives and culti-vating demand, investment and innovation in renewable technologies will ollow.
Connecticut residents will have to pay or the eects o climate change
. Te only remaining question is whether they  will pay now, or pay later and run the risk o paying signicantly more.(Endnotes)
1 National Wildlie Federation,
Global Warming and Connecticut 
, January 2009, 2.
(accessed September 10,2010).2 Connecticut Department o Environmental Protection,
Facing Our Future: Adapting to Connecticut’s Changing Climate,
March 2009,36.
(accessed July 20, 2010).3 Robert Pollin, James Heintz and Heidi Garrett-Peltier,
Clean Energy Investments Create Jobs in Connecticut,
Political Economy Research Institute, 1.
(accessed July 26, 2010).

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