nasa.jpg
NASA

The Financial Times reports that a "coalition of institutional investors managing more than $1tn in assets" wants the world's biggest banks to basically reassess and strongly respond to the exposure of investments to climate change-related "catastrophic damage."

Support The Stranger

The damage from Irma is now estimated at $90 billion (but if the storm had moved 20 miles to the east, it would have been a world-historical $200 billion). The damage from Harvey is growing to $100 billion. And as big as these losses are, they don't account for the lost productivity during the long recovery period, exceptional and unexpected legal expenses, and long-term mental and physical health costs. The US economy is already feeling the drag of these disasters. Grist reports that "financial firms Moody’s and Goldman Sachs have already lowered their estimates of overall U.S. economic growth. Goldman Sachs added that as many as 100,000 jobs could be lost as businesses downsize in the wake of the storms."

It's also estimated that 10 percent of the population has been "directly impacted by the storms." Expect these storms to break as many minds as they have broken homes.

Though the US government is currently run by climate deniers, eventually the price tag on ignoring climate change will become intolerable for almost all areas of the economy save those whose profits are entirely tied to the burning of fossils. But when this happens, when global warming it is too expensive for a large number of major capitalists, will the US shift from a high carbon economy to low carbon one? No. It most likely will not. Never underestimate the power of social engineering (humans are ruled by ideas) and the grip the petroleum industry has on advertising and political institutions. A low carbon economy actually means a completely different kind of society and ideology. We can expect the fossil fuel sector to remain in control until the intolerable costs of climate change are coupled with intolerable death tolls. By that time, it will be too late do much of anything.