A succession of neoliberal governments across the West have been wildly effective at advancing inequality, austerity and an era of 'everyday low taxes.' Before long that's going to bite us in the ass.
Climate change impacts are setting in and, before long, we're going to discover that they're massively expensive. Money, billions of dollars every year, will be needed. Money our governments just don't got.
A study undertaken by researchers from the University of British Columbia and Waterloo looks at the burden looming for Canadian municipalities.
Estimated to cost Canadian communities $5 billion a year by 2020, the price-tag of responding to climate change impacts could grow to $43 billion a year by 2050, and the new research suggests the response requires involvement from all levels of government, industry and the public.
“Canada’s municipalities influence half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Critical physical and natural infrastructure are especially susceptible to changes in the climate,” said Mark Seasons, professor with the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo.An American study finds that, by 2040, coastal communities will need $400 billion to defend against sea level rise. That's nearly half a trillion dollars to protect a limited number of communities from one threat. Other areas will need relief from severe storm events, from floods, from severe droughts.
We had better figure out and soon where that money will come from or even if there'll be money to meet those demands. Approaching these threats on an individual, piecemeal basis would be disastrous. Ignoring them, kicking them down the road, would be the ultimate act of dereliction.