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Cost of Climate Change Report
Bebeto Matthews, Pablo Martinez/APFormer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
By Sharon Begley

NEW YORK -- Annual property losses from hurricanes and other coastal storms of $35 billion; a decline in crop yields of 14 percent, costing corn and wheat farmers tens of billions of dollars; heat wave-driven demand for electricity costing utility customers up to $12 billion a year.

These are among the economic costs that climate change is expected to exact in the United States over the next 25 years, according to a bipartisan report released Tuesday. And that's just for starters: The price tag could soar to hundreds of billions by 2100.

Commissioned by a group chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Secretary of the Treasury and Goldman Sachs (GS) alum Henry Paulson, and environmentalist and financier Tom Steyer, the analysis "is the most detailed ever of the potential economic effects of climate change on the U.S.," said climatologist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University.

The report lands three weeks after President Barack Obama ordered U.S. regulators to take their strongest steps ever to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including requiring power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Called "Risky Business," the report projects climate impacts at scales as small as individual counties. Its conclusions about crop losses and other consequences are based not on computer projections, which climate-change skeptics routinely attack, but on data from past heat waves.

It paints a grim picture of economic loss. "Our economy is vulnerable to an overwhelming number of risks from climate change," Paulson said in a statement, including from sea-level rise and from heat waves that will cause deaths, reduce labor productivity and strain power grids.

By mid-century, $66 billion to $106 billion worth of coastal property will likely be below sea level. There is a 5 percent chance that by 2100 the losses will reach $700 billion, with average annual losses from rising oceans of $42 billion to $108 billion along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico.

Extreme heat, especially in the Southwest, Southeast and upper Midwest, will slash labor productivity as people are unable to work outdoors at construction and other jobs for sustained periods. The analysis goes further than previous work, said Princeton's Oppenheimer, by identifying places that will be "unsuited for outdoor activity."

Demand for electricity will surge as people need air conditioning just to survive, straining generation and transmission capacity. That will likely require the construction of up to 95 gigawatts of generation capacity over the next 5 to 25 years, or roughly 200 average-size coal or natural gas power plants.

As utilities add the construction costs to customers' bills, people and businesses will pay $8.5 billion to $30 billion more every year by the middle of the century.

The report doesn't make policy prescriptions, concluding only that "it is time for all American business leaders and investors to get in the game and rise to the challenge of addressing climate change."

Did Rahm Emanuel Foil Obama's Climate Change Agenda?

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Is there a moderator for these comments? You people are all nuts !

June 24 2014 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope president Obama outlaws all those carbon spewing 4 wheel drive, gas guzzling pickups. I'm am so sick of the rednecks in our trailer park spraying mud all over our nice new driveway we had put in for our new A6. My hubby goes berserk when they get mud on the driveway. They are just jealous that he's a pilot and makes 6 figures, and we have the corner lot in the park.

June 24 2014 at 1:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

My favorite climate change season is in the spring, I married my hubby right after our wonderful president Obama approved of gay marriage, he's the greatest.

June 24 2014 at 1:09 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Climate change is real, because my hubby said so, he's a pilot and he make 6 figures. He's so smart, he went to Vassar. All of you are just jealous that you don't have a new A6 like we have, and a new double-wide.

June 24 2014 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hillary benghazi said that her n impeached slick willy clintoon are "DEAD BROKE", the only dead broke were in benghazi she turned her back on that were slaughtered n burnt to death "THOSE 4 ARE "DEAD" BROKE. !! hillary benghazi n impeached slick willy are dead broke with their 10 houses~~ha ha ha ~americans were hoodwinked. !!!!

June 24 2014 at 9:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to texastotenmom's comment

What difference does it make now, silly ?

June 24 2014 at 1:11 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Leroy Gd

To all of you numb nut lefty liberal believers, send your money to fix the global warming/climate change problem to al gore.
By the way there has been no warming for the last 16 years, that is why they changed the term to climate change. Of course all of the numb nuts fell for it, being the stupid plebs that they are.

June 24 2014 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

and you can keep your doctor too, period!

June 24 2014 at 8:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

a consensus does not make science..

June 24 2014 at 7:37 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Foolish people. You're being taken in by a hoax.

June 24 2014 at 7:26 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

did they start ovomits impeachment trial yet ??? all of america is "painfully" waiting for this muslim clown to be impeached n deported along witj all his illegal immigrants he let "BREAK" into america . !!! we,ll cross our fingers n check back tomorrow.

June 24 2014 at 6:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to texastotenmom's comment

hec dog,voted for a free ride like the other 50% of his kind,but america voted the tea party n they won yet again in virginia n sweeping the whole nation n who is the whip of the repub party ??? here let me help your pea brain out hecdog~~>TEA PARTY / 2014~USA !!

June 24 2014 at 9:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to texastotenmom's comment

How'd you kids do yesterday?

June 25 2014 at 8:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down