The National Geographic Can Have a Major Influence on Its Global Audience With Coverage Like This: Climate Change's Hidden Costs
The National Geographic Society made its debut as a publishing force in 1888, introducing the natural world and faraway places to generation-after-generation, at first through the familiar yellow cover magazine (the "journal"), then on through broadcast and cable television programming, a web site, and movies. (Remember "March of the Penguins"?)
And always, through the decades, the NG staff and contributors have kept up-to-date with world and domestic "happenings," including wonderful places to visit and introductions to far-off cultures, explanations of geography and natural science, archeology and history -- as well as reportage on serious storms, wars, civil unrest, droughts, famines, and other important touchstones of shared content to expand our personal knowledge.
NG through its communication channels reaches tens of millions of people worldwide. And today the NG is focused on another hot topic: climate change, and the costs (which run into the hundreds of billions of US dollars, according a report by the Universal Ecological Fund -- "The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States."
Key assertion of the study: Extreme weather has cost the U.S. economy at least US$240 billion a year over the past 10 years!
The study authors point out that big storms lower the long-run growth rate of the U.S. economy and that economic and human impacts ripple through the country for us for decades. (New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is an example they shared.) Crop yields are down US$56 billion since 2012 due to climate-related losses (drought).
NG shares a compelling chart showing numerous "billion dollar" weather disasters that have been increasing in recent years (due to drought, heat wave, wildfire, flood, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, etc). There's an accompanying video featuring Bill Nye, "The Science Guy". NG provides links to other articles, photos of Hurricane Harvey's destruction, and a video, "Climate 101 - Renewable Energy."
A number of experts contributed to the NG presentation, including report co-authors Sir Robert Watson, director of the UK's Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research, and Ryan Wiser, senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Amir Jina, University of Chicago; John Tomanio and Riley D. Champine, NG staff members; Adam Smith, National Climatic Data Center and colleague Jeff Masters, Weather Underground, at the Center. The article author is Stephen Leahy.
Our Top Story makes a compelling case for action now! on climate change challenges and will be an oft-quoted source (we believe) for pushing back on climate change deniers.