Recently, we took the time to talk with former journalist and now author, Bob Keefe. We discussed climate change at home and abroad. Bob is the author of a new book called ‘Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Street, and the Economic Battle to Save Our Planet’. Bob offered up a lot of new information about how our warming planet is shaping our local, national, and global economies in this week’s “Two Degree Difference”.
As our climate continues to change for the worse, so too do our natural disasters. They are becoming more costly and deadly as we try to adapt the best we can. Bob spoke to the fact that climate change is driving wildfire seasons to spiral out of control. Bob mentions, “look at what happened last December in a place like Colorado when it’s supposed to be snowing. One thousand houses were wiped out just outside of Denver. Right now in New Mexico, the biggest wildfire in the state’s history is still raging.
Mr. Keefe also took up an important point about an east coast problem when it comes to climate change; the uptick in strength and intensity of tropical systems during Atlantic Hurricane Season. Bob says, “…more hurricane, more fires, etc. The price of homeowner’s insurance nationally has gone up almost forty percent in the past year as insurance companies continue to figure out ways to make up for losses”. While we may not always be impacted by disastrous tropical cyclones in Vermont during any given year, we still experience an indirect impact from how intense those storms can be and the destruction they create. Bob explained, “we’re feeling the economic pain of climate change, not just in the disasters when they happen, and they’re happening on an increased frequency, but across the board for everything that depends on a stable climate for stable prices.
As we all know, Vermont is not exempt from our climate crisis. Direct impacts are being felt in the Green Mountain State as seasons change and tourism picks up. Bob says, “when winters are shorter, when the winters are warmer, that means less money for the ski slopes in Vermont. When summers are too hot, that means less tourism in the state of Vermont, perhaps, so yes. Tourism is one of the areas that’s getting hard hit by climate change.”
It all sounds so “doomy and gloomy” but in reality, Vermont is making big strides nationally and globally when it comes to our war on the climate crisis. As Bob attests to, “Vermont, I believe, has the largest share of electricity generated from renewable resources of any state; that’s when you include hydro. When you include clean energy generally, Vermont is a real leader in this, and that’s one of the reasons why the state has created more than 15,000 jobs in clean energy because the state has passed policies that expand clean energy and expand energy efficiency.”
A push for for cleaner, more renewable energy being made in Vermont has us heading in the right direction but there’s still more work to be done as lawmakers debate bills that would help Americans adjust and adapt to the biggest crisis of our lifetime…climate change.
Bob Keefe’s book, ‘Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Street, and the Economic Battle to Save Our Planet’, is now available wherever books are sold.