The Oz-onomics Podcast

The Effect of Climate Change on Our Future and Our Economy

January 14, 2020

This podcast discusses the effects climate change has and will have on us and the economy. Not only has climate change caused warmer temperatures, but it has also caused extreme weather conditions which has caused a lot of damage. The hotter temperature we've experienced had caused a number of issues such as a decrease in supply of wheat, rice and maize. There will be a decrease in supply and an increase in the demand as our population is projected to increase. What can we do to fix this?

Podcast by: Brooke Sherwood

Transcript

[MUSIC]

Kate: Hey everyone. Welcome to Oz-onomics, a podcast created for and by students in introductory economics classes at SUNY Oswego.

GABRIELLA: In this series, we'll have discussions about various economic principles and how they apply to our day to day lives.

KATE: Are you ready?

GABRIELLA: Let's go.

[MUSIC]

Hi everyone, my name is Brooke Sherwood, and in this podcast, I will be discussing the effects climate change will have on our economy in the future, such as scarcity and a diminishing supply. It is no secret that we are going through a climate change, as we have been hearing about it for quite some time now. Some people don’t think that it will affect us anytime soon, and some don’t want to believe in it at all and are in denial. However, climate change has already started and there are measurable gross domestic product (GDP) impacts on our market. You may be wondering what climate change has to do with the economy and economics, and that is the purpose of this podcast. Let me start off by explaining what climate change is. Climate change is a consequential long-term change in normal patterns of average weather of either a region or the entire earth over a long period of time. Many have heard more about global warming than climate change, and they are sometimes used interchangeably. However, global warming is one of many side effects of climate change. Now I will discuss the effects climate change has already had on us. The global carbon dioxide emissions increased to 1.7% in 2018, which is the highest it’s been since 2013, which has escalated the effects of climate change. The hottest four years that have been recorded were 2015-2018. This rise in temperature due to climate change had caused sea levels to rise 3 inches in the last 25 years from melting ice, which will only get worse. The climate change has also resulted in extreme weather effects like droughts, fires and storms. Since 1980, these weather effects have doubled. Over that same time period, floods have quadrupled. There has been an increase in the spread of infectious diseases due to hotter and wetter conditions. These conditions have increased the percentage of tickborne diseases in the United States. These damages from these extreme weather effects have negatively affected society and the economy in many ways. There has been immense amount of property damage and it has affected economic output materially. There was a loss of $79 billion in global insurance resulting from natural disasters in 2018. Also, in 2018 the United States faced an annual loss of $240 billion. This number is estimated to increase by 50% within the next decade. There are many factors that contribute to scarcity from climate change. The warmer temperatures we are experiencing are increasing the amount of crop pests which has decreased the supply of wheat, rice and maize. Studies have shown that there will be water scarcity in 60% of wheat-growing regions in a few decades. This will lead to a drop in things like the production of cereal, which right now is around 20% of the caloric intake by humans. I don’t know about you, but I love my cereal. The countries that will mostly be affected are the United States, Russia, and the European union. These regions are already experiencing a scarcity of 15%. It was determined by scientists from numerous countries such as the United States, The Czech Republic, Austria, China, Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom that even if we were to significantly cut down on the carbon dioxide emissions many of the wheat growing areas will still be affected by a severe drought. It has been found in studies that for every rise in global temperature by one degree Celsius, there will be a 4-6.5% decrease in global wheat production. Unfortunately, there is not much of a crop replacement for wheat as the alternatives require more water to grow. This will greatly affect us as there is a projected increase of 43% in demand for cereals. This shortage in supply globally will result in an increase in global food prices. So now supply is decreasing, and demand is increasing. The melting of the ice glaciers due to climate change will also have a large impact because the glaciers provide the world with three quarters of the world’s freshwater. Some areas such as China, India, and Other Asian countries rely on them for drinking water and for irrigation water. In order to produce a single person’s daily food, around 2,000-5,000 liters of fresh water are needed. Also, employment has significantly decreased in agriculture. It is projected that by 2050 the world’s population will increase by 2 billion and so the demand for food will also increase. With a decrease in supply of food and an increase in demand, how will we feed all these people? An increase in prices as a result of the decrease in supply will also affect many because not everyone will be able to afford the new prices. So, when will we wake up and realize that climate change is real and already affecting us? We have already started taking some minimal precautions. But more needs to be done and more people need to be more environmentally conscious. Climate change effects more than just the weather, it effects so much more than that, our economy being one of them. It is about time we start worrying about it.

[MUSIC]

MICHAEL: There you have a folks on another edition of Oz-onomics, where economics becomes easier for Oswego students to understand where you get your money that you pay for your tuition worth. If you feel like being ahead of the curve, grab a seat, grab your phone, shift your fingers left and right. And download Oz-onomics on the podcast app. See you later.

The introduction to this podcast was provided by Kate Soanes and Gabriella Schaff. Michael Kolawale provided the outro. Music by Lobo Loco.

 

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