Opinion: States can’t go it alone in the climate fight

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Between 2018 and 2022 with many states High poverty rate – Oklahoma, New York – so were those states. He was seriously injured from bad weather. A new climate study shows that things are getting worse for those places and poor people.

The federal government Fifth National Climate Assessment It was published last week and concluded that we are literally running out of places to hide.

Currently, according to the report, more than half of Americans live in an area that is predicted to experience extreme weather more often. No matter how much people try to put a red-and-blue spin on climate issues, the weather doesn’t seem to matter: Climate damage price tags in Texas and California were roughly the same during the report’s review period.

In the year In 2021, future presidential candidate Ron DeSantis referred to offensive climate change policies as “left-wing stuff.” But wouldn’t you know it, Florida — the state DeSantis presides over — spent a lot during those years.

So far this year, the country has experienced 25 weather disasters costing at least $1 billion — a record number. “Left-wing stuff” is a political position, not a practical one. Here’s a practical concern: Louisiana is spending as much as Texas to deal with climate damage, but it’s in no position to do so. Louisiana’s poverty rate is 18.6%, the second highest in the country. Neighboring Mississippi, which has the nation’s highest child poverty rate at nearly 28%, will be forced to spend more and more money at risk.

Even before the climate price tag becomes even more inflated, the country is struggling to agree on its fiscal priorities. As House Republicans are forever pushing spending cuts and reminding us of our $33 trillion debt, it’s easy to forget that people depend on programs like Medicare and Medicaid, including seniors on fixed incomes— 23% of them live in poverty; People who don’t have much in the bank, like most of America. The Motley Fool reports that the average American has $1,200 in savingsnot much of a swinging room.

The new report on the climate is a cry for help, but Republicans in some poor states make it political. We are beyond the political level. Recently, about 125,000 homes and businesses in Florida It lost power due to heavy rains.. That’s not “left wing stuff,” Gov. DeSantis. It is the main reason for insurance companies Leaving the state.

This is why it is impossible to have realistic policy discussions about spending cuts with politicians who rely on climate change denial to get elected. They are in no position to talk about budgets because they are committed to denying one of the biggest elephants in the room.

And it’s not just the betrayal that concerns him, but the people who suffer because of it: the poor. The tendency to move to cities where a major hurricane is unlikely to hit in the future is to capitalize on the desperation of the rich by exacerbating the vulnerability of the poor. This means there will be more climate refugees in the US, which will exacerbate competition for housing in some areas and increase housing costs. It is not an issue that can be solved by austerity.

It can’t help with crappy rams either. Offshore wind farms drive whales “crazy.” This is just one of many comments from GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on climate change. In the year Some of the states that supported him in 2016 are on the list of top spenders on climate, even though they are very poor. You’d think they’d be ready for real talk on climate policy – which isn’t really just “left-wing stuff.”

I don’t know what all the climate change strategies should be or where the money is going to come from. I know that it is impossible to find answers with leaders who are interested in avoiding the problem.

LZ Granderson is an Op-Ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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