Posts Tagged ‘Cycling’

Climate Change and the Economic Impact on Arizona Citizens

April 23rd, 2022

Climate Change: The Growing Threat To The Economy in Arizona

Climate change may be a worldwide problem, but in many ways America’s mid-west is among the most vulnerable to economic fallout. Changes due to new laws designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions burden the local agricultural industry with additional expenses. At times, the costs of meeting federal standards actually force a reduction in employees. Even the impact of global warming on water resources runs stronger in the mid-west than in other U.S. regions.

And the people are not unaware of the problem. Local polls indicate that Arizona citizens are already pushing state and federal governments to make changes. But the focus of the outcry exceeds an effort to push for changes that reduce the patterns that have promoted global warming or that accelerate the transition to clean energy resources. For those most affected by the new rules and regulations, the outcry demands that Arizona’s leaders come up with a plan that effectively reduces the impact of the shifts in climate without crashing the local economic balance.

And finding the solution proves not to be easy.

Climate Change – Already Evidenced By An Increase In Arizona’s Hot Weather Trend

Throughout the nation, global warming has thrown loops into local weather patterns. Seasons are mixing. Cold air comes in the middle of summer and warm air lingers in the winter. For the last several decades, the temperatures in Arizona have continuously risen by nearly two degrees Fahrenheit year after year. The pace of increase exceeds that of any other region within the lower 48 states. Furthermore, current projections indicate that by 2050, the heat increase will leap up by another three to five degrees.

Although there is yet time to gain control and promote reduction of the ongoing shift in climate, rapid urbanization continues to generate a catch-22 economic complication. For the economy to prosper, growth and progress must continue. Yet as the urbanization expands, the urban heat island effect promotes higher local temperatures and longer seasons. For residents of Arizona, the nighttime temperatures exceed those of the adjoining natural regions by as much as 10 degrees. Then comes the catch-22: Progress promotes a greater increase in local climate change yet without progress the economy suffers, jobs are loss, and families go hungry.

Throughout the mid-west:

The season of summertime has extended
The occurrence of extraordinarily high temperatures is above normal
The number of nights experiencing 90-plus degree temperatures is on the rise
The rivers are losing water
Concentrations of water pollution reflect higher water temperatures
Dust, dry landscapes and an increase in smog due to the increase in local fires are but a shadow of what may be yet to come.
Precipitation is down
Scientists predict a mid-century decline in Arizona’s water supply that may dip as low as 40-percent of the current resource availability.
And the list goes on. Droughts are already here, and the lack of precipitation continues to stretch the resources of the Colorado River system. From the northern forests to the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands, global warming places unique pressure on Arizona’s natural ecosystem. And the increased demand of economic and population growth merely accelerates the complications.

According to studies from the Sandia National Laboratory, declines in local precipitation will most assuredly impact major Arizona industry sectors, including agriculture, mining and utilities. Spin-offs from costs increases incurred by these industries will affect consumer incomes, spending and population throughout the state.

The Sandia study has determined Arizona as one of the most vulnerable states in the U.S. Agriculture and ranching face some of the greatest challenges for survival and economic growth, with marginalized farmers feeling the most impact.

Much more can be said concerning the effects of climate change on the Arizona economy. But the real question revolves around how local, state and federal agencies respond now, today. We need to equalize the cost structure and establish an economically practical resolution to the effects of global warming.