07 Nov '11, 10pm

Climate Change Health Costs Add Up to One Big Bill (via @OnEarthMag)

Climate Change Health Costs Add Up to One Big Bill (via @OnEarthMag)

To be sure, compared to overall health spending -- more than $2.5 trillion, with some $800 billion from private insurers -- climate-related health costs may initially seem to be hardly more than a rounding error. But the $14 billion "is certainly an underbid" in terms of the annual health-care costs of climate change, says Knowlton. That’s because each of the six calamities they studied -- high levels of ozone pollution; a heat wave; hurricanes; a vector-borne disease outbreak; river flooding; and wildfires -- is likely to strike the U.S. more than once a year, and suffering one disaster doesn’t mean a state or region won’t be struck by another. The $14 billion is therefore just a fraction of what health costs related to climate change are likely to suck out of cities, states, businesses, and individuals every year.

Full article: http://www.onearth.org/article/climate-change-health-cost...

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