Skip to main content

You've probably heard science followers say, fixing the climate mess might be expensive, but not fixing it is going to be a lot more expensive.  I like to refer to it as the Republican climate change denial tax on America.  That tax is not only on fixing infrastructure from more common or stronger hurricanes and floods, it also comes in the form of higher prices.  Higher food prices from super droughts quickly comes to mind, but higher prices for things like property insurance may also be here or just around the corner.

Insurance companies aren't fools, they can be greedy, creepy little things, but they're not fools.  They don't want to pay more for claims than they have to, and they're not going to ignore 97% of climate scientists describing a new rapidly changing climate that could easily bankrupt them.  Politics makes strange bed fellows and those fighting to stop the oncoming climate disaster just might find they have a new ally.

From The Chicago Tribune:

An insurance company is suing Will County and 12 county municipalities, alleging that the governments did not do enough to prevent and mitigate flood damage caused by the heavy rains of April 2013.

The lawsuit, by Illinois Farmers Insurance Company and Farmers Insurance Exchange, as well as its subsidiaries, filed the "proposed class action" on behalf of itself, other property insurance companies, those insured by the companies and property owners who "sustained property and other economic losses" due to flooding that took place on April 17 and 18, 2013, the lawsuit states.

...

The potential danger of failing to properly manage stormwater and sanitary sewer systems "was foreseeable and greatly outweighed the practicability and cost of proper management of its sewers," the lawsuit states.

The governments should have been prepared for a higher volume of rain that would fall more intensely and for a longer duration due to climate changes during the past 40 years, the lawsuit states.

So the Republican climate change denial tax is hitting the property insurance companies and they're none to pleased about it.  But insurance companies seem to be more in the business of collecting premiums than paying for claims and they don't want to pay.
Climate change is shaping up to be really expensive. So who picks up the tab? That’s the issue in a lawsuit filed recently by Farmers Insurance against Chicago and its suburbs.

...

Andrew Logan looks at the insurance industry for Ceres, a non-profit that coordinates private-sector efforts to address climate change.

“I think what the insurers are saying is: ‘We’re in the business of covering unforeseen risks. Things that are basically accidents,’” Logan says. “‘But we’re now at a point with the science where climate change is now a foreseeable risk.’”

...

“Even if a city is likely to win a lawsuit, it still is going to have to spend quite a bit in defending itself,” he says. “And it might just be better for everybody involved for cities to take climate change seriously.”

It's one thing for Republicans, looking down from their shiny palaces on the hill, not to care if the people living in the lowlands have to pay for flood damage, but when your Oligarch or Corporate masters start having to pay, well, we're about to see how that works out.  Marco Rubio sure picked a bad week to come out as a science denier.

But one of the worst parts of the Republican climate change denial tax is the hidden tax on American taxpayers from things in the U.S. budget like crop insurance.

In any case, taxpapyers are on the hook for climate-related disruption of US food production—mainly in annual outlays for crop insurance. In February 2013, the same month that the USDA released its bleak assessment on global warming, the Government Accountability Office released a statement warning about the federal government's "fiscal exposure to climate change," including the crop insurance program.

Based on USDA data, if the current version of the farm bill were extended ten years into the future, even without expansions under debate, crop insurance would cost $8.41 billion per year, or $84.1 billion total, according to Jim Langley of the Congressional Budget Office. With the expansions the projected costs rise to about $99 billion. And that figure does not account for recent climate-related impacts on crop yields, including the drought of 2011 and 2012 in Texas and the midwest.

...

According to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, taxpayer subsidies for crop insurance averaged $3.1 billion annually between 2000-2006, but have more than doubled to an average of $7.6 billion for 2007-2012.

...

But they don't talk about global warming. They talk about drought, which is something their elders survived in the 30s and 50s by dint of off-farm work, gardens, and butchered hogs. Even those who monitor climate science and allow themselves an occasional "sinking feeling," as one farmer put it, are constrained by the stubborn optimism that is necessary for farming. If you thought more than one year out, one told me, "you couldn't get out of bed in the morning."

So what if the government were to pull the plug on crop insurance? It would mark the end of independent farming on the southern plains, says Bodine, where his family's been farming almost 100 years. "There is a legacy here," he told me.  "You do away with crop insurance, there's no way people can get financed."

I have to admit that it kinda makes me twinge to hear someone deny global warming with one breath and in the next, say that can't make it without the financial help the government is providing because of the effects of global warming.

So not only is climate change here today, it's costing big bucks and those costs are increasing rapidly.  The Republican climate change denial tax is a tax on everyone, it's a tax that's increasing, and it could be one of the largest taxes Americans have ever seen.

Originally posted to pollwatcher on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Jill, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, Chi, Brainwrap, Gooserock, karlpk, Shockwave, LynChi, Wintermute, hubcap, cskendrick, BlackSheep1, whenwego, ivote2004, PeteZerria, Cedwyn, dksbook, wader, kharma, yet another liberal, Catte Nappe, lcrp, ybruti, Steven D, oortdust, marina, Tinfoil Hat, qofdisks, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, eru, SaraBeth, most peculiar mama, Ginny in CO, Rusty in PA, bookwoman, peacestpete, xaxnar, golem, myboo, Mr Bojangles, cookseytalbott, AoT, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, Ashaman, The Hindsight Times, Rosaura, Crashing Vor, JVolvo, Preston S, BlueMississippi, thenekkidtruth, crystal eyes, bstotts, krwheaton, ammasdarling, Russ Jarmusch, camlbacker, offgrid, FishOutofWater, wildweasels, HeartlandLiberal, letsgetreal, SeaTurtle, millwood, Don midwest, Assaf, fb, Mike Williams, JDWolverton, mconvente, TX Freethinker, GAS, Sixty Something, Youffraita, brooklynbadboy, wade norris, Buckeye Nut Schell, VL Baker, monkeybrainpolitics, Cassandra Waites, KrazyKitten, BYw, Mayfly, dmhlt 66, forgore, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Bule Betawi, Ran3dy, nchristine, LinSea, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, janmtairy, LibrErica, asym, bfitzinAR, Keith Pickering, sfarkash, jfromga, LookingUp, Words In Action, SeattleTammy, CS11, Polly Syllabic, pixxer, anonevent, ericlewis0, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, Maximilien Robespierre, mama jo, Liberal Capitalist, slowbutsure, Mr MadAsHell, Teiresias70, boomerchick, marleycat, IB JOHN, enhydra lutris, poliwrangler, Joe Jackson, Marihilda, this is only a test, just another vortex, caryltoo, No one gets out alive, greenbastard, Eric Nelson, pimutant, a2nite, lunachickie, New Minas, james321, rat racer, ItsaMathJoke, Glen The Plumber, George3, Windowpane, madcitysailor, GoGoGoEverton, Lily O Lady, John Crapper, jusjtim35, leeleedee, JerryNA, ModerateJosh, ET3117, Portia Elm, panzergeek, Fish Man, thanatokephaloides, nerafinator, BMScott, Older and Wiser Now

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site