A single, devastating California fire season wiped out years of efforts to cut emissions of more than 60 tons of toxic chemicals — including those linked to respiratory ailments — each year and is blamed for more than 1,200 premature deaths in the state.
But the state isn’t alone in dealing with the costs of an ever-growing climate crisis. Nearly 600,000 American workers were forced to flee climate-fueled threats in the Pacific Northwest, home to the state government’s largest coastal city. Nearly 600 U.S. cities and towns have been forced to make cuts under a court-ordered plan to curb carbon pollution from power plants and transportation.
And hundreds of American communities are reeling from extreme drought, heat waves, wildfires, droughts and storms, according to the United States Climate Alliance. These events disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities.
But it’s not just California, Oregon, Washington and Puerto Rico facing the climate crisis. There are nearly 300 “climate disasters” taking place in the U.S. every day: heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods — and the list grows annually.
What’s behind the devastating weather events, and what can be done to prevent them and their aftermath? At the World Economic Forum in Davos this past January, we heard global climate change experts and advocates like James Evans, a senior vice president at the World Economic Forum.
Evans talked about the global consequences of climate change, and his organization published an interview with him.
James Evans discusses climate change and its impacts, with Chris Landsea of New York Magazine
“We’re facing a climate of global chaos,” Evans told Landsea. “Our planet is going to the wall, and we’re going to have to figure it out as a people very quickly.”
He said the time is right to act fast. We’re going to have to adapt or face economic and social collapse. “We’re losing the planet, one piece at a time,” Evans said. “I don’t know if we’ll have 50 years, or 50 years, or 5 years, but I do know we will lose…. Eventually, one of these things is going to be