When you see mind boggling images of destroyed stadiums and demolished streets on the news, like those from Hurricane Katrina, it’s hard to understand the individual impact. To put it in a personal perspective, we’ve tabulated the amount of money per American that will be spent on natural disasters in one lifetime. The number is a staggering $20,000 per American. And that’s on the low end. This does not take into account the projections for more frequent disasters (Since 1980, the average 1 billion+ destructions per year is 3.5; In 2011, we’ve had 10) or the sure boom in population the U.S. will see over the next decades.
In your lifetime, this is a brand new car, like the Volkswagen Jetta. 8 years of gas. 8 years of utilities. 3 years at UC Berkeley—one of the nation’s leading institutions of higher education. The best investment possible for our future is to be informed about the increasing trend of natural disasters and to adapt to climate change to minimize the costs and damage associated with these catastrophes.
Now more than ever, we as Americans must be educated about the high costs facing our nation from climate change. Hurricanes (Irene), twisters (Joplin), droughts (TX), floods (Mississippi River), and everything in between, are happening more intensely all across the nation. This is our call to adapt to our environment and get smart to battle the elements. If we start working now, in the end, the costs won’t be so great and our quality of life will be exponentially better.