Consumer Reports and Breakthrough Energy recently put numbers on the social cost of carbon, calculating the cost for an American child born in 2024  due to climate change. They found that an American child will face $500,000 and a million dollars in higher cost of living and reduced income during their lifetime as the planet warms, life and food supplies are disrupted, and returns on investments fall.  Consumer Reports’ Senior Policy Analyst for Transportation and Energy Chris Harto, who led the research work for the nonprofit magazine, joins the conversation to discuss the economic consequences of a warming planet. Chris discusses the findings and shares Consumer Reports’ climate action services, and tips on how to reduce today’s impact from home energy and commuting to help relieve our children and their descendants of the burden of climate change.

Chris Harto, Consumer Reports’ Senior Analyst for Transportation and Energy, is our guest on Sustainability In Your Ear.

The social cost of carbon typically described in the aggregate, as representing trillions of dollars in added cost of living for future generations. The Biden administration pegs the social cost of carbon to a ton of emissions, currently pricing the future cost at $51 per ton of CO2 emitted today; more than ten times higher than the Trump era’s $5 per ton estimate but far below science based estimates of $185 per ton, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Resources for the Future. So, It’s hard to imagine the actual impact on us, or our grandchildren. The article, Climate Change Could Cost Each American Born Today $500,000, is available at https://www.consumerreports.org/home-garden/climate-change/the-per-person-financial-cost-of-climate-change-a6081217358/

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at Earth911.com and Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Intentional Futures, an insight-to-impact consultancy in Seattle. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their decisions on the planet.