2012 was a record year in the United States for a few reasons. First, it was the hottest year on record. Second, it was the second costliest year, with $110 billion spent as a result of climate disasters. Hurricane Sandy, the massive superstorm that hit the northeast United States in late October, cost a staggering $65 billion in damages alone. Droughts and wildfires were also prevalent, with approximately $1 billion being lost as a result of wildfires alone.
We can expect more expensive and deadly disasters in the future as climate change continues to accelerate. The effects of climate change have a real monetary value when you evaluate the damage of these extreme weather events. Imagine if that $65 billion was spent on green technology instead of cleaning up the rubble after the fact? We need real investments in sustainable solutions to our consumption problems, or else we need to get used to paying out large sums of money picking up the pieces.