Unmitigated climate change will make the United States poorer and more unequal, predict researchers. The poorest third of counties could sustain economic damages costing as much as 20 percent of their income if warming proceeds unabated.
States in the South and lower Midwest, which tend to be poor and hot already, will lose the most, with economic opportunity traveling northward and westward. Colder and richer counties along the northern border and in the Rockies could benefit the most as health, agriculture, and energy costs are projected to improve.
“Unmitigated climate change will be very expensive for huge regions of the United States,” says Solomon Hsiang, associate professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “If we continue on the current path, our analysis indicates it may result in the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country’s history.”
Read the Futurity story - “Climate change will hit these U.S. economies hardest.”