Economic Impacts of Climate Change

Posted: October 15, 2016 in Sustainability
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Stories of Climate Change

University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment (2016)

Film Review

Stories of Climate Change is a short documentary about the economic impact of changing climate – rising sea levels, floods, droughts, short springs and warmer water temperatures – on various North Carolina business owners. Each vignette is a little under four minutes. (If Vimeo is set on autoplay Parts 1-6 and 7-11 should autoplay sequentially. The alternative is to click individual vignettes as they appear in the preview panel on the right).

First up is a beekeeper who reports that shorter springs (resulting in a decline in flowering plants and nectar) kill off up to 50% of her bees every year.

Next is the manager of a seafood market, who talks about sea bass dying out as warmer water temperatures interfere with spawning and other fish species moving as far north as Maryland and New England.

In the third vignette a hunting guide talks about the decline in the number of migratory birds flying south due to warmer temperatures.

In Part 4 a wildlife refuge manager talks about rising sea levels causing increased soil salinity and killing off pine forests that used to support woodpeckers and other native birds.

In Part 5 a fishing guide talks about his region experiencing the drought of the century, the flood of the century and the killing frost of the century – along with a mass of crop failures – in the last five years. He also observes that city people don’t see climate change because they’re out of touch with the natural landscape.

In Part 6 a hunter/fisherman talks about the loss of seasonal variations, resulting in long winters, hot dry summers and unprececidentated infestations of mosquitoes and tics that can last up to Christmas.

In Part 7 a family of asthmatics discusses the direct impact of climate change (long hot summers with lots of pollen and wildfires) on their health.

In Part 8 a trout farmer discusses how decreased oxygenation has caused several years where her entire stock was wiped out.

In Part 9 an oyster fisherman describes how a rise in sea levels is causing increased erosion and sedimentation that is suffocating oyster beds.

In Part 10 an apple grower who took over a 100 year old orchard 200 years ago talks about the loss of his entire crop for four years running. Buds form prematurely due to unseasonably warm March weather and are killed by sudden cold snaps in April.

In Part 11 a ranchers talks about her difficulty managing longer more severe droughts, longer more severe rainy periods and sudden severe heat waves. A few years ago she lost 50 chickens and turkeys when the temperature rose from 70 to 100 in 45 minutes.

Comments
  1. Dr. Bramhall, sadly the reality of the impact of climate change for the people of North Carolina is not shared by their current governor up for re-election.

    According to Greenpeace, “Governor McCrory has a track record of supporting the interests of fossil fuel companies. He has repeatedly dodged questions regarding his climate stance — refusing to acknowledge the scientific consensus around climate change.

    On Face the Nation [the governor] stated, “I feel that there’s always been climate change. The debate is, really, how much of it is man-made and how much will it cost to have any impact on climate change.”

    Learn more at http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/north-carolina-governor-pat-mccrory-has-deep-ties-to-the-fossil-fuel-industry/

    • Very interesting link, Rosaliene. Thanks for sharing. I guess climate change is going to be an issue solved by ordinary people acting at the grassroots level in spite of their so-called leaders. Judging by the rapid replacement of fossil fuel technology by renewable energy technology – everywhere (even in the US) – this seems to be exactly what is happening.

  2. Sometimes it’s difficult to read or watch video about this issue. We’ve got to hope enough people see the light before it’s too late.

    • Good point. My perspective from living outside the US is that both the US and Russia are lagging far behind the rest of the world in transitioning to alternative energy technology. Nevertheless despite the backwardness of the US government, there is lots happening on the local and state level to assist people in reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.

      It’s hard to know what’s happening in Russia because it’s extremely difficult to get information. Hopefully their growing ties with China will lead to increased sharing of renewable technology and less pressure on Russia’s environmental movement.

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