Climate change naysayers and doubters alike are taking a good hard look at a new report claiming that 2017 was not only the third-hottest year on record, it was also the costliest for natural disasters.
The report, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, indicates that
2017 was a record year for disasters linked to climate change. And, not only were the disasters physically and financially damaging, they were deadly.
362 people lost their lives.
Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma created the most damage, totaling $265 billion.
Wildfires caused $18 billion in losses, tripling previous annual records.
NOAA officials say climate change IS underway and it’s made weather events stronger, more destructive, and longer in duration.
… and it’s not just happening in the U.S. It’s a global phenomenon as well.
Natural disasters cost insurance companies a record $135 billion in last year, according to figures released last week by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer. Counting uninsured losses, that figure climbed to $330 billion.
The German company says disasters in the U.S. made up 50 percent of this year’s losses compared to 32 percent on average years.
(RELATED: Why Now is the Time to Invest in Solar)
There is a glimmer of light, though.
Each one of us has the ability to prevent further climate change — and we can do it with solar energy.
Solar power is such a powerful climate solution because it can reach massive scale thanks to its virtually infinite fuel supply: The sun.
In fact, according to a SolarCity report, the collective impact of solar customers can add up quickly. In 2015 alone, the net amount of CO2 pollution avoided by systems deployed by SolarCity was equivalent to taking over 173,000 cars off the road for a full year, or taking 113,000 U.S. homes entirely off the electric grid for a full year.
And that’s just the start of the environmental benefits, which also include avoiding huge amounts of local air pollution and water use.