“Largely ignored as an inflationary driver, however, has been climate change. Like the pandemic, climate change is a global problem manifesting itself in countless ways, many well-hidden. Unlike the pandemic, it will get worse, not better, for the foreseeable future.” Super wrote. “If we wish to control inflation, we must address climate change now.”
The article, which was featured on The Hill, insisted that the effects of climate change are raising the prices of food, housing and all other goods in an inflationary manner.
“Extreme weather events and shifting weather patterns have caused global costs to soar across numerous commodities, from sugar and coffee to wheat and soy,” Super wrote. “And it is not just food, either. Housing becomes more expensive as wood and other building materials no longer grow well where they were traditionally harvested. Soaring weather-related claims push insurance companies to raise premiums sharply or just deny homeowners coverage.”
He added, “Both state governments and private utility companies inevitably pass on costs of increasing major weather disasters, fire mitigation, and grid resilience. Transportation costs rise — and are rolled into almost all goods’ prices — as storms damage bridges and wash out roads. The list goes on.”
Overall, he claimed that moving away from fossil fuels could actually help grow the economy and support “cheaper” alternatives.
“Despite near-record low unemployment, some writers worry that persistent inflation could adversely affect economic growth. Freeing ourselves from fossil fuel dependency is therefore crucial to containing inflation in the medium- and long-term as well as securing sustainable economic growth. And in the short-term, alternative energy now is actually cheaper than fossil fuels,” Super wrote.
In addition, Super called for Congress to pass its latest economic package to enact clean energy provisions to combat climate change.
“The pending congressional economic package’s clean energy provisions would counter climate change’s increasing disruptions of our supply chains and prepare the way for sustainable, non-inflationary growth for decades to come. Congress should expeditiously finalize and pass this legislation,” Super advocated.
In a Quinnpiac poll released in late April, inflation was found to be the most pressing issue for Americans among Republicans, Democrats and independents. By contrast, only 12% of Democrats were concerned about climate change along with only 7% of independents.