April 01, 2023
Hope you and your church are making plans for a meaningful Earth Day, April 22, 2023.
Usually, this blog gives you ways to save money by fighting climate change. This month we will look at a variety of ways that a changing climate is making life more expensive for most people. There is hope if we keep fighting to make human societies greener, but here are some examples of how climate change is making our lives more expensive:
Cotton Products: 2022 drought and heat blamed on climate change caused the collapse of cotton grown in Texas. This cotton is used in gauze pads, diapers, cotton balls, tampons, and other products. These products increased in price 8-21%.1
Homeowners Insurance: Nationwide, homeowners saw an average of 12.1% increase to insurance. Rates are climbing much higher in flood and fire zones. Beach front properties in New England are seeing costs skyrocket to $4,000-$5,000 a year. Even if a person has inherited the home, they may not be able to afford this kind of insurance and it is increasingly difficult to sell these homes.2
Food: "Heatflation” caused many foods to become more expensive in 2022. Crops failed, fish and livestock faced die offs from the heat and that increased prices.3
Utility bills: Delivering municipal water gets more expensive both due to drought and due to extreme precipitation events. Electricity costs are effected by extreme heat or cold and by power outages caused by stronger storms.4
Inflation: Climate change from all of the above and other reasons impacts inflation. Severe storms can take out power plants, supply chains and increase construction costs. Higher heat makes workers less productive. Increasing costs of fossil fuels drives a huge amount of inflation. Green energy sources do not use “fuels” with a cost. Wind, sun, and ground source heat are the main fuels, and they are free. This is a one reason why they are cheaper in the long term.
As Christians we are called to care for God’s earth and for all the living inhabitants of the earth. We are being faithful when we are reducing, re-using and recycling and transitioning to greener ways of powering our human societies. Pray and then act. Happy Earth Day!
1.New York Times “How climate change is making tampons (and lots of other stuff) more expensive”. Updated Feb 23, 2023 https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/18/climate/climate-change-cotton-tampons.html
2. “As climate change threatens some homes are getting too costly to insure” CNBC Updated Aug. 9, 2022 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/07/climate-change-is-making-some-homes-too-costly-to-insure.html
3. 5 ways Climate Change made life more expensive in 2022. Grist Dec 21, 2022 https://grist.org/economics/5-ways-climate-change-made-life-more-expensive-in-2022/