At least 10,000 people lost their lives when a tropical cyclone struck the nation of Myanmar, in Southeast Asia. Perhaps the jury is still out on the extent to which storm intensity can be related to climate change. What is clear is that sea-level rise will make future storms, more intense or no, much more deadly in many developing nations. We can talk about pain at the pump for Americans being a serious problem, but it pales in comparison to the threat to human life posed by global warming.
Another note: Myanmar is one of a handful of rice exporters in the region. With food supplies already tight, it won’t take many of these kinds of events to wreak serious havoc in global food markets. Expensive food in America is a problem, but it’s not a deadly problem. The same cannot be said in much of the developing world.
So really, what is that hour-long commute worth to us? Can we really not afford to place a price on carbon and offer China the necessary incentives to follow suit?