If by now you are not concerned about #climate change, you should be. Gone are the days of widespread speculation that were amplified in 2006 when former Vice President, Al Gore, first publicly raised awareness for #global warming in his film An Inconvenient Truth. Despite criticism, distrust, and even outright mocking that was displayed in response to the Academy Award winning documentary, Al Gore and others have long since been on the right track when it comes to the reality of climate change and global warming.
Had we begun to take climate change and global warming seriously back in 2006 when Al Gore had warned us to, we may have avoided many of the problems and climate change issues we are experiencing today. Now, just over 13 years after Al Gore’s pleas first hit the media, there is no doubt that we have no more time to waste and no more room for hesitation when it comes to actually tackling climate change once and for all.
The Costs of Climate Change
The cost of climate change is immense and only increasing substantially with each passing year. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the cost for disaster aid for taxpayers in the United States since 2005 has risen to a total of $450 billion, including nearly $19.1 billion in supplemental appropriations that were signed into law this past June. In 2018 alone, 14 separate, billion-dollar climate change and weather-related disasters in the United States occurred, costing our nation nearly $91 billion in relief funds.
What most taxpayers and politicians are not considering is that some of these climate change–related disasters can be prevented. We need to start investing in climate change solutions that can help minimize or eliminate the disasters we are seeing all over our planet.
According to Rob Moore, a senior policy analyst and climate adaptation and resilience expert for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the warnings laid out in the GAO’s latest financial report are on par with warnings previously given by financial experts. Ultimately, the costs of climate change-related disasters in the United States are now outweighing our ability to pay for them. Moore stated in an interview that political and federal agencies, “are still treating these disasters as random events” – when, in fact, they are not random. Moore believes that the senseless relief spending must stop and money should be put towards preventative investments instead to help stop these disasters from happening in the first place.
#Artificial Intelligence as a Solution to Climate Change
What we all need to be asking ourselves is, what is the ultimate solution? While time has passed that we can never get back to devote to healing our planet, we can start now. The good news is, with every passing year, technology improves substantially. Tackling climate change directly will require solutions unlike any we have yet to see thus far. Is it possible that advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence, will be the answer to saving our planet?
Proponents of artificial intelligence and leading scientists in their fields seem to think so. A recent report titled Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning was showcased at an AI conference this past June. In the report, three specific areas are mentioned where artificial intelligence can help combat climate change.
First, AI can be used to create better climate prediction models. Experts in the climate informatics field, a discipline created in 2011, believe that the complex models that AI can produce will help clarify the damaging effects of climate change and help us better predict how to avoid these damages in the future.
Next, AI can help show the real effects of climate change before they happen. For example, researchers at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA), Microsoft, and other AI software development companies have created a simulator that shows individuals what their homes and neighborhoods might look like if a massive, climate change-induced flood were to strike.
Finally, AI can assist in worldwide carbon output monitoring. With better tracking capabilities, certain regions could be rewarded with tax benefits for reduced carbon output and culprits of the largest carbon emissions could be pinpointed and monitored.
What do you think about utilizing technology to beat global warming and the negative effects of climate change? As of now, any advancements in intelligence and technology will be needed if we hope to leave a habitable and happy planet for generations to come.
Read the latest climate change financial report from the GAO here: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/699605.pdf