What kind of disruptions should Americans anticipate from climate change? According to the studies that have informed federal policy, the scenario is dire: increased deaths from extreme heat and air pollution, as well as reduced economic productivity. In a groundbreaking new report, however, MI senior fellow Oren Cass argues that the situation is not nearly so grim.
The ﬂaw in such dire predictions, he argues, is that they fail to account for adaptation. Some analyses, for example, forecast a spate of heat-related deaths in northern cities experiencing increasingly warm weather; but southern cities that already experience comparable temperatures—having made the necessary adjustments—have had no such catastrophes. As a result of these ﬂawed assumptions, the long-term costs of climate change are being consistently overstated while too little energy is being devoted to plans for adaptation.
Oren Cass is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he focuses on energy, the environment, and antipoverty policy. Previously, he was a management consultant for Bain & Company, as well as domestic policy director of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. He holds a B.A. from Williams College and a J.D. from Harvard University.