Much as we may hate to admit it and don’t want to think about it, our burning of fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect. This results in climate change. It costs us. Local costs include the loss of agriculture in the Yakima Valley as less summer snowmelt is available for irrigation because more winter precipitation falls as rain in a warmer climate. National costs include the billions of dollars the U.S. government spends annually on imported oil and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and the trillions of dollars of property value that will be lost as sea level rises, subsidized by National Flood Insurance.
The costs keep rising, and are rising with interest. The costs of climate damage are higher than the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As time marches on, it will only become more and more expensive to pay for these costs and mitigate these effects.