A firefighter works to extinguish the Bobcat Fire after an evacuation was ordered for the residents of Arcadia, California, US, Sept 13, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]
It'll start getting cooler. You just watch.
Continuing to engage with China represents the only clear path to addressing the climate crisis. Decoupling, in contrast, would mean pursuing a small victory in the short term and courting disaster in the long term.
But the most promising way to tackle climate change—the formation of a "climate club" of major economies…
Decoupling would make it almost impossible for the United States and its partners to create strong incentives for China to participate in a climate club and would thus scotch the best hope for preventing the worst-case scenarios of environmental devastation.
…even if one considers only the direct damage that climate change will likely inflict on the United States in just the next 30 years, the cost in terms of lost lives and property will be massive.
忧思科学家联盟（Union of Concerned Scientists）2018年的一份报告显示，未来30年内，美国超过30万个沿海房屋将面临周期性洪灾的风险，这意味着平均每年至少发生26次洪灾（或每两周一次）。
During that time, according to a 2018 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, more than 300,000 coastal homes in the United States will be at risk of chronic flooding, meaning a flood event at least 26 times a year—or every two weeks, on average.
The nearly 200-page report warned that climate change is already impacting or is anticipated to impact "nearly every facet of the economy", from infrastructure, agriculture, and residential and commercial property to people's health and labor productivity.
"Extreme weather events continue to sweep the nation from the severe wildfires of the West to the devastating Midwest derecho and damaging Gulf Coast hurricanes," CFTC Commissioner Rostin Behnam said in a statement.
"…escalating weather events also pose significant challenges to our financial system and our ability to sustain long-term economic growth."
From the standpoint of US national security, climate change also represents a threat multiplier, according to numerous studies by the US Department of Defense.
A man walks by CORT Furniture Outlet on Sutter St as an orange wildfire haze blankets San Francisco, California, US, September 9, 2020 in this image obtained from social media. [Photo/Agencies]
Unfortunately, effective climate policy has fallen victim to a political dilemma in the United States.
The past few years have seen a heated debate among US politicians and analysts about whether the United States should "decouple" from China by severing the supply chains, trade relationships, and financial links that bind together the world's two largest economies, transforming a one-world economy into two separate spheres of influence.
…it would be foolish to dismiss the economic costs of decoupling — and even more foolish to ignore the ways in which decoupling would make climate change harder, if not impossible, to address.
First, decoupling would be enormously costly. It would disrupt supply chains, reduce the sales figures of US companies in the Chinese markets, and cost American universities hundreds of thousands of Chinese students.
Second, any reduction in interdependence would create security risks of its own: most scholars of international relations believe that strong, mutual economic links reduce the probability of conflict between states, even if they do not eliminate it completely.
The United States should take the first step by working with European countries to create an international climate club of major economies…
Membership would obligate countries to enforce certain pro-climate policies, and the club would apply border adjustments, such as tariffs, on all countries outside of the club.
This success of this strategy would depend on the size of the economies inside the club. Only a large group would make sufficient decarbonization possible — and that means that any successful climate club must include China.
This approach would work, however, only if the United States did not decouple its economy from that of China.
If the two countries were to walk away from the trade and investment that have so thoroughly linked them for the past three decades, Washington would have no easy way to persuade Beijing to join the climate club…