It costs a lot to be young in the era of climate change, $187,000 for a college education, to be precise, and climate change will cost Millennials, that is to say people born between 1980 and 2000 in the western world, growning up with web, media and digital technology, more than student debts and the Great Recession. That figure, which represents the amount of income lost over the lifetime of someone born in 1994, is significantly greater than the usual economic challenges of the young people who have started their careers at a time of great economic crisis.
The old pals Student Debt and the Great Recession will only cost Millennials $113,000 and $112,000 over their lives, respectively. And to make matters worse a new report from NextGen Climate, an environmental advocacy organization founded in 2013 in San Francisco with the intention to prevent climate disaster and promote the prosperity for every American,quantifies the economic impacts of a rapidly changing global ecosystem. For the Millennial generation as a whole, the price tag is nearly $8.8 trillion. As well as the whole community scramble for resources to deal with various climate impacts, young people will pay for the ecological and social disasters created by older generations: rising sea levels, drought, declining crop productivity, heat-related health problems, wildfire and so on. In response, incomes will plummet and tax bills will climb.
And if no action is taken, now and immediately, one-year-old babies will eventually bear an even bigger financial burden: $581,000 over the course of their lifetimes. Millennials are certainly more used to support student debt than any other generation, and in addition, they have lived through the second-worst economic crisis in the nation's history. But those costs are only small peanuts compared to what's in store, unless we act fast.