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Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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Report: Climate Change Will Put MO Economy, Health at Risk

PHOTO: A new report says Missouri's notoriously hot and humid summer days will become more common, and more unbearable, in the very near future, with significant consequences for people and businesses if nothing is done to reduce carbon emissions. Photo credit: Paul Anderson / Morguefile.com.
PHOTO: A new report says Missouri's notoriously hot and humid summer days will become more common, and more unbearable, in the very near future, with significant consequences for people and businesses if nothing is done to reduce carbon emissions. Photo credit: Paul Anderson / Morguefile.com.
July 1, 2014

ST. LOUIS - Missouri summers are known for high temperatures and abundant humidity, but both could become far more dramatic and take a greater toll on the state's health and economy, according to a new report on the possible impacts of climate change.

The report from the Risky Business Project warns that extreme heat could drive down crop yields in Missouri by nearly three-quarters by the end of the century. Dan Curran, a partner at the St. Louis-based ad agency Manifest Digital, says there is a ripple effect.

"We work with large food manufacturers," says Curran, "so if there is a grain issue or a commodities issue, it will affect us immediately."

The report recommends that agriculture and other industries minimize their financial risks by changing practices to become more resilient and building risk assessment into their investments.

Curran says in light of climate change, his organization has made a concerted effort to change the way they do business. This includes switching to more environmentally-friendly materials, and locating offices near mass-transit options. He says this is not only what potential clients and employees expect, but he feels it's the responsible thing to do.

"Whether you think you're making a small impact or a modest impact or a large impact, it's an impact," says Curran. "At some point it will catch up to all of us."

The Risky Business Project report also found Missouri could have as many as 75 days a year with temperatures exceeding 95 degrees by the end of the century, compared with an average of about three such days per year over the last 40 years. Rutgers University climate scientist and report co-author Robert Kopp says that would have consequences for businesses as well.

"One of the things that was striking from the analysis was that mortality - the additional deaths due to hotter temperatures - actually had one of the largest economic impacts," says Kopp. "Those impacts could amount to several percentages of the nation's gross domestic product."

The Risky Business Project is a joint partnership of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Bloomberg Philanthropies; the Paulson Institute, founded by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; and TomKat Charitable Trust.

Mona Shand/Tommy Hough, Public News Service - MO