Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Davis paper cited in E&E News article

Tue, 12/08/2020

Environment and Engineering News published an article on December 8th quoting a new paper from AirUCI faculty Steve Davis on the true costs of wildfires.  Official death tolls count only those killed directly by wildfires, but exponentially more deaths are attributed to the smoke and air pollution they generate.  The paper also counts tens of billions of dollars in economic disruption and health costs that are not included in official estimates of $24.7 billion in damage, which tallies only property that was destroyed or damaged.
The study represents an expansive way of calculating disaster costs that is essential for the public to grasp as climate change intensifies events such as wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding, notes Steve. "It's been a challenge for people arguing to take action on climate change," he said. "It's very easy to know the benefits of using fossil fuels, but it's a lot harder to tally up all of these diffuse costs that the climate changing is having.  This is just one step in trying to do that."  Read the article