Climate Change Slightly Good for North Half of SD, Slightly Bad for South Half

Climate change could be an economic wash in South Dakota. So says this county-by-county map that Governing compiles from a June Science article on the costs of climate change.

Map clip from Natalie DelGadillo, "Map: How Much Climate Change Will Cost Each U.S. County," Governing, 2017.08.23.
Map clip from Natalie DelGadillo, “Map: How Much Climate Change Will Cost Each U.S. County,” Governing, 2017.08.23.

South Dakota lies right on a continental transition point where the benefits of warmer weather—better crop production, fewer people dying from cold—outweigh the costs. Head south and down from the mountains, and climate change is more likely a net negative to farming, outdoor labor productivity, and energy costs.

The counties poised to make out best in a warmer world are Lawrence in the northern Black Hills (2.4% better GDP) and McPherson on the north central prairie (2.3% better GDP). Ziebach in West River could take the worst hit (3.4% worse GDP). Douglas (down 2.4%) and other southeast counties also drop more than others in South Dakota.

According to this climate change analysis, most of West River would see increases in average crop yields, while most of East River would see decreases. Energy expenditures would increase on both sides of the river. Mortality rates would decrease in nearly every county (the exceptions I find are Tripp, Charles Mix, Hutchinson, Douglas, and Hanson), but crime increases everywhere as the number of cold days decreases.

South Dakota is happily removed from any foreseeable coastal damage. The study does not assume mass migration from the coastal and southern areas where climate change would do the greatest economic harm, so it is possible that the study underestimates the possible economic benefits of folks flooded and steamed out of their homes coming to South Dakota to live and work… and we all know how good immigration is for South Dakota’s economy!

7 Responses to Climate Change Slightly Good for North Half of SD, Slightly Bad for South Half

  1. Donald Pay

    The study the map is based on does not include all the damage in any of those categories. We’re just starting to see how the increased storm intensity is causing increased pulses of nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen into lakes. Combine that with invasive species and CAFOs and you’ve got a recipe for water quality degradation, loss of fisheries, etc.

  2. mike from iowa

    Slightly OT, but in Texas with the threat of a major hurricane making landfall tomorrow and people are trying to leave, they have to go through border patrol checkpoints so we can drown the illegals I guess-along with the rest of Southern Texas Dems.

  3. I’ve felt for the past few years that global warming has pushed the prime crop production line North. We’re still not in the bulls eye, but slightly better off none-the-less. On another positive note, the warmer, dryer climate seems to be providing some much needed relief to farmers in the way of removing the state’s water from their property. Thus mitigating their perceived obligation to host unknown sportsmen on their property. Win-win

  4. Last night, I was watching TV and a well-respected educated woman was asking Al Gore why it is that “not even one Republican will take the lead on global warming.” Al Gore didn’t answer the question.

    If I have to watch one more educated person ask a question like that, I might get perfectly angry, as the answer IS obvious.

    If an elected Republican official were to give up an inch on Global Warming, then it would erode the complex web of lies that isolated [mostly rural] people have been encouraged to believe in, and have been victimized by, for decades. The GOP entirely relies on this web of lies to remain intact, or they would cease to exist as an American political party.

    In fact, if the ‘deplorable’ 33% of Americans didn’t exist, Republicans wouldn’t even hold 25% of the seats in the U.S. House, Senate, or even the White House.

    Also, in fact, when you look back on the last 30 years of American politics, Republicans would have been a permanent minority, nationwide, if the ‘deplorable’ Americans weren’t so gosh darned deplorable.

    They have been deplorable for much longer then we give them credit for, and the reasonable people of this country getting mad as hell is long over due.

    In conclusion, this large web of rural conservative lies needs to be exposed. For example, if you ever thought Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. or Hillary needs to be locked up, then you have let yourself become a victim of lies, isolation and fear. Rural people are susceptible to fear mongering and misinformation as they don’t have much exposure to the way the majority of Americans live, or think, so it’s extra easy to prey upon them, politically, to encourage them to believe in plausible lies designed to make them fear the media, fear educated people, and fear their U.S. government.

    How wrong could be for a South Dakota Democrat running for a statewide office to say these things on the campaign trail? It’s time to grow small balls and tell it like it is – or election 2018 is going to suck in South Dakota.

  5. Porter Lansing

    Hear, hear Adam. Whatever a blonde in a short skirt on Fake Fox News tells ’em automatically is truer than William Tell’s arrow.

  6. Porter, thanks, but the burden of accountability needs to be clearly targeted on the gullibility and victimization of isolated, fear driven, voters by big city academic executives – like Wayne LaPierre. It should not so much be about the proponents of the web of conserva-lies (such as Fox News and Alex Jones) as they are just trying to retain power, make money doing it, and it will never stop until their customers stop buying the product.

    How else could conservatives ever buy a different product if it is never made clear that they have been made to believe a complex string of lies and deception? The answer is: they can’t.

    Eventually, a rural Democrat will run like they know they’ll probably loose, almost like they don’t care, BUT tell it like it truly is because they are truly passionate about issues – more than they fear the idea of possibly being disliked by their neighbors after a loss.

    We need a lot more Jay Williams-like candidates in South Dakota, and we need to fund their campaigns properly, not because we think he has a chance, but because we want SD conservatives to hear his message as it could help them see the world a little differently. That’s what we need.

  7. Global Warming is one of the most perfect issues to do this with.