A government agency just warned this week’s West Coast wildfires could spark a financial crisis. A top economi – Business Insider India

Chess Study

More than 85 wildfires are ripping through California, Oregon and Washington state, and people's lives and homes aren't the only things at risk.

The historic 2020 wildfire season, which has already burned over 3 million acres, is far worse than last year's due to climate change, scientists have said. The trend has economists saying the economy for the region and even the country is in danger.

The West Coast home to Silicon Valley and tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and Apple could take a dramatic hit over the next five to 10 years because of increasing wildfires, according to Matthew Khan, a Bloomberg distinguished professor of economics and business at Johns Hopkins University and a provost professor of Economics at the University of Southern California.

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"If there's the belief that California and the West will face a decline in quality of life because of ever-increasing wildfires, then this could actually lead to a brain drain if these companies move headquarters to higher quality of life places in the US," he told Business Insider.

Workers are not as productive when there's high levels of air pollution, numerous studies show.

One 2019 study found that top chess players made significantly more mistakes when the indoor concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution increased.

"People are less productive when it's polluted outside," Khan said.

Increasing wildfires would also be detrimental to the next generation of America's workforce: Children, particularly low-income children who live in higher risk areas and whose families may not be able to afford expensive air purifiers.

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A government agency just warned this week's West Coast wildfires could spark a financial crisis. A top economi - Business Insider India

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