Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) requested a report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to figure out just how much money climate change is costing us. If anyone knows all the ins and outs of climate science it’s the bean counters at GAO, am I right? The story at NBC News is presented with zero skepticism or curiosity by Clinton campaign operative reporter Alex Seitz-Wald.

“Climate change impacts are already costing the federal government money, and these costs will likely increase over time as the climate continues to change,” the report found.

It’s impossible to put a precise price tag on climate change, the report noted, but said research shows “the impacts and costs of extreme events — such as floods, drought and other events — will increase in significance as what are considered rare events become more common and intense because of climate change.”

This is the same line part-time man-bear-pig, Al Gore has been pushing for years now. Other than people like Bill Nye who blame every rained out picnic on climate change, the extreme weather fear mongering was pretty low key for the last decade or so in which we had relatively little hurricane activity. With several major hurricanes making landfall and doing serious damage this season, Collins and Cantwell are clearly in “do something” mode.

With several major hurricanes making landfall and doing serious damage this season, Collins and Cantwell are clearly in “do something” mode. Just like the gun control nuts who leap into action after a mass shooting to pass legislation that would do nothing to stop mass shootings, the two Senators are determined to take equally ineffective action to fix the weather. I suspect that this is mostly kabuki theater intended to give the impression that they’re being responsive, but they probably genuinely believe that hurricanes are a problem they are equipped to fix.

This year’s unusually destructive hurricane season has already been a drain on Federal Emergency Management Agency coffers, and California’s historically deadly fires are likely to cost the government even more.

The Senate on Tuesday is expected to approve an additional $36.5 billion in disaster relief, which has already passed the House. That’s on top of the $15 billion in supplemental disaster funds Congress approved last month, suggesting this year’s tab will be unusually high.

“We cannot ignore the impact of climate change,” Collins said in a statement. “This nonpartisan GAO report Senator Cantwell and I requested contains astonishing numbers about the consequences of climate change for our economy and for the federal budget in particular.”

At best the report contains wild-ass guesses based on other wild-ass guesses though I have no doubt that Collins is genuinely astonished. The number of arbitrary assumptions they must have used in this report probably makes it about as reliable as Obama’s promises about the ACA.

The report says the government should take more preparations to deal with climate-related weather events, noting that previous GAO studies had found “the federal government had no comprehensive, strategic approach” to disaster resilience, nor did it have “strategic government-wide priorities related to climate change.”

Are there weather events that aren’t climate related? What’s really astonishing is how easily the concept of climate has become interchangeable with the theory of man-caused climate change for politicians and reporters.

The report acknowledges that its conclusions are imprecise and incomplete, since it requires linking complicated climate and economic models, but the GAO is known for being conservative in its estimates, especially on controversial issues.

It’s unclear whether by “conservative” Seitz-Wald means the GAO is estimating high or low. It probably doesn’t even matter. Either way, I would guess that there very few less accurate documents on the planet than this report.