Autumn “Falling Back”. One implication of climage change and a slowly warming atmosphere? A longer growing season. The graph above, courtesy of Climate Central, shows how the end of the growing season, nationwide, has shifted from October 28 in the early 80s to November 9 as of 2008.
Climate Change Report Causes Alarm. The insurance industry is taking weather and climate trends very seriously, because it’s already impacting profitability and their bottom line. Here’s a quote from a recent story at The National Law Review that caught my eye: “…Global cat losses are increasing, she explained. In the 1980s, “the rolling 10-year annual average for the worldwide cat loss was less than $10 billion. In the last few years that average has jumped up to more than $50 billion average, based on that 10-year rolling time frame.” In addition, 2005, 2011 and 2012 represent the top three insured cat loss years on record, she noted. Given the IPCC’s conclusion on flood, drought and changing weather patterns and evidence of this over the past 50 years, the industry needs to evaluate how these changes could impact future losses…”
The Case For Combating Climate Change With Nuclear Power And Fracking. The jury may still be out on the long-term implications and environmental (ground water) risks related to hydraulic fracture to extract shale gas, but new (safer) forms of nuclear power may become an important part of our low-carbon energy mix in the future. Here’s a clip from a story at Forbes: “Joseph B. Lassiter believes that nuclear power and shale gas are on the right side of the fight against climate change, and that markets have a better shot at winning the fight than governments do…..His proposed market-based solution? “I think each energy source—oil, natural gas, wind, nuclear, solar, etc.—should have a market price based not only on its production costs, but also, in part, on its unique public costs reflected by revenue-neutral taxes: a carbon emissions tax, a security-of-supply tax, a catastrophe insurance tax, and even a local emissions abatement tax,” he says. “While people hate the thought of paying more taxes, we are in truth paying most of these ‘taxes’ today. Unfortunately, the political process allows these taxes—or subsidies—to be hidden in rules, regulations, and foreign policy decisions…”
Q&A: Taking On Climate Skepticism As A Field Of Study. Here’s a clip from a question and answer session at The New York Times: “…But I do think that there is a process by which, for example, the connection between cigarette smoking and cancer for decades had a scientific consensus that this was an issue, then a social process begins, and then it becomes accepted. The interesting thing with climate change, I find, is that positioning on climate change is strikingly predictable based on someone’s political leanings. One-third of Republicans and three-quarters of Democrats think that climate change is real. That to me speaks to the political, ideological and cultural dimensions of this debate. It’s interesting because it wasn’t always so. In 1997 with the Kyoto treaty, with the development of regulations that would impact economic and political interests, sides started to be drawn. We’ve reached the stage today that climate change has become part of the culture wars, the same as health care, abortion, gun control and evolution…”
Climate Change: “Adapt Or Bust”. GreenBiz.com has the article; here’s the intro: “Probably no sector is more conservative than the insurance industry, and I’m not referring to its political posturing. Insurance is, at its essence, a numbers game — about risk management, probability theory, and certainty. And so it is noteworthy that the insurance industry’s concern over climate change continues to grow, and that the warnings are becoming louder and clearer. This isn’t new, of course. I’ve previously covered reports on the growing weather-related economic losses being absorbed by the insurance industry, and on U.S. insurers’ efforts to examine the impact of climate change on the U.S. insurance industry and on insurance consumers…”