The tragic fires in Tasmania remind us of the profound impacts a disaster can have on individuals and communities.
As I’ve stated many times I view climate change through a risk management prism: increasing levels of CO2 and other green houses gases lead to higher temperatures as more heat is trapped in our atmosphere – this changes the climate system, raising the number of extreme events. These events can shatter lives, property and communities.
Of course I’m not alone in this view: for many years the insurance industry has been alert to the risks posed by climate change.
The above graph clearly shows an increase in climate, meteorological and hydro-logical related catastrophes in North America since 1980: note these are contrasted to geophysical events which remain relatively steady for the same period.
It looks like a pattern to me.
What do you think?
Cue the sceptics excuses and hand waving…
That hot bed of socialism and advocates for the New World Order, the Insurance Council of Australia published a paper on the issue of climate change in 2008. It provides an insight into how that industry perceives the risks associated with climate change:
In Australia 19 of the 20 largest property losses in the previous 40 years have been weather related. It is in this context that general insurance products provide essential risk cover for Australians. The industry provides a financial recovery mechanism from weather related catastrophes by evaluating, pricing and spreading the risk of such events, and then paying claims when they arise.
The general insurance industry therefore has a heightened awareness of climate change driven by predictions of an increasing number of extreme weather events.
For some decades the global industry has been involved in research concerning the impacts of extreme weather events on communities and has keenly followed the results of climate change research as it has been matured by the scientific community.
There is agreement in the scientific community that a level of climate change can now be described as ‘locked in’ or as ‘unavoidable’. This is regardless of even the most aggressive of mitigation and greenhouse reduction proposals.
These ‘locked in’ changes will arrive on the back of an Australian environment that already has a rich history of weather related natural disasters. On this basis there is a strong need to adapt human behavior to not only predicted increases in extremes but to the current level of extreme weather events that occur in Australia.
The focus for the general insurance industry is to assist in increasing community resilience to extreme weather events as they manifest now and how they may manifest into the future.
Climate change is not a belief or a religion. It is not a hoax cooked up by scientists, or part of a decades long plan by the Illuminati to take over the world.
It is a risk to business, personal property and communities.
It’s that simple.
Climate sceptics are like uninsured home owners pretending there aren’t any risks and that all that talk about burglaries, house fires or personal illness are phantom menaces cooked up by the greedy insurance industry. It is not merely folly, but a fantasy version of reality.
In life three things are now inevitable, of which none will escape: death, taxes and climate change.
For those with the clarity of vision and courage to embrace this truth it is time to plan and adapt to this reality.