Death, taxes and climate change: the three things now inevitable – or what does the insurance industry have to say about climate?

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.


48 thoughts on “Death, taxes and climate change: the three things now inevitable – or what does the insurance industry have to say about climate?

  1. Matt M says:

    It is a misunderstanding from looking at short term data which shows a trend that should be happening, which is in line with past temperature changes. Climate change is real, but it is not caused by man.

    • Stuart Mathieson says:

      Why should humanity be a factor in climate change? Just because we were not factors in the distant past does not mean we are not now. Sounds like you are making a statement of faith. All of the other known variables have been factored out. That just leaves greenhouse gases and deforestation I’m afraid. There ain’t no God person sitting up there whose going to make it all go away. You and your offspring are going to fry my friend.

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        “shouldn’t” I meant.

      • Matt M says:

        Why does everyone make the assumption I am religious? I have not once made a statement about higher powers or any other of that utter bullshit because I do not believe in any god or other. As I have said I believe that we have taken a small sample size and found a trend. More time is needed to see what is really happening. Another 150 years of measurements would make any observations much more accurate than the very short period of time we have been accurately measuring for.

    • john byatt says:

      Your ignorance knows no bounds, you are not even making any sense here.
      creationist rubbish

      • Richard Ryan says:

        matt M … learn the rules please according to John Baptist (sorry Byatt):

        1. All deniers are creationalists
        2. All deniers are creationalists
        3. John Baptist Byatt is not obsessed with religion (much as it may seem)
        4. All deniers are creationalists
        5. Thou shalt not be a denier unless admitting to be a creationalist
        6. All creationalists are deniers
        7. Facts are not to be confused with IPCC or alarmists/believers/faithful
        8. All deniers are creationalists
        9. All deniers are ignorant and, being creationalists, will be ignored, as will any facts that encourage denial.
        10. You cannot be a denier without first being a creationalist

        You can also get a copy of these carved onto tablets. Just apply at the Baptist Church of John. Start believing and you will be spared. Hallelujah brother

    • Stuart Mathieson says:

      Matt the reason they are assuming you are a creationist is because you appear to have no idea how scientific data is collected. It can be done in real time with thermometers and has done now for many decades, or it can be collected independently by do called “proxies”, growth rings on trees living and dead, gas samples from very old polar ice, sea level fluctuations etc etc.
      Your apparent ignorance and indifferance toward these matters and the basic rules of thermodynamics suggest you derive your beliefs from other “sources”, “supernatural” sources. Elsewhere you also talk of ” near equivalents will nearly always be be found in historical data.” That suggests a young Earth exponent with no concept of “deep time” which scholarship had to accept before evolution and geological processes could be grasped. That’s why we conclude you are one of those pernicious god botherers we call Creationists.

    • crank says:

      So, are 95% plus of actively working climate scientists, and all the Academies of Science on the planet, simply wrong, or are they lying?

  2. Stuart Mathieson says:

    I notice there seems to be a correlation between meteorological extremes and geophysical activity. Papers have been published relating meteorological activity particularly significant activity with spin anomalies of the planet. Small variations are alleged to trigger geophysical activity. Only time will produce the data required to strengthen this somewhat tentative thesis. But a basic consideration of the laws of thermodynamics would suggest energy will migrate between the spheres. Atmos, hydro and geo.

    • john byatt says:

      yes from what I have read seems to work both ways, very interesting because on first thought it sounds absurd

  3. john byatt says:

    I remember when the three sure things were death, taxes and nurses

  4. john byatt says:

    With Chinas ongoing cold this year, becoming more frequent the deniers will be claiming that we are headed into an ice age again

    • And northern India. Prepare for the onslaught of I-don’t-understand-what-global-means-when-it-suits-my-case.

    • FrankSW says:

      You misunderstand, most deniers are not trumpeting a return to a glacial period but know that “Extreme Weather ” is nothing new and that the current extremes can often be beaten or near equivalents will nearly always be be found in historical data.

      It is not just China getting cold but virtually the whole of the Northern hemisphere, prior to Chinese reports was Siberia with “new” low winter temperatures recorded, but hey it is winter in the north so it should be cold.

      Just like it’s summer in the Southern hemisphere so however hot it is it’s just summer.

      See how hot it was in Australia over a hundred years ago,

      • john byatt says:

        Research is the way to go, the extreme heat temps we are breaking are the warmest since records began, the cold you speak of is unusual in the context of the last three decades but not in the context of the past 150 years,
        what we can say without fear of contradiction is that globaly record hot or warm temperatures now outnumber record cool or cold temperatures by 2 to 1 ,

        that is statistically significant, do you agree?

      • Matt M says:

        The main problem is exactly what you said “since the records began” we have not been recording temps for long enough yet to know what is really going on.

      • john byatt says:

        Shouldn’t you be in church Matt ?
        now you need to read up on statisical significance, do i have to spoon feed you this basic stuff

      • Matt M says:

        You must just sit in front of your computer all day. Probably a dole bludger to fund your fanatical climate change defence. You have not presented anything in return for debate just your usual stupid incorrect assumption with some added insult. No more than a child could muster.

      • john byatt says:

        You simply do not wish to learn do you? typical of the creationist mentality

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        ” near equivalents will nearly always be be found in historical data.”

        This is an example of a certain kind of religious mind set. Science is simply the accurate recording of the past and examples can be cherry picked to suit your a priori thinking. That’s how the the Roman church controlled thinking. Intellectual inquiry is restricted to known Church endorsed principles (holy text) and scholarship is restricted to exploring the intailments therein.
        The power of science is its capacity to identify universal principles that enable reliable predictions to be made. But that means nothing to people who believe in the supernatural which recognises no natural constraints.

      • Matt M says:

        We only have accurate recording of a very short time period in relation to shown past changes through cores. The problem with these core samples as the people who study them say us the resolution in not small enough to allow us to see short term changes.

      • john byatt says:

        Now i have just caught three humungas mud crabs, I was going to give mattB one if he did his homework on statistical significance and presented it for appraisal,

        No mudcrab for you Mattb

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        Matt. It’s not about particular events it’s about the direction of a succession of particular events and readings. To ascertain that you have to graph a range of recordings but you have to massage the data to eliminate confounding variables, to eliminate solar variation etc. This is a complex business and often contentious even among climate scientists. The idea is to identify temperature change that can be attributed to human activity. The link, green house gases, is old science. This planet would be uninhabitable without it. We are targeting human activity because that is something we may have some control over. You are arguing we do nothing until the Titanic hits the sea bed. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        FrankSW. Is this your idea of scientific evidence. No one is denying there have always been extreme weather events but the debate is about climate change and that is about the frequency, amplitude and trend of extreme weather events which translates as climate change. For example, if ice caps, glaciers and sea ice start to expand consistently over several decades consistently with other indicative changes, global temperature decreases and a drop in atmospheric CO2 levels and reduced ocean acidity, this would suggest the planet is entering a cooling phase. If this correlated with a drop in solar output (forcing) this would increase scientific confidence in that conclusion.
        But you? You quote an isolated report from the Adelaide Advertiser, owned by the Murdoch family and probably brought to your attention by some denial blog you source your “information” from. You and most denial trolls simply recycle rubbish you glean from sources you barely understand.

  5. john byatt says:

    mike has rules here regarding insulting comment and posting drivel or gish gallop, if sceptics come here without their preconceived self importance, behave themselves in a civil manner, at least offer some argument and link to what they claim then i am sure that we could carry on a decent discussion, instead we have people needing to be warned after their first post, making stupid comments and acting like professional trolls,

    If you do not wish to be identified with fundamentalist christians then do not imitate them, because it is obvious that some of us have had dealings with them in the past.

    • Mark Porter says:

      John, I notice Eric is ‘on leave’ at the moment. Mat M and Frank SW are probably just Temp Trollers. Don’t worry Eric will be back soon and we can get back to discussing eugenics and scientific applications of phrenology, which we know is the real agenda of us ‘Warmies’.

      • john byatt says:

        The title of the blog is a red flag to a bull for deniers, the level of their knowledge on climate change is absolutely pathetic.

        Ben has been a bit quiet on watts but has been back in full stride this week

        The conspiracy theorists and creationists do not read to learn, they read to have their own confirmation bias massaged and then just regurgitate without even understanding.

        The only place that one world government predictions are found are in revelations

        google- maurice strong anti christ or obama or gore antichrist.

        the claims of hoaxes and data manipulation etc has to be a part of a fundamentalist mindset that accepts biblical prophecy

        conspiracy theory nutjobs are creationist nutjobs

  6. Stuart Mathieson says:

    Re the alleged association between climate change denial and creationism. There is a good article on the “Earth” website. Here’s the link.

    • Stuart Mathieson says:

      I have discovered a lot of the cherry picking doesn’t involve independent data searches at all. The claim that temp has levelled of over the last 13 or so years is straight out of The Daily Mail in Britain. The data was attributed to the UK met office but when you went directly to the Met Office web site, they said no such thing. But this rubbish is recycled among the you know who who haven’t the brains or inclination to do any independent checking let alone educate themselves over a period of months or years.
      It is of interest to note the Daily Mail supported the British fascist movement during the 1930s. (Wikipedia).

      • crank says:

        The Rightwing MSM follows Hitler’s advice to confect ‘Big Lies’ when lying, and Goebbels’ nostrum that a lie, if repeated often enough (and the truth suppressed) will, after a while, become accepted as truth. And they will never change, because the only thing that can (or should I say could have) saved humanity is total decarbonisation, and that threatens too much wealth and power to ever be permitted.

    • john byatt says:

      Good find Stuart, the link is undeniable and needs to be exposed wherever possible

      “The answer to the riddle is that creationists and climate change deniers have a lot in common — most especially in their assertions about science itself. In addition, they are often the same people! For example, Answers in Genesis, the young-Earth creationist ministry that runs a creation museum where animatronic dinosaurs cavort with humans in the Garden of Eden, also produces a DVD entitled “Global Warming: A Scientific and Biblical Exposé of Climate Change.” In another case, Roy Spencer, a climatologist featured in the film “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” has written that he regards “the theory of creation” as having “a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution.”

      will bookmark that link, we must go on the offensive, the deniers wish to control the discussion and leave their crap religious belief out of the debate

      stiff shit

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        It’s worth reading the article a few times and saving it somewhere. I’m sure I have heard some of those phrases repeatedly from the most unlikely sources, i.e “Global warming is the new religion”. “Atheism is the new religion”. That’s like saying disinterest in draughts is a board game!

      • Richard Ryan says:

        all jokes aside John, what church do you belong to?

      • Richard Ryan says:

        you really are obsessed with religion John, get a life son. earth has a few billion years left but you’re just going to die a frustrated old dumbfker who searched for something meaningful to do and picked a big stupid lie to follow (as well as Jesus). I suspect that you are probably gay (frustrated), underachiever at school (frustrated), nerdy, fat and ugly and unable to ever find a partner (frustrated) and racist (fristrated). Seriously, GET A LIFE mate. The substance of your argument is that all deniers (of the stupidest premise ever invented) are some kind of religious freaks when the opposite is the case. We think for ourselves … you are a sheep. You spend your days searching the web for names of deniers and assume they are the same person. You are the troll! Not us … we dont give a shit who or what you are. Free advice … get obsessed about something that will help fellow man and you might find some happiness. Not holding my breath though LOL … the lot of you are just hilarious. By the way, theres a big cool change in my area … can you please dial up the temperature? ROFL. If you dickheads were so smart, you would work out a way to make profit out of this just like all the idiots you believe like Al Gore et al … they RELY on your dumbfuckedness. Catchya

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        In response to Richard Ryan.
        Classic signs of desperation Richard. For a start it’s not based on a premise, it’s a conclusion based on physical evidence and molecular chemistry laws that have been verified without fail for nearlly two hundred years. There are also numerous independent lines of research in different branches of the sciences which support the same conclusion. Glaciology, meteorology, marine chemistry, geology, botany, marine chemistry, thermodynamics. You street language betrays it all really.

      • john byatt says:

        You show all the signs of a creationist richard, fundamentalist Judaic from your rants , I have debated creationists for over thirty years richard, I can understand your frustration at being exposed but that is what i do,

      • john byatt says:

        Stuart, yes to deny AGW you are denying the findings of every scientific field in existence, from physics to zoolology, the only people who do that are the fundamentalists. they give themselves away and think they can make a point by absurd insult,

        I have been insulted, similar for over thirty years by the creationists,

      • Dr No says:

        “Dick” Ryan certainly has an anger management problem.
        We must help him as best we can.
        Let us pray that he can see the error of his ways and he can follow in the glorious footsteps of our leader (Al Gore).
        Otherwise, he will suffer an eternity of warming.
        Here endeth the sermon.

      • john byatt says:

        did we notice that one of richard’s insults was that i was homosexual (gay)

        if richard thinks that calling someone gay is an insult, then richard is homophobic,

        ie richard is a fundamentalist religious nutcase

      • Stuart Mathieson says:

        I’m not saying all deniers are creationists, but I think generally creationists tend to be deniers.
        Many deniers have a political or economic agenda, ie nice cushy trips to conferences (the hired pen syndrome), industry spokesmen (usually men) who think they are protecting their economic interests. In fact they are just postponing the day of reckoning, the reckoning that has just descended on Australia and Tasmania and of course Northern hemisphere countries. It will hit New Zealand too in spite of the efforts of a very arrogant farming industry and their political cronies. For some years now farming in NZ has involved humungous debts with a view to tax free capital gain on retirement. One seriously bad season and we are looking at mortgagee sales and foreign ownership. The implications are far beyond casual reckoning.

  7. Stuart Mathieson says:

    I’ve just heard a nuclear facility south west of Sydney has a fire on its hands. What did the Greeks say about hubris. We have plenty of that stupidity here. Just look at our Novapay disaster in the Education ministry.

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