Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dear Senator Inhofe: Listen To Your Military, Climate Readiness and Hoaxiness Don't Mix

... Many thanks to Joe Romm for cross-posting on Climate Progress!

Conservative Republican Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, known internationally for his denialist viewpoint on climate change, and nationally for being a defense hawk, may soon be faced with the problem that his stubborn stance on the former conflicts with his ability to credibly pull off the latter.

When he returns for the 113th Session of Congress in January, Sen. Inhofe will give up his role as Ranking Minority Member on the Environment and Public Works Committtee (forced by Senate rule) and take up the same role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, replacing Sen. John McCain. Though he's served on this Committee since 2009, his new position will give him more power and responsibility; he'll be leading the Republican members and working alongside Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) to oversee, direct, and authorize key military programs in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. He's looking forward to it: "My focus on the committee will be on military readiness, acquisition reform, and preventing the potential hollowing out of our forces," he's quoted in the press.

Let's talk about military readiness, through the lens of a new analysis conducted by the National Academy Sciences at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency. Climate and Social Stress: Implications for Security Analysis is a thoughtful 218-page brief that makes the case that the military should boost its overall readiness for, and understanding of, the threats that a disrupted global climate could pose to US national security. It builds on and verifies previous studies with similar conclusions, and elaborates on the destabilizing effects of restricted access to, or prolonged shortages of, essential resources, such as arable land and potable water. Competent staff should place this report on Senator Inhofe's must-read list for the winter recess!

On the popular blog Climate Progress and elsewhere, much ink is dedicated to the nonsensical utterings and obstructionist shenanigans of Sen. Inhofe on the topic of global warming and climate change. As Chair of Environment and Public Works from 2003-2007 and Ranking Minority Member under the chairmanship of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) since 2007 when Democrats regained control of the Senate, Jim Inhofe has made every attempt to quash meaningful legislative proposals to cut carbon and deal with climate impacts.

He's taken every opportunity to spout off about how climate change is one of the "biggest hoaxes ever played" on the American people (and even published a book about it); how NASA scientist James Hansen is not a real scientist and is not to be believed (but that his own cherry-picked but poorly credentialed scientists are); and how anthropogenic global warming is impossible anyway since, well, "God is still up there" and it's "outrageous" and arrogant to believe human beings are "able to change what He is doing in the climate." Check, check, and, uh, check.

In early 2008, soon after the Democrats had retaken the Senate and Sen. Barbara Boxer had taken back the gavel, she invited former V.P. Al Gore to testify on climate change, and brought a full hearing room to rare applause when she skillfully intercepted another typical Inhofe filibuster by reminding her colleague that, indeed, "elections have consequences" and she was now enforcing the rules. (Translation, he should shut up now.) Many had high hopes that the Congress would finally take on and pass serious carbon-cutting provisions, but it was not to be. While the demise of the 2009 House-passed comprehensive climate change "Waxman-Markey" bill (named the American Clean Energy and Security Act) in the Senate can't be blamed just on Inhofe, he incessantly urged his colleagues to defeat the bill and repeated his mantra that a cap-and-trade bill will never pass into law in the US.

In a rare appearance earlier this year on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow show, he admitted: “I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.” Oops. The truth, outed.

But from what I read in the CIA-requested National Academy of Sciences report, drawn from a panel of top experts, higher-ups in our military forces are worried about the costs of failing to deal squarely with a climate-change-disrupted world:
Given the available scientific knowledge of the climate system, it is prudent for security analysts to expect climate surprises in the coming decade, including unexpected and potentially disruptive single events as well as conjunctions of events occurring simultaneously or in sequence, and for them to become progressively more serious and more frequent thereafter, most likely at an accelerating rate. The climate surprises may affect particular regions or globally integrated systems, such as grain markets, that provide for human well-being.
In parallel work, serious geopolitical analysis of perturbations in grain markets has been conducted by Dr. Peter Gleick and others who conclude: "International tensions and conflict may be provoked by changes in the productivity of major grain importers, by the demand for grain on the international market, and by the ability of present grain suppliers to continue to generate surpluses." Or, in fifth grade lingo: people fight over food. It's a known fact.

Not only are there likely to be "surprises," says the NAS report, but there could be complex chain-reactions in which climate change plays a key role:
The paths envisioned from climate events to specific security consequences are often complicated. For example, tensions could increase over access to increasingly scarce resources, and that escalation, especially if it led to overt conflict, could in turn further limit access to resources so that people who had not previously been affected would now face shortages. Some scenarios suggest that diminished national capacity or outright state failure would create increasing opportunities for extremism or terrorism.
That's right: climate-induced hardships -- prolonged droughts, floods, heat waves, ocean surges, coastal inundation, severe storms, and other extreme weather -- may help create instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world, and this instability could lead to more terrorism. What could this mean in real terms - i.e., the need for US military action? Climate change-driven crises could lead to things like internal instability, international conflicts, and the need to provide humanitarian assistance or, in some cases, military force to protect vital energy, economic or other interests. Yup, more troops deployed. Bigger defense budget needed.

Last summer, Inhofe filed a bill that eliminates civilian, domestic federal funding for all climate-change research and activities. But he has also asserted that, come next session, one of his main goals will be to protect the Pentagon budget. The armed forces appear to be on an entirely different trajectory from zeroing out climate change: they're boosting their own intelligence on global climate disruption and gearing up for the potential threats to security of "weird weather."

This sort of thinking isn't new; it's been going on for a while. Five years ago, eleven retired three-star and four-star admirals and generals prepared a report issued by the CNA introducing the notion that climate change can easily act as a "threat multiplier" in complex socio-geo-political-ecological systems. The authors are people Sen. Inhofe regards as authority figures: they are the people who have protected us, who need adequate funding, who need support from the American people so they can do their jobs.

Chairman Levin himself has demonstrated concern for deleterious climate change impacts on military operations and facilities. He has a whole page dedicated to "Climate Change" on his official Senate website and openly declares: "There is a strong scientific consensus that the earth is warming and that human activities are a significant contributor to that change, and I support strong steps to arrest climate change and the harm it causes." One could not be more clear. Through the FY 2013 Defense Authorization Act, Sen. Levin has called on the Defense Science Board to report on responses to recommendations made in an October 2011 DSB report, Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security, in which the Board critizes the CIA for its handling of data and information regarding climate change, and urges the CIA to step outside its traditional culture of secrecy and begin sharing the intelligence it has been gathering on climate change. (However - this just in - the CIA has closed its Center for Climate Change and National Security created in 2009; it was the object of much controversy and criticism. The CIA says it will continue with analysis of the national security implications of climate change, only under other auspices.)

Has Sen. Inhofe been listening to this drumbeat of climate messages coming from his beloved defense community? So far, there's no evidence that he has. (Note to Inhofe's chief of staff: add CNA's 2007 report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, to the recess reading list.)

It's not just words coming from the defense community, it's decisive action as well. For years, the Navy’s department of Energy, Environment and Climate Change has been building up a Green Fleet and at its Naval Energy Forum 2012 in October, SECNAV gathered with industry leaders to explore "The Art of the Long View," highlighting "the importance of using energy in a judicious manner to enhance combat capability today and ensure availability of resources for future generations." Renewable energy, being more reliable over the longer term, is high on the list of considerations: for example, Navy SEALS recently got a couple million dollars worth of solar cells to power up equipment, purify water, and refrigerate food and medicine. On the impacts side of the equation, the Navy's Task Force on Climate Change (TFCC) is conducting ongoing assessments of potential sea level rise impacts on its strategic installations worldwide. (Hint: a lot of them are coastal.)

In 2008 the US Air Force called for an Apollo-style response to climate change, and the US Army has been plodding away at establishing 25 Net Zero energy/waste/water installations around the world by 2030.  On the home front, the US Army Corps of Engineers is concerned that climate change has the potential to affect almost all its missions and has a web page replete with practical information on the topic.

And, like it or not, our military is being heavily leaned on to help with disaster assistance: it means they've got to drop what they're doing and run to disaster scenes like the ones immediately following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, then Irene, and now Sandy. Nearly 4,000 National Guard soldiers were dispatched to New York City right away to provide supplies, search and rescue, and maintain peace; and as of Thanksgiving Day, over 1100 were still involved full time in the recovery effort, 900 of them in NYC.

It is hard to know precisely what is in Jim Inhofe's mind, but he is fond of quoting a two-line bible verse (Genesis 8:22) to explain his world view: “As long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” The verse is certainly simpler to understand and perhaps easier to swallow than the tens of thousands of pages carefully assembled by thousands of credentialed scientists from around the world participating in the IPCC, or even any of the reports issued by our own US Global Change Research Program. "No, thank you," he says to science, and sticks with his comfy mindset and associated talking points that have worked well for him over the years -- especially at re-election time when the titans of the fossil fuel industries (the Kochs, the Murrays, the Devons, et al) fill his campaign coffers with oil money and coal gold. Never mind that his own state of Oklahoma is on a collision course with a climate-induced dust bowl.

He's a stubborn one, that's for sure. Still, I find myself imagining (almost fantasizing) this scenario: How will Jim Inhofe -- three-term US Senator, 78 years old, father and grandfather to 20, frequent visitor of military bases and middle-eastern war zones, proud defense hawk -- respond when some square-shouldered, baritone-voiced, heavily decorated military officer looks him in straight in the eye and asks: "Now, what is this about a hoax?"


To the extent that Hurricane Sandy was souped up by greenhouse-gas-steroids, in an ironic twist, climate change itself delayed the release date of the report by several days, because briefings for the CIA sponsors of the study were scheduled to occur on October 30, the day that Sandy shut down the federal government. According to coverage in HuffPo, John D. Steinbruner, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and the chair of the 14-member panel of experts who conducted the NAS analysis, explained in an email message that CIA sponsors must be briefed on the report before it is publicly released. And climate-steroid-Sandy had shut down Washington.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Expect a Long, Slow, Expensive Recovery from the Sandy-Athena Train Wreck

"We're going to have some real, real challenges ahead of us... This is going to be long and it's going to be expensive and it's going to be hard and it's going to be frustrating at times."   ~ Gov. Chris Christie, Nov. 9  LINK TO STORY

He's absolutely right. There will be no fast-fixes for the metropolitan northeast after Hurricane Sandy packed a solid punch from the east, and winter storm Athena* quickly followed with an icy punch from the west. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano agreed: "We are now in the recovery mode, response and recovery... It will be...if not the most extensive and expensive, one of the most in our nation's history."

What we've just witnessed in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and beyond - centers of commerce, home of Wall Street - is the initial crash, the crunching of souped-up-weather-fury against the heavy metal of urban living. There were over a hundred immediate casualties counted spread over nine states, but, nearly two weeks later, the death count keeps rising as bodies, primarily among the elderly, are discovered. And as long as the more fragile and feeble go without electricity, more will likely fall prey to the twin storms.

The poor, especially those relegated to public housing, are particularly vulnerable. The New York Times, in a Nov. 8 pointed editorial, took Mayor Bloomberg to task for its lackluster relief efforts for the less-monied:
For all the efforts of federal, state and local officials to help people after Hurricane Sandy, unacceptable pockets of suffering remain. Ten days after the hurricane struck, thousands of people in New York City’s public housing are still without heat, water, electricity or food. Many people needed assistance after the storm, but the most vulnerable of the city’s inhabitants seem to be among the last in line to get it.
The aftermath and all that it entails is just beginning: it will likely take years, perhaps even a decade or more, to feel the comfort of near-complete recovery. We know this from experience: just look at the out-years following super-sized Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Andrew (1992).

Seven years hence, New Orleans and surrounding areas are still recovering from Katrina-Rita -- and may never fully recover, depending on how you define recovery. The Big Easy is certainly not as big anymore -- many residents left and never returned -- and there's been nothing easy, Brad Pitt's laudable efforts aside, about rebuilding, restoring, renewing. The effort goes on today: the 2010 US Census revealed that a full 25% of all residences in the City of New Orleans were still vacant, and earlier this year Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared as priority razing 40,000 abandoned homes and buildings to make way for new development.

More than two decades have passed since 1992's Category 5 Hurricane Andrew struck south Florida, inflicting 44 deaths, damaging 25,000 properties, impacting 100,000 jobs, and rendering up to 180,000 people homeless. August 24, 2012 marked its 20th anniversary: with two decades of recovery under its belt, much has been rebuilt, but scars remain. For example, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, [pdf] over 8,000 residents from Homestead, FL - nearly a third of its pre-hurricane population - permanently left the city, leaving behind many abandoned properties that created lingering redevelopment challenges.

Some would argue, myself included, that deciding to pick up and move further inland so as to be out of harm's way is an evolutionarily wise choice, Darwin-style. Nonetheless, sudden vacancy of large blocks of building stock creates economic, public health, and other problems for communities. Unscrupulous contractors employing shoddy building practices and materials poured into post-Andrew south Florida and exacerbated human vulnerability: building codes and practices should result in more resilient structures, not weaker ones. More orderly, non-emergency-state migrations to higher, safer ground would make more sense while existing and new buildings are built to withstand gale force winds and deadly floods.

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to ask President Obama for $30 billion in federal disaster assistance to help cover what his administration claims are more than $50 billion in damages and costs associated with Sandy. But will $30,000,000,000 even be enough? Outyear supplemental appropriations for housing, infrastructure, and other rebuilding are not uncommon after major disasters.  And all the money in the world can't bring back loved ones, or for that matter, beloved pets, or innumerable, irreplaceable personal treasures like family heirlooms, photo albums, and other valued keepsakes.

Furthermore, Atlantic seaboard mayors and governors, as well as our national leaders, must brace themselves for the possibility - strike that, the probability - of more extreme weather in the months and years to come. Preparedness for climate-related disasters must take a more prominent seat at the table. The survival of many depends on it.

Lest we too quickly forget and move on to the next headline, here are some images for our collective national scrapbook.


A super-late-season, super-large Hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean:

For two days, from October 24-26, Hurricane Sandy swept through the Caribbean, leaving a trail of death and devastation:
The death toll reached 69 in the Caribbean before it reached the US. Source

Packing 90-mph-winds, Sandy struck the continental United States:

Oct. 29, 8 pm EDT: Sandy made landfall 5 mi. south of Atlantic City. Source

From the sky and from the turbulent sea came water, water, everywhere water:

Oct 30: Cars drown in NYC's financial district. Source

Oct. 30: The entire NY subway system drowns. Source

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo went out on a limb by making this sensible but politically risky declaration, linking Sandy with climate change:
"It’s a longer conversation.. But I think part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality, extreme weather is a reality, it is a reality that we are vulnerable. Climate change is a controversial subject, right? People will debate whether there is climate change … that’s a whole political debate that I don’t want to get into. I want to talk about the frequency of extreme weather situations, which is not political.. There’s only so long you can say, ‘This is once in a lifetime and it’s not going to happen again.’.. The frequency is way up. It is not prudent to sit here, I believe, to sit here and say it’s not going to happen again. Protecting this state from coastal flooding is a massive, massive undertaking. But it’s a conversation I think is overdue.” Source

October 31: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hitched a ride on Air Force One with POTUS:
Christie profusely praised Pres. Obama publicly, and later took heat from the GOP. Source

November 2: In the city, just getting from Point A to B got trickier and trickier:
Brooklyn commuters waiting in line for hours to ride the bus to work. Source

President Barack Obama handily won his re-election bid. Pundits speculated on the effects the major storms may have had on the vote count.

November 7: In one of his many press conferences, Gov. Christie faced the prospect of a nor'easter winter storm approaching, and quipped: “So we're getting ready for another storm. I'm waiting for the locusts and pestilence next."


November 8: Nor'easter wintry storm "Athena" (so-named by The Weather Channel, but not the National Weather Service) hit the northeast from the west, adding onslaught-to-injury with her freezing temps, biting winds, and more storm surges.

Many an experienced meteorologist gasped incredulity. Wunderblog's highly respected Jeff Masters seemed to be speaking for many seasoned weather experts when he wrote: "How often do you see snow falling on hurricane-damaged coasts? This sort of one-two weather punch is unprecedented in my lifetime."

Climate chaos, indeed.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The insurance industry is finally waking up and smelling the climate chaos coffee

Several days before Sandy made landfall, my home-insurer sent me a love note: "Hurricane Sandy is on her way," said the email, "and you may be impacted." But not to worry: "We've got you covered." Whew!

Who less fortunate, I wondered, is NOT getting such reassuring messages, and is not adequately covered for damage associated with extreme weather such as hurricanes made more frequent and deadly by climate change? More broadly, what is the increasingly risk-exposed insurance industry doing as a whole to prepare and plan for an extreme-weather climate? The answer is, not surprisingly, much, much too little.

Most homeowners' policies now specifically exclude coverage for floods (including mine in a low-lying DC suburb). Property owners in flood-prone areas, officially designated by the federal government, now must purchase flood insurance through FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. Others outside these zones can buy from NFIP as well. But controversy and some shady local politics have created bizarre situations where small, low-lying wealthier neighborhoods near bodies of water lie mysteriously just outside the boundary of the nearby designated flood areas -- after all, being prone to floods is bad for real estate values. And, illogical beyond comprehension, the oldest most vulnerable properties that flood over and over and over again, year after year, have historically been charged lower NFIP premiums than homes in less-risky areas.

General poor planning and anticipation has created a dire situation in which the NFIP is itself under water, according to a Nov. 2 Washington Post editorial:
At the moment, the NFIP has access to about $4 billion, plus a $20.8 billion credit line with the U.S. Treasury — of which it has already borrowed $18 billion.
In other words, sunk. Gotta make that call to Mom & Dad Uncle Sam again. How did this happen?

Well, for starters, 2005's Katrina/Rita/Wilma 1-2-3 punch in Louisiana and Texas landed an $18 billion blow to the NFIP that had to be borrowed from the US Treasury. Created by Congress in 1968 through the National Flood Insurance Act, NFIP was designed to be self-supporting and to offer flood insurance to communities prone to flooding that adopted floodplain management ordinances. But hurricanes on steroids weren't anticipated in 1968. The Act has been amended several times, most notably in 2004 to help reduce payouts to "repeat-customers" in flood-prone areas. Congress reauthorized the law again this year, creating a gradual set-aside of a reserve fund (still tiny), a justifiable phase-out of subsidized insurance for second (and third, and fourth!) homes and repeatedly flooded properties, a phased-in premium increase, and funding for flood map modernization (the poor feds had been using brushes on parchment all this time). Congress also gave NFIP permission to secure private reinsurance: a no-brainer.

Another problem is patchwork coverage. A recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal found enormous discrepancies in the percentage of residential units covered under NFIP, ranging from a full 90% coverage rate in Ocean City, Maryland; to 66% in Cape May; down to 40% in Atlantic City; and a paltry 1% in New York City. OOPS. The other 99% are left to fend for themselves. (Sound familiar?) In 2009 the US Global Change Research Program issued a report that noted a disturbing trend: some major insurers have been withdrawing coverage from thousands of homeowners in coastal areas of the Northeast, including New York City. Too risky, I'd guess. And, a lot of folks in this region aren't even aware that they need to buy an extra policy if they want to be covered for flooding. With a 30-day required waiting period, even an advance foul weather warning doesn't give enough time for a last-minute CYA move. Of course federal disaster assistance going to NY and NJ will cover some of the losses from Sandy, but not all. Post-election, post-Sandy relations between Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie and POTUS could get strained, no matter who wins.

Even with the flood exclusions, insurance companies of all types are doing the "holy crap" dance in response to Mother Nature's recent fits of wrath. Most of them are being caught with their proverbial pants down. In 2011, only one in eight insurers who responded to a survey conducted by CERES -- a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations and public interest groups -- had a formal climate policy in place. There are a few exceptions -- forward-thinking trend-setters like Munich Re and Swiss Re (who convened a "Climate Week NYC" summit in Gotham just a few weeks before Sandy) have been on top of it. In the US the leader of the pack appears to be Allstate. Who knew? Allstate's website brags they are out there raising awareness, educating the public, and fighting for (dare I say) rules and regulations such as stronger building codes and more sensible land use policies to reduce the impact of catastrophes. (Uh, like building further away from the coastline?) People who build big expensive houses right on the beach and get federal disaster assistance when the roof comes off have never met a Libertarian they didn't like. Sooner or later, though, people are going to have to realize that the up-close-n-personal ocean view comes with high premiums and no re-build options.

A more recent, Nov 2 email from my friendly home-insurer assures us: "Please know we're committed to helping you get your life back to normal." Really? What does normal even look like? Musician and activist Bruce Cockburn's lyrics come to mind: "The trouble with normal is it always gets worse." The unfathomable -- a major late-season cyclone hurling up the Atlantic Coast to the Big Apple, for example -- becomes not just the fathomable but the feared, in our lifetimes. It's the new normal. Get used to it.

Consider this: the northeast is already doing a headspin over 2011's Hurricane Irene which caused 56 deaths and $4.3 billion in insured losses, and Sandy just one year later. Governor Andrew Cuomo's new "joke" is that New York now gets 100-year storms every couple of years. Even a senior VP, John Miksad, of ConEd was incredulous in a CNN interview:

[The storm] was sort of on steroids and I would have never expected it. I mean, this is New York City. This is not Florida or North Carolina. We'd have never expected to have two years in a row with this kind of damage to our system.
Never would have expected? In the late 1990s the US Global Change Research Program conducted a national assessment of regional climate impacts that included the metropolitan northeast and predicted just this: more severe, more frequent weather patterns that could mean storm surges, power outages, and inundation of NYC's subway system. The reports were deep-sixed by the incoming Bush administration in 2000. We knew, or had reason to know. George W. Bush and his team, for one reason or another, thought it was important for us NOT to know. Rick Piltz, a federal whistleblower who founded Climate Science Watch under the Governmental Accountability Project has covered this extensively, referring to Bush's suppression of the National Assessment and related scientific reports and information as “the central climate science scandal of the Bush administration.”

So far, this mega-metropolitan region with heavy population densities hasn't had the pleasure of experiencing an Andrew-caliber hurricane (Florida, 1992, Cat 5, $27B in damages), the likes of which haven't dared to venture north of the Mason-Dixon. Yet. But it could, and scientists say it will: like our own death, it's not a question of whether, but when.

An editorial in today's Palm Beach Post captures an appropriate reaction to the Irene-Sandy one-two punch:

"The news is not just Sandy. The news is that Sandy comes one year after Hurricane Irene hit the Northeast. Freakish weather is becoming dangerously less freakish. Enough disbelief. Let’s figure out why it’s happening."

Excellent idea. The IPCC, I am told, has a fairly good handle on that-- something to do with smokestacks, auto emissions, and denuded forests. (Didn't Al Gore do a movie?)

By-and-large, insurance companies are sweating bricks figuring out how they are going to manage to stay afloat and still provide various types of coverage for entire economic enterprises increasingly vulnerable to "weird weather," frankenstorms, prolonged droughts, storm surges, water and wind damage, and so on - symptoms of an increasingly chaotic, carbon-steroid-hyped climate system.

If we are indeed going to be able to "avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable" consequences of climate change, we're going to have to recognize some basic laws of physics and just face the reality that an atmosphere super-satured with CO2 and other greenhouse gases is essentially blowing the lid off of life-as-we-know-it. And insurance companies don't quite know what to do about that.

A more sophisticated way of saying that is offered by Ryan Tate at Wired Magazine.
...all too many insurers lack sophistication about the new prevalence of extreme weather, critics say, raising and lowering rates cyclically in reaction to loss-making events rather than through careful analysis of risk. If the industry can learn to approach climate change more systemically, as individual companies like Swiss Re have begun to do, it would have better data with which to influence policymakers. Ultimately, insurance company pressure around climate change could influence zoning decisions, building codes, and infrastructure design – nothing less than how and where people live.
The industry itself is sounding the horns. An editorial published just this week in the trade journal Business Insurance rallies the troops:
It's high time the insurance industry makes a bold move — to bring together business leaders, the smartest weather scientists and local, state and federal regulators to start working toward a comprehensive infrastructure assessment and a unified hurricane mitigation plan for the Northeast.
It's great that the sleeping giant industry of insurance and reinsurance is waking up to smell the climate chaos coffee. But my question is this: If getting some multidisciplinary smart people in a room to figure out how to get our collective insurance coverage act together for the new normal that climate chaos promises and has begun to deliver is "bold" - then what does wimpy look like?