Friday, May 31, 2013

Property insurance and climate change

Have a look at this article about climate change and insurance.

It does make sense to be prepared for harsh weather events such as storms, freezing and heat waves, floods and droughts, since is makes sense to protect our property from damage.  However, to prepare for "climate change" is a whole other thing since it means gradula change over decades.  The variability of weather is much higher than that of climate, so being prepared for weather is most logical. 

Here in Ottawa, Canada's capital, the daily temperature sometimes fluctuates by more than 25 degrees celsius and this is ten times greater than the climate doomsayers claim will happen in the next century, even though there is no evidence it is occurring at anywhere near that pace, if at all.  We handle such changes as a routine part of life and have both heating and cooling systems.  Of the two, the heating system is far more important since fewer people die of heat than of cold. On a very hot day we simply open the windows, turn on a fan, use air conditioning or maybe even go for a swim.  On a very cold day, without heat, people would suffer enormously and their household water would of course freeze and burst the pipes.

The greater damage due to weather in recent decades is because humans have accumulated so much more wealth and placed much of it in harms's way for the sake of waterfront property.  Unless they study history a little more, people may not realize the frequency of great storms and other weather events in the past, and so may believe the present storm is an anomaly.  Modern technology has made most lives so much better that we forget how harsh nature is without the protections our energy and technology systems provide.

I hope Klinenberg will focus on the benefits of technology, the fantastic improvement in human life that a free market enables, and the desperate need to allow freedom of choice in energy, insurance and construction, among other areas.

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