["High Rover, Alta." Photo @ cbc.ca]
For example, "records of the Swiss Re insurance group show that the number of natural catastrophes in the world increased from 30 per year in the 1970s to 140 per year at the end of the 20th century. Of the worst 40 natural disasters, only six were not related to the weather." (pg. 102, The Little Green Handbook) Such records, in part, likely help the insurance companies know what rates to set in order to remain solvent. Occasionally, we'll catch a glimpse of research center and insurance company stats in the newspaper and a bleaker future - related to natural disasters and heavier financial hits - seems to be the forecast.
["Both clips from the London Free Press"]
Below are a few relevant notes from pg. 102 - 103 of The Little Green Handbook (seven trends shaping the future of our planet) by Ron Nielsen, DSc.
re The probability of global bankruptcy. Perhaps the best and the most convincing short-cut to the problems associated with studying the slow process of climate change and extreme weather lies in weather-related economic losses. The relevant records are not only well documented and scrutinised, but are also expressed in terms of a single quantity we can easily understand and appreciate - the money we have to pay for weather-related damage. These records are maintained by insurance companies, and it is in their interest to make them reliable.
According to Munich Re, global weather-related economic losses increased from $3 billion per year in 1980 to $80 billion per year at the end of the 20th century. Losses per decade increased from $86 billion for 1980-89 to $474 billion for 1990-99. (On average, only 26 per cent of weather-related losses were insured... but someone has to pay for them.)
How long can we cope with weather-related economic losses? If global income is substantially greater than the losses, and if it increases at least as fast as the losses, we have nothing to worry about. There will always be enough money to repair the damage.
If we stop there, and think Nielsen's final words 'there will always be enough money' make a definitive statement of fact from the insurance companies we would be stopping too soon. Based on what Mr. Nielsen writes next he could have said the above another way:
I.e., "If global income is (always) substantially greater than the losses, and if it (always) increases at least as fast as the losses, we (will always) have nothing to worry about (because) there will always be enough money to repair the damage."
And his very next sentence could easily have started with "However."
["Collision in the future? Our future?"]
Photos by GH
Please click here to read the hits keep on comin' 2