IPCC, Government, and Insurance Enables Dangerous Behavior

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin

The claims of increasing disasters presented as inevitable by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provided opportunities for government interference and crony capitalism on a massive scale. Their actions ignored the realities and enabled unwise behavior by offering assistance and compensation if problems developed in areas where problems are well-known and inevitable.

The insurance industry is a major benefactor of this crony capitalism. They promoted the false IPCC claims on their web pages, sponsored documentaries, and did everything to exaggerate the threat. Look at the comments from the web page of Swiss Re.

Re/insurance plays an important role in managing climate and natural disaster risk, and that’s why it’s part of Swiss Re’s core business.

Managing climate and disaster risk is part of Swiss Re’s DNA.

Munich Re is a little more circumspect, but the basic acceptance of the IPCC mantra is the same.

In order to develop scientific scenarios showing the long-term impacts from climate change, the potential paths for the development of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere need to be fed into the climate models. In this context, the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – published in 2013 and 2014 – defines the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP), which also indicate the extent to which radiated energy per area and time (radiative forcing) will have increased due to anthropogenic factors by the end of the 21st century compared to the pre-industrial period.

Together, our mission and vision define the framework of our climate strategy. This makes clear our resolve to address climate change both in the short term and in the long term.

What is the meaning of the “Re” integrated into so many of these names? It is an abbreviation of the word reinsurance, and in most cases was attached to the name of the existing parent insurance company.

After Hurricane Andrew, many small insurance companies were unable to cover their insurance commitments. They lacked the resources to deal with all the claims. It triggered the creation of dozens of companies that insured the insurers, hence the term reinsurance. However, a few major ones dominated the industry and were based in Bermuda.

“More than a third of the world’s top 50 reinsurers are based in Bermuda or have a major operation here.”

A few years ago a former student who manages a large investment portfolio was investigating buying shares in one or two of these companies. I flew with him to Bermuda to talk with five of the major reinsurance companies. My contribution was to determine what sources they used to determine natural disasters in general but weather disasters, including tornadoes and hurricanes, in particular.

The companies were licenses to print money mostly managed by former employees of Lloyds of London who lost their jobs when the company had serious problems in the early 1980s. They were welcomed by Bermuda because they put billions in Bermudian banks. They were an excellent investment because of few employees, low overheads, and large cash assets.

Nobody I spoke with had any training or even a rudimentary understanding of severe weather. None of them consulted with any experts or even knew of hurricane forecasters such as the late William Gray when they calculated the risk factors and the insurance rates. This despite the claims on Munich Re’s web page. Finally, I asked one how he determined the rates. He replied, whatever the market will bear.

There are times and places for insurance, but on a wider perspective, they encourage irresponsible and even dangerous behavior. It becomes an enabler. As part of chairing the Assiniboine River Management Assessment Board (ARMAB) to create a management strategy for a large drainage basin, I established the need to look at crop and flood insurance. How much responsibility should the owner of property have about natural risks? Unfortunately, nowadays, if people live in high-risk areas they expect other people, through the government and insurance to save them and compensate them if something happens.

If you choose to live in areas such as “tornado alley” (Look at the chart of deadliest tornadoes and date of occurrence), the hurricane regions of the US southeast, high earthquake risk zones of the west coast, or even the bitterly cold and blizzard-prone regions of the north-central US, it must be with knowledge of the risks and liabilities. You can’t live in the flood plain of a river and not expect floods; its name means something. Despite that people live there and expect sympathy and help when it floods. The spirit and compassion of most people are that they step up to help, but shouldn’t we look at reducing the risk by limiting settlement in such regions?

One of the things I learned flying search and rescue across central and Arctic Canada is that most people get into trouble in dangerous areas by ignoring or downplaying the dangers. Several of my colleagues died in crashes while taking risks searching for these people. I tended to develop the view that I am my brother’s keeper, but I am not, nor should I be expected to be, my stupid brother’s keeper. We could begin by making all primary floodplain regions parks. There are few reasons for any occupation in these regions.

Think of benefits with the lives and trillions of dollars saved, not to mention curtailing exploiters of crony capitalism. The negative impacts and unnecessary costs to society created by the IPCC’s doctored findings are so pervasive that it is almost impossible to do a reasonable cost assessment. We can add to the list of assessments the fact that governments, industry, and people are preparing for global warming when the risks from global cooling are much higher.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of which the IPCC is a subset, knows this because they carried out studies on the impact of cooling during the cooling spell from 1940 to 1980. It is a good job we didn’t act then. It is also reason for not acting now and only dealing realistically with long term conditions in generally defined areas of natural disasters. This must include exposing the fallacies of the IPCC Reports and stopping governments and insurance companies from enabling risk taking.

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69 thoughts on “IPCC, Government, and Insurance Enables Dangerous Behavior

  1. Making floodplains into parks of course makes perfect sense, the problem being that most of the world’s cities are in them.

    • Or fields. They make good cropland, you just have to take into account loosing the occasional crop due to flood. If you don’t overtax the farmers, the good crops can cover the expense of losing one to floods once a decade or longer.

      I’ve thought for years, that we should set a date, and any structure on a flood plain, built after that date, would not be covered. That should redirect building (and rebuilding) away from flood plains.

      • We would need to first correctly define flood plain. Unintended consequences and costs increase significantly when the fundamental terms of a subject are left undefined or variable (see global warming as example).

        What definition do you use for “flood plain” ?

      • Tulare Lake farmland don’t ever get a dime in flood insurance claims, even in the City of Hanford, and the Lemore Naval Air Station which I think is the Largest Naval Air Station in California. I think the US marines shut down a Marine base in Sand Diego, and moved their squadrons to Lemore. Both the base and the city are smack dab in the middle of Tulare Lake, and the rest of it is prime farmland. I’m sure they staill have the drainage ditch that hooks up to the San Joachin River, and drains anything Identified as H2O out into San Francisco Bay and thence to the Pacific Ocean north of Monterey Bay.

        Any liquid diagnosed as H2O that falls outside of Tulare Lake (dust lake) finds its way into the California Aqueduct system, and is siphoned, and ultimately pumped up over the grape vine to Southern California, and out into the Mojave and other deserts to grow cities, and golf courses, where Mother Gaia, never ever planned to have either of those things.

        And all of those things are insured against loss. Low water, no green grass; no customers for sand golf.

        G

      • flood·plain
        /ˈflədplān/
        noun
        noun: flood plain; plural noun: flood plains; noun: floodplain; plural noun: floodplains

        an area of low-lying ground adjacent to a river, formed mainly of river sediments and subject to flooding.

      • What definition do you use for “flood plain” ?

        The boundary of the flood plain (Quaternary alluvium, Qa) as defined on any government (USGS?) large scale (1:25,000 or even 1:50,000) geological map would be the obvious, and readily available, line of demarcation.

      • Don M

        Call it what you will.

        But insurance companies will normally set their own premiums, according to risk.

        However, the likes of Munich Re are able to boost profits by lying about climate risks.

      • Here is what you do to protect your home iffen you live on the Mississippi River “flood plain”, to wit:

        Hundreds of miles of dikes and levees alongside the Mississippi River don’t always protect those that reside therein the “flood plain” as portrayed by more pictures like the above ….here on this link:

        http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/10/island-homes-during-mississippi-river.html

        It seems like every Spring the Mississippi “overflows” the dikes and levees causing tens of millions in flood damages.

    • Re: flood plain use: After the 1972 Rapid City, SD flood; the city fathers passed ordinances that prohibited any structure that could be occupied 24/7 within the boundaries of a 100 year flood. The result; there is now 10mi (16km) bike path from the western city limits to the east side of Rapid City. There are recreation fields, picnic grounds, golf courses etc enjoyed year round. This is an example of proper and appropriate use of a flood plain.

      • ..Absolutely..Just because an area looks pretty, does not mean it is a good place to build your house..

      • greymouser70, zoning ordinances, as used by Rapid City, are one way of dealing with flood plane construction but they don’t solve the problem of high cleanup costs when there is a flood. I imagine the owner/builders of structures not occupied 24/7 would still influence the government (through political contributions, etc.) to either help with or be totally responsible for that cleanup. You also have the problem of structures washing down stream and the damages they can cause to other structures, bridges, roadways, etc. Looks to me like a better solution might be private, non constructible farm land or government ‘open space’. I personally don’t like the government telling me what I can do with my own property, but either making me responsible for any damages done down stream or the government purchasing it for open space does makes sense.

  2. Insurance works on fear. When considering insurance against an event, I don’t insure if the event won’t break the bank.
    It amazing how little insurance I need and how much I have saved over the years.

    • Insurance works on fear, gambling works on hope. Two sides of the same coin.

      Check local ordinances the restrict of ban gambling … there will be a exception for the regulated insurance industry.

      I would rather spend my money betting on a good outcome (investing in something real) than betting on the occurance of a bad thing.

      • Investing in Aqueducts and other methods of mitigation would be a whole lot more beneficial I would think…

  3. The problem they cause to everyone is the tendency to not insure because of high costs.

    As an aside, there is a huge gap in the market for sensible unsurance against climate change, with reasonable rates.

  4. Dr. Ball, while I have immense respect for your opinions, generally, I think it’s a Quixotic quest to stop people from living in the “dangerous” parts. You won’t succeed in getting people to avoid living near the beach, where property can literally be swept away by any number of natural events. You can’t succeed in keeping away from areas where wildfires occur, because they are beautiful and peaceful most of the time. You can’t keep farms and towns out of meandering floodplains, because the farmland is so productive. And hell, you can’t even keep some people, like ranchers, from living in the harsh, less attractive locations where their homes are subject to wildfires and their cattle can be lost to winter blizzards. Even in the “good” spots across the American middle, tornadoes can strike almost anywhere.

    Good building codes (not 100% safe buildings, mind you), common sense local regulations and resilience via economic freedom should guide us. I’m totally in favor of outlawing government participation in any kind of insurance, because government skews the tables and the risks. I want insurance to go back to being purely voluntary associations of people who pool their own risk for their own agreed upon price. I’m also in favor of outlawing any entity, such as an employer, from negotiating insurance on behalf of anyone. All people should direct their own risk avoidance/acceptance of risk. Clearly, I have pipe dreams that won’t come true, as well as you do.

    • “I’m also in favor of outlawing any entity, such as an employer, from negotiating insurance on behalf of anyone.”

      What do you have against agents and brokers? They provide a valuable service for their customers who lack the knowledge, skill, and experience to negotiate coverages.

      • Excellent point, Walter. I have nothing against brokers. I just want individuals to own their own insurance, and I want the law to encourage their enlightened involvement of everyone in their own choices. I want each person’s policy to be divorced from employment (payroll deductions are okay, if voluntary), so that when a person’s employment ends, their insurance policy doesn’t. I want strictly equal treatment for all for health savings accounts and pre-tax treatment of income. I want the law to put everyone, be they unemployed, employed, self-employed or public sector worker on the same exact legal footing, so voluntary consent is most possible and most likely. I want governments, insurance companies and employers out of the business of hiding income transfers, be it for health insurance or any other benefit.

  5. There is also the influence of government on insurance schemes. Sometimes in the US, there is “disaster relief” appropriations undercutting the need to buy insurance, and subsidies on flood insurance allowing development in flood plains at an unrealistic risk and considerable losses to the government.

  6. The reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind has no control. Extreme weather events are part of the normal climate of the Earth and have not been increasing in either frequency or severity because of so called greenhouse gases. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 equals zero. There are many good reasons to be conserving on fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them. Instead of trying to solve problems over which we have no control we need to work on problems that we actually have the power to solve such as Man’s out of control population.

  7. In the Netherlands, before people started building dikes, people made ‘terpen’: they took clay from elsewhere to make elevations in the landscapes and on these elevations (each one called ‘terp’) they build their farmhouses and villages. The city of Leeuwarden was build on three of these ‘terpen’. There were around 1200 of these elevations. They started building them in 500 B.C. and build them till the start of the building of dikes around the year AD 1200. When Miami would have been build this way, a lot of problems would have been prevented.

    Still, instead of spending money to try to prevent ‘climate change’, the same money could be used for ‘adaptation’. With a certain result.

    The most elevated ‘terp’:

    • In the United States the “terp” is discouraged, and in some areas it is (through court action … not legislative action) not allowed; NOAA/NMFS have convinced courts that the ‘terps’ are likely a taking with respect to endangered species. To fill in a floodplain someone now will need to prove the negative, that the fill will not impact the fish. You can be a half mile away from the floodway and still need to spend $20,000 to (try to) prove the fill is reasoable.

      The “science” of the proof is very subjective … the NMFS reviewers are checking boxes without knowing what they are doing. State regulators, that don’t and can’t understand the review “standards”, are told by the NMFS folks that “any private consultant that needs help figuring out what the court mandated biological assessment is requiring are not competent enough to be doing the work.” But, when the NMFS regulators are asked specifics about the requirements they can’t answer, or the answers differ over time.

      So, terp/fill is what had been occuring here for a long time, but the “almost all development is bad” crowd has found a new tool to stop the terp concept.

      • DonM: incredible. In Holland now it is rule not to build within the river dikes: the river needs all the space in case of an extreme rainfall downstream. In fact these rule is preventing casualties which is a good thing. A rule to stimulate casualties as you describe (and possibly protect a fish which is difficult to prove) is the reverse.
        Our ‘terps’ were build near the sea which could make a difference: no flood stream was hindered. It was used in case the storm surge would be too high and the land would be flooded. Like in ‘hurricane land’.

        The strange thing in the cases you describe is, that fish love ‘unequalities’ in the landscape. You can find a lot of them there. The same in the sea: a wreck or an oilrigg in the plain sea attracts many fish and many species. Like coral does. Diversity promotes life in water. Courts are making mistakes…….

      • The answer is to have buildings that can tolerate flooding by having the living floors placed above the level of any flood. Any space that can flood is designed to withstand it by using waterproof electrics for example.

        In the UK though you will run into problems with the Disability Discrimination Act that insists that all houses are accessible by wheelchairs as opposed to modifying them when necessary. So no steps up to the front door that would raise you above the water level. Stupidity has never been a block to being employed by government – usually you fit right in.

      • W Rost,

        The original concept here in the U.S. was about what you have. “Floodways”, as opposed to floodplains, were restricted from development/fill unless there was absolute mitigation and the flood carrying capacity was maintained. The FLOODWAYS were defined as the area (river channel & width outside of the river channel) that would increase up to a foot in flood depth IF ALL of the flood plain were filled … if every bit of the plain were filled. FLOOD PLAIN was defined by model based on a theoretical 100-year event. Where they didn’t have resources to model all streams, creeks and rivers, they approximated the flood plain by using aerial photos of past flood events and by using other rough methodology.

        Where the flood plain and floodway (location & depth) were detailed by the theoretical flows and the actual channel cross-section data, it would take a lot of work to correct mapping errors.

        Where the flood plain was approximated, there were reasonable approved methodologies estimate a more detailed flood elevation, so as to correct the mapping flaws. Over time those methodologies have been restricted. And now, there is a concerted effort to disallow any corrections to the mapped areas.

        At the time the floodplain management standards were created/established (Code of Federal Regulations; 44CFR 59 through 77), floodplain development was restricted by requiring floor elevations to be built above a theoretical 100 year event (through fill/’terps/pilings/or other). But over the last 40 years there have been people wanting twist the floodplain regs in a way that will benefit the community aesthetics, rather than ensuring protection of the land/landowner/structures.

        Fish do need to find refuge area, away the high velocities. in riverine flooding events (actually in all riverine areas). But it should take little more than common sense to realize that ‘terp’ construction in the detailed defined flood plain would likely help, rather that hurt, create slack water areas.

        It seems that your terps were constructed to a certain elevation by the people that lived there. They did it conservatively by themselves. Here the government came up with elevations that are wrong (both up and down) and people build to the minimum … which of course leads to a higher than necessary incidence of damage than if there were more safety factor added. Local jurisdictions can create local ordinances that require finish floor to be two feet (or even three feet) above the theoretical 100-year event, rather than just the standard one foot, but they seldom do. If the above commentators that advocate for confiscation of all “flood plain” had a home that was affected by additional regulatory safety factor (any new remodels need to be three feet above rather than one foot above) their opinions would change in a hurry.

    • @ Wim, I posted a somewhat similar thing on WUWT a while ago, I also believe that within the river diking systems there is no building allowed, the clay is still being removed for use as bricks and farming those floodplains is a huge economic engine because of this. Animals are moved every spring and fall prior to flooding and crops planted are replaced prior to flooding with grasses and other plant materials to prevent gouging out of the dikes and soils. And it has been going on for centuries, if it works don’t fix it. With modern equipment it has become even more efficient. The efforts to control the delta ( Holland is after all a huge delta for three rivers) is an ongoing policy that should be adapted in many areas around the world.

      • Asybot, our (big) rivers have a ‘two dikes’ system. A low one next to the river, enough to keep the water in the main river bed during low water levels during the summer. A second one, the high one, is much farther away from the river. Even at it’s highest levels the river has to stay within the what we call the ‘Winter dijk’. The area between the dikes can be used for agriculture but is mostly grass and is used after the spring until the next flooding. You can find there a lot of campings too, which occasionally (after being used too early) have to be evacuated in case of heavy rainfall during spring. Also our wish to create some nature is fullfilled in this area’s. These (semi-) wetlands are a rich habitat for flora and fauna. In the picture below you see a ‘kleiput’ where clay was taken to make bricks to build our houses.

        In Holland every square meter has got a function by man. We are living with a 17 million people on 40.000 km2. Although the country sometimes looks a bit as ‘a garden’, living here is very good. I lived most of my life below sea level, a long time as far as 4 meter below. And I was never afraid. Being a bit older and having travelled a lot, I realise that ‘safety’ and ‘feeling safe’ is a very valuable something. It is worth to pay for and when you have a well working government who aranges those kind of things in an effective way, you must feel lucky.

      • Sorry Wim I didn’t get back sooner, yes I am well aware of the 2 dike system after all I used to bike,hike,fish and camp along the rivers until I left Holland as a 20 year old, I was a bit “condensed’ in my comments and I guess after 45 years I might have not remembered all the details.

    • Wim Röst
      In the Netherlands, before people started building dikes, people made ‘terpen’: they took clay from elsewhere to make elevations in the landscapes and on these elevations (each one called ‘terp’) they build their farmhouses and villages. The city of Leeuwarden was build on three of these ‘terpen’. There were around 1200 of these elevations. They started building them in 500 B.C. and build them till the start of the building of dikes around the year AD 1200.

      In the southern Mississippi River valley, many tens of thousands of people were saved from the 1927 Mississippi river flood by climbing onto the old Indian mounds scattered from Illinois down all the way into Louisiana. Same principle, it makes you wonder if the mounds were built not to “honor an old chief” or for mysterious “religious rites”, but to protect the latest chief and his village and tribe. With no communication except a runner along the trails between villages, a tribe would have NO warning at all of danger until their river began rising overnight.

  8. Dr. Ball
    Back in the ’80s Vermont senator Robert Stafford noticed that FEMA was dumping a boatload of money on disaster damages that could reasonably have been prevented by a little advance planning. He sponsored legislation (now known as “The Stafford Act”) that authorized FEMA to require local agencies (such as cities and school districts) to develop disaster mitigation plans as a prerequisite to receive certain FEMA benefits. FEMA, in turn, developed a procedure for creating those plans that could charitably be described as ‘byzantine.’ Even so, local agencies all across the country (including the school district for which I work) struggled through the procedure and produced mitigation plans. These plans were to cover all manner of possible disasters, including weather/climate related events. Note the node “ElNino” in the following URL:
    https://data.femadata.com/Region9/ElNino/County/California_Los%20Angeles%20County.pdf

    It is revealing, and supportive of your concern over the effect of insurance that the chart to be found at the above site, shows that many (perhaps most) of the mitigation plans listed (including the district for which I work) have the status ‘expired.’

    So even straightforward attempts to enforce responsible risk management do not seem to be working so well.

  9. “The spirit and compassion of most people are that they step up to help, but shouldn’t we look at reducing the risk by limiting settlement in such regions?”

    Absolutely! If I build my home on an active railroad track, sooner or later a train will plow through, destroying the home completely. Would this be the fault of climate change or would it be because I understood nothing about trains.

    The same should apply with people building in flood plains or directly on the shore. If my home is destroyed by flooding or storm damage, would the fault lie with climate change or the fact that I failed to learn and understand Earth processes?

  10. Excellent article, Dr Ball.

    But is not this where we are at right now, in this age of stupid? Of people making unwise decisions (probably due to an education which by-passed any suggestion of critical thinking) and then expecting the government (or state) to subsidise or lead them out of difficulties caused largely by irresponsible behaviour.

  11. Ridiculous…

    Find one spot in this country that doesn’t get droughts, floods, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, straight line winds, hurricanes, wild fires, lightening, hail, heat waves, volcanoes, earthquakes, land and mud slides, ….and even sink holes

    Can’t be done…

  12. There is a saying,… being insurance poor. Meaning you have insurance covering so many things that you don’t have money for anything else.

  13. Some of the Insurance companies just follow the herd.
    When I built my house beside a tidal river, I made sure that the opposite bank was lower than the bank we were going to build on, so any tidal or rain flood would affect the bog on the other bank,. not me.
    My insurance company sent a surveyor, agreed that we were not a flood risk and undertook the buildings and contents insurance cover.
    A few years later the company was taken over and the insurance premium rocketed. The new company said we were beside a river and that was the reason for the increase.
    We changed to another company who take a realistic approach to risk.
    Most insurance companies are just out to make as big a profit as possible without actually looking at the real risks, and just hope that the punters don’t actually assess the real situation and investigate the market properly.
    Caveat emptor in fact.

  14. If you examine coastal insurance you find that you are put in a pool, with at least some government meddling, and little incentive to build smart. Adaptation is a better idea if you know what you are doing. Piling clay without support in a rapidly subsiding area like much of the Louisiana coast can increase subsidence. The demonization of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and even hydrocarbons, all nutrients (and toxic) under certain conditions, has produced incentives for projects which someday will be compared to the pyramids. They will be important for reasons other than their original justification. Or as some of my old cynical friends say, written about on stone tablets.

  15. Finally, I asked one how he determined the rates. He replied, whatever the market will bear.

    This is a perfectly rational strategy … for the executives of the company. They’re gambling with other people’s money. If the company goes bankrupt, they still make out like bandits (which they are).

  16. Yet another great essay.

    The main take-away is that the common people should not be held liable trough taxes, regulations, or mandatory insurance for the stupidity of people who want live recklessly. (who are usually rich people by the way)

    I don’t think it is wise to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, but there should be no helmet laws for adults. BUT, no one should have to pay for the stupid when they wreck and sustain head injuries. By the same token, if someone lives on a very expensive piece of beach property then I should not be forced to help them out when a cane blows their big house down.

    I am afraid that most Americans no longer have any concept of what living free means.

    • I think you will find that there are many decidedly non-rich people who live in places that flood (or blow down, etc) because those are the only places they can afford to live. I think you will also find that they mostly don’t insure because they can’t afford it (or because they can’t). Occasionally they lose their house and have to rebuild or move on, but that’s better than the miserable living conditions they would have 24/7 in safer places.

      • PS. I’m only picking up on the “usually rich people”. I agree about others not having to pay for the stupid.

      • You will also find in the US that a significant number of poor people live in cities that exist simply because of the lack of natural disasters. They pretty much live on prime property. In this world this is short selling and long term buying of property that exits over decades. Some people have no idea what they are sitting on. The biggest threat in some cities is self started fires.

      • Please go to the beach in Florida and look at the big houses on the ocean that I refereed to and find me some poor people owning them. Do you have any idea what it costs to live in one of those sea side houses?

      • , if someone lives on a very expensive piece of beach property then I should not be forced to help them out when a cane blows their big house down.
        ===
        Mark, you sound more jealous than rational…might as well complain about your money going to help someone who’s been hit with an earthquake

  17. The problem is that wherever you live there is risk. I agree living in a floodplain is stupid, but if no one lived in a floodplain, or where there are risks from earthquake, wildfire, blizzards, extreme heat, pestlence, mudslides, etc., where does one live? With more and more people living in every conceivable nook and cranny, some are always going to be in the eye of the storm. But let’s face facts; insurance companies and brokers are not that good at their jobs; should we be surprised? They feed on hysteria, like most of society.

  18. Sometimes governments get it right. After Toronto was inundated with rain by Hurricane Hazel in 1956, the city banned future housing developments on the flood plains of the small rivers that run through it, and systematically removed any houses that had not been destroyed by the flooding. Toronto is built on a gently sloping glacial outwash plain, and the rivers that traverse it have made deep valleys (“ravines”) with quite narrow flood plains, so the affected areas were relatively small.. The result, though, is a rather pleasant network of parks where people can walk or cycle for long distances without having to face any traffic. The park system is so well established that development on or near the rivers is now impossible.

    • Very well! In Valencia after a devastating flood the government even diverted a river and created in the old riverbed a fantastic park through the whole city:

      “In 1957, Valencia experienced a devastating flood that forever changed the city’s relationship with the Turia River. Nearly three quarters of the city was inundated by floodwater and over 60 people lost their lives. The following year, the city embraced a plan to divert the river around its western outskirts to the Mediterranean Sea.”
      (….)
      “The resulting design establishes a monumental five-mile green swath within a dense and diverse urban fabric, including the historic center of the city, and has an average span of 600 feet, from bank to bank. The park comprises over 450 acres and is characterized by bike paths, event spaces, active recreation fields, fountains, and many notable structures, such as the Alameda Bridge by Santiago Calatrava.”
      Source: http://www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/June-2012/Valencias-Green-River/

  19. So, all of LA should be eliminated? And Portland, Oregon, due to the nearby volcano? Tokyo! Top ‘disaster city’ of the planet earth! The list goes on and on and on. I live in a house I designed and built to deal with my climate, etc. on my mountain and it is built to take all sorts of hazards or avoids things like flooding.

    But that is unusual, not normal. Most of the time, we all live in danger of bad things happening. For example, meteor crater is in Arizona. What if another metorite hits? How about that hazard?

  20. Holy crap. This is The Big Short of “climate change.” I knew it couldn’t simply be the research funding. This is the big money.

  21. Assiniboine River Management Assessment Board

    That reminds me of a somewhat different question. Some people contend that rural properties are sacrificed in order to protect Winnipeg. It seems to have something to do with the operation of the floodway, I’ve never seen the technical details. The question is then, what responsibility do the rural residents bear? It seems silly to give up farming a large chunk of the province because of the possibility of flooding.

    Another question? By their actions, or lack thereof, are North Dakota and Minnesota responsible for damage downstream?

  22. I see that IPCC AR6 is rolling out with a budget of $140,000,000, $40,000,000 from the US. That’s a lot for volunteers, but for a career scientist a bullet point on the ol’ resume is as good as money.

  23. Many of you seem to forget about property taxes on those big, expensive properties owned by rich people. They pay huge sums of money into the local property tax coffers that enable those same local governments to finance themselves and provide schools, fire, police, roads and all the other protections and services that benefits everyone in the community, most of whom pay far less in taxes. How about funding schools from only those who actually have children in school? That seems fair. How about having private police and fire departments funded by only those that use them? How about funding public transportation by only those that use it? Everything is not as cut and dry as it seems.

  24. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Climate change alarmism is big business for ‘reinsurance’ billionaire Warren Buffett. But he doesn’t believe in it:

    – Warren Buffett: “The public has the impression, because there has been so much talk about climate, that the events of the last ten years have been unusual…they haven’t!

    – Warren Buffett: “We’ve been remarkably free of hurricanes in the last five years [Now eleven years or 4003 days]. If you’ve been writing hurricane insurance it’s been all profit.”

    – Warren Buffett: “I love apocalyptic predictions, because … they probably do affect rates…”

    – Warren Buffett: “we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them.”

    https://climatism.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/climate-change-alarmism-is-big-business-for-billionaire-buffett/

    ———

    INCONVENIENT facts on the “Extreme Weather” meme :

    “Extreme Weather Is Not Getting Worse” – Dr Roger Pielke Jr

    https://climatism.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/extreme-weather-is-not-getting-worse-dr-roger-pielke-jr-2/

  25. I fired Intact insurance company for lying about climate and for trying to blame price increases on earthquake risk. (Hey! we know there is risk, one year closer every year I suppose. Is your problem that you have been underpricing? As you did with travel medical insurance then quadrupled prices?) Typical regulated industry – sloppy. (Check if you have a signature saying you paid the premium.)

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