World’s Largest Reinsurer Warns on Climate

by Val Germann

As has been reported here at Star Phoenix Base, the world’s insurers have been aware of climate change and its dangers for some time. This is because they have been among the first to suffer serious losses due to a deteriorating climate and their warnings have for that reason sometimes been dire. It should be no surprise then that a new report, titled “Global Risk 2007” and issued in part by Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, warns that steps must be taken quickly to mitigate the problem.  An article appearing yesterday on the TERRADAILY website makes the case very strongly:

A report by the World Economic Forum, the reinsurer Swiss Re, Citigroup bank and US broker Marsh and McLennan warned of “a fundamental disconnect between risk and mitigation”. It said levels of risk were rising in almost all of the 23 categories on which the network had focused over the last year.

Unlike the oil and car companies, the insurance industry (and its bankers and brokers) are right there on the front lines of the climate wars, taking hits every day. And they are not happy.

From the range of economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological threats, the “Global Risks 2007” report pinpointed climate change as “one of the defining challenges of the 21st century”.

So it is, so it is, but is anyone else listening? You really have to wonder, considering the incident reported here yesterday concerning Chrysler Corporation. Will the car companies and the oil barons ever listen to the insurers, and other like-minded people in business? They should listen because the situtation is grim, as the report tersely outlines.

It said climate change and associated severe storms, water shortages or rising sea levels would have an impact “far beyond the environment”. While effective measures to mitigate global warming could also improve resilience to oil price shocks by diversifying energy supply, the report said, ineffective steps “will almost certainly be a factor in major interstate and civl wars within the next 50 years”.

Yes, climate will be a factor in future wars, without any doubt, and those wars have already begun in some locales. In spite of what some our corporate elite might want to believe, the hour is late and the need for action urgent. Let’s hope some ears are opened, and soon.

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About Val

I am a long-time teacher of science and astronomy with a strong interest in resource conservation and the environment.
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