Insurers Stray From the Conservative Line on Climate Change

Posted by Robyn, May 21, 2013

damageIf there were one American industry that would be particularly worried about climate change it would have to be insurance, right?

From Hurricane Sandy’s devastating blow to the Northeast to the protracted drought that hit the Midwest Corn Belt, natural catastrophes across the United States pounded insurers last year, generating$35 billion in privately insured property losses, $11 billion more than the average over the last decade.

And the industry expects the situation will get worse.  “The rise in sea level caused by climate change will further increase the risk of storm surge.” Most insurers, including the reinsurance companies that bear much of the ultimate risk in the industry, have little time for the arguments heard in some right-wing circles that climate change isn’t happening, and are quite comfortable with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is the main culprit of global warming.

“Insurance is heavily dependent on scientific thought,” Frank Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America, told me last week. “It is not as amenable to politicized scientific thought.”

via Insurers Stray From the Conservative Line on Climate Change – NYTimes.com.

“…so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem.” And it raises a perplexing question: why hasn’t corporate America done more to sway its allies in the Republican Party to try to avert a disaster that would clearly be devastating to its own interests?

Recent Headlines