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Posted Sun Dec 2 2012: from Munich Re, via AlJazeera:
Insurance report: Extreme weather already costing us dearly
... Indeed, less than a week before Sandy first started forming as a tropical storm, global reinsurance giant Munich Re issued a report about the long-term trend of increasing extreme events, and the threats to life and property that they pose. Severe Weather in North America: Perils - Risks - Insurance runs 277 pages, focusing on the period 1980-2011 - during which losses totalled just over $1 trillion - and notes: "The number of natural catastrophes per year has been rising dramatically on all continents since 1980, but the trend is steepest for North America," adding, "This increase is entirely attributable to weather events, as there has been a negative trend for geophysical events."... While the corporate media habitually frames the environment and the economy in opposition to one another, the insurance industry generally and reinsurers like Munich Re in particular reflect the deeper reality that the economy and the environment are deeply intertwined with one another. There can be no jobs and no businesses if the environment itself is decimated. But almost no other businesses confront this reality directly. When questioned about this, Hoppe responded with typical understatement and restraint. "We must have an interest in keeping things calculable," he said. "If we get global warming of four degrees or so, we'll reach tipping points and have abrupt changes, then we'll have a problem with our business model.
[Read more stories about: weather extremes, ecosystem interrelationships, economic myopia]

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