Climate Change

Government Misses Boat, Insurers Build Boat


The GAO reports that private insurers are accounting for global warming in their financial models. Naturally, the government fiddles while Miami floods:

Although the relative contribution of event intensity versus societal factors in explaining the rising losses associated with weather-related events is still under investigation, both major private and federal insurers are exposed to increases in the frequency or severity of weather-related events associated with climate change. Nonetheless, major private and federal insurers are responding to this prospect differently. Many large private insurers are incorporating some elements of near-term climate change into their risk management practices. Furthermore, some of the world's largest insurers have also taken a long-term strategic approach toward changes in climate. On the other hand, for a variety of reasons, the federal insurance programs have done little to develop the kind of information needed to understand the programs' long-term exposure to climate change

Pro-market global warming skeptics should take note--businesses have started putting money on possible impacts from warming. But the "no regulation" crowd is onto something, too. Rather than forcing millions of people to cut back on consumption of fossil fuels, etc., let 'em buy a little more insurance from companies that have already built warming into their models. The Day After Tomorrow notwithstanding, we'll have a decent shot at handling the economic side-effects of global warming with relative efficiency (here in the U.S. anyway).

Via Marginal Revolution