Climategate Controversy Roils the Insurance Industry

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climate change insurance

Environmentalist groups are fond of quoting insurance companies who argue that climate change is a big problem. This supposedly shows that profiteers, who are despised in other contexts, agree with the activists about the real and present danger of man-made global warming. In fact, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the lobby group for the folks that regulate insurance companies, has begun requiring insurance companies to answer a Climate Risk Disclosure Survey as a way alert investors and insureds about each company's exposure to the risks of climate change.

Now some insurance companies are pushing back. In a recent letter, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, specifically citing the Climategate affair, argues against the disclosure requirements on the grounds that the uncertainties surrounding climate science make it hard to properly assess risks. As the letter explains:

Climate Risk Disclosure Survey—Proposal For Implementation january 2010

Relevance of Recent Revelations Regarding Climate Science

In the months leading up to its adoption by the NAIC, NAMIC presented several arguments opposing the survey. One of these was that there is simply too much uncertainty about the nature of climate change—e.g., the rate at which it is occurring, the extent to which it is caused by human activity, its relationship to natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and droughts, and the economic trade-offs that would be entailed by various actions that might be taken to prevent further warming—for regulators to assume that all insurers have a material exposure to "climate risk" sufficient to justify mandatory "disclosure" of this purported risk to regulators and the public. Survey proponents replied that because uncertainty is inherent in any type of risk assessment, uncertainty about climate change shouldn't prevent insurers form assessing the risks associated with climate change, nor should it prevent regulators from inquiring about the results of those assessments. At the same time, proponents suggested that there was little room for doubt that "global warming is occurring," as a 2008 Task Force white paper unequivocally declared. The white paper disposed of the debate over the extent and consequences of anthropogenic global warming in a single sentence: "[The Task force] believe[s] that there is ample evidence in support of this assumption in a variety of other reports and studies, so we have decided not to focus on the scientific aspects of global warming."

That decision was certainly questionable in 2008. Today, it is untenable in our view. The unauthorized release in November 2009 of thousands of e-mails containing correspondence among scientists affiliated with the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) makes clear that insurers, regulators, and anyone else with a serious interest in climate change cannot afford the luxury of simply assuming that the "reports and studies" to which the Task Force white paper alludes present an accurate and unbiased picture of what is known about climate change.

The CRU e-mails show that a close-knit group of the world's most influential climate scientists actively colluded to subvert the peer-review process (and thereby prevent the publication of research by scientists who disagreed with the group's conclusions about global warming); manufactured pre-determined conclusions through the use of contrived analytic techniques; and discussed destroying data to avoid government freedom-of-information requests.

Viewed collectively, the CRU e-mails reveal a scientific community in which a group of scientists promoting what has become, through their efforts, the dominant climate-change paradigm are at war with other scientists derisively labeled as "skeptics," "deniers," and "contrarians." The insularity and non-collegiality of these climate scientists had previously been noted in a 2006 report to Congress prepared by a committee of statisticians led by Dr. Eugene Wegman of George Mason University. The Wegman Report examined the body of research behind the widely-publicized "hockey stick" graph, which purported to show a dramatic and unprecedented increase in average global temperature during the twentieth century. After thoroughly discrediting the hockey stick graph, the report observed that "authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus 'independent studies' may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface." The report further noted "the isolation of the paleoclimate community," concluding that "even though they rely heavily on statistical methods, they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community." When members of paleoclimate community were asked to explain and defend their work, "the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done."

In short, because serious questions have been raised about the integrity of contemporary climate science, NAMIC believes it would be exceedingly risky for any insurance company to make important business decisions based on an uncritical acceptance of the dominant scientific paradigm on climate change. Put differently, we believe there is considerable risk involved in an approach to assessing "climate risk" that assumes the validity of any particular theory or set of beliefs about anthropogenic global warming.

Companies that share our perspective should be encouraged to do so in their responses to the Climate Risk Disclosure Survey. We fear, however, that the wording of the survey questions, together with the public pronouncements of some regulators, will inhibit the expression of what might be viewed as unwelcome "contrarian" responses. This fear was reinforced by the overall tone and substance of the Task Force-sponsored Climate Risk Summit that took place in San Francisco on December 9, 2009. Rather than thoughtfully assess the implications that the CRU e-mail scandal holds for insurers and the Climate Risk Disclosure Survey process, all but one speaker ignored the matter entirely. That speaker, in facilely dismissing the e-mail scandal as a plot hatched by malevolent "contrarians," personified the doctrinaire partisanship and intolerance toward dissent that is so clearly displayed in the CRU e-mails.

If the CRU Climategateers and other climate change researchers had been as transparent about their science as the insurance commissioners are demanding that insurance companies be, this controversy would likely never have arisen.

NEXT: "The cost of the crisis may be in the range of $100 million."

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  1. I’m still astounded by the mendacity and prevarication of the CRU idiots. They alone have managed to destroy everything that they tried to facilely construct, and man, if that isn’t befitting, I don’t know what is.

  2. PILTDOWN MAN! PILTDOWN MAN! PILTDOWN MAN! GARBLE BARBLE BLARK BARBLE BARBLE!

    1. Don’t talk about our President that way, you racist!

  3. MNG: So the insurers are just know-nothing climate change deniers? How does that profit them?

    1. Fell for the MNG spoof. (Whacks forehead).

      1. Hua, hua, hua, huuaaaaaaa…!

    2. My relatives on the German side are reminding me daily that the mechanisms involved in the ‘global warming’ swindle are precisely the same as those used in Nazi Germany. Lies. Deceit. Alter the data. Bully and intimidate opponents. (eg – your use of the word ‘denier’, as in holacaust denier’. Cute) All made possible by blind ideology and the general public’s inability to figure out that they’re being duped. Ignorance figures highly, too. Like, CO2 is not a toxic substance. Its a trace gas essential for plant respiration. By the way, what % of the atmosphere is CO2? Given your strong stand for ‘warming’, you’d obviously know the answer immediately. You’re also no doubt aware that a British High Court ruled that Al Gore’s ‘documentary’ is “materially false” in 11 major areas – including the claim that CO2 causes global warming. The court ruled that the reverse is the case. FIRST, global warming, THEN CO2 levels rise. 800 – 2000 year later. But you knew this of course. You also understand that the ‘warmers fraudulently eliminated both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age from their charts in order to create an illusion of global warming. But you did know this, of course. The level of ignorance on the subject of ‘global warming’ is absolutely appalling. I strongly suggest that to avoid future embarrasment you do a bit of basic, high school level research. By the way, the atmosphere at sea level is comprised of 0.04% CO2. The primary greenhouse gas is water vapor – at 90%!

  4. What’s the penalty for falling for a spoof? I suggest that we all send goatse links to Ron’s inbox. Tastefully, of course.

    1. Let’s plug his drains and leave his sinks running.

      1. Remember, Warty, I’m the looks, NutraSweet is the brains, Naga is the wildcard, and you’re the muscle.

        1. I AM DA BRAINS! DURR!

        2. I’m such good muscle that I killed this guy. True story.

        3. Warty said I could be the useless chick if I obey the MALE GAZE.

          1. Warty says a lot of things to get chicks where he can rape them.

            1. Mmmm-hmmm. French fried pataters mmmm-hmmm.

        4. And together you form Voltron!!

    2. First offense: Rick-roll. Second offense: Swirly…

      1. Third offense: Texas Chili Bowl.

        Dr. Doctor: Boys, you have to let him rest. Some mean kid gave him a Texas Chili Bowl.

        Stan: What’s that?

        Dr. Doctor: It involves Tabasco sauce, a telephone, and the anus.

  5. the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the lobby group for the folks that regulate insurance companies, has begun requiring insurance companies to answer a Climate Risk Disclosure Survey as a way alert investors and insureds about each company’s exposure to the risks of climate change.

    Easily done:

    Our potential exposure to adverse liability events arising from climate change is zero. For the same reason that our exposure to unicorn attacks is zero.

    1. If I owned a large insurance company, I would so hire you as my CLO.

  6. Repent you disbelievers in Climatology and its prophet Al Ron Gore.

  7. Yeah buddy, I would have to agree.

    RT
    http://www.online-anonymity.se.tc

    1. Spambot’s feelin’ sassy today!

  8. According to MNG, National Association of Insurance Commissioners is a collective that speaks for all its members, thus proving The Entire Insurance Industry agrees with him. Ignore actual companies’ stances.

    1. NAIC is an organization of insurance regulators, not insurance companies.

  9. The Wegman Report examined the body of research behind the widely-publicized “hockey stick” graph, which purported to show a dramatic and unprecedented increase in average global temperature during the twentieth century. After thoroughly discrediting the hockey stick graph, the report observed that “authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface.”

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    DENIER!! (and then screams like Donald Sutherland in “Invastion of the Body Snatchers”)

  10. Companies that share our perspective should be encouraged to do so in their responses to the Climate Risk Disclosure Survey. We fear, however, that the wording of the survey questions, together with the public pronouncements of some regulators, will inhibit the expression of what might be viewed as unwelcome “contrarian” responses.

    No!

  11. Now that I think about it, the screamers in Invasion of the Body Snatchers are a very good allegory for Warmist. I have always pictured a Warmist screaming “Denier!” as being exactly like Donald Sutherland at the end of the movie.

  12. The unauthorized release in November 2009 of thousands of e-mails containing correspondence among scientists affiliated with the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) makes clear that insurers, regulators, and anyone else with a serious interest in climate change cannot afford the luxury of simply assuming that the “reports and studies” to which the Task Force white paper alludes present an accurate and unbiased picture of what is known about climate change.

    Something like: “You guys really wanna lose your shirts? Go ahead and believe these now-discredited bozos!”

    But who cares, right? These are profit-seeking individuals, and I have from good sources that profits are yucky – the Statists told me so.

  13. This supposedly shows that profiteers, who are despised in other contexts, agree with the activists about the real and present danger of man-made global warming.

    I had an ethics professor who told us that AGW must be real because Wal-mart was going green and they totally couldn’t have any other reason to do this except that AGW was real. I can’t remember if this before or after we spent a class watching a movie telling us how evil Wal-mart was.

    1. I totally closed that tag! Why isn’t there a preview button or something?

  14. The CRU email story has been ignored in lots of ways by the Warmers. They are not just indifferent to the implications in the data, but they don’t seem interested in finding out who the actual leaker was. Any info from East Anglia’s self-directed Inquisition? Nothing. They haven’t even said definitely what kind of IP trace they’ve got, logs, nothing. Either they don’t care, don’t want to say, or are as sloppy in maintaining and securing their computers and networks as they are in using same for climatology purposes.

    I still say it was an inside job by someone there with a conscience, and that’s why you don’t hear any revelations on the WhoDunIt side of things. If it was Lukhoil or something like that, we’d be hearing all about it I’m sure. Fact they are so quiet is telling. And its easier for the Warmer crowd to keep the leaker ambiguous, that way they can always be “denier-thieves” or “Exxon-funded-Russian-narco-hackers” or whatever boogeyman you want that person(s) to be.

    Very convenient to forget in more ways than one for the Warmers.

    1. Re: TheZeitgeist,

      The CRU email story has been ignored in lots of ways by the Warmers.

      That’s because the muck is much thicker than what they are willing to admit. As long as you have their inspector Drebin saying “There’s nothing to see here! Move on!”, they think that people will forget . . .

      . . . that is, their forlorn hope.

      1. That’s because there IS nothing to see here, outside of convincing proof that no grand conspricy exists. Clearly, if one did, evidence of such would have been in their emails somewhere.

        Oh, I get it. The WARMISTS released the emails, to throw conspiracy nuts off the track….got it.

        When you find any changes to the science that we must make because of those emails, get back to me. Until you do, you have nothing but evidence that Phil Jones deserves a slap on the wrist.

  15. From Hans Van Stoch and Myles Allen

    http://www.nature.com/news/200……1155.html

    The mainstream media has confused discussions about relatively uncertain climate reconstructions built on tree-ring data, among them the ‘hockey-stick’ graph of rising temperatures, and the much more secure thermometer record. Whereas proxy-based reconstructions remain a controversial area of active research, the thermometer record shows unequivocally that Earth is warming, and provides the main evidence that this is thanks to human activity. This important record remains essentially unchallenged.

    1. “the thermometer record shows unequivocally that Earth is warming, and provides the main evidence that this is thanks to human activity. This important record remains essentially unchallenged.”
      I don’t doubt this and would be surprised if the climate wasn’t either warming or cooling. Further, I don’t doubt that human activity is having some effect on this.
      Neither of which indicates governmental activity to either (supposedly) alter the curve nor to mitigate the effects on humans.
      What Van Stoch and Myles Allen seem to finesse, and what seemingly *has* been ‘essentially challenged’ is the claim of catastrophism.
      Absent that, there’s no need for ‘heroic’ measures, either governmental or charitable.

    2. What a crock.

      The thermometer record provides evidence of temperature only, and not a hint as to the cause of any change in temperature.

      Moreoever, to alledge that human activity is the main cause of the recent warming is to deny the fact the the beginning of the thermometer record coincides with the end of the little ice age.

      Your conclusion is a circular result of you assumptions, and I for one am getting fed up at this kind of horse hockey spewed by “true believers.”

      1. How, precisely, do you expect physical evidence to prove causation? What evidence are you looking for, and why is it necessary?

        Let me explain the logic to you.

        1: According to every level of theory, A causes B.

        2: A is happening, and so is B.

        3: B is happening in a way that is highly consistent with being caused by A.

        4: No other explanation of B is consistent with the data.

        Now in this case, why on earth would any rational person NOT base his actions on the premise that A is causing B, and more A will cause more B?

        1. Chad wrote:
          “Let me explain the logic to you.

          1: According to every level of theory, A causes B.

          2: A is happening, and so is B.

          3: B is happening in a way that is highly consistent with being caused by A.

          4: No other explanation of B is consistent with the data.”

          Let us start at point 2.
          In the past B happened then 8 centuries to a millennium later A happened. So B can happen without A.
          Also in the past B reversed – and everything cooled while A was still high. So A cannot prevent reversals of B.

          So now in the last 2 decades of the twentieth century there was an occasional correlation between A rising and B rising. Correlation does not mean causation. In the first decade of the twenty first century A is continuing to rise but B has not carried on rising. Thus disproving your point 3. and point 4.

          Your final premise is thus false.

          A short term correlation between CO2 rising and temperatures rising and a simplistically modeled view of the atmospheric systems that cannot even model clouds and their effects correctly has been used by scientists looking for funding and politicians looking for new taxes and power.

    3. @Neu Mejican:

      That’s nice and all…but who leaked the mails over at CRU? And why doesn’t anyone care? What do you think went down over there? You’re more plugged into realclimate.org etc. than anybody else that frequents the threads around here…what’s word around the campfire in those parts? Any theories?

      1. I wouldn’t say I am plugged into Realclimate…I hardly ever check their site. I did see this.

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot……lings.html

  16. Are you angry about this obvious RICO Act fraud and the national media’s complicity in the cover-up, misinformation, reframing and misdirection of the issue and the related “carbon derivatives” market Obama’s Administration is spinning up? Take responsibility and take action. STOP all donations to the political party(s) responsible for this fraud. STOP donations to all environmental groups which funded this Global Warming propaganda campaign with our money, especially The Environmental Defense Fund. They have violated the public trust. KEEP donations local, close to home. MAKE donations to Oklahoma’s Senator Inhofe, the only politician to stand firmly against this obvious government/media coordinated information operation (propaganda) targeted at its own people. People that government leaders and employees are sworn to protect. WRITE your state and federal representatives demanding wall to wall investigations of government sponsored propaganda campaigns and demand indictments of those responsible. WRITE your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice, indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. Carbon is the stuff of life. He (Obama) who controls carbon, especially CO2, controls the world. Think of the consequences if you do nothing! For one, the UK is becoming the poster child for George Orwell’s “1984” and the US government’s sponsorship of this worldwide Global Warming propaganda campaign puts it in a class with the failed Soviet Union’s relentless violation of the basic human right to truthful government generated information. Given ClimateGate’s burgeoning revelations of outrageous government misconduct and massive covert misinformation, what are the chances that this Administration’s National Health Care sales campaign is anywhere near the truth?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bdneX1djD0

  17. Ummmmm….who gives half a whit about what some poly sci major thinks about global warming. If you would like to make bets against climate scientists, go right ahead. Don’t ask for a bail out when you lose.

    1. What, only “chemists” like yourself have credibility on global warming?

      1. Who said anything about me personally?

        I have no idea why Reason, or anyone, would care about the opinion of one random non-expert.

        1. I should have said “one random non-expert who parrots denialist talking points”.

          My bad.

  18. Look at what the Obamanation Demorat has done!
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/cl…..ckage.html
    Corporate media completely silent on latest development with warming fraudsters
    Steve Watson
    Infowars.net
    Thursday, Jan 14, 2010
    A leading scientist involved in the climategate scandal received over half a million dollars in federal economic stimulus funds from the Obama Administration last Summer, it has been revealed.
    Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University, currently under investigation by the institution itself for his role in massaging climate data and hijacking the peer review process to advance the myth of anthropogenic global warming, was awarded a grant of $541,184 by the government in June 2009.
    Mann, the creator of the now infamously discredited Hockey Stick Graph, landed money that came directly from the U.S. Treasury’s economic stimulus package, reveals the Washington free-market think-tank group The National Center For Public Policy Research (NCPPR).
    The official justification for the grant, authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was labeled as “climate change research”.
    An NCPPR press release, published today, calls for the funds to be returned:Of course, the kind of economic stimulus Obama has in mind in awarding such grants to proponents of AGW may stem directly from his own intimate involvement in the carbon tax program he is now seeking to broadly implement. Check out what Government is doing behind your back at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU

  19. Wow? A scientist got a GRANT? No! Tell me it ain’t so! I mean, it isn’t precisely how they are expected to pay for the research that they do, is it?. Next, you are going to tell me that there is no Easter Bunny or Santa Claus….

    A $500,000 grant is run-of-the-mill stuff that would power a typical project for a couple years, paying for a few students or post-docs and all the miscellaneous expenses that they incur.

    News Flash! Conservative who doesn’t understand science at all writes idiotic post on Reason.

  20. And the insurance industry just went…

    WHAM!!!

    Cop that and your dodgey evidence.

  21. Google:

    Climate Scientist Warns of ‘ClimateGate USA’

    After Climategate, Pachaurigate and Glaciergate: Amazongate

    Climate Panel Admits Glacier Blunder, Scrambles to Save Face

    Three Britons charged over ?3m carbon-trading ‘carousel fraud’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/busi…..usel-fraud

    Buy my carbon credits off eBay, good deal!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Offset-you…..3ca87a6605

    C’mon, do it! You’ll feel good.

  22. This is MediaGate, not ClimateGate! Are you angry about this obvious RICO Act fraud and the national media’s complicity in the cover-up, misinformation, reframing and misdirection of the issue and the related “carbon derivatives” market Obama’s Administration is spinning up? Why pay for propaganda? Take responsibility and take action. STOP all donations to the political party(s) responsible for this fraud. STOP donations to all environmental groups which funded this Global Warming propaganda campaign with our money, especially The World Wildlife Fund. They have violated the public trust. KEEP donations local, close to home. MAKE donations to Oklahoma’s Senator Inhofe, the only politician to stand firmly against this obvious government/media coordinated information operation (propaganda) targeted at its own people. People that government leaders and employees are sworn to protect. WRITE your state and federal representatives demanding wall to wall investigations of government sponsored propaganda campaigns and demand indictments of those responsible. WRITE your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice, indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. Carbon is the stuff of life. He (Obama) who controls carbon, especially CO2, controls the world. Think of the consequences if you do nothing! For one, the UK is becoming the poster child for George Orwell’s “1984” and the US government’s sponsorship of this worldwide Global Warming propaganda campaign puts it in a class with the failed Soviet Union’s relentless violation of the basic human right to truthful government generated information. Given ClimateGate’s burgeoning revelations of outrageous government misconduct and massive covert misinformation, what are the chances that this Administration’s National Health Care sales campaign is anywhere near the truth?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bdneX1djD

    http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/81559212.html

  23. WRITE your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice

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