Re: Too Many Cars!

RE: <<The global warning researchers do have some evidence that
"weather related disasters are connected in any way to the 
>total consumption of fossil fuels"

Hi all - 

Thought you imight be interested in this email I recently wrote to another
list on this topic.

Best regards - 

P. Dines

-- FORWARD ---
From: Patricia Dines, 73652,1202
Date: Wed, Jan 22, 1997, 2:04 AM
Subject: Climate change; and list definition

Hi all - 

Those interested in the facts about climate changes and its real costs
might be interested in an article in the Jan/Feb 1997 issue of World Watch
magazine, p.10-11.  On top of the world scientists saying there are real
changes happening because of human pollution, are those ever-radical
insurance guys! 
Certainly, I'd consider these about the most fact-based conservative people
you could find, the least "radical".  This article discusses the real costs
the increasing weather damage is costing them, how they're cutting back
coverage to certain areas ("Areas of southern Florida and the Caribbean,
for example, have become virtually uninsurable.), etc.  Franklin  Nutter,
President of the Reinsurance Association of America is quoted as saying
"The insurance business is first in line to be affected by climate
change... [It] could bankrupt the industry."  As the article says, insurers
set their rates based on past experience and the law of averages.  When an
increase in frequency of occurence occurs, higher payments of huge sums
amount, and this really messes with their income levels! 

The chart shows a clear and dramatic upward trend in economic losses from
weather-related natural disasters worldwide from 1980-95, with variance,
but clearly and dramatically increasing highs:
- from 1980-4 (inclusive), two years are over $5 billion (at about $6 and 8
- from 1985-9, 3 are (at about $6, $9, and $10 billion)
- from 1990-5, all are, to a startling level ($15, $26, $36, $22, $22, $38)
Them's facts folks, and it's not a pretty sight!  (Looks like it might be a
log curve or worse!)
(note: includes insured and uninsured losses, which says to me the
insurance companies are doing pretty good at not carrying all these losses
- but someone else is certainly paying them!  Causes me to reflect on the
Lloyds of London crisis too, and wonder if it was related to these types of
losses ...)
(note: figures are approximate - I'm reading them from a graph.)

The insurance companies are so concerned about this that 13 large
re-insurance companies formed a new Risk Prediction Initiative to be run by
the Bermuda Biological Station for Research in 8/96, which "will allow
insurers to work with scientists to better understand the historical storm
record and to develop improved tools for forcasting the effects of future
climate change."  I doubt such conservative folk as this would go to this
effort and expense if they felt there was no real crisis going on and it
was just invented by some radical flakes or whatever derogatory term people
use to not have a decent conversation.

"More signficantly, at the July 1996 Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Climate Change in Geneva, a large delegation of insurers
turned up for the first tie.[time]  Under the auspices of the U.N.
Environment Programe, some 60 insurers, including multi-billion dollar
companies... signed a statement calling on government to substantially
reduce emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases."

Those crazy radicals!

P. Dines

P.S. For more info, contact World Watch, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. NW,
Washington DC 20036 (202) 452-1999, worldwatch@worldwatch.org.  If you
don't know this group, I recommend checking the out.  Their mags are often
at newstands and the have a great yearly periodical called State of the
World.  I find their quality of both research and relevant cogent writing
to be some of the "best in the business."