You can bet Pepsi had insurance
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission
Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a “new normal” of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change, scientists and government planners said on Wednesday.
“It’s a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we’re seeing,” climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told reporters.
“We are used to certain conditions and there’s a lot going on these days that is not what we’re used to, that is outside our current frame of reference,” Hayhoe said on a conference call with other experts, organized by the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists.
An upsurge in heavy rainstorms in the United States has coincided with prolonged drought, sometimes in the same location, she said, noting that west Texas has seen a record-length dry period over the last five years, even as there have been two 100-year rain events.
Hayhoe, other scientists, civic planners and a manager at the giant Swiss Re reinsurance firm all cited human-caused climate change as an factor pushing this shift toward more extreme weather…
“What we’re seeing is the new normal is constantly evolving,” said Nikhil da Victoria Lobo of Swiss Re’s Global Partnerships team. “Globally what we’re seeing is more volatility … there’s certainly a lot more integrated risk exposure…”
Aaron Durnbaugh, deputy commissioner for natural resources and water quality for Chicago, said adapting to climate change is a daunting task…
The city of Chicago’s cost of dealing with extreme weather events through the end of this century has been conservatively estimated in a range from $690 million to $2.5 billion, Durnbaugh said, with the cost to homeowners and local businesses expected to be far higher.
Globally, da Victoria Lobo said the annual average economic losses from natural disasters have escalated from $25 billion in the 1980s to $130 billion in the first decade of the 21st century.
Having your nation answer to the imperatives of investment bankers and corporate greed isn’t likely to encourage planning beyond 2 fiscal quarters. Don’t be so surprised at the expansion rate of disasters as normal.
The average American voter will have to see the earth crumble beneath his feet, home wash down the river, lightning destroy his workplace – before he moves beyond the usual ignoranus acceptance of “God’s Will”.
Perish the thought that a bit of science and understanding creeps into the consciousness of someone who thinks Fox offers news and network television anything more than cheap circuses.