Damage from Extreme Weather Events – the Insurance Industry saw it coming!

Two months ago, we commented on the extraordinary amount of damage caused by successive hurricanes hitting the Caribbean Islands and the US Southern States.  There is no doubt that the increased severity of these “natural” events is a result of global warming. The world-wide insurance industry has for many years warned of this possibility.   Four … Read more

Three!!! Hurricanes and untold devastation!

We have watched with concern as Caribbean Islands and Southern US states have been devastated by hurricanes: Harvey, then Irma, and now Jose!  All of these hurricanes have been “fed” by warmer than usual ocean waters . . . . a clear demonstration how global warming increases the destructive power of hurricanes. The 2015 Paris … Read more

Hurricane Harvey and Climate Change

Did climate change cause Hurricane Harvey? That’s not a good question and it can’t be answered satisfactorily. Better to ask “Did climate change make Hurricane Harvey more severe?” The answer to this question is “Yes”.  Here’s the explanation. Water Temperature. Global warming heats the earth’s oceans. The water in the Gulf of Mexico is about … Read more

Canada’s biggest climate change event of 2016

The wildland/urban interface disaster that struck Fort McMurray, Alberta in May 2016 was the largest ever insured loss in Canada.  This wildfire destroyed more than 2,400 structures. Wildfires are a distinct emergency that have and will lead to increasing losses. This is clear from comparing Fort McMurray, where the losses topped $3.6 billion, with previous … Read more

Possible Lessons from the destruction of Fort McMurray

The Fort McMurray wildfire uprooted 88,000 residents of the area. When it is safe to do so, some of these people will return to run the industrial installations that extract bitumen from the neighbouring tar sands. For those who don’t, their immediate future will be uncertain.  They are Canada’s first climate change refugees. Ironically, only … Read more

Destruction of Fort McMurray

In 2011 we commented on the tragedy of Joplin, Missouri, a town that was wiped out – flattened! – by a severe tornado.   The videos of the residents surveying the destruction were heart-wrenching: the speakers were in shock as they recognized they had lost everything! Nobody wishes to exploit a tragedy as severe as the wild fires that … Read more

“We’re having a heat wave!”

Nearly a century ago Irving Berlin wrote these words for his song: “We’re having a heat wave! A tropical heat wave The temperature’s rising It isn’t surprising . . .  Not so long ago heat waves, defined as three consecutive days of unusual heat, would hit North America approximately every twenty years. Now – unless … Read more