Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Slate Article on Measuring Hurricanes

I have an article in Slate tonight:


David in Cal said...

Very nice article, David. I agree with you. Given the sophistication of today's models, measurements more useful than Saffir-Simpson should be possible.

One quibble: You write, reinsurance broker, Willis Towers Watson—a company he says is specifically interested in climate change because “they understand it will impact their bottom line.” (This is a reassuring converse to Upton Sinclair’s pithy line that “It’s hard to get a man to believe something when his salary depends on his not believing it.”)

I think you're implying that the reinsurance industry would rather not believe that storms are getting worse because of climate change. I think the reverse is the case. Insurance companies and reinsurance companies are thrilled to find evidence that storms are worsening, because it justifies them to charge higher premium rates. I recall that after Katrina and other storms of 2005, the various catastrophe models had their loss probabilities substantially increased because of the belief that global warming had changed the long-term pattern of hurricanes.


David Appell said...

Thanks for the compliment, David.

Why shouldn't insurers raise rates if they anticipate more losses?