Why the GOP Will be Forced to Adjust Course on Climate Change

lostlakehiker1/05/2013 12:10:03 pm PST

re: #3 EiMitch

By the time the GOP change their tune on climate change, if ever, it’ll be too late. Whatever we do, we can’t count on them to give-in. Instead, we must push for change where we can, at the state level.

Yeah, I know that means it’ll be mostly blue states taking it for the team. But we don’t have time for fairness. We’ll just have to demand reparations from denialists later, when their kind are no longer in power.

One place a Blue State could take one for the team, right now, would be New York. It is madness to rebuild in the lowest-lying, most vulnerable areas. Flood “insurance” should not be available from the federal govt at below-market costs to persons living in regions that are very likely to be flooded. This is not to say the feds should welsh on existing policies, merely that they should not write a new one for the same plot of land/marsh/sandbar/tidal-flat/estuary.

Galveston should not have been rebuilt either, for that matter.

Republicans are going to come around because the insurance industry is going to lobby them to come around. Flood insurance has already mostly become a federal gig, because the feds offer rates that bear no relation to the likely losses. Crop insurance, ditto.

If the same thing happens to other property insurance, the private sector will be entirely crowded out. Fires, floods, and wind damage figure to occur far more often than historical records would suggest.

As likely losses skyrocket, insurers will have to raise their rates dramatically or face eventual ruin. Current regulations don’t allow for that. The business-friendly, reality-based answer to the predicament is to allow estimates of future losses to take into account projections from the climate scientists, rather than just historical experience.

But to accommodate their lobbyists, the Republicans will have to grant the underlying premise of climate change.