As the climate change debate drones on and on, a new development this past week got me thinking. Like many perplexing problems of our times, solutions often come out of left field, usually in the form of disruptive technology. Sometimes solutions come from greed. And sometimes that's a good thing.
Turns out big data and insurance companies may be unlikely saviors for progress in climate change. To insurance companies, studies about climate change point to real risk and risk management is the name of the game in insurance. So the failure of towns and cities to prepare for the floods and storms - potentially caused by climate change - could cost these insurance companies billions.
Now the insurance companies are saying they simply won't pay for the stubbornness of city planners who don't factor in the damaging effects of climate change. In fact, they're suing these towns and cities for failure to prepare for climate change.
Hooray for big data. Recently, according to Heffx, "major insurance industry players cited the big data application and climate change as the Key challenges for the sector's future development during "The Insurance Summit", held by the Economist in London."
Global insurance companies are ramping up their own big data initiatives. They are also holding municipalities up to their own data analysis as well. According to NBC News, "The subsidiary of the international firm Zurich Insurance Group argued in its lawsuit that the cities knew climate change had raised the frequency, duration, and intensity of regional rainfall since the 1970s and acknowledged vulnerabilities to increased flooding by adopting a Climate Action Plan in 2008."
Looks like the almighty dollar will win again. And hooray for greed for good! So let the political climate deniers debate endlessly the existence of climate change. Global insurers are busy preparing to collect on the failure to plan for it.
A case of just desserts, right?