The 21st century is shaping up as a world of global risks. We’ve seen the effects of global terrorism, systemic financial failure and pandemic, and we’ve adjusted (or are in the process of adjusting) to the policy responses deployed to contain these risks. Riskthinking.AI methodology is at the cutting edge of translating climate risks into financial risks; a crucial step in spurring companies to respond more effectively to the climate crisis.
…the Electoral College also undermines the fight against climate change. If every additional vote in California, Oregon, and Washington—which between them boast roughly 50 million people—mattered as much as every additional vote in a swing state, Biden might have spent the past few weeks touring the West Coast and explaining how his plans can save its residents from a climate apocalypse that threatens to make their home unliveable. But the Electoral College rules that out. Biden has no incentive to run up his margin in three reliably blue states. Instead, he’s singularly focused on purple ones in the Midwest. So far this month, he’s visited Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and he’s headed to Minnesota next week. Conventional wisdom holds that in a Midwest built on fossil fuels and heavy industry, focusing on climate change is politically risky.
August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. A surge in air-conditioning broke the state’s electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones. By mid-month, the state had recorded possibly the hottest temperature ever measured on earth — 130 degrees in Death Valley — and an otherworldly storm of lightning had cracked open the sky. From Santa Cruz to Lake Tahoe, thousands of bolts of electricity exploded down onto withered grasslands and forests, some of them already hollowed out by climate-driven infestations of beetles and kiln-dried by the worst five-year drought on record. Soon, California was on fire.
Riskthinking.AI examines and prices intersecting and cascading risks such as these using algorithmically-generated scenarios-tools and analytics.
No country has been able to control the virus without a “fence”- policies like travel bans, quarantines, or checkpoints that countries or states put in place to keep out infections. Fences are not enough to stop the virus on their own, but they’re a necessary part of the solution. European countries and U.S. states had hoped otherwise, but they opened their arms to their neighbours too soon and got infected in the hug. As long as states fail to control their borders, the coronavirus will come back.
Although Riskthinking.Ai’s scenarios typically map out climate-related financial risks, the same methodology is currently helping Canadian policy-makers confront the radical uncertainty of COVID-19. Please navigate to the Case Study page on the Riskthinking.AI website to learn more.
Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 273 weather and climate disasters exceeding $1 billion in damages. Yet Americans still overwhelmingly consider climate change an “environmental issue” and a largely distant, future risk rather than a here-and-now problem. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, only 45% of Americans think people in the U.S. are being harmed by global warming “right now.”
New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Today is another step on the journey this Government is taking towards a low carbon future for Aotearoa New Zealand and a cleaner, safer planet for future generations. Riskthinking.AI’s forward-looking scenarios help companies understand their climate-related financial risk – a crucial first step in the reporting process.
California has experienced devastating autumn wildfires in recent years. These autumn wildfires have coincided with extreme fire weather conditions during periods of strong offshore winds coincident with unusually dry vegetation enabled by anomalously warm conditions and late onset of autumn precipitation. In this study, we quantify observed changes in the occurrence and magnitude of meteorological factors that enable extreme autumn wildfires in California, and use climate model simulations to ascertain whether these changes are attributable to human-caused climate change. We show that state-wide increases in autumn temperature (~1 °C) and decreases in autumn precipitation (~30%) over the past four decades have contributed to increases in aggregate fire weather indices (+20%). As a result, the observed frequency of autumn days with extreme (95th percentile) fire weather—which we show are preferentially associated with extreme autumn wildfires—has more than doubled in California since the early 1980s. We further find an increase in the climate model-estimated probability of these extreme autumn conditions since ~1950, including a long-term trend toward increased same-season co-occurrence of extreme fire weather conditions in northern and southern California. Our climate model analyses suggest that continued climate change will further amplify the number of days with extreme fire weather by the end of this century, though a pathway consistent with the UN Paris commitments would substantially curb that increase. Given the acute societal impacts of extreme autumn wildfires in recent years, our findings have critical relevance for ongoing efforts to manage wildfire risks in California and other regions.
The northwest part of the state, usually much wetter, has dried out this year, enabling flames driven by powerful winds to “just explode down these canyons.” Deadly wildfires are a major climate risk factor with which more and more cities in the Pacific Northwest are grappling.
All the biggest threats to America — most of them predicted, if not known well in advance — are unfolding before our eyes, in real-time, in unmistakable ways. From climate change to pandemic, Riskthinking.Ai’s forward-looking scenarios can help decision-makers better understand the risks they face – even when they occur concurrently.