The Insurance Industry, soon to be the first pillar of Capitalism to succumb to Abrupt Climate Change

“Climate change could punch a hole through the financial system by making 30-year home mortgages — the lifeblood of the American housing market — effectively unobtainable in entire regions across parts of the U.S.”
“Climate change could end mortgages as we know them”

“Natural disasters are being recorded more frequently than ever before. “Since 1970, the number of disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled to around 400 a year,” and “there are six times more hydrological events now than in 1980,” The 10 Most Costly Natural Disasters of the Century
“There is a logistical hurdle: when a catastrophe bond experiences a so-called loss event, the capital in the investment is suspended until the full cost of a disaster is pinned down. The phenomenon of “loss creep”, where initial estimates of a loss balloon months or even years after the event, has also spooked some investors. The cost of Typhoon Jebi in Japan last year rose from initial expectations of $6bn to $15bn.”
“Over two years, natural catastrophes caused a record $225bn of insured losses”.
Why climate change is the new 9/11 for insurance companies

“For the insurance industry, global warming has advanced from a future ecological challenge to a present financial shock. Together, total losses to the economy from natural catastrophes and “man-made disasters” reached $165 billion in 2018; that followed a 2017 that, at $350 billion, cost more than twice as much. As a result, according to the Swiss Re Institute, the company’s research arm, 2017 and 2018 were for insurers the most-expensive two-year period of such catastrophes on record, requiring them to fork over $219 billion globally in checks.”
Climate Change Is Hitting the Insurance Industry Hard

“Regulators are starting to worry about climate change.”
“Jenkins points out that the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority is leading the way on stress-testing insurers against the risk that the world misses its carbon reduction targets.”

“In such a scenario, insurers, especially in the U.S. where price increases are restricted by regulators, may find it increasingly unattractive to offer coverage,” he writes. “Greater lay-off of risk to reinsurers is one option. But more restrictive policies or wholesale withdrawal of cover are also possible. At some juncture underwriters will need to remove their blinkers and acknowledge that a world awash with worsening climate change risks is not necessarily just bad for the planet. It could be bad for the insurance industry too. A bit like 9/11.” Climate Change Tops List of World’s ‘Extreme Risks’

“Venice is on its knees,” said Brugnaro. “The damage will run into hundreds of millions of euros.” Flood, fire and plague: climate change blamed for disasters
“Last year, insurance payouts caused by climate-related events totaled $2.4 trillion worldwide.” Can Insurance Companies Weather The Storm? What Climate Change Means For The Industry

Clearly the cost of disasters is on the same Hockey Stick trajectory as our climate crisis yet “Business as Usual” carries on as if nothing has changed. All ponzi schemes eventually implode and this one will be no different except in scale. There is no previous analogue to remotely compare with the coming collapse.

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Collapse, Insurance
40 comments on “The Insurance Industry, soon to be the first pillar of Capitalism to succumb to Abrupt Climate Change
  1. Marie says:

    Agreed! I’ve been thinking this for some time. Insurance companies stop insuring or go bankrupt, people default on home loans, banks start to collapse…. full blown recession, depression, collapse. Seems like a highly likely scenario.

    Thank you Kevin for sharing. I find all your articles spot on…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sheila chambers says:

      I can see a silver lining in this, if insurance companies stop insuring structures in areas where such structures should never have been built, that could force countries, territories & states to stop issuing permits to build in such areas.

      This could restore those areas back to the wild where it should have stayed in the first place
      For example the chaparell in southern California in the USA is very fire prone, the hills along the coast have had fires that destroy structures for decades but they keep rebuilding.
      If they can’t get insured any longer, that should stop more development in those areas & as people get burned out, those areas will be left to recover from our STUPIDITY & GREED!
      I was on EOSDIS view today & poor Australia’s east coast is burning from north to south!
      The “green new deal” & resource dependent “renewables” cannot stop the rise in C02 & our rulers refuse to address the cause of our environmental destruction, human overpopulation!
      You cannot cure a cancer by just treating it’s symptoms, our planet is like a animal that is infested with a ‘cancer’ called humanity & it’s killing it’s host, the earth.
      Putting a band-aid on a cancer may cover it up, but it’s host will still die.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] My friend Kevin Hester wrote all this up a few weeks ago. you can read his roundup of such news at his website. But his sum-up of the situation is pretty direct: Clearly the cost of disasters is on the same Hockey Stick trajectory as our climate crisis yet “Business as Usual” carries on as if nothing has changed. All Ponzi schemes eventually implode and this one will be no different except in scale. There is no previous analogue to remotely compare with the coming collapse. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Already happening. After 15 years on this property, the fire & homeowner cancelled 23 July permanently as my area of the Selkirk Range is now considered far too high a risk to make money on. And honestly that’s what it’s all about, large bags of money being made not paying out. The odds just shifted so the Big Boys just stopped insuring.

    Thanks for the $15,000 I’ve paid out the last 15 years without a claim and so long! It’s the only gambling I’ve ever done and I just lost? HA!

    Hey, the entire point of ‘insuring’ others is to make money not rebuilding people’s homes. After all, you don’t get those large bags of money when the collapsing climate burns everything up and you promised to rebuild everything.

    I think I mentioned this in another post somewhere on your site a few months ago? So here’s what I’ve found out since I was cancelled nearly four months ago.

    My local company’s policies were all underwritten by Mutual of Enumclaw out on the west coast. Huge underwriter, big corporate bucks, etc etc. I had early warning in a seriously apologetic phone call.

    Interesting that the caller is one of the co-founders of this local office and I was informed last week by another in the office of a retirement party coming up…six months after that 30 minute conversation. They probably cancelled half the office’s homeowner policies since this summer, and it’s ongoing.

    I’ve been talking climate to them for the entire 15 years. The last five they’ve been starting to come around…thinking about what was going on back in May and that’s what most of the conversation was about! Yeah, retire because…why not?

    No wonder the hedge fun logging ops are clear-cutting like locusts in these mountains. Gotta make money from the dead and disappearing forests before they burn. Of course that makes the fires worse, less atmospheric moisture or rain and drying rubble-oh my yes!

    Big Insure has known what’s coming for years. Munich RE was the world’s largest when I read about this, and they’ve been throwing warnings out about Global Warming for years.

    Paradise Cali is what caused MoE to cancel all these policies. They took a bath, that was the reason they cancelled… I’m guessing here from the statements, hints, and unsaid pieces of the conversation that, when I thought about them, it put together a picture said MoE probably had a bunch of underwriting down there, were holding a lot paper in Paradise when it burned. That fire was what? 7 billion dollars I think was the last figure I read. Probably went up since then.

    Bluntly, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    sealintheSelkirks

    Liked by 2 people

    • 44 south says:

      “we ain’t seen nothing yet”…
      So true and applicable to just about every negative experience a human being can have.
      Not sure how many of us will have what it takes to endure what’s about to fall on our heads.
      Certainly got doubts about my own capacity in that regard, which is why I try to have a plan B,C and D to limit the hardships and trauma.
      The insurance industry can collapse as soon as it wants as far as I’m concerned, just hope the bureaucracy and the box tickers collapse and die at the same time.
      Got to be some up side to the collapse of industrial civilization don’t you think?;)

      Liked by 2 people

    • 44 south says:

      As if to add an exclamation mark to your post Kevin,on the 20th South Canterbury was hit by a severe thunderstorm along with golf ball sized hail.
      Damage was widespread “insurance companies were being inundated with claims”, Timaru doesn’t have enough materials in town to cope.
      Crop damage is also widespread, including a prize winning kitchen garden which was”decimated”.
      The gardener stated “I’ve never seen anything like it… I felt helpless”.
      All this from an extreme event lasting just minutes.
      Welcome to the future.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. 44south, I really don’t think there is an upside to what we see facing us. Or at least I’m unable to focus on any scenario where it could possibly exist. I mean, holy crap when even half the dots are connected in my mind! We are so far off the cliff down is up?

    But your thoughts on “Not sure how many of us will have what it takes to endure what’s about to fall on our heads” and having backup plans to backup plans…I don’t think is going to make a damn bit of difference how many plans you make or how much you think you can endure. No offense intended, but I just don’t think there is anywhere on the face of the planet that is going to be even relatively ‘safe’ from the ravenous hordes of starving primates once it really gets going. People are already batshit crazy, ya know?

    If Extinction #6 happens as quickly as it looks like it will since it already is on-going into feedback loops that make the last crashes seem quaint, what happened in local areas during all the other empire collapses will be planet-wide and probably brutally short once the grid goes down. There are plenty of people who run out and buy shopping carts full of frozen food when a hurricane is coming…even though they won’t have any electricity. It’s a species thing I think, lizard brain Amygdala(sp?) reactions!

    I thought this short letter from our galactic neighbors might be appropriate to read at this point in time:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/21/open-letter-to-the-people-of-planet-earth/
    ____________

    And yes, Kevin, I still see this discredited 2100 AD timeline still popping up in all sorts of odd places. It’s so far out of the realm of reality as to be ridiculous at this point, but it makes people comfortable. Soothes their ruffled feathers and lets them get back to their tv show and the home shopping channel.

    It’s like that damned climate ‘change’ term that is constantly in use by people who should know better. Big sigh. I try to ignore it but I’m not all that good at that!

    -5/10C nights, 6C daytime. Clear blue sky again and no cloud cover with freezing fog and icy slip&fall mornings. Today it has stayed freezing fog all day as it is after 3pm and the trees are still wearing their white coats. Ice still on the ground and not just in the shade of the trees. It rained instead of snow last Tuesday and there is zero snow in the ski hill’s East Basin webcam, just brown dirt and green conifers. And it’s almost December. Snow is expected by next week but seeing as how Nat. Weather Service changes their expectations about every 36 hours, who the hell knows?

    The Deformed Jet Stream and the BLOB rule again this year obviously.
    ____________

    44south: Golf ball sized hail? That’s crazy! Extreme event is a very polite way to put it…unless you were actually out in it, then I’ll call it something a little more colorful. At terminal velocity one of those would knock you out or any other animal, smash out vehicle windshields, dent the hell out of normal metal roofing. No doubt that insurance claims are piling up fast! I wonder what Big Insure is going to do with all their moola when they close up shop and quit insuring anybody? Got to keep that corporate cash bringing in more profits! Maybe the US cannabis industry… 🙂

    sealintheSelkirks

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sheila chambers says:

      Hi Seal, I see one silver lining, if the insurance companies stop insuring structures in areas where such structures should never have been built, “planners” will have to stop issuing building permits in those areas & as people get burned out, their buildings won’t be rebuilt & that poor abused area will be left to recover IF it has time to recover before it all burns up anyhow.

      Our stupid greedy RULERS are still demanding MORE DAM GROWTH!

      I’m not wasting my time any longer trying to “vote” in our fake, corrupt RIGGED “elections”. I have better things to do at the end of my life.

      Like

  5. 44 south says:

    Update on our hail storm/extreme weather.
    Some ten thousand vehicles were hail damaged in and around Timaru.
    Cosmetic damage is one thing, irritating and costly to repair but…
    Because beurocrats are primarily interested in arse covering no matter what the cost to the public, these damaged vehicles are now being refused a warrant of fitness.
    Because of the cost of repairs, most of these vehicles are being written off at huge cost.
    Meanwhile I have days of work ahead of me as a result of a wind storm which savaged my place Sunday night.
    Seal… I have no doubt that you are right in the END. But there is a wealth of plain old hardship and suffering that can be mitigated or avoided with a bit of forethought.
    You might notice all my alternative plans go no further than plan D.
    D is for DEATH!
    I suggest we should all be thinking and preparing for an”exit” strategy (or three), I certainly have!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too late for me, Kevin! And not in Washington State anyway.Amazon owns the coast and that’s where all the ‘decisions’ are made, not here in rural poverty-land.

      My retired Biologist/teacher neighbors were just cancelled like I was, with no warning except my telling them what my local agent whispered to me about causes. I seemed to have been the first along this ridgeline to get dropped…at least that I know of. But they’ve never missed a premium in 45 years and their fiscal year came up this month and POOF it goes.

      I’m sure the insurance industry is going to sue and with all the neoliberal corporate judges in place over the last 40 years…I’m expecting that rule to be overturned. One out of five Federal judges are now Trump appointees and the unSupreme Court are out and out Fascists. And doesn’t the corporate rulebook explicitly state that the boards of directors are required to make a profit? And the market shall decide what is good for profits?
      _________

      44south: Ten thousand vehicles get listed as totaled and bureaucrats are being…politicians covering their butts? Why is that no surprise! But that’s freaking crazy to just, what, junk them? Or are people going to drive them anyway? I don’t understand what ‘warranty of fitness’ means… Here you can drive a car that’s been ‘totaled’ by an insurance company but it’s listed that way on the pink (ownership) paperwork.

      And you are buried in repair work from a wind storm that savaged your place. Must have been one hell of a blow! I’m sad to hear you were hammered like that. I deal with the same kind of problems on this forested property, too. Had a 90 foot+ (umm, 30 meter +?) Ponderosa snap a third of the way up and was literally flung over the dog run fence by the force of the wind. My dogs are free range except when I’m gone off the property and this tree is the shade in their 7.5x15meter run next to the shop. It was a massive t-cell windstorm a number of years ago, just came freaking roaring in like a wall. The flung piece missed the corner of my shop building by less than 4 meters…it of course became firewood. Just luck that the angle of the wind was more south than from the west or it would have crushed the shop.

      I was watching from the pitch-black music room windows, power was out of course, and in one flash of lightning the tree was there bending like a straw, the next it was a stub. And no way was I going out to see what happened! Hurricane-force wind gusts that night…

      Now since I don’t have insurance any longer, whatever breaks or burns is my problem. I sure could use that $15,000 I sent the insurance company the last few years. You know, just in case?

      And yes 44south, I’ve thought about the what-ifs but I’ve done what I could with what I had to work with in materials, my skills, and the limited finances over the last 15 years here. One thing I wish I had but can’t afford is a hand pump for my lower well. They are dang expensive but it’s only 90 feet down into an underground river. But without electricity no water, and my solar is unreliable at this point. Batteries need replaced and I don’t have the income anymore. But we do the best we can, yes?

      D is for Death. Yeah, well, we can definitely expect that to come barreling along at one point in this collapse and probably for the majority of the population of this planet. Or all of us if we really are that stupid.

      If the climate just tips the hell over from ongoing disasters to a serious ‘instant’ catastrophe? Maybe no harvest in the US Midwest one Fall as all the crops burn up or drown in floods (both likelier than I’d care to admit) much like what has been happening in Africa. There isn’t much mitigating with alternative plans if that happens. By December there WILL be starving hordes raiding the countryside once the cities are picked clean as a skeleton and the military and police forces desert to go protect their own families…

      I’ve wondered if the reason for turning US cops into heavily armed local para-military forces (not that they weren’t always that in the first place) complete with their own tanks and grenade launchers has something to do with ‘just in case we need to cage everybody’ thinking by the Neoliberal wealthy who control this country… I mean, the wealthy ARE building bunkers and stockpiling, that’s a fact. Buying up New Zealand and shipping pre-fab concrete put-togethers from that outfit in Texas to the properties; in Patagonia on top of aquifers (Bush Family 800,000 acres and the Sung Yung Moon Church on the million acres next door. Missile silos being converted to refuges for the ‘just millionaire’ types who can’t afford bigger…too much info to list here.

      Exit strategy. That depends on circumstances, doesn’t it? Another big sigh. I ain’t gonna eat people no matter how hungry I get.

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

      • 44 south says:

        The latest installment of the extreme weather news from 44 south is that last night we had a 12hour thunderstorm from 6pm to 6am that dropped over 2 inches of rain on my place.
        The south island of NZ is currently cut in half to vehicle traffic by flooding and slips on the west coast and the Rangitata river on the east coast.
        An emergency has been declared and mandatory evaluations ordered.
        About a week ago I bought my first 4 wheel drive, a cheap 1992 Nissan. An extreme weather vehicle. I think I got the timing about right. And no it’s not insured.
        My dogs kept real close through the storm last night, happy I was a comfort to them as they are my early warning devices and security most of the rest.
        Next year is going to be a doozy! Best of luck to one and all.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila chambers says:

      My “exit strategy” comes in a caliber of 45. It may be messy but it’s also QUICK!
      If the “ravening hordes” are quick, they can have a feast of “long pig”.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another use of that discredited 2100 AD meme, from the WMO this time, pops up. Interesting the article used the term ‘climate crisis’ rather than ‘climate change’ except for the 4th to last paragraph, and Dr. Joanna House of the Cabot Institute of the Environment at University of Bristol SHOULD have known better to use it!

    After Hottest Decade Since Records Began, WMO Warns World May Face 5°C Rise by Century’s End
    The impacts of the climate crisis “are real and happening now and place huge pressures on communities and countries,” climate scientists said.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/03/after-hottest-decade-records-began-wmo-warns-world-may-face-5degc-rise-centurys-end

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kevin! Hit a pay wall on this link so not available to read. I wonder just how truthful the results of this study will be and what part of climate science (whose research?) are they basing the expected coming impacts on? IPCC? Far to cautiously conservative and out-of-date so…who? What qualifications and research background?

      I’m curious how they will justify continuing to insure any property at this point!! I mean, the planetary envelope has gone insane and everywhere is at risk in one degree or another…and the ‘degrees’ are going up if ya get my meaning.
      _________

      Selkirk Range news:

      More friends, and other locals I talk with who own forested property, have been handed ‘thank you for your monetary contributions all these years and goodbye’ notices in the last couple of weeks from various Big Finance insurance companies. The little offices of locals underwritten by them are freaking out as they cancel a huge majority of their customers. So left to gouge profits with is going to be what, government-mandated auto insurance and Big Medical policies that can make money? After all, property rights is what the USA was founded on by the wealthy slave/property/business owners that wrote the rules!
      __________

      weather news: had snow falling Tuesday night 10Dec at 11pm that put down 3 inches or so by Thurs 12Dec morning. Then cold chill foggy with frozen nights until Wed 18Dec when the sky went blazing sunshine in baby blue. Thurs 19Dec there was a fresh 4″ in the morning that turned to rain by 1pm with off and on sprinkles the rest of the day. Started snowing again at dusk but flipped right over to pouring rain by 11pm! It was 6C at 10am this morning and it’s rained off and on all day. It’s now after dark and rain is pounding on the roof again and, it sounds like, a lot of wind because it is hitting in sheets above my head on the sheets of metal roofing. Easy to tell by hearing it fall.

      It’s TOO DAMN WARM!

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sheila chambers says:

        Hi Seal, have you tried doing a web search for that article on a different site? I have often found the very same artical on a site without a pay wall.

        Too dam warm eh? Down here it’s cold wet & dreary, send that excess “heat” down here, PLEASE!
        I’m freezing my big, fat, ass off!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin Hester says:

    “Damage to cars, windows and buildings is extensive, with more than 1,900 calls for help to emergency services and 15,000 insurance claims already lodged”.
    They will be watching their contingent liability soar as the thousands of claims are lodged.
    The loss of research at CSIRO located at the The Australian National University will be a huge issue as Australian government slashed their budgets last year.

    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/years-of-scientific-research-lost-in-canberra-hailstorm/11884062?pfmredir=sm&sf228533739=1&fbclid=IwAR1YMlL5YNh-iK-3lEF2t_tReUhtmv9CG43Et_O8aFdc3Ico8zjr_PrNFmM

    Like

  8. Kevin Hester says:

    In this article it says the costs could be as high as $230 billion not just the $100 billion in the title…. It’s probably more.
    Australian farmers have their hand out for aid today, it will be the insurance companies any day now where we will see a rinse and repeat of socialism for the corporations and capitalism for the taxpayers.
    No insurance no mortgages. Very large challenges will rise from the ashes of these fires and the carbon they emit.
    https://theconversation.com/with-costs-approaching-100-billion-the-fires-are-australias-costliest-natural-disaster-129433?fbclid=IwAR3Zu-lUCS4EqxCp6B2ax-GLeCXEO1GCxlVXB374y_2HnnXbXcwBNlIjZzE

    Like

    • And the Big Insure cancelled policy massacre continues in these mountains. I’m hearing about even more huge premium increases from people who’ve had fire/homeowner insurance for decades and never filed a claim for anything, that are being directed to ‘try’ these other companies…triple or quadrupling their previous monthly cost. I’m certainly not the only one living without fire or homeowners any longer. I haven’t read or heard anything about mortgages being lost due to no insurance yet, though.

      Interesting read about the building trade requirements down there. I don’t think there is anything like it in the US, but then the US is a neoliberal wasteland of the wealthy that own the corporations…

      On another topic, it is still pouring rain here. Third week in January and ridiculously warm with no real end in sight other than occasional flurries when a colder patch of cloud cover goes overhead. This is bad.

      And it’s raining all the way up the local snowboarding hill. Didn’t see a single person riding in view of the Peak cam nor on that lift coming up. Instead of worrying about snow-covered roads and digging off roofs and firing up the snowthrower to get out, it’s melted gushy oatmeal deep ruts to the defrosting wet ground (soon to be mud in January??). Right around dark is when the car accident numbers start piling up, too. This is way bad. But then we know wherever we are it’s never going to get ‘better’ or normalize, eh? May we live in interesting times indeed.

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

  9. […] Further information on the risks face by the Insurance Industry is embedded here;The Insurance Industry, soon to be the first pillar of Capitalism to succumb to Abrupt Climate Chan… […]

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  10. Kevin Hester says:

    “But “climate-related risks will remain largely uninsurable or unhedgeable as long as system-wide action is not undertaken,” the BIS said.”
    There is not and will not be any ‘system-wide action’ until collapse unfolds. That surely must be clear to everyone. We are looking at ‘Business as Usual’ until business collapses.

    https://www.desmog.co.uk/2020/01/31/green-swan-central-banks-financial-crisis-climate-change?fbclid=IwAR0sAfNV-rZxRBvdIrMzuHK_c0PCzdltnE37O2Vt045b563Fgk32fyVuXd8

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    • Can you imagine how loud the British insurance corporations are squealing at the moment? I mean, a ‘Bomb Cyclone’ in the middle of winter? The claims must be skyrocketing! Oh wait, they’ve had TWO in a freaking WEEK! Double that squeal. Or maybe triple it.

      Excuse me, didn’t they having a Bomb Cyclone back in October, too? Yep, nothing to see here, don’t connect the dots, pretend it all isn’t happening, invest in oil stocks because that’s where the dividends are. Let’s get rich!

      Since AUS is a commonwealth I’m assuming that the same Brit insure companies operate down there and would be carrying paper on the areas the mega-fires have scorched/sterilized in that country. Those fires have been so hot they killed the damned soil, nothing is going to grow in sterilized soil! The squealing must be extremely painful in those executive board rooms. Ouch! After all, the entire point of operating an ‘insurance’ company is to make a boatload of money, not pay out all the profits they take home in those large yearly bonus’.

      I’m guessing that there aren’t going to be many wealthy oligarchs on those board of directors buying new ski vacation homes in Austria this year. Maybe they’ll just put their money into…building more climate/nuclear war hideouts in New Zealand?

      It sure is a good thing that Brit insurance doesn’t cover Africa because it looks like a HUGE swath across numerous countries just lost their crops and tens of millions are going to be crossing borders to find food to feed their families. But then those other countries will be doing the same thing. Oops.

      I’m getting too cynical for my own good.
      __________

      In local weather news here in the lower Selkirk Range of NE Washington State, it continues to have beautiful blue sky and brilliantly bright sunny days with 5-10’C temperatures. I’m wearing short-sleeve t-shirts and as long as I’m in the sun it’s quite comfortable. The February MUD is a little hard to deal with, though there is a bit of crusty frozen ice still covering a good proportion of the property.

      Oops.

      At least it is still freezing solid at night otherwise I’d think I was…much farther south. When I go to town I hear people saying how much they are enjoying this weather! Then I ask them where their water comes, and they answer from the faucet, and then I explain about snowpack and aquifers. They don’t look all that happy with me, ya know?

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

    • We had a hailstorm…less than a month ago that didn’t hit here like it did about 25 miles north of me higher up in the mountains. What hit my house was pea sized, what hit up north were golf ball size. A friend’s dog was knocked out, he saw it happen through his window, and he had to run out to drag the dog into the garage to get the poor labbie out of it. Both his and his wife’s car hood/roofs look like someone used a ballpeen hammer on them. They live outside of Blue Creek…

      The picture of the shredded siding on that Calgary house was pretty freaky to look at.

      How much freakier will it get? That Chinese curse comes to mind… Step by step the ramifications of the breakdown in stability is showing its ugly face.

      Massive black t-storm clouds have piled up in the last three hours, rain falling in sheets visible against the mountains west of me, but almost no wind at my elevation yet. Yesterday’s national web weather was for sunshine until this weekend. Again, they just can’t predict what is coming even 24 hours in advance anymore. The patterns are broken. It’s sultry, muggy and warm, and when the sun goes down I’m thinking it may shift to lightning. It…feels like it, ya know?

      sealintheSelkirks

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kevin Hester says:

    “A report commissioned by federal regulators overseeing the nation’s commodities markets has concluded that climate change threatens U.S. financial markets, as the costs of wildfires, storms, droughts and floods spread through insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and other financial institutions.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sheila chambers says:

    This morning when I awoke at 08:00, it was dark, the sky was a deep orange, everything was covered with a fine ash. It didn’t lighten up until around noon, it’s now 1800 & dark, the sky a greyish orange.
    This is from the fires in N.California, there are about 80 wildfires burning in Cali. If you go to MODIS today, & select “Aqua” & “false color” those fires will stand out with their flames brightly visible. Too bad I can’t inclued a image here.

    Thanks to LYING, IGNORANT, GREEDY, RACIST, incompitant Trump, COVID19 is raging here. It’s so bad here thanks to our non-existent “health care”, inequality, racism,growing poverty, unemployment & homelessness, Europe doesn’t want ‘mericans visiting them, we are DISEASED.

    Thanks also to our LYING, CORPORATE MEDIA, most ‘mericans are unaware of just how BAD Trump has handled or IGNORED the COVIS pandemic.

    We STILL can’t get effective masks, there is very little testing, I have never been tested, you have to have SYMPTOMS of COVIS to qualify for a COVIS19 test!

    Trump said “If you don’t test, you don’t find, that keeps the # low & makes us “look” better even as the cases spiral upwards out of control. That DAM Trump is doing everything he can to hide the real situtation, he claims a very good vaccine will be available by October, before the FAKE, RIGGED “ELECTIONS”!

    I won’t even do a protest “vote” any longer. I used to “vote” 3rd party, parties that are SHUT OUT of our CORPORATE CONTROLLED MEDIA, they control what we see, read & hear, independent news sources are hard to find.
    These same corporations also control the “VOTE”, they select their lying oligarch warmonger candidates, they own & control the “voting” & vote “counting” machines, the entire “election” system here is a COMPLETE FRAUD!

    I cannot & will not “vote” FOR a dam, lying, oligarch warmonger, I stopped doing that with Bill Clintons “election” in the 1990’s, I simple won’t bother to “vote” at all when both “choices” a LYING, OLIGARCH WARMONGERS.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kevin Hester says:

    Collapse is accelerating’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila chambers says:

      “Sheila:

      You have to realize that a HELL of a lot of people moved farther out because they flat couldn’t afford to live in or near the cities any longer. As rents skyrocket, as home prices become ridiculously overpriced, they had no options. Think about it, would you want a 3 hour commute to a low-paying crap job? So you get home exhausted with no time for anything else but go to sleep to do it all over again? That’s just existing, not living.”

      Ya know Seal, I used to live in Silicon valley, I worked at Lockheed, I knew people who lived near or in Sacramento because they couldn’t afford to live near where they worked.

      Some would live in motor homes or campers in our parking lots & drive home for the weekends.
      I lived in a OLD trailer in a OLD trailer park for OLD people because I was over 50, didn’t have a family or children & I would rather save my $ than live in nicer digs that took most of my income.
      The ranks of the jobless & homeless are also growing, more people “living” under tarps, on newspapers, in doorways or if lucky, in tents, their # will grow as more jobs are outsourced or automated. Just where do those capitalist expect to find “consumers” for their goods & services?

      Youtube has many vids of people with cams or drones who show just how many homeless now “live” in their area, on beaches, sidewalks, under overpasses, in forests & parks, where ever they can get some rest before being “moved on” by the cops who sometime steal all their property leaving them with NOTHING.

      I can see a lot of insurance companies going out of business because of the damage caused by all these hurricanes, fires & flooding.We have broken the record on hurricanes with more of them & stronger winds & storm surges.
      I also expect to see more “refugees” next year as Biden is immigrant “friendly”, I think he also wants “open borders” for cheap labor to keep our already starvation wages low & the workers scared.
      Your right Seal, it’s all downhill from now on, the “good ‘ol days” are behind us. Our only food shop has many empty shelfs that used to stock food or toilet paper.

      What’s with this toilet paper panic anyhow?

      We are still #1 on COVID infections & deaths & with Trump refusing to admit he lost, Biden can’t/won’t do anything to get us more EFFECTIVE MASKS or to make proper mask wearing MANDITORY. He also should but won’t make E-verify manditory for any job or rental, that would do more to stifle immigration than a dam expensive wall & stop taking their kids & putting them in “cages” like both Oboma & Trump have done, just deport them.
      I’m lucky to live in a state where cannabis is legal to posses, grow & use, kinda keeps the pain down & it helps me sleep at night despite of the dam tinnitus.

      Those folks thinking to hide out & live in the woods are going to starve cuz their are too many of us & not enough woods with wildlife & wild foods, we “developed” it out of existance & oak tree nuts used to feed the people here but with sudden oak death, their dead & the tide pools have little life, not much food there either.

      Biden is just another in a long line of LYING OLIGARCH WARMONGERS so nothing will change, the illegal wars will continue as will illegal immigration, he’s a “law & ORDER” person so more people of color will end up in our new prisons & jails.
      “Mericans” are just too dam stupid & brainwashed to DUMP both those LYING oligarch corportist warmongering parties, that’s why we endlessly bounce between the fire & the frying pan & nothing changes except the rich get ever richer while the rest of us get poorer. The inequality is even worse than in the “gilded age” of the 1800.
      We finally got some real RAIN here! It’s been way too dry for way too long but it’s still WARMER than normal, no surprise here since Co2 & CH4 keeps rising.
      Since it takes OIL, COAL & NATURAL GAS to produce & support “renewables”, we can expect greenhouse gases to keep climbing because again mericans are to ignorant & often too stupid to figure out that you can’t replace declining resources with a resource dependent technology but they are PROFITABLE & that’s all that matters, PROFITS.
      Keep the shiny side up & the dirty side down Seal & keep scooting on your board, keeps the natives alert!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sheila chambers says:

    I also can see many areas being uninsurable, those chaparell areas of S Cali, drying pine forests, forests of Australia, how can people rebuild on their property or even sell their property if they can’t get insurance? Who would want to buy a home in a fire prone area, uninsured & when a fire hits, you lose everything & your land – worthless.
    Yet, I still hear of people planning to rebuild-AGAIN!
    Give it up people, it will burn again.
    It’s our LONG IGNORED OVERPOPULATION that is forcing people to build their homes where no one should have built a home.
    Steep unstable hillsides, flood zones, low areas next to the ocean, fire prone zones, tornado areas, hurricaine prone areas that seem to get hit every year & it’s going to get even WORSE!
    I hope I’m dead before the masses wake up because it will be a MESS beyond what we have ever experienced before!
    I would make very tough, tasteless “long pig” for any survivors & even they won’t last long as our planet continues to heat up.
    You want more gloom & doom? Take a look at “collapse chronicles” on Youtube.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sheila: I wrote the following in reply to a post by you on Sept 7th, but the power went out and I lost what thread it went on…now that this popped up I realized it was this one. I didn’t mean to not reply!

    So pretty much applies to the current picture by Kevin and your latest post! Here it is:

    __________

    Ah hell, Sheila, we’re just repeating human history. Never ending greed leading to massive destruction of the environment which leads to collapse of whatever current empire is in charge. Like all the rest of our species has always done across the world in the other 22 ‘major’ empires counted by anthropologists.

    Big sigh. The vast majority of us just do what our ancestors did, same old same old, with minor variations due to new technology and other considerations. We know about this over the last 9,000 years, that had been written and deciphered at least, even with all the myths and storytelling that went on.

    And the one interesting item that always pops up in all the narratives of empire building (which is all that has happened it seems) is that it has always been the ones most willing to do damage to everything become the rulers of said empires, especially when they are going down to oblivion. The need for a violent strongman seems to run deep in our species when it all hits the fan, ya know?

    And putting the two words “OUR” & media are completely incompatible together. There isn’t any ‘our’ about it, not at all. Here’s a link to read on that. We are down to five (5!!) giant freaking corporations. No wonder people are ignorant, it’s deliberate:

    “In 1983, 90% of the American media landscape (including magazines, books, music, news feeds, newspapers, movies, radio, and television) was dominated by 50 conglomerates.

    Just 36 years later in 2019, a mere five conglomerates dominated 90% of the media that Americans consume (Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom).”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/09/11/is-a-second-civil-war-really-possible/
    ______

    Vote for Trump you get dictatorship Fascism, the so-called ‘strongman’ version like Mussolini or Chile’s Pinochet. Vote for Biden you get Systemic Fascism, corporate neoliberalism using militarized police enforcers to instill ‘order’ on the lower classes, essentially Class War but then you get the same people in control no matter which way you vote because ALL campaigns are funded by the same wealthy Oligarchs who own pretty much everything you can think of through interlocking corporate boards of directors that mix and match the same families over and over again as their children marry. I mean. look at the Clinton’s flaky daughter Chelsea’s choice of a husband, a vicious sociopathic Hedge Fund guy! Tell me it isn’t all planned and I’ll find a bridge to sell you!

    As George Carlin so aptly stated, it’s a very small club and you aren’t invited. So here we sit waiting for whichever version of Fascism is going to rule this country…or should I say continue to rule? Do we get Trump and the RWNJ militia violent brownshirt types (which will eventually be destroyed by the Fascist gov in any case when they are no longer useful), or will it be the RWNJ Biden and Harris types who are JUST as violent but not as outwardly so. Ain’t the USA an exceptional country to have…such a choice ahead of us in another 6 weeks or so? I’m…so thrilled!

    And nothing will change, the environmental regulations destroyer psycho macho-man con man Trump or Drug War Joe the pro-Iraq Invasion ‘Senator from Mastercard’ Biden who says he will keep fracking and building pipelines while letting Kamala Harris who is another NON-US black person having zero US slaves in her ancestry…just like neoliberal Obama who brags about being the king of oil pipeline building. A DA State Prosecutor for a Vice President (and potentially POTUS due to Biden obvious Dementia that as someone who took care of his grandfather the last few months of his life easily recognizes in Biden (and Trump for that matter). As VP she will chair WHAT? Yeah, well, she will easily take ‘care’ of the protester side of the revolt going on since, after all, she’s got SO much experience being an apologist and supporter for racist murdering cops and throwing low income black parents in jail because their kids are truant from dilapidated underfunded useless ghetto schools as a DA. I mean, hey, we had the head of the US assassination squads as a VP (Hbush) why not a fucking horrible enemy of the people prosecutor known for being vicious, mean, and underhanded (not allowing a DNA test on a condemned guy who was INNOCENT??) I mean, what could go wrong with any of these scenarios, eh?

    We ain’t seen nothing yet I think is how the refrain goes…either way. This country has actually been based on the Fascist model for a long, long time, and after all Hitler admitted to using the USA ‘model’ to build Nazi Germany.

    There just isn’t any way to ‘fix’ all this, too far off the edge and unapproachable by any kind of reformist model. Like all empires, this one, too, is reaching it’s expiration date I’m afraid. One certainly does not want to be there when they die but us ‘little people’ (peons, serfs, peasant workers) never have gotten much choice in the matter before so why would we now?
    _____

    As for the smoke clouds obliterating our atmosphere, I came within a whisker of being burned completely out with all my neighbors Sept 7th, Labor Day, from a downed power line less than 1/4 of a mile north uphill of me, UPWIND, during that massive Canadian windstorm that swept through here. 50/60/70mph winds from the north and northeast, and it was a frog’s whisker and that’s not kidding. The firefighters couldn’t get near it as the line was jumping, arcing and sparking in a newly butchered logged-off property the new neighbors beyond my retired biologist next door forested 30 acres property the new neighbors have done over the last few weeks.

    Lots of debris drying out in the heat and extremely low humidity, and the only reason it didn’t happen is FREAKING LUCK. And that’s according to the firefighters who were there! They have NEVER seen a fire act like this in conditions like we had, and by the time they got called it should have been too late and we’d all be burned to death. Not joking, this was too real. When the neighbor Dana called, she was freaking because they couldn’t fight it and she could see the flames across the creek heading their way. Then…Loki played one of his little jokes and caused another part of the grid to blow down which cut the power to the line and the firefighters charged it. We should have burned is what the fire guys said, it should have blown over us at 50mph as a firestorm. They were just shaking their heads at the ‘miracle’ of it. My neighbor across the county gravel road knows all of them, friends from high school, and I heard the entire story from him. The foolish new neighbors didn’t follow the first rule of power outage, to immediately go out and check the lines ESPECIALLY in a freaking windstorm, and the fire actually started two hours before from their line and DID NOT TRAVEL. Absolutely unheard of in their experience. 50 miles per hour winds and it didn’t run like…a wildfires??? Holy crap!
    _____

    So this week it has been the Oregon fire plume, your ongoing burn off, that has poisoned the concept of breathing up here. And especially since last Thursday when the thickest parts of burning OR forests rolled onto me. Headaches from it and I wear N95 respirators I have always stocked in the tool room for just this purpose (not a pandemic!), and it was so bad that I had on safety goggles to keep the floating particles of burnt trees and houses out of my eyes. It was like tiny particle snow falling. Last night I came out of the shop (much better sealed, no windows, which kept out the worse of it) after working on the cannabis girls that went inside since Thursday, trimming water leaf around the cola buds, and it was so thick that my 3 D-cell Maglite couldn’t penetrate the smoke more than 30 feet before blurring out. Pointed it up and, though there was little wind, the particulates were visible floating around due to being so lightweight that gravity hardly affects them. It’s what we don’t see that worse… Then I walked into the house after being gone for hours to find out I made a mistake by turning off the two swamp cooler floor fans I’ve been using to clean the air inside. The inside of my house was freaking smoky hazy from normal leakage through where ever the smoke could get in, and I had to turn them back on so the wet filters would clean the crap out of the air. Works pretty good actually. I kept the mask on until probably 1am when the house finally cleared out. The air is too chilly coming out of them so they are pointing at rooms I’m not in, and I make sure they have water because this works only if the filters are dripping! The smoke has still given me a low-level headache the last few days anyway, even with the masks and staying inside.

    I’ve got younger friends who have been evacuated from their property in Oregon but so far they haven’t been burned out. They only moved to it two years ago from Eugene…their dream place for a snowboarding family. Last I read 10% of the total OR population has been evac’d.
    _________

    Today there is sunshine, Tuesday 9/15, definitely hazy and blurry but actually some yellow to it instead of being a tiny red-orange dot in the sky. Heat from the sun today reached 82’F instead of the low 70s of the last few days due to such thick clouds of smoke blocking it out. The fires that are burning in Washington State are mostly going into Canada, and there’s a really big blaze almost directly west across the Columbia and two ranges away but it’s blowing to the NE and missing me. There was a huge fire threatening the Rez town of Inchelium to my NW but I don’t know if it burned through it. I hope not because Trump’s Bureau of Indian Affairs certainly won’t rebuild it.
    _____

    And how about San Luis Obispo CA topping out at 120F/49C? The highest temperature ever recorded that close to an ocean in the Americas, north south or centro! How’s that as a foretelling of collapse? Inland LA, Woodland Hills, at 121F/50C??? We know it’s all coming but…it’s still startling how intensely bad it actually is to see happening. The intellectual becomes the emotional when it’s in your face, doesn’t it? I’m only too aware that I will probably be burned out on this ridgeline at one point or another. Will I live to see it is the question, but what I’ve done here with this property over the last 16 years has been worth the time I’ve spent doing it I think. What else would be worthwhile, making money by screwing over the planetary ecosystem? Not me! I don’t want to step through the curtain with that in my memories.

    Sheila, I also see that not a single politician in this corrupt political system will be able to change the paradigm enough to get our species through this bottleneck. Too much inertia as we fall down the cliff, so I understand the anger you express about even making a protest vote for 3rd party candidates who never seem to get on the corporate news. But that wouldn’t be to the owners advantage to allow that now would it? Tell the truth? Not a chance! But I think a complete repudiation of the corporate control of voting is only visible with 3rd party voting. No other way can you make your feelings visible to those that control your life.

    So I sit here reading horribly bad news from around the world. Nothing points in any other direction but down the toilet. I did a little fiberglassing repair on the back of a friend’s big RV that has the plastic cracking in the back that will ruin it with rot and mold if water gets in. And I could see a tingle of blue in the smoke clouds above me, at least I think I could, My lungs don’t like this much as I’m sure yours doesn’t, Sheila. The death of our biosphere is not going to go gently into the night…

    10pm

    Ashfall again as I walk out to the shop to turn off the flowering light. Another layer on top of the earlier one, but I can actually see two stars (or maybe they are planets?) in the murk above. One to the east and another northwest. But maybe they are distant galaxies to be bright enough to show through?
    ________

    Wednesday

    A blurry sun is showing again today through the murk above. No sign of any blue but it’s not so obviously raining burnt particles. Nice layer of new ash over everything. I had a call earlier from a friend who said a local woman she knows had the daughter & family show up this morning from Portland to get the kids out of the smoke. Who said it is SO much clearer here…guess it’s a matter of perspective isn’t it? I wonder how you’re doing today down in the southern end of that state…the satellite maps show a monster plume that covers the entire West Coast and stretches to Hawai’i. My oldest friend called and said they are getting the smoke there, too.

    Just heard a siren going north down on the highway below. Didn’t sound like an ambulance so maybe a fire truck… We are all nervous here and I’ve been talking to neighbors on the phone the last couple of days. We’re all on fire watch, and the hunting season is about to start and the State is talking about cancelling it due to the catastrophic fire-level dry forest. The bitching that is going on from hunters I can understand because for many a deer is their family’s winter meat supply.

    One local friend called last night who just heard about the fire by me last week and I told her the story. She is currently reading my book and became really worried that I might have been burned out. Or dead. Nice to know there are people who care! And she said she is absolutely enthralled with my book, too. That’s a good compliment to hear! I assume Kevin is reading my book at the moment, too, since it was supposed to arrive in NZ on the 8Sept. I forgot to check the tracking number to make sure it made it…

    Swamp coolers are going, house has fairly clear air or at least I can’t exactly smell the burnt forest in here today. I walked out the door to move the sprinkler on the old apple tree (Jonathan’s, getting ready to eat after that frost last week) and the smoke smell was extremely strong. Didn’t have the mask on…amazing how well these things work.

    Good news, at least a little. The birds are back, some of them anyway. Haven’t seen a raven or a crow or hawk or eagle in days and days, but the medium and small birds showed up this morning to rustle through the grass under the tree for bugs and worms, and play in the sprinkler. The suet feeders were nearly eaten through and I put new squares for them to enjoy. Time to go shift the sprinkler again I think.

    Best to you, Sheila. Do something fun today.
    _____________

    And Kevin, that picture you posted Oct. 6th could very well have been me under a similar sheet of flame Sept. 7th. Only thing we know is going to happen is we’re going to step through the curtain. Just not the how or when.

    80’F today. It’s…warm.

    Best to all,

    sealintheSelkirks

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Since banks who carry mortgages require fire insurance equaling the value of the house or business so they can collect if it burns, what will people do about their mortgages? When my property insurance cancelled me last year and I found that there were zero options that were affordable; if I would have had a mortgage hanging over my head any bank would have filed a breach of contract and started proceedings to take the house away. And there wouldn’t have been anything I could do about it but start packing! How many millions of people are facing this I have no idea but I’m sure it’s one that the banks are already planning for.

    Bankers are, after all, only in it for the money!

    Sheila:

    You have to realize that a HELL of a lot of people moved farther out because they flat couldn’t afford to live in or near the cities any longer. As rents skyrocket, as home prices become ridiculously overpriced, they had no options. Think about it, would you want a 3 hour commute to a low-paying crap job? So you get home exhausted with no time for anything else but go to sleep to do it all over again? That’s just existing, not living.

    And here’s something I found out about yesterday:

    One of my local friends asked if I’d drop him off about 1 1/2 miles down the dirt road from my property using his truck because he wanted to hunt in a dense area of small trees, a re-growing clearcut area, that had many scraping and cuts on them from bucks. It’s his main source of meat for the year, how he fills their freezer. So I drove him down (masked up!) and dropped him off and noticed a bunch of trailers and campers etc tucked way back into the trees. They’re squatters, people who still have jobs but aren’t making enough to afford rent along with people that were shoved under the bus financially in the last 9 months due to Covid or who lost their decent jobs and homes in 2008 banker-caused crash. Families, not meth heads and such, just people who are on the ropes.

    I didn’t even know they were there! I don’t drive that way much. He said that it’s a regular encampment that has been growing from the first couple of camp trailers that showed up last year (as a local boy hunter he’s out and about in places I don’t walk to). It’s on timber company property that has decades before it gets chopped again so nobody from the Timber LLC bothers to pay any attention to it. He says there’s probably 15 families in there now, and the kids are going to Springdale school about a mile further south. People living in there are driving to Spokane, at least an hour one way depending on how far into the city they work, because there just aren’t any jobs in this county and they can’t afford to live anywhere and still feed their kids.

    Options are getting more and more limited as this country crashes. I expect more and more of this. And as the insurance industry continues to jack the premiums on mortgages I expect there will be even more people in the next year hiding out in the forest around me.

    Refugees from climate collapse and the financial impact it is causing. It will get worse.

    sealintheSelkirks

    Liked by 2 people

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Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

My Submission to the Ministry of the Environment
Kevin Hester, Dropping Anchor in an Exponential World
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