Fire and rain: Investing in the era of extreme weather and climate change
It turns out that singer and songwriter James Taylor was prescient when he wrote, “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.” We may well look back and view the summer of 2017 as a turning point — a pivotal moment when our trajectory shifted and challenges such as extreme weather, overbuilding, poorly-designed infrastructure, urban density, population growth, limited resources and increased risk all suddenly came into focus.
We’ve seen a never-ending array of natural disasters: severe flooding in south Asia; hurricanes slamming Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico; heavy rain and landslides in Washington and Oregon; and drought, record-high temperatures and deadly wildfires across the western United States.
According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, which is responsible for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the number of disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled since 1970. Research from reinsurer Munich Re shows tha