Severe weather events top risk table for 2018

| 23/01/2018 | 18 Comments

(CNS): The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risk report has found that environmental issues, particularly extreme weather events, dominate the concerns of geo-political experts for the year ahead. While the annual report, which is based on surveys and research, is forecasting economic growth, the failures of climate change mitigation and adaptation pose a serious threat to the overall global economy and geo-political stability. Extreme weather events last year included unusually frequent Atlantic hurricanes, which made 2017 the most expensive season ever and September the most intense month on record.

“These extreme incidents continue a trend towards increasingly costly weather events over recent decades, although rising costs reflect factors such as the location and concentration of assets as well as changing weather patterns,” the report stated. “Extreme rainfall can be particularly damaging — of the 10 natural disasters that caused the most deaths in the first half of 2017, eight involved floods or landslides.”

In a press release about the report, officials from the economic forum said the prospect of strong economic growth this year presents “a golden opportunity to address signs of severe weakness in many of the complex systems that underpin our world” and have led to the majority of those who took part in the surveys believing that this year will be riskier than the last. 93% of respondents said political or economic confrontations between major powers would worsen and nearly 80% says there is an increase risk of war.

But the greatest concern raised by experts was the risks to the environment. Among the 30 global risks the experts were asked to prioritize in terms of likelihood and impact, all five environmental risks – extreme weather, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, major natural disasters, man-made environmental disasters, and failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation – were ranked highly on both dimensions. Extreme weather events were seen as the single most prominent risk.

“A widening economic recovery presents us with an opportunity that we cannot afford to squander, to tackle the fractures that we have allowed to weaken the world’s institutions, societies and environment. We must take seriously the risk of a global systems breakdown. Together we have the resources and the new scientific and technological knowledge to prevent this. Above all, the challenge is to find the will and momentum to work together for a shared future,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Alison Martin, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zürich Insurance Group, said, “Unfortunately we currently observe a ‘too-little-too-late’ response by governments and organisations to key trends such as climate change. It’s not yet too late to shape a more resilient tomorrow, but we need to act with a stronger sense of urgency in order to avoid potential system collapse,” she said.

Rank Risk
1 Extreme weather events
2 Natural disasters
3 Cyber attacks
4 Data fraud or theft
5 Failure of climate change mitigation and adaption
6 Large scale involuntary migration
7 Man-made environmental disasters
8 Terrorist attacks
9 Illicit trade
10 Asset bubbles in a major economy

Read full report: Global Risks 2018: Fractures, Fears and Failures

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (18)

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  1. Anon says:

    Re: moving up to higher ground. There is a limited amount of higher ground in Cayman, but homes and businesses can be construced on raised pilings to put all or part of the structure above the storm surge. This is common in the Florida keys. A government grant to someone contemplating new construction to include an above surge level area might be a good idea until each neighborhood had such a refuge. My wife and I were given a tour of his home by Captain Spellman in the ’80s. It sheltered over 100 Brackers in the 1932 storm. Every corner of that house was braced by a curved Buttonwood piece to stiffen the frame.
    Another elder who had retreated to Spellman’s home recalled to me seeing a man who had been nailing boards over the windows suddenly run to an upright porch support throw himself prone and grasp it. Looking out to sea a huge wave washed in and broke over the roof of the house!
    If you read the history of the Cayman islands, you will be struck as I was by the many hurricanes that have devastated the islands over and over. If anything, the weather is more moderate in general than in times past. In the ’80s I visited another elder Bracker on his porch. As we reclined in hammocks, he told me how he had finished the house for his bride in 1918. “I built the house near the sea for the breeze” he said. He continued: “The storm, that same year washed it all the way back against the bluff. I and a crew used skids and a block and tackle and wrenched the house this far,
    jacked it up and here it is.”

    That same house easily withstood Hurricane Paloma some 80 years later.
    Those old houses were so solidly build because storms were more common then than they are now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    signs of the times? christ will soon return to redeem his chosen….?

  3. Anonymous says:

    U.S. (and western) foreign policy tops the risk table for 2018 … and forevermore, apparently.

    But of course that won’t be highlighted or explained to the masses.

    – Who

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wishful thinking only. They can predict and guess all they want. Whatever to be will be. Ever wonder why “Solar Powered” business people push this agenda that we need to use solar energy. LED business people try to convince people they need to use LED and so forth and so on. The whole world is full of agendas. Just a matter to connect the dots.

  5. Anonymous says:

    And yet everyone who believes this to be an existential threat continue to contribute massively to greenhouse gas emissions. If only you true believers would all ban together and stop flying, using gasoline, and using the internet unnecessarily you could solve the problem on your own and prove all of the doubters wrong.

  6. Messenjah says:

    One more person that is awake in the Cayman Islands. I salute you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Moving up to the higher grounds is not an option in Grand Cayman. Unfortunately. The sad part is that new generations will have to figure out how to survive in this mess they didn’t create. Everything is trashed, land, ocean and space. EMF pollution is a threat to the very human existence, but still “invisible” therefore denied by majority. Young people are having old people diseases, autoimmune and autonomic dysfunctions among them have skyrocketed and still not connected to the real cause. And this all happened in the last 100 years! Mind blowing.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Man made Climate change is pseudoscience, take it form an *actual* scientist instead of tax loving hacks.

    CNS: If you are going to read that, you should also read this: to see what 36 other Nobel Laureates believe, or this one Nobel Laureate:

    Or this: According to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of Oslo, and Google Scholar, Ivar Giaever has not published any work in the area of climate science. Giaever’s climate science resume is limited to serving on a climate change discussion panel at the 51st convention of Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry, physiology and medicine. At the convention, Giaever stated he is skeptical of the importance of the issue of global warming.

    The link you gave takes you to the Heartland Institute, which is not so much a think tank as a propaganda tool:
    Its donors include the Mercers and the Koch brothers. That whole “tax loving hacks” thing is part of the propaganda.

    • Ironside says:

      You tell ’em, CNS. Great reply and interesting links/info provided.

      Please do an editorial to further educate those who are in total denial of climate change and how we humans have contributed to most of it, to our own detriment it seems.

    • Anonymous says:

      Donnie? Is that you Cadet Bonespurs?

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is what your global warming is really about (CNS).
      And this insanity will continue in every facet of life .
      Not to mention taxes on every form of energy known to man. Trillions world wide. And of course billions manually in research grants. Over 500 billion in research alone since 2012.

      OF COURSE the researchers are not biased at all all!

      Why don’t you try to actually do some real investigative reporting and critical thinking for once instead of cut and pasting some left wing hack site like the NYT.

      I dare you to YouTube 1000frolly and watch the many REAL and ACTUAL scientists debunk this fraud and side with the truth and protect people from this massive fraud of historical proportion.

      Try actually doing you damn job instead of peddling the left wing agenda above all else!

      • Anonymous says:

        Deniers will always deny, but will be the first ones pushing women and children out the way when some catastrophe happens…we all know the type.

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