Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, January 06, 2013
"Risks Are Changing"
Chris Hayes sounded an alarm today about the profound disconnect between the assessments of risk private insurers are making versus the assumptions about risk that seem to drive public policy concerning flooding and storm damage. Given the concentration of capital on the coasts, precisely where the highest and ever-increasing likelihood of damage from climate change is happening, clearly zoning, coverage, infrastructure, a host of policy priorities must adapt enormously to new realities, the sooner the better. Obviously, adverse selection implies that the private provision of storm and flood insurance will not provide adequate coverage and at once remain profitable in a world of concentrated ever more catastrophic greenhouse storms. And hence, like healthcare (both in the sense that single payer seems at once logically necessary and practically impossible in the US), the mitigation of risks and support of victims of heavy weather clearly must be federalized. Too bad there are more than enough Republicans who are climate change denialists, either from idiot conviction or craven opportunism, to make even this discussion impossible, let alone allow any practical policy to happen here. As with so many issues of urgent concern -- eg, long-term rising healthcare costs, financial fraud and too big to fail and hence too big too exist private enterprises, the ongoing racist war on some drugs, eroding women's access to healthcare, ongoing refusal of citizenship and rights to immigrant Americans, eroding collective bargaining in the workplace, inadequate funding and access to good public education, resisting equality for lgbtq citizens, the safety threat of gun violence -- only with the marginalization of the GOP into comparative harmlessness will there be a chance for a collective address of the reality of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change equal to its rising challenges.