Earlier this year, the South Carolina legislature changed the preamble to a 30-year-old law governing beachfront development, striking out a state policy of “retreat” from the shoreline in the face of erosion and replacing it with a policy of “preservation” of the beaches. It was a small change, but a sign of the state’s approach, said Josh Eagle, who teaches environmental law at the University of South Carolina law school.

    “The philosophy is one of, ‘We can beat nature,’” he said. “The driving forces are property rights and climate denial.”

    People are moving to the Carolinas by the tens of thousands, and to coastal areas in particular, many of them starting businesses in places that would be right in a hurricane’s path. Extreme storms like Florence might jeopardize that growth, but then again, so would aggressive measures to protect against those storms, said Robert Hartwig, the director of the Risk and Uncertainty Management Center at the University of South Carolina.

    “Are city planners — and the states and counties — are they zoning in a way to reflect the new reality?” Professor Hartwig asked. “The answer to that is, generally speaking, no. Most local officials are going to be loath to kill the goose that lays the golden economic egg.”


Insurance will eventually be the lever that breaks the back of climate denial.

It's simple economics, I think: The insurer has to make more money than they dish out for claims. That's why they charge more for "high risks", like 16-year olds with a drivers license, homes built on cliffs with common seismic activity, commercial businesses that handle dangerous chemicals or explosives, etc.

These homes are getting wiped out by natural disasters as fast as they can rebuild them, and restock them with new furniture, cars, and 70" TVs.

Either the insurance companies raise rates to make up for these losses, or they get out of the business. It's just economics. (Yeah, FEMA funds are available, but even those are limited.)

posted 566 days ago