ctrl-fs "reinsurance", finds nothing
I used to follow Noah Smith. He's occasionally insightful but mostly he goes "I understand this one corner of the world a little, let me extend my generalizations to the rest of the universe in a confident and conversational tone to make you think I've actually thought this through."
The answer to this one is dumbly simple: because historically the environment has been an externality in economic calculations and if you're going to attempt to include that externality you need to assign a monetary value to it. Which means everyone is going to fight over it. And since economists are clueless twits that pull a hammie with any math stronger than algebra, they just avoid it.
Here's the dumb thing, though: the big reinsurance firms have been quietly, calmly including global warming calcs in their rate books since 2008 or so. They've had no choice: it's their job. When Allstate takes it in the nuts on a flood they aren't spending their own money, they're spending money from their policy which is with Zurich Re or Allianz Re or Munich Re or any of the other big firms that insure insurers. And when Zurich Re or Allianz Re or Munich Re have been steadily increasing their prices for coastal cities for more than a decade, the math is there. The numbers are there. But since they aren't in the shape of "what's the inherent value of a living tree" the guys who give out prizes for 'CAPE ratio' go off and argue that real estate prices declining is a six sigma event.
Here's something I see more and more of: the economic and environmental impact of FEMA flood maps.
- Flood insurance is available to every habitable domicile by constitutional mandate
- The only way to assess flood risk is through measurement
- Every time a new FEMA flood map comes out, "habitable" changes for the area mapped.
I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the properties I've followed that should be worth millions but are worth thousands because when they were built? They were charming houses on a creek but after FEMA came through in 2012? They're on the 100-year floodplain, are red-tagged, and cannot get so much as a roofing permit because state and federal governments ain't gonna pay to rescue you. The local creek, 50 yards down the road? Has breached the 100-year floodplain every year since 2014. Tells ya that FEMA was a little optimistic as it is.
It wouldn't take an economist much to scrape appraised property values of every parcel before and after a FEMA remap. Shit, I'll bet you could do it. But you don't fear algebra.