In Landmark Class Action, Farmers Insurance Sues Local Governments For Ignoring Climate Change

  • metta

    Posts: 39090

    May 20, 2014 6:39 AM GMT
    In Landmark Class Action, Farmers Insurance Sues Local Governments For Ignoring Climate Change


    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/19/3439048/insurance-climate-class-action-flood/
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 20, 2014 6:46 AM GMT
    lol what a bullshit ruling
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    May 20, 2014 12:22 PM GMT
    Looks like this is going to set a precedent, and the anti-climate-change municipalities are going to have to cough up some dough to start preparing for different weather patterns, whether they want to ignore it or not.

    Personally, I think this is a good thing. It wouldn't be fair to hike insurance prices to the consumer when it's the local govt that's causing the problems by taking no action.
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    May 20, 2014 12:50 PM GMT
    Curiously, I don't recall insurance companies complaining about the profits they made selling insurance policies to new homeowners of gated communities clear cut out of previously existing forested areas. I wonder if they made any money insuring drilling rigs?

    Sounds like yet another instance of privatizing profits and socializing losses.

    Does anyone even know what all the new weather patterns might yet be?

    And what's a place like Miami to do when even building dykes ooops dikes won't prevent seepage underneath, given the substrata there.

    What if the new weather patterns steer hurricanes away from Florida. Can we look forward to decreased premiums or does that get listed under the privatizing profits heading.

    If someone wants to live on the beach, raise their premiums through the fucking roof and let's see the true value of their homes. Why is the public subsidizing luxury?

    Never mind the timeline of what's been known for municipalities to even have taken significant action. How can you possibly sue a city now for a drainage system installed 100plus years ago, adequate and engineered for information at hand then?

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm
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    May 20, 2014 1:08 PM GMT
    I believe the issue here isn't that local governments can influence or prevent climate change. Rather, by denying and ignoring the climate facts, governments have failed to react to its predictable consequences. Which in turn has caused preventable property damage for which insurance companies become liable to compensate. And that could be a good argument.

    Say, for instance, there's a man-made dam up the valley from town. And credible engineers report dam weaknesses that require immediate repair. And there are also studies that show greater strain on the dam, due to increased annual rainfall. But political decision makers ignore those reports, and take no actions.

    Then one day there's heavy rain, following recent patterns & predictions, and the damn fails, destroying many houses & property. Should Farmers Insurance have to bear all the cost for its insured property owners? Can Farmers not sue the local government for not having taken adequate precautions, when there was ample warning? It wasn't an unexpected "Act of God" if it was being predicted by competent authorities for years. It was the result of negligence.

    And so I think that may be the essence of the case here.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    May 20, 2014 2:56 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI believe the issue here isn't that local governments can influence or prevent climate change. Rather, by denying and ignoring the climate facts, governments have failed to react to its predictable consequences. Which in turn has caused preventable property damage for which insurance companies become liable to compensate. And that could be a good argument.

    Say, for instance, there's a man-made dam up the valley from town. And credible engineers report dam weaknesses that require immediate repair. And there are also studies that show greater strain on the dam, due to increased annual rainfall. But political decision makers ignore those reports, and take no actions.

    Then one day there's heavy rain, following recent patterns & predictions, and the damn fails, destroying many houses & property. Should Farmers Insurance have to bear all the cost for its insured property owners? Can Farmers not sue the local government for not having taken adequate precautions, when there was ample warning? It wasn't an unexpected "Act of God" if it was being predicted by competent authorities for years. It was the result of negligence.

    And so I think that may be the essence of the case here.

    That is an interesting argument, and very persuasive. There's a fine line here between negligence and denial. The conservatives on RJ have called the liberal hens "intolerant" and "fascist" for not accepting climate change denial as a legitimate position. But it really isn't a legitimate position. It would be like saying that the world is flat and that that opinion is as valid as photos from NASA. I agree that it's negligent to ignore the science that proves man made climate change, and even worse to refute it with contrived and false information put out by the oil and gas industry (or Riddler78 ). It's the equivalent of the fire department looking at a burning building and denying that fire caused it.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    May 20, 2014 7:43 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidLooks like this is going to set a precedent, and the anti-climate-change municipalities are going to have to cough up some dough to start preparing for different weather patterns, whether they want to ignore it or not.

    Personally, I think this is a good thing. It wouldn't be fair to hike insurance prices to the consumer when it's the local govt that's causing the problems by taking no action.


    lol municipalities are NOT going to have to cough up some dough, YOU ARE (by rising property taxes, user fees and floating more Muni bonds - which you pay off anyway)

    The the insurance companies will raise premiums anyway

    Middle class and the poor get screwed again.
  • metta

    Posts: 39090

    Jun 03, 2014 8:20 PM GMT
    Obama Just Did What No Other President Before Him Has Done

    "On Monday, President Barack Obama did just that. In a new, major policy decision, Obama will bypass Congress with a plan forcing power plants to cut their emissions by 30% (from 2005 levels) over 15 years. Coal produced an estimated 74% of total CO2 emissions in the U.S. in 2012, compared to other forms of electricity generation like natural gas and petroleum. The plan represents one of the biggest actions taken by the U.S. government — and the biggest taken by any U.S. president — to slow climate change."

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/90321/obama-just-did-what-no-other-president-before-him-has-done
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jun 03, 2014 8:52 PM GMT
    Good for Obama!

    I think the republican argument -- which is that other countries don't put caps on coal so why should we? -- is such a joke.icon_rolleyes.gif
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14313

    Jun 03, 2014 8:59 PM GMT
    Why don't we go after the food industry who insists that farmers feed their cattle corn rather than the healthier dryland grass. We are rapidly depleting the major underground aquifers in the Great Plains Region due to growing corn and other water intense crops in this semi-arid region. It would beneficial to both the environment and human health if cattle were fed grass rather than corn. This alone would cut water waste in half and save the aquifers.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jun 03, 2014 9:01 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidWhy don't we go after the food industry who insists that farmers feed their cattle corn rather than the healthier dryland grass. We are rapidly depleting the major underground aquifers in the Great Plains Region due to growing corn and other water intense crops in this semi-arid region. It would beneficial to both the environment and human health if cattle were fed grass rather than corn. This alone would cut water waste in half and save the aquifers.

    +1