Estimates for the damage Hurricane Irma would inflict on Florida kept mounting as it made its devastating sweep across the Caribbean. It was poised to be the costliest U.S. storm on record. Then something called the Bermuda High intervened and tripped it up. By one estimate, the total cost dropped to about $50 billion Monday from $200 billion over the weekend. —Bloomberg, 12 September 2017
Perhaps the best indication that Irma failed to live up to its billing is the fact that the broad stock indexes — including insurance companies — rallied on Monday while various construction-related stocks took it on the chin. When can we expect to see stories about how global warming deserves the credit? When Irma made landfall in the U.S., it’s strength quickly diminished and the actual damages to Florida in dollar terms will likely be 75% lower than predicted. So will environmentalists credit climate change for Irma’s unexpected turn for the better? —Investor’s Business Daily, 12 September 2017
One of Europe’s largest hedge funds is looking to move into the gambling industry in the UK, as it sets up a new venue where players can bet on the effects of climate change. The new “climate prediction market” is the brainchild of Winton Capital, founded by David Harding, and is aimed at finding a market consensus on the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperature rises in the future. The project is hoping to tempt climate scientists to put their money where their models are. —Lindsay Fortado, Financial Times, 12 September 2017
Australians are enjoying the best ski conditions for 20 years after record snowfalls buried resorts as spring began. More than 140cm fell on Thredbo in five days over the past week, a record for September, in what skiers have dubbed the Blizzard of Oz. The conditions forced the cancellation of a major AFP World Tour stop, One Hit Wonder Big Air, planned for the week as snow covered the 30-metre ski jump.–Daily Mail, 11 September 2017
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