Florida’s Financial Exposure from Its “Self-Insurance” Programs

Florida’s current homeowner’s insurance system is broken. One major hurricane has the potential to bankrupt private insurers, and the State’s self-insurance programs, devastating Florida’s already weakened economy (Miami Herald, 21 Sept 2009). State officials are certainly aware of the problem, as voiced in an op-ed by State Senator J.D. Alexander (Tallahassee Democrat, 25 Oct 2009). In her letter to Florida TaxWatch dated 24 October 2008, the Honorable Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer for the State of Florida, expressed her concerns about the State’s financial security in the event of a major windstorm (Appendix A). She requested an economic analysis that would explore Florida’s financial exposure from its self-insurance programs, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF).

Florida’s Financial Exposure from Its “Self-Insurance” Programs, April 2010

EPA Green House Gas Regs

Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration of the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

“[T]here is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing, and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities… . Climate change… poses significant risks for – and in many cases is already affecting – a broad range of human and natural systems.”

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page.  See EPA’s PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

Action

EPA determined in December 2009 that climate change caused by emissions of greenhouse gases threatens the public’s health and the environment. Since then, EPA received ten petitions challenging this determination. On July 29, 2010, EPA denied these petitions.

The petitions to reconsider EPA’s “Endangerment Finding” claimed that climate science can’t be trusted, and asserted a conspiracy that calls into question the findings of theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Exit EPA disclaimer, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Exit EPA disclaimer, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program. After months of serious consideration of the petitions and of the state of climate change science, EPA found no evidence to support these claims.

The scientific evidence supporting EPA’s finding is robust, voluminous, and compelling. Climate change is happening now, and humans are contributing to it. Multiple lines of evidence show a global warming trend over the past 100 years. Beyond this, melting ice in the Arctic, melting glaciers around the world, increasing ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, altered precipitation patterns, and shifting patterns of ecosystems and wildlife habitats all confirm that our climate is changing.

Response to Petitions

Resources

Scientific Assessment Reports

Many of the links on this page are to sites outside of EPA. See Exit EPA disclaimer to learn more.

Recent inquiries and investigations of the CRU emails and IPCC

Recent investigations and inquiries into the emails by other organizations have all resulted in clearing the scientists of alleged wrong-doing.

Petitions

Top of Page

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

http://www.globalchange.gov/

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for “a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”

Climate Change: Adapt or Bust

Climate Change: Adapt or Bust, Lloyd’s 360 Risk Project, 2006

Until recently, world opinion has been divided: are current weather trends the result of long-term climate change or not? And what role, if any, has climate change played in the recent spate of weather-related catastrophes? The facts are often confused by politics and by a wealth of different – and sometimes conflicting – evidence from a range of scientific and other sources.

However, a growing body of expert opinion now agrees that the climate is changing – and that human activity is playing a major role. Most worryingly, the latest science suggests that future climate change may take place quicker than previously anticipated.

There will continue to be much argument, over both the extent of future climate change and its likely impact on society. But whatever the facts, there could hardly be a debate of greater importance to the insurance industry.

The past few years highlight bluntly the cost of weather-related catastrophes for the global economy and the insurance industry in particular. The industry’s response has proven that it is financially strong and well-equipped to respond to these financial shocks.

It is equally clear that, so far, the industry has not taken changing catastrophe trends seriously enough. Climate change is likely to bring us all an even more uncertain future. If we do not take action now to understand the risks and their impact, the changing climate could kill us.

In publishing this report, it is not Lloyd’s intention to take a particular position, or to support a specific scenario. We simply aim to present the facts from the most reliable sources in a way which we hope will be helpful for those who trade in, and with, our market. We also want to generate debate about the specific steps which we might take as an industry to prepare for the increasing volatility of the climate.

Coastal Denial – Flood, what flood?

Bay St. Louis, Miss., officials want high-water markers placed by the state at Mississippi Highway 603 and Interstate 10 camouflaged so they no longer commemorate the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. … Councilman Doug Seal said the markers are detrimental to attracting businesses that might want to relocate here, especially on undeveloped property around the interstate and Highway 603 juncture.

http://www.nola.com/katrina/index.ssf/2011/07/bay_st_louis_officials_oppose.html

 

Corps of Engineers closing Louisiana science office

A fight between the Army Corps of Engineers and the state over who controls the science governing construction of nearly $2 billion in coastal restoration projects has led the corps to order closure of the Louisiana Coastal Area Science & Technology Office by Oct. 1.

http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/07/corps_of_engineers_closing_lou.html

The heart of this dispute is that the state does not want real science done on the coast. It wants the money funneled to local research programs which are careful to support the state’s favored projects.

NOAA – State of the Climate in 2010

State of the Climate in 2010

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Climatic Data Center

As appearing in the June 2011 issue (Vol. 92) of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).


Supplemental and Summary Materials

Report at a Glance: Highlights (8 pages)

This supplement to the State of the Climate in 2010 draws upon materials from the larger report to provide a summary of key findings.
High Resolution (22.7 MB) | Low Resolution (9.8 MB)

June 28, 2010 Webinar: Briefing Slides (PDF)

This briefing package was used in the webinars associated with the report’s rollout.
Webinar Slides (12 slides)


Full Report

Download Entire Document (218 pages)
Download by Section
  1. Front Matter and Abstract (688 KB) [ Hi Rez (4.3 MB) ]
    1. Title page
    2. Author Affiliations
    3. Table of contents
    4. Abstract
  2. Introduction (845 KB) [ Hi Rez (6.8 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
  3. Global Climate (2.1 MB) [ Hi Rez (38.7 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
    1. Summary
    2. Temperature
    3. Hydrologic cycle
    4. Atmospheric circulation
    5. Earth radiation budget at top-of-atmospher
    6. Atmospheric composition
    7. Land surface properties
  4. Global Oceans (1.6 MB) [ Hi Rez (27.8 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
    1. Overview
    2. Sea surface temperatures
    3. Ocean heat content
    4. Global ocean heat fluxes
    5. Sea surface salinity
    6. Subsurface salinity
    7. Surface currents
    8. Meridional overturning circulation observations in the subtropical North Atlantic
    9. Sea level variations
    10. The global ocean carbon cycle
  5. The Tropics (1.8 MB) [ Hi Rez (32.6 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
    1. Overview
    2. ENSO and the tropical Pacific
    3. The Madden-Julian Oscillation
    4. Tropical intraseasonal activity
    5. Tropical cyclones
    6. Tropical cyclone heat potential
    7. Intertropical Convergence Zones
    8. Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
    9. Indian Ocean dipole
  6. The Arctic (1.1 MB) [ Hi Rez (14.5 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
    1. Overview
    2. Atmosphere
    3. Ocean
    4. Sea-ice cover
    5. Land
    6. Greenland
  7. Antarctica (940 KB) [ Hi Rez (12.6 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
    1. Overview
    2. Circulation
    3. Surface manned and automatic weather station observations
    4. Net precipitation
    5. Seasonal melt extent and duration
    6. Sea-ice extent and concentration
    7. Ozone depletion
  8. Regional Climates (1.9 MB) [ Hi Rez (32.8 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
    1. Overview
    2. North America
    3. Central America and the Caribbean
    4. South America
    5. Africa
    6. Europe
    7. Asia
    8. Oceania
  9. Seasonal Global Summaries (798 KB) [ Hi Rez (9.0 MB) ] | Figures (coming soon)
  10. References (982 KB) [ Hi Rez (7.3 MB) ]

How to cite the document

  • Citing the complete report:Blunden, J., D. S. Arndt, and M. O. Baringer, Eds., 2011: State of the Climate in 2010. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.92 (6), S1-S266.
  • Citing a chapter (example): Fogt, R. L., , Ed., 2011: Antarctica [in “State of the Climate in 2010”]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.92 (6), S161-171.
  • Citing a section (example): Wovrosh, A. J., S. Barreira, and R. L. Fogt, 2011: [Antarctica] Circulation [in .State of the Climate in 2010.]. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.92 (6), S161-S163.

GAO – Action Needed to Improve Administration of the NFIP

FEMA: Action Needed to Improve Administration of the National Flood Insurance Program GAO-11-297 June 9, 2011

FEMA faces significant management challenges in areas that affect NFIP, including strategic and human capital planning; collaboration among offices; and records, financial, and acquisition management. For example, because FEMA has not developed goals, objectives, or performance measures for NFIP, it needs a strategic focus for ensuring program effectiveness. FEMA also faces human capital challenges, including high turnover and weaknesses in overseeing its many contractors. Further, FEMA needs a plan that would ensure consistent day-to-day operations when it deploys staff to federal disasters. FEMA has also faced challenges in collaboration between program and support offices. Finally, FEMA lacks a comprehensive set of processes and systems to guide its operations, in particular a records management policy and an electronic document management system. FEMA has begun to address some of these challenges, including acquisition management, but the results of its efforts remain to be seen. Unless it takes further steps to address these management challenges, FEMA will be limited in its ability to manage NFIP’s operations or better ensure program effectiveness. FEMA also faces challenges modernizing NFIP’s insurance policy and claims management system. After 7 years and $40 million, FEMA ultimately canceled its latest effort (NextGen) in November 2009 because the system did not meet user expectations. As a result, the agency continues to rely on an ineffective and inefficient 30-year old system. A number of acquisition management weaknesses led to NextGen’s failure and cancellation, and as FEMA begins a new effort to modernize the existing legacy system, it plans to apply lessons learned from its NextGen experience. While FEMA has begun implementing some changes to its acquisition management practices, it remains to be seen if they will help FEMA avoid some of the problems that led to NextGen’s failure. Developing appropriate acquisitions processes and applying lessons learned from the NextGen failure are essential if FEMA is to develop an effective policies and claims processing system for NFIP. Finally, NFIP’s operating environment limits FEMA’s ability to keep the program financially sound. NFIP assumes all risks for its policies, must accept virtually all applicants for insurance, and cannot deny coverage for high-risk properties. Moreover, additional external factors–including lapses in NFIP’s authorization, the role of state and local governments, fluctuations in premium income, and structural and organizational changes–complicate FEMA’s administration of NFIP. As GAO has previously reported, NFIP also faces external challenges that threaten the program’s long-term health. These include statutorily required subsidized premium rates, a lack of authority to include long-term erosion in flood maps, and limitations on FEMA’s authority to encourage owners of repetitive loss properties to mitigate. Until these issues are addressed, NFIP’s long-term financial solvency will remain in doubt. GAO makes 10 recommendations to improve the effectiveness of FEMA’s planning and oversight efforts for NFIP; improve FEMA’s policies and procedures for achieving NFIP’s goals; and increase the usefulness and reliability of NFIP’s flood insurance policy and claims processing system. GAO also presents three matters for congressional consideration to improve NFIP’s financial stability. DHS concurred with all of GAO’s recommendations.