Getting Ready for Large Scale Climate Chaos: Beyond the Super Storm Sandy Whodunit

London, UK - 2nd November 2012, 10:45 GMT

Dear ATCA Open & Philanthropia Friends

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

Despite mounting losses of life, property, prosperity, hope and dignity -- not to mention the tens of billions of dollars in damages caused by Hurricane Sandy and other catastrophic super-storms in recent years -- we remain stuck in the mud with cul-de-sac arguments about anthropogenic versus non-anthropogenic or man-made versus non-man-made causes of global warming and climate chaos. Is it not time now to go beyond 'Whodunit' and to begin to prepare earnestly for these more frequent and inevitable large scale climate chaos events? Although there is plenty of gloss put on it, it may yet take many years for all of the damages brought to the Eastern Sea Board of the United States by Hurricane Sandy to be rectified fully.

Ten Costliest Storms

The likely cost of Hurricane Sandy could exceed $50 billion. Here are the costliest tropical storms, in 2010 dollars, according to the US National Weather Service:

#1: Katrina, 2005 -- Damages: $105.8 billion
#2: Sandy, 2012 -- Damages: $50+ billion
#3: Andrew, 1992 -- Damages: $45.6 billion
#4: Ike, 2008 -- Damages: $27.8 billion
#5: Wilma, 2005 -- Damages: $20.6 billion
#6: Ivan, 2004 -- Damages: $19.8 billion
#7: Charley, 2004 -- Damages: $15.8 billion
#8: Hugo, 1989 -- Damages: $12.8 billion
#9: Rita, 2005 -- Damages: $11.8 billion
#10: Agnes, 1972 -- Damages: $11.76 billion.

Cabs Permanently Damaged By Salt Water

Systemic Risk from Asymmetric Climate Chaos

There is ever greater evidence mounting with every passing year that one in a hundred year type of large scale climate chaos disruptions are getting much more frequent, relentless and aggressive. Sea levels around the world are rising. Our tenuous urban lifestyles in cities located on rivers or on the sea are under systemic attack from the increased asymmetric forces unleashed by Mother Nature with ever greater ferocity. It is now a spurious and somewhat misleading argument to hunt for the origin of climate chaos relentlessly -- as if it were a Hitchcock plot -- when Atlantic City in New Jersey looks much more like the fabled Atlantis with every passing day.

Cascading Risk from Climate Chaos Induced Crises

Disruption caused by extreme climate chaos events exposes the vulnerability of our urban lifestyles including:

1. Extremely high population density located mostly next to large water bodies made possible by modern architecture, rapid transport and just-in-time technology;

2. Our modern life-support systems and conveniences powered by electricity which are totally vulnerable to energy outages like never before;

3. 24/7 digital interconnectivity creating remote communities and urban relationships which were not possible even in the recent past;

4. Multi-dimensional complexity demonstrating systemic risk type characteristics such as our food supply chains reliant on continuous refrigeration and freezing; and

5. Possibility for total chaos in the event of local risks cascading into global ones as a result of tightly interlinked world trade and trans-national financial markets.

Key Questions

1. Shouldn't the relevant government(s) and public institutions take steps to protect our cities from the mounting risk(s) of large scale climate chaos events?

2. Given that cascading effects of climate chaos events include storm surges, flooding and disruption to transport and public services why are we not investing in more resilient infrastructure and state-of-the-art flood barriers?

3. Is it sufficient to say that because we are not sure that humankind is responsible for this climate chaos, we as humans are going to do nothing to protect our cities in the future from climate induced destruction?

4. Is this issue of safety and security of ordinary citizens not a matter of national concern regardless of whom or what is responsible for climate chaos?

5. Is the real issue of failure to address climate chaos induced disruption being hidden behind the morass of politically charged straw man arguments about 'Whodunit'?

Time to Take Our Heads Out of the Sand

Let us start getting ready for large scale climate chaos and coastal flooding events now before it is too late because they seem to be happening with ever greater frequency. No longer one in a hundred year events, we are witnessing the acceleration of the cycle of catastrophes to one every few years. Super storm Sandy is yet another clarion call. How many more such clarion calls do we need before we exhaust our resilience to recover from them?


What are your thoughts, observations and views? We are hosting an Expert roundtable on this issue at ATCA 24/7 on Yammer.


Expert Roundtables

Expert roundtables are the newly launched ATCA 24/7 Q&A private exclusive club service. They seek to become the killer application in strategic intelligence by delivering an unprecedented competitive advantage to our distinguished members. They can only be accessed online at https://www.yammer.com/atca

Q1: How to become a privileged member of ATCA 24/7 to participate in the expert roundtables?

A1: i. If you are a distinguished member of ATCA 5000, ATCA Open, The Philanthropia or HQR affiliated groups you may be allowed to become a privileged member of this new and exclusive private club.

ii. If you are pre-invited, visit the private intelligence network -- PIN -- by going to https://www.yammer.com/atca [Note: In https:// 's' is for security and encryption]

iii. If you don't have membership of the PIN yet, email the mi2g Intelligence Unit at intelligence.unit at mi2g dot com for an exclusive invitation.

Q2: How to participate in the expert roundtables and get domain-specific strategic intelligence questions answered?

A2: Access the ATCA 24/7 Private Intelligence Network -- PIN -- online and ask or answer a strategic intelligence question, no matter how complex. Receive expert answers within 24 hours or get pointers from:

i. ATCA 5000 experts who are online;
ii. ATCA Research and Analysis Wing; and
iii. mi2g Intelligence Unit.

Q3: Why is the ATCA 24/7 Q&A Exclusive Club special?

A3: ATCA 24/7 has now created an exclusive private intelligence watering hole and expert roundtable at the highest level where interesting and sophisticated questions are being asked from around the world, and intelligent answers are being provided, almost always by experts who have deep domain-specific knowledge. Come and check out the exclusive club, take it for a strategic test drive, which sign-of-intelligent life are you waiting for?

To learn more about "The Expert Roundtable: ATCA 24/7 Q&A Club" email: intelligence.unit at mi2g.com and if you are already a member visit https://www.yammer.com/atca

We welcome your thoughts, observations and views. To reflect further on this subject and others, please respond within Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn's ATCA Open and related discussion platform of HQR. Should you wish to connect directly with real time Twitter feeds, please click as appropriate:

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Best wishes

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

The Philanthropia, founded in 2005, brings together over 1,000 leading individual and private philanthropists, family offices, foundations, private banks, non-governmental organisations and specialist advisors to address complex global challenges such as countering climate chaos, reducing radical poverty and developing global leadership for the younger generation through the appliance of science and technology, leveraging acumen and finance, as well as encouraging collaboration with a strong commitment to ethics. Philanthropia emphasises multi-faith spiritual values: introspection, healthy living and ecology. Philanthropia Targets: Countering climate chaos and carbon neutrality; Eliminating radical poverty -- through micro-credit schemes, empowerment of women and more responsible capitalism; Leadership for the Younger Generation; and Corporate and social responsibility.

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