Risk and therefore Opportunity is not possible without Change.
One party’s risk is another party’s opportunity as found in one form or other of the social contract.
For it to work over the long run it must therefore be essentially honest and transparent; not an adversarial and unfair relationship for contingent economic profit nor for theatrical political show.
In terms of the topic of Change and the blog category of Risk & Opportunity, I have been professionally involved for the better part of the last three decades in catastrophe response efforts as an independent insurance adjuster. Along with the pursuit of other interests while in hiatus, my experience in this chaotic field and the understanding it has brought me is that all of the above topics are woven together in a state of flux. In the midst of the appearance of ongoing change in the quality of life on the part of myself and others, due to one fact or another, the one thing I have found to be constant is the abiding love and care of family and friends. My intention is to give some personal accounting of this experience and my understanding in a current approach to the issues involved.
The disaster that was and still is Hurricane Sandy – Mirlo Beach, Rodanthe, North Carolina.
This Mirlo Beach photo shows one piling, all that remains of one of my claims at Rodanthe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, facing east and out to sea. I don’t recall if it was taken before dawn or at dusk, but probably the latter. The risk, the dwelling loss I was assigned, had been located between the vacation homes still standing on either side of what is now seen as a vacant site. Only the single piling remains of the owner’s brief claim to this exceptional place on the planet, their dreams now washed out to sea.
The ocean is tranquil, almost serene in the aftermath of the ferocious storm, the homes perched within a few hundred yards of a renewed attempt by Mother Nature to cut a small inlet through to Pamlico Sound, a quarter-mile behind. The scene is a stark and majestic reminder of the pretense and the aspiration of the human spirit in this twilight of Nature’s might.
Climate change marches on, and with it the coastline and beach front property, as it has been doing since the end of the last ice age. We are told by geological scientists that the shore was 40 miles further out to sea at that time some 20,000 years ago. In other words the Atlantic, as with the rest of the world’s ocean, was hundreds of feet lower than it is today. There is no reason to think it has reached its peak now, given the quantity of ice still in place on Antarctica and Greenland, simply because it would be financially and politically convenient to imagine otherwise. My recollection is that the two homes that framed this scene were no longer standing when I last passed through here in September of 2019.
The issue is not whether climate change is real or is in some measure the result of human activity. Both are true, though the latter may be hard to quantify. We are not going to be able to turn back the clock, and pretending it is not happening or that the Almighty is going to intervene to refreeze the ice caps and Greenland glaciers is not likely to do the trick either. None of which matters.
What does matter is whether we are smart enough as a group, as intelligent human beings, divinely designed or otherwise, to try to understand the forces of nature, including our own, and their effects that are yet unforeseen, and to get out of the way and – speaking from the perspective of risk management and the insurance industry – to prepare to mitigate the risks and losses that are sure to come. This requires expertise and initiative in the realm of dispassionate public discussion and policy, something that the idiocy of partisan name calling from the left or the right will not achieve.
The Mirlo Beach photo serves as a constant reminder of the work that lies before us and – for those of us who recognize the fact that we are divinely designed – the work that is yet unfinished. This effort, as with life in general, is essentially a matter of combined private and public management of risk; and of opportunity. Therefore, we will try to . . .
Understand that Change is always coming, so for those who might still remember,
Be preparedThe Scout Motto
and don’t forget to
Do a good turn daily.The Scout Slogan
What or who is responsible for environmental Change?
Life – and you and I are responsible. Life governs everything that happens in environments of all types; global, national, social, familial, with effects on both body and soul, and if it makes us feel better, we can blame it all on Life. But we are responsible, individually and together in affiliation with others, for the way in which we react to circumstance; to mitigate Risk and optimize Opportunity in determining the outcome of Living according to the quality of our response. This is what it means to be free, to exercise the will to do what must be done without concern for preconditions or guarantees of success. For those who Love Life, Live Love so that everything works to Good.
A new motto?
Love Life? Live Love!