This is an update of the 17 September 2018 release of this article analysing the economic costs of climate change on the U.S. economy in 2018. This update integrates the consequences, and especially the costs, of the super hurricane “Michael”, which hammered the Florida panhandle, then Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, between the 10 and the 14 of October 2018 (Camilla Domonoske, “Michael Will Costs Insurers Billions, but Won’t Overwhelm the Industry, Analysts Say”, NPR, October 14, 2018).
“Michael” took over from “Florence”, the monster storm that hit and battered the U.S. East Coast on 12 September 2018. It looks like a new climate-related disaster “peak”. It could announce a transition towards possibly worse, considering the last 12 months of climate hellish conditions.
Thus, a major question arises: is climate change becoming a major risk for the U.S. economy? If yes, how should economic actors react (Jean-Michel Valantin, “Climate Change: The Long Planetary Bombing”, The Red (Team) Analysis Society, September 18, 2017)?
The world has entered a period where uncertainty rules and where surprises abound.
Focusing on 2016, the two major surprises usually singled out are the Brexit or the vote leading to the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, then the election of U.S. President Trump against favourite Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Even though a short-term focus could let us believe that the turmoil only or mainly hits “the West”, political and geopolitical surprises and uncertainties have multiplied worldwide, starting at least with the shock of the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 and responses to it (see end note for some major instances*).
What is thus happening? How are we to tackle the uncertainty? Are these surprises related or discrete independent events that it would be wrong to link or try to understand together?
We shall start here with the 2016 surprises and related ongoing uncertainty, i.e. the Brexit and the U.S. Trump Presidency, and focus more particularly on the contradictions and questions that arise when we compare the two phenomena. We shall seek a framework for and elements of understanding, which can then be used in the development of scenarios for the future.
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… ”Shock: A violent collision, impact, tremor; a sudden, disturbing effect on the emotions, physical reaction; an acute state of prostration following a wound, pain; a disturbance in stability causing fluctuations in an organization.” The Concise Oxford dictionary, 8th edition. Considering the amazing number of articles …