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Sorry to do this in JakeS style but I see little other option here.

scientific studies with sparse data and short time series are going to have difficulty drawing a trend line with a high confidence interval, and are therefore deontologically obliged to declare "no significant correlation".

Not-withstanding deontologically, agreed entirely. I don't think ethics are of a concern here.

The same paper quotes a number of studies which demonstrate, without question, increased winter rainfall overall, and higher rainfall per rainy day, over the examined period (as well as a warming effect which is bigger than the global average). It is not unimagineable that these increases have not provoked any increase in major flooding; but it is powerfully counter-intuitive.

Something being "powerfully counter-intuitive" has led to some poor scientific thinking before.

Your rhetoric would lead one to believe that science has demonstrated an absence of an increase of insureable risks. I'm sure none of the authors linked would agree with that.

Except that's not what the science authors write, nor what I write. It seems that's what you presume. I'll repeat my key-point: no increase for normalized hurricane, storm or flood damages could yet be attributed to climate change.

In case that was too subtle, let me spell that out: The inability to attribute a trend does not equate to argumentation of an absence of trend. And actually, I explicitly argued from the absence of proof is not proof of absence POV.

European Tribune - Catastrophe Cacophony

Except that increasing flood, windstorm and hurricane losses have not been attributed to global warming / climate change so far.

increasing hurricane damage for the USA can't be contributed just yet
 
has not be attributed so far

Emphasis mine.

reinsurers do not require evidence that would stand up in a court of law, or in a scientific publication, before making projections or fixing premiums. I suspect they would do very little business if they did.

Nice rhetorical trick. Of course I am not talking about projections or fixing premiums, you are. I am talking about claims released in the public domain and press by a company proclaiming the presence of a trend, without providing any evidence to show for.

That is a practice just as acceptable as, let's say, a pharmaceutical company selling anti-cancer drugs, announcing by press release a global increase in liver cancer rates for 60+ years old males, and then not providing the evidence.

None of this argues against the possibility (which appears to be your subtext) that reinsurers are scamming us with inflated premiums. Perhaps they are. But the evidence you present is unpersuasive in that respect.

Nice rhetorical trick again - point me the specific sentence where I argue that "reinsurers are scamming us with inflated premiums". It is no wonder I am unpersuasive in that respect - I am not even arguing for it.

by Nomad on Thu Nov 18th, 2010 at 08:22:14 PM EST
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