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jerryking : catastrophic_risk   7

What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative
Feb. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Brad Plumer

In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers.

But first, Xebec had a question: What were the odds that the sites it was considering might be underwater in 10 or 20 years?......Yet detailed information about the city’s climate risks proved surprisingly hard to find. Federal flood maps are based on historical data, and won’t tell you how sea-level rise could exacerbate flooding in the years ahead.....So Xebec turned to a Silicon Valley start-up called Jupiter, which offered to analyze local weather and hydrological data and combine it with climate model projections to assess the potential climate risks Xebec might face in Charleston over the next few decades from things like heavier rainfall, sea level rise or increased storm surge....the reliability of Jupiter's predictive analytics is uncertain....that said, “In economics, information has value if you would make a different decision based on that information,”...... Congress has generally underfunded initiatives such as those at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to incorporate climate change into its federal flood maps.......to get a full picture of flooding risk, you need expertise in weather, but also climate and hydrology and engineering and running complex models on the latest computer hardware,” ... “All of those specialized disciplines are usually heavily siloed within the public sector or the scientific community.”....Jupiter, which acknowledges the uncertainties in climate forecasting, will have to prove that a market exists....flooding and other disasters have led to record losses by insurers.....[Those] losses raised the stakes in terms of trying to get the best possible science on your side when you’re pricing risk,” said John Drzik, president of global risk at Marsh,
climate_change  weather  start_ups  data_driven  forecasting  hard_to_find  predictive_analytics  tools  Charleston  South_Carolina  uncertainty  sea-level_rise  floods  commercial_real_estate  adaptability  specificity  catastrophes  catastrophic_risk  unpredictability  coastal  extreme_weather_events  insurance  FEMA  cartography  floodplains  flood-risk  flood-risk_maps  mapping  historical_data 
february 2018 by jerryking
Nick Bostrom: ‘We are like small children playing with a bomb’
Sunday 12 June 2016 | Technology | The Guardian | by Tim Adams.

Sentient machines are a greater threat to human existence than climate change, according to the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom.

Bostrom, a 43-year-old Swedish-born philosopher, has lately acquired something of the status of prophet of doom among those currently doing most to shape our civilisation: the tech billionaires of Silicon Valley. His reputation rests primarily on his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, which was a surprise New York Times bestseller last year and now arrives in paperback, trailing must-read recommendations from Bill Gates and Tesla’s Elon Musk. (In the best kind of literary review, Musk also gave Bostrom’s institute £1m to continue to pursue its inquiries.)
artificial_intelligence  books  catastrophic_risk  climate_change  dangers  deep_learning  existential  machine_learning  Oxford  prophets  risks 
march 2017 by jerryking
9/11 and the age of sovereign failure -
Sep. 10, 2011 | The Globe & Mail | Michael Ignatieff.. One
of the tasks we ask govt. to perform is to think the unthinkable. Yet on
9/11, govt. institutions failed...A sovereign is a state with a
monopoly on the means of force...It is there to think the unthinkable
and plan for it. A sovereign failed that morning.... There has been a
cascade of failure: (1) No WMDs found in Iraq; (2) The failure of the
levees & New Orleans civil authority following Hurricane Katrina;
(3) the 2008 mortgage bubble and govt. regulators; (4) the failure of
govt. regulators to catch BP before the Spring 2010 oil spill. ...While
there are a lot of things a govt. might do, there are a few things that
only a govt. can do: protect the people, rescue them when they are in
danger, regulate against catastrophic risk and safeguard the full faith
and credit of their currency. Sovereigns matter. And rebuilding their
legitimacy, their capacity and their competence is the political task
that matters most......It is always good to be skeptical about what governments tell us. But we are beyond skepticism now, into a deep and enduring cynicism. There will come a day when they are not crying wolf and we will not believe them. Then we will be in trouble. Some trust in government is a condition of democracy and security alike. That trust has been weakened and can't be rebuilt until sovereigns say what they mean, mean what they say and do what they promise.
Michael_Ignatieff  failure  government  9/11  low_probability  catastrophic_risk  priorities  unthinkable  sovereign-risk  state-as-facilitator  legitimacy  capacity  competence  oil_spills  cynicism  skepticism  policymaking 
september 2011 by jerryking
Who Controls The Internet?
Oct 9, 2010 | Financial Times pg. 14 | Misha Glenny. US
Cyber Command is the Pentagon command charged with defending the US
against catastrophic internet-based attacks. Fully operational from last
week, it is the latest in a series of dramatic moves across the world
aimed at monitoring and controlling how all of us use the web...Western
governments cite three central threats that justify the increased
presence of military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies in
cyberspace - crime, commercial espionage and warfare....Misha Glenny's
"McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime" is published by Vintage.
GCHQ  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  threats  ProQuest  Pentagon  catastrophic_risk  organized_crime  industrial_espionage  Stuxnet  books  U.S._Cyber_Command 
october 2010 by jerryking
The man who’s tutoring Bill Gates
June 19, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente. Discusses
Vaclav Smil at the University of Manitoba. Prof. Smil’s 24th book,
Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next 50 Years, has just been
published in Canada. It offers a numbers-heavy but compact guide to all
the main things we should be worrying about (or not), from natural
disasters to population trends.
billgates  books  Canada  catastrophes  catastrophic_risk  disasters  energy  environment  Margaret_Wente  natural_calamities  politics  worrying 
june 2010 by jerryking
'A Failure of Capitalism - The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent Into Depression,' by Richard A. Posner - Review - NYTimes.com
May 14, 2009 | New York Times | by JONATHAN RAUCH who reviews A
FAILURE OF CAPITALISM: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent Into
Depression, by Richard A. Posner, In this compact and bracingly lucid
volume, he offers a simple, but not simplistic, primer: “a concise,
constructive, jargon- and ­acronym-free, nontechnical, unsen­sational,
light-on-anecdote, analytical examination of the major facets of the
biggest U.S. economic disaster in my lifetime and that of most people
living today.” See also In “Catastrophe: Risk and Response” (2004), in
which Posner took up the problem of low-probability, high-impact events.

346 pp. Harvard University Press. $23.95
book_reviews  recessions  Richard_A._Posner  capitalism  politicaleconomy  economic_downturn  low_probability  catastrophic_risk  primers  high-impact 
may 2009 by jerryking

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