Climate Change and Insurance

I believe the early response to climate change in America will come through the insurance industry. It is my understanding that many coastal areas, particularly parts of Louisiana and Florida are becoming uninsurable, mostly due to hurricanes. This article in an insurance trade publication discusses how insurance costs have gone from 2% to 8% of a projects cost. While this is a steep financial cost, it also brings up the point: do you really want to live in a place with these sorts of risks?

Developers Pulling Plug on South Florida Projects Due to Insurance Costs

Working on the Railroad

I was not able to understand the labor relations problem at US railroads from just watching the news and reading mainstream news articles. A good article from New York magazine digs deeper. Takeaway: railroads cut a third of staff over the years and have no real wiggle room for things like people getting sick. The railroads are also very profitable and essentially a monopoly locally and an oligarchy nationally. Why not just give people sick days? I suppose it would mean having to hire people as a buffer, the way just about every other business does. Anyway, a good read.

Why America’s Railroads Refuse to Give Their Workers Paid Leave

How Low Can They Go?

The only Substack I subscribe to is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Today he goes off on Louisiana for not voting against slavery — in a 2022 election.

Louisiana Gets Slavery

Summary: In the midterm elections, several states voted to change their constitutions to ban slavery and involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment in the form of forced prison labor. Vermont, Tennessee, Alabama, and Oregon voted to ban slavery—but Louisiana voted 60.9% to keep it. The 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery, but kept an exception to allow involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime.

My Take: Out of the 50 states, Louisiana ranks 46 in health care, 48 in education, 48 in opportunity, 49 in natural environment, and 50 in crime and corrections. In overall ranking of states by U.S. News & World Report, it ranks 50. The bottom.

Apparently, they can sink even lower.

Remember This

A few days ago, I was trying to remember the name of an old colleague. He may have popped up in a dream, or at least someone who resembled him did. I could distinctly remember his face and lots of little bits of related information (where he lived, number of children, places we has met up over the years). I could remember bits related to the company he worked for, but not the actual company name. Nor could I remember his actual name, but I did remember it was one of those names common to men my age. John? No. Bob. No, but close. Finally it hit me (Don) and the rest fell into place like dominoes tumbling. Sent him an email and renewed an old friendship (but didn’t mention I somehow struggled to remember his name). I suppose he never looked like a guy named “Don” to me, whatever that means. BBC digs a little deeper.

Forgetfulness: Why your mind going blank can be a benefit