The end of insurance: Ports and Hurricanes, Storm Surges, & Rising Sea Levels


The world is about to be shaken by many storms besides cyclones and hurricanes — declining energy & natural resources and the social unrest generated by ever larger numbers of the 7+ billion people getting poorer and hungrier.

Since most people see the world through the blinders of politics and economics, the fury of the natural world will reveal itself to most via the financial system when a disaster so large occurs that it bankrupts the insurance industry. That in turn will likely topple over-leveraged banks and brokerages.

In a study of the top port cities susceptible to rising sea levels, these are the 20 highest population cities most likely to be affected by present-day wind damage:

Rank / Wind Damage Index / City

  1. 100 Tokyo

  2.   53 New York-Newark

  3.   41 Shanghai

  4.   41 Calcutta

  5.   35 Dhaka

  6.   32 Osaka-Kobe

  7.   30 Manila
  8.  26 Bombay (Mumbai)

  9.   24 London
  10.  24 Guangzhou_Guangdong

  11.   21 Shenzen

  12.   20 Hong Kong
  13.   20 Madras (Chennai)
  14.   18 Buenos Aires
  15.   16 Karachi
  16.   15 Miami

  17.   15 Philadelphia
  18.   12 Boston
  19.   12 Sydney
  20.   12 Houston

Table 11. The Top 20 world port cities in terms of population exposed to present-day wind damage. In Bold: population also exposed to present-day extreme sea levels. USA: Red. Japan: Blue. China: Black. India/Bangladesh: Green. Each of these cities (with the exception of Shenzen) also appear in the Top 20 rankings for future population exposure.

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