CCPI – Climate Change Protection Insurance – Does anyone have it? Of course they don’t. However, we are all going to pay for it – because Insurance companies are not charities!According to representatives of Munich Reinsurance America Inc. and the Insurance Information Institute, insured losses worldwide in 2011 were $105 billion (topping the 2005 record of $101 billion), with about half of this record-breaking total being due to the Japanese tsunami and the Christchurch (NZ) earthquake. (As reported in Biloxi-Gulfport and South Mississippi’s Sun Herald newspaper last Wednesday). As 2010 and 2011 have shown, the worldwide cost of insurance claims arising from natural disasters looks set to increase – steadily or otherwise – on a year-on-year basis, simply because humanity has failed to read the warning signs over the last three decades: 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record, the 1990s were the second warmest, and the 1980s the third warmest… Anyone who dismisses this as merely an unlikely consequence of natural variation is guilty of wishful thinking. However, this is exactly what denialists do when they continue to insist, by drawing a line between an unusually warm year and an unusually cool year, that despite all this, global warming is not happening. It is for this reason that people like John Cook insist on accusing so-called “sceptics” of having their heads in the sand. Nevertheless, given the confidence and/or desperation of less developed countries that yielded a last-minute agreement (albeit wholly inadequate) at the COP17 talks in Durban at the end of last year, it must yet be hoped that the world will soon call “Time” on the organised campaign of misinformation and obfuscation that has been waged for so long now by those whose only goal is policy inaction (James Hansen). In the USA at least, 2012 is certainly going to be a critical year for the politics of climate change because, unless or until there is an outbreak of scientific and intellectual realism in the Republican Party, it is going to be essential that Obama wins a second term in the White House. However, if nothing changes and he loses, I think the whole Planet is doomed because, with such an ideologically-blinded bunch of anti-intellectual and anti-scientific fools at the helm, it is hard to see how the World can make the required changes in collective action actually happen. In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the Republican Party candidates for being voted the most outstanding proponents of climate change misinformation in 2011, beating Fox News and the Murdoch empire into a very respectable second place. See Climate Crock Denial of the Week’s 2011 Climate BS* of the Year Awards (5 January 2012). *Bad Science – What did you think it meant?