The WEF Global Risks Report was published last week, and as ever contains plenty of things to keep you up worrying about at 3am. The report notes the increasing interconnectedness of risks, and the potential for societal polarization and inequality to produce political outcomes which reduce our ability to deal with global risks. Strikingly though, climate-related risks account for 4/5 of the highest impact risks, and 2/3 (arguably 3/3 if we include a climate-migration link) of the most likely risks.
In the aftermath of the U.S election there’s been a lot written about why the polls were off, and the role of forecasting sites such as 538 and The Upshot. In particular I’ve been struck by the conversation about the problems that these sites, which use models to forecast the likelihood of each candidate winning, have in communicating the uncertainty and probabilities around their forecasts, and similarities with discussions in the climate world.
A couple of things have crystalized for me over the last couple of months, driven primarily by work with several Multi-Lateral Development Banks (MDBs), and further developed this week with exposure to a very bright group of investment managers looking for ways they can identify opportunities for adaptation for SMEs in Nepal and Bangladesh.
Our street has trees all down one side (they hide the tiny railway track). They glow green in the Spring and are brilliant yellows and oranges in the Autumn, and they’re fantastic. But they do drop leaves. Lots and lots of leaves. When the council had a lot of money that wasn’t an issue, because street-cleaners would appear, and the leaves would magically disappear.