The Butterfly Effect and The Insurance Business

…by Sofia Smallstorm

It has been said...

It has been said…

 The New Waves

Many of us have seen the long new trains composed of somewhat see-through double-decker cars. One woman told me they are just sitting on the rails near Spokane right now. I saw a very long one where I live, not moving and nicely backlit by the afternoon ocean sun – in such a way that you could see in, but if

I am remembering correctly, there were dozens of SUVs inside, although frightened people had called me to tell me the cars were empty. It could be that such trains will transport us to areas where alternate accommodations have been prepared for us as tsunamis and earthquakes devastate our homes.

I am reading Linda Casey’s book, The Wave, in which she reports that the average size of the waves the world over has increased by 30% in the last 10 years. Masses of oceanographers and climate scientists believe this is due to global warming and its Siamese twin by the name of Climate Change, as does Casey herself.

So the energy of the ocean is a New Force in our lives, capable of generating a shelf of water that moves onto land and uproots everything in its path (which is what a tsunami is, in case you didn’t know)…it’s not a cresting, breaking wave).

Disasterman Bill McGuire

Disasterman Bill McGuire

As for cresting waves, they are bigger and badder than ever before. Casey met with Bill McGuire, director of the Aon (remember that name from 9/11?) Benfield Hazard Research Centre (University College London), a prominent volcanologist, geophysical hazards expert, and media personality whose predictions of biblical-scale disasters had earned him the nicknames, The Prophet of Doom and Disasterman.


“So far we have prospered, he had written in his book, Apocalypse, but the greatest battles with Nature are yet to be fought, and the final outcome remains in the balance.”

McGuire’s stock-in-trade was what he referred to as ‘Gee-Gees,’ short for Global Geophysical Events. To qualify for this designation, a natural disaster had to have a widespread and fearsome impact. It had to rattle societies and upend economies and claim enormous numbers of victims. In his line up of double-barrelled catastrophes, McGuire had a lot to say about waves, unimaginably large waves. Depending on the geological event that caused it, a tsunami can measure anywhere from an inch to more than a mile high when it stampedes ashore.

Japan has been walloped 25 times in the past 400 years, with deaths in the tsunamishundreds of thousands. Tsunamis every bit as powerful as the one in 2004 have inundated America’s west coast 16 times in the last 10,000 years, most recently in 1700. Smaller waves – still lethal and destructive – appear in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii far more often. This is not surprising when you consider that the Pacific basin, a patchwork quilt of tectonic plates grinding against one another, is an earthquake factory.

When a quake of a volcanic eruption does more than jostle the sea floor, when its motion causes an underwater landslide or shakes loose a chunk of coastline or glacier, the resulting waves can measure not in the hundreds but in the thousands of feet. Though we don’t often think of them this way, the oceans are filled with mountain ranges, trillions of tons of underwater rock and lava that shift around as time goes on.

Puu_Oo_croppedVolcanic islands – piles of loosely aggregated material heaped up by successive eruptions – are especially precarious. The steeper they grow above the water, the faster the ocean erodes them from beneath, and eventually they all topple over. Fortunately, this cycle takes place over millions of years, and only the most paranoid among us would actively fear such a disaster. Only the most paranoid among us…not so today!

“We have reason to suspect that the perps and their frequency toys like HAARP can cause disruption in the atmosphere, in the geological plates…and as a friend who knew HAARP designer Bernard Eastlund himself told me, frequency-making platforms pepper the earth.”

Says geologist, Simon Day, “Volcanoes act like giant sponges, and that weight creates an unstable situation.” Quoting Casey’s book: When magma is present its heat turns that water into steam, which can then blow apart sections of rock.

“Wave heights around the UK have increased by about a third in the last few decades.” McGuire emphasized that climate change has additional wave-generating effects that few people are aware of. “If you don’t start to see meter-scale (3.3 foot) rises in sea level, then the load starts to bend the earth’s crust, and that would promote magma reaching the surface. This will give you a massive increase in volcanic activity. It’ll activate faults in the earth’s crust, and that would promote magma reaching the surface. That will give you a massive increase in volcanic activity. It’ll activate faults to create earthquakes, submarine landslides, tsunamis, the whole lot.”

”Many potentially hazardous geological systems are sensitive to changes in currents, sea level and atmospheric pressure,” NASA geophysicist Dr. Jeanne Sauber said in a New Scientist article.

The Butterfly-HAARP Effect

Right there you have a NASA geophysicist telling you that changes in currentslorenz and atmospheric pressure can set off ‘hazardous geological systems.’ The Butterfly Effect,’ a concept of chaos theory, was thrown into our laps by Edward Lorenz, the MIT meteorologist who began his esteemed career as a weather forecaster for the US Army Air Corps. The theory has to do with the ripple effect caused by sensitive dependence on initial conditions, or a small change in one location that creates a big result elsewhere.

Sparked by another meteorologist’s comment about the mere flap of a seagull’s wings (1963), Lorenz substituted the butterfly in his subsequent papers and talks, with a 1972 presentation entitled, “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”

Says Wikipedia: “Although a butterfly flapping its wings remained constant in the expression of this concept, the location of the butterfly, the consequences, and the location of the consequences have varied widely.”

Let’s imagine the frequency platform HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program), or one of its many worldwide cousins as the butterfly. Let’s assume that since Edward Lorenz in the 1960s, geoscientists have not wondered about the flapping wings of seagulls and butterflies but have fiddled around with frequencies themselves.

Back to Casey’s book: In 2000, McGuire noted in a newspaper column that things have been eerily quiet on the tsunami front, predicting that this would change, particularly in Indonesia. Four years later he was proved horribly right: a magnitude 9.1 earthquake hit Sumatra, punching a piece of the sea floor 66 feet upward and tearing open a 33-foot rift.

bandaThe quake – estimated to have contained the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-style atomic bombs – shook for a full 10 minutes, setting in motion a 100-foot tsunami that obliterated the city Banda Aceh on Sumatra’s northwestern tip…and then continued on to other parts of Indonesia, India and Africa. The three waves killed 240,000 people, left 2 million homeless in more than a dozen countries, and destroyed everything in their paths.

Sitting calmly in his chair, sipping at his pint, McGuire spoke about Florida being underwater, an asteroid splashing down in the ocean (now there would be a wave), and an earthquake wiping out Tokyo, the Caribbean (particularly Puerto Rico) and the US Pacific Northwest were probably overdue for tsunami-inducing quakes.

Funny, isn’t it, that McGuire works at a research center names after a huge insurer? From the Aon Benfield website:  aon_logo

Effective catastrophe management is an essential component of an insurer’s risk management program. It demands a comprehensive approach to risk assessment, risk transfer and risk mitigation. Aon Benfield’s team assesses client catastrophe exposure, models loss estimates and, alongside our actuaries and brokers, designs reinsurance programs to efficiently manage net risks. In addition, we leverage that knowledge into improvements in catastrophe insurance cost recovery and overall portfolio optimization.

I guess if you’re in the biz, you would want to do research on what might happen and when. But we, the little people on the receiving end of what seems to be an escalated chain of disasters, have heard about the Hegelian model of induced problems and follow-up solutions. One perk for insurers after 9/11 were the nifty new premiums added into commercial building policies for terror attacks, high-rise fires and so on.

The weather? Nature turning on us? The hand of God smites mighty blows. It’s not unlike insuring ourselves against the Almighty himself. A little voice in me says, why not create tsunamis and catastrophe-management portfolios to go with them?

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, our grandmothers used to say. So the tiny billows of butterfly wings in terms of frequency manipulation of ocean currents and tectonic plates can keep disaster economics growing, with trillions in returns from reconstruction, future loss prevention and, most important of all, the destabilisation and control of the people themselves.

When the Perfect Storm physically breaks the shore, the militarized rescue effort begins, with necessity the mother of intervention.

On the future, from Casey again: “Earlier McGuire had mentioned his four-year-old son, Fraser. I wondered how he balanced his fears of runaway climate change and wrath-of-God natural disasters with his hoped for Fraser’s future.

“Well, I think his life will be much harder than mine has been,” McGuire said matter-of-factly. “The world is going to be a much more difficult place for him when he grows up.” He paused. “People ask me how I sleep at night,” he said. “And I tell them, like anybody else. I can’t lie there thinking, oh, my God, there might be a super-eruption tonight. It’s not human nature but in the daytime I will consider things like that.”

Aon Benfield’s daytimes are undoubtedly also full of plans for and around super-disasters. I have been chided by one reader about disbelieving the Climate Change doctrine of modern life. His question: How can man not have had a huge impact on the weather?

“I find it impossible to accept as a bona fide view maintaining that 200 years of worldwide industrial revolution have had no effect or no noticeable effect on the atmosphere and the surface of our planet.”

He pointed out that the most vocal decriers of Climate Change (my caps) are experts paid handsomely by Big Oil and Industry, and rightly so – although I would add that this vocalization is deliberately placed in the public eye to maximum uncertainty and confusion.
In our much smaller, alternative thinkers circle, there are many who point to Climate Change as a false construct, but their views are not heard by most Americans, who are simply batted between two poles (Al Gore vs. Industry) presented by our loving media.
So I sent him this link,, where Andrew Johnson examines why climate change is not being caused by increased CO2 emissions from human society. Johnson writes: There is no doubt that human activity is damaging the environment. For example, industrial pollution and ‘industrialized’ fishing and agricultural practices have, it is clear, destroyed habitat and caused the extinction of a number of species of flora and fauna in various ways and for various reasons.

With the real damage caused on a daily (and large scale) basis, it is easy to manipulate people’s emotions, fears and ‘environmental conscience’ when presenting these matters without proper distinction between ‘Environmental Damage’ and ‘Climate Change.’

tumblr_lute8kezz21qckixio1_400…Somebody’s forecasting, somebody’s betting, somebody’s loading up on the front end, somebody’s paying out on the other end. As always, it’s the little people who are ultimately paying, and who are inevitably shorted – not only by the recovery options they didn’t spend enough on but with the ruin of all they knew.

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