Categories ArchivesNews and Analysis

Amazon’s HQ2 Belongs in Puerto Rico link

When Hurricane Hugo destroyed my house in Punta Las Marias, Puerto Rico in 1989, I had just turned 12 years old. The category 3 storm devastated much of the island, but compared to Hurricane Maria, Hugo was a near miss. And yet, my life changed forever and the ruin was too much for my mother to bear as she raised four children on her own in abject poverty. After this devastating event, my mother and siblings faced the false choice of sacrificing their own future and education to save the youngest in the family. Thus, I became the child the village raised and was the first in my family to get through high school or college, eventually leaving Puerto Rico ...

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Christian Science Monitor: From Puerto Rico’s ruins, an opportunity to build back better link

A bold, innovative vision is emerging for how to rebuild after hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the island’s shattered infrastructure. But some worry the staggering challenges could overshadow it. As Puerto Rico continues the slow process of recovery from September’s near-knockout one-two punch of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the phrase “build back better” has become something of a mantra. From the governor’s office to still-dark industrial parks, from roofless homes to flattened community health centers, the imperative to “reconstruir mejor” has sprouted as quickly as the fresh green shoots bursting from the swaths of bowed trees that now define the tropical island’s landscape. Speaking Thursday to a convention of Puerto Rican builders, Governor Ricardo Rosselló said that in the wake ...

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Gamma Iota Sigma Announces New Additions to Executive Committee and Board of Trustees link

Yardley, PA, October 18, 2017 – Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), the insurance industry’s premier talent pipeline, is pleased to announce the appointment of new members and changes to the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees. Executive Director Noelle Codispoti, CPCU, ARM, commented, “Year after year, I am inspired by the level of talent, experience, and commitment that GIS is able to access through the dedicated volunteers of our governing body. The appointment of our newest Board and Executive Committee members reflects the growth of the organization and firm commitment to the insurance industry’s future. These incredibly diverse and talented individuals bring additional capabilities and strengths to our mission that will guide GIS into its next phase.” Named to the Board of Trustees for ...

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Insurance Journal: Risk Cooperative Becomes Lloyd’s Coverholder for Cyber Insurance Facility link

Risk Cooperative, a specialized insurance and risk advisory firm, has been approved as a Lloyd’s coverholder giving it the ability to provide up to $10 million in stand-alone cyber insurance coverage. Risk Cooperative can now offer middle market customers and channel partners access to customizable cyber insurance coverage. For coverage amounts greater than $10 million, Risk Cooperative can work with insurance partners on cyber insurance options in excess of $100 million in coverage. Risk Cooperative’s cyber insurance facility also offers an educational offering through an alliance with Ridge Global, a specialized risk advisory firm founded by Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania. In addition to focusing on the middle market, Risk Cooperative’s ...

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Climate Changed link

For many decades, climate scientists have warned of an accelerating rate of climate change, which would bring about more extreme weather patterns heralding an age of consequences. These dire warnings were easy to ignore, especially as climate change went by the comparatively gentle misnomer global warming. The future tense description climate change, where most of the impacts were long range externalities outside of the advanced economies, the worst polluters, is similarly misleading. Today, however, the seemingly endless raft of extreme weather events suggests that the climate is not changing, it has changed and our societal imperative is to end the causality debate and begin responding to effects in the present tense and with great urgency. With this change, which is ...

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Eco-Business: Do you know a climate refugee? You will link

The Earth’s climate is changing at a rate that has exceeded most scientific forecasts. Since the turn of the century the Earth’s surface temperature has increased over one degree Celsius, with the majority of warming taking place since the 1980’s. Adapting to this changing global climate may be the greatest challenge we as a species have ever had to face. Natural disasters are becoming stronger, more frequent and are forcing whole communities to leave their homes in search of a new beginning. UNHCR estimates that one person every second has been displaced by a disaster since 2009 and an average of 22.5 million people have been displaced by climate or weather-related events since 2008. Imagine the entire population of Taiwan ...

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Blackout and bankrupt – Puerto Rico needs mainland help link

Today, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island, Puerto Rico should be in the midst of a recovery process, instead power is out for the entire island. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, reports that 100 percent of the electricity distribution system remains damaged, leaving 3.4 million Americans in darkness. Of the 69 hospitals on the island, 58 went without fuel or power for more than a week. The cellular phone network is recovering, but remains almost entirely non-existent. More than 50 percent of the islanders (more than 1 million people) can’t access clean water. The official death toll from the floods and winds brought by Hurricane Maria was 16 — each a tragedy, but a number ...

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The Equifax Breach and the Case for Digital Identity link

The massive Equifax data breach of 143 million personally identifiable records – a staggering treasure trove of data on nearly the entire U.S. workforce – changes everything or at least it should. The canary in the coal mine with this breach is the fact that over the past five years Equifax’s annual reports reveal troubling tone deafness to growing cybersecurity alarm bells that have affected many commercial giants, including Target, Sony and Yahoo among others. During this same time frame, regulatory standards and business convention on adequate cyber hygiene have been promulgated by a host of directives in the U.S. and internationally. And yet, the post-mortem on this breach – the BP oil spill of personal data – will likely ...

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Christian Science Monitor – Puerto Rico: Will Maria make island more of an American priority? link

When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrived in a Maria-devastated Puerto Rico Friday, he brought with him a half-dozen electrical generators – coveted assistance for an island that officials estimate could be without power for months. Yet as appreciated as Mr. Cuomo’s material aid was, his visit underscored the Caribbean island’s precarious status as a United States territory – whose 3.4 million residents are American citizens – yet one with very little clout in Washington. If New York’s governor saw fit to demonstrate solidarity with Puerto Rico, it is because of the sizable and well-established Puerto Rican population in New York – one that continues to grow as young people with US passports abandon the poverty-stricken and financially strapped island. ...

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Climate Resilience: No Longer Islands Unto Ourselves link

No sooner than the record-breaking hurricane Irma wrought havoc across the Caribbean as the most powerful and persistent Atlantic storm ever, the region braces for yet another monster category 5 hurricane with Maria. Maria, the first major hurricane to make direct landfall on the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in more than 85 years, has devastated the island. Islands are particularly vulnerable to climate risks and are fast becoming ground zero in our rapidly changing world, reminding us that in the face of unprecedented challenges, we can no longer be islands unto ourselves. An emblem of this devastation is the fact that the inhabitants of the once idyllic island of Barbuda, along with other islands in the region, are now ...

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