This could be the single most significant thing to happen to the global warming debate ever.

See, Lloyd’s of London isn’t a former presidential candidate trying to keep himself in the public eye because he couldn’t get over his defeat. This is an insurance company. All they do is try to make money. And they wouldn’t be so transparent with their views about global warming unless they were damn sure that it could cost them big time.

From Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest insurer, offered a gloomy forecast of floods, droughts and disastrous storms over the next 50 years in a recently published report on impending climate changes.

“These things are fact, not hypothesis,” said Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd’s America in an interview on Monday. “You don’t have to be a believer in global warming to recognize the climate is changing. The industry has to get ready for the changes that are coming.”

In a report on catastrophe trends Lloyd’s is disseminating to the insurance industry, a bevy of British climate experts, including Sir David King, chief scientist to the British government, warn of increased flooding in coastal areas and a rapid rise in sea level as ice caps melt in Greenland and Antarctica. […]

Baker said Lloyd’s has formed a partnership with American International Group, the world’s biggest insurer, Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Insurance Information Institute, a research group.

The four will hold a forum in the fall of 2007 to look at the severity and consequences of future natural catastrophes.

By the way, the company was founded in 1688, so they have a little bit of experience.

Science/Environment World's Oldest Insurer: Global Warming Is Real