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Unexpected Consequences

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

One of those things that has always been tricky to quantify is the consequential costs from the impact of climate-driven extreme events. There are sound methodologies for assessing direct physical damages, but trying to get a sense of how these damages might impact services that rely on them is really not easy. These days we are starting to see these ripple effects happen on a global scale, particularly when they affect supply chains which are so globally connected today.

The article here gives several interesting examples, one of them quite close to home.

“The Malaysia node in the global supply chain that hardly anyone was aware of turned out to be critical... It illustrates how a bottleneck anywhere in the supply chain can interfere with the availability of critical goods.”

The supply chain solution is develop alternatives sources and alternative routes etc. But most of these approaches result in higher costs in an industry that has been accustomed to optimizing every bit efficiency, and us consumers accustomed with the low costs and seamless availability. So if we cannot live with the severe disruptions that climate effects are going to create at increasing frequencies, we had better double down on Adaptation. Because even if climate change is still treated like a long-term endeavour, these effects are a very real, short term reality.

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