This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 26, 2014

Climate Change Winners and Losers

Few would dispute that climate change is significantly affecting our weather systems. These effects cause increasingly intense storms, including hurricanes, tornados and cyclones, not to mention their secondary effects, including massive flooding and severe droughts. Having studied these changes, thanks, in part to the American Meteorological Society, we can safely forecast more severe weather across the globe. (We will get into specifics of what and why in subsequent Alerts.)

For this alert, we focus on the big near-term (one to three years) winners and losers in this unfolding drama. The biggest losers are obviously. . . 1. Citizens worldwide whose lives are inconvenienced and who must pay more for food. 2. Farmers everywhere, especially coffee growers in Brazil and produce growers in California, who will have to deal with ongoing droughts---until next year, when El Nio will arrive. 3. Airlines and bus companies that will have to cope with massive cancellations/delays. 4. Schools that will have to devise different ways to educate our children. Hint: technology will help a lot. 5. Corporations that will have to cope with lower productivity.

Those are the obvious ones. However, here are some that are not so obvious: 1. Hotels worldwide, because people won't be able to get there to use their reservations; likewise, hotels near airports will have more business, when flights are cancelled. 2. Doctors and hospitals that will have to cope with victims of weather disasters and cancelled and postponed procedures. Emergency departments will be more important than ever. 3. The unemployed (In December, 2013 the United States unemployment rate did not decline as much as expected, in part due to winter storms.) who will not be hired. 4. Catering halls and caterers, when events are cancelled or postponed. 5. Musicians who were hired to provide entertainment at the events. 6. Rental companies who were providing the linens, etc. for these cancelled events. 7. Club owners and restaurateurs who will have lower numbers of meals served, because people can't get there.

On the other hand, let's look at the obvious winners. . . 1. Some ski resorts will have more snow and therefore draw more people. They will also have to spend less money making snow. 2. Companies that sell energy, including gasoline, because we will need more of it to help us cope with the temperature extremes. 3. People that remove snow, and others, like Service Master, that clean up after floods. 4. Companies that make snow removal equipment and the salt and chemicals that keep the roads passable.

And here are the not-so-obvious winners: 1. Funeral homes will process the growing numbers of bodies of victims of the floods, storms, and the ancillary damage. 2. Stores will sell the road salt, ice scrapers, and snowbrushes people will need. 3. Meteorologists will help us know what to do---until the robots take over. 4. Inventors who can help us create the workarounds, which leads me to my forecast:

The airlines and governments will eventually find some solutions; learn how to function if not well, then better, under these new weather stresses. We will all eventually adjust to this new normal---all kinds of more extreme and (for now) unexpected weather.

But by far, the biggest winner in this entire scenario will be The Weather Company. More than just a television channel, this leading edge company provides 24-7 weather information and support through its website and numerous mobile apps---and they are rapidly going global.

DISCLAIMER: This list is by no means definitive, due to space limitations; I may have left off a group you may think are very obvious. If so, my apologies ahead of time.

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