More market consensus on climate change: 97% of insurance companies agree (& hedge funds too!)

This is by no means the only example of “market consensus” on climate change.
At the same time that members of the insurance industry are taking action to mitigate their losses (by promoting adaptation; the “mitigate”/”adaptation” distinction is one of the many infelicities of climate-change speak) other commercial actors are eagerly leaping at the chance to profit from new economic opportunities, including ironically exploitation of oil reserves that can be accessed more readily as polar ice caps melt.

Why isn’t this activity exploited more aggressively for communication by those trying to promote public engagement with climate change? Those who doubt the scientific consensus–either because they think it is being calculated incorrectly by social scientists who use one or another method to measure it or because they think climate scientists are biased by ideology, group think, or research-funding blandishments–presumably ought to find the opinion of market actors, who are putting their money where their mouth is (actually, they don’t talk much; they are too busy investing), more probative?

The answer, I conjecture, tells us something about the motivations–mainly unconscious, of the cultural cognition sort–of those on both sides of the debate.
Too many climate-change advocates have a hard time seeing/using evidence of this sort because it involves mining insight (as it were; new mining opportunities are also being created by metling permafrost) from the rationality of market behavior, not to mention recognizing that climate change does in fact involve a balance of positive and negative effects, even if on balance it is negative.
At the same time, too many climate skeptics are unwilling to acknowledge evidence of any sort–even the truth-corroborating price signal of self-interested market behavior!–that lends credence to the scientific underpinnings of those who are making the case for effective collective action to avoid the myriad welfare-threatening upshots of a warming earth. So this evidence doesn’t register on them either.

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