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article imagePinkerton promises to save your business from climate mayhem

By Karen Graham     Aug 9, 2019 in Business
Formed in 1850, the Pinkerton Detective Agency rose to notoriety during the Civil War and then as strike-breakers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the agency has taken up a new assignment — climate chaos.
Today, Pinkerton is a subsidiary of Securitas AB, a global security agency with home offices in Stockholm, Sweden. The company offers services that include security guarding and mobile patrolling, monitoring, consulting and investigation. With over 300,000 employees in 53 countries, they pretty much have their thumb on any crisis that may pop up.
Providing protection and security to those who can afford them, is a better way of putting it, and that includes businesses and corporations around the world. Now, with the world in the throes of a climate crisis, the security agency has set about developing a plan for climate change.
They are specifically looking at climate change’s “threat multiplier." This is based on the near certainty that as the temperature continues to creep up during the next 100 years, weather events will almost certainly provoke chaos, so it was only natural that Pinkerton would consider ramping up its security protocols.
Allan Pinkerton - the founder of Pinkerton Detective Agency on horseback at Antietam  Md. in Septerm...
Allan Pinkerton - the founder of Pinkerton Detective Agency on horseback at Antietam, Md. in Septermber 1882. He claimed his detectives once saved Abraham Lincoln's life.
Alexander Gardner (1821–1882
"Because bottom lines are being affected by extreme weather and by changes in real estate as a result of flooding or wildfires, they're already beginning to act," said freelance journalist Noah Gallagher Shannon. Shannon spent some time training with Pinkerton agents at a shooting range called Club de Tiro Jaribú, in Mexico which the company sometime uses for agent and client training.
He wrote about the company's new focus for the New York Times Magazine and also spoke with Day 6 host Nana aba Duncan about what he had learned.
As Shannon points out, the company has always been quick to adapt to changing demands from their clients. Today, instead of beating up working people who stood up to robber barons like Andrew Carnegie, the company provides cybersecurity and the protection of trade secrets.
Damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Panama City  Florida
Damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida
Brendan Smialowski, AFP
Now, that protection can include everything from armed warehouse defense, executive extraction, 24-hour surveillance, chartered helicopters and planes and escorted guarded cargo shipments. Actually, when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, Pinkerton got a lot of calls from clients needing the protection of warehouses or service centers.
So, as Shannon said, "Pinkerton can basically charge what they compared to Uber surge pricing to fly agents down there and protect warehouses, get employees food and water, and basically be the eyes and ears for that corporation on the ground."
Duncan asked Shannon what an executive extraction entailed. Actually, it is exactly what it sounds like - getting an executive out of a dangerous situation.
"That could be a wildfire that's closed off multiple roads and routes out — that could be a hurricane, that could be a typhoon, that could be political unrest, I don't know. In part, I'm saying I don't know because much of this is still speculative on their part," Shannon said.
Chinese rescue workers at the scene of the  landslide in Guizhou province
Chinese rescue workers at the scene of the landslide in Guizhou province
Making money off people's fears and misery
Shannon also added: "They're responding, in many ways, to anxieties and fears and offering package services that can ameliorate those fears." And perhaps, that is what they are doing. But, it is always best to include a worst-case scenario in your plans.
Paz Larach, executive vice-president with Pinkerton explained that their statistical and tactical approaches were fundamentally connected. All businesses exposed themselves to risk, which had to be mitigated, insured or, more relevantly, defended against.
Keep in mind that according to the World Bank, by 2050, as many as 140 million people could be displaced by sea-level rise and extreme weather, driving escalations in crime, political unrest, and resource conflict. Of course, much of this is already happening now.
A resident walks along a flooded road damaged during a landslide caused by the passage of Tropical S...
A resident walks along a flooded road damaged during a landslide caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Earl in the community of Xaltepec, Puebla state, eastern Mexico on August 8, 2016
Alfredo Estrella, AFP/File
So reading between the numbers is smart, and needs to be baked into a company's risk. “And if there’s a disaster every year, which is happening more and more, it makes more sense to have dedicated staff on standby," Larach said.
The website, Boing Boing has a slightly different take on Pinkerton's plan. Corey Doctorow writes that Pinkerton's plan for climate change is to have a mercenary army that guards one-percenters as the seas rise.
Doctorow points out the sectors that rely on cheap labor will face more unrest during a climate event, and that's not to mention the struggle of communities, not corporations, to keep up with the lack of clean water and food, medical treatment and crime in the aftermath of storms, with landslides blocking first responders.
So all-in-all, Pinkerton getting in on the ground floor of security during an extreme weather event that causes chaos is an interesting subject for discussion. However, many people are wondering if this is the right approach to dealing with the climate crisis. Is it?
More about pinkerton, climate chaos, corporate secority, extractions, armed defense
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