The Pinkertons' plan for climate change: a mercenary army that guards one-percenters as the seas rise

The Pinkertons rose to notoriety as a vicious army of mercenary strikebreakers who beat and murdered working people who stood up to robber barons like Andrew Carnegie; now they are a division of Securitas, a global private security giant at the forefront of profiting from human misery.

The Pinkertons have a detailed plan for climate change: as climate chaos displaces people, wipes out their food, infects them with diseases and subjects them to extreme weather, the Pinkertons plan to sell their services to the ultra-rich as personal bodyguards and as mercenaries to guard their homes and supplies of luxury goods, which they will eat and chortle over while the rest of us drown, starve and burn.

They're already at it, providing high-priced services to executives and big companies during "crises" like Hurricane Maria, during which Donald Trump left millions of Americans to live or die without aid from their government.

Whatever the exact costs of climate change, it is Pinkerton's job to read between the numbers looking for the potential for violence. If you're suffering only one hurricane every 20 years or so, shelling out $1 million to Pinkerton isn't such a big deal, Paz Larach explained; you bake it into your risk. "But if there's a disaster every year, which is happening more and more, it makes more sense to have dedicated staff on standby." A Pinkerton on standby doesn't mean protection for just your insurable risks but also for the uninsurable risks — business interruptions, theft of trade secrets, pandemics. And with the environment increasingly weaponized against the poor, to borrow Wallace-Wells's phrase, the sectors that rely on cheap labor will face more unrest among workers; the state will struggle to keep up with crime; and in the aftermath of storms, with landslides blocking first responders, regional offices will be cut off.

And this, of course, is exactly the sort of environment in which the Pinkertons thrive.

Climate Chaos Is Coming — and the Pinkertons Are Ready [Noah Gallagher Shannon/New York Times]