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Global Warming and Climate Change, Global Warning Information, Updates

Global Warming and Climate Change

Updated January 2011

The year 2010 ended with an enormous blizzard that engulfed the northeast US, paralyzing New York and Boston and much of the Atlantic Coast.  That storm was followed almost three weeks later  by yet another severe snow storm that had the same effect.  Speculation started immediately that these events had their  roots in global warming – Time Magazine wrote:

“The World Meteorological Organization recently reported that 2010 is almost certainly going to be one of the three warmest years on record, while 2001 to 2010 is already the hottest decade in recorded history. Indeed, according to some scientists, all of these events may actually be connected.”

Just a few days before at the CNN debate on climate change, UN Climate Secretary Christiana Figueres said that “private businesses are better placed than governments to tackle global warming because they can act faster...”  There appeared to be an agreement at the event that the urgency to reduce carbon emissions was such that business could not afford to wait for governments to act.

Prior to the UN-sponsored Cancun Climate Conference in December 2010, the world's largest global investors were urging the conference delegates and the US Congress to “take action now in the fight against global warming or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis.”

Unfortunately, at Cancun and the year before in Copenhagen, government progress to address climate change only inched slightly forward.  But while government consensus moved by inches, the scientists tell us we should be moving by miles   – or do they?

The last two years has seen the debate of the existence of human-caused climate change -- or any climate changed -- challenged by doubters.   Some poor science conducted by some believers/ supporters, followed by unfortunate media reporting and the issues identified as hot in the recent Congressional elections saw weak support for global warming among Americans. Witness this: “The poll, one of four annual surveys conducted by Shelton Group, surveyed 1,098 Americans who at least occasionally buy green products and found only about half believe climate change is occurring and caused by human beings…”

While the majority of the American  public apparently are yet to believe in the problems of climate change and global warming and world governments unable to agree on a course of action, AC will continue to focus on potentially one of the greatest issues world society faces. Since this section was begun in April 2008 more than 1,200 articles, commentaries and reports  have been posted for our readers.  No doubt there is more to come.  (We invite you to tell us where you stand on the issues.)

 -----------------------------

Institutional investors are focused on the potential or rising risk posed by climate change to the companies they hold in portfolios.  “Climate change,” “global warming” and “sustainability” (of the company owned, over the long-term) are trigger phrases now for all manner of shareholder activities – and corporate responses. The argument is not always about “if” climate change is occurring or “who” or “what” is responsible – often, the investors now ask:  What is the company doing to prepare for and mitigate the risk?  Investors have many questions:  Has the company charted its “carbon footprint” – has management taken steps to inform shareowners of real or potential climate change risks – what are the potential costs of mitigating such risks – and more.

Looking to put muscle behind these requests, shareowners are filing numerous proxy petitions (shareholder sponsored proxy resolutions) on the ballot in 2008.  Coalitions are being formed to address climate risk issues at public companies.  On September 18, 2007, a broad coalition of investors, state officials with regulatory and fiscal management responsibilities, and environmental groups filed a landmark petition asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require publicly-traded companies to assess and fully disclose their financial risks related to climate change issues. The coalition formally asked the Commission's Division of Corporation Finance to immediately begin "[c]losely scrutinizing the adequacy of registrants' climate disclosures" under existing law.

The institutional investors involved represent $1.5 trillion in managed assets and include major public employee pension funds, state treasurers and comptrollers, state attorneys general and major environmental organizations.  Their “First of a Kind” resolution will create major waves on Wall Street and in the corporate suites as the campaign goes on.   (This issue is not going anyway anytime soon.)

The coalition includes the Environmental Defense, Ceres, the California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Maine State Treasurer David G. Lemoine, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, North Carolina State Treasurer Richard Moore and Oregon State Treasurer Randall Edwards, as well as New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

The Securities and Exchange Commission staff had no immediate reaction, but in the overall dialogue regarding shareholders rights, federal regulations and corporate governance, this measure landed like a bombshell in Washington, DC.  Accountability-Central will continue to present news and commentary as the climate change issue unfolds and various capital markets players present their views and opinions.

Learn more about climate change: http://www.learnstuff.com/climate-change-and-global-warming-an-objective-overview/

 

 


Latest on Global Warming and Climate Change

February 8, 2016 Last two centuries of “wrong tree” planting in Europe worsened climate change

Source: Tampa Bay Review

A new study has challenged the assumption of the positive impact of planting trees on climate change. In most cases, we all have learned that growing more trees would help reduce climate change, but growing the “wrong tree”...

February 8, 2016 Are drought conditions in the American Southwest here to stay?

Source: CS Monitor

A new study suggests that extremely dry conditions may now be standard in the central and western US, as precipitation and storms there have seen a marked decrease through the past decades.

February 5, 2016 Good News: China's Dropping Coal Consumption Is Putting the Brakes on Global Carbon Emissions

The Energy Collective - And according to Sophie Lu of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, "as electricity demand continues to slow, clean energy may be used more to replace dirtier capacity." But one thing seems clear: China is turning...

February 5, 2016 Will extreme weather events get Americans to act on climate change'

THE CONVERSATION - And there could be more to come. Although many extreme weather events are driven by natural variability alone, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects that climate change will raise the prevalence...

February 5, 2016 Arctic sea ice sets January record low

Source: USA Today

The amount of Arctic sea ice set a record low for the month of January, the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Thursday. January 2016 was a remarkably warm month there, the data center said. Air temperatures were 13...

February 4, 2016 Is global warming behind D.C.’s new era of great snowstorms?

Source: Washington Post

Evidence is piling up that D.C. and other major northeastern cities have entered a new era of great snowstorms and that climate change may well play an important role.

February 4, 2016 The poor will be the first to bear the brunt of climate change

The Manitoban - The 2014 report released by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that those who have the smallest impact in causing climate change will be the first to feel its effects. That is, those who do...

February 3, 2016 Rising sea levels will impact these properties

Yahoo News - Annapolis already floods easily. Between 1957 and 1963, Annapolis saw 3.8 days of nuisance flooding. Between 2007 and 2013, it increased to 39.3 days. By 2045, flooding will happen 360 times a year, according to the...

February 3, 2016 Sierra snowpack jumps to 130 percent of average

Source: Sacramento Bee

A year ago, it was the driest January on record across much of California. This year looks, well, average – even a little better than average.

February 2, 2016 Climate change in charts: from record global temperatures to science denial

Source: The Guardian

The world’s hottest year on record has prompted much media coverage. But there haven’t been enough charts and graphs

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