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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

December 18, 2014 Arctic still heating up twice as fast as rest of planet

Source: CS Monitor

Annual average temperatures have continued to rise for the region as a whole throughout the recent slowdown in the pace of warming globally, according to a new analysis of conditions above 60 degrees north latitude

December 18, 2014 Washington governor unveils carbon cap-and-trade plan

Source: Reuters

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday laid out a plan for a carbon cap-and-trade program aimed at fighting global warming and raising $1 billion a year for state schools and public transportation initiatives, but he will...

December 18, 2014 What deluges? 11 trillion gallons of rain still needed to end California drought

Source: CNN

About 11 trillion gallons of rain, or nearly 17 million Olympic swimming pools full.That's how much water California needs to recover from its extreme drought despite downpours that cause flooding and mudslides this month, NASA...

December 18, 2014 These Are The Countries And Regions Most At Risk From Climate Change

Source: IBT Pulse

"While most sovereigns will feel the negative effects of climate change to some degree, we expect the poorest and lowest-rated sovereigns will bear the brunt of the impact. This is in part due to their reliance on agricultural...

December 18, 2014 U.S. power plant emissions fall as regulation looms

International Business Times - Second-quarter carbon dioxide emissions were down 10 percent in the îRegional Greenhouse Gas Initiativeî service area, where they can be monitored, mostly due to cool weather in the...

December 18, 2014 China's largest coal power plant violating air pollution levels every week

Source: The Guardian

The Waigaoqiao coal-fired power plant located in Shanghai has been violating China’s national standards for nitrogen oxides every week since new standards came into force in July, according to analysis of publicly available...

December 18, 2014 Why climate change is forcing some environmentalists to back nuclear power

Washington Post - But according to Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist with the îUnion of Concerned Scientistsî who works on nuclear issues, there are many problems with the environmental scientists' letter -- and...

December 17, 2014 Top Democrat’s plan: Divest in coal to fight global warming

Source: SF Gate

With Republicans threatening to shove climate change to the back seat as they take control of the U.S. Senate, state officials including Gov. Jerry Brown huddled with one of the nation’s leading Democratic donors Monday to talk...

December 17, 2014 Forecast For 2015: Western States Face Enduring Water Crisis

Source: Popular Science

For the third year in a row, California has suffered severe drought. Reservoirs hit all-time lows, wildfires raced through dry forests, and some towns ran out of water.

December 17, 2014 A Sudden Blip Of Global Warming That Took Place 55 Million Years Ago Is A Terrifying Analog Of Today

Source: Business Insider

It is often said that humans have caused the Earth to warm at an unprecedented rate. However researchers have discovered another period, some 55m years ago, when massive volcanic eruptions pumped so much carbon into the...

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