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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 17, 2014 Europe's record hot year made at least 35 times more likely by climate change, say scientists

Source: The Guardian

This year is on track to be the warmest ever recorded in Europe, and greenhouse gas emissions played a major role, according to new research. Scientists have analysed centuries of temperature records to conclude that this year’s...

December 16, 2014 New PBS Special 'Extreme Realities' Explores Security Threat From Climate Change

Source: Huff Post

What kind of new realities will climate change bring this century? The latest episode in the PBS series "Journey to Planet Earth" explores the rising threat of extreme weather and the effects climate change is already having on...

December 16, 2014 Sao Paulo, Brazil, officials downplay water crisis as residents suffer

Source: LA Times

A majority of city residents recently surveyed said their water has stopped flowing at some point, usually at night. In some neighborhoods, people say their homes have no water service at all. Although scientists say that the...

December 16, 2014 Bad News for Florida: Models of Greenland Ice Melting Could Be Way Off

Source: NBC News

Existing computer models may be severely underestimating the risk to Greenland's ice sheet — which would add 20 feet to sea levels if it all melted — from warming temperatures, according to two studies released Monday.

December 16, 2014 The charts that show we're living through Earth's warmest year on record

Source: Mashable

This year is almost certain to become the warmest year the planet has had since instrument records began, and very likely for at least 4,000 years before that.

December 15, 2014 ‘Monsters’ Divide Rich and Poor on Road to Climate Deal

Source: Bloomberg

The path to a climate deal in Paris next year is littered with obstacles, foremost being how to differentiate between what industrialized nations must do to cut pollution and what commitments will be accepted by developing...

December 15, 2014 California Would Need Five More Super Storms to Quell Drought

Source: Bloomberg

A slow-moving storm causing flooding and power outages in northern California would need to be replicated at least five more times for meteorologists to declare an end to the state’s historic drought.

December 15, 2014 What would happen to the climate if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today'

E Science News - We know this from billions of observations, documented in thousands of journal papers and texts and summarized every few years by the United Nations' îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî. The...

December 15, 2014 Climate deal eked out in Lima advances talks as diplomats eye global pact next year

Source: Washington Post

Efforts to forge a comprehensive climate treaty advanced early Sunday as diplomats eked out an agreement that commits all countries to addressing the causes of climate change but leaves many of the particulars unresolved.

December 14, 2014 Weather Bombs, Polar Vortex: Global Warming's Influence On Extreme Weather

Science 2.0 - The îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî (IPCC), stung by unsubstantiated claims of melting Himalayas and African food declines, has asked journalists and researchers not to try and attribute...

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