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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.)

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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

March 29, 2016 New Research Offers Much-Needed Hope For Our Oceans

Source: Huff Post

The study, published in Monday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that with better fishing practices, the majority of the world’s fisheries — 77 percent, to be exact — could recover to a healthy...

March 29, 2016 Too early to hail dip in China’s CO2, despite coal fall-study

Source: Reuters

Reports of a historic dip in China‘s carbon dioxide emissions in the past two years are premature because of uncertainty over data showing the pace of a decline in coal use by the world’s biggest consumer, a study showed on...

March 28, 2016 Is India facing its worst-ever water crisis?

Source: BBC

On 11 March, panic struck engineers at a giant power station on the banks of the Ganges river in West Bengal state. Readings showed that the water level in the canal connecting the river to the plant was going down rapidly. Water...

March 28, 2016 Climate Change Threatens The Lives Of More Than 13 Million Americans

Source: Collective Evolution

More than 13 million people – in the US alone – could face the risk of inundation by 2100, according to a new study published recently in the journal Nature Climate Change.

March 28, 2016 New survey finds a growing climate consensus among meteorologists

Source: The Guardian

There have been multiple scientific studies that all concur: scientists know that climate change is happening and it is largely caused by humans. I recently wrote about this here, where I reviewed the studies. It turns out that...

March 28, 2016 Largest Wildfire In Kansas History Continues To Burn

Source: NPR

About one inch of snow fell on parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Easter Sunday and officials say the precipitation provided a boost to their efforts to contain a wildfire described as the largest in Kansas history.

March 23, 2016 Global Warming Could Yield Catastrophic Effects Sooner Than We Think

Source: Fortune

A group of leading climate scientists have warned that the effects of global warming could come quicker and at a far bigger impact than originally thought.

March 22, 2016 The global water crisis in 13 photographs

Source: The Guardian

On World Water Day, Mustafah Abdulaziz’s images show how communities in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, China and Brazil are responding to the clean water crisis

March 22, 2016 Record number of Americans now say humans cause climate change (+video)

Source: CS Monitor

Sixty-five percent of Americans say human activities are responsible for climate change, the highest reading ever according to a Gallup poll published earlier this month. And 64 percent of Americans say they are worried a great...

March 22, 2016 An Upside To Climate Change? Better French Wine

Source: NPR

While climate change threatens coastal cities and generates extreme weather, the effects of global warming could bring good news to some of France's most esteemed vineyards.

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