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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

May 17, 2016 Climate change puts 1.3bn people and $158tn at risk, says World Bank

Source: The Guardian

The global community is badly prepared for a rapid increase in climate change-related natural disasters that by 2050 will put 1.3 billion people at risk, according to the World Bank.

May 17, 2016 Water Sustainability Symposium to Examine Solutions for Middle East

Source: NorthWestern

at “Water in Israel and the Middle East: Geopolitical Conflicts, Technological Challenges, and Sustainable Solutions,” a half-day symposium to be held May 18 at Northwestern University. - See more at:...

May 16, 2016 9% possibility of earthquake off Aleutian Islands could result into mega-tsunami in Hawaii

Source: Perf Science

Possibility of a magnitude 9 earthquake striking Aleutian Islands within the next five decades has been found to be of 9%. This earthquake could create major problem for Hawaii, warn researchers in a fresh research paper.

May 16, 2016 G-7 environment ministers vow to take lead role in delivering Paris climate deal

Source: The Japan Times

Environment ministers and representatives from the Group of Seven nations expressed their resolve Monday to take a leading role in implementing the landmark climate accord reached last year.

May 13, 2016 The Kuznets Curve: Poor Cities Should Be More Polluted Than Richer Ones

Source: Forbes

The World Health Organisation has just released new figures on air pollution around the world. There’s much tooth sucking and head shaking about the results which show that large cities in poor countries have bad air pollution....

May 12, 2016 WHO: 4 in 5 city dwellers live in overpolluted urban areas

Source: CNN

New research released Thursday found that air quality levels exceed WHO limits for 80% of those living in urban areas that track air pollution, putting people more at risk for respiratory diseases, stroke, heart disease and lung...

May 12, 2016 California’s Wavering Water Rules

Source: Pacific Standard

California is contemplating relaxing some of its water-saving rules at the same time it’s permanently banning other flashier, water-using habits. Governor Jerry Brown issued an order on Monday that will forever forbid hosing off...

May 11, 2016 Water management flawed owing to vastly underestimated drought risk, study finds

Source: The Guardian

Drought and flood risk in New South Wales is vastly underestimated, with weather in the past 100 years being unusually stable, according to a detailed reconstruction of rainfall over a NSW catchment for the past 1,000 years.

May 10, 2016 New York Plans to Make Fighting Climate Change Good Business

Source: NY Times

A governor wants to lead on green energy. The state’s utilities are nervously falling in line. Young entrepreneurs are buzzing, determined to be part of the generation that finally solves climate change.

May 10, 2016 California Governor Makes Some Water Restrictions Permanent

Source: NPR

California Gov. Jerry Brown has made some of the state's temporary water restrictions permanent. The executive order, in response to the state's drought, permanently bans wasteful practices like hosing sidewalks and washing cars...

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