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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

March 13, 2017 Will climate change affect forest ecology?

Source: Burlington Free Press

At the U.S. Forest Service’s Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, scientists are thinking about the year 2100. How much warming will occur isn’t certain, but some projections suggest that average air temperatures in our region may...

March 13, 2017 Warning: living in a city could seriously damage your health

Source: The Guardian

Scientists have long considered the lungs as vulnerable to air pollution. Only recently have they come to realise the role of the nose as a pathway to the brain; the extent of the nose-brain connection was only illuminated in...

March 10, 2017 Aucklanders face largest water crisis in 23 years

Source: NZ Herald

If Aucklanders cannot reduce their water savings by two buckets of water each, which is 20 litres a day, a boiling water notice would be issued.

March 9, 2017 China pledges to cut pollution and boost food safety

Source: Science Magazine

BEIJING–China’s central government is laying plans to curb pollution, increase food and drug safety, and boost scientific research—though supporting details are scarce.

March 9, 2017 The Case for a Carbon Tax

Source: National Review

The carbon tax is one of those policy ideas that is largely sound in theory but runs up hard upon the shoals of reality. I am not convinced that a national carbon tax would change U.S. consumer behavior to such an extent that it...

March 9, 2017 Climate Change News: February 2017 Was Second Hottest On Record

Source: IB Times

February broke climate records. The average temperature across the United States was 7.3 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average of 41.2 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

March 8, 2017 No matter what Trump does, US cities plan to move forward on battling climate change

Source: Business Insider

Cities are centers for environmental leadership. Mayors throughout the country, regardless of party, champion climate mitigation solutions. We all need clean air and clean water, and it is not just a local problem, but one that...

March 7, 2017 America’s hidden water affordability crisis

Source: Grist

When Elizabeth Mack wondered about a future in which Americans wouldn’t be able to pay for water, a couple of colleagues waved her off. “Don’t be ridiculous,” they said. But the idea niggled at Mack, an assistant professor at the...

March 6, 2017 Americans are confused on climate, but support cutting carbon pollution

Source: The Guardian

There’s broad support for climate policies in every state and county, but Americans view global warming as a distant problem

March 6, 2017 Dangerous Antics – Fiddling with the Future of US EPA and the Health and Safety of the American People

Source: Hank Boerner – Chair & Chief Strategist, G&A Institute

The Trump Administration – Making moves now on the US EPA to destroy its effectiveness through budget cuts and ideological attacks on its missions.

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