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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 6, 2015 Greedy Environment Steals California's Water

Source: Bloomberg View

There’s this thing called “the environment,” and it’s using up as much as half of California’s scarce water. Pretty greedy, huh?

May 5, 2015 How would climate change regulations help now? Study seeks answer.

Source: CS Monitor

For years, the debate about efforts to find the best way to rein in greenhouse gas emissions has wrestled with a generation gap: The worst effects of climate change are projected to occur in the distant future over a wide area,...

May 5, 2015 Tesla battery may herald new era in energy storage

Deutsche Welle - To prevent global warming from exceeding a dangerous 2 degrees Celsius, humankind has to transition out of fossil fuel usage by the middle of this century, according to the îIntergovernmental Panel on...

May 5, 2015 Doctors are already seeing links between climate change and their patients’ health

Source: Grist

Climate change is a health threat. The nation’s public health leaders, doctors, and nurses are seeing more and more evidence — both in their patients and in epidemiological data — showing the direct and indirect links. We’re...

May 5, 2015 How fjords are helping curb global warming

Source: CS Monitor

Oslo — Fjords from Alaska to Norway soak up potentially damaging carbon from the atmosphere, making the steep-sided inlets an overlooked natural ally in offsetting man-made climate change, a study showed on Monday

May 4, 2015 Capturing Carbon: An Industrial Future?

Source: Huff Post

Teesside in the North East of England is heartland of UK industry. 'Ironopolis' the poem by Ian Horn illuminates the vital role which Teesside industry has played in the history of the world. Industrial exports from the Tees...

May 4, 2015 Current carbon pledges won't stop dangerous global warming, says Lord Stern

Source: The Guardian

The study by the author of an influential report on the economics of climate change found that countries’ pledges ahead of a crunch UN climate summit in Paris this December would not keep warming below 2C, the level that previous...

May 4, 2015 US Summer Forecast: Northeast to Endure More 90-Degree Days Than in 2014; Extreme Drought to Expand in West

Source: Accuweather

This summer, warmth and dryness will build in the West, worsening the historical drought conditions that have plagued California for four straight years. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast will have an abundance of moisture, raising...

May 4, 2015 UN climate chief says the science is clear: there is no space for new coal

Source: The Guardian

The UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres, has said there was “no space” for new coal developments and stressed the benefits of ambitious renewable energy targets after a meeting with representatives from seven Australian...

May 4, 2015 5 facts you need to know about Lake Mead’s water crisis

Source: Brookings

This week, the water level in Lake Mead dropped to an all-time low, falling below 1080 feet above sea level for the first time in 78 years. As drought continues to afflict the American West, the dire situation at Lake Mead will...

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