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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

September 2, 2014 Has climate change become a business story?

Source: Columbia Journalism Review

One of the more robust periods of study in the modern history of climate change has taken place this past year. It began in September 2013 with a report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which...

September 2, 2014 World Bank says Population Growth, Climate Change Demand Better Water Management

Voice of America - Life and death âAs every high school child knows, water runs through absolutely every we do,â says îWorld Bank Waterî Sector Manager Julia Bucknall. âWe canât grow any food...

September 2, 2014 Antarctic coastal waters 'rising faster'

Source: BBC News

Melting ice is fuelling sea-level rise around the coast of Antarctica, a new report in Nature Geoscience finds. Near-shore waters went up by about 2mm per year more than the general trend for the Southern Ocean as a whole in the...

September 1, 2014 Americans have a moral obligation to tackle climate change now: Guest opinion

OregonLive - According to the latest report from the îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî, climate change is happening and will continue to happen in the decades to come. Some extreme weather events have...

August 29, 2014 Climate Change Will Ruin Hawaii, New Study Suggests

Source: Huff Post

Hawaii is known for its near perfect weather, but a new report from the University of Hawaii's Sea Grant program states that islands in the Pacific might be unrecognizable in the coming years as climate change makes them hotter,...

August 29, 2014 5 Terrifying Facts From the Leaked UN Climate Report

Mother Jones - I had to consult the thesaurus: ghastly, horrid, awful, shocking, grisly, gruesome. This week, a big report from the UN's îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî was leaked before publication, and...

August 29, 2014 Accounting for the Expanding Carbon Shadow from Coal-Burning Plants

Source: NY Times

Steven Davis of the University of California, Irvine, and Robert Socolow of Princeton have written “Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions,” a valuable new paper in Environmental Research Letters showing the value of shifting...

August 28, 2014 Blizzards Won't End With Global Warming's Milder Winters: Study

Source: NBC News

Climate warming could cut overall snowfall substantially in the Northern Hemisphere in coming decades, but don’t toss your snow shovel or car chains just yet — blizzards will still be with us, according to new research. Paul A....

August 28, 2014 Could Climate Change Cause Deadly Epidemics?

Source: Discovery

A newly-published study in BMC Public Health looked at Dengue fever, a virus spread by mosquitoes that sickens 50 million people and kills about 12,000 people worldwide, mostly in tropical areas each year. The researchers found...

August 28, 2014 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster

Co.EXIST - This graphic from the îWorld Resources Instituteî gives a sense of the dynamics at play. It presents four "emissions pathways," ranging from the very optimistic to the highly pessimistic. The first "Low...

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