Skip to comments.Climate Change is 'All about Our Money,' Big Investors Say
Posted on 05/12/2005 2:06:24 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
UNITED NATIONS In a daylong brainstorming "summit," a dozen U.S. state treasurers and hundreds of financiers and other major investors debated ways Tuesday to pressure more U.S. companies into dealing openly with the financial risk of climate change and with ways to reduce it.
"Climate change poses a long-term financial and business risk for many of the companies in which we invest," said Connecticut Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, a co-chair of the event. "For us today it's all about our money."
Harvard University environmental scientist John Holdren gave the more than 300 participants an update on the latest climate research, saying it's increasingly clear that rising global temperatures caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" would intensify heat waves, storms, floods, droughts and wildfires in the 21st century.
"After years of debate, the scientific community has arrived at the conclusion that global warming is in fact a reality," said William C. Thompson Jr., who as New York City comptroller handles $82 billion (euro64 billion) in invested assets. "Global warming is likely to result in billions and billions of losses for public companies."
Everything from agricultural productivity to the health of the global insurance industry would be adversely affected. Big investors like the treasurers, who manage state pension funds, are particularly concerned about electricity and other energy companies, which may face government-mandated cutbacks in carbon dioxide emissions, produced when they burn coal and other fossil fuels.
"If, in fact, someone invests $2 billion in a coal-fired power plant, and the laws change -- and they will change at some point -- with those changes come perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars of stranded costs," said Mindy S. Lubber, who heads an environmentally minded investors group, CERES.
Unlike most of the rest of the world, the United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which mandates emissions cuts. But many view such U.S. controls as inevitable as evidence of warming mounts.
Investor groups, seeking fuller disclosure of risks, last year persuaded two Ohio-based power companies -- Cinergy and American Electric Power -- to issue reports examining the possible impacts and financial uncertainties of such regulation, as well as steps they're already taking to reduce emissions, such as switching to renewable fuels.
Cinergy has since been bought by North Carolina's Duke Energy, whose chairman, Paul Anderson, said last month his company would lobby for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions because "the time has come to act" on climate.
Summit participants also repeatedly focused on the "opportunities" represented by the climate threat -- in new energy technologies, for example. The General Electric Co. announced on Monday it will more than double its research investment in environmental technology over five years, with an emphasis on products to reduce greenhouse gases.
Thompson noted that in just 18 months a coalition of state and city officials representing $2.7 trillion in investments has formed around these issues, and North Carolina's treasurer called on his fellow heavyweight investors -- "as owners" -- to act aggressively and selectively.
"We should pick four or five companies that could make the most difference and give them a reasonable timetable," Richard Moore said. "We should tell them, `If you don't do this we will not own your stock.' We will be successful if we all stick together."
The meeting was sponsored by CERES and the Ted Turner-financed U.N. Foundation. Among the participants were representatives of major financial houses, foundations and university endowments, union pension funds and insurance companies
For those of you out there who still think climate change is a hoax, my suggestion is to stop denying and start mitigating the economic impact of carbon reduction.
If 99 people are saying the sky is yellow and you are the only one saying it is blue, even if you are right, you still look crazy.
When in comes to climate change, logic dictates that denyers can only be wrong.
This is all a bunch of crap! Enviromentalism is a joke and was created by the left to bring America to its knees.
It is is worrying to see even radio commentators supposedly on the right starting to embrace enviromentalism. I am sick and tired of government jumping through hoops trying to appease these eco terrorists.
Truth stands on its own, without nay need of such haughty, arrogant and condescending language such as the above.
Wow, rather than ask you assume it is condescending crap.
Actually what I meant was that since the climate changes regardless of the presence or activitiy of humans, no matter what denyers say or do, the climate will eventually change and they will be "proven" wrong.
Whereas if something is done, regardless of what happens, the efforts made will have either prevented things from getting worse, or make the action the reason that nothing happened.
Therefore logic clearly dictates that denyers can only be wrong.
How so? It is an event and it happened, not an opinion.
Actually your right, the problem is not the gas that we release with the use of cars etc, atleast it's not the gas that our cars produce that create the problems that are apearing
The problem is that when we release CO2, we create a minimal increase of temerature, as the gas stops and starts to reflect the heat that is released from the planet back down.
But as we increase the temperature minimaly, nature responds.
And natures responce is that it too starts to release CO2, esp. at sea the levels are HUGE, we are talking thousands of years of our release in the space of about 5 years.
More gas, more heat, more gas, more heat.
And to be honest, the oil problem the US is experiencing is really one you have created on your own, the consumation of oil that the US has surpasses all other countries to an extent that is just amazing.
We are talking the combined use of all the large European countries combined, and still you take a formidable lead.
The creation of Hydrogen engines is cruital for our own future, if you do not wish to belive any of the facts that are released then ofcourse that is your choice and you will never experience the responces that mother nature will give.
But if you think that the snow on Kilimanjaro is melting due to natural causes then you should know that nature avg. temp. rises and falls trough about ten decades and the snow there from around two ice ages ago.
This is not a conspiracy, and change is necesary, failure to addapt will have consequences, what do you want your heritage to be?
I know what I want to leave my son, and it's certainly includes the possibily to go skiing in the winter.
Welcome to the Free Republic.
Since Apr 28, 2005
You will find that there are a limited number around here who share you views on Climate Change. Of course, sometimes they argue that water isn't wet, so don't let it bother you.
What many of us have said is that the effect that humanity's actions have on the climate is negligible, at worst, more likely inconsequential..
I find it interesting that you use the term, "climate change"...
What happened to "Global Warming" ???
When we "naysayers" pointed out that global warming was the natural outcome of a swing from "global cooling", i.e., an ice age, suddenly, the term went out of use..
It was us "naysayers" that pointed out that it was warmer 1000 years ago than it is now, and that the so-called global warming was just "climate change".. a naturally occuring fluctuation in the global temperature that has been taking place for billions of years..
I have no doubt carbon emissions will be taxed..
I have no doubt that some businesses, especially energy corporations will eventually support it.
I also have no doubt that those corporations have found a way to pocket a percentage of those "fees" they will undoubtedly collect for the government...
The consumer will pay, and corporations and government will collude in profiting from a naturally occurring global climate pattern over which no one has any control..
In as little as 10 years we will know for sure whether you are right or I am..
In the meantime, I will simply accept that there is climate change and nothing I do will change it..
I will just do my best to stay comfortable..
And maybe start an orange grove here in Missouri..
Or a winery.. MO may be the new CA..
Two questions and a modest proposal:
1. What costs are acceptable, in terms of jobs and quality of life, for the actions in you advocate? I speak not just about those of us in rich countries who would only have to suffer a lower standard of living but for people in other parts of the world who would be denied the benefits of economic development in order to minimize their carbon output.
2. What about the third possible consequence, i.e. whatever we do could make things worse? We really don't have good climate models.
Read Michael Chrichton's novel "State of Fear". Although a work of fiction it has a lot of good references to items in the scientific literature that suggest that possibly anthropogenic global warming is not the scientific foregone conclusion that is is commonly portrayed as.
I've read many articles on increased solar activity playing a role in miniscule climatic change. Just enough to register here on Earth. Not that we can do anything about it, but yeah, it's enough to give voice to the most paranoid delusions of economic leftist who want to strangle industry and put a cap on econimic expanision.
Meanwhile we can only sit back and watch the show. Still, emphasis on common sense environmentalism and such is definately in our best interests. And nowadays it makes for good marketing. Nope, the environmental lobby isn't going to go away anytime soon. We'll have to deal with the nuts as well as those with a rational and reasonable arguement.
Where will that hydrogen come from?
>> I don't think any one here at FR has ever said climate change is a hoax..
I say "global warming" is a hoax.
Climate change is inevitable.
Now, let's be REALLY HONEST...
The Goods and Services the US produces with a barrel of oil "surpasses all other countries to an extent that is just amazing"...
Those technologically advanced nations, like the US do more and more with less and less, which actually reduces pollution.. which is unused, waste energy..
You want the US to cut back on oil consumption?
You want the US to cut back on emissions?
Then you want the US to cut back on the Goods and Services that you (and your children) enjoy..
I hear a cry of "For the Children" ringing in my ears..
Well here's something for your children...
If you have your way, they may not have many of the creature comforts you enjoy today..
Your kid will be able to go skiing alright.. he'll have to if he wants groceries in the winter.. because personal transportation may be a thing of the past.. and mass transportation will be tightly regulated..
He may have to spend a good part of every day maintaining his wind generators, and solar power array, methane collection systems, etc.. because public power generation is limited to prescribed hours of the day..
The same with television and radio broadcasting, use of the internet, use of high volume traffic lanes, telephone use, and other services, products, food items...
Stuff that will just not be available any longer..
And it's not just the US that will suffer from a lower standard of living..
The rest of the world benefits from our efficient productivity..
Their standard of living will decrease as well..
And all of that will have an effect on the economy.. not just the US economy but the world's economy..
But I'm sure your kids will appreciate the sacrifice you made "for the children"..
But they'll appreciate it in home-made shoes, wearing home-spun clothes, living in a 19th century society..
That is what I said..
A lot of ludicrous presumption, but good rant.
>>Hence my proposal for naysayers to work on mitigating the consequences of the apparent consensus to do something rather than keep saying there is no reason to do anything.
there are solid data on both sides of this issue. which side has the lousy scientists?