Climate change, economy, environment, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

Climate Change, Rising Temperatures and Food Security

Increasing temperatures globally will have an impact on the economy, and especially the supply of food.

 

“Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.” (1)

 

Temperature is a primary factor affecting the rate of plant development. Warmer temperatures expected with climate change and the potential for more extreme temperature events will impact plant productivity. (2)

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Climate change, economy, environment, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

“We are talking about a genuine existential issue”: An interview with Ian Dunlop, Sustainability Consultant based in Australia

This article is from an interview in 2016 and has been updated with more recent comments from Ian Dunlop and James Cox.

Ian Dunlop’s life has been spent in the center of the carbon economy and the climate change debate.

His bio from LinkedIn chronicles his background…

Ian Dunlop has wide experience in energy resources, infrastructure, and international business, for many years on the international staff of Royal Dutch Shell. He has worked at senior level in oil, gas and coal exploration and production, in scenario and long-term energy planning, competition reform and privatization. He chaired the Australian Coal Associations in 1987-88. From 1998-2000 he chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading which developed the first emissions trading system design for Australia. From 1997 to 2001 he was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ian has a particular interest in the interaction of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability. An engineer from the University of Cambridge (UK), MA Mechanical Sciences, he is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Energy Institute (UK), and a Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME (USA). He is Chairman of Safe Climate Australia, a Director of Australia 21, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil, a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, a Member of The Club of Rome and a member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Climate Change Task Force. He advises and writes extensively on governance, climate change, energy and sustainability.

He grew up in the middle of the oil and coal business, and over the years he has come to his own conclusions about climate change and the impact it will have on humanity’s future. I interviewed him mid-May 2016 to learn more. I wanted to learn more about what can be done about climate change, what the role of business is, and what the impact on the economy is.

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Climate change, economy, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

Financial Costs of Climate Change

In the past few years the costs associated with climate change have increased, for society, the economy and individuals. Managing the costs and learning to adjust to the risks associated w climate is going to be important for financial planning going forward.  

 

Fire have ravaged California for the past few years burning millions of acres and displacing thousands of families. As a result, drier conditions and years of drought forest areas have become more vulnerable to fires.

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Climate change, economy, environment, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

Climate Change Impacts: an Interview with Paul Beckwith

I was able to connect with Paul Beckwith first on March 20th, 2016 and more recently on May 18, 2018. We discussed the current state of Climate Change and what it means for global economic prospects. Professor Beckwith is a noted expert on Abrupt Climate Change. He is a professor at the University of Ottawa.

 

Prf. Beckwith starts by explaining, “I think the warming of the Arctic is destabilizing the climate system. The disruption of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the temperate regions is what sets up weather patterns like the Jetstream. The Jetstream has basically broken down at this stage. The Whole arctic region is getting much darker due to sea ice loss, which leads to increased heat absorption, which then leads to accelerated glacial and ice melt.”

Climate change leads to drastic transitions and weather instability; higher temperatures mean more evaporation and more severe weather events.

In January of 2018 the arctic experienced a 40 degree temperature increase in a week, and this was during a time when the arctic was in 24 hours darkness. This has accelerated loss of sea ice in recent months, further disrupting the Jet Stream.

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Climate change, environment, income, retirement

Climate Change, Sea Level Rise and Retirement Risk

One of the oft repeated risks from climate change is the threat that comes from rising sea levels. Depending on the forecast, even in the most optimistic ones, seas are projected to rise several feet before the end of the century. With the accelerating build-up of CO2 and the rate of temperature increase (2016 being the hottest year on record), many expect dramatic sea level rise to occur much sooner than most expect. (https://www.co2.earth/ )

 

While people might want to buy shore property for benefits that include potential rental income, capital appreciation and personal use, they also face potential risks of hurricanes, sea level rise, etc. Some of these risks can be mitigated by purchasing flood insurance.

 

Last summer I explored the question, “if sea levels rise, what will be the impact on a clients’ net worth and portfolio?”

 

The answer is one few people are willing to confront.

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Climate change, environment, ESG, Socially Responsible Investing

First hand insights on Climate Change impacts in Bangladesh: An interview with Susmita Saha

This is a reprint of a 2016 interview.

I met Susmita Saha through Facebook. She liked a previous article I had written on the subject of climate change and I reached out to her to connect. Since then we message each other each day.

 

Knowing that the impacts of Climate Change will be hardest felt in places like Bangladesh I wanted to get her view of what is happening and how it affects her daily life. I asked her to start by describing her background, age, and upbringing.

 

“I am Susmita Saha. I live in Jhalakati, Barisal division, Bangladesh. I am 23. Currently I am a student of disaster management in Patuakhali Science & Technology University. I am studied in the science group. Originally I wanted to be a doctor to save lives & to serve the poor people in our community & help society… But I couldn’t… I then I decided to study in disaster management… It’s a challenging subject for me to obtain knowledge to mitigate the impacts of various hazards or disasters in our country….”

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Climate change, environment, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

US intelligence agencies warn about managing risks in a climate changed world

A recent report by the US national intelligence agencies raised the issue of Climate Change and the impact they expect it to have on global stability.

“The nation’s intelligence agencies are warning, in the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, of global instability if climate change continues unabated, according to a report submitted for a hearing Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.”

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Climate change, economy, environment, ESG, new economy, retirement, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI

What is Socially Responsible Investing?

I have recently had several people ask me about SRI. What is it? Why does it matter?

The first thing to understand is SRI means different things to different people. Several years ago I attended a gathering of advisors focused on sustainability at the Bloomberg headquarters in NYC. I talked to many of the 300 attendees and what I found was every single person had a different interpretation of what SRI meant.

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Climate change, economy, retirement

Rising Seas and the Risk to Retirees

 

Florida has always been considered a favorite retirement destination. The warmer climate attracting older American’s who have health issues ranging from Asthma to Arthritis, from Heart Disease to Parkinson’s. 20% of Florida’s population is over age 65 (compared to only 15% in New Jersey).

 

An additional challenge facing retirees in both Florida and New Jersey is climate change risk due to rising seas, storm surge and the potential loss of property in coastal communities.

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Climate change, economy, new economy, retirement

Global future growth… and Climate Change

A recent Bloomberg article titled “The Global Growth Hotspots of the Future Are Here” discussed an HSBC report which advises that investors need to focus on the growth of cities in the Emerging Markets.

“While wealthier countries are more urbanized today, the proportion of urban to rural dwellers in emerging markets is expected to climb to 63 percent in 2050 from 50 percent now, according to the study, which draws on research by McKinsey and the United Nations

By 2050 some 5 billion people – more than half the world’s population – will live in emerging market cities, and account for more than half of global gross domestic product growth.

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