1970 Boston Globe: Scientist Predicts New Ice Age by 21st Century said James P. Lodge, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 1971 Washington Post: Disastrous New Ice Age Coming says S.I. Rasool at NASA. 1972 Brown University Letter to President Nixon: Warning on Global Cooling 1974 The Guardian: Space Satellites Show Ice Age Coming Fast
1989 Salon: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019 said Jim Hansen the scientist who lectured Congress in 1988 about the greenhouse effect. 2000 The Independent: “Snowfalls are a thing of the past. Our children will not know what snow is,” says senior climate researcher. 2004 The Guardian: The Pentagon Tells Bush Climate Change Will Destroy Us. “Britain will be Siberian in less than 20 years,” the Pentagon told Bush.
2013 The Guardian: US Navy Predicts Ice Free Arctic by 2016. “The US Navy’s department of Oceanography uses complex modeling to makes its forecast more accurate than others. 2014 John Kerry: “We have 500 days to Avoid Climate Chaos” discussed Sec of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious at a joint meeting.
The long-term security of coastal regions depends not simply on climate, oceans and geography, but on multiple local factors, from the politics of foreign aid and investor confidence, to the quality of resilience-oriented designs and ‘managed retreat’.
Take some examples. In 2017, the drought in Cape Town and lack of resilient water infrastructure led to a downgrade by Moody’s. Wildfires in the Trinity Public Utilities District in California led to similar downgrades in 2019. Moody’s have developed a ‘heat map’3 that shows the credit exposure to environmental risk across sectors representing US$74.6 trillion in debt. In the short term, the unregulated utilities and power companies are exposed to ‘elevated risk’. The risks to automobile manufacturers, oil and gas independents and transport companies are growing. Blackrock’s report from April 2019, focused primarily on physical climate risk, showed that securities backed by commercial real estate mortgages could be confronted with losses of up to 3.8 per cent due to storm and flood related cash flow shortages.4 Climate change has already reduced local GDP, with Miami top of the list. The report was amongst the first to link high-level climate risk to location analysis of assets such as plants, property and equipment.
In other words, adaptation and resilience options are also uniquely local. The outcomes hinge on mapping long-term interdependencies to predict physical world changes and explore how core economic and social systems transition to a sustainable world.
Science has provided America with a decent idea of which areas of our country will be most devastated by climate change, and which areas will be most insulated from the worst effects. Unfortunately, it seems that population flows are going in the wrong direction — today’s new Census data shows a nation moving out of the safer areas and into some of the most dangerous places of all.
Some of the examples are genuinely mind-boggling. For instance, upstate New York is considered one of the country’s most insulated regions in the climate crisis — and yet almost all of upstate New York saw population either nearly flat or declining. At the same time, there were big population increases in and around the Texas gulf coast, which is threatened by extreme heat and coastal flooding.
Similarly, the city of Philadelphia is comparatively well situated in the climate crisis — but it saw only modest population growth of 5 percent. It was surpassed on the list of biggest cities by Phoenix, which saw an 11 percent population growth, despite that city facing some of the worst forms of extreme heat and drought in the entire country.
Our dataset comprised 451 locations in 23 countries across nine regions of the world, including 85 879 895 deaths. Results indicate, on average, a net increase in temperature-related excess mortality under high-emission scenarios, although with important geographical differences. In temperate areas such as northern Europe, east Asia, and Australia, the less intense warming and large decrease in cold-related excess would induce a null or marginally negative net effect, with the net change in 2090–99 compared with 2010–19 ranging from −1·2% (empirical 95% CI −3·6 to 1·4) in Australia to −0·1% (−2·1 to 1·6) in east Asia under the highest emission scenario, although the decreasing trends would reverse during the course of the century. Conversely, warmer regions, such as the central and southern parts of America or Europe, and especially southeast Asia, would experience a sharp surge in heat-related impacts and extremely large net increases, with the net change at the end of the century ranging from 3·0% (−3·0 to 9·3) in Central America to 12·7% (−4·7 to 28·1) in southeast Asia under the highest emission scenario. Most of the health effects directly due to temperature increase could be avoided under scenarios involving mitigation strategies to limit emissions and further warming of the planet.
Antonio Gasparrini, PhD Yuming Guo, PhD Francesco Sera, MSc Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, PhD Veronika Huber, PhD Prof Shilu Tong, PhD Micheline de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho, PhD Prof Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, PhD Eric Lavigne, PhD Patricia Matus Correa, MSc Nicolas Valdes Ortega, MSc Haidong Kan, PhD Samuel Osorio, MSc Jan Kyselý, PhD Aleš Urban, PhD Prof Jouni J K Jaakkola, PhD Niilo R I Ryti, PhD Mathilde Pascal, PhD Prof Patrick G Goodman, PhD Ariana Zeka, PhD Paola Michelozzi, MSc Matteo Scortichini, MSc Prof Masahiro Hashizume, PhD Prof Yasushi Honda, PhD Prof Magali Hurtado-Diaz, PhD Julio Cesar Cruz, MSc Xerxes Seposo, PhD Prof Ho Kim, PhD Aurelio Tobias, PhD Carmen Iñiguez, PhD Prof Bertil Forsberg, PhD Daniel Oudin Åström, PhD Martina S Ragettli, PhD Prof Yue Leon Guo, PhD Chang-fu Wu, PhD Antonella Zanobetti, PhD Prof Joel Schwartz, PhD Prof Michelle L Bell, PhD Tran Ngoc Dang, PhD Prof Dung Do Van, PhD Clare Heaviside, PhD Sotiris Vardoulakis, PhD Shakoor Hajat, PhD Prof Andy Haines, FMedSci Prof Ben Armstrong, PhD
Climate change affects human health; however, there have been no large-scale, systematic efforts to quantify the heat-related human health impacts that have already occurred due to climate change. Here, we use empirical data from 732 locations in 43 countries to estimate the mortality burdens associated with the additional heat exposure that has resulted from recent human-induced warming, during the period 1991–2018. Across all study countries, we find that 37.0% (range 20.5–76.3%) of warm-season heat-related deaths can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change and that increased mortality is evident on every continent. Burdens varied geographically but were of the order of dozens to hundreds of deaths per year in many locations. Our findings support the urgent need for more ambitious mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize the public health impacts of climate change.
Vicedo-Cabrera, A.M., Scovronick, N., Sera, F. et al. The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent human-induced climate change. Nat. Clim. Chang.11, 492–500 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01058-x
Author(s): A. M. Vicedo-Cabrera, N. Scovronick, A. Gasparrini
Earlier this month, a landmark study in Nature made headlines around the world. Rising temperatures from global warming increase the number of heat deaths, now causing a third of all heat deaths, or about 100,000 deaths per year.
Obviously, this is a powerful narrative to justify urgent climate policies.
But the study left out glaring truths that even its own authors have abundantly documented. Heat deaths are declining in countries with good data, likely because of ever more air conditioning. This is abundantly clear for the US, which has seen increasing hot days since 1960 affecting a much greater population. Yet, the number of heat deaths has halved. So while global warming could result in more heat deaths, technological development in, for instance, the US, is actually resulting in fewer heat deaths.
Over the past two weeks, activist hedge fund investor Engine No. 1 scored a victory for the climate change movement by wresting three board seats at ExxonMobil with the support of the “Big Three” institutional investment firms BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street. But the episode also marks a failure in ExxonMobil’s “corporate diplomacy” because of its inability to convincingly demonstrate that it is committed to mitigating climate risks and protecting its long-term business value, according to Wharton management professor Witold Henisz.
Engine No. 1 has only a 0.02% stake in ExxonMobil, but the climate risk issues it pushed for were sufficient to get the three big investment firms on its side. In explaining its stance, BlackRock stated that the energy major needs “to further assess the company’s strategy and board expertise against the possibility that demand for fossil fuels may decline rapidly in the coming decades.” BlackRock CEO Larry Fink had reiterated his company’s commitment to combating climate change in his 2021 annual letter to CEOs; in his 2020 letter to CEOs, he had said that “climate risk is investment risk.”
A proposed mandate to shutter the $5 billion Prairie State coal energy campus and a Springfield, Illinois? plant by 2035 would hit local ratepayers with the double burden of funding new energy sources while still paying down project bonds, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers warn.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker backs a state mandate to end coal generation by 2035 to meet de-carbonation targets included in pending energy legislation. The package stalled during the General Assembly?s spring session that ended last week, but Pritzker said he expects lawmakers will return in the coming weeks for a vote.
Retiring Prairie State early would mark the latest headache for some of the nine public utilities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio that issued $4.5 billion of debt, some it under the federal Build America Bond program, to finance their ownership in project.
Peabody Energy Inc. initially sponsored the project in Washington County promoting it as an affordable source of energy with an adjacent mine and a cleaner one given its state-of-the-art technology at the time. Bechtel Power Corp. built it. It initially carried a $2 billion price tag that rose to a $4 billion fixed cost under the 2010 contract with utilities but cost overruns drove the price tag up to $5 billion.
An activist investor is likely to pick up a third seat on the board of Exxon Mobil Corp., giving it additional leverage to press the oil giant to address investor discontent about diminished profits and its fossil-fuel focused strategy amid concerns about climate change.
Exxon said Wednesday that an updated vote count showed shareholders backed a third nominee of Engine No. 1, an upstart hedge fund that had already won two board seats at Exxon’s annual shareholder meeting last week. The final vote hasn’t been certified, Exxon said, and could take days or weeks to be finalized, according to people familiar with the matter.
Engine No. 1, which owns a tiny fraction of Exxon’s stock, had sought four seats on the board and argued the Texas oil giant should commit to carbon neutrality, effectively bringing its emissions to zero—both from the company and its products—by 2050, as some peers have. If the preliminary voting results hold, it will control a quarter of Exxon’s 12-person board.
Shareholders representing nearly 56% of shares that were eligible to vote supported a proposal calling for Exxon to disclose more about direct and indirect lobbying spending and policies, while about 64% voted for Exxon to release a report on how its lobbying aligns with Paris climate accords.
The New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) will restrict investments in oil sands companies that have not demonstrated that they are prepared for the transition to a low-carbon economy, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the third largest public pension plan in the country, announced today.
“As nations around the world become increasingly serious about addressing the threat of climate change and as market forces drive a low-carbon economic transition, we need to make sure our investments line up with this reality,” said DiNapoli. “We have carefully reviewed companies in the oil sands industry and are restricting investments in those that do not have viable plans to adapt to the low-carbon future. Companies responsible for large greenhouse gas emissions like those in this industry, pose significant risks for investors.”
Publication Date: 12 April 2021
Publication Site: Office of the NY State Comptroller