Climate Change: The Report

The release of Risky Business, a 50 page report from high profile business leaders in the U.S. has gotten front page attention.  It is not so much a climate change report as a call to apply risk management thinking to what is obviously already occurring.  Using the Reagan era action on Ozone depletion, as recalled by his Secretary of State, George Schultz, it is a business oriented call to ‘take out an insurance policy.”

Our goal with the Risky Business Project is not to  confront the doubters. Rather, it is to bring American
business and government—doubters and believers alike—together to look squarely at the potential risks
posed by climate change, and to consider whether it’s time to take out an insurance policy of our own

This morning Eduardo Porter, one of the NY Times regular business columnists, had a strong response to the report. Though he is aware of the dangers of fatalism faced with a problem so large, he is not immune to it, himself.

Climate change is not an event in your children’s future. It is bearing down upon you now. And there is nothing you — or anyone else — can do to prevent the hit.

Over the next quarter-century, heat-related death rates will probably double in the southeastern states. Crop losses that used to happen only once every 20 years because of cataclysmic weather will occur five times as often.

…. it seems clear by now that the world’s temperature will almost certainly rise more than two degrees Celsius — or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — above the average of the late 19th century, a ceiling that the world’s leaders have repeatedly promised never to breach and a point at which climate-related risks rise even more sharply.

[and] despite the rising awareness of the risks caused by our unrestrained consumption of fossil fuels, there is no evidence that we plan to break the habit and leave a substantial portion of the Earth’s oil, gas and coal in the ground.

“We are swinging to fossil fuels in ways that couldn’t have been imagined a few years ago,” said Michael Greenstone of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We’ve made substantial progress in renewables, but there’s been even more innovation in fossil fuels. Incentives to invest in low-carbon energy are going down.”

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Climate Minnesota Floods 2014

It’s flooding in Minnesota, in case the word hasn’t reached you.

“This is severe flooding, and in many different locations in the state, which I haven’t seen before,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I’ve seen severe weather — tornadoes, flash floods and ice storms — but usually they impact one area of the state. This one is the whole state.”

In St. Paul, the capital, the Mississippi River rose to a nearly 20-foot crest,

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