June 24, 2014 1:49 PM Subscribe
The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States (PDF); prospectus (PDF); press coverage (YT) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..."
'Risky Business' Report Aims to Frame Climate Change as Economic Issue
'Risky Business' Report Aims to Frame Climate Change as Economic Issue
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, ex-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, a hedge-fund billionaire and major Democratic donor, are linking arms Tuesday to release a report, Risky Business, that argues U.S. companies should treat climate change as any other business threat. The report, which says climate change could cost the country billions of dollars over the next two decades, is the product of a bipartisan group of former cabinet officers, lawmakers, corporate leaders and scientists. In an interview, Mr. Paulson said the goal is to depoliticize the climate-change debate and instead focus on how it poses an economic risk to U.S. businesses...also btw...
The study concludes that within the next 15 years, higher sea levels, storm surges and hurricanes could raise the annual price tag for coastal damage along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico to $35 billion. Some Midwestern and Southern agricultural areas could see a decline in yields of more than 10% over the next five to 25 years due to increased drought and flooding, unless farmers adapt their crops, according to the study.
- Bipartisan US heavyweights back climate risk study - "The debate over the threat of global warming and even whether the climate is changing at all as a result of human activity has become highly partisan in the US. A Pew poll in January found that dealing with global warming was identified as a top priority by 42 per cent of Democrats and 14 per cent of Republicans... The leaders of Risky Business hope to bridge the political divide by bringing in Mr Paulson and Mr Shultz, who both served in Republican administrations, and by delivering an analysis they hope will be useful as a practical tool for businesses."
- The Coming Climate Crash by Hank Paulson - "A tax on carbon emissions will unleash a wave of innovation to develop technologies, lower the costs of clean energy and create jobs as we and other nations develop new energy products and infrastructure."
- How the insurance industry sees climate change - "If insurance companies are charging for risks due to climate change, how can it be a hoax?"
- Hydrogen Fuel Finally Graduating From Lab to City Streets - "Once relegated to the realm of science projects, hydrogen fuel cells are starting to displace fossil fuels as a means of powering cars, homes and businesses. On June 10, in the latest addition to mainstream fuel-cell use, Hyundai Motor Co. will begin deliveries of a consumer SUV in Southern California. The technology is already producing electricity for the grid in Connecticut. AT&T Inc. is using fuel cells to power server farms, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. uses hydrogen-powered fork lifts. Later this summer, FedEx Corp. will begin using hydrogen cargo tractors at its Memphis air hub."
- World Gets 22% of Electricity From Renewable Energy - "The Renewables 2014 Global Status Report released earlier this month has good news for the environment, namely that an estimated 22.1% of the world's electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2013. That percentage is expected to rise as countries across the globe pour money and resources into alternative, clean energy."
- Europe Faces Green Power Curbs to Stop Grids Overloading - "Europe's drive toward a power system based on renewable energy has gone so far that output will probably need to be cut within months because of oversupply."
- Europe Poised for Hot Weather as Solar May Be Record - "Europe faces hotter-than-usual weather through August as German solar-energy production is set to advance to a record, potentially driving power prices lower."
- Germany produces half of energy with solar - "Germany produced a record 50 percent of its electricity needs through solar panel at the start of June, breaking a huge milestone on its march to renewable energy."
- Solar at Scale - "SolarCity to build the world's largest advanced solar panel factory in upstate New York. Goal is for unsubsidized solar power to cost less than grid electricity from coal or fracked gas."
- Obama Isn't Killing Power Plants, The Sun Is - "The U.S. has barely begun to deploy solar panels for electricity. Even California gets only 1.3 percent of its electrons from the sun. Yet that modest start has upended the fundamental driver of utility profits -- the demand curve... Bernstein noted that utilities had only three choices: suppress growth of cheap solar by refusing to buy the power, raise the costs of connecting to the grid or become rooftop solar developers themselves. 'We cannot think of a fourth option'. There is one... Becoming the financiers of electric services, rather than the generators and distributors of electrons."
- Buffett's $26 Billion Power Bet in West Seen Paying Off - "Warren Buffett's $26 billion bet on western U.S. power plants, transmission lines and wind farms is poised to pay off. The energy unit of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with the help of California's grid operator, is moving to unite the holdings under a single market capable of dispatching power across seven states every five minutes. The system, designed to handle sudden swings in supply and demand, would revolutionize the markets from Oregon to Nevada, where 38 transmission operators manually balance their territories on an hourly basis. The move would be a game-changer for the renewables that Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. has accumulated over the past decade, including two of the world's largest solar farms, and for other clean-power producers, according to those who trade in the region's markets. Berkshire's plants stand to run for longer periods of time, and its NV Energy Inc. and PacifiCorp utilities will save as much as $63.9 million annually by 2017, Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. reports show."
- A climate fix would ruin investors - "Humanity is making risky climate bets and ExxonMobil will probably be proved right."
- Our Dirty Dependence - "We're losing the battle against climate change based on our addiction to fossil fuels."
- Making the Modern World - "China used more cement in the last three years that the U.S. used in the entire 20th century."
- Five More Ways to Fight Global Warming - "China's carbon pollution has soared in the last 15 years, and is now about double the U.S. level."
- China Seeks to Cap Fossil Fuel Emissions for First Time - "The world's biggest producer of fossil fuel emissions has been studying for more than a year how and when it might be able to make its pollution levels peak and hopes to act as soon as possible, said Xie Zhenhua, China's lead envoy to the United Nations global warming talks... The comments are the clearest indication yet of China's willingness to join a global agreement that would for the first time limit emissions in all nations, both rich and poor alike... Xie's remarks are the first response China has made to President Barack Obama's decision on June 2 to restrict emissions from existing power plants in the U.S."
- Why it's still not "game over" for global warming - "Climate change isn't an issue with a single point of 'success' or a single point of 'failure'. What we're facing are (literally) degrees of change. The world will get hotter as we load more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And the higher the temperatures, the greater the risks for human civilization. A 2°C rise in global average temperatures would be disruptive. A 4°C rise would be much more disruptive. And 6°C rise would be far, far more drastic still. At no point here does it make sense to say that we've 'failed' once and for all, or that it's (to use Ezra's phrase) 'game over'. Things can always get worse. And it's still very unclear where we'll end up on that spectrum."
- Will Global Warming Defeat Us? - "The current uncertainties about the effects and intensity of future climate change suggest that countries are unlikely to follow the Obama administration's lead. Based on their experimental results, Barrett and Dannenberg hold out the hope that climate research that reduces threshold uncertainty might help spur countries into mutual cuts of their greenhouse gas emissions."
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