The Alliance of Institutional Investors, a coalition of the world’s largest investors have called on governments to focus on climate change and to strongly support investments in clean energy.  This group stated in an open letter that “rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and more extreme weather were increasing investment risks globally”.

The alliance’s call for governments to address the issue of climate change more aggressively precedes the start of the United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar where approximately 200 countries will convene with the goal of extending the Kyoto Protocol, which is the existing plan adopted by developed nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions and is slated to expire at the end of this year.

The alliance notes that governments can effectively address climate change and cleaner energy by adopting the proper policies that would make investment in clean and efficient energy attractive to institutional investors.  It also voiced the urgent need to issue “strong carbon-reducing policies”.  The letter came with a dire warning that failure on the part of governments to act to address climate change with its warming trends would result in extreme weather occurrences becoming more typical and costly as recently witnessed with Hurricane Sandy.

Hopefully, the United Nations climate talks scheduled for 11/26 through 12/7 will be productive and will result in the establishment of global collaborative policies and plans to aggressively attack the problems of climate change.  With the support of institute investors, governments can expect to make huge gains in the fight to curb greenhouse gas emissions and create cleaner energy efficiently so that we all can live green, be green.

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Climate change

Climate change (Photo credit: jeancliclac)

A new study released by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication reveals that the majority of Americans now believe that global warming is affecting the weather and that it also is responsible for worsening extreme weather events.  Between the end of August through September of this year, more than 1000 people over the age of 18 participated in a survey regarding their beliefs about global warming.  The results then were weighted to give nationally representative numbers.  The findings of this survey represents a dramatic shift in Americans’ belief in climate change, even from March 2012.  Specifically, the following was noted:

  • A majority of Americans (73%) agreed that global warming had worsened the record-setting temperatures of this past summer.
  • A majority of Americans (64%) agreed that global warming affected the fast-moving band of thunderstorms (derecho) that traveled from Indiana to Virginia this past summer, causing widespread power outages and significant structural damage).
  • A majority of Americans agreed that global warming was responsible for the severe drought in the Midwest and Great Plains, last year’s unusually warm winter and the record forest fires in the western United States.

It appears that in the past, many people’s beliefs about climate change were tied to politics with conservatives debunking this phenomenon as a myth.  However, the severe weather events over the past year with its massive destruction of life and property have served as an eye opener of the reality of global warming and its ensuing problems to many Americans.  As Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication states on the subject of politics’ polarizing forces on climate change, “[i]t is the trend that I find in some ways most disturbing, because in the end, the climate system doesn’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.  It’s not like the floods are only going to hit Democrats or Republicans . . . conservatives or liberals. . . .  In the end, we all will suffer together and in the end, we’ll all have to solve this together.”

For the green movement and environmentalists and scientists, the acceptance of the existence of climate change and global warming by the majority of Americans represents a positive step in the direction to seek solutions to these problems.  Perhaps one day we all will live green, be green.

Global warming has become too personal and extreme
to ignore.