Global Warming / Climate Change -- What Are Current Weather Events and Dramatic Changes Telling Us?

Global Warming / Climate Change -- What Are Current Weather Events and Dramatic Changes Telling Us?

The National Geographic describes “Global Warming” as a set of changes to the Earth’s climate, or long-term weather patterns, varying from place-to-place.  The dramatic changes in the rhythms of climate could affect the face of our planet – coasts, forests, farms, mountains…all hang in the balance.

So, also hanging in the balance:  the fate of humanity!

Explains NatGeo:  “Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, cloud forests are dying, and wildlife scrambles to keep pace.  It’s becoming clear that humans have caused most of the past century’s warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives.  Greenhouse gases (GhGs) are at higher levels now than in the last 650,000 years.” *

“Climate Change” is the less politically-volatile term used by leaders in the public and private sectors (such as in the numerous shareholder-presented proxy resolutions that are on the ballots of public companies for owner voting and in the language of corporate sustainability reporting).

Carbon Dioxide emissions (CO2) released into the atmosphere have increased by a third since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and so addressing this challenge would logically be a prime responsibility of those who benefitted most from the 200-year-plus revolution – pretty much all of us!

The political climate in most of the developed industrial world is mostly reflective of the will to do “something” – witness the almost 200 sovereign nations signing on to the Paris Agreement in 2015 (“COP 21”) to work together and separately to holding the temperature rise to well below 2-degrees Centigrade (3.5F), the pre-industrial levels -- and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5-degrees C above pre-industrial levels. (“As soon as possible.”)

The Agreement also calls for the increasing society’s ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience including low GHG emissions development. **

The outlier nation to the agreement, sad to say, is the world’s largest economy and significant GHG emitter, the United States of America, which has begun the withdrawal process from the Paris Agreement. This week we present a selection of top stories about climate change – and global warming! – to illustrate the effects of a changed climate around the globe.  And to send signals to the doubting policymakers in Washington DC that the threat is real!

The good news is that many corporate managements, powerful institutional investors, and public policy makers in a growing number of cities, states and regions are committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement and working to implement steps to hold the line – to build resilience – that will benefit all of society.

We really do have to hurry -- take a look at what is happening around our planet:

This Week’s Top Stories:
Drought, Heat Wave, Wild Fires
-- Is the Earth Burning Up?

Earth at risk of becoming 'hothouse' if tipping point reached, report warns
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: CNN - Scientists are warning that a domino effect will kick if global temperatures rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, leading to "hothouse" conditions and higher sea levels, making some areas on Earth uninhabitable. 

5-year drought raises questions over Israel's water strategy
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: ABC News - For years, public service announcements warned Israelis to save water: Take shorter showers. Plant resilient gardens. Conserve. Then Israel invested heavily in desalination technology and professed to have solved the problem by...

Our climate plans are in pieces as killer summer shreds records
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: CNN - Deadly fires have scorched swaths of the Northern Hemisphere this summer, from California to Arctic Sweden and down to Greece on the sunny Mediterranean. Drought in Europe has turned verdant land barren, while people in Japan and... 

Are devastating wildfires a new normal? "It's actually worse than that," climate scientist says
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: CBS News - California Gov. Jerry Brown has called the devastating wildfires tearing through Northern California "part of a trend — a new normal." But one climate scientists says "it's actually worse than that." 

Europe battles wildfires amid massive heat wave
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: ABC News - Record-breaking temperatures across Europe have forced people to sleep in a Finnish supermarket, uncovered a piece of World War II history in Ireland and are making it harder to battle the wildfires that have been raging in Spain...

Don’t despair – climate change catastrophe can still be averted
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: The Guardian - The future looks fiery and dangerous, according to new reports. But political will and grassroots engagement can change this...

Australia's most populous state now entirely in drought
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: CBS - CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia's most populous state was declared entirely in drought on Wednesday and struggling farmers were given new authority to shoot kangaroos that compete with livestock for sparse pasture during the...

Nearly 140 people dead amid Japan heat wave
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: WTNH - Japan is dealing with a heat wave that had killed 138 people. The heat wave started back in May and has been roasting the country ever since...

Europe bakes again in near-record temperatures
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: - Europe baked in near-record temperatures on Monday but hopes were for some respite after weeks of non-stop sunshine as people come to terms with what may prove to be the new normal in climate change Europe...

* Greenhouse Gases are defined as a gas trapping heat in the atmosphere, contributing to the “greenhouse effect” by absorbing radiation:  carbon dioxide/CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and flouorinated gases (such as chlorofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride).

** The Paris Agreement is at:

Sustainability: Forward Momentum!
For Your Attention: Items From the The Editors' -- There is Much Good News to Share…

Sustainability Squared
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: - Imagine a world in which all people enjoyed a decent modern lifestyle without unduly degrading the natural resources on which future generations will depend. In such a world, people would live healthy, safe, well-educated lives... 

Green is the New Black: Sustainability in the Fashion World
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: - Starting tomorrow, our upcoming three-part series will explore both the obvious and the obscure environmental and social impacts caused by garment manufacturing, as well as how some members of the fashion industry are trading... 

Design Thinking: Making Sustainability Irresistible
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: Clean Technica - The sustainable lifestyle is a conscious choice for the very few: eco-fans of all sorts and a small proportion of new green technocrats. And this is bad news for us all, because this minority?—?no matter how vegan, ascetic and... 

“Straw-less summer”: Balancing sustainability and disability rights on the Eastern Shore
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: Delmarva Now - Straws are one of the top trash items found on beaches, according to a 2017 International Coastal Cleanup report. Recycling nonprofit Eco-cycle estimates that the U.S. uses 500 million straws daily. 

In the business of being green: is there really a business case for sustainability?
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: Odgers Interim - However, is there really a business case for sustainability, especially at the SME level, and how can those smaller organizations compete with the ‘green giants’ who have capital to risk on large sustainability-first projects? 

Making the Case for Sustainability – a U.S. Coast-to-Coast EV Tour
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: Triple Pundit - We’ve seen more and more companies continuing to invest now in energy and sustainability solutions that benefit business, consumers and our environment. 

Ag investors looking for sustainability
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: Queensland Country Life - “Sustainability is massive, the investors really want to put their money in something that is sustainable so you need to be able to demonstrate what you are doing on that front,” Mr Whitehead said. 

Question Of The Week: What Sustainability Means Today
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: Facility Executive - In the 1700s, sustainability meant “sustained yield” and referred to harvesting just enough trees so that the forest could naturally regenerate tree growth. What does the term mean for your facilities in 2018? 

Large healthcare organizations not concerned with sustainability, study finds
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: Beckers Hospital Review - The healthcare industry lags other sectors when it comes to sustainability efforts, and few of the nation's 49 largest healthcare organizations are concerned about pollution, waste generation, disposal and water use, a new study... 

Effective Governance for Sustainable Development: 11 Principles to Put in Practice
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: SDG Knowledge Hub - The UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) and UN DESA have prepared 11 basic principles that should clarify the governance agenda, taking into account different governance structures, national realities... 

Certificate program seeks to reframe sustainability
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: UC Santa Cruz - In a move to help the UC Santa Cruz community broaden and deepen the conversation around sustainability, the campus has launched a new seven-course certificate program for faculty, staff, and graduate students. 

Sustainability Change Is Hard but Companies Slog Along, Study Shows
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: Environmental Leader - Sustainability initiatives often fail to achieve the expected results: 47% of sustainability programs are considered failures by companies. And that number has more than doubled from the percentage that were considered failures... 

Techstars Sustainability Accelerator: 10 Start-Ups Driving Innovation For The Planet
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: Forbes - In the conservation world, we’re always looking for new ways to scale up our work. Lately, some of our best ideas have come from the private sector. One especially promising strategy we’re borrowing from business is early-stage... 

Is Stella McCartney The Queen Of Sustainability?
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: Refinery 29 - After launching her eponymous fashion label in October 2001 under a 50/50 venture with luxury conglomerate Kering, the daughter of Beatles member Paul McCartney saw immediate success with her eco-friendly ready-to-wear, men's...


A Range of ESG Topics & Issues – More Things For You to Think About -– What Will Be the Future Impact? 

The US is tilting the global balance in oil and gas
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: Gulf News - The US is tilting the global balance in oil and gas A resurgent shale industry gives it sufficient ballast to influence supply and prices Published: 18:51 August 8, 2018 Gulf News By Mohammad Al Asoomi, Special to Gulf.

NY ratepayers will pay for $2.1B offshore wind plan, but won't get the energy
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: Poughkeepsie Journal - New York state ratepayers will pick up the tab for the Cuomo Administration’s multi-billion dollar plan to jump-start the offshore wind industry, but most won’t benefit from the energy produced. 

From the Corporate Sector - Both Positive & Negative – Headline Scans for You 

NRA Says It Faces A Financial Crisis In Lawsuit Against New York State Officials
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: NPR 

Goldman’s CEO-in-waiting makes another change, names Esposito co-head of trading division
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: CNBC 

Wells Fargo says hundreds of customers lost homes after computer glitch
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: CNN 

Purdue University removes John Schnatter name from building, offers to return $8 million donation
(Monday - August 06, 2018) Source: ABC 

Aardvark, only U.S. producer of paper straws, acquired to meet skyrocketing demand
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: USA Today

Why So Many People Sleep in McDonald's in Hong Kong
(Tuesday - August 07, 2018) Source: News 18

Chipotle faces second lawsuit after 703 people fall ill in Ohio
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: Fox News

Playskool crayons found to contain asbestos, advocacy group says
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: Chicago Tribune

The N-word remark by Papa John's founder caused sales to crater 10.5% in July
(Wednesday - August 08, 2018) Source: CNBC

Japan says Mazda, Suzuki, Yamaha Motor carried out improper testing
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: CNBC

First trial alleging Monsanto's Roundup causes cancer goes to jury
(Thursday - August 09, 2018) Source: Reuters


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