The BEST climate change vid I've seen


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Time to Trim the Hedges?

I seem to recall that Abraham was called upon to sacrifice his first-born son Isaac but he and God sorted it all out and Isaac lived. It was close though. I hope we can negotiate our way through the next few years so that our children come through. However, things are not looking good at this stage.

If it's not enough that we're selling off the family silver to fund our oiled-up partying, it seems that now, as dusk settles over the old mansion, we're setting fire to the furniture and wrecking the Rembrandts as well.

Food, shelter, security, health and freedom from poverty are among the basics of life. All are threatened by our profligacy and denial.

As the confused and betrayed children look over the parapet of the smoking home, what do they see? They see Mummy and Daddy haggling with strange men in suits.

It was recently announced that investment bankers UBS had launched the world's first Global Warming Index. By means of this ingenious device, they suggest, purveyors of winter clothing or ice cream can hedge against climate-related damage to their profits.

Cool. But isn't this a little like taking out insurance on the life of a once-wealthy, sick but long-ignored aunt whose trust fund we've already drained? One might not be able to resist the temptation to forget to feed the old dear - or even to slip a little caustic soda into her morning muesli.

Surely, if I stand to gain from negative impacts on the world's climate, I'm doing myself a favour if I drive around all day in a gas-guzzler and start commuting by air to a job on a different continent? Perhaps I might start investing in coal-fired power stations - or even move out of fur coats and into selling Hummers.

There's a fortune to be made here - I can't see why we're not all piling in to make a killing.

But it's our kids we're killing.

Still, prospects were looking pretty dire for the poor little buggers anyway...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Superb News for British Tourism

This view of Trafalgar Square today caused consternation among Londoners and overseas visitors alike. The British Tourist Board, sponsored by Magnum Oil plc, announced that it may have to do with holidaymakers failing to wash the sand from their feet after visiting the beaches of southern England. "At least we'll have something in which to bury our heads," commented a passing ostrich, on its way to a strategy meeting at Populist Media Inc. An Egyptian dignitary seemed indignant at the threat to tourism in her country: "De Nial has always been uniquely popular in Egypt," she said; "now it seems we have serious competition."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

General Electric Hits the Eco-Jackpot - Are YOU Still Vacillating?

Don't let anyone tell you there are no commercial opportunities in this game. General Electric has just announced that its sales of environmentally friendly goods have DOUBLED IN TWO YEARS! They have added $6 billion to their sales in this area alone (this doesn't take account of all the other benefits this policy has delivered).

GE has also announced that it now (very sensibly) has a massive $50 billion of such projects in the pipeline.


Sends a generally electric tingle down my spine...

Economist Intelligence Unit Exposes Corporate Intelligence Shortfall

The following is the conclusion of a study published last month by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by UK Trade and Investment. Its findings suggest that UK corporations are not only running high risks in numerous areas of their businesses but are missing out on potentially important market opportunities too.

"Scientists calculate a 60% uncertainty in predicted global temperature increases. The foreseeable impact of CO2 on the political sphere is far clearer. As governments seek to reduce national output of CO2, business will be called on to do its share.

Companies have not yet risen to the challenge. But the public expects it. Although consumer choices do not yet strongly reflect this, reputation and brand damage await firms that do too little, and investors show signs of starting to appreciate this.

Given the relatively small net costs, it makes sense for firms to raise their game now. Carbon reduction is a complicated area, with many experiments and innovations taking place. Entrepreneurial companies will be far better prepared when governments bring in tighter carbon restrictions and are far more likely to find ways to tap into new markets when consumer choices become more closely aligned with the concerns of the public as expressed to their political representatives.

The latter have a key role to play too. If business is to take carbon reduction seriously, it needs a clear set of rules within which to work. Without a proper regulatory framework, with market-based incentives to reduce CO2, carbon reduction will never become the integral part of business operations that it needs to be if it is to have a positive effect on climate change."

Let's see what next week's G8 deliberations bring...

The full report - 'A Change in the Climate' - can be found here:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Citigroup Sees The Writing on the Wall

Here's the introduction to an interesting document, "Climatic Consequences", created by Citigroup Research, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. They emphasise the point that, regardless of dispute over the science, investors need to take climate issues VERY seriously. They also focus on the fact that there are going to be winners and losers in this game. Hate to say I told you so...

Investment Implications of a Changing Climate

➤ Investment Issue — For investors, the issue is not whether climate change is occurring. Today a variety of entities (governments, regulators, corporations, and individuals) are reacting to the perceived climate change threat, creating a number of near-term opportunities.

➤ Physical Implications — While physical implications may become apparent over the long term, there may already be some repercussions today — warmer winters and hotter summers in the U.S., droughts in Spain and Australia, and an increased frequency of intense hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

➤ Regulatory Implications — There has already been a move to regulate greenhouse gases, ranging from international conventions sponsored by the United Nations, to legislation at the state level in the U.S. Importantly, companies with international operations are increasingly subject to various emissions regulations and standards in key markets, most notably today in the EU.

➤ Behavioral Implications — Even when not facing imminent regulation, a growing number of corporations are pursuing various climate strategies.

➤ Who Will Benefit? — We identify 74 companies (across 21 industries and based in 18 countries) that seem well positioned to benefit from these trends.

You can read the entire report here - enjoy: