Come now, SEC — everyone is impacted by climate change

BERLIN - JANUARY 23: A snowman is pictured wit...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read today that the SEC  has now said that companies have an obligation to tell  investors of any risks — or benefits, for that matter — that climate change poses to their business. Specifically:

The S.E.C., on a party-line 3-2 vote, issued “interpretive guidance” to help companies decide when and whether to disclose matters related to climate change. The commission said that companies could be helped or hurt by climate-related lawsuits, business opportunities or legislation and should promptly disclose such potential impacts. Banks or insurance companies that invest in coastal property that could be affected by storms or rising seas, for example, should disclose such risks, the agency said.

via S.E.C. Says Companies Should Disclose Climate-Related Risks –

For goodness sake, there is not a company that I can think of that won’t feel an impact one way or the other when the climate goes nuts.  You have  a plant in a hurricane zone? Big trouble.  You don’t but your main competitor does?  Big boon.  Neither you nor your competitors have plants there, but your main customer does? Mucho big trouble.  You run a tiny clothing store, and you’ve made a good living selling parkas and ski clothes?  The snow melts too soon, and Chapter 11,. here you come.

I’m not trying to be a doomsday predictor, hollering Repent, repent before it’s too late.  But it you accept that the climate is changing, then you must accept that every single company must list how different scenarios would affect its business.  Otherwise, this is another exercise in futility.

But all that would be worth a sad smile or a single tear.  What has me ready to either guffaw or sob was that, after proposing the new disclusres, Mary L. Schapiro gave the boilerplate disclaimer:

“we are not opining on whether the world’s climate is changing; at what pace it might be changing; or due to what causes. Nothing that the commission does today should be construed as weighing in on those topics.”

Let me get this straight: We are not saying that the climate is changing, but we are saying that you’d better disclose how you will be affected by this change that we are not claiming is happening?

Ain’t Washington rhetoric grand?

Posts like this are why Claudia Deutsch’s The Bottom Line blog on True/Slant regularly makes my day. It can be far too easy by the end of a work week of reading absurd news stories to begin to feel alone: Doesn’t anyone else find this ridiculous? Why aren’t the media pundits covering this story? Claudia reassures me on both counts.

Climate-Changing Dirt | Miller-McCune Online Magazine


Could soil engineered specifically to maximize carbon storage dampen some effects of climate change? Very possibly, according to the scientists featured in this article.

Why is it we hear so little about this research in the mainstream media? Miller-McCune and New Scientist magazines/websites both tend to excite me with research about new possibilities to address our world’s most vexing problems, while at the same time creating frustration about my lack of time to vet those possibilities. I yearn for a team of personal science fact-checkers.

A Special Report on Climate Change and the Carbon Economy


The December 5th issue of The Economist magazine contains a 16-page special report on climate change. In advance of next week’s opening of the Copenhagen conference, aka Cop15, or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the special report and accompanying audio/video enhancements are well worth picking up.


I often have a hard time telling what’s available to everyone and what’s not with my premium content subscriptions, but hopefully the sponsors and underwriters for this special report want to encourage sharing (cookies must be enabled):


Economist, December 5 special report


Audio introduction:
The Carbon Economy: Interview with Emma Duncan, deputy editor