[MCN] Prominent capitalist goes public on climate change

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Sun Feb 4 16:47:57 EST 2018

'We have to change capitalism' to beat climate change, says Blackrock vice-chair <http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/24/change-capitalism-says-blackrock-vice-chair/>
Climate Home
http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/24/change-capitalism-says-blackrock-vice-chair/ <http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/24/change-capitalism-says-blackrock-vice-chair/>

That would mean funds like Blackrock could become duty-bound to consider environmental risks such as climate change while making investments. It would create a dramatic shift, he said, but warned it would take time.

“We have to be realistic, we also have an enterprise to run, we have shareholders, this is a complicated story. Nobody is served by reducing this to very simple, fast things that we have to do immediately. 

"We have to change capitalism. This is really what’s at stake here. And frankly we need a new contract between companies, investors and governments,” said Hildebrand.

Former US vice-president Al Gore, who was on the panel with the Blackrock executive, agreed that the field of research was still evolving. But said: “In 26 sectors of the economy, the vast majority of them, the companies that integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) into their business plans perform better.”

He added: “For many years investors and asset managers have said ‘well I would like to invest with attention to these things, but my fiduciary duty to my clients keeps me from doing it’. The revolutionary change… is that now it may be becoming clear that if you do not integrate these factors into your investing, you’re violating your fiduciary responsibilities.”

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/24/change-capitalism-says-blackrock-vice-chair/ <http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/01/24/change-capitalism-says-blackrock-vice-chair/>

“The molecule of carbon dioxide has strong absorption bonds, particularly in the infrared region of the spectrum at wavelengths of from 12 to 18 microns. This is the spectral region where most of the thermal energy radiating from earth to space is concentrated. By increasing the absorption of this radiation ... the carbon dioxide reduces the amount of heat energy lost by earth to outer space."

“The atmospheric engine is subtle in it operation and delicate in its adjustments.  Extra inputs of energy …  can have significant and far-reaching consequences.”

Singer, Fred S. "Human Energy Production as a process in the biosphere," Scientific American, September 1970.

"Indeed, the relatively modest warming experienced so far (0.85 °C increase since1880) is already driving arguably dangerous impacts, including more deaths from extreme heat, widespread forest die-off from climate-driven heat stress and drought, and more extreme coastal flooding from higher storm surges resulting from sea-level rise.”

Todd Sanford, Peter C. Frumho , Amy Luers and Jay Gulledge. The climate policy narrative for a dangerously warming world. Nature Climate Change, March 2014.

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