AGW, the SEC, and the Decline and Fall of Civilization

As predicted [here], on January 27th the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an “interpretive guidance” on climate change. The new rule requires corporations to disclose “business or legal developments relating to the issue of “climate change” [here]. The SEC explained:

… [A] company must consider whether potential legislation — whether that legislation concerns climate change or new licensing requirements — is likely to occur. If so, then under our traditional framework the company must then evaluate the impact it would have on the company’s liquidity, capital resources, or results of operations, and disclose to shareholders when that potential impact will be material. Similarly, a company must disclose the significant risks that it faces, whether those risks are due to increased competition or severe weather. These principles of materiality form the bedrock of our disclosure framework.

This new knife cuts in a variety of ways. One implication is that companies must disclose to shareholders how Cap-and-Trade legislation might impact their bottom lines. Dr. Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project, applauds this aspect [here].

Corporate CEOs who have been actively lobbying for cap-and-trade climate legislation may soon find themselves in an embarrassing position thanks to a new Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, says Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project.

The SEC voted January 27 to provide public companies with interpretive guidance that encourages corporations to disclose the possible business and legal impact of climate change to shareholders. Full disclosure will require companies to assess and describe how cap-and-trade legislation can harm company earnings.

“Fully disclosing the business risk of cap-and-trade will embarrass many CEOs who are lobbying for emissions regulations. Shareholders will discover that these CEOs are pursuing legislation that will negatively impact their company,” said Borelli. …

Representatives Joe Barton and Greg Walden of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce derive somewhat different conclusions [here]. They suspect that the new SEC rule will open the door to civil suits against companies that do not consider “climate change” as a matter of standard business practice.

As a matter of fact, such lawsuits are already under way. From the LA Times today [here]

Today, the Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based environmental group, filed lawsuits against the California Department of Forestry in seven California counties to halt logging plans for 5,000 acres across the Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions. The group contends that the agency approved the projects without properly analyzing carbon emissions and climate consequences under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The lawsuit is aimed at private tree farming practices on private land. The Feds already have extensive regulations concerning “climate change” on government land.

All this comes at the same time that assertions of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change (AGW) promoted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been shown to be fraudulent [here].

The actions of humanity are not changing the climate. Nothing that human beings do is altering the climates on Planet Earth. That contention is fraudulent. There has been no significant global warming over the last century — at least not enough to be measurable beyond statistical noise. Atmospheric carbon dioxide does not appear to be a significant driver of global temperatures, much less “climate change”.

The burden of proof of purported CO2-driven climate change is on the alarmist community, and they have failed to make the case despite perpetrating extensive corruption and fraud in the effort.

That fact is difficult for many people to accept, including most of Congress and the President. It is a received wisdom that human beings are wrecking the Earth, causing mass extinctions, altering the very climate, and destroying all life. For fifty years the drumbeat of “people are bad” for the environment has been pounded into every school child.

Actually, the anti-human philosophy of original environmental sin dates back to the Biblical myth of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. For 5,000 years or more, people have been taught that we are evil just for being born, that humanity is a scourge, and that we are wrecking God’s creation.

This avalanche of guilt has been used to control people, to enslave people, and to murder people by the millions. History is replete with bloody punishment of innocent human beings for no other crime except being alive.

The anti-human philosophies have taken many forms and cannot be attributed solely to the Old Testament ethic. Anti-humanism blossomed into the massive hemoclysm (blood letting) of the 20th Century [here] when over 100 million innocent people were murdered in two world wars and various tyrannical slaughters, most of which had nothing to do with the Bible.

Indeed, the New Testament of the Bible presented, 2,000 years ago, a philosophy of humanism that includes love, forgiveness, redemption, and absolution of original sin.

Be that as it may, the perpetuation of anti-humanist philosophies and barbarous mass murder has continued unabated. In our postmodern era, the anti-humanist proponents have adopted a twisted kind of environmentalism as their principal excuse or philosophic foundation for humanity hatred. The murder of innocents has also continued unabated.

In truth, human beings have been the caretakers of this planet, for good or ill, for the last 50,000 years or so. We have been the keystone predators, the keystone torch bearers, and the keystone vegetation managers wherever we have resided. There have been instances of good stewardship and poor stewardship, but there has been no significant abrogation or rejection of our responsibility and capacity to tend the world.

Even so, and despite our prowess, we have not altered the climate. We have, however, inflicted tragedy and suffering upon one another.

The anti-human philosophy has as its goal the elimination of prosperity, of civilization, and indeed of the entire human species. Various justifications have been dreamed up and actions of consummate evil have been perpetrated in the name of that philosophy.

There is no end in sight. That religion (in essence) is dominant and will probably remain dominant. The latest action by the SEC is a tiny, microscopic even, furtherance of anti-humanism, and is almost insignificant given the larger picture. More lawsuits, attacks, civil disobedience, punitive exactions, enslavements, and bloody wars are guaranteed — the SEC is powerless to stop such and powerless to add much to the fury, either

I do not know how our species can save ourselves from self-hatred and self-destruction. We pursue the idea of benevolent stewardship here at W.I.S.E., but it is a fool’s quest, hopeless and forlorn. Humanity cannot learn the lessons of history; history proves that.

The solution might be in the New Testament, but 2,000 years of failure by humanity to absorb and apply the teachings is not confidence-building.

Some say that apocalyptic disasters are the answer; that if we hurt ourselves enough, the survivors will finally catch a clue. But history is replete with self-inflicted apocalyptic disasters, and the lessons have not been learned.

Hope springs eternal; that is one aspect of human philosophy that will not die. So we struggle on. Science, at least the exercise of rational inquiry and logic, offers a faint hope. Science as we know it today is little more than voodoo superstition, however, and is as mired in apocalyptic myth and original guilt as it was in the Dark Ages.

One thing is for certain — the hysterical belief in the inherent evil of humanity is getting us nowhere. A little more faith in goodness wouldn’t hurt. Instead of ascribing to apocalyptic myths about the end of creation, we might embrace creation, and ourselves, and try to be rational and goodhearted.

One step in that direction would be to refuse to be chained down by the baseless, irrational,and anti-humanist anthropogenic global warming (or climate change, or climate disruption) scare. It ain’t real. We don’t need to be enslaved by that myth any longer. Just say no.

29 Jan 2010, 8:06pm
by Mike

An MSM article on the new SEC rule:

SEC tells companies to disclose climate risks

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post, January 29, 2010 [here]

There’s been a lot of talk about climate change and the impact various legislative proposals might have on companies. Now the Securities and Exchange Commission wants companies to tell investors about it too.

The SEC commissioners on Wednesday voted 3-2 to approve new interpretive guidance that clarifies what publicly traded companies need to disclose to investors about climate-related ‘material’ effects on business operations, whether from pending legislation, the physical impacts of changing weather or business opportunities associated with substitutes for fossil fuels. It’s an important step in raising investor awareness about climate change issues, and in focusing businesses on the potential costs, said environmentalists and other disclosure groups.

But given the highly uncertain nature of climate change and the political winds buffetting proposed cap-and-trade legislation, some lawyers say it may be hard for companies to judge just what to say.

For some environmental groups, SEC’s move marks the culmination of years of effort. More than a dozen investors managing over $1 trillion in assets, plus Ceres and the Environmental Defense Fund, first requested formal guidance in a petition filed with the Commission in 2007, then petitioned again in 2008 and 2009. …

Commissioner Kathleen L. Casey dissented, saying that climate change was still a matter of debate, that the effects were many years or decades away, and that the interpretive guidelines were “unnecessary.” She said:

“There is undoubtedly a constituency that is interested in, and has long pressed the Commission to require, more extensive disclosures on environmental issues in order to drive particular environmental policy objectives. The issuance of this release, however, at a time when the state of the science, law and policy relating to climate change appear to be increasingly in flux, makes little sense. Most importantly, I do not believe that this release will result in greater availability of material, decision-useful information geared toward the needs of the broad majority of investors.” … [more]

and a comment from a reader there:

Hahaha. There is no way for even the most artful attorneys to coherently respond to the SEC’s demands by effectively predicting the weather. “There is a material risk that at some point in the next century our factory’s parking lot may be encroached upon by a rampaging glacier.” This blatant political pandering will do nothing but create confusion amongst investors, and swing wide a HUGE door for shareholder lawsuits alleging that governing boards failed in their fiscal duties by failing to consult their magic eight balls and discover a particular facility might get hit by a typhoon. Commercial contracts usually provide escape clauses for war, natural disasters, or what is — in these hypercynical times — quaintly referred to as “acts of God.” Now, companies will suddenly be responsible for anticipating those in advance.

29 Jan 2010, 10:15pm
by Santiago A. Cueto

The SEC’s involvement in climate change regulation drives the federal government deeper into the climate debate, potentially reshaping management decisions at companies across the country and the world. It won’t be long before securities regulators in other nations to issue their own climate change directives in the very near future.

It’s about time that international environmental issues are put on the national agenda. This is also good for investors. This paves the way for the development of a consistent standard for companies to report climate risk that will help all investors make better-informed decisions. This was the subject of an article on the International Business Law Advisor

Reply: spoken like a true lawyer, Santi.

29 Jan 2010, 11:11pm
by Rocky P.

Mike, I have a new book you might like. The name is Indians, Fire and The Land In the Pacific Northwest edited by Robert Boyd. It’s a very interesting book on Indian burning.

30 Jan 2010, 12:08am
by Mike

Rocky, it’s already in the W.I.S.E. Library and reviewed [here]. My copy is as worn as your copies of Moulton’s Journals of Lewis and Clark.

For those who don’t know him, Rocky P. is a world-class Lewis and Clark scholar, and a man of many skills and talents. We are glad to hear from him again. It’s been awhile.

30 Jan 2010, 6:52am
by Fran Manns

How is crank science good for investors? What an oxymoron. The UN IPCC is the continuation of a morally bankrupt institution that observed the holocaust, Ruanda, Bosnia and Darfur. Now the SEC (and the EPA) are making judgments outside their scope. The science is clear; AGW is not supported by experimental science.

30 Jan 2010, 6:53am
by Fran Manns

Climategate Forecast…
“What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes? [Referring to the hockey stick propagated in UN IPCC 2001 by Michael Mann and debunked by McIntyre and McKitrick in 2003.]

Ans: Based on the literature we have reviewed, there is no overarching consensus on MBH98/99. As analyzed in our social network, there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis. However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.”

AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION, also known as The Wegman report was authored by Edward J. Wegman, George Mason University, David W. Scott, Rice University, and Yasmin H. Said, The Johns Hopkins University with the contributions of John T. Rigsby, III, Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Denise M. Reeves, MITRE Corporation.



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