Elizabeth Warren wants to force companies to warn investors about their risks from climate change

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/10/mr-market-v-mother-nature.html


I love how Warren perfectly paints an opponent into a corner. It’s a thing of beauty.


Either, the thing will be so couched as to say “Climate Change may (or may not) cause these financial risks” so it’s useless or it will be so certain – like a California Proposition 65 Warning (“ WARNING : This product may contain a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm.”) that its use exists only to meet the requirement that it be used and no useful information will be conveyed because everyone will paste it everywhere.


The difference is that a massive wall street investor has the power to do something about it their financial risk, where as you or I, have no power to limit our exposure to these chemicals.


Great strategy for changing the conversation, however, every wall street investor is treating climate change as a shell game and every single one of them thinks they’ll be thee one who will be able to sell at EXACTLY the right time… which… well… is why we have collapses.


Thus the second part of the requirement. “You stand to lose 85% of your investment in scenario 1 or 5% in scenario 2” is the kind of math that gets serious investors’ attention.


Elizabeth Warren, unlikely champion of the shareholder class. The GOP’s and Libertarians’ hand-waving attempts to attack this proposal are going to be fun to watch.


True, but it’s pie in the sky, unfortunately, IMHO. This is based on years of investment experience, and watching the weasels wriggle free. Her own CFPB is a mere husk now, if not gone altogether, thanks to these same guys.


1 Like

And really - shouldn’t mutual funds and those huge public pension funds be demanding the same information? It’s just due diligence - any risk needs to be considered.


For requirement #1, we already should have a good surrogate by looking at insurance rates. How much more are businesses paying in order to cover either direct property damage or business interruption as a result of climate change?

For requirement #2, there needs to be a rule from the FASB establishing standardized assumptions on the effect of switching from coal/oil/gas/nuclear to wind/solar/geothermal/hydro. Without that, every company’s financial statement will contain a meaningless warning as suggested by @atl.

True enough. Check this out. I posted this in another thread from today, but look how easily it fits right into this conversation. Verbatim:

From as far back as the days of pelt harvesting, one of the primary purposes of the Nuevo Mundo has been to allow corporations to have free reign and near-zero responsibility. The “gold rush” fever is contagious and continues to spread beyond the US’ borders to this day.

We have Mick Mulvaney to blame for the direction this took.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.