AC Alert for October 11, 2012 Pundits Predict: Big Northeast Snow This Winter AC Alert for October 11, 2012 Pundits Predict: Big Northeast Snow This Winter

AC Alert for October 11, 2012 Pundits Predict: Big Northeast Snow This Winter
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Friday, October 12, 2012 - 10:30am

CONTENT: Newsletter

Thinking "snow?"  Let's turn back the clock one year, to October 2011. Residents in the northeastern states of the USA were pummeled by an extremely rare, late-October snow storm -- stranding motorists and leaving millions of residents and businesses without power for days. Following this surprise from Mother Nature everyone was expecting a tough winter. And yet (as we now know) the winter of 2011 turned out to be quite mild, with very little snowfall. Can the I-95 corridor communities expect the same this year? Not if the early prognostications are correct.

Consider this from Reuters:  "Snow lovers living in the U.S. Northeast and Rocky Mountains are going to rejoice this winter, according to The private weather forecasting firm released its long-range winter forecast on Wednesday, highlighting its predictions for temperature and precipitation trends. While much of the northern part of the country, stretching from Wisconsin to eastern Washington State, will see below-normal snowfall, said the coming winter will be marked by plenty of big storms in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic." (Source: Reuters)

Weather forecasting is never a sure thing, and these long range forecasts have been known to be wrong before. However, the long-term forecasts by expert meteorologists do give us an idea of what we might expect to see in the coming months. The prediction of weather patterns, and the environmental issues which may cause (or may not be causing) what seem to be unusually wild swings in our weather are just one aspect of our environment covered each day on the pages of Accountability Central.

Changes in our environment -- and the related consideration or adoption of regulations designed to protect the environment -- have become a major part of the discussion on "climate change."  For those advocating swift and realistic public and private sector action on global warming, severe weather patterns are a clear sign that something very threatening is happening now that puts humanity in jeopardy.  The climate deniers (especially holding public office) are claiming exaggeration by those "warming planet" advocates.

As the climate change debate has heated up (pun intended) over the past four decades the governments of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Australia, and other developed nations adopted sweeping environmental protection regulations to address the state of their air, water, soil and other natural resources, to protect human life, and to protect and preserve the natural environment. Some parts of these laws and rules are directed at the root causes of global warming (such as reducing identified greenhouse gas emissions).

The imposition of environmental regulations on business, while often having a steep price, has had some beneficial effects in mitigating and/or reversing two centuries of the accumulated harmful effects of the Industrial Revolution. 

And yet, despite all the progress, the work of protecting and preserving Mother Earth is never ending.  As the Industrial Revolution spreads to more developing economies, there is ever more "environmental work" to be addressed. 

The Environment Content Section of Accountability Central is devoted to topics environmental, including news, research and insights, commentary and opinion, and more. (The editors have organized subject matter in the ESG buckets -- environmental, social issue and governance.) 

We work to present you with news, commentary and research results that will keep you informed and up-to-date on "weather" and "climate change" and related issues.  Here are some recent examples:

Fiercer winter forecast for New England
(Source: Boston Globe) Despite last winter's mild weather and meager snowfall, this year's winter is expected to be the kind New Englanders know and love, with snow amounts above normal in some areas and lower temperatures.

Drought? Maybe, maybe not; but heat's been undeniable
(Source: Sacramento Bee) Drought conditions have worsened across California compared with one year ago, and are expected to get more severe through December. Sixty-nine percent of California is considered to be in moderate drought conditions or worse, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. One year ago, none of the state was in that condition.

New science: Seas Will Rise due to CO2 ... but not for centuries
(Source: The A new, first-of-its-kind comprehensive scientific analysis has shown that there is little to fear from rising sea levels driven by global warming. The likelihood is that the 21st century will see rises much like those of the 20th.

Report: Can U.S. Carbon Emissions Keep Falling?
(Source: Climate Central) A Climate Central analysis of the American energy economy shows that the nearly 9 percent reduction in annual carbon emissions in the U.S. since 2005 is unlikely to continue in the years ahead without major departures from the way energy is currently produced and used.

FTC toughens green marketing guidelines
(Source: USA Today) To avoid deceptive claims, the federal government has issued tougher standards for marketing products as green, warning companies not to use broad terms such as "eco-friendly" without providing specifics and proof.

Duke Energy customers face $1 billion-plus tab whether nuclear plant is fixed or not
(Source: Tampa Bay Times) It will cost at least US$1.5 billion to fix the Crystal River (Florida) nuclear plant, and possibly twice that much. If the plant isn't fixed, customers likely will have to pay for whatever new plant replaces it.

This is just a sampling of the information in our Alert. Go here for the full text of this alert, and more information on Sustainability, and other Accountability related topics.