World Business Leader’s Rank Sea Level Rise As Their Number One Concern As World’s Temperatures Set Yet Another Record
With global terrorism growing, wars and political conflict all over the planet and cyber thieves dominating most news headlines it is interesting to see that world business leaders rank the need to address our planet’s changing climate as their number one concern. Specifically, the top concern is “failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
According to the World Economic Forum and its 2016 Global Risk Report, climate change is a greater risk than weapons of mass destruction, global water crisis, involuntary migration or energy price fluctuations. This is the first time that an environmental issue was listed as the respondents’ top concern.
Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks. Meanwhile, geopolitical instability is exposing businesses to cancelled projects, revoked licenses, interrupted production, damaged assets and restricted movement of funds across borders. These political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable – reducing the potential for political co-operation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.”
– Cecilia Reyes, chief risk officer of Zurich Insurance Group, which helped develop the report.
Founded in 1971 and based in Geneva Switzerland, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report uses the views of 750 international experts to evaluate 29 global risks and their impact on businesses over the next decade. Membership in the World Economic Forum includes 1,000 of the world’s top corporations, global enterprises that each have sales in excess of $5 billion. To read the report and learn more, click here:http://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2016
The World Economic Forum’s report arrives in the same week that both NASA and NOAA announced that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history. Humans have recorded temperatures since 1880 and following 2014 being the hottest year on record is the news that, just one year later, 2015 has now broken its record. Here is what NASA and NOAA had to say about the growing, record heat on earth;
“2015’s record temperatures are the result of the gradual, yet accelerating, build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists have been warning about it for decades and now we are experiencing it.
Fifteen of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. Temperatures will bounce around from year to year, but the direction of the long-term trend is as clear as a rocket headed for space: it is going up.”
– NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan
To read NASA’s and NOAA’s truly excellent blog on 2015’s temperatures, climate change and sea level rise please click here: https://blogs.nasa.gov/bolden/
So what does all of this mean?
It seems to me that businesses are beginning to understand that our climate is changing, that seas are rising and they are concerned with how these facts will impact their future. It also seems to me that the discussion on climate change and sea rise is becoming more focused on the scientific facts that show that we have a significant problem and that we must begin to take it seriously rather than listen to those who spread doubt or use false fear to play politics.
Children of my generation understand how important this topic is and that we will be responsible for solving it. To see today’s business leaders, space and weather scientists and others take it so seriously gives me hope for the future. As my generation takes on global leadership roles we will need to build on the solutions that are put into place today so the sooner we can begin solving the problem, the better.