Treasury Sec. nominee Janet Yellen: “I will look to appoint someone at a very senior level to lead our efforts,” Yellen told members of the Senate Finance Committee. She said doing so would create a hub within Treasury that would focus on financial system-related risk posed by climate change, and tax policy incentives to affect change.
“We need to seriously look at assessing the risk to the financial system from climate change,” Yellen said.
At Tesla’s current price-to-earnings ratio, it would take the company almost 1,600 years to make what the stock market says it’s worth. The New Statesman put up a startling comparison. In 2020, Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles. Yet, its market capitalization shot up to $750 billion dollars. Comparatively, General Motors delivered 2.5 million vehicles in the same year, yet its market value is only $62 billion. Tesla’s price-to-earnings ratio — a comparison of current share price to earnings per share — is roughly 128X (the industry average is 15X), according to Zacks Investment Research. Based on that ratio, it would take Tesla 1,600 years to make the kind of money the stock market says it’s worth.
But Bjorn Lomborg rebuts: "Tremendously misleading. The number of billion-dollar disasters will of course increase as society gets richer. When corrected for increased wealth, the world and the US are not seeing increasing damages (but insignificantly *decreasing* damages)." - "Despite breathless climate reporting, the relative cost of global weather catastrophes 1990-2020 not increasing (actually insignificantly decreasing)."
Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: "NOAA is a great agency & contributes massively to saving life and property. It is thus so embarrassing that they dabble in bad economics for media catnip and clicks. Everything you hear about 'billion $ disasters' is wrong."
Glenn Greenwald: "The COVID-driven centralization of economic power and information control in the hands of a few corporate monopolies poses enduring threats to political freedom." ... A much-discussed 2014 study concluded that economic power has become so concentrated in the hands of such a small number of U.S. corporate giants and mega-billionaires, and that this concentration in economic power has ushered in virtually unchallengeable political power in their hands and virtually none in anyone else’s, that the U.S. more resembles oligarchy than anything else. ...
The lockdowns from the pandemic have ushered in a collapse of small businesses across the U.S. that has only further fortified the power of corporate giants. “Billionaires increased their wealth by more than a quarter (27.5%) at the height of the crisis from April to July, just as millions of people around the world lost their jobs or were struggling to get by on government schemes,” reported The Guardian in September.
Meanwhile, though exact numbers are unknown, “roughly one in five small businesses have closed,” AP notes, adding: “restaurants, bars, beauty shops and other retailers that involve face-to-face contact have been hardest hit at a time when Americans are trying to keep distance from one another.”
Employees are now almost completely at the mercy of a handful of corporate giants which are thriving, far more trans-national than with any allegiance to the U.S. A Brookings Institution study this week — entitled “Amazon and Walmart have raked in billions in additional profits during the pandemic, and shared almost none of it with their workers” — found that “the COVID-19 pandemic has generated record profits for America’s biggest companies, as well as immense wealth for their founders and largest shareholders—but next to nothing for workers.” ...
What makes this most menacing of all is that the primary beneficiaries of these rapid changes are Silicon Valley giants, at least three of which — Facebook, Google, and Amazon — are now classic monopolies. That the wealth of their primary owners and executives — Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai — has skyrocketed during the pandemic is well-covered, but far more significant is the unprecedented power these companies exert over the dissemination of information and conduct of political debates, to say nothing of the immense data they possess about our lives by virtue of online surveillance."
Since the 1980s, 29% of human CO2 emissions were cancelled out by the CO2-induced greening of the Earth. The post-2000 vegetative greening expansion has been so massive (5.4 million km²) its net areal increase is equivalent to a region the size of the Amazon rainforest.
Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and Narendra Modi will apparently gather in the Netherlands. There, along with Bill Gates, UN head Antonio Guterres, and personnel associated with the European Union, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, they’ll attend a climate summit hosted by the Global Center on Adaptation. ...
We’re told this summit "will launch a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda to kick start a transformational decade."
Donna Laframboise: "The chutzpah is astonishing. The global economy is in tatters. Billions face an uncertain future. Health care workers are exhausted. Yet this Clique of Self-Important People™ is full speed ahead, determined to impose its climate vision on the rest of us."
In the last 500 years only some 80 mammals are recorded as having gone extinct. In his book, More From Less, Andrew McAfee, a board member of HumanProgress.org, discusses how relatively rare recorded extinctions are – with some 530 across all species in the last five centuries. More importantly, he notes, the rate of extinction “appear[s] to have slowed down in recent decades; for example, no marine creatures have been recorded as extinct in the last fifty years.”
Matt Ridley, another board member and frequent contributor to this site, argues that despite the human population doubling in the last half-century, “the extinction rate of wild species, especially in the most industrialized countries,” seems to have fallen rather than increased. While absence of evidence isn’t the same as evidence of absence, and there might be millions of unrecorded species in the world’s oceans and tropical forests, the most aggressive claims rest on shaky foundations.