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Roland Van Der Meer Climate Change (4)

Pushing Our Planet to the Brink

Wow! You know its hit the mainstream when Wharton publishes its 2018 Global Risks Report and says now the top issue is the environment — climate, water, and food are now the most critical global risks we face.Countries in the Middle East are failing due to climate change, and in the next couple of decades, the U.S. will face increasing tension around the scarcity and costs of water and food security.

Why these risks? Our major aquifers are being deleted at ever-increasing rates. Levels have fallen hundreds of feet in the past century and we are still not doing much about it. Our bread baskets in the Mid-West, Salinas Valley and Central Valley of California are all under severe pressure and could be dried up in the next 2 to 3 decades. Compound this with rising temperatures where it is harder to grow the same crop at the same latitude, and pests that survive longer due to milder winter temperatures, and you have a severe issue coming right at us.

So back to the risks: How does a society manage through these ever-growing issues? By pulling together and building a comprehensive plan that takes in all aspect of the issues and defining a path that works as best as it can for all. The good news is that it is all economically viable. As costs of these resources continue to climb, this can provide adequate, possibly superior returns for smart investors managing resources for the longer term.

It’s strange that we don’t act on climate issues at the federal level, but I fully see and believe that investors (and Corporate America) see the need and the opportunity to invest and to act now.

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