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  • Jeffrey Goldfarb

Climate Change Fight

Climate Change | Sea Levels | Paris Accords | Buffalo, NY | Certified B Corp 

Climate Change is spoken about in extremes, because one of the two outcomes is the end of our habitable planet. Ultimately, those fighting man-made climate change are fighting for our survival. Though skeptics deny the destruction of climate change, experts see our already precarious predicament worsening if we do not take extreme steps as a planet, and soon.

Oakland and San Francisco are willing to do just that. They are bringing the fight to the court room. On September 19th the two cities filed separate law suits against five oil companies suing the companies to pay for infrastructure costs brought on by climate change.[1] These companies are Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and BP.[2]

What the cities want are for oil companies that have contributed to man-made climate change, to take fiscal responsibility for the harm they’ve created: “These fossil fuel companies profited handsomely for decades while knowing they were putting the fate of our cities at risk.”[3] Rising sea levels put the lives and overall welfare of their citizens at risk; San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides and already struggles with an eroding shore line.

Though skeptics still deny climate change there is no denying the average temperature of the earth is rising, and that rise is linked to the greenhouse gas effect. There’s also no denying that due to the average temperature increase, the polar ice caps are melting: video courtesy of NASA[4]. And with ice melting into the ocean it should be obvious why the sea levels are rising; it rose a substantial 3.4 millimeters in 2016 alone.[5]

So San Francisco and Oakland have to fight for their survival. They are demanding the oil companies pay for sea walls and other defenses against the rising sea.[6] No exact dollar figure has come out but the cities could be asking the companies for billions in preventative measures.[7] Disasters brought on by rising sea levels could severely harm the day to day lives of the bay area: “Shoreline erosion and lapping ocean water threaten to undermine underground treatment and pumping facilities.”[8]

With an administration now standing alone with Syria outside the Paris Accords, it is more important now than ever to fight for the survival of this planet. Climate change is a very real threat and we have seen its destruction over the years grow. We just saw two of America’s largest producers paralyzed by back to back storms. Storms with high wind powered linked to warmer water temperatures and flood damage linked to rising sea levels.[9] For too long companies have profited at the expense of our planet and if we do not take steps to combat it, there will be no planet left to profit from.


Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the entities mentioned above. All opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Opinions expressed are as of this date and subject to change without notice at any time. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the above mentioned companies. Jeffrey Goldfarb, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., its affiliates, officers, directors or branch offices may in the normal course of business have a position in any securities mentioned in this report.

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-california-cities-sue-oil-majors-over-climate-change-1505950981

[2] http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-Oakland-sue-major-oil-companies-12215044.php

[3] http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-climate-1505933864-htmlstory.html

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHE0n5c6-6g

[5] http://ocean.si.edu/sea-level-rise

[6] https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-california-cities-sue-oil-majors-over-climate-change-1505950981

[7] http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-climate-1505933864-htmlstory.html

[8] http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/San-Francisco-Oakland-sue-major-oil-companies-12215044.php

[9] https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/08/29/houston-man-made-disaster/vd6eFWlH281IKCIU4bz79I/story.html

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