GEOGRAPHIC ENVIRONMENT: 
               WEATHER EXTREMES
  • global warming
  • water sources and threats of droughts
  • effect on int'l business
  • cold weather effects on Canadian Business
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last updated 2015 Feb 27
see www.thestar.com/arctic for a series of stories about global warming by Ed Struzik
Struzik used a 2007 Atkinson Fellowship to research and write many stories about global warming and the effect on Canada

"Economic losses due to weather-related events in Canada are increasing rapidly."
www.davidsuzuki.org

INTRODUCTION , In the follow-up to reading the coverage of Hurricane Katrina and watching the TV coverage I was personally struck by the incredible power of "Mother Nature" and the capability to have such impact on our small human lives. It became evident that we, as supposedly intelligent mammals on this planet, constantly underestimate the power of Nature's forces which is why we are always getting into serious trouble by thinking we can build structures any place we want to.

WTGR

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znnrjD46VDo&feature=youtu.be 2015 Feb 27th

student Alina Mikhailova from Yakutsk in Russia (which has the reputation of being the coldest city in the world) made a nice video about how cold weather effects business.

click on the map below to see where Yakutsk is

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_WmaynNXkU Jan 17th, 2011 the temp was 
MINUS 26 C
MINUS 14 F

So, along the lines of "anything can be a teachable point", I took my Nikon D90 and made some clips of the students in MRK460 talking about how extreme cold weather effects business. Edited the clips together and posted it on YouTube same day.

WTGR

.Student contributions to, and responses to the 2011 "Extreme Cold Weather" video encouraged me to do this again in class the following year.
In May 2012 in the MGTC44 class at University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, we divided the class into 4 groups and each group spent several minutes discussing the effects of different weather on business. The purpose of these discussions was for the students to seriously contemplate the severe impact that weather (a function of the geographic environment) has on the abilityfor businesses to function, and for customers to have access to the products and services of a business, and for employees in a business to operate during extreme weather situations.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o8jKBfYflo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQE7U2d7KZY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKTs-PpzBro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWAMAiPaVto
How Hot Weather effects businesses
2 min 29 sec
How Cold Weather effects businesses
1 min 40 sec
Fires Floods and Earthquakes - effects on business
1 min 2 sec
The effect of storms (Hurricanes, ice storms, etc.) on businesses
2 min 1 sec
(including humourous mistakes)
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Students who are watching these videos can earn "class participation marks" by posting comments within YouTube, about considerations you may have thought of, above and beyond what the original students spoke about, for example, was there anything that the original students missed, or was there anything they mentioned that you could add on, or provide a good example about..
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, Student Brenda G. in MRK460 at Seneca in March 2011 emailed to say
"In locating some background research on weather extremes for the midterm tomorrow, I came across this excellent article from Macleans.ca that thoroughly explained weather extremes happening around the world."
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Extreme Weather getting worse

, WTGR replies
"Thanks Brenda, yes, this is a very thorough article and the link is listed below for students to read more detail
 macleans.ca/2010/08/24/extreme-weather-warning/?sms_ss=em..8121663a6be76%2C0
 
http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061726880 WTGR says Cathy Gulli and Tom Henheffer wrote this piece for Maclean's in August 2004 using information from Dr. Heidi Cullen, a climate expert at Princeton. 

Cullen is the author of The Weather of Our Future.

the YouTube video accompanying her book launch
youtube.com/watch?v=KjEuaBoybzE
 

In the article Gulli and Henheffer explain that

"To understand how extreme weather is becoming more common, scientists start by looking back. Over the last 100 years, the global average temperature has steadily increased by a little more than 1° F. That doesn’t seem like much. But if a typical day is going to be warmer, then the heat waves will be as well. This also affects storm activity: the hotter it gets, the more heat the oceans absorb. The heat evaporates into the atmosphere as water vapour. Warm air can hold more water vapour than cold air, so once the atmosphere is saturated, it dumps exceptional amounts of rain....Using computer models, scientists from 20 climate centres around the world have forecast that by the end of the century, the Earth’s temperature will increase by at least 2° F."

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvjn4AbnrNs&list=UUAtk_NQTEd9jP4hEI6lPUHA Is extreme weather getting worse?

Richardson discussing the reason why weather extremes are more important and what it is about human living patterns that increasingly put mankind in a situation of vulnerability to weather extremes

1 min 10 sec.

video added 2014 Oct 7th

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International
Business
effected by
Natural
Disasters

, During the 3rd week of December 2005, Richardson was interviewed live on air for the  Report on Business television (ROB TV) program by host Howard Green for a segment about how natural disasters effect international business. Richardson explained that it is important to have a contingency plan and business continuity strategy which could be employed without delay. While the competition is struggling to recover after a disaster, your enterprise can be more operational and you'll achieve a competitive advantage that may yield months of favourable business until others catch up. 

Basically, the point I was trying to establish is that you can pretty well count on a natural disaster having a big impact on your business, either effecting your supply of component parts, or effecting the region in which your customers live - and therefore one could say that your ability to be a successful business person depends not exclusively on doing the right things in terms of marketing and customer relations, but also being prepared for a bad event cause sooner or later we all get hit by something so it is the businesses that can recover faster that will survive and thrive.

WTGR

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSAbktEdnbk BP Oil Spill - Mexico 2010

Student Pranya Y. in MGTC46 in Feb 2011 emailed to comment on how the geographic environment effects business and the problems with B.P.'s Contingency Planning re: the big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Pranya and Prof. WTGR made a short video in which Pranya discussed the main points of her email.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCADyBxcPSM The interview in 2005 was broadcast on ROB TV

In 2010 Prof. Richardson updated some of the points and did a "voiceover" adding in some additional explanations.

This update was uploaded to YouTube Sept 17th 2010
 youtube.com/watch?v=cCADyBxcPSM

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdoPl-HYbtA&feature=youtu.be One of the reasons companies do NOT spend much money on contingency plans for weather extremes is due to the "tyranny of quarterly earnings" - this expression is explained in a short video

1 min 49 sec.

video added 2014 Oct 7th

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb3eCMxxI6Q&feature=youtu.be In developing a contingency plan to respond it is critical to identify "who does what" because such decisions cannot be made in a panic - they needed to be sorted out in advance.

Richardson uses the example of responding to a medical emergency.

2 min 9 sec.
video added 2014 Oct 7th

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gACh4Pjdvyc&feature=youtu.be How the threat of weather extremes can effect the length of the planning cycle in marketing and promotions - you always have to have the ability to change your plans and bring on board a new promotions scenario when you are vulnerable to problems in the supply chain due to bad weather

1 min 40 sec.
video added 2014 Oct 7th

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, As part of the preparation for the 2006 segment with Howard Green, I was asked to consider trends of successful companies, in the context of responding to natural disasters, I created the following list - some of these points were discussed in the on air segment. This list was reviewed and updated in Feb 2011.

WTGR

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7 Trends 
of 
successful 
companies
, Being successful in a turbulent world, beset by weather extremes and risk and threat situations of all types, is not predicated solely on being commercial successful with your customers – rather based upon being able to survive bad situations so your business can continue when other businesses in your sector are struggling to recover

We have seen so many situations were businesses plan their activities based on various combinations of what customers may or may not do, only to be “sandbagged” because of an outside variable such as a violent storm effecting suppliers of one of their component parts in another region of the world

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7 Trends 

Packaging

, 7 Trends of companies 
that are successful in handling weather extremes

    o Companies will be more diligent in shipping in terms of packaging for unforeseen weather damage.  Spending more money on packaging is a cost that has to be passed on to the consumer. If you can reduce the number of damaged products in transit (by having more robust packaging), this is a saving,  so the strategy of spending more on packaging might end up being cost effective.

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7 Trends 

Shipping
RFID, GPS
 

,   o Shipping times should have built in contingencies when the shipping channel is effected by freight delays in other parts of the world – companies will use more advanced technologies incorporating RFID technology and GPS so they’ll know more precisely where things are and can then use that information to make a decision about options if one segment of the shipping route is blocked or delayed.
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7 Trends 

Contingency
Plans
 

,   o Marketing and promotions people will develop contingency plans to react faster to changes in the product that may result as a consequence of these problems
- example a fast food company may want to switch marketing of citrus based product to bacon double cheese burgers if the southern U.S. was damaged by an ice storm, conversely if the winter weather was milder in the mid-west, hog prices would drop
- switching marketing promotions so quickly can’t be done if you bought hundreds of thousands of dollars of TV commercial air time too far in advance so wise companies will plan more effectively so such weather changes can be accomodated..
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7 Trends 

Communications
 

,   o Companies will use web based information incorporated with cell phones to bring their personnel into more real-time contact throughout the manufacturing-marketing process. The reason for this increase in communications capability extends to having the ability to respond in a crisis because one of the main things about responding to a crisis is being able to make fast decisions and have those decisions communicated to many people.

Successful companies will be ones that have several communication systems that could operate if weather effects telecommunications in one part of the country. Companies also need “what if” steps to follow in case there is no communication for several days and certain important situations need to be dealt with. eg.. If the phone lines are out, should we leave the transport trailers where they are, or keep driving north because we eventually need to get to the warehouse depot anyway.

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7 Trends 

Diversify
Supply
 

,     o Companies normally achieve great discounts for buying high volume from suppliers, which in turn allows those suppliers to achieve economies of scale and make things less expensively - however diversifying sources of supply will be considered more important in the context of avoiding vulnerability if all your supply comes from one region damaged by an earthquake or hurricane. Successful companies in 2006 will be the one that can quickly go to "back-up" suppliers if the main suppliers fail, and have those back-ups locked in and not gouge them with a high price.
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7 Trends 

Money
 

,     o Money - companies can’t operate without money and since such a large amount of money in B2C and B2B relationships is digital, it is a big vulnerability if a collapse of telecommunications freezes the movements of money. Contingencies should be arranged with your financial partners to create ways that money can move, either as paper money, or some other physical form that can be used for people to effect a purchase of emergency goods and services.

Student Many Y. in MGTC44 in May 2010 also suggested that money should be set aside for those things that will cost money above and beyond regular operations. Mandy suggested "The Savings fund should be used for disaster recovery plans so
the company would not go bankrupt. It should be used for any resulting
problems or solutions."

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7 Trends 

Weather
Prediction
 

,   o Successful companies will use advanced weather prediction models based upon more advanced satellite imagery and historical modeling patterns and use this in planning product offering cycles, especially clothing retailers and people who sell types of food driven by seasonal availability. There are weather consultancies advising business that predict future years will see an increased demand for their services as large and medium sized companies seek to obtain the most detailed weather information possible for planning supply chain considerations and product manufacturing contingencies.

Essentially, maintaining some of the efficiencies that a large organization enjoys but having the ability to operate in modules as parts of the company are effected by region-wide or nation-wide emergencies.

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7 (+1)
Trends 

Product
Variation

, 7 (+1) Trends of companies in 2011 
that are successful in handling weather extremes

    o Product Variation

Student Many Y. in MGTC44 in May 2010 looked at the 7 Trends I [WTGR] listed in the 2005 interview and suggested that having a variety of products will reduce vulnerability - especially in the context of food based products vulnerable to weather extremes in particular regions. Another example could be a sporting goods company that imports bikes and bike accessories from one region of the world, but also has climbing equipment from another region. 

Essentially, if you used the strategy of diversifying your supply, you would in essence have some product variation.

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Contingency planning

what 
are
the 
specific
risks

Weather
(the
Geographic
Environment)

List of specific risks and threats that Contingency plans are used for , continued..

natural disasters and weather extremes, 

    requires evacuation of personnel and recovery of equipment and property
    - see http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/what_we_do/climate_change/news/news.cfm?uNewsID=2659
    • storms, 
      • Hurricane Katrina, Louisianna, Mississippi, Sept 2005
      • Tsanami South Asia, Dec 2004
      • Hurricane Ivan, summer 2004
      • Hurricane Isabel, Sept 2003 

      •          National Hurricane Center  nhc.noaa.gov
    • earthquake Iran January 2004
    • wild fires - British Columbia summer of 2003, California 2003
    • flooding - U.S. mid-west 2002, China 2001
    • tornado
    • volcano
weather extremes effect 
    • food production - people starve for many months afterwards
    • habitation - a house in which to live
    • transportation - sometimes the roads are wiped out and relief workers cannot access the bady effected areas
      • all of which which effects the sovereignty of a country and in turn effects national security
        • North Korea
        • Indonesia, Sri Lanka
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WTGR's backyard, photo by WTGR 2008 Nov
"Economic losses due to weather-related events in Canada are increasing rapidly."
www.davidsuzuki.org
 
Geographic Environment: Weather Extremes

Canadian biologist and activist Dr. David Suzuki has a paper on his web site that discusses some of the things we can expect. Some of the points from his paper contributed to the list I (WTGR) made below
see http://www.davidsuzuki.org/files/weather_extremes.pdf

In terms of specific threats, what are some exact examples of weather extremes that we can expect in the future.

  • Rain - we will get circumstances of flooding caused by intense rain that will overflow sewers in many modern cities and the result will cause lower floor flood damage to cities that are not necessarily close to coastal areas.
    • contingency considerations
        • flood insurance is uncommon for many Canadian businesses that are not in coastal communities - it should be investigated
        • IT systems and critical infrastructure could be located on 2nd story structures
        • drains, gutters and overflow pipes should be checked and maintained
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  • Ice storms that knock out power lines will leave cities without electricity for days or even weeks because the repair crews will find it difficult to navigate their trucks on roads blocked by fallen trees. The problem will be hampered by the simple fact that working on hydro lines is a skilled trade and there would not be a lot of people qualified to assist in an emergency beyond those already trained for this type of work.
    • contingency considerations
        • power generator back up
        • gas powered appliances
  • Heat waves of several days duration can put a strain on electrical power systems that lead to brown-outs or complete black-outs. An aging population in urban areas would die in large numbers if a blackout of several days happened at the time of a heat wave of several days.
    • contingency considerations
        • identify "at risk persons" and create action plan to deal with suffering, medication requirements and other health and safety issues
  • Wildfires may increase in frequency in parts of B.C, Alberta and northern Ontario due to a combination of heat waves and increased frequency of lightning strikes. Wildfires effect the lumber industry but they also effect agriculture since the large amounts of particles in the air, as a result of smoke and ash, travel thousands of miles.
  • Tornadoes are historically common in the central mid-west U.S. but in the later years of the 1990's and the first few years of the new millennium we have had increased instances of small tornadoes in south-western Ontario. Some climatologists are predicting larger scale tornadoes in the U.S. due to drastic changes in land use and global warming
WTGR
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Economic losses due to weather-related events

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Bad Weather
effects
business
The front page of the Business Section of the Toronto Star (photo above) Feb 3rd 2011 focused on how a bad snow fall is bad for business - describing the situation as "blizzard economics"

Reporters Van Alphen and Rubin, quoting a study by consultants IHS Global Insight, explain that big snowstorms cost Ontario's economy $470 million a day, factoring in

  • service companies
    • restaurants lose customers
    • gas stations lose money from fewer people filling up
  • governments lose tax dollars
    • sales tax lost when people buy less items
    • income tax lost when people miss work
  • schools and colleges and universities close
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Bad Weather
contributes
to
some
business
WTGR's jeep
While it is interesting to reflect on how bad weather is bad for business, Canada is a "Winter based economy" and many business count on bad snow days and lots of snow for sport and recreation
Bad Weather - Good Business!

Snowstorm Feb 3rd 2011 - 600+ calls to C.A.A in 14 hours

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Bad Weather
effects
agri-food
economy
, Poor Barbecue weather sends hog prices down - catastrophic for pork producers
Echoing Suzuki's "Economic losses due to weather-related events in Canada" was the 2009 Aug article in the Globe and Mail explaining as cool weather continues throughout Canada in late August, fewer people are enjoying outdoor cooking. 

Meats used in BBQ are not selling well, and companies are unable to sell BBQ accessories and related items. Even the beer store has noticed a decline in sales.

"so what"...
The reason this is a big issue is because more than 3,300 Canadian hog producers have gone out of business since 2006. Which means that if demand rises again, we'll be importing pork instead of having Canadian produced bacon.

  • Importing food is always bad because a country puts itself in a vulnerable position to depend on another region which may or may not supply, depending on their own citizens being fed first.
  • Secondly - importing food makes it difficult for the consumers to make sure the food is produced in a safe way according to Canadian health standards.
  • Thirdly, 3,300 hog producers going out of business also means the loss of export capability - Canada used to have significant pork exports.
WTGR
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KEY
POINTS
This story, below, about the drying up of the planet is quite alarming, especially when you add in stories about the shrinking ice fields in Antarctica and the other global warming trends.

Canada is one of the countries in the world with a generous abundance of fresh water and it may mean that in the future this has enourmous consequences for us in international business since water is the #1 most important thing for animal life.

WTGR

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Geographic Environment
"Planet Drying Up"
Associated Press story carried in the Toronto Star in June 2004

Chris Hawley, writer for Associated Press, writes about a United Nations report

"The world is turning to dust, with lands about half the size of Prince Edward Island becoming desert wasteland every year and the problem threatening to send millions of people fleeing to greener countries, the United Nations says."

"One-third of the Earth's surface is at risk, driving people into cities and destroying agriculture in vast swaths of Africa. Thirty-one per cent of Spain is threatened, while China has lost 93,000 square kilometres to desert — an area the size of Indiana — since the 1950s."

"It's a creeping catastrophe," said Michel Smitall, a spokesperson for the U.N. secretariat that oversees the 1994 accord. "Entire parts of the world might become uninhabitable. Slash-and-burn agriculture, sloppy conservation, overtaxed water supplies and soaring populations are mostly to blame."

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How the Technological Environment effects the Geographic Environment Chris Hawley - "Technology can make the problem worse. In parts of Australia, irrigation systems are pumping up salty water and slowly poisoning farms. In Saudi Arabia, herdsmen can use water trucks instead of taking their animals from oasis to oasis — but by staying in one place, the herds are getting bigger and eating all the grass."

Hawley writes
" By 2025, two-thirds of arable land in Africa will disappear, along with one-third of Asia's and one-fifth of South America's."
 

KEY
POINTS
What does this mean - it means the most important business for international business might not be computers, or automotive - the most important business will be the agricultural business since food to eat, and water to drink, is more important than ANYTHING.

Canada is one of the world's largest producers of food and has a surplus of drinking water - we are in a position to have an incredible advantage due to stress in other regions of the world - it remains to be seen if our political leaders will make sure that Canadians are able to control their own resources and not suffer pressure from multi-national corporations that may use economic power to leverage strongly against us.

WTGR

Chris Hawley, Copyright © 2004 The Associated Press - this piece by Hawley was posted on more than 100 other websites by mid-2005
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Geographic Environment

Weather Extremes

In September 2005 everybody in North America watched as the damage from hurricane Katrina, and the resulting flood, was broadcast worldwide as the U.S. government struggled to contain a problem that seemed to be beyond the most powerful nation on the planet.

While people are trying to cope with the concept of hundreds, maybe thousands of drowned victims in the southern U.S., at the same time scientists and planners are suggesting that Katrina will NOT be the biggest natural disaster in the U.S. - it is suggested that the next earthquake, which will hit southern California some time in the next decade or two, will kill 10's of thousands of people.

Why are so many people being killed in natural disasters, like the tsunami in South Asia in December 2004? .It is argued by some experts that the answer is very simple - too many people living in large concentrated areas close to a threat. 

The threat could be a volcano ready to blow, like in parts of Latin America, or buildings constructed with shabby materials in an earthquake zone like Turkey, or houses built on low land that floods, like in China, Holland and other places.

It seems humans aren't willing to accept that "Mother Nature" is bigger and they place themselves in situations of risk, and when something bad happens, they demand the government look after them.

WTGR

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Geographic Environment

Weather Extremes

Global Warming

Hurricanes  - Global Warming - Politics

It is tempting, in light of the recent events, (Sept 2005) in Louisianna and Mississippi to focus on the particular type of weather extreme that effected something so current - however, the fact is "...Category 4 and 5 hurricanes -- those with winds of 131 mph or higher -- rose from 10 a year in the 1970s to 18 a year since 1990."

A new study, published today in the journal Science in Sept 2005,  concludes that "... warming sea temperatures have been accompanied by a significant global increase in the most destructive hurricanes, adding fuel to an international debate over whether global warming contributed to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina."

"According to data gathered by researchers at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the number of major Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years"
reported in The Washington Post Sept 16th, 2005

If concern over Global Warming becomes politically important to the point where it effects national government policy on energy consumption, then this will have a big impact on international businesses which rely on transportation systems that use oil and gas (which is almost everything except sail and some types of trains).

The Washingtom Posts says "Katrina reanimated a transatlantic argument over global warming policy as critics of the Bush administration have seized on it to promote mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Arguing that the science of global warming remains uncertain, President Bush in 2001 disavowed the Kyoto treaty that sets mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions..."

WTGR

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Geographic Environment

Weather Extremes

Global Warming

Global Warming 

Reported by CBC News 2007 Feb

"International scientists and officials hailed a report Friday [February 2, 2007]saying that global warming is "very likely" caused by man, and that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution.

The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, called it a "very impressive document that goes several steps beyond previous research.""

CBC added "A top U.S. government scientist, Susan Solomon, said "there can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities.""

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Global Warming

an
international
business
issue

Global Warming has gone from being an Environmental Issue to an International Business Management issue as governments and large companies negotiate to do business within the recommendations of the Kyoto Accord.

Is Global Warming a reality - there are many arguments on both sides.
The pictures below show one side of the argument.

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Blomstrandbreen glacier 
in Norway in 1928
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Blomstrandbreen glacier 
in Norway in 2002

A picture represents a thousand words

from the Greenpeace site at  http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/photosvideos/slideshows/the-incredible-disappearing-gl
 
Global Warming

an
international
business
issue

October 2005

Canada hosts a United Nations climate meeting Nov 28 - Dec 9 in Montreal
The economic aspects are central to the agenda of topics discussed.

Several economic and political experts describe the Kyoto Protocol as flawed and the meeting in Montreal in October 2005 has, as part of its purpose, an intention to have a more fruitful round of negotiations.

It is understood that the Kyoto Protocol allowed so many exceptions to the guidelines that it became possible for the large industries of many countries to put pollutants into the air without consequence or action taken against the company.

The goals of the Canadian government, as expressed by several officials associated with planning the conference, are
1. Environmental Effectiveness - set long-term targets for reductions in greenhous gas emissions
2. Sustainable development - developing countries will need assistance to grow economically without industry creating a problem as these new economies industrialize
3. Broad participation - go beyond governments to allow big industry associations and industry sectors to participate
4. Encourage countries to trade emissions credits
5. Exploit the most advanced technologies to make energy production more efficient and reduce air pollution
6. Extreme weather - learn how to adapt to climate change and the consequence of severe storms

The story about the conference was carried in several media, including the Toronto Star. One of the best stories was an article Oct 11th by Peter Calamai

see 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  www.ipcc.ch

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Global Warming

an
international
business
issue

better 
for
Canadian
farmers??

"Global Warming a farmer's bane"
is the title of a Globe & Mail article written by Barrie McKenna, 2007 Sept 12th
 
KEY POINTS 
It had been suggested that Global Warming might be good for Canadian farmers cause in theory, it might mean that Canadian farmers could grow crops farther north in our vast country, and also have more days of warmer weather - which means a longer growing season and larger crops.

WTGR

Chris
Journalist McKenna comments on the writing of William Cline, author of Global Warming and Agriculture. Cline is quoted by Mckenna as saying "warmer temperatures could boost farm output in Canada, Russia and other northern countries by late this century, but not nearly as much as most people think. Limited daylight, new doubts about the benefits of extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a high Canadian dollar could temper the gains to farmers of a warmer planet"

the full text of this article was given to the C44 class of Sept 2007.

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from  http://members.becon.org/~pals/canada12.html
So, although it might be warmer for more days, farther north - there are still other problems associated with increasing crop yields
  • you still need lots of sunlight, and that will not change since the "location" of Canada on the planet is fixed
  • the quality of arable land (good flat fertile soil) remains in southern Canada and does not reach very far north, except in some parts of Sask and Alberta so even if it was warmer, there might not be much more farmland to exploit
WTGR

Global Warming in China  www.worldviewofglobalwarming.org/pages/chinareport.html
Geographic Environment

Weather Extremes

Some newspapers and web blogs carry articles by experts who say New Orleans should never have been built there in the first place - or at least, the city should not have been allowed to expand with such a large population in risk of flooding. However market forces such as real estate.

Will we learn anything from New Orleans - will people have the common sense to say it is low land, built somewhere else, or will bravado and politics lead to a big effort to re-built because of some believe that the city deserves to be resurrected.

Not all cities have been re-built. 

When Pompeii was covered in soot and ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the city was left as a tomb. It was considered that the people had built to close to an active volcano and it did not make sense to re-build. 

In 1692, Port Royal, town in Jamaica, was hit by a devastating earthquake at the peak of its commercial prosperity - much of the town ended up submerged in the sea and was never rebuilt. Port Royal had been known as a place famous of pirates and much lawless activity therefore its destruction was considered by people of the time, to be an act of God.

WTGR

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Geographic Environment

Weather Extremes

It is reasonable to consider that as we move through more of the years of the new millennium, that the effects of extreme weather will have a larger and larger impact on international business for several reasons
  • large scale disruptions to urban activity will effect global markets due to the globalized currency system, telecommunications and trade
    • the tourism industry, professional sports schedules and entertainment performances on a grand scale have all had to be rescheduled for several months as a result of flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi
  • disruptions to transportation in one region will effect travel in other regions 
    • airplanes are forced to land at different airports and trains have to be re-routed to different tracks and large ocean vessels will not be able to dock at certain ports and unload merchandise
    • example: the first few days after the 2004 Tsunami when dozens of large airplanes were forced to land in alternate locations in Asia because emergency relief flights clogged the airports closest to the disaster zone
    • business in southeastern U.S. states are finding it difficult to get timely delivery of imports from Mexico because the trucks have to be re-routed on highways farther north away from the flooded zones and the rescue activity
  • economic lose in one region will negatively effect the ability of businesses to continue on a national scale since many regions are inter-linked
WTGR
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As is often the case when discussing a specialized subject in international business, 
U of T has a professor that is expert in that area.

Prof. Thomas Homer-Dixon www.homerdixon.com serves as the 
George Ignatieff Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies in the
Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
at University College, University of Toronto

Prof. Dixon has written on a number of issues related to global warming and the consequences.
see "With cracks and holes in the Greenland ice sheet, we may well have to 'geo-engineer' the climate"]
 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071130.wcoessayclimate1201/BNStory/specialComment/home
Prof. Homer-Dixon explains that the problem is one in which is escalates

"The sea ice floating on the Arctic Ocean is white, so it reflects a large proportion of the sun's radiation back into space. As this ice melts from global warming, it leaves behind open water that absorbs about 80 per cent more of the sun's radiation. This ocean water becomes warmer. Then, after the summer passes and fall comes, the water releases its heat back into the atmosphere, which impedes refreezing. So winter generates thinner ice, which melts more easily the next summer."


also "A Swiftly Melting Planet" homerdixon.com/articles/20070424-nytimes-aswiftlymeltingplanet.html

also "Antarctica, the new hot real estate"  www.thestar.com/News/Ideas/article/277390

WTGR

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