52nd Earth Day: Our Pale Blue Dot
In 1990, Carl Sagan suggested taking an unusual picture using the Voyager 1 spacecraft. As it flew out farther into the cosmos, it looked back 4 billion miles away. The picture taken was that of our Earth. Appearing as only .12 pixels in size, it was only a spot of light in the darkness. Sagan referred to it as our “Pale Blue Dot.”
Reflecting upon this image in his book of the same name, he wrote: “Look again at that dot, That’s here, That’s home. That’s us…. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life, There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which we could migrate, Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our last stand.” Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994.
On this Earth Day, Sagans’ call to make our final stand rings out far clearer and more truthful than ever. With rising temperatures across the globe, more extreme and frequent weather events, increases in global conflicts, and the continuation of the global pandemic, we’ve experienced some of the worst disasters seen in our modern age. However, there are still areas of progress and positivity.
- The recent assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on April 4, stated that the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030, but it will take all of us to achieve. Factors such as decreases of up to 85% in the costs of solar and wind energy as well as batteries since 2010 help make this possible. This massive price reduction paired with growing policies of energy efficiency, adoption of renewable energy, and reduced forest deforestation are significant wins to help combat the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5℃. “Climate change is the result of more than a century of unsustainable energy and land use, lifestyles, and patterns of consumption and production,” said IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea. “This report shows how taking action now can move us towards a fairer, more sustainable world.”
- We are seeing record numbers of shareholder resolutions focused on ESG themes for 2022. A record 529 resolutions were filed this year, up 22% from 2021. These resolutions help grow transparency on company carbon emissions, workforce diversity, and other ESG themes.
- The SEC is establishing rules to enhance and standardize climate related disclosures. This move by the SEC can provide investors and Financial Advisors with consistent and comparable information for investment decisions. The 2022 climate disclosure mandates that companies report their “Scope 1” (greenhouse emissions) and “Scope 2” (energy they consume), with “Scope 3” (emissions generated by suppliers and customers) should be reported when deemed material to a company. Large companies must also obtain independent audits for their emissions reporting.
We at YourStake believe that change can be made through the power of investing. With a comprehensive set of data reporting and our Behavioral Values Questionnaire (BVQ) we can create more meaningful interactions with your clients. We are registered as a Public Benefit Corporation where our social mission is to catalyze sustainable investing and is part of our legal mandate.
Through investing in companies both large and small that are tackling key environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, anyone can create meaningful change. Innovation, strong government policies, and global cooperation are key to keeping our earth habitable for generations to come.
For our 52nd Earth Day, we stand here on our pale blue dot, looking to make our last stand to create a better world for all through the power of investing.