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Global Warming and Preparing for the Big One

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you ever want to stir up a hornets' nest, just start a conversation about global warming. This topic has all kinds of emotionally charged nuances that include political polarities and emotional extremes.

Recently, I received an email from my city's Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, with an invitation to attend a city-wide event that is being billed as "Preparing for the Big One." I live on the West Coast and for years our area has been preparing for severe earthquakes and massive floods.

We may hear about differing opinions on the causes of global warming, but as this video points out, the effects are real and persistent.

Although climate change and global warming haven't worsened in the past few years, experts say a plateau doesn't mean it won't suddenly get worse. Superstorms, drought in one area and torrential downpours in adjoining areas are happening annually and temperatures worldwide are still rising.

Reducing the flow of the greenhouse gases that spur global warming could prevent up to three million premature deaths annually by the year 2100, a new study suggests.

Researcher Jason West, an atmospheric scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his colleagues have "devised a global model to simulate likely future scenarios of the interaction between mortality and air pollutants, such as ozone and particulate matter."

Up to 700,000 premature deaths annually could be prevented by the year 2030, two-thirds of which would be in China, if we would reduce those tiny pollutants suspended in air, the report says.

By 2050, that figure jumps up to between 800,000 and 1.8 million preventable deaths annually. "By 2100, between 1.4 million and 3 million premature deaths annually could be averted," West states.

"We found reducing greenhouse gases could lead to a pretty striking reduction in air pollutants, and thus a pretty significant impact on lives saved," West told LiveScience.

Germany has been making steady progress in reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more comfortable with the need for sustainable energy sources that cause less greenhouse gasses.

One of Germany's corporate leaders involved in the preparation for the ongoing impact of global warming is Siemens AG (SI), whose shares hit a new 52-week high of $122.45 after the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decisions were released last Wednesday.

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