NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report is near release and based on leaks, proponents and skeptics alike will find plenty to talk about.It appears new climate model adjustments are needed, and despite reported carbon increases, we may not be warming as quickly as some predicted. Maybe the days of anthropogenic global warming (global warming caused by people) will pass into history like fears of a coming ice age did when I was young. The stakes are high for both sides of the AGW issue, and you can expect the spin masters to be working overtime as soon as the report is released.
I'm skeptical about most things, and it serves me well in the world of finance. I look at company filings, press releases and analysts with a critical eye, and especially at stocks that have gained more enthusiasm than substance.Being skeptical is a exceptionally smart thing as long as you don't go "over the edge". It's not easy to be skeptical when you listen to NPR, and the speakers are claiming a consensus of scientists and the IPCC claims there is over a 90% confidence level that humans are more or less destroying the atmosphere. Some skeptics would make a better argument if they just didn't write or say anything, but allow me to take a step back to when this issue actually caught my attention.
Finally, the reason that matters to me as a father, the weather and degree of storms isn't any worse now than expected without AGW. Every time a newsworthy storm hits, we receive a second storm of talking heads telling us it's from AGW. It's as if we didn't have storms before we flipped on a light switch.Again, it comes down to sample sizes and understanding you can't isolate one extreme and rare storm and reasonably draw conclusions from it. In a nutshell, the sky certainly isn't falling, and violent tornadoes, snow fall, Tropical Storms, and hurricanes are not increasing in frequency or intensity during the long-term average. ANR), Walter Energy ( WLT), Arch Coal ( ACI), Peabody Energy ( BTU - Get Report) and James River Coal ( JRCC). Other winners include power companies that sell electric power including Xcel Energy ( XEL - Get Report), Duke Energy ( DUK - Get Report), Southern Company ( SO - Get Report), American Electric Power ( AEP - Get Report). Finally, companies that consume large amounts of electricity relative to their revenue and income include Alcoa ( AA - Get Report), Amazon ( AMZN - Get Report) and indirectly through Amazon, Netflix ( NFLX - Get Report). At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @RobertWeinstein This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.