Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wake-up call for climate change doubters

Maybe climate change skeptics, most of whom seem to be of the conservative persuasion, would think twice if they knew that many of the biggest countries and industries in the world are taking climate change very seriously.

We're not just talking dotcoms like Google, which have invested heavily in sustainable enterprises, but great grey eminences including major insurance companies and banks. I guess being realistic about the risks from global warming and climate change, and being alert to the enormous growth potential in conservation, green energy and sustainable businesses makes sense when you're responsible for billions or trillions of dollars of investments.

One of those financial heavy hitters, Deutsche Bank,commissioned an independent study from a group of climate experts at Columbia University. The bank asked the experts to look at the scientific evidence for or against the major arguments raised by climate change skeptics in recent years. You've read or heard most of these arguments, for example in George Wills' influential columns in the Washington Post.

The Columbia Unversity team basically concluded that although it's true that Earth's climate is extremely complex and the scientific community's ability to predict exactly what will happen as we continue to pump greenhouse gases and aerosols into the atmosphere, cut down forests, etc., is necessarily imperfect, human-caused climate change is real and serious.

The implication is that any enterprise that wants to succeed in the real world needs to take climate change seriously.

You can read more about the Deutsche Bank study in a recent Suite101 article here.