As mainstream U.S. presidential candidates persist in pretending that global warming may not be real, at least one sector of society is already busy planning for the coming catastrophe: big corporations.
Though major international corporations tend to be amoral machines for collecting revenue without regard to fairness or human life, they do have one thing going for them: when there's money on the line, they don't waste time fucking around. You will never see a major international corporation prancing around fancy-free and acting as if the seas aren't going to rise and whatnot, because they have assets to protect. Failing to plan for global warming due to some weird anti-science bias could potentially cost them billions of dollars. Therefore they will plan. (This will not stop them from making ample political donations to the Republican party, sadly.)
A new report from the Carbon Disclosure Project (now called the CDP) shows that this dynamic is already well underway. Corporate planning for the effects of global warming is in fact accelerating at a rapid clip—just like global warming itself! The report polled big public companies about how climate change is affecting them, and across the board, found that most companies are busily filling metaphorical sandbags for the coming flood:
45% of risks were described by companies as current or predicted to fall within the next 1-5 years in 2013, up from 26% in 2011
50% of the risks disclosed were described as more likely than not to virtually certain in 2013, up from 34% in 2011
68% of the disclosed physical risks [would directly impact a company's operations] in 2013, up from 51% in 2011
The general takeaway here is that 1) Global warming is real, 2) Corporations are increasingly making concrete plans for it, because they understand the concept of science, and because they have trillions of dollars at stake, and 3) Can someone please explain this to the business-lionizing Republicans who continue to cast doubts on whether global warming is real?
The prospect of scientists and environmentalists and major business interests all converging on the conclusion that global warming is an existential problem that must be addressed soon is our best chance for actually getting something real done. Even coal and oil industry lobbyists will lose their Congressional handmaidens when every other industry begins to turn against them, out of simple self-preservation. Ideologies tend to fall by the wayside when both life and money are at stake.
Marco Rubio is a dangerous asshole.
[The full report. Photo: AP]