Conference Board and Environmental Defense join forces

by William Yeatman on September 14, 2004

in Politics

 The Conference Board, a nonprofit business membership organization, published an executive action report on September 7 titled Climate Change: Clear TrajectoryHaze in the Details.  The report is based on the global warming propaganda conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see the June 23 issue).  The Conference Board notes that their participation in the AAAS event was facilitated by the pressure group Environmental Defense and thanks the Turner Foundation for financial support.

 The report quotes Michael Oppenheimer, now at Princeton University and former long-time holder of the Barbara Streisand Chair at Environmental Defense, on sea-level rise.  It also refers to Richard Alleys flipping-the-canoe theory (see article above on McCain) and, mixing metaphors, asks whether melting glaciers, such as on Mt. Kilimanjaro, are the canary in the coal mine.  On the subject of computer climate models, the Conference Board quotes Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research: Myth: Models cant simulate what weve already observed.  Reality: Models are doing quite well simulating the 20th century and up to 1000 years previously.

The reports author, Dr. Charles Burnett, said, Given the increasing costs of, and uncertainties surrounding, the reliability of traditional energy sources and growing pressures for higher standards of citizenship and contributions to global sustainability, businesses that ignore the debate over climate change do so at their peril.

The report comments, seemingly oblivious to the climate policies of the company referred to, Corporate boards will be increasingly expected to evaluate potential risks associated with climate change.  The frequently cited Enron effect will likely result in increased pressure on boards to evaluate potential costs and risks associated with mitigation either of carbon emissions or the effects of actual climate changes.

A recent report requested by the shareholders of American Electric Power showed that the costs to the company of the relatively modest and ineffective Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Act could amount to close to $1 billion by 2030 (Greenwire, Sept. 7).  There is little pressure on business to disclose the potential costs of regulations to reduce emissions.

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