THE CONVERSATION: Business Must Drive the Social Debate over Climate Change

Friday, January 24, 2014
Andy Hoffman, Director, Erb Institute

The New York Times posted an article today entitled Industry Awakens to the Threat of Climate Change, describing how Coke, Nike, the World Bank and even the tycoons in Davos are looking at the physical impacts of climate change as a business risk with real dollars attached to them in the form of lost resources (i.e. water and agricultural products), disrupted supply chains (due to extreme weather) and other material issues. To my mind, this is the kind of news, and the only kind of news, that will shift the public debate over climate change. Scientists can talk until they are blue in the face about the models and reams of data behind them that point to the reality of human-induced climate change. But until it costs us money, a vast number of people will not take it seriously. They will still ask, “Do you really believe that theory?”

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