Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Disaster Capitalism

This interesting Mother Jones article takes a look at how global warming is already changing the business climate, both by pushing some businesses to the brink and by creating new opportunities for others. The author also praises the 'bracing' clarity that a bottom line tends to bring to political debates:
If a firm's bottom line is going to be affected by a changing climate—say, when its supply chains dry up because of drought, or its real estate gets swamped by sea-level rise—then it doesn't particularly matter whether or not the executives want to believe in climate change. Railing at scientists for massaging tree-ring statistics won't stop the globe from warming if the globe is actually, you know, warming.
The article focuses on three fairly intuitive examples--arctic shipping, the ski industry and disaster insurance--but it seems likely that there will be others in the future.

The obvious corollary to this is that there are big investment opportunities here for climate skeptics. I mean, if you really thought that climate change is a hoax (as does Sen. Inhofe) and that everyone else is simply over-reacting, then there is clearly a lot of money to be made selling things like beachfront property or cheap storm insurance.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Really interesting article. Thanks for posting!