The Wall Street Journal prides itself as America’s business newspaper of record when, in fact, the editorial board clearly seems to have an anti (sensible) business agenda. Amid the booming “green” business market, they went forward and held what sounds like it was a highly interesting conference last week: Eco:nomics. Amid all of the interesting panels, presentations, and discussions, there is an interesting backstory that the WSJ is unlikely to front page: business leader after business leader rejected the idea that dealing with global warming will have devastating impacts on the economy.
Eco:Nomics attendee David Roberts, of Grist, has done a quite insightful and downright witty post on Eco:Nomics: The decline and fall of the ideologues, subtitled “Delayers and doomsayers receive a chilly reception from pragmatic business leaders.”
My recommendation: go read it but here are some highlights.
The conservative ideologues … thought they were going to put the CEOs’ feet to the fire. Force business community to face some hard truths. Expose carbon policy as an economy killer!
Instead, they ended up looking small, shrill, and utterly marginalized. Despite their claims to be pro-business, the business community disdains them.
Yes, the business leaders are facing hard truths, inconvenient truths. Global Warming is real and they’re contributing to it. But, they see paths toward reducting those contributions to be paths to contribute to the bottom line. That path toward greater profitability is one that seems to outrage (or stun?) the WSJ editorial board ideologues.
Are CEOs upset at going Green?
moderator and right-wing polemicist Kim Strassel of the WSJ editorial board paused to ask the audience, “is there a CEO who went down this road [going ‘green’] and hasn’t been happy with the experience?” She looked around the room expectantly, even hopefully.
Not a single CEO raised their hand to say that they regretted “going Green”. Hmm … and that is at a WSJ conference seemingly packed to try to get some negative responses.
And, it wasn’t only business leaders.
That wasn’t my favorite. My favorite came when Strassel asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Do you see any pros in global warming?” For just a moment he was struck dumb, as though waiting for a punchline. Finally: “No.”Shouldn’t keep going at stealing David’s “favorite” and “favoriter” lines …
Want to see an interesting dialogue. See this interview with Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott and the repeated attempts to get him to say that dealing with Global Warming is bad for business. Including the strongly stated truthiness (and false) canard that every study says dealing with global warming will be bad for the economy (even though, of course, that there are industry-funded studies that do say this).
Not dealing with Global Warming will be disastrous for the economy, massively destructive. Thus, dealing with Global Warming (even at financial cost, which is not preordained) will, by definition, be better for the WSJ’s totem pole “the economy”. They haven’t gotten it to date. Maybe their rejection by Corporate leaders might help them get it now.
See also Watthead’s The Last Gasp of the Climate Deniers, Detractors, and Doomsayers and Warming Law’s CEI’s ideas can no longer compete (outside of Congress and the EPA) (although Oval Office should have been there too).