As Major Companies Initiate Carbon Pricing – Another CEO tells Climate Deniers: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

March 11, 2014


WASHINGTON — More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming.

The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters.

A new report by the environmental data company CDP has found that at least 29 companies, some with close ties to Republicans, includingExxon Mobil, Walmart and American Electric Power, are incorporating a price on carbon into their long-term financial plans.

Both supporters and opponents of action to fight global warming say the development is significant because businesses that chart a financial course to make money in a carbon-constrained future could be more inclined to support policies that address climate change.


Virgin Group chairman and founder, Sir Richard Branson, has said businesses should “stand up” to climate change deniers and they should “get out of our way”.

Branson said he was “enormously impressed” with Apple’s chief executive for telling climate change sceptics to ditch shares in the technology company.

At Apple’s annual meeting last month, Tim Cook responded angrily to questions from a rightwing thinktank, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), about the profitability of investing in renewable energy, saying: “If you want me to do things only for ROI [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

Writing on his blog, Branson said he “wholeheartedly” supported Cook’s comments and that every business in the world should emulate Cook’s goal of wanting “to leave the world better than we found it”, an aim Branson said Virgin shared too.

“The NCPPR stated there is an ‘absence of compelling data’ on climate change. If 97% of climate scientists agreeing that climate-warming trends over the past century are due to human activities isn’t compelling data, I don’t know what is,” Branson said, referring to a survey last year of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals that found 97.1% agreed climate change is man-made.

Branson said that businesses should take a stand against climate scepticism. “More businesses should be following Apple’s stance in encouraging more investment in sustainability. While Tim [Cook] told sustainability sceptics to ‘get out of our stock’, I would urge climate change deniers to get out of our way,” he said.

The entrepreneur hosted a summit of Caribbean leaders last month at his home in the British Virgin Islands, brokering a deal to help finance renewable energy projects in the region to reduce the islands’ dependence on expensive oil imports.


40 Responses to “As Major Companies Initiate Carbon Pricing – Another CEO tells Climate Deniers: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way”

  1. E-Poet hit on an important point, which is to make planes lighter. The less they weigh, the less fuel they need. That, plus designing efficiency into every component on-board. The idea of ‘beaming’ the energy up from the ground, I’m sorry, but no way. Cut a high energy beam up through the atmosphere, kill any living things in its path, plus that kind of energy will most certainly react with the compounds in the air and probably create free radicals. Bad idea. If you’ve seen the 3-D animations of flight patterns around the globe in a single day, that looks like a LOT of free radical chemicals.

    Personally I think the more realistic 3-D holographic computing can get, the less air travel there will be (for business anyway). Virtual rooms where people actually feel like they’re in the same room. Imagine an engineer in India standing next to an engineer in the US, looking at a real instrument they are designing. They don’t HAVE to be in the same room to ‘be in the same room’. This is how you reduce (not eliminate) air travel.

    And the reality is, until people become too poor to afford to fly, air travel will continue, at least for vacations. Even IF the best solution is to stop flying.

    So bottom line is, until there’s a major breakthrough discovery in propulsion, we’re going to be stuck with the emissions from flight.

    • Continuing on about the beaming energy idea – this also would create a relative Nightmare for managing where planes could fly, since you wouldn’t want random other planes cutting across the beam. I’m even less convinced about this idea than just having the nuclear source directly on-board.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        The “beaming energy” idea is for crackpots—don’t waste your time thinking about it. The only place you will find anyone talking about it is on the right wing-nut sites, and they say it’s a government conspiracy that is keeping this “miracle solution” hidden from the world.

        The world of real science dismissed it many decades ago. Google Tesla and wireless power transmission for some fun reading , but don’t be taken in by the small scale demonstrations that “it works”. Getting a couple hundred bulbs to glow is just a circus trick compared to making the idea workable on a commercial scale.

        • I compare “beaming energy” a bit with hydrogen energy as you have to spend more energy into making the “transfer energy” than just using the electrical power directly instead. Although I can see the advantage of being able to transport energy in a more compact form as hydrogen fuel cells, I still think we would be better off if we found a way to use the electricity more directly or through better battery storage. I see a lot of people opposing electrical vehicles come up with all kinds of crackpot ideas on how they can fill their tank with something else than petrol.

  2. […] 2014/03/11: PSinclair: As Major Companies Initiate Carbon Pricing – Another CEO tells Climate … […]

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