Andrew Dessler: Why Investors DO Need to Worry About Climate Change

June 28, 2022

I posted a few weeks ago about a talk given by a banking executive urging his colleagues not to worry about climate change.

Yesterday, Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M offered a response, above – and of course you don’t really even have to be a physicist to get the depth of delusional thinking and amoral analysis.

New York Times:

HSBC (so named after a founding member Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) is in damage-control mode after a senior executive said policymakers and central bankers had exaggerated the financial risk of climate change.

Stuart Kirk, the head of responsible investing for the bank’s asset management division, last week compared predictions about the negative effects of climate change to “Y2K” theories that a computer glitch would cause havoc at midnight on Jan. 1, 2000.

“There’s always some nut job telling me about the end of the world,” he said at a Financial Times conference in a presentation titled, “Why investors need not worry about climate risk.”

He added: “What bothers me about this one is the amount of work these people make me do. The amount of regulation coming down the pipes. The number of people in my team and at HSBC dealing with financial risk from climate change.”

Later in the speech, he said: “Who cares if Miami is six meters underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six meters underwater for ages, and that’s a really nice place. We will cope with it.”

Note: Amsterdam is about 6 feet, not 6 meters, below sea level.

You’ll love the way Kirk predicts in 2100 “we going to be 500 percent Richer”...

This rant from Al Gore showed up shortly after, which appears to be a response.

2 Responses to “Andrew Dessler: Why Investors DO Need to Worry About Climate Change”

  1. ubrew12 Says:

    Stuart Kirk: “At a big bank like ours, at HSBC, what do people think the average loan length is? It’s six years. What happens to the planet at year 7 is actually irrelevant…” Firstly, it’s bracing to see such an admission of myopia from a ‘Captain of Capitalism’. But I would point out that HSBC, at ‘year 7’ is unlikely to exist. It’s named for Hong Kong and Shanghai, two ocean-front cities. Shanghai is 13 feet above sea level. So ‘Year 7’ is going to be a really bad year for Shanghai.

    A society that mitigates climate change can spend its 21st century investment capital colonizing Space. A society that doesn’t will spend its capital on sea walls, if the Kirks get their way. We’re at 1 C of anomaly and already there are furious discussions in the American West about whether they should get their water from the Mississippi, the Great Lakes, or the Pacific Ocean. Think about the cost, to say nothing of the liability.

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    Further note: As frequent flyers here know, Miami, built on sand & porous coral, CANNOT be protected by sea walls.


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