Climate Change Profits

We’ve discussed climate change/global warming quit a bit on this blog and I’m still learning about the topic. I ran into an interesting element on Straight Dope that complicates the issue for many people: who profits? As Cecil says, the distinction between profiting and profiteering is eroding.

In the spirit of Old Testament-style judgment, I thought I’d arrange various ways one might cash in on climate change from least to most evil.

He goes on to list ways to profit, from Renewable Energy, an industry in the right place at the right time, to Arctic Drilling, which gets an evil nod because of the ” circularity at work here: by burning enough fossil fuels to warm the earth sufficiently to melt the polar ice caps, we’ve now gained access to yet more fossil fuels buried under those ice caps.”

You might want to invest in companies that sell storm surge gates to coastal cities or snowmaking machines to Alpine ski resorts.

Cecil doesn’t mention the possibility that evil scientists profit by faking studies to extract more grant money – a terribly serious charge that shouldn’t be thrown around without proof (of which I’ve never seen any.) I can be cynical myself, and that goes too far for me. But I’d like to know how every person who testifies before Congress makes their living.

Whether the topic is health, housing, gun safety, education… or anything – there will always be someone whose job depends on the status quo or on change. There will be winners and losers for every action taken by government, the marketplace, or individuals.

I take my philosophical stand from Star Trek.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one.
Sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

In Star Trek’s universe, you can base a movie on both lines. It depends. No really important choices fit on a bumper sticker. I’m still convinced by the (vast) scientific agreement that human activity is the main force behind our current rise in average global temperature, and that rise will yield more losers than winners. It’s already baked into the cake, if you’ll forgive the heat-related pun. But we can change course, and good people can make good decisions despite the current insanely partisan politics. I’m not ready to believe everyone around me is evil.

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