Mr Buffett bets the farm


From Dr James Hansen’s blog, of today.

So, Mr. Buffett, I am heartened by the words in your last annual report, where you conclude that continued inaction on climate change “is foolhardy.” You wrote: “Call this Noah’s Law: If an Ark may be essential for survival (your emphasis), begin building it today.”

Your Ark’s characteristics will need to be informed by science and practical matters. Fossil fuel energy, encouraged and subsidized by our governments, has powered our economic development for more than a century. Science now informs us, unambiguously, that fossil fuel emissions must be phased out rapidly, or our children will inherit a climate system out of their control.

I recognize and salute your commitment, with Mr. Gates and others, to invest in development of clean energy technologies. Such R&D is an essential component of sound energy policies. Yet even your resources are tiny in comparison to the total fossil fuel economy.

We need good national and global energy policies to move the world off fossil fuels onto clean energies. However, the Paris climate accord, signed with pomp and circumstance, is only a precatory agreement, based on the hope that each of 190 nations will choose an effective “cap” for their emissions. But when a U.S. citizen is responsible for 25 times more emissions than an Indian citizen, what cap can we expect India to adapt and how would it be enforced?

Dr Hansen has been invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Berkshire Hathaway Corporation on 30th April 2016 in support of a shareholder resolution on potential impacts of climate disruption on its business which Mr Buffett and their Board opposes.

To quote oceanographer and geophysicist Wally Broecker, “The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking at it with sticks.”

It’s odd that Mr Buffett does not respect the findings of paleoclimatology:

About ecoquant

See Retired data scientist and statistician. Now working projects in quantitative ecology and, specifically, phenology of Bryophyta and technical methods for their study.
This entry was posted in adaptation, Anthropocene, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, BNEF, climate change, climate disruption, climate justice, corporate litigation on damage from fossil fuel emissions, environment, extended supply chains, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, hurricanes, Hyper Anthropocene, insurance, investing, James Hansen, liberal climate deniers, meteorology, oceanography, physics, rate of return regulation, rationality, reasonableness, science, statistical dependence, statistics, sustainability, the right to be and act stupid, the tragedy of our present civilization, the value of financial assets, Wally Broecker, Warren Buffett, zero carbon. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a reply. Commenting standards are described in the About section linked from banner.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.