Profiting from Global Warming

Posted February 6, 2014 at 9:54pm

Time Ideas provides a fascinating overview of how numerous corporations are taking advantage of global warming to boost profits.  

Using Bayer as one example, Time Ideas reports that the company has introduced a number of products –  allergy medicine, mosquito nets, insecticides, storm-proof building spray — all designed to address a hotter, more volatile climate.  

Corporations see new markets and profits: “In the Netherlands, the stock of the seawall-building company Arcadis jumped by 6% the moment New York City — a potential client — was struck by Hurricane Sandy.”  

But this opportunity for profit may mask the overarching crisis:  

“Americans often frame climate change as a tragedy of the commons: we all pursue our selfish lives, we all emit, and together we all will someday pay. But this is a dangerous way to understand the future and our responsibilities to it. That some are planning to get rich from the warming world only underscores the reality of climate change: its impacts, though mostly bad for most people in most places, are deeply uneven.”  

“This unevenness suggests that self-interest, however rational, may never be enough to jump-start real climate action in the wealthy countries where it’s most needed.”  

Crossposted at Wonk Wire.