Corporate Profits vs Environmental Prophets

By Mike Bryan | October 11, 2013

The latest study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says a “hot world is a hungry world.” Unfortunately, global warming has become a political issue rather than a science issue and is based more on economics than logic. Because no matter the degree of temperature rise, no matter to what extent humans are to blame, anything we can do to try and mitigate either of those two effects is to our benefit. 

It’s not as though we need to do years more research to try and determine where the pollution is generated. We know where the pollution is originating and what’s causing it. To not impose strict regulations to minimize the emissions from known sources is environmentally irresponsible and is often being ignored simply because of profits.

I like profit, it’s what makes the world go around at least on an economic scale. I also like to breathe clean air and want to know that as world inhabitants we are doing everything we can to protect our environment for future generations. Unfortunately, when it comes down to corporate profits vs. environmental prophets, corporate profits are currently leading on the environmental scoreboard. 

One of the problems is that the places on earth with the least profits are the very places that the prophets predict will be the most effected. 

“As temperatures climb and oceans warm, tropical and subtropical regions will face sharp changes in annual rainfall, says the IPCC report. “East Africa can expect to experience increased short rains, while West Africa should expect heavier monsoons. Burma, Bangladesh and India can expect stronger cyclones; elsewhere in southern Asia, heavier summer rains are anticipated.” 

Governments around the world need to begin basing their climate change policies less on the advice of profit-oriented industry and more on the predictions of global scientists. Call me a cynic, but I have a difficult time believing the public relations spokespersons for industry who suggest that this whole climate change thing is a hoax and call into question the collective judgement of 97 percent of the scientific community. 

The ethanol industry has known for decades that what we do contributes to a cleaner environment. The oil industry can’t make that claim, we can. We may not be a panacea for stopping global warming, but we are far better at contributing towards the reduction of CO2 than fossil fuels. For that we can, and should, be immensely proud. 

So while we all like corporate profits, we need to start heeding the environmental prophets and as a global community do the right thing. It may sound utopian, but it’s high time government, industry and community began working together to address global warming and stop this nonsense of denial.

That’s the way I see it.

Author: Mike Bryan
Chairman, BBI International