The risks of climate change denial

Two reports emerged recently which, in their own ways, should count as turning points in the public’s perception of climate change. The first, and most disquieting, was put out by the Mauna Loa observatory to impart the dark news that the level of carbon in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million, i.e. within every million units of air, there are now 400 units of CO2. To put that into context, one of the United States’ most formidable climate change activist groups, the 350 movement, takes its name from the safest maximum amount of CO2 in the air. That we have now passed this point – for the first time in three million years – should be making every stakeholder in the climate change ‘debate’, from the President of the United States to the lowliest newspaper sub-editor, sharpen their literal and metaphorical pencils for robustly renewed calls to arms. But, no, the game remains unchanged, most of the principal players seemingly content with their business-as-usual indifference, idly passing the time like Nero as civilisation teeters.

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Divestment from fossil fuels

do_the_math_logoan open letter to the CEO of the ANZ Bank

For Personal Attention: Mike Smith, CEO

Dear Mike,

I figure you’re a decent chap. You’re quoted as saying: “We are focussed on growing our business responsibly, managing risks rather than taking them and approach our role in society with a heightened sense of duty and care towards our customers and the communities we serve.”

You’ve achieved that on one level. Your branch staff are some of the most efficient, knowledgeable, helpful and best-trained workers I’ve come across in retail banking. Well done.

But there’s a serious problem with ANZ activities on the national and international level. Consider these two questions:

  • Would you say it’s wrong to do things that are seriously harmful to the planet’s ecosystem?
  • Would you say it’s wrong to profit financially from doing things that are seriously harmful to the planet’s ecosystem?

So that’s the issue. Is it true that ANZ Bank continues to invest in fossil fuel exploration and extraction? Is it true that ANZ Bank and its investors continue to make profits from destroying the planet’s ecosystem?

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