January 23rd, 2007

Big brains at Davos re “climate change”

Posted in Earth Agony by ed

“Climate change” seems to have become, across 2006, the authorized euphemism in the corporate press, where “global warming” is now rare.

Opinion at Davos seems mixed re global warming seems mixed:

A.  John McCain is on one of 17 panels on “climate change” at the annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland of the brutish masters of business administration who run the so-called western democracies. Apparently “the environment” is atop the To Do List. Busy beavers.

B.   January 23, NY TIMES:Where are the snows of yesteryear? That is a question that many attendees of this year’s conference are pondering as they arrive in Davos and notice that the scenery looks a lot less wintery than in previous years. Coincidentally or not, the strange weather comes as Davos has put the issue of climate change high on its agenda, scheduling 17 sessions to discuss it.

Floyd Norris of The New York Times was struck by the difference even before he pulled into town. He sent us this report:

The first thing I noticed as the bus approached Davos for this year’s World Economic Forum was how green and beautiful the hillsides are. There are patches of snow, but it looked like a magnificent spring.

But it isn’t spring.

“It’s a catastrophe,” sad the shuttle bus driver taking me to my hotel. “It should be 10 degrees colder.”

There is skiing in the mountains above Davos, but in town most of the roads and sidewalks are clear. This is my fourth forum, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

C.   January 24 NYT
The Times’s Floyd Norris spoke with one Davos attendee, PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Sam DiPiazza, about climate change and sent us this account:

It is not just the politicians in the United States who are unconcerned about global warming.

PricewaterhouseCoopers does a survey of chief executives every year, and this year it asked if they were concerned about climate change. For the world as a whole, 40 percent said they were at least somewhat concerned. In the United States, the figure is 16 percent.

Sam DiPiazza, the chief executive of PWC, had one explanation: “It won’t affect next quarter’s earnings.”

But he said some chief executives were showing more concern, and added: “Maybe the North American C.E.O.’s will notice there is a lot more green outside than snow.”

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  1. ed says:

    NY Times reports:

    “There has been some grumbling on the ground here at Davos about this year’s celebrity-free (or nearly so) approach. “The no-celebrity thing was a big mistake,” one of the world’s largest financiers, who asked for anonymity, told The New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at a party sponsored by Forbes. “The celebs added a sense of energy and spice to the forum.”

    The World Economic Forum has long known as a snowy playground where politicians, business leaders and celebrities socialize and talk big ideas.

    But this year, stars like Angelina Jolie and Sharon Stone, both of whom made splashy appearances at previous meetings, were not invited.

    In Mr. Sorkin’s article on Friday, the event’s founder explained the thinking behind his decision:

    “In an age when a celebrity’s wardrobe can garner more coverage than geopolitics, Klaus Schwab, 67, the founder of the event, was worried that the conference, styled as “committed to improving the state of the world,” had lost its sense of seriousness and purpose.

    “I have great admiration for using celebrity status for good causes,” Mr. Schwab said. “We have given those people a chance to draw attention to certain issues. But those people have to be very careful not to go overboard.”

    January 27th, 2007 at 11:10 am

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