|Michael Slezak: You now champion a low-carbon economy. Why do you want a seat on the board of BHP, the world's biggest mining company?
Ian Dunlop: If I got on it, I would hope to spark a much more extensive discussion on climate issues. We need emergency action if we are going to stop the worst outcomes of climate change becoming a reality. Corporations have been waiting for government to develop the right policies. But it has become clear that governments are never going to provide that leadership, so if we want to see serious action then business is going to have to lead it.
Slezak: Why should businesses take the lead?
Dunlop: It is in their own interest. If you look at the science, we are headed for a world, on current policies, where temperatures will go up by at least 4 °C by the end of the century. Business in that world is not possible. The potential damage to shareholder value is huge.
Slezak: You got 4 per cent of the vote, far off what's needed for a BHP board seat. Is that a failure?
Dunlop: The board was against my appointment, so I needed investors to give me sufficient votes to countermand that. A lot of them were supportive but didn't want to appear to lack confidence in the existing board. But this is just the beginning. I will try again. So no, I don't regard it as a failure.
Slezak: What should companies such as BHP do?
Dunlop: First, stop investments in thermal coal and then phase it out completely. But in Australia, we are talking of doubling coal exports in 10 to 15 years and quadrupling oil and gas exports. It is suicidal.
Slezak: How might such a change work in practice?
Dunlop:It is not a question of divesting these resources. That solves nothing from an environmental point of view. You have to leave them in the ground.[…]
Slezak: Why is it so hard for businesses to change?
Dunlop: Climate change, for both the company and most big industries, is still what they call an ESG issue—environmental, social and governance—which has become a focus in the last 10 years or so. But ESG issues are second-order priorities compared with the top-order priority of shareholder value. And people see shareholder value as some magical thing independent of climate change. To me this has always been a big mistake.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—NY Times Self-Censorship, AKA "the President's Press":
|Whether Bush's secret order to eavesdrop on Americans constitutes an impeachable offense is debatable. Whether the New York Times has betrayed the American people is not.
Let's get this straight. The NY Times has this story which, as it reports, has been confirmed by a dozen officials. It possibly had this information prior to the election. And when the White House asks pretty please can you not let the American people know we're destroying their civil rights, the NY Times says "sure"? Because, you know, Americans don't need to be informed as they go to the polls. Better to keep them ignorant and scared--and Republican.
The NY Times and the White House yank out the tired "national security" excuse for delaying the article's publication. But does disclosing the fact the government is spying on its citizens really tip off terrorists?
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Ron Fournier's upset again. And this time, if you agree it's "both sides," then you're an O-bot! GW Bridge scandal continues to roil, sort of, for Chris Christie. An extended look at the year-end review of GunFAIL, particularly accidental shootings of kids. Reports out of Florida say 4 in 10 people treated at hospitals for gunshot wounds were the victims of GunFAIL episodes, about double the national rate. And fatal GunFAILs there quadrupled in 2012! Plus, an expansive reading of Joan Walsh's "Poverty nation: How America created a low-wage work swamp."