"Exclusive video: Sir Richard Branson on the Carbon War Room, peak oil, and why dyslexia has made him a better communicator"
“Fuel prices could easily go through $200 a barrel” in the near future
Late last year, Sir Richard Branson founded a new nonprofit, the Carbon War Room. The objective of CWR is to “bring together successful entrepreneurs in collaboration with the most respected institutions, scientists, national security experts, and business leaders to implement the change required to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
The Virgin Group founder told Time in December, “There are some of us who believe that the problem of warming is as bad as the First and Second World Wars combined. It’s that serious, and you know the key is carbon, [but] there’s no war room coordinating the attack on carbon.”
I interviewed the British billionaire at the CWR’s “Creating Climate Wealth” conference last week. He had some fascinating comments on peak oil, specific measures he is pursuing in his airline business to reduce emissions, and one unexpected ‘benefit’ of his dyslexia:
So dyslexia drove him to using simpler language, a cornerstone of effective messaging (see “Why scientists aren’t more persuasive, Part 1“).
For the record, he seems like a genuinely sincere guy. And given the diminishing prospects for federal action — and hence diminishing prospects for global deal — we will need as many hard-core entrepreneurs working as hard as possible to get us off of our current emissions path and jumpstart the transition to a clean energy economy.
For more on what they are doing in the shipping industry, see “The Carbon War Room starts to bust barriers in shipping,” which has my interview with Jigar Shah, the clean energy financing guru who now heads the CWR.