Our guest blogger is Peter Altman, Climate Campaign Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Over the last several months, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been holding “State Climate Dialogues” around the country, ostensibly to “stimulate a national discussion on key climate change issues.” These are much more monologue than dialogue though, and the punchline is pretty consistently a prediction of economic disaster if the Congress creates a serious climate policy.
If the Chamber’s Chicken Littles stay on message, anyone attending today’s event in Detroit, Michigan is likely to hear the same old message. But many experts disagree with this view of gloom and doom.
For instance, Dr. Martin Kushler, director of the Utilities Program at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, says:
The claim that taking steps to address climate change would be bad for the economy is simply not true. We know from proven experience that we can save electricity through energy efficiency programs at one-third the cost of a new power plant. With a strong energy efficiency policy we can save money and reduce carbon emissions at the same time.
Dr. Andrew Hoffman, associate professor of management & organizations, associate professor of natural resources and associate director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, said:
Think of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as a market shift, one driven by regulations at the city, state, national and international levels. But one also driven by consumer, investor, insurance and energy markets. Any company executive who ignores these shifts does so at their peril.
This week’s event in Detroit is just the latest stop in the Chamber of Commerce’s Chicken Little Roadshow to gin up worries about efforts to solve our energy and climate problems. Speakers at these events rely on questionable assumptions and even more questionable results to make their case. Read more