Deutsche Bank: “Human-made climate change is a serious long term threat”

Global financial giant Deutsche Bank has crushed the climate skeptics in a new paper released today, finding that “human-made climate change is already happening and is a serious long term threat.” Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has the story.The bank’s DB Climate Change Advisors, working with the Columbia Climate Center at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, reviewed the suite of skeptic claims “” that global warming is a hoax, natural, or good for people “” and found no evidence to support these contrarian positions. Mark Fulton, Global Head of Climate Change Investment Research for Deutsche Bank’s $7 billion in climate funds, concluded that trusting the skeptics “does not seem a gamble worth taking”:

The paper’s clear conclusion is that the primary claims of the skeptics do not undermine the assertion that human-made climate change is already happening and is a serious long term threat. . . .

Simply put, the science shows us that climate change due to emissions of greenhouse gases is a serious problem. Furthermore, due to the persistence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the lag in response of the climate system, there is a very high probability that we are already heading towards a future where warming will persist for thousands of years. Failing to insure against that high probability does not seem a gamble worth taking.

The paper itself, “Climate Change: Addressing the Major Skeptic Arguments,” refutes in short order the top skeptic and conspiracy theorist claims about climate science, including the Climategate smear campaign and purported IPCC errors, much in the style of John Cook’s excellent Skeptical Science website. Of most interest is its treatment of the claim that global warming is good for civilization:

Although adaptation is possible, historical shifts in climate have never occurred under conditions of such high human population numbers. Natural resources and ecosystems are already taxed and further climate perturbation is likely to be disruptive. Climate shifts in the past have frequently been accompanied by collapse of governments or extensive mortality. Increasing population pressure exacerbates the likelihood of pandemics and the destabilization of food-insecure regions can lead to failed states and threats to global security. Humans have survived numerous past changes in climate, but survival of the species is a poor measure of the true consequences and costs associated with adaptation to climate change.

Deutsche Bank is shifting its $700 billion in assets to address the dangers of global warming. “Coal is basically out of the game,” says Mark C. Lewis, Deutsche Bank’s managing director of its Global Carbon Markets desk. Deutsche Bank is financing wind farms in Minnesota, but the United States is largely being left behind.


“They’re asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry,” said Kevin Parker, global head the Deutsche Asset Management Division, about the United States government. Deutsche Bank is instead directing investment opportunities in Germany, Italy, Spain and China. Of Deutsche’s $7 billion expressly focused on climate investment, only $45 million is invested in the United States.

— Brad Johnson

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