Energy

Enviros Convince Former NASA Scientist To Debate Buffett On Global Warming

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Global warming warrior James Hansen is slated to debate billionaire Warren Buffett on global warming leading up to a shareholder’s climate change resolution vote at a Berkshire Hathaway meeting.

Buffett, the head of insurance holding company Berkshire, said in February he opposes a resolution directing the company to conduct assessments on how so-called man-made global warming affects the company’s business model.

The Nebraska Peace Foundation, a social activist and environmentalist group owning a large portion of stock in Buffett’s company, convinced Hansen — a former NASA climate scientist — to address a shareholder’s meeting this weekend.

The foundation hopes the former NASA scientist can sway Buffett and his fellow board directors to vote in favor of the resolution.

“Hansen’s comments will focus on the need for urgent action to confront this climate peril and the need for bold leadership by the business community,” a press statement from the foundation’s website said.

The foundation and sister organization, Bold Nebraska, aim to hold a rally outside the annual meeting in an effort to heap added pressure on Buffett and the directors to change their position on the resolution.

Bold Alliance, a self-proclaimed grassroots group, circulated a petition across Iowa in March asking citizens push Attorney General Tom Miller to investigate ExxonMobil for allegedly covering up its knowledge of global warming issues.

The activist group’s campaign was created as a result of a September investigation of ExxonMobil conducted by InsideClimate News and others.

Buffett and the directors are unlikely to budge from their current position.

“As a citizen, you may understandably find climate change keeping you up at nights. As a homeowner in a low-lying area, you may wish to consider moving. But when you are thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries,” Buffett said in a February letter to shareholders.

Buffett believes it is bunkum to carve out insurance instruments to guard against what Berkshire calls “super cats,” or super catastrophes caused by global warming.

“Up to now, climate change has not produced more frequent or more costly hurricanes or other weather-related events covered by insurance,” the filing Buffett wrote reads. “As a consequence, U.S. super-cat rates have fallen steadily in recent years, which is why we have backed away from that business.”

The foundation’s resolution, meanwhile, says that the effects from climate change on property and person will likely put at risk the investments made in Berkshire.

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