Business Starts to Get Real About Global Warming

It’s no secret that a broad consensus exists in the scientific community: Climate change is a real, human-caused problem that needs to be dealt with, quickly. But it may come as a surprise that a similar consensus is steadily growing in the business community as well. Business Week reports in a cover feature that companies in industries ranging from insurance to — believe it or not — power are coming around to the idea that getting proactive about lowering carbon dioxide emissions can open up opportunities and have a positive impact on the bottom line, not to mention help avert climatic disaster. Many industry leaders are even pushing for federal regulations, hoping for long-term predictability rather than a patchwork of state rules. As Wayne H. Brunetti, CEO and chairman of Xcel Energy Inc., says, “Give us a date, tell us how much we need to cut, give us the flexibility to meet the goals, and we’ll get it done.”