Energy company CEO: Why do we have to talk about climate change today?
“We understand. We get it.”
The words of the CEO of Southern Company, Thomas Fanning, when asked about climate change. Oops, wait. Not climate change. He said that about how his company was helping ConEd restore power in New York. Here’s what he said about climate change:
I don’t think that the data supports that the storms are more frequent or unusual than they have been in the past. But the point is right now we are not dedicated to getting into an ancillary argument. We gotta get the power back on. That is our business at this point.
That’s great. Let’s get the power back on. But climate change as “an ancillary argument” is like a defense attorney suggesting that the real issue was the failure of the tree to step aside for the car, not the ancillary argument of his client’s drunkenness.
According to SourceWatch, Southern Company’s nearly two dozen coal-burning power plants emitted 164,200,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in 2007. That’s the amount emitted in New York City in 2010, times three.
The CNBC reporter summarized the feelings of those affected by ultrastorm Sandy thusly:
And of course, on behalf of everyone in the Northeast, thanks for the help that you’re providing today.
Yes. Thanks for your help today. We are not, however, appreciative of the years and years of carbon pollution that helped today come about.