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Former climate denier turned realist rallies businesses to take action

In this session at Natural Products Expo East, President of the Niskanen Center, Jerry Taylor, tells his journey from climate denier to climate advocate, shares compelling arguments that will move climate skeptics and gives the top reasons why businesses need to start hedging climate risk.

“There is a very strong economic business case for acting. If you look at the academic literature among the economists who write on this topic, the consensus is that if we don’t do anything about climate change—by the year 2100, global GDP will probably be 5-10% less than it might have been.”

—Jerry Taylor, Niskanen Center

Highlights:

  • Taylor wrote a lot of the climate denial talking points and was a climate denier for 20 years at the Cato Institute. 
  • A look into the Republican party policies that will help businesses know how to engage in meaningful conversations about climate change. 
  • Taylor shares the key moments that lead him to rethink his position on climate science.
  • Even climate skeptics acknowledge that climate change will have a huge cost, they just think that the benefits outweigh the costs. This is not a libertarian or moralistic viewpoint.
  • Another breaking point for Taylor was in the mid-2000’s when he could not find a single economist in academia who argued against aggressive policy response to climate change.
  • Uncertainty is not a place where you don’t want to act at all, it’s a place to act and to hedge risk. Climate change is a non-diversifiable risk.
  • There is a very strong economic and business case for climate action. If we don't act, we could incur a “great depression-like” state in the economy. That is the main point to make with anyone who believes in capitalism, free enterprise and property rights.

This session—Keynote: The Journey from Climate Skeptic to Climate Advocate—was recorded at Natural Products Expo East 2018. 

 

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