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Lars G. Josefsson
CEO, Vattenfall

Lars G. Josefsson

Lars G. Josefsson is president and CEO of Vattenfall, Europe's fifth largest generator of electricity and the largest generator of heat with operations in Denmark, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Netherlands and Sweden. He is also a member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change. ALL POSTS

It's Time for Action

Climate change is an extremely complex issue, so there will always be room for people with agendas to raise questions and doubts. Yet the basic mechanism of global warming has been well understood for a century, and the best available knowledge has pointed to a sufficiently clear conclusion for more than a decade now. Humans are affecting the climate.

How much, and what will be the result, are of course somewhat uncertain. But any reasonable decision maker would agree that there is a solid basis for action: we have data, clear trends, and a reasonable estimate of the costs, benefits, and risks involved. It is time to act.

Perhaps this is why some CEOs have been active campaigners for action on climate change. The job of a CEO is to make good decisions, quickly, based on the best available information. We balance long-term benefits versus immediate investment; we have to live with risk and uncertainty. Good decisions don't always rule the day - witness the recent crisis - but business people stand or fall on their ability to assess information and act.

The world owes the IPCC a debt of gratitude for supporting society's imminent decisions with such high-quality information about the climate problem. We now need to take a similar approach to solutions. My company developed, in partnership with McKinsey & Co., a method for evaluating technical solutions to climate change in terms of their costs and potential to help. The International Energy Agency has taken a different approach to the same task, with results that are broadly similar. These studies can play an important role in developing responses that meet the climate challenge effectively and efficiently.

By Lars G. Josefsson  |  October 15, 2009; 3:32 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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J2Hess says: The question is not whether we are changing the environment, including climate. The question is, will we do it consciously, with a view to our future health and economic well-being, or will we do it heedlessly and inflict the consequences on our children?

I'm willing to make some sacrifice for my children.

TS: Agreed. I am appalled at the greed and denial I see by the Right Wing/Libertarian factions.

Posted by: truthseeker1 | October 19, 2009 8:52 PM
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FLIPPO10 argues that we don't have to ability to change global climate.

Research in paleoclimatology has shown that life itself has changed the climate by altering the atmosphere. No reasonable person can deny that our global activities, beginning with agriculture, have changed the distribution of species on the earth. It is entirely reasonable to conjecture that this will have an effect on climate.

Yes, the earth is vast. That doesn't mean that the impact of our activities is negligible. Only a half-century ago, it was commonly assumed that our oceans were so vast that the supply of fish was inexhaustible. Since then, numerous fisheries have collapsed from over-catch, and we now find mercury throughout the marine food-chain.

The question is not whether we are changing the environment, including climate. The question is, will we do it consciously, with a view to our future health and economic well-being, or will we do it heedlessly and inflict the consequences on our children?

I'm willing to make some sacrifice for my children.

Posted by: j2hess | October 18, 2009 5:37 PM
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Being a student of Anthropology and a retired Construction Superintedent on many green projects, waste water, pollution control, wish to make a comment.

A Spaniard named Pizzaro came upon the Los Angeles Basin, and noted in his diary, "visibility was limited due to the smoke and haze". this was about, 1550. What happened a metropolis was built in a basin, now noted with poor ventilation, it has a temperature inversion problem.

A natural geological and climatic problem.

Then we have the known "Ring of Fire", the number of volcanoes have decreased, which theoretically means the Earth is cooling, the decrease in volcanic activity was before the first ice age.

Man did not cause the ice age, just as man hasn't caused the natural global warming from the ice age.

Yes man is destroying many things, but global climatic conditions cannot be controlled.

The problem I have is, many of the problems facing todays population is a definite concern, but since this has taken over several thousand years, there is no crisis.

Only a crisis for those who wish to control, it's political.

Posted by: flippo10 | October 17, 2009 8:11 PM
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The computer models that are relied on for the dire predictions are wrong over and over again. The same people who make the models the basis for their draconian solutions would never invest their own money based on similarly shoddy financial models. I don't care about the conspiracy theories on either side. I just want to see a public debate of the actual science. All we ever hear is "the debate is over," or "thousands of scientists say," or "the science is clear." When will the folks making the GWG claims actually address the seams in the "consensus" science??????

Posted by: phiggits | October 17, 2009 12:40 PM
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Global warming has not been understood for more than a century. In fact, jut a few years ago, most of the world's scientists were predicting global cooling.

Mr. Josefesson, like so many of the global warmists, is financially linked to the global warming concept and is not one who should be commenting on it.

Posted by: mike85 | October 17, 2009 11:56 AM
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Problem for this entire forum is that it ignores thousands of scientists who have as much evidence of cooling as the manufacturers of the "warming crisis" have of warming. Follow the money. Every advocate of the warming theory draws his endowment, salary and political control from the warming side of this issue.

Perhaps if Al Gore wasn't shilling for the theory that's building a personal fortune for himself and his pals, not to mention introducing the Left-Wing control over our lifestyles the Left has desired for so long, it could be better believed. Every single contributor in this series is in hock to the side of warming, albeit with minor lip service to the degree of warming. Without ANY explanation to the fact that warming halted in 1989 and in fact cooling is now in great evidence. Sorry, Gents. It's a sham.

You may now resume your regularly smug and self-serving lecture to the rest of us now.

Posted by: JamesChristian | October 17, 2009 3:59 AM
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