The Climate Desk launches

By Felix Salmon
April 19, 2010
The Climate Desk has launched! It's an exciting collaboration, and I'm pleased to be a part of it. My piece is one of two complementary articles; the other comes from Clive Thompson, and explores a lot of the ways that companies are looking to profit from climate change. I, on the other hand, look at corporate attempts to mitigate the downside of climate change -- and find them few and far between.

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The Climate Desk has launched! It’s an exciting collaboration, and I’m pleased to be a part of it. My piece is one of two complementary articles; the other comes from Clive Thompson, and explores a lot of the ways that companies are looking to profit from climate change. I, on the other hand, look at corporate attempts to mitigate the downside of climate change — and find them few and far between.

One case in point can actually be found in Clive’s piece: ski resorts like Aspen have a business model which gets destroyed if they can’t attract lots of skiers during spring break in March. If March skiing goes away, as it well might, they could end up losing a great deal of money.

But what’s Aspen Skiing Company doing about it? Well, it’s lobbying Congress, of course, claiming that the ski resort industry “is as endangered as the Polar Bear” and that if people can’t ski in March, “we go out of business”. But this is a risk it’s very hard to hedge, and maybe all it can do, pace Thompson, is call for a cap on carbon emissions.

In any case, the Climate Desk is only just getting started: expect to see lots more great reporting on climate issues going forwards. And, of course, many thanks to everybody who responded to my blegs on this issue. You were invaluable!

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