The United Nations’ landmark report on the state of the planet’s livability reinforces concerns and emphasizes the need for immediate action to be taken — with real catastrophe now just 12 years away. If you believe in such things. If you deny science and facts, you probably think the report is doubling down on a liberal conspiracy to overregulate polluting industries and products.
While the Believers and Deniers represent the extremes, there’s a space between populated by, ironically, pragmatists.
The pragmatists could not care less about environmental concerns such as climate change, air and water pollution, and natural resources depletion, but that is not to suggest they are disregarding the threats. To the contrary, they are betting things are only going to get worse.
The pragmatists or, more precisely, the Capitalists, are convinced they can make money off the looming troubling times. To the point, an objective observer could infer, they find pleasure in the misery of others, taking schadenfreude to a catastrophic low.
PROFITEERS LOOK FORWARD TO MORE BAD TIMES
As the United States suffers a second straight year of record hurricanes, floods and wildfires, a new type of investor is redefining opportunism. Their fatalistic investment calculations include betting on flood and storm protection along coastlines; hotels for short-term housing in hurricane zones; desalination plants in drought-prone regions; and, considering climate change and adaptation, technologies for indoor agriculture and aquaculture.
Politicians and governments show little commitment to confronting environmental concerns — either because the solutions are too expensive, the regulations are job killers, or the results are too distant. This unfortunate truth plus the broader public’s ambivalence, makes investing in climate change such a good bet.
One investor laments in Bloomberg Businessweek (“Climate Change Will Get Worse, Bet On It,” 10-15-18), the proliferation of eco-profiteers who take advantage of this slow-motion calamity should at the very least, or worst, be a societal warning system. Better still, policymakers, with full public support, should commit to protecting the planet’s environment and its inhabitants. This way, the only losers in such a scenario would be the eco-profiteers who’d be burned by schadenfreude backfiring.