Foreign Policy Blogs

If You Don't Like Al Gore, Then

… what about these people?

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) from a speech yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations , “I can tell you, mainstream scientists are convinced, mainstream CEOs are convinced, and if you look at the surveys, mainstream Americans are convinced, that global warming and climate change is real, and that we have to do something about it.” Also, from this week, a “Newsweek” special section on Leadership & the Environment: Green Issues: “For the record, Schwarzenegger says he’s deeply impressed with Gore’s work: he even popped into a Beverly Hills book-signing not long ago with his teenage daughter to tell the former vice president so in person.”

Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell , “I am more convinced than ever that our short- and long-term business success depend on finding environmentally and socially responsible ways to help meet the world’s future energy needs.” (From the Shell website.)

Pope Benedict XVI said in August: “In dialogue with Christians of various churches, we need to commit ourselves to caring for the created world, without squandering its resources, and sharing them in a cooperative way.” (See this.)

Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips’ chairman and chief executive, in joining the U.S. Climate Action Partnership this week: “We recognize that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate.” (Go here.)

Lord Peter Levene, chairman of Lloyd’s of London: “We cannot risk being in denial on catastrophe trends,” Levene said January 12 in a speech to the World Affairs Council at the National Press Club. “We urgently need a radical rethink of public policy, and to build the facts into future planning.” See Lloyd’s webpage on climate change here.

John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona (R), in testimony before the Environment and Public Works Committee on Jan. 30, McCain called climate change “the most important environmental issue of our time.” (I cited this in the “Presidential Candidates” post below.)

Stephen Hawking, physicist, best-selling author of A Brief History of Time, and claimant of the Cambridge University post once occupied by Sir Isaac Newton (the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics), has been quoted as saying, “I am afraid the atmosphere might get hotter and hotter until it will be like Venus with boiling sulfuric acid.” (See this article.)

Jim Rogers, Duke Energy CEO and chair of the Edison Electric Institute. Rogers played a key role in launching the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. In this recent interview, Rogers said: “I think the probability that we’ll get good solutions to climate change — solutions that benefit both the planet and industry — is higher if we face the problem now than if we bury our heads in denial. If you’re constantly trying to define the problem, or deny it, or dispute it, it gets increasingly difficult and costly to develop a good solution.” (I referred to Rogers and an article about him in my post, “The Business of Green” from March 9.)

John Dingell, Congressman from Michigan (D) and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives. “Rep. John Dingell once dismissed global warming as a “theory.’ Lately, the Democratic lawmaker from Michigan has had a change of heart. “The science on this question,’ he said recently, “has been settled.'” (This is from a recent “Wall St. Journal” article. See my post “Bits and Bobs” from March 30.)

Evangelical Christian Pastor Rick Warren, named one of America’s Top 25 Leaders in the October 31, 2005 issue of “U.S. News and World Report,” said, along with 85 other Christian leaders: many of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that climate change is a real problem and that it ought to matter to us as Christians. But now we have seen and heard enough.” (See my post on this and some of the controversy surrounding it in “Bits and Bobs” below.)

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in a statement from March: ” the danger posed by war to all of humanity – and to our planet – is at least matched by the climate crisis and global warming.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on the IPCC’s latest report, said: “The report confirms that climate change is a fact. For that reason we need rapid and decisive action to limit the global rise in temperatures and to cut carbon dioxide emissions.” (See my post on the EU Summit Agreement from March 14 for more on Merkel and efforts in Europe.)

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, from an article he wrote last October commenting on the Stern Report, cited at the PM’s web page on climate change: “The Stern Report should be seen across the globe as the final word on why the world must act now to limit the damage we are doing to our planet. The conclusions are a wake-up call to every country in the world.”

British Conservative Party Leader David Cameron: Today, in the twenty first century, the greatest long term threat this planet faces is climate change.” (From a speech from July last year. See also this at the Conservative website, “David Cameron praised by Al Gore.”)



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change