Gore & Blood: Growing 'Carbon Bubble' Threatens Earth and the Global Economy

Former U.S. Vice President turned climate campaigner Al Gore and his longtime business partner David Blood, a former Goldman Sachs executive, are out with a bit of financial advice for their wealthy comrades who remain in the habit of investing in the world’s high-polluting carbon industry: Don’t.

Saying the misguided dependence on the world’s fossil fuel reserves is creating the “largest bubble ever” in the investment community, Gore and Blood are telling people to find ways to dump their “high-carbon assets” and start using their money to invest in the clean energy future that the Earth demands. As it turns out, they say, it’s not only the morally correct and responsible thing to do in terms of battling climate change, it will ultimately serve their bottom lines.

Gore and Blood, as the Guardian’s Fiona Harvey reports,

Though critics of the powerful duo may voice concern over some of their underlying assumptions—the unproven and largely derided prospect of carbon storage technology, for instance, or the supremacy of the capitalist experiment in general—the idea that the fossil fuel paradigm is not only an ecological disaster, but a financial one, has steadily come to the center of the debate on climate change.

As Bill McKibben, co-founder of the climate action group 350.org, wrote earlier this year, recognizing and dealing with the “carbon bubble” now cited by Gore and Blood is a vital step in shutting down the (very profitable) oil and gas industries that are cooking the planet. As McKibben wrote:

It is this thinking that is driving 350.org’s nationwide divestment campaign, which is trying to leverage the power of student voices in getting colleges and university endowments to divest their holdings from the world’s biggest polluters. The campaign is also beginning to target pension funds, the portfolios of churches and municipalities in the U.S., and 350.org has just launched a similar drive in Europe.

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As Gore told the Guardian: “This is potentially the largest bubble ever. If investors look in clear-eyed, traditional risk management way, they can be in time to avoid it.”

And Harvey continues:

In her most recent essay on the subject, author and journalist Naomi Klein, who also serves as an advisor to 350, makes it clear that the science and crisis of climate will force everyone—the rich and the poor, the commoners and the capitalists—to change the way they do business. Because, she writes:

At what pace the world’s high-level investors participate in the fight to stop global warming remains to be seen, of course, but Gore and Blood’s four-point plan to insulate investors from the perils of the fossil fuel industry dangerous “carbon bubble” is at least an acknowledgement that the reality of the threat is creeping up the ladder of privilege.

To borrow a phrase from Klein, “It’s not a revolution, but it’s a start.”

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