Davos: Climate Not the “Top Concern” of Business Leaders

Graph from Page 10 of the 18th annual global Price Waterhouse Cooper CEO Business Survey

Diagram from Page 10 of the 18th annual global Price Waterhouse Cooper CEO Business Survey

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Once again global business leaders at Davos have gone off narrative, by failing to identify “climate change” as their number one priority; instead voicing concerns about “over regulation” and economic issues.

Climate change fails to top list of threats for business leaders at Davos

Geopolitical uncertainty, over-regulation and cyber attacks among biggest threats to business, survey of CEOs finds

The high profile UN summit on climate change in Paris appears to have had little impact on the decision making and worries of global business leaders.

Despite concerns about its impact on extreme weather events, such as recent flooding in the UK, climate change failed to register near the top of the list of business threats, according to a survey of 1,400 CEOs from around the world compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and published at Davos this week.

Instead, over-regulation was listed as the biggest threat to business (by 79% of CEOs), followed by geopolitical uncertainty (74%) and other key threats including cyber attacks (61%).

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/jan/20/climate-change-threats-business-leaders-davos-survey

Interestingly, people who make more of their money from government handouts, identified climate change as a much higher priority.

By contrast, a wider survey of economists, academics and civil society also produced by the WEF listed climate change as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016. A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was seen as likely to have a bigger impact than the spread of weapons of mass destruction, water crises, mass involuntary migration and a severe energy price shock.

Read more: same link as above

PwC tried to explain away the result, suggesting that a low score on the climate question doesn’t reflect a lack of concern about the environment.

However, as we reported last year, climate change impacts were so low on the list of business priorities that in 2015, PWC didn’t bother adding the climate question to their survey.

I find it fascinating that over regulation and government economic management are topping business concerns. One consequence of government infatuation with green issues appears to be capricious, economically damaging government regulations, such as President Obama’s recent surprise 3 year moratorium on new coal mine leases on federal land.

Perhaps the government response to the alleged problems of climate change is a much greater concern for global CEOs, than any direct impact from weather related events on their business activities.

The PWC survey is available from the link below – click the “18th Annual Global CEO Survey” checkbox on the customised download panel.
http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-agenda/ceo-survey/download.html

69 thoughts on “Davos: Climate Not the “Top Concern” of Business Leaders

  1. It is reassuring to see that the major concerns of business was not rent-seeking. Presumably, someone has figured out the limits of that kind of growth.

  2. In a way, Climate Change is the top item at Davos, as is Climate Change will drive over regulation, hence #1 item!

    • Well in the USA we have the spectacle, in an election year, of a whole flock of “I’m more conservative than you” ersatz “Republicans” freely prostituting themselves for a small group of Iowa farmers, who have found out how they can stay in the farming business and make money off the backs of the taxpayers with government mandated (and paid for by those farmers ethanol mandates.

      Adding ethanol to fossil fuel gasoline is the same as adding water to the gasoline, in terms of available energy. The OH in an alcohol gives you a built in water molecule which would actually be better added to the raw gasoline via a water injector in the auto engine.

      Same gose for ethers like MTBE and ETBE. Luckily we were able to get rid of those that were previously mandated by air quality bureaucrats; but substituting alcohols to placate the Iowa farmers at taxpayer and atmospheric pollution expense is not the answer. (you have to burn 15% more fuel for the same energy as real gasoline.)
      Big Oil companies have said that they can meet ALL of the requirements of California reformulated gasoline requirements with NO OXYGENATE at all.

      My Car actually contains a gasoline oxygenator. Maybe it’s hard to recognize because Subaru calls it an ” engine ” to disguise what it is really doing.

      g

      • Ethanol has only 66% of the energy content as gasoline, and we buy it by volume. So the ethanol is just another tax. If we buy gasoline with 10% ethanol, we are only getting 97% of the energy we would from gasoline alone That’s a 3% tax.

      • Robert, that’s assuming you have a newer car that is able to detect and adjust itself to burn the ethanol/gasoline mixture efficiently. In older cars your loss in mileage could top 10%.

      • George E. Smith wrote: “My Car actually contains a gasoline oxygenator. Maybe it’s hard to recognize because Subaru calls it an ” engine ” to disguise what it is really doing.”

        George, I think the disguise is thinning dangerously. Ever since phlogiston lost favor as the principal force behind fire, more and more people have started to suspect oxygen. My bet is within 100 years almost everyone is going to be in on the truth, no matter what we do. The fact oxygen plays a role in combustion is going to get out. What happens after that is anyone’s guess; hysteria, fear, economic collapse and the complete breakdown of social order?

      • I try to avoid putting ethanol in my fuel tank…

        Other Alcohol Issues

        Alcohol is corrosive and can degrade plastic, rubber or even metal parts in the fuel system that weren’t engineered to use alcohol-bearing fuel. Consequently, that antique Evinrude outboard or ’60s lawn tractor you bought at the swap meet might need some upgrading to stay together on today’s gas. That means corrosion-resistant tanks, alcohol-tolerant rubber lines, seals and fuel-pump diaphragms, and plastic fuel-system parts that won’t swell up in the presence of alcohol. Vintage boats with internal fiberglass tanks often have issues with the coating inside the tank failing, ­sometimes requiring massive structural modifications. Highly tuned two-stroke engines will run leaner (and consequently hotter) on the lower Btu/gallon alcohol mix, potentially leading to melted pistons and scuffed cylinder walls. Alcohol will also scour varnish and deposits out of the fuel system that have remained in place for years, which will eventually wind up in the filter or main jet, choking off the engine’s fuel supply. Worse yet, the alcohol itself ­oxidizes in the tank and produces a tenacious brown glop that’s far more damaging to fuel systems than the ­varnish we’re used to seeing in pure petroleum fuels. In warmer weather, you can see varnish starting to form within a month of dispensing fresh fuel into a vehicle tank or storage can.

        Read more: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/a6244/e15-gasoline-damage-engine/

  3. Davos has become a circus spotlight for the rich strain of village idiots milling with real business leaders, if those leaders have time to attend.

    • quite true or own Canadian village idiot was there in full force. He is yet so insecure of himself that his identity/credibility must be contrasted to that of his predecessor. So sad, but when he gets back home his significant other Miss Sophistry will sing him a homemade lullaby,

  4. Hey! Leonardo is concerned about catastrophic climate change. He flew all the way over to Davos to make his feeling clear. We should all be concerned with CAGW… because Leo says so.

    Leonardo DiCaprio savages corporate greed of big oil: ‘Enough is enough’
    Solution to climate change is to keep fossil fuels in the ground, Hollywood star tells World Economic Forum in Davos
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/20/leonardi-dicaprio-savages-corporate-greed–big-oil-enough-is-enough

  5. If there were an intelligent race on another world outside this solar system monitoring radio waves, they might conclude they were too late to start up an interstellar conversation based on climate catastrophe. Next.

      • Aliens don’t eat meat. They make food out of rocks and water; the old fashioned way.

        You push the button while thinking about how hungry you are, and what you want to eat; vitamins, minerals, omega oils, calcium, magnesium the usual staples (that would be iron (or steel) staples), and the robot grinds the right amount of Perovskite or Obsidian etc and delivers you a scrumptious meal.

        But don’t take too much for granite !!

        g

    • “…intelligent race on another world outside this solar system monitoring radio waves…”

      ???? Listening to what? Who taught these aliens Earth Languages?

      Why would these aliens be listening to radio waves when SETI has yet to detect any ‘intelligence’ using radio waves?

      The closest neighboring solar systems, not necessarily with planets where life prospers, are four plus light years away. Plus they would only pick up radio waves beamed directly at them. meaning that most of Earth’s radiowave broadcasts would never reach them.

      Somehow these aliens would understand out languages and track conversations based on inconsistent interrupted blips of transmissions?

      How typical.

      • Wait a darn minute here – we sent them a Voyager spacecraft with all kinds of Earth stuff, including a not-naked lady.

      • Well you can’t even detect any intelligence by listening to radio waves here on this planet. So why would you expect any out there.

        g

        The whole SETI concept is founded on the notion that ” intelligence ” somehow endows us with superior survival characteristics, so it must dominate the universe in the end.

        But it is nothing more than Mother Gaia’s latest experiment in survival; and so far it isn’t looking too promising.

        You get people walking off cliffs, or stumbling in front of trains while playing with their finger toys. Fewer and fewer people are actually working on anything real any more.

        People in Si valley continue to tell me that they aren’t actually developing ANY new technology at all. Just newer ways for people to waste time.

        Si valley traffic consists of lines of cars spaced at least one clear car length space apart, so they can yak on the phone or text, without accidently letting up on the brake, and crashing into the car in front while waiting at the red light.

        And when it finally does go green, they don’t notice until the guy(al) behind wakes up and toots their horn; so only three cars get through on the green.

        Yeah these same people programmed the lights to be mostly red most of the time.

        But I don’t mind if Mark Suckerberg relieves these folks of their far too generous take home remunerations. They deserve to get fleeced by scams like his.

        g

        PS My computer is actually working for me, while I type this; well actually for someone else, who will pay me for what it does.

      • George e. Smith:

        I don’t maintain the negative opinions you are espousing.

        Hobbyists and others still use radio for discussion and even teaching. I doubt the many of the images broadcast would be viewed as lacking intelligence either.

        SETI is based on a concept that advanced intelligence beings, when they reach a certain technological level, will start transmitting just as humans did. If the aliens have their own Tesla, then perhaps the very atmosphere of the plane will transmit.

        Population growth alone keeps the people actually ‘doing’ more than before. Where geniuses were truly rare just because of limited population, nowadays we are crowded with them. People of sufficient talent and intelligence a factor larger in quantity.

        Do not judge future paradigms by past stalled paradigms. When personal technology took off, mainframe technology was stuck in a rut. People who learned FORTRAN and COBOL with me spent entire careers to retirement maintaining older programs.
        The industry itself filled up with dinosaurs unable to understand a new idea even if it bit them, hard!

        So goes the mobile generation: twenty year old innovators entered the millennium pushing boundaries, now they’re just fighting for the same boundaries where they pushed them fifteen years ago.

        Just like the COBOL maintenance folks were blindsided with the new paradigm, so will the mobile managers be blindsided by the next paradigm.

        All too often when I was working, people would come to me with, allegedly, hot new ideas; and then go away royally pissed off. Not because I was unimpressed, but because I would put their ideas on a board and then simplify the significant constructs; or if you will, remove the makeup from the pig. Once unmasked, all too many ‘hot new ideas’ were worn out old concepts with significant tracking work added.

        Yes, “people do what you inspect, not what you expect”, but extensive inspection routines cause workflow to evolve in a negative productivity fashion as people find ways to lighten up elsewhere. But the old paradigm dinosaurs refuse to accept after a disastrous meteor hit, things change.

        Visit a good university and just sit in on some classes or visit the library and glance at what some people are working on. It is impressive, in spite of the climate anti science backwards march.

        In my day, kids made crystal radios and downhill race cars. I probably still have some road grit under my cheek skin from a steel roller skate freezing on a steep hill and sending me to finish on my face.
        My kids worked on robotics while in school and one of them is playing around with carbon fiber quadcopters.

        That is life, it evolves, continually! Enjoy it and enjoy the ride forward!

        (hint) Old friends learned long ago not to send me ‘good old days’ or ‘young folks are so lost’ types of emails. Such people relics should just sit on park benches and wait for muggings by the all too plentiful parasites.

  6. If the question was asked is Global Warming alarmism and political leaders infatuation with it a major concern that as an issue would’ve rated higher than the climate change issue.

  7. So maybe Big Businesses have their priorities sorted. Interesting that Economists, Academics and Civil Society (whatever that is) think/s differently.
    Indirectly, Big Business pays the wages of the other 3 groups.
    And you would have to say that just because The Guardian says something doesn’t mean that everyone else thinks like that.

    • Yeah, what the heck is “civil society”? If you look at the company civil society keeps (all those economists and academics), is one correct to hide one’s wallet?

      • Paul, ditto on the “civil society”.
        By contrast, a wider survey of economists, academics and civil society also produced by the WEF listed climate change as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016.

        With the implication that if you also do not list CC as your biggest treat, then you are not economical, academic or civil.

        Also like this wording –
        Despite concerns about its impact on extreme weather events, such as recent flooding in the UK, climate change failed to register near the top of the list of business threats, according to a survey of 1,400 CEOs from around the world

        So now last place is “failing to be near the top”?

  8. Note the 2nd “wider” survey by WEF references “in 2016” while I don’t see that in the chart – Figure 5 – of Business Leaders.
    A few weeks ago, essays were published by “experts” responding to a what’s going to happen in 2016. Jeffrey Sachs and a couple of others completely missed the time frame of the question, namely “this year.” They were not asked to comment on a 100 year time frame. As such, any issue that won’t be a big deal before January 1, 2017 ought not to have been introduced. Fail.
    Insofar as the exact form of the question(s) in the surveys mentioned above might not have been the same, or understood in the same manner, how can meaningful analyses follow?

  9. Interestingly, the chart published by the Guardian listing the risks does not match the one in the PWC report…

  10. Stupid and meaningless things like the term “Climate Change” are not high on anyone’s list of concerns and least of all on the lists drawn up by “Business Leaders” who look at risk.

  11. Note to “Climate Change” proponents: This was subtle, but it is what could be called a “warning shot.” In case you missed the point of it, let’s get something straight: the business people at Davos generate wealth; they also to a large extent have significant influence over and within the world’s various governments. Climate Change activists’ continued financial support depends on those governments’ continued interest in spending public money on your cause, and many of the people in elected positions of power owe their successfully-financed political campaigns to people like those at the Davos summit.

    In other words, Climate Change activists, you get both your financing and likely some timely suggestions for what to go after and what to leave alone from the people at Davos. Keystone vs Warren Buffet’s railroads for transporting oil perhaps. But never forget, they give you your marching orders, not the other way around. Something like that is usually the point of warning shots, so I thought someone should point it out, in case you missed it.

    /rant

    I’m not sure what triggered the Davos dis, but collapsing fossil fuel prices are threatening to trigger a global market collapse and I’m guessing that Green anti-oil rhetoric is beginning to wear thin in certain circles.

  12. What science and common sense can’t accomplish threats to lower standards of living and ruin the economic landscape will. The UN/IPCC have taken their charade as far as sane people will allow it to go. Unfortunately it will be a slow death culminating in “what ever happened to AGW” due to the massive amount of momentum it’s already generated. Let the purge begin.

  13. “Climate change” itself is not an important issue for them — the question is how fear of it it can be used to manipulate us.

  14. President Obama’s recent surprise 3 year moratorium on new coal mine leases
    ==========================
    Obama has also announced a moratorium in Iranian missile launches and North Koran nuclear tests and orbital launches..

    In case anyone thinks the North Koreans don’t have a hydrogen bomb, think again. What they have is a “layer cake” Soviet style plutonium bomb with a hydrogen core (deuterium/tritium). This is an enhanced gamma radiation weapon with a very specific purpose.

    Gamma ray bombs are EMP weapons. They are not intended to be used against surface targets. They are intended to be launched into orbit. Once in orbit, the weapon sits idle until it is over the target country, then it is detonated.

    The gamma rays interact with the earth’s magnetic field to produce a high speed electrical pulse with a radius upwards of a thousand miles that cannot be defended against by surge protectors or lightning arrestors.

    Such a pulse could wipe out much of the electrical grid and most modern electronics. Items like large power station transformers can take years to replace, leaving much of the US without power for years. The resulting breakdown of modern systems would kill a large portion of the population.

    Kim Jong-un is not a crazy as folks are led to believe. He is not trying to blow up a couple of US cities. His target is the complete destruction of the US by bombing its electrical system back to the 18th century.

    So it looks like Obama was right when he predicted electricity prices would skyrocket.

    • ferdberple commented: “….His target is the complete destruction of the US by bombing its electrical system back to the 18th century….”

      I thought that was our game plan?

    • The gamma rays interact with the earth’s magnetic field

      No, the gamma rays interact with the earth’s atmosphere. It is the interaction with the air that results in an exoatmospheric burst producing an EMP blast.

      • fair enough, here is what wikipoo has to say:

        “An NEMP warhead designed to be detonated far above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. The explosion releases a blast of gamma rays into the mid-stratosphere, which ionizes and the resultant energetic free electrons interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce a much stronger EMP than is normally produced in the denser air at lower altitudes.”

        The US electrical supply is the North Korean target. The dismissive attitude of the press and government demonstrates a significant ignorance of the risks.

      • also from wikipoo, the fusions enhanced fission weapon can be daisy chained as follows:

        Staged thermonuclear weapons are essentially a chain of fusion-boosted fission weapons, usually with only two stages in the chain. The secondary stage is imploded by x-ray energy from the first stage, called the “primary.” This radiation implosion is much more effective than the high-explosive implosion of the primary. Consequently, the secondary can be many times more powerful than the primary, without being bigger. The secondary can be designed to maximize fusion energy release, but in most designs fusion is employed only to drive or enhance fission, as it is in the primary. More stages could be added and conceptual designs incorporating up to seven have been produced, but the result would be a multi-megaton weapon too powerful to serve any plausible purpose.[2] (The United States briefly deployed a three-stage 25-megaton bomb, the B41, starting in 1961. Also in 1961, the Soviet Union tested, but did not deploy, a three-stage 50–100 megaton device, Tsar Bomba.)

    • Ferd – In case anyone thinks the North Koreans don’t have a hydrogen bomb, think again.

      That would be the US State Dept.
      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/01/07/aps_matt_lee_to_state_dept_is_it_time_to_recognize_things_for_what_they_are_and_not_this_fantasy.html

      MATT LEE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: And then the last one is – and every time this happens, the line comes out from people in this Administration and other governments as well, is that we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, and yet, it is. You also say this about other things too. You say you will never accept Crimea as a part of Russia. And yet, it is. Isn’t it time to recognize these things for what they are and not live in this illusion or fantasy where you pretend that things that are, are not?

      ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RETIRED), STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The short answer is no.
      QUESTION: No?

      MR KIRBY: But I would challenge —
      QUESTION: It’s preferable to live in a fantasy world?

      MR KIRBY: I would challenge this idea that it’s a fantasy world. Just because – let me put it this way. At this level of foreign policy, you have to make choices. And you don’t have to accept everything —
      QUESTION: You have to accept reality, though.

      MR KIRBY: — even at face value. No, you – we are not going to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, and we’re not going to recognize that. We are, however, going to deal with their efforts —
      QUESTION: The fact that they are a nuclear-armed state.

      MR KIRBY: — their efforts at developing that program.
      QUESTION: Okay. Do you understand my confusion? I know this – I think it’s illogical to say that you’re not going to recognize them as a nuclear-armed state when, in fact, they are and you are operating in a way —

      MR KIRBY: We are certain —
      QUESTION: — to make them not a nuclear-armed state —
      MR KIRBY: There’s a difference between —
      QUESTION: — something that you say you don’t recognize.
      MR KIRBY: There is a difference between dealing with what we know they’re developing and what we know they’re doing, and officially accepting or recognizing it.

  15. economists, academics and civil society
    ===================
    what the heck is “civil society”?

    academics and economists, well they have no problem predicting the future 500 years from now with great precision. What they have trouble with is predicting next week.

    • Well let’s see now.
      A bronze pass is your soul.
      Silver will cost you your country’s sovereignty and your Soul.
      Gold pass is the productivity of your race in perpetuity, national sovereignty, and your soul.
      However the Platinum all back stage area’s pass will cost you the productivity of your race in perpetuity, national sovereignty, your soul and the future of your entire species.

      In many cases most attendees have already spent themselves dry, so they’re offering our souls instead.

  16. They no longer have to be concerned about climate change because the Paris Climate Agreement has abolished all forms of climate change, extreme weather events, and sea level rise for now and for all time. It is a done deal so the climate change that has been going on for eons no longer exists and will never exist ever again. Apparently the Paris Climate Agreement has somehow intimidated the sun and the oceans to provide the ideal climate for everyone, everywhere, all the time, contrary to the dictates of science and the whim of Mother Nature. We here in the USA do not have to pay anything for it because we are a poor nation with a large national debt, trade deficit, and unfunded liabilities and we are lead by a President whose administration’s Hallmark is, according to his own words, “a lack of leadership”.

  17. “Once again global business leaders at Davos have gone off narrative, by failing to identify “climate change” as their number one priority; instead voicing concerns about “over regulation” and economic issues.

    My Bolding.

    Basically, according political witless wisdom, controlling ‘global warming/climate disruption/climate change’ requires restrictive regulations that cause extreme impacts to the economy.

    The business leaders not only fail to list climate change as important, they explicitly identify the local and national impacts caused by politicians mandating climate change strictures.

    Total fail PWC!

    Conflicts of interest statement; I have worked closely with PriceWaterhouseCoopers contractors before. They’re intelligence and skill always impressed me, along with their absolute allegiance to their superiors; especially when findings might conflict with the desires of the people who hired them.
    Only Accenture personnel were more persistent in rewriting results till they got the results they desired.

  18. Yezz. In science it is ok to be wrong. In business, not so much. Where are the “quants” who orchestrated the last financial meltdown with their failed algorithms? Marginalized. The quandary is that science and business are parallel universes, interrelated. You can’t stifle creativity, but you can’t let some tangent run amok.

    • dc wrote:

      Gee what a surprise, CEOs want less regulation. No self interest operating there of course.

      While I, as a lowly worm, love regulation. I live for having my neck stepped on by hobnailed boots. I can hardly wait. Oh my, the anticipation alone is killing me. Bring on the regulations. And the whips. And chains! Be still my heart. Oh dear, I’m simply overwhelmed in anticipation…

  19. With the economy in meltdown , temperatures and sea level in the year 2100 are not your biggest problem.

    • You know of course that the Schiffster has been playing the same record now for almost 40 years, and that even a broken clock is right twice a day?

  20. I think with the global recession, stock market volatility and when funny money debt based global financiel system is about to collapse,, I think they have other things on their mind :-)

  21. Yet they invinted our idiot savant prime minister Justin Trudeau,, who is obsessed with Climate Change, & bored by economics, to be a key note speaker, the mind boggles

  22. Perhaps the government response to the alleged problems of climate change is a much greater concern for global CEOs, than any direct impact from weather related events on their business activities.

    BINGO! We have a winner!

Comments are closed.