Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Richard Branson is so shocked by President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris, he’s putting his own money into renewables R&D. My question – isn’t this how Capitalism is supposed to work?
Richard Branson: Business leaders are ‘baffled’ by Trump on climate change
[British] billionaire Richard Branson said business leaders were left dumbfounded by President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. But if there’s a silver lining, it’s that companies are now even more driven to invest in clean energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“Whether it’s GE, or whether it’s the big oil companies… I haven’t come across one business person who doesn’t want to get out there and do everything they can to try to compensate for the [Trump] administration’s very strange stance,” Branson said on a Wednesday call with reporters.
“A lot of people in the world are baffled by the American administration’s comments,” the Virgin Group CEO said.
Does anyone need more evidence that President Trump’s decision to take government out of the energy business was a stroke of genius?
Before President Trump tore up the agreement, Branson and his friends were content to sit back and let US taxpayers take all the risks and pay all the bills.
Since President Trump tore up the Paris Agreement, Branson and his friends suddenly feel compelled to put their own money and time into funding high risk green energy R&D. Meanwhile, US tax money which would have likely been wasted on renewables can now be spent on stuff taxpayers actually care about, like retiring public debt, improving public healthcare or fixing broken US infrastructure.
Branson could raise the cash by selling his airline.
Of course, if anyone is unhappy their tax money is no longer being spent on green R&D, they are free to use their own cash to join Branson’s crusade to save the world. But people are also now free not to contribute to green R&D. Everyone gets to choose what happens to their own money.
Talk about win / win.