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Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Most Business Execs are Climate Change Skeptics

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Most Wisconsin business executives are skeptical about climate change science, but still favor energy conservation and alternative energy use, according to a survey released by the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. (WECC).

Climate change ranked dead last on a list of 10 concerns presented by the six page survey. According to the study’s authors, “Most business leaders do not believe that climate change is a pressing problem that poses serious economic, social or environmental risks; most believe that climate change is not the result of human activity; and most regard predictions of adverse consequences from climate change as unreliable.”

The world’s leading climate scientists say global warming has begun, and that it is 90% certain it is brought on by human activities.

The six-page survey was mailed to 5,000 senior executives of businesses throughout Wisconsin this spring, and gathered 340 responses, mostly from presidents and chief executive officers. You can download a copy of the 23-page report at publicpolicyforum.org.

Most respondents said that government-enacted global warming policies are bad for business and the economy.

Kathy Kuntz, WECC’s director of energy programs, sees a silver lining in the survey results—that most businesses still support energy-efficiency measures. “The main takeaway from the survey is that we don’t need to retool our message to bring Wisconsin businesses on board when it comes to reducing the state’s carbon footprint,” she said. “They are still motivated by the business advantages of energy efficiencies, and that’s what we need to keep talking about.”

Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. is a nonprofit organization that promotes energy initiatives that benefit consumers, businesses and policy-makers.