ExxonMobil CEO: ‘What if emissions cuts don’t mitigate climate change? What’s Plan B?’

“Climate change is a serious and complex problem that society may not be able to fix and will just have to deal with, the head of the world’s largest oil company said Friday.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

“There are some things we know and understand about it,” Tillerson said of the forces behind the changes in average global temperatures. “There are a lot of things about it that we don’t know and don’t understand. “We’re not sure how this is going to turn out.”

If industrialized society is in fact changing the world’s climate, then steps can be taken to “mitigate” the risk, Tillerson said…

Exxon strongly supports energy efficiency, he said, referring to the tough automotive mileage standards the Obama administration issued a year ago as an example of mitigation. Those rules require automakers to achieve an average of 541/2 miles per gallon in 2025.

Better auto fuel economy and the decisions of electric companies to switch power plants from coal to natural gas are ways to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, while not crippling the economy, Tillerson said.

“But what am I going to do if it turns out that none of my mitigation steps make any difference?” he asked the crowd packed into the City Club. “What if it turns out that this is happening for a lot of reasons that I don’t understand? What’s Plan B?

“Plan B means you had better start thinking about what kind of adaptation measures are going to be necessary if the consequences that people are concerned about present themselves.”

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4 thoughts on “ExxonMobil CEO: ‘What if emissions cuts don’t mitigate climate change? What’s Plan B?’”

  1. 1. Climate change has not yet shown itself to be a serious problem.
    2. There’s no evidence that people have driven climate change.
    3. It’s a good idea to be ready to deal with extreme weather events — drought, flood, storm surge, wind damage, take your pick. A wealthier society can deal with these inevitable events much better than a poor society.
    4. “Fuel efficiency” should be the choice of the consumer, not the mandate of the government. If people want higher-mileage cars, they’ll buy them, a lesson that Detroit learned in the 70s.

  2. I tend not to regard nature as a serious and complex problem. More like the medium for my existence.

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