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Last semester, I went to an excellent workshop on emissions trading that was sponsored by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. One of the things that blew my mind was the industrial roundtable (check out the video here) where representatives from BP, Duke Energy, and Caterpillar all said that climate legislation is coming and climate change denial is the wrong strategy. The representative from Duke Energy even criticized a report by the Heritage Foundation on the economic effects of policies to limit carbon emissions. Whoa!
In the back of my mind, I was hoping that the manufacturing and fossil fuel industries are not a homogeneous group of climate change skeptics and deniers, and it was great to see the Monolithic Manufacturing and Fossil Fuel Industries Hypothesis falsified. Granted, there’s still a lot of progress to be made within these industries as a whole, but at least attitudes are changing. Now if only we could get more constructive and productive conversations about climate policy going between industry groups, environmental groups, scientists, and policymakers. A person can dream, no?