21 March 2013

Secretary George Shultz advises 'Insurance Policy' during WSJ Economics of Climate Change Panel

George Shultz
Secretary George Shultz advised today's Wall Street Economics of Climate Change Panel that 'We have a big time problem' and there should be an Insurance Policy to address climate change.
Specifically, he gave a 1980's example of increasing numbers of scientists showing the Ozone depleting, and if that were to happen "there would be a catastrophe." There were skeptics.
He had private meetings with President Reagan, and Reagan said: "we need to take out an insurance policy...maybe the skeptics are right, but if they're wrong, we're in trouble."
Then they negotiated the Montreal Protocol. It eventually turned out that the scientists that were alarmed were right.
Shultz says, "The concept of an insurance policy is appealing."

I talked with Secretary George Shultz soon afterwards,
Mary Vincent & George Shultz
 and I asked for the top things needed for his Climate Change Insurance Policy idea, and he mentioned these items below.
(He also discussed these in his keynote he gave later that evening)
1. Sustained Research and Development which Stanford and MIT are doing now, including private investment
2. Need a level playing field for all forms of energy while looking at real costs of what it takes to produce them. All impose certain costs on society and carbon is a big one. We need a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax. People that are concerned about tax rates could buy into this.
3. Flex-Fuel Internal Combustion Engine

Two Wall Street Journal Videos are below describing this context and proposal: