Read the full story in the New Yorker.
In a mansion built by the heir of an oil tycoon on New York’s Upper East Side, a group of financiers, philanthropists, and corporate executives recently gathered to discuss the climate crisis. The occasion was a new report, co-authored by an unlikely combination of McKinsey consultants and scientists from the Woods Hole Research Center (W.H.R.C.), on how physical climate risks will affect socioeconomic systems in the next few decades. During a presentation on the report’s findings, much of it in the preening language of fixed assets, liability risk, and flow charts, Spencer Glendon, an economist and senior fellow at W.H.R.C., was especially blunt with the crowd. He said that he tells decision-makers things such as “ ‘You know how many people in India are going to die from this, if you do nothing? Ignoring that now is on you.’ ” If investors and business leaders don’t account for these risks, “that will be unforgivable,” he said. “Because everyone knew they were coming.”