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HSBC banker who criticised climate ‘nut jobs’ was right about a lot of things - The Telegraph

Updated: May 28, 2022

The City’s mania for ‘ESG’ is stifling debate and will stop us from solving the world’s problems says Ben Wright for the Telegraph 23 May 2022

Let’s first be clear about what Stuart Kirk, the HSBC executive who has sparked a Twitter witch hunt and is being hung out to dry by his employer for giving a controversial presentation last week, didn’t say.

He didn’t - despite what you might have assumed from the subsequent furore - deny the possibility of man-made climate change. In fact, in his brief talk at a Financial Times event, he specifically said: “I don’t doubt the science at all.”

He also accepted that climate change posed an ecological risk; he mentioned, for example, that the number of forest fires in California is likely to increase and sea levels will rise. And he forecast that the activities of industrial and fossil fuel companies will be curtailed.

Kirk’s apparent heresy was daring to suggest the financial risks posed by those trends might have been overstated. He ventured that central bankers and policymakers are attempting to “out-hyperbole the next guy”. He argued the constant prophecies that humanity is doomed are getting out of hand. And he had the temerity to mention that human beings are really rather good at solving problems and managing change.

More specifically, Kirk said he thought organisations are getting gummed up with the sheer volume of reporting on climate risk. He expressed the opinion that some of the money being spent on financing climate change mitigation could usefully fund ways of adapting to higher temperatures. And he pointed out that the world needs enough bandwidth to deal with plenty more imminent issues - such as the cost of living crisis, interest rate hikes and a looming housing crisis.

His charge that central banks have been so focused on climate change that they’ve taken their eyes off the ball with regard to inflation and economic growth feels particularly close to the mark. One would hope that policymakers can pat their heads and rub their tummies at the same time. But - on current evidence - perhaps not.

However, even if you disagree with these points it’s hard to argue that they are not legitimate grounds for debate and even harder to claim with a straight face that they are so outlandishly beyond the pale that they should be immediately dismissed from consideration. Yet, that’s where we appear to be.

For the full article in pdf, please click here:

HSBC banker who criticised climate ‘nut jobs’ was right about a lot of things by Ben Wrigh
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As an addendum to this article, we have received this email from Australia:

This scandal has been noticed in some sections of the Australian media – see video from Sky News’ Andrew Bolt including finance reporter Terry McCann posted on May 25, 2022, Top banking executive suspended 'for telling the truth' about global warming:

HSBC - istockphoto

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