HSBC Banker Is Right About the Climate Apocalypse-Not!

A Google news search for the term “climate change,” this week turns up dozens of stories in the corporate media publicizing and lambasting Stuart Kirk, global head of responsible investment for international banking giant HSBC, for having the temerity to speak the truth about climate alarmism. Kirk said what hundreds of articles at Climate Realism, Climate Change Weekly, and Climate at a Glance, have long shown to be true: climate change is not an existential threat; data show that almost every assertion that climate change is making extreme weather worse is false; and the world faces much more pressing and immediate crises and problems than climate change.

Coming from the head of the responsible investing branch at one of the world’s largest banks it is no surprise Kirk’s statement caused quite a stir in these days. After all, on climate matters it has become de rigueur to suppress climate truths not comporting with the climate elite’s official line that humans are causing a climate apocalypse and to purge those speaking them.

Kirk noted that history replete dozens if not hundreds of examples, where so-called experts in academia and government declared an environmental disaster to be in the offing, only to have their widely publicized predictions prove false. The Competitive Enterprise Institute documented many such wrong-headed environmental disaster predictions here.

For his climate heresy, Kirk has been punished by HSBC with a suspension. Kirk is right, and his critics, including his bosses at HSBC are wrong. Any dangers from climate change are not immediate. Accordingly, there is no virtue in making banking decisions based on unverified model projections of a pending climate apocalypse.

Below are excerpts from two news stories discussing what Kirk said and why his employers should be praising rather than punishing him:

HSBC Banker Who Criticized Climate ‘Nut Jobs’ Got a Lot of Things Right

HSBC has suspended a senior executive pending an internal investigation into a presentation he made at an event last week, according to people with knowledge of the process.

Stuart Kirk, who is the global head of responsible investing at the bank’s asset management division, accused central bankers and policymakers of overstating the financial risks of climate change in an attempt to “out-hyperbole the next guy.”

While the bank and its senior executives have criticized the speech made at a Financial Times conference, its theme and content had been agreed upon internally before Kirk spoke on Thursday, according to people with knowledge of the event’s planning.

The title of the presentation — “Why investors need not worry about climate risk” — had been agreed on two months earlier and publicized on the website in the run-up to the event.

For the full story in the Daily Telegraph, click here.

The Wall Street Journal was another of the few mainstream media outlets that, rather than praising HSBC’s censure of Kirk, found merit in many of his claims.

From the WSJ article, titled, “A Financier Tells Some Climate-Change Truths:”

HSBC executive Stuart Kirk gave a presentation at an investor conference last week, taking banking regulators to task for overbaking the financial risk of climate change. What was he thinking? As punishment for his heresy, the British bank has sent him to re-education camp.

Mr. Kirk is, or at least was, the bank’s global head of responsible investing, so his candid presentation titled “Why investors need not worry about climate risk” naturally attracted attention. We understand why banking regulators and businesses that hope to make money off the coming tidal wave of climate regulation might be offended by his truth-telling.

But he merely said what many in his industry believe but are too timid to say: Climate change poses a negligible risk to the global economy and bank balance sheets. Oh, and central bankers are partly to blame for the current economic turmoil because they’ve focused too much on climate change while ignoring far greater, more immediate risks such as inflation.

For the WSJ’s full analysis, click here.

Climate change does not portend the end of the world as we know it. Could Kirk’s public admission that the climate emperors wear no clothes, signal a crack in the near monolithic façade those hoping to profit from climate alarm, in terms of money, power, or both, have attempted to build up around the claim that humans are causing dangerous climate change? Will others in positions to know and have influence boldly go where Kirk has bravely gone before—which, to be fair, is doing nothing more or less than following the science? One can only hope!

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.

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