Global Warming: A $1.5 Trillion Industry

The Climate Change Business Journal has calculated that global warming is now a $1.5 trillion a year industry. The Business Journal’s report is not available for free online, but its findings are reviewed by the Insurance Journal. They are eye-opening, to say the least:

The $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal.

The San Diego, Calif.-based publication includes within that industry nine segments and 38 sub-segments. This encompasses sectors like renewables, green building and hybrid vehicles.

One of the most lucrative segments of the global warming money tree is consulting:

That also includes the climate change consulting market, which a recent report by the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide and $890 million in the U.S.

Included in this sub-segment, which the report shows is one of the fastest growing areas of the climate change industry, are environmental consultants and engineers, risk managers, assurance, as well as legal and other professional services.

What is striking about the global warming industry is that its growth is driven more or less entirely by “policymaking,” i.e., government mandates and other policies. This is why “green” businesses contribute so lavishly to the political campaigns of politicians who drink the global warming Kool-aid.

Ferrier believes the [Obama administration’s Clean Power] plan may eventually prove to be a driver of further growth in the industry. That is if the plan withstands any legal challenges from states, industries and entities opposed to it. …

Policy, or the anticipation of new policy, has been one of the biggest drivers of the industry, the report shows.

A survey of those already in the industry conducted just prior to the U.S. economic downturn, while the industry was a peak growth, shows that 53.5 percent of those polled felt that U.S. or state climate change policy development would be a “strong positive” driver of growth in their business. More than one-third felt that policymaking would have a “very strong positive” impact on their growth.

This is why Big Green has become a principal source of funding–since the advent of Tom Steyer, likely the second most important source of funding, after unions–of the Democratic Party. A $1.5 trillion industry that can survive only by relying on the coercive powers of government will inevitably be a major force for statism.

By way of comparison, Koch Industries, which is often accused of funding global warming realism–I think any such funding has been minuscule–has estimated annual revenues of $115 billion, less than 10% the size of Big Green. Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, has annual revenues of around $365 billion. That makes Exxon Mobil about one-quarter the size of Big Green. More important, Exxon Mobil doesn’t depend on government largesse to make a profit. It produces commodities that are useful and that people willingly buy. So it has nowhere near the incentive of Big Green to devote resources to influencing the political process.

$1.5 trillion a year will buy a whole lot of scientists, not just in the United States but around the world. With that kind of money at stake, it is little wonder that global warming hysterics would rather “adjust” past temperature data than admit that their models are wrong, and have no skill at predicting future climate.