Tony Oliver (Talking Point, 7 May) is correct. Geochemical evidence shows atmospheric CO2 was in the past far higher than today’s 384ppm. Indeed it was possibly much higher than he states — possibly 6,000ppm 200 million years ago.
However his suggestion that this makes a nonsense of climate change science is wrong. Physics shows that the sun was significantly cooler in the past, just one reason why the earth was not then appreciably hotter than today.
Tony Oliver and I may disagree about the threat climate change poses to civilisation, yet we agree that engineering has and can still deliver solutions.
…to risk management
BP’s executive education initiative announcement is a reflection of a wider need to have access to a broad range of skills to manage risk and should be applauded.
It is very easy to point fingers at such initiatives, accusing them of being a quick-fix solution. But we should look carefully at the reason behind the decision. In this instance, it is the real challenges of financing, building and operating essential infrastructure.
There is no such thing as risk-free infrastructure. We see very quickly just how much we rely on resources such as the power grid, roads and telecom systems. Total guarantees on their safety and availability unfortunately equates to near infinite costs, which in any society is untenable.
Therefore, we need people who can simultaneously understand complex scenarios spanning engineering, organisational, legal, financial and even media risk. So it is vital that boards and educators in all UK sectors recognise the need to invest in those risk management skills.
As BP has recognised, engineers are naturally suited to taking on this role as risk management forms a core element of their training. With the additional knowledge of finance and law gained though a mixture of experience and education, they represent a unique resource to investors.
Sainsbury Management Fellows’ Society