The sudden urgency of global warming caught me by surprise. Like many, I had hoped it was a passing scientific fancy or something my grandchildren would need to worry about. I was also a bit jaded. It was the latest of a long line of politicized environmental issues that I had canvassed for Greenpeace, covered as a correspondent for Newsweek, or spun for BlackRock, Bank of America and KKR.

It was only after I left BlackRock earlier this year, that I realized I was not only ignorant on the topic, but I was part of the problem as well. I read David Wallace-Wells “The Uninhabitable World,” and was shocked by the stark reality of the present state of our climate. It became impossible to ignore all those increasingly grim stories on droughts, wildfires, floods, and heat waves.

So I dusted off my dormant reportorial skills and dove into the state of the earth’s environment.

I quickly recognized a glaring and potentially fatal contradiction. As my co-founder, Bill McGarvey pointed out, I had been unwittingly promoting a false equivalency that treats all environmental, social and governance issues (known in the business as ESG) as equal.

And there lies the problem. As worthy as ESG, or the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals are, they are diluting the focus on a rapidly emerging climate crisis. Worse, cynics argue, these broad sustainability initiatives are designed with enough flexibility that any company can meet both its purpose, and profit goals.

It is our view that this Greek diner menu approach to saving the world is doing more harm than good. Our proof? The climate crisis has only accelerated since the development of these broad ESG mandates.

It’s not that these goals should be abandoned.  All are critical to our future. But we have reached a point where they must take a back seat to global warming.

At Climate & Capital Media, we take a ‘’Climate First’ approach. Our job is to cover the business of climate change. We aim to chronicle a burgeoning new $2.1 trillion climate economy and focus on an amazing ecosystem of investors, entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and media, all hyper-focused on climate change.

But we will not shy away from the bad news. We feel it is incumbent to call bullshit on questionable ESG policies, green business strategies, sustainable corporate branding, and other purpose-led initiatives that are more wash than green.

I am fighting the good fight because I know that this is not the first time the world has rallied to overcome a threat to humanity. In 1981, I started as a journalist just as the Reagan Administration was telling the world that a nuclear war could be won. I covered the massive global pushback by millions who demanded a stop to this nonsense.

Something happened. Policies and attitudes began to change – and the world walked away from the brink of thermonuclear annihilation.

Sadly, climate change is an even bigger threat. When I realized that my productive working life was about as long a time as many experts predict we have to fix the climate (10-15 years), I decided I was ‘all in’ to help resolve global warming. It’s the least I can do for my two boys and the billions of their contemporaries. At Climate & Capital Media, we will do our part to fight the good fight, fueled by hope and optimism, but tempered by the grim reality of an ever-warming world.

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