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The Greening of Warren Buffett?

Posted by: Diane Brady on May 2, 2008

I just got notice that a group of Native women will stage a protest tonight over Warren Buffett’s “fish killing dams” on the Klamath River in Northern California. My first thought was: “Warren Buffett owns a dam?”

Then I remembered the brouhaha over Berkshire holding, PacifiCorp., which does operate the long-standing dams in question. While some might wonder about the political heft of women donning placards outside a cocktail party in Omaha, blogger Ted Nace points out that Buffett has proven himself to be open to persuasion on matters of the environment. Or at least Buffett is aware of where the world is heading in terms of regulation and demand. He cancelled six proposed coal plants last year, without fanfare.

Smart move, as Lester R. Brown and Jonathan G. Dorn of the Earth Policy Institute have just predicted “the beginning of the end for coal.” Groups like Coal Moratorium Now have chronicled similar developments.

It worked for coal. Buffett turned away from tobacco (what’s not to love?) for similar societal reasons. Maybe sushi lovers of the world will unite behind the women of the Klamath River Basin to lobby hard for salmon, too.

Reader Comments

Thomas H

May 3, 2008 2:50 PM

Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. Meaning, if talented, well-intentioned businesspeople like Warren Buffett avoid "sinful" industries, who then do you think would fill the vacuum? I'm a liberal but some liberals disappoint me because they're pretty selfish, assuming their causes don't affect others negatively -- and as long as those causes don't inconvenience THEM. Yes, let's tear down those dams but don't start complaining when you don't have electricity to heat up your latte, never mind the thousands who now can't afford to heat their homes.

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