The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

To sign-up to receive the CSR Newsletters regularly during the fall and spring academic semesters, e-mail author David Chandler at

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Strategic CSR - Climate Change II

The article in the url below offers a critical look at the knee-jerk reactionism to much of the uncertainty and confusion around climate change (Issues: Environmental Sustainability, p171):

“The majority view among climate scientists, as set out in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is that "most" of the slight (0.5Degrees C) warming in the last quarter of the 20th century was "very likely" caused by man-made carbon dioxide emissions. On that basis, and relying on computer models, its "best guess" of the likely rise in mean global temperature over the next 100 years is between 1.8Degrees C and 4Degrees C. These projections were made, incidentally, before the recent acknowledgement that so far this century there has been no further global warming at all - in spite of a continuing rapid rise in carbon emissions.”

Nigel Lawson, who was the UK’s Chancellor during much of the 1980s and is promoting his recent book on the subject of climate change, focuses his argument on counteracting the economic assumptions contained within the IPCC report of climate change and the corresponding potential costs of solving the associated problems. Chief among Lawson’s points is the IPCC’s “self-evidently absurd” assumption that future solutions are constrained by current knowledge levels:

“Even if that were so, what would it mean? Suppose the loss to the developing world were as much as 10 per cent of GDP, then - given the IPCC's economic growth assumptions, on which its emissions assumptions, and hence its warming assumptions, are based- it would imply that, by 2100 or thereabouts, people in the developing world, instead of being some 9.5 times as well off as they are today, would be "only" some 8.5 times as well off - which would still leave them better off than people in the developed world today. This, then, is the scale of the alleged threat to the planet - based, to repeat, on the IPCC's grossly inflated estimate of the likely damage from further warming, arising from its absurdly gloomy view of mankind's ability to adapt.”

I forward this article not to challenge global warming as a fact, but to suggest that there is still much that we do not know about the implications of climate change and our best possible response. This is not to make the case for inaction (the potential costs of which vastly outweigh the potential costs of doing nothing), but, instead, to argue that our “best” policy responses need to be founded on as much information as possible and assumptions that enjoy broad support.

Take care

Bill Werther & David Chandler
Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
© Sage Publications, 2006

Stop this foolish overreaction to climate change
887 words
7 April 2008
Financial Times
London Ed1
Page 13

Friday, May 2, 2008

Strategic CSR - Prediction Markets

The article in the url below shows how nonprofits are using an increasingly popular online tool, prediction markets (e.g., the Iowa Electronic Markets,, as a way of raising money for specific causes (Issues: Profit, p200).

On the website, anyone can bet money on events such as the outcome of the Presidential race, or any current affairs, business, or sports event of interest, with the profits won on the bets being donated to a specific charity nominated by the individual:

“Since its debut last September, Bet2give ( has attracted about 400 traders and donated about $1,000 to charities that include Kiva, the Nature Conservancy, and National Public Radio.”

The article also profiles an idea by the Long Now Foundation ( that also draws on prediction markets to generate debate over ideas of social and scientific interest/importance, while raising money for worthwhile causes:

“Its "Long Bets" site ( charges registered users $50 to publish a prediction that must be socially or scientifically important. Once the prediction is made, registered users can discuss it and challenge the person to turn it into a bet. … When the bet terms are met, either by a date or a predicted event happening, and the winner is decided, the money is sent to a charity of the winner's choice.”

Have a good weekend.

Bill Werther & David Chandler
Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
© Sage Publications, 2006

Non-profits place a bet on prediction markets
770 words
19/20 April 2008
Financial Times
London Ed1
Page 4