Words flew as CFACT’s Craig Rucker and Sir Richard Branson squared off at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil. Surrounded by Greenpeace activists, Branson was leaving the Greenpeace press conference just as Rucker was entering for CFACT’s press event.
Rucker seized the opportunity to confront the globe-trotting, fossil fuel-burning Branson about his unlikely position on global warming. “Sir, do you support the European carbon tax on your own planes going from the United States to Europe?” Rucker asked. Clearly surprised, Branson responded that he would prefer it be an “international tax, rather than just one area of the world.”
Such an idea is not unheard of. In fact, one of the items on the negotiating table here at Rio+20 is a tax on international financial transactions ranging of 2%. It is unusual for the head of multi-national corporations to support such radical policies.
Rucker asked whether it would be wise for Branson to tax his clients considering that “the support for global warming science is eroding worldwide.” Over one thousand scientists dispute the man-made global warming hypothesis. Nonetheless, Branson refused to concede the point and insisted, “even if we are mistaken about that [global warming], I think it is good – we’re running out of oil so we need to move into clean fuels as soon as possible.”
He’s wrong about the world running out of oil too, but Rucker will have to take that up with him next time they cross paths, as Branson was quickly ushered away by his entourage.