Investing in the Era of Climate Change (Book Review)

Investing in the Era of Climate Change

Bruce Usher. 2022. Columbia Business School Publishing. ISBN: 9780231553827.
ISBN: 9780231200882. 304 pages. 27.95 (hardcover).

There is so much to love about Investing in the Era of Climate Change. Students, teachers, investors, and anyone interested in the topics of either investing or climate change (or both) will find a great read here. The research, scope (with 26 chapters), and readability – just about everything – are most impressive. The tone itself is matter of fact and rooted in reality – which I appreciated greatly.

Some of the topics discussed in Investing in the Era of Climate Change involve great sums of money as the energy retrofit of the Empire State Building that generated a payback in three years (p. 141). But, some of the covered topics can apply to the more average investor as, for example, someone thinking of where to buy a home. Which locations might not fare well in the future due to climate change? One answer comes when Usher points out that the “intensity of wildfires because of drier forests” can create a threat to homes located in a “risk area” (p. 144). Usher points out that “rising temperatures are raising global sea levels because of thermal expansion and are increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires” so buying a home in a related risk area could be a poor investment (p. 144).

As for the total scope of topics covered by Usher, the range is impressive. Some of the topics are big picture concerns such why investing matters. Other topics involve details of investing in areas such as forestry, agriculture, and real estate. Usher apty handles both the forest and the trees.

Bruce Usher is a professor at Columbia Business School, where he teaches on subjects concerning financial, social, and environmental issues. He was previously an entrepreneur and worked in financial services in New York.

Jeanette Evans

Note to readers; A version of this review appeared in Technical Communication.