Oh, that global warming

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Having evidently decided that recent events like the North Pole’s melting like a popsicle on a summer day may, in fact, offer money-making opportunities, a growing number of oil and auto companies appear to be significantly — if quietly — changing their attitude towards global warming, GRIST MAGAZINE reports.

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Shell, BP, Mazda, Ford, and Daimler-Chrysler — companies not exactly known as eco-warriors — have invested well over a combined $1 billion in fuel-cell cars and renewable technologies. Concurrently, the Global Climate Coalition — the main industry group opposing action on global warming — has seen its membership dissipate since December, when a slew of major oil and auto companies started defecting from the group. (Exxon/Mobil is the lone remaining giant.)

A telling example of the large-scale attitude shift occurred at a recent economic forum, where CEOs of the world’s 1,000 largest corporations helped vote on the most threatening scenarios facing trade and globalization. The participants rejected all choices they were given and voted climate change as the most significant. To be sure, the companies are still as financially motivated as ever. BP estimates it will haul in $1 billion a year in solar commerce.

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