Speaking to the non-profit think tank Council on Foreign Relations, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said that preventing climate change will be “manageable,” Bloomberg reports.
“There are much more pressing priorities that we, as a human race, need to deal with,” he said. The world’s poorest residents “don’t even have access to fossil fuels to burn. They’d love to burn fossil fuels because their quality of life would rise immeasurably. “
“Increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere will have a warming impact,” Tillerson said. “It’s an engineering problem and it has an engineering solution.”
Research into the ability of countries to adapt to changing rainfall, crop growth, sea level, disease distribution, and temperature patterns all seem to show that the countries most vulnerable to climate change also happen to be those who can’t afford complex adaptation strategies. In other words, it’s the world’s poorest residents who will suffer most.
More from Smithsonian.com: