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In the Hot Seat 

Atlanta-based Southern Co. has worked harder than its peers to block efforts to slow global warming

click to enlarge David Ratcliff - COURTESY SOUTHERN CO.

At the heart of all the foot-dragging sits a moral and business dilemma: How does a company built to thrive by emitting greenhouse gases deal with the pressure to clean up its act?

If ... the world's getting hotter...

"Even the small number of people in the scientific community who doubt humans are responsible agree on that."

-- Dr. Robert Kates, senior researcher in geography at Harvard University and member of the National Academy of Sciences

Climate scientists have been warning about global warming since the 1980s. Last year, Southern Co. CEO David Ratcliffe (right) finally joined other energy industry leaders in acknowledging that the Earth is getting hotter when he said this to shareholders:

"There's no question that we are now in a warming period."

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