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The Voice of San Diego Podcast

VOSD’s Friday roundup of the past week’s news in brief, featuring interviews with special guests and more.

May 9, 2016

Businessman Peter Farrell says a lot of interesting things: Of course carbon is a greenhouse gas but we’re not emitting enough of it to change the climate. The climate is just changing but not that much. If sea levels are rising, maybe insurance companies should stop providing policies to people in Miami Beach. Australia, he says, does health care better than the disaster that is this country’s Affordable Care Act. And maybe wealthy people like him should not collect Social Security.

Farrell is a colorful, smart and very conservative scientist and businessman, and he sat down with me for an interview that sometimes seemed more like an argument that I enjoyed.

Farrell founded the San Diego-based company ResMed, which manufactures the apparatuses that have helped millions with sleep disorders and sleep apnea. He told me why he’s so passionate about free trade and why he preferred to make his product in Singapore rather than in this country. And he also explained how hard it was to turn ResMed over to his son, who is the current CEO.

You’ll also want to hear what happened when he confronted Mayor Kevin Faulconer about his Climate Action Plan. Faulconer listened politely but Farrell says Faulconer’s wife agreed with him that the mayor’s plan to cut carbon emissions was a futile effort. “There’s no impact at all of CO2 on the climate, end of story,” Farrell recounts Faulconer’s wife, Katherine, as telling her husband.

I asked the mayor’s office if they wanted to challenge Farrell’s memory of the exchange and did not get a response.

Farrell is one of San Diego’s globetrotting business leaders — the kind of tycoon whose views on politics, climate change and “political correctness” can influence presidential candidates. You might find his statements offensive or inspiring but here they are for you to consider.