With major international corporations like Coca-Cola and Nike finally acknowledging that global warming is bad for business, efforts to curb the causes of climate change are getting some needed allies.

Companies that rely on clean water and predictable weather are welcome participants in this important conversation. It is in their best interests, and everyone else's on Earth, to address global warming.

For far too long, some fossil-fuel barons have tried to shout down anyone linking climate change to the economy, as they either insisted that there is no such thing as global warming or claimed that mandatory efforts to cut greenhouse gases would raise consumer prices.

In reality, the opposite is just as true. Global warming causes sea levels to rise, prolongs droughts, produces major rain and dust storms, and increases the frequency of flooding. As a result, resources are harmed, the supply chain is interrupted, and consumer prices go up.

Global warming was a hot topic at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "I think that these extreme weather events, which are now a hundred times more common than 30 years ago, are really waking people's awareness all over the world," said former Vice President Al Gore.

Jeffrey Seabright, a Coca-Cola vice president, told the New York Times that increased droughts, more unpredictable weather, and "100-year floods every two years" were disrupting the company's supplies of sugar cane and sugar beets, as well as citrus for its fruit juices.

Meanwhile, Nike has seen floods shut down its factories in Thailand and droughts damage crops in cotton-producing regions.

In response, Coca-Cola has started a water conservation program, and Nike uses more synthetic fabrics for its athletic clothes. These smart moves by global corporations are important, but they are no substitute for the measures governments must take to address the problem.

President Obama has apparently decided to bypass Congress, which has been unable to pass a comprehensive energy bill, and use the Environmental Protection Agency to address climate change. The EPA has issued rules to reduce carbon emissions from new power plants and recently set new emissions standards for heavy trucks, which could save the industry as much as $50 billion in fuel costs.

"Climate change is a fact," Obama said in his State of the Union address last week. "And when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say, 'Yes, we did.' "

As more companies like Coke and Nike acknowledge climate change's impact, Congress may do more than cry about the cost of pollution control for industry.

This country should be a global leader in reducing greenhouse gases - and it can be by offering incentives for companies to produce cleaner energy and making polluters pay for the health and economic hardships they cause. As the president said: Do it for our children, and for their children.