The immoral ESG divestment movement

In this issue:

  • The immoral ESG divestment movement
  • The heroism of Chris Wright
  • Quick updates

The immoral ESG divestment movement

Over the years I’ve shared thoughts and strategies about how energy companies can most effectively respond to “ESG” demands that are increasingly made by the investment community.

However, I have not made a thorough public comment about this issue until now.
While I wouldn’t advocate that companies say what I’m saying about this immoral movement, someone needs to say it. Fortunately I am in a position to say anything I honestly believe without worrying about the consequences (thanks in part toAccelerators) so that’s what I have done onTwitterand onEnergyTalkingPoints.com.

Here’s the beginning of my comment

  • The ESG divestment movement poses as a long-range, financially savvy, and moral movement. In reality it is a short-range, financially ruinous, and deeply immoral movement that perpetuates poverty in the poorest places and threatens the security of the free world.
  • Over the last 5-10 years, “ESG”–standing for Environmental Social Governance–has gone from an acronym that virtually no one knew or cared about, to a cultishly-embraced top priority of financial regulators, markets, and institutions around the world.
  • The preposterous financial pretense of “ESG investing” is that the promoters of it have so accurately identified universal norms of long-term value creation–Environmental norms, Social norms, and Governance norms–that imposing those norms on every company is justified.
  • In reality, ESG was a movement cooked up at the UN–not exactly a leading expert in profitable investment–to impose moral and political agendas, largely left-wing ones, on institutions that would not adopt them if left to their own devices.
  • The number one practical meaning of ESG today is: divest from fossil fuels in every way possible, and associate yourself with “renewable” solar and wind in every way possible. That’s why I call it the “ESG divestment movement.”
  • Modern ESG’s obsession with unreliable “renewable” solar and wind, reflects its political nature. Any serious concern about CO2 emissions means embracing the only proven, reliable, globally scalable source of non-carbon energy: nuclear. But most ESG does not embrace nuclear.
  • Divesting from fossil fuels is immoral because:
    1. The world needs much more energy.
    2. Fossil fuels are the only way to provide most of that energy for the foreseeable future.
    3. Any problems associated with CO2 pale in comparison to problems of energy deprivation.
  • Read the resthere.

The heroism of Chris Wright

One of my favorite energy CEOs is Liberty Oilfield Services’ Chris Wright.

I first met Chris when we tag-teamed in adebate against climate catastrophistsback in late 2015.

He, like me, came to love fossil fuels despite not coming from that industry background at all (his background was working on fusion at MIT).

In the past two weeks Chris has done two very cool things.

One is that he has responded to the ESG movement with a report entitled “Bettering Human Lives” that highlights the amazing benefits of the oil and gas industry, and encourages rational thinking about climate.

Here’s an excerpt: “Since the oil and gas industry began in the second half of the 19th century, global life expectancy has doubled, extreme poverty has plummeted, and human liberty has grown tremendously. The timing here is no coincidence.

Unfortunately, many people still lack access to life-enhancing modern energy, which presents the most pressing global energy challenge.
Chris has also been making a lot of noise with a new “Thank You, North Face” billboard and video campaign.

Check it out here.

https://www.thankyounorthface.com/

Once again we’re seeing that if someone actually makes a proud moral argument for fossil fuels, people will listen–and the other side has nothing to say.

Quick updates

  • A recent interview of mine on the popular Stephan Livera Bitcoin podcast has been getting attention in the Bitcoin community. It’s entitled “Why Bitcoiners Should Own Their Energy Use and Reframe The Energy Debate.” Listenhere.
  • I was on Sky News Australia last Saturday discussing why the anti-fossil fuel movement is an anti-human movement.Here‘s the story and the video.
  • I am moving Power Hour to be biweekly instead of weekly to free up more time for me to do interviews on other shows. The next episode will be released next week.


To Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Energy,

Alex