Politicians and media pundits like to say that Climate Change is the biggest threat to modern society. I am coming around to agree, but not in the way they are thinking. I mean there is fresh evidence that we can defeat radical Islam, but we are already losing to radical climatism. I refer to climate alarm and activism, which has come to dominate the environmental movement and impose an agenda for social re-engineering. And now we have fresh evidence that even capitalists are working to undermine the infrastructure supporting modern civilization.
As we approach the year 2020, we confront the spectacle of financiers raiding shareholder wealth in order to cripple the Energy Industry, seen as threatening the climate. 2020 used to indicate perfect eyesight, so that perceptions could be trusted. This is the opposite: People who should know better have drunk climatist koolaid and are now running the asylum.
Dan Eberhart exposes this latest twist in his Forbes article Corporate Resolutions On Social Issues Serve Activists, Not Shareholders Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
America’s growing energy dominance is helping transform our economy and revitalize the forgotten parts of our nation.
Through innovation and free-market principles, America’s oil and natural gas sector have moved us from an age of scarcity to a future of abundance. As a nation, we are once again the world’s biggest producer, with all of the economic, trade and national security benefits that portends.
But there is a move afoot by wealthy investment firms and environmental activists to undermine that success and turn back to a time of scarcity by making climate change an issue in the boardrooms of energy producers big and small. Under the guise of socially responsible investing or ESG – environmental, social and governance – they are attempting to “decarbonize” our economy one corporation at a time.
America’s success in the energy sector is directly attributable to the strength of our economic freedom and competitive markets – just look at Venezuela, Angola, Mexico, Iran, Libya or Russia for the grim alternative.
The numbers are astounding. Domestic oil production reached 10.9 million barrels a day this month and is expected to continue its ascent to record-setting levels well into next year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). By 2019, surging domestic production is expected to drive down our use of imported oil to the lowest level since 1959.
The use of hydraulic fracturing to squeeze ever more oil and gas from tight shale rock is a key driver of the energy boom. Production from America’s seven major shale formations is forecast to hit 7.2 million barrels a day by the end of this month, according to EIA.
It’s the communities in and around these formations – located almost exclusively in what are often derided as “fly-over states”– that are seeing the everyday benefits of jobs, rising wages and increasing confidence in the economy. The resurrection of the energy sector is turning small towns once on the verge of becoming ghost towns into bustling centers of activity.
There’s no guarantee the good times will continue, though, especially if companies stop searching for new supplies of oil and gas. For those who subscribe to the ideas of socially responsible investing, the end of energy dominance can’t come soon enough.
Proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis, ISS and others are increasingly advising their large shareholder clients to turn America’s boardrooms into a battleground over climate change. In the process, they are undermining the financial stability of traditional energy companies by attempting to force directors to invest in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.
Shareholders are, of course, within their rights to propose resolutions and pursue changes to the way corporations are governed. But, increasingly, the aim of these resolutions has shifted from securing better returns to achieving political change when our political leaders have disagreed with the direction these activists wish to go.
From the perspective of corporate leaders, this new frontier of so-called social responsibility looks more like the age of proxy pirates, who unfurl the Jolly Roger and swing aboard the boardroom deck intent on striking fear in the hearts of the captains of industry.
These attacks on corporate governance and fiduciary responsibility were once rare but are growing in frequency. In the early 2000s during the era of “peak oil” – when many believed our oil supplies were running out on their own – less than 200 shareholder proposals each year focused on environmental or social factors, according to Proxy Preview.
Over the past decade, the number of shareholder proposals motivated purely by political aims has increased in lockstep with our growing energy security. And the trend is growing. According to the Institutional Shareholder Services, more than two-thirds of the proposals filed this year were related to social or environmental pet causes.
The rising prevalence of climate-risk resolutions threatens to destabilize America’s energy sector, reversing the benefits of energy dominance and forcing change regardless of the economic and security costs to society.
Oil and gas projects take years, sometimes decades, to develop. If companies don’t invest today, consumers may find themselves paying more for imported energy.
The efforts of investment firms like BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street are distorting the market and scaring off investment that will, if allowed to continue unanswered, result in future supply shortages and higher prices for consumers.
Dan Eberhart Bio
I am CEO of Canary, one of the largest privately-owned oilfield services companies in the United States. I’ve served as a consultant to the energy industry in North America, Asia and Africa. My commentaries have been published in The Hill, Real Clear Energy, and the Economist. I have appeared on Fox News, CNN and CNBC. I am the author of The Switch. I was honored to be named to Hart Energy’s “30 Under 40” list and to be included on several U.S. trade missions to sub-Saharan Africa. I have undergraduate degrees in economics and political science from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from Tulane Law School. A Georgia-native, I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona, with my wife and daughter.
Comment: I am all for Corporate Responsibility, which used to mean doing due diligence to get the facts and act accordingly as a reasonable good citizen. Instead, people are falling prey to ideologues and investors are being steered toward con artists. Behind all of this are the Climatists, true believers in the unproven notion that humans control the climate and not in a good way.
The Climatist Game Plan (From Previous post Climatist Manifesto)
Mission: Deindustrialize Civilization
Goal: Drive industrial corporations into Bankruptcy
Strategy: Cut off the Supply of Cheap, Reliable Energy
- Raise the price of fossil fuels
- Force the power grid to use expensive, unreliable renewables
- Demonize Nuclear energy
- Spread fear of extraction technologies such as fracking
- Increase regulatory costs on energy production
- Scare investors away from carbon energy companies
- Stop pipelines because they are too safe and efficient
- Force all companies to account for carbon usage and risk
- UK steel plants closing their doors.
- UK coal production scheduled to cease this year.
- US coal giant Peabody close to shutting down.
- Smaller US oil companies going bankrupt in record numbers.
- 27,000 extra deaths in UK from energy poverty.
- Resource companies in Canada cut 17,000 jobs in a single month.
For more info on progress see: http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/terence-corcoran-clean-green-and-catastrophic
Radical climatism is playing the endgame while others are sleeping, or discussing the holes in the science. Truly, the debate is over (not ever having happened) now that all nations have signed up to the Paris COP doctrine. Political leaders are willing, even enthusiastic dupes, while climatist tactics erode the foundations of industrial society. Deaths and unemployment are unavoidable, but then activists think the planet already has too many people anyway.
ISIS was an immediate threat, but there is a deeper and present danger already doing damage to the underpinnings of Life As We Know It. It is the belief in Climate Change and the activists executing their game plan. Make no mistake: they are well-funded, well-organized and mean business. And the recent behavior of valve-turners, acting illegally to shut off supplies of fossil fuel energy, shows they are willing to go very far to impose their will upon the rest of us.
The question is not “Is there a threat?” The pertinent questions are: “What is the threat?” and “What is the threat to?”
I disagree that climatism is a threat to civilization and this country’s (the United States) energy infrastructure. That’s meaningless bloviating.
What is at risk is the general biosphere as a result of concentration on climate change at the expense of focus on pollution, topsoil loss, potable water depletion, species extinction and habitat destruction due to rampant population increase and profligate consumption. These are very real threats that are clearly visible daily and throughout the world, and threats that we can actually do something about.
Michael, fair enough. But “bloviating?” I wasn’t that long.
Michael, maybe the pejorative you were looking for is “dithyramb.”
-a wild choral hymn of ancient Greece, especially one dedicated to Dionysus.
-a passionate or inflated speech, poem, or other writing.
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Good one, thanks!
Wrong word choice!