MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

ESG’s Perverse, Narrow, Fraudulent Ethical Principles – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 28, 2022

Failure of basic fiduciary duties to investors is just the tip of ESG fraud iceberg

By Paul Driessen

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2022/12/paul-driessen/esgs-perverse-narrow-fraudulent-ethical-principles/

Warning: Your retirement fund may have been Shanghaied by BlackRock or other Wall Street asset managers who’ve unilaterally decided that the tens of trillions of dollars of other people’s money they control should be used to advance political causes they favor – to “make the world a better place.”

As most people know, ESG stands for Environmental protection, Social justice, and Governance of corporate and societal affairs. They’re all noble-sounding causes. However, under ESG they’re centered around progressive, woke agendas, with prevention of “manmade climate cataclysms” uppermost. Fund assets are used to drive “net zero” climate agendas and punish or de-fund fossil fuel companies.

That narrow focus creates serious problems. Those trillions of dollars are supposed to be passively invested in index and other funds, under fiduciary obligations to secure maximum returns in support of state, local, corporate and personal retirement and investment accounts. Under ESG, however, strong returns are too often sacrificed to serve politicized agendas, often in collusion with governments, activists and other financial institutions, and thus also in violation of antitrust laws and basic ethical principles.

That’s why Asset manager Vanguard recently left the UN-sponsored “Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.” Meanwhile, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and other states are pulling tens of billions of dollars out of BlackRock, State Street and other Wall Street asset management firms, for violating fiduciary duties. It’s just the tip of the fraud iceberg.

Woke ESG practitioners also employ narrow ES&G definitions to virtue-signal, pontificate and impose prescriptive agendas with little or no regard for the consequences. When the “existential threat of manmade climate change” is the primary arbiter, enormous problems associated with replacing fossil fuels with “clean renewable energy” are simply ignored, suppressed and censored out of the analysis.

People and planet realities absolutely have to be included in any ethical ESG analysis.

Environmental protection. Rather than looking only at the temperatures, storms, droughts, rising seas and other environmental costs that climate models falsely blame on fossil fuel emissions – any accurate and honest ESG scorecard must also assess the enormous ecological impacts from wind-solar-battery (WSB) energy systems that will supposedly replace oil, gas and coal.

WSB systems and associated transmission lines do not appear spontaneously, via Materials Acquisition for Global Industrial Change (MAGIC). They require mining on unprecedented scales. President Biden’s initial batch of offshore wind turbines alone would require 110,000 tons of copper, refined from 25,000,000 tons of ore, after removing 40,000,000 tons of overburden – plus millions of tons of iron, manganese, aluminum, nickel, concrete, plastics and other materials … from billions of tons of ores.

Replacing all U.S. coal and gas electricity generation with WSB – plus gasoline vehicles and gas stoves and furnaces – would require tens of thousands of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of battery modules for vehicles and backup electricity storage, and thousands of miles of new transmission lines. Has BlackRock calculated the ore body and mining requirements for that? For a global transition?

All those turbines, panels, modules, transmission lines, mines, processing plants and factories have to be located somewhere. Have the ESG potentates determined in whose backyards they will go? (Probably not Larry Fink’s or John Kerry’s.) Have they assessed the impacts on scenery, habitats and wildlife? the air and water pollution from the mines and other operations? the likelihood that endangered right whales would be driven to extinction by wind turbine installations off the U.S. Atlantic Coast?

Do all these WSB mines, foundries, factories and impacts even get (obviously negative) ESG scores?

See the rest here

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