Fossil Fuel Divestment Fail: “Social Entrepreneur” and “Gender Equality Advocate” Edition

Guest AEUHHH???? by David Middleton

Jun 24, 2019

A Family Divesting From Fossil Fuels To Invest In A Green Future

Bonnie Chiu Contributor
ForbesWomen
I write about gender and diversity in the emerging world.

Oil and gas companies have been up for a bumpy ride as more investment funds divest from fossil fuels. It is not only institutional investors such as the Norwegian sovereign fund doing so, but also families and individuals. One such family is certain descendants of Lauren J. Drake, past president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which eventually merged into ExxonMobil. These descendants have sold off their inherited shares, a healthy six-figure sum, on the basis of environmentalism.

Divestment started four generations down from Lauren J. Drake, and he was a prominent individual in the oil and gas industry. An oil tanker was named after him, and it was used in World War Two to transport oil to the allied forces. Some families may find it difficult to emotionally disassociate themselves from the origin of family wealth, but Jamison Suter, great-great-grandson of Lauren J. Drake, said that one should not be sentimental about an investment: “Be grateful you received it, but if it is doing something wrong, try to change the company.”

Jamison, with his background in cultural anthropology and environmental science, started engaging in shareholder activism in the early 2000s. He read the resolutions put to ExxonMobil’s BoD and voted on them with his conscience, but he felt that his action “was a useless drop in the ocean.” He started selling off his shares in 2017 and by now has already sold all of them. “If you cannot change the companies, dump the investment as loudly as you can,” explained Jamison. His aunt, his brother, and sister have all done the same.

[…]

Bonnie Chiu Contributor

I am a Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, a gender equality advocate and a social impact consultant. I am the Founder and CEO of Lensational, empowering marginalised women in 20 countries in Asia and Africa through photography training and platforms to sell their work. I also serve as the Managing Director of The Social Investment Consultancy, an internationally impact advisory firm, with a focus on gender and diversity within impact investing. A recognised advocate for gender equality, I was profiled the Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Achieve Gender Equality — in the Lavazza Calendar. A global citizen, I have roots in Hong Kong and Indonesia, and have lived in the US, Singapore, Pakistan, Denmark, Germany and currently I am based in the UK.

Forbes
Figure 1. AEUHHH????

Does anyone else out there wonder if the “under 30 social entrepreneur, gender equality advocate and a social impact consultant” author of this article realizes that this divestment could only have occurred if there were investors willing to sink “a healthy six-figure sum” into ExxonMobil “on the basis of” capitalism?

One such family is certain descendants of Lauren J. Drake, past president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which eventually merged into ExxonMobil. These descendants have sold off their inherited shares, a healthy six-figure sum, on the basis of environmentalism.

Under 30 social entrepreneur, a gender equality advocate and a social impact consultant

As the great Time Allen would say…

Figure 2. AEUHHH????

Until reality comes to an end…

Figure 3. Reality.

The fossil fuel divestment movement will remain “a really futile and stupid gesture”…

Figure 4. “A really futile and stupid gesture.” National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

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75 thoughts on “Fossil Fuel Divestment Fail: “Social Entrepreneur” and “Gender Equality Advocate” Edition

  1. I would suggest a lawsuit against any fiduciary for other people’s money who takes Bonny Chiu’s advice on investing.

  2. “empowering marginalised women in 20 countries in Asia and Africa through photography training and platforms to sell their work.”

    Yet another foundation brat, who actually thinks that they are somehow superior because they get to spend grand dad’s money.

    • I somehow think if you got every marginalised women in 20 countries to sell photography you might just saturate the market a little 🙂

      • You can only sell so many postcards, and the tourist industry in most of those countries is probably less than vibrant anyway.

  3. Somehow the “I’m a capitalist but I’ve divested myself from fossil investments” seems a contradiction interms; If she is a capitalist she invests in whatever she wants that will meet her financial goals – with a fiduciary result. It is the opposite of capitalist to “invest” as she has stated.

      • Yep…Just a Damn Poor One and a Fool…
        If you don’t invest where the most money is to be made in the shortest time

  4. I’m no Gender Studies expert but it seems to me that, if somone is selling stock shares, someone else is buying them.

    • True but a strong sell sentiment will push down the price of the shares. To me though that is a busy signal – these stocks tend to have good dividends and I will buy them on the cheap

      • If the share prices get sufficiently depressed, the company will come along and buy back its own shares. They increase retained equity, and share scarcity will drive the price back up, assuming the company’s fundamentals remain good.

  5. So I understood well from the article that the family didn’t ditch the money from their ditched oil shares? Not even reinvesting it in “green” energy fairy tale projects? Maybe they bought a mansion with that oil money at the East Coast next to the Gores. They seem to be very principled people (sarc) like their “green God” Al Gore.

    • After taxes, a 6-figure sale price won’t buy much of a mansion. If they are smart, they invested in Boeing stock.

  6. Gender: physical and mental sex-correlated attributes. Diversity: color judgment, including racism, sexism, etc.

  7. Mr. Middleton,

    You are absolutely correct; these people are delusional.

    “…cultural anthropology and environmental science” eh? He probably went to St. Grottlesex where he was indoctrinated with a sense of guilt for coming from a privileged background. When guilt is pedagogically infused on top of a natural anxiety disorder, irrational behavior frequently results.

  8. “A global citizen, I have roots in Hong Kong and Indonesia, and have lived in the US, Singapore, Pakistan, Denmark, Germany and currently I am based in the UK.”

    Someone who can afford to travel and live in these countries. I hope she didn’t fly.

  9. I write about gender and diversity in the emerging world.

    Pathetic. Obviously a Women’s Studies grad.

    (programs like Women’s Studies) … have done nothing but produce a never ending stream of ideologically minded counter-civilization political activists. link

    and

    Why the hell are we subsidizing revolution.

    and

    Go on their web sites and read what they say.

    and

    It’s resentment for the burden of being.

    The so called oppressive patriarchy has brought these idiots a virtual utopia. They will not die in childbirth. They will not die of the myriad of nasty infections that carried off most of our ancestors. The will not suffer real hunger, nor do they have to worry about being devoured by some predator. They have the opportunity of living a longer, more fulfilled life than anyone, ever before, in the history of the world. They should be deeply grateful but they are way too stupid for that.

    They are the enemy of civilization.

    • A profound world view. How difficult it is not to take the achievements of modernity for granted.
      (He says, sitting on a Greek island, guzzling Retsina, Kleftiko served, Rebetika wafting in the distance, no pirates to disturb a pleasant repast.)

    • Sadly I see them as a result of bountiful conditions and easy living. Given any situation wherein one may relax from exerting efforts just to provide basic needs (food, shelter, health, advancing survival knowledge) the idle time may be spent as you see fit. As the idle time grows (due to advancements in ease of living) so too will diversions drift afield.
      IMO this is merely a demonstration of the 6 sigma wings of the distribution on idle time usage.

      • There’s nothing like the appearance of “some predator” to concentrate one’s attention.

        In the absence of any need to focus on survival, these people’s minds are free-wheeling.

        They haven’t the inner resources to create real meaning in their own lives. So they look for injury and opt for the easy distractions of self-righteousness and grievance.

        Ms. Bonnie Chiu, “Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, gender equality advocate and social impact consultant” is a perfect example of someone who’s addicted herself to grievance for lack of any ability to create real meaning in her life.

        • “In the absence of any need to focus on survival, these people’s minds are free-wheeling.”

          Rather like a motor running with no load — ?

  10. I love the so called “environmentalists” that believe divesting of fossil fuel related stocks will cause a demise of the industry. Perfect example of a useful idiot.

  11. What do these people think they’re accomplishing? Do they think if they angrily sell their shares, they might sit on the shelf like Christmas cake on New Year’s Day?

    I wonder if you could get the idiots to sell ’em cheap, just to show those nasty shares how much they’re hated?

  12. I have to say, when your bio at the end of the article is nearly as long as the article itself then, 1, you probably don’t have all that much to say, and 2, your glorious reputation may not be as glorious as you think it is.

    • Overall, length of CV seems to be inversely related to intrinsic quality of the researcher. So many senior faculty try to make up for their lack of decent publications by adding verbose lists of their services, conferences or seminars they’ve been to, etc. Who tf cares? link

      A really good resume should consist of the following:

      name, address, affiliation, and the date you won your Nobel Prize

      Of course you lose 1000 points for claiming you won the Nobel Prize when you didn’t do so. Sadly, Dr. Mann wasn’t the only one to make that particular blunder.

  13. Bonny has lived in all those places. How did she get from one to next? I have to presume she hasn’t used fossil fuels. Socially pure people don’t use dirty CO2 producing oil, do they?

      • 8 Places in less than 30 years is averaging less than 4 years each.
        If she lives like the Green Crowd wants, she doesn’t drive or fly so
        1 year in each place and 3 years walking to the next location. Also 3 years to swim accrosss the oceans

        “A global citizen, I have roots in
        Hong Kong 1 year
        3 years walking to
        Indonesia 1 year,
        3 years swimming the Pacific to the
        US,
        3 years swimming the Atlantic
        Singapore,
        3 years walking to
        Pakistan,
        3 years walking to
        Denmark,
        3 years walking to
        Germany and
        after Swimming the channel
        currently I am based in the UK.”

  14. “One such family is certain descendants of Lauren J. Drake, past president of Standard Oil of New Jersey, which eventually merged into ExxonMobil. These descendants have sold off their inherited shares, a healthy six-figure sum, on the basis of environmentalism.”

    A healthy six figure sum? Healthy? Seems to me that anyone descendant from a past president of Standard Oil of New Jersey was really, really bad with money if they only wound up with six figures. Standard Oil (the “monopoly”) was worth over $1 billion for one month (the first in history), prior to its breakup by Supreme Court order in 1911. But Standard Oil of New Jersey, one of the 34 resulting companies, reached a market cap of $1 billion in 1925. A descendant of SONJ CEO who walked away with no more than 1% of that company’s 1925 market cap should sue their ancestor.

    Of course, there is always the question of what “six figures” really means. In some of my entrepreneurial years, when I was flat broke, I used to claim that I made a six-figure income. Of course, one of the figures had to be the dollar sign, one the decimal point, two the two digits behind the decimal point, and on occasion a “-” sign in front of it all.

    • It is possible that the author meant a healthy six figure sum of shares, not dollars.

    • MSK Ret, I agree the six-figure sum is dollars, so let’s think it is 999,999 and round it off to $1,000,000. Exxon Mobile has shares and share price showing total value of $280 Billion so Ms.Leiu is thrilled about 0.00036 % of the ExxonMobile value as a political win? As an ex-company President I can assure you if someone threatened to sell off 0.00036 % of our company stock I would struggle to keep a straight face

  15. This is nothing compared to the policy of the Synod of the Church of England which is to disinvest from fossil fuels unless the company
    ‘conforms to the Paris Agreement ‘. Because of their wilful ignorance of the conditions of the Agreement they have not specified how this is to be achieved. The only way to reduce CO2 emissions is to reduce production. Their minutes show a rejection of a proposal that companies should cease exploration within four years- come on, bishops, you’ve wimped out here! I have exchanged letters with the Bishop of Salisbury, including my photo of a Hmong tribal boy at risk from cooking inhalation in his hut, but His Grace believes that the inexpressibly weird IPCC’s SR 1.5 is the blueprint towards a decarbonised future and refuses to read any of the scholarly literature that destroys this study. He says he’s read it himself but I think he’s lying – no one can read that extraordinary compilation of ‘pathways ‘ to poverty and not laugh. Have you tried , comrades? As to the poor of the world and the sub Saharan 53% of global population without electricity, they couldn’t give a Christian toss, backing the Christian World Bank in this. Luckily the Christian Chinese and the Christian African Bank are stepping in. Being theologians they can’t do sums which must be a handicap.
    Oh, and has anyone asked their threadbare population of pensioners? No. An utter Disgrace.

    • Well, when you think about it, it makes sense that organized religions would shill for socialism… both organized religion and socialism are attempts at controlling the behavior of the populace.

      Organized religion was the earliest attempt, and has several features similar to socialism… fear of repercussions for dissenting behavior, group-think a necessity, ostracization of dissenters, favoritism to those who are especially pious, and belief in a power greater than the individual.

      Socialism, a cultish off-shoot of religion, merely replaces a deity with a government-as-deity.

      Where organized religion gets it fatally wrong is in their shilling for socialism… socialism seeks to replace organized religion, to do away with it and replace it with their socialist cult. The church siding with socialism is them siding with the demise of organized religion itself.

      Where socialism gets it wrong (and organized religion gets it right) is in the requirements for a person to join that particular religion or cult (be it organized religion or the cult of socialism)… the necessity of undergoing an ‘expensive ritual’ (expensive in terms of expended time and effort), such that other members of that particular religion or cult know they can trust that new member because all members share the same belief set.

      The cult of socialism / global warming doesn’t have any such requirement, any idiot can be a socialist / ‘climate change believer’ without having to undergo an ‘expensive ritual’, thus the scammiest, scummiest, least trusthworthy lowlifes can be (and are) socialists.

      Ref. Al Gore, for instance. Michael Mann, for another instance.

      Lately, since not very many people actually want large, intrusive government when they really think about it, the socialists have glommed onto global warming / climate change / climate weirding / whatever the key phrase du jour is as a vehicle for their socialist cult, but when you get right down to brass tacks, they must in the end return to large, intrusive government as their ultimate ‘god’.

      Their cult is diametrically opposed to freedom, the need for freedom is intrinsic to human nature, and thus, since environmentalism / climate change / global warming / whatever they’re calling their paper-god nowadays isn’t going to force people to act against their own nature and pauperize themselves, the socialists must return to large, intrusive government as the jackboot upon the throat of the populace which forces the people to act against their own nature.

      That’s why they’re so dangerous, after all. Given the chance, they’d cull anyone not subscribing to their cult. Given half a chance, they’d imprison them.

  16. I should have mentioned that Salisbury leads for the Synod on ‘climate change ‘

  17. “A global citizen, I have roots in Hong Kong and Indonesia, and have lived in the US, Singapore, Pakistan, Denmark, Germany and currently I am based in the UK.”

    And you keep moving around on a Vimana powered by bio unicorn manure and Himalayan sacred water ?

    Or in full-perks class on anything with sufficient kerosene reserve in it’s tanks to get you safely there ?

    If you were Pinocchio, we could dry clothes on your nose.

  18. Only the privileged who have everything, can champion the merit of having nothing.
    The irony of their personal position and their stated objectives escapes them.
    They advance the merit of the poor becoming rich like them via schemes they champion such as art and craft sales?
    Here is an easy option they can adopt to demonstrate their much talked about beliefs. Just give all the wealth they have to the poor and become poor themselves. Set the example you promote, let us see how many stop living in A/C splendour, how many stop flying around the world (Emma Thompson) preaching the need to stop flying, Let us see how many walk and collect water from the nearest stream, rather than have that piped luxury hot and cold on tap along with their chauffeur driven lifestyle.
    Make reading grapes of wrath compulsory in schools. When the children have absorbed the lesson of tough living off the land poverty and migration, created by climate/weather conditions beyond our influence, maybe then, they will realise we have to prepare for all eventualities.
    Searing heat and bone chilling cold, excessive rain and prolonged drought, devastating winds and static polluting still air, they are all out there. We have to prepare for all of those weather events by having strong well maintained reliable infrastructure.
    We have to have reliable energy.
    If you live in a high rise urban environment, try and imagine what it is going to be like when the lights, air conditioning and lifts stop working.
    That is what the Green Socialists particularly those in East/West Coast mansions, consider progress.

    • “Only the privileged who have everything, can champion the merit of having nothing.”

      Nobility in pre-Revolution France made a pastime out of LARP’ing poor people. Marie Antoinette had an entire mock peasant village built in the palace courtyard and would pretend to be a milkmaid.

  19. I write about gender and diversity in the emerging world.

    Oops, I don’t have time to read any more. I have things to do.

  20. Well here is some real divestment news…

    “The New Jersey-headquartered insurer Chubb announced this week that it will no longer underwrite the construction and operation of new coal-fired power plants or new risks for companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from coal, making the insurer the next in a long line of financial and insurance institutions waving goodbye to coal.

    Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company and the market leader in insuring the US power sector, announced on Monday that it had adopted a new policy which will see it no longer underwrite the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants or new risks for companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal mining or energy production from coal.”

  21. Bonnie’s description of herself reads like its generated a liberal arts course goobledegook phrase generator. Its laughably try hard, but I am sure its lapped up in the right crowd.

  22. shareholder of the divesting companies wont be so supportive as the alt sources go down /fail and the pensions are lost

    might well be some financially lucrative actions by their lawyers following

    • There has already been discussion of that in Australia with a couple of funds notably “Australian ethical super” warned they could face legal action. Even though they fully disclose how they intend to invest it breaches the guideline that the fund needs to act in the interest of the member. This is going to be stiffened even further with changes being discussed.

      Being informed is not a defense against a legal principle. In effect they are saying we are going to break the law and invest ethically are you happy with that? It doesn’t matter that you give your consent you can not contract outside the law in Australia and hence why you can’t legally hire a hitman or have a contract on drug sales. So if push comes to shove and they lose a lot of money for their investors the investors or more likely there next of kin can sue them.

  23. She’s a bimbo. It’s plain that she has never set foot in the slums of any south (eastern or western) Asian city like Singapore or Jakarta, and has no idea what real poverty is like.

    Haven’t seen that much mind-boggling silliness and self-importance since Monday.

    • A wise old pilot who during WW II was assigned to Karachi to fly the Hump once said “If they ever decided to give the world an enema, Karachi is where they’ll place the hose”

    • No just the green and left losers. The real market does not care.
      This is the value of coal adjusted to change in dollar value … figure 4
      https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2007/apr/1.html
      That is the reserve bank of Australia research which must be neutral

      So in relative terms coal is worth exactly the same today as it was in 1906.

      Oil is the standout figure 7 it is worth more today than it historically was.

  24. The commentators have not mentioned the most important implication from the article. This author works and writes for a magazine connected to Forbes! And Forbes advertises themselves as “The #1 Most Trusted Magazine In America.”

    I think that Forbes should add the word “Was” in front of their motto.

  25. After reading young contributor Bonnie Chiu’s bio a few times, my main reaction is she certainly has a 100% buzzword compliant career.

    Do these people really not realize how ridiculous their gobbldy-gook sounds? Are they really that impressed with the sound of their own pseudo-cleverness?

  26. Oil and gas companies have been up for a bumpy ride (BS) as more investment funds divest from fossil fuels. (Oil and gas companies didn’t own the stock) It is not only institutional investors such as the Norwegian sovereign fund doing so, but also families and individuals. The Oil and gas companies could do a buy back which would make their worth more.

  27. The Big ReInsurance company n the world, you know the insurance company that insures insurance companies all over the globe , divested from anything oil and gas, 5 years ago.

    It also stopped covering any insurance company that offer natural disaster protection in certain areas of the world, including Florida and all states on the gulf of Mexico, which is why you cannot ind anyone insuring your home in Florida.

    • The difference is with coal power stations the governments usually underpin them. What government needs commercial insurance … I hope you do realize how governments insure themselves? It varies slightly but it’s all around a common theme in the developed nations.

    • Numerous European insurers have been for some time divesting from fossil fuels and curtailing underwriting of fossil fuel companies and projects, including insurance giants AXA, SCOR, Zurich, Allianz, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Generali and VIG.

      The CEO of Mapfre, an insurer in Spain and Latin America, announced on March 8 that his company would stop underwriting new coal mines and power plants, and would no longer invest in companies that derive more than 30 percent of their revenue from coal.

      Yawn…

      Climate Activists to Pressure U.S. Insurers Underwriting Fossil Fuel Industry

      By Don Jergler | March 14, 2019

      On Thursday, Austrian insurer Uniqa Group announced it will stop insuring new coal plants and mines.

      The groups are setting their sights on U.S. insurers, where they say little action has been taken to curtail underwriting fossil fuel projects or companies.

      Elana Sulakshana, with the Rainforest Action Network, said the groups have been attempting to correspond with 22 large U.S. insurers since July, but have gotten nowhere.

      https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2019/03/14/520717.htm

      • The Rainforest Action Network was one of the rent-a-mob groups working with Steven Donziger in the Lago Agrio shakedown attempt against Chevron.

  28. A bit off-topic, but usually anyone who majored in “gender studies” or some such nonsense are working at Starbucks for the next 20 years trying to pay off their student loans….

  29. “I am a Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur..”

    Is a “social entrepreneur” what we used to call a charlatan, a mountebank, or just a plain bullshitter”

  30. The Divestment Movement requires the public to be as ignorant of stocks as they are.

    Man X sell his shares of Y Oil to Woman Z. No reason for Y Oil to care. Y Oil got their money long ago when they sold the shares to the public.

    ‘Oil and gas companies have been up for a bumpy ride as more investment funds divest from fossil fuels.’

    Divestment doesn’t affect investment. Nothing ‘bumpy’ about it.

  31. Of course, the majority of comments on Ms. Chiu’s article are, as per usual, trenchant, insightful and funny, but I’m still stuck.

    I’ve re-read Ms. Chui’s autobiography several times, and still find it hard to believe she expects readers to take what she wrote seriously. As someone who pre-dates Ms. Chui’s generation, and bears some responsibility for its outcome, all I can think is: “What have we done?”

  32. For anyone needing assistance with with virtue signaling. I am willing to accept a gift of five or ten or twenty thousand shares or more of any of the major oil companies.

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