Is WSJ Quietly Practicing More Balanced Reporting on Climate Change?

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t M; A scattering of surprisingly climate skeptic stories has started appearing lately in the pages of America’s premier financial journal. But there may be an important deeper reason which explains why this is suddenly happening.

A very direct criticism of Biden’s climate policies;

Biden’s Climate Plans Are Unsustainable

The current White House agenda is so unrealistic it risks a backlash that will hurt the cause for decades.

By Stuart Gottlieb
July 31, 2022 4:48 pm ET

Ironically, the greatest threat to this progress—particularly in the critical realm of climate—comes not from such emerging mega-emitters as China and India, although they certainly play a role. It comes from the energy and climate initiatives promoted by the Biden White House, which are themselves unsustainable—so aggressive and unduly optimistic that they risk a backlash that would set back the cause of environmental sustainability for generations. To avert this, the administration must shift to a more pragmatic set of policies. Encouraging more natural-gas production and a moon-shot approach to fusion energy would embolden America to lead the world toward a green future.

But the administration first needs to reckon with the peril of the moment. America’s announced climate goals seek a transition to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. This aggressive timeline is increasingly at odds with three hard realities: economic, geostrategic and political. Each sets a major hurdle for climate action, and together they expose the unsustainability of the Democratic Party’s climate agenda.

Read more:

Wall Street Journal on the green transition;

Democrats’ Great Fossil Fuel Bonfire of 2023

A hoped-for surge of solar, wind and battery production requires CO2-intensive mining and manufacturing.

By James Freeman
Aug. 15, 2022 6:24 pm ET

Even if some of the mining surge is permitted to occur in the U.S., it will still rely heavily on fossil fuels. In theory, Democrats’ big bonfire will be offset by future CO2 reductions, but what if it isn’t? What if intermittent solar and wind power can never be counted on to reliably and efficiently replace the fuels we need today? Even those inclined to believe in the more pessimistic climate forecasts, even those who think that upending economies now is more sensible than relying on future technologies to address potential challenges, should consider the costs of expensive environmental belief.

James Meigs writes for City Journal:

Because of their low energy density, wind and solar developments require enormous tracts of land, compared with other energy sources. New York’s now-shuttered Indian Point nuclear power plant sits on just 240 acres. Replacing its power entirely with wind power would require more than 500 square miles of turbines. That’s a massive amount of land and habitat lost to energy production.

People upset about carbon footprints may not realize just how large the allegedly non-carbon footprints can be. And when inefficient alternative energy sources fail, people have to come back to the efficient sources that environmentalists have shunned. Mr. Meigs adds:

Read more (paywalled):


Arizona Defends Retirees Against ESG

Fund managers have a legal and social duty to focus on financial returns for their clients’ retirement accounts, not climate or other issues.

By Mark Brnovich
Aug. 15, 2022 1:57 pm ET

Wall Street and the financial industry’s social purpose should be protecting investors’ savings and retirement money. Asset managers claim they focus on financial returns, but they have joined with left-wing state pension funds to cram “environmental, social and governance” policies down the throats of American companies and employees whose retirement funds are under asset managers’ control. What is the real focus of woke asset managers?

BlackRock recently sent a letter to several states claiming that BlackRock focuses solely on its fiduciary duty, allows its clients to determine how to approach the “energy transition,” and has joined climate organizations merely to “dialogue.” This month, 18 of my fellow attorneys general and I responded by pointing out inconsistencies and conflicts between BlackRock’s letter and its public statements and commitments.

BlackRock’s website describes the climate organizations it has joined. Rather than “dialogue,” the focus is on taking action to “accelerate the transition to net zero,” to “ensure the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change,” and to support “the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Read more:

Why is this happening?

I have a theory that something changed when HSBC martyred senior executive Stuart Kirk, apparently for the crime of speaking his mind on climate change. Because the one thing the senior bankers and fund managers I’ve met can’t stand is an investment industry sacred cow.

The lesson which has emerged above all others over the last 30 years is lies lead to losses, including or especially lies of omission. Arguably every significant industry loss over the last 30 years has occurred because of a truth everybody knew, but nobody dared to speak.

A handful of senior bankers I talked to before the 2007-10 GFC crash quietly admitted the subprime mortgages being sold were total junk, but so long as the money kept pouring in, everyone, including me, kept quiet. Subprime was a juggernaut. I could have been wrong. What is one person’s opinion, or even a handful of critical opinions, against the massed wisdom and might, the massed consensus of the entire financial industry?

But the hard lesson was learned – in the aftermath of the 2007-10 crash, people in the financial industry started speaking their minds, and suddenly everyone realised they weren’t alone. Lots of other people had the same doubts, they just hadn’t felt safe about sharing those doubts with colleagues.

Stuart Kirk’s bold sacrifice has forced the financial world to face the possibility that the GFC nightmare, the pressure to remain silent, has started happening again. Once again there appears to be a golden opportunity, a financial sacred cow, which nobody is allowed to criticise.

All the simmering pain from the 2007-10 GFC is still fresh in everyone’s minds, maybe too fresh in some minds for them to just stand idle while their client’s money is swept into what could be a high risk gamble, because everyone is too afraid to speak up and point out the risk. So this time bankers aren’t going quietly, they are grumbling and in some cases openly rebelling, like the courageous Stuart Kirk.

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Tom Halla
August 19, 2022 2:17 pm

ESG and fiduciary duty are incompatible.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 19, 2022 2:44 pm

As a JD/MBA who studied both corporate and securities law, it can be said more strongly. ESG is against foundational principles of corporate officer and board responsibility, which simply and only is fiduciary on behalf of shareholders. No E, No S. Period. G is solely fiduciary for shareholders (or more fashionably now ‘stakeholders’ including employees).

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 19, 2022 4:13 pm

I suscribe to [free] McKinsey Corp’s blog which just this week sent out a generally favorable piece on ESG and return on investment. But deep in the article was this quote:

“Due to the challenges of consistency in measuring ESG, there is still uncertainty in the relationship between ESG and financial performance. To illustrate, one challenge with considering ESG ratings is selecting which ESG scores and indexes to use. When evaluating across the major ratings agencies, such as Sustainalytics or MSCI, ESG ratings have poor correlation. A 2019 MIT study noted that the correlation among six prominent ESG ratings agencies was, on average, 0.61. Credit ratings from mainstream agencies Moody’s and S&P had a correlation of 0.99.7 Due to this inconsistency of ESG ratings across ratings agencies, it can be challenging to link ESG actions to higher ratings and their impact on financial performance.”

I agree with Rud & Tom H.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 19, 2022 4:23 pm

So, if my money is locked in a pension plan, can I sue the managers if they don’t uphold their fiduciary duty. Could it become a class action?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  commieBob
August 19, 2022 5:45 pm

One thing I would advise with your money is learn a great deal about investing and be proactive about the process and choices in this day and age. Outside of the oil and gas industry shares (if you were loaded up on it before the surge!) it might even make sense to cull your investment package and park it in an low risk 2-3 year GIC or something similar to see what the fallout will be from the horrible mess the totalitarians in the West have baked in for the whole world. Basically even walking the whole Marxist Gambit back tomorrow wouldn’t stop it now. It would be good to be in a cash position when the rest of the most talentless heads of state ever to be assembled get kicked out and the meme comes tumbling down.

If you explore class action, I think the fact that there has been no bankable feasibility study done to show that the whole Net Zero power scheme would actually work let alone that it’s even needed.This would be litigation territory if a mining company failed to do the full testing. The whole shiteree has been trial and error. Sri Lanka’s disastrous ‘sustainable’ agriculture’ bankrupted the country totally. Now there’s a feasibility study for you!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 19, 2022 5:56 pm

One could also argue because feasibility hasn’t been demonstrated that an investor should have investment banker interest rates on these investments. They are no less risky than a fusion reactor investment and not something unsophisticated investors should be offered.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 19, 2022 11:45 pm

I think that the chickens are starting to come home to roost now that even journalists and some politicians are beginning to see the results of their advocacy of Net-Zero.
When journalists see their energy bills quadruple, food shopping prices increase and the cost of filling their gas tanks, then treble, then even they may start to question what is happening.
An acquaintance who is involved in research into energy storage surprised me by admitting that they had been doing some sums on the availability of the materials to achieve the N-Z revolution and were realising the impossibility due to inadequate resources.
Allied to this was the fact that China has been gobbling up access to the raw material sources, so the West will have to go to them as supplicants.
The worm seems to be turning and we can only hope it doesn’t take to long about it.
My main worry is that too many politicians, and financial institutions, have too much invested in N-Z and that their pride will not allow them to change tack.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  StephenP
August 20, 2022 7:09 am

According to the IEA recent report ‘Global Supply Chains of EV Batteries’ (July 2022)

“China dominates production at every stage of the EV supply chain downstream of mining. 75% of battery cell production capacity is in China plus 70% of cathode and 85% of anode material global production capacity.

Over half of global processing for lithium, cobalt and graphite occurs in China.

With 80% of global graphite mining China dominates the entire graphite anode supply chain end-to-end”

In 2021 China’s share of global EV battery production was 76%,
US 7%, EU 7%, Korea 5%, Japan 4%, SE Asia 1%.

michael hart
Reply to  StephenP
August 20, 2022 8:32 am

“An acquaintance who is involved in research into energy storage surprised me by admitting that they had been doing some sums on the availability of the materials to achieve the N-Z revolution and were realising the impossibility due to inadequate resources.

I recall seeing an analysis that if the UK really achieved its intended conversion to 100% electrical vehicles by 2030, the extra grid capacity would require at least one, possibly more, of the world’s entire annual copper production. Ain’t gonna happen.

And we are really just a small country in the grand scheme of things.

Reply to  StephenP
August 20, 2022 9:35 am

Speaking of research, the sad part is that in the twisted world of research funding, use the buzzwords and get the grants. Hey, it’s money and published papers and notoriety. Don’t bother with scale-up or feasibility.

In the instance of your friend’s organization, they may know and even privately admit that it is impossible, but that recognition may not deter them or others from scamming investors or seeking government grants or tax credits and subsidies. Not to suggest anything about your friend or his company, because I do not know them, but the virtue of integrity is becoming lost to our evermore corrupt culture.

Dave Fair
Reply to  StephenP
August 20, 2022 10:29 am

The “Graduate” advice to get into plastics has morphed into “learn Mandarin.”

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 20, 2022 12:09 am

Doesn’t it really depend on what judge you get?

Dave Fair
Reply to  AndyHce
August 20, 2022 10:31 am

No, it depends on your wealth and political party. There is nothing new under the Sun.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 20, 2022 10:27 am

Bring the suit. Even if it were to lose, it would put them on notice.

Reply to  commieBob
August 20, 2022 12:08 am

Can you provide adequate evidence to have a chance against their attorneys in court is the real question.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 9:22 am

Rud, I studiously avoid the use of “stakeholders’” as it is a term in the lexicon of ascendant Marxist dialectic, which is coming to dominate post-modern discourse. Rather than approach a policy or debate topic by starting with truth, facts, and basic points of congruence, the goal is now to reach synthesis, irrespective of the soundness or logic of the immediate conclusion, which can itself be changed at a mere whim in the shifting winds of popular opinion. The “facilitator” is trained in “stakeholder management” (i.e., how to manipulate people and the discussion) toward a type of mob rule. I began witnessing this in government circles within the USEPA in the early 1990s as they convened diverse groups to help set various policies. Rather than begin with a clear statement of context, facts (knowns) and purpose, the meetings focused on the process. It was immediately clear that activist NGOs were free to spout demonstrable falsehoods without correction or refutation. Industry representatives were forced to sit on their hands. Little or nothing useful was the result.

The recent and somewhat sudden rise of ESG, notably also a United Nations construct, in the financial and business sector, joins other vague and practically unmeasurable concepts such as environmental justice, sustainability, CAGW, and DIE (diversity, inclusion and equity), notions that plague writing and discussion throughout our culture. Endorse these or be isolated or worse.

We need to learn the methods and arguments, and the occasional useful idea, even while studiously rejecting them.

I am now in higher education and cannot countenance the foolhardy views of university sustainability activists across the country. Either embracing the lies, too stupid to do the math, or too afraid to speak up, the proponents of the movement (busybodies) have completely disenfranchised at least half the population.

I am now being disappointed by heretofore solid environmental service providers who have drunk the ESG KoolAid. They will no longer get our business if they do not relent.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 20, 2022 10:24 am

Sue their asses off!

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 20, 2022 2:20 am

Totally agree; of more concern to those affected by fiduciary responsibilities – e.g. Trustees – is that they have another reason to be sued by the legal representatives of those whose interests they have a statutory duty to protect if the ESG version of the portfolio under performs the non ESG equivalent; older Trusts especially vulnerable if there is no clause requiring them to consider “ESG” issues ( I refer to UK based Trusts etc but I reckon US Trusts are similarly affected).

Watch out for a new UK Trustee Act forcing ESG considerations on Trustees….

Dave Yaussy
August 19, 2022 2:18 pm

Don’t confuse the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages with its straight news reporting. The news reporters tend to be young and more woke on climate change. The editorial writers and the op-eds are much more skeptical. As I recall, earlier this year the editorial staff had to re-assure readers that the news and editorial divisions were independent, and that we could continue to expect a more realistic view of climate change from the opinion side of the paper.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
August 19, 2022 3:40 pm

There is a more cynical parsing of your important distinction.
There is NO climate news for reporters to report. Only weather. They are confused about the distinction.
OTH, there is a tempered climate perspective for editors and op-Ed’s to state.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
August 19, 2022 3:44 pm

James Freeman is a member of the editorial writers of the WSJ. Others, such as Stuart Gottlieb [ teaches American foreign policy and international security at Columbia, where he is a member of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies], and Bjørn Lomborg are independent of the WSJ but given space for commentaries. Frequently, space is given to the pro-Global Warming Cult writers as well.
Although the dozen or so editorial writers, such as Baker, Jenkins, McGurn, may not be total skeptics of the “greenhouse” concept, neither is Lomborg or Roy Spencer.
News articles are a totally different matter. Dave says : tend to be young and more woke on climate change. Some for sure, but others simple include “climate change” statements that come to them via interviews or press releases.
Bottom line is: Know the author and read as a skeptic.
Below, Rud Istvan, has a good statement. We are talking about “Wall Street” in case that isn’t obvious.

Rud Istvan
August 19, 2022 2:38 pm

I have read the WSJ every day since Sept 1972 (first day at HBS). For many decades it was fairly oblivious to the climate wars. Then they got a little woke before the Paris Accord stuff. They were also a bit anti-Trump pulling out of Paris. Well, in truth WSJ was pretty anti-Trump, period, since he upended much of their conception of the ‘proper’ multinational world business order.

IMO what has caused WSJ to start to change, as the articles EW cites show, is that the impracticality (high cost, unreliability) of renewables is becoming very visible as penetration increases. And Biden just went all in on renewables despite that undeniable fact. That is BAD for business.
No new natgas hookups in NYC kills the real estate market there. High power prices kills manufacturing in New England and California. Looming industrial (and residential in winter) catastrophes in UK and Germany. China lock on processed battery materials (cobalt, lithium) and rare earths (wind turbines, EVs) is not good for US business. And so on.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 19, 2022 4:15 pm

Biden got greedy for a lasting legacy, having done nothing meaningful his entire career.

He may well have just choked the goose laying the golden egg.

Boris was much the same with NetZero. He hoped it would carry him to a Thatcher like term in office and a Churchillian status for generations, as the man who saved the planet.

I now, more than ever, believe Covid was a genuinely accidentally released from a Wuhan lab. It may have been planned to do so at a later date however, in their haste and greed, the leftist elites pulled the trigger on their global assault for totalitarianism a bit earlier than they expected and the pitch wasn’t yet fully primed.

If we get out of this I suspect it will only be thanks to collective greed and arrogance of the people pulling the strings right now.

I do believe in coincidences, but they are rare. I certainly don’t believe that the sequence of catastrophic events that have occurred since around 2016 when Trump was first elected can possibly be coincidence.

We are being played.

Kevin McNeill
Reply to  HotScot
August 20, 2022 10:12 am

Exactly Neil Oliver’s take on the situation.

paul courtney
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 19, 2022 5:02 pm

Mr. Istvan: In the “and so on” category, the local news covered the “boon” to corn farmers in the No More Inflation Bill. Under the guise of fighting climate change, it was presented as a breakthrough in the fight against emissions that will cut them in half by 2030, the Brandon admin goal. The news item did not mention how emissions would be cut, never mind inflation, but it was great news for corn belt. All I could think was, Biden’s inner circle thinks Jimmy Carter failed because he didn’t go hard enough on biofuels. Unfortunately for all, the current bunch seems determined to outdo the Carter Admin.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  paul courtney
August 20, 2022 5:24 am

The only way to harvest more corn in the US is to cut the acreage used for things like soybeans, milo, cotton, etc. This will raise the prices of those commodities hurting the consumer even more than today.

Politicians today, especially Democrats, are so isolated from the real world they can’t even understand the simple production possibility frontier impacts of policies in the real world. They all just think everything grows on trees in someone’s backyard, especially money!

Mark Whitney
Reply to  paul courtney
August 20, 2022 6:03 am

The Brandon Group certainly pushed Carter out of the basement, if greater fail can be seen as “outdoing”! > ; }

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 19, 2022 10:01 pm

‘Well, in truth WSJ was pretty anti-Trump, period, since he upended much of their conception of the ‘proper’ multinational world business order.’

They are still anti-Trump. And while they may not be as ‘Bolshie’ as most corporate media outlets, they’re dependable supporters of the Deep State.

August 19, 2022 2:54 pm

Or they just could be appealing to common sense to bolster their credibility.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 19, 2022 3:44 pm

“BlackRock, Inc. is an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City” (Wiki).
The current government of Australia is the Australian Labor Party (ALP), I’m old enough to remember when the ALP would have regarded dealing with an American multinational corporation as dealing with Beelzebub incarnate.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
John Hultquist
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 19, 2022 3:50 pm

 “The Editorial Board” – WSJ – no individual name attached – just wrote
The ESG Investing Backlash Arrives
State AGs seek answers from BlackRock, and a new firm offers alternative investments funds. Strive’s first fund raised more than $100 million in a week.

Joe Gordon
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 19, 2022 7:30 pm

So, would the world’s largest battery fire qualify as an existential threat to the Great Barrier Reef?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joe Gordon
August 19, 2022 8:22 pm

Only if the wind was blowing towards the ocean.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 10:47 am

Eric, it is fascinating that Australian politicians think they can out-compete China and the rest of Asia in mass manufacturing. Their supporting data? Other than “we are advanced Western white men and our hearts are in the right place.” Similarly, Brandon’s latest climate boondoggle will just further weaken the U.S. in international competition.

Maybe the plan to compete in the future is to drive down our standard of living to that of South Asia. One problem with that, though, is you’d have to suppress NIMBY-ism completely.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  markl
August 19, 2022 8:21 pm

Hanlon’s Razor: “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”

Mark Whitney
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 20, 2022 6:08 am

However, incompetence alone should result in benefit roughly half the time since incompetence should have random results. When the preponderance of results is directional and negative, it is generally safe to assume malice.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
August 19, 2022 5:00 pm

Leases, yeah. But what about permitting?

Willem post
August 19, 2022 3:28 pm

WSJ more balanced reporting?
A large number of writers would need a lobotomy, or, better yet, a brain transplant

August 19, 2022 3:45 pm

Well, nature wins, in the end, and so does the market, a force of nature; but how long before that win, well, even kim doesn’t know.

John Garrett
August 19, 2022 3:54 pm

Sorry but you’ve got it wrong.

If you speak truth to power in investment banking/brokerage (the “sell side”) or in a large investment management operation (the “buy side”), you better be prepared to suffer the consequences that were visited upon Stuart Kirk.

These big bureaucratic hierarchies operate on the organizational principles of the United States Army— strict conformity and “My way or the highway”).

August 19, 2022 3:55 pm

But if raising atmospheric CO2 levels to, say, 500 ppm is the key to preventing the next glacial cycle which would make large swaths of the northern hemisphere uninhabitable and restrict agriculture, wouldn’t that be a wise policy to pursue? I’m waiting for the chief priests of the church of Our Lady of Immaculate Climate to explain what we’re going to do when the next ice age happens.

Reply to  stinkerp
August 19, 2022 4:13 pm

Could be, but I don’t think we can raise it high enough nor sustain it long enough to prevent re-glaciátion. Nonetheless, the anthropogenic greening should enrich us enough to make more difference than the warming. We can make a dent in the doom of inevitable cooling., and we should.

The longest term task is to sustain CO2 in the atmosphere in the face of nearly irreversible sequestration of CO2, performed by the sun in league with the biosphere. Eventually we’ll have to learn to break up carbonates economically instead of just the low hanging fruit of hydrocarbons.

So much to do, so little time. Well, we have a little time but we must wise up and quit wasting our essence pursuing false narratives engendered by the love of money and power.

michael hart
Reply to  kim
August 20, 2022 8:45 am

Haven’t seen you commenting in a while, Kim. Nice to have you back.

Reply to  michael hart
August 20, 2022 9:38 pm

I’ve long enjoyed your contributions, too.

Gilbert K. Arnold
Reply to  stinkerp
August 19, 2022 4:24 pm

@stinkerp….. to point out the obvious to anyone with more than a nodding acquaintance of geology…. we are still in an ice age..and have been for the past couple of million years or so So, the “High Priests” need to explain what we are supposed to do when the ice returns.. as it will happen. We just don’t know when.

Reply to  Gilbert K. Arnold
August 20, 2022 12:34 am

most seem to have accepted either A or B
A no more ‘natural’ glaciation for at least 50,000 years
B Anthro CO2 emissions mean total end of glaciation or at least for the 100,000 year residence time of anthro CO2.

Reply to  Gilbert K. Arnold
August 20, 2022 7:26 am

“We just don’t know when”

Of course we do, climate “scientists” have created models that can tell us the future climate of our Earth. They just need more computing power to run the models to project the next 1000, or 10,000 or 100,000 years to get the “right” answer.

Richard M
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 5:51 am

Using geothermal heat to keep Hudson Bay at its current temperature is likely all that is required.

Bob Close
Reply to  stinkerp
August 20, 2022 6:53 am

Are you referring to the mild cooling likely to take place during the coming GSM over the next decade or so? Or are you taking about the next real Ice Age expected to start after at least 1500 years according to comparisons with previous glacial episodes. The latter time frame is lets face it, a bit too far in the future for current politicians to worry about, after all they are promoting the NZ garbage when they will all be dead before this decarbonization process will have any minimal effect on the so called climate problem they are trying uselessly to solve.
What a waste of human effort, science and prosperity chasing this climate chimera, it actually destroys my faith in our future! We don’t deserve the stars.

Richard Page
Reply to  Bob Close
August 20, 2022 8:48 am

A lot of the climate activists are under the delusion that we should never have swung down from the trees. We may not deserve the stars but we need them – every lesson we’ve learned from our past and the evolution of other species is that a group living in one small area is fragile and vulnerable, that the only way to ensure the survival of the species is to spread to other areas, to diversify and to keep doing so.

August 19, 2022 4:01 pm

I said at the time that Stuart Kirk’s presentation would run through the financial world like diarrhoea. He only said what everyone else was thinking, the king has no clothes.

I watch Dan Bongino to keep up to date with goings on in America from a right wing perspective. As an ex cop I also enjoy his informed insight into the police and secret service. I have noticed that the WSJ articles supporting right wing views he cites are growing more frequent. At worst they are regular features, which surprised me when I realised.

The problem is it’s probably far too late. For example UN Sustainable Development Goals are everywhere. I’m working on a project with a prominent university for a UK government grant to develop an innovative product.

One of the principle objectives within the grant application is that one or more SDG’s must be applicable. Ours qualifies for three.

But when you read through them they represent nothing more than generations of good business practice, but they have been hijacked as a green mantra with ‘The planet’ included somewhere in the text of every one of the seventeen.

‘The planet’ is constantly referenced but the goals are what mankind has been attempting to do for hundreds of thousands of years. Make a profit whilst not sh*tting on your own lawn.

Rick C
Reply to  HotScot
August 19, 2022 7:47 pm

in my experience virtually all proclamations of sustainability goals are almost entirely virtue signally intended to appease the wokesters. When it comes to actions cost-benefit and bottom line profit comes first, second and third. At the end of every month the company line managers will be asked to report their sales revenues, costs and net income. Saying that your numbers are failing to meet budget because of your implementation of sustainability requirements will probably be somewhat detrimental to your future employment.

The sustainability goals that really matter are sustained growth, sustained profitability and sustained competitiveness.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rick C
Dave Fair
Reply to  Rick C
August 20, 2022 11:02 am

If the West doesn’t follow those three imperatives, China and the rest of the world will. Human beings in the aggregate are not effectively constrained by woke politicians. Wreckers, however, can have huge impacts locally and on short timeframes. Humanity, at great cost, works out the aberrations (until the next wave of mass corruption).

August 19, 2022 4:02 pm

Subsidy harvesting rules. What started as seed money to evaluate new generating and transport technologies has become the prime reason for businesses to exist. If the subsidies were cancelled, there would be a lot of investment funds losing a lot of cash.

The GFC was more than sub-prime loans. The Credit Default Swaps were the mushy foundations that the edifice was built on. AIG was bailed out to the tune of $182bn – too big to fail. The world economy would have collapsed.

Subsidy farming is an enormous Ponzi scheme based on a misguided belief that CO2 in the atmosphere can alter Earth’s surface energy balance. It is so far fetched yet it has enormous currency. Just like CDFs could never fail back in 2005.

The big news in Australia today is that yesterday between 1230 and 1315, solar power provided more energy to the east coast grid than coal. But few think about the 12 hours or so when solar did nothing or the other 11 hours when it was not doing much.

August 19, 2022 4:20 pm

It is even better than we thought. The WSJ Editorial Board published this editorial — an official statement from the Editors of the WSJ — on August 8th:

Tilting at Climate Windmills
Schumer-Manchin will have little effect on the world’s temperature.

Serge Wright
August 19, 2022 4:35 pm

Yes, I agree that the investors are getting nervous. What’s playing out in Europe, which is now on the verge of collapse is all caused by the move to green energy. Biden’s (carers) plan is essentially an extension of Europe’s, but even more extreme and those will the most money have the most to lose.

The problem now is that the horse has bolted and the new green deal plan is legislated. Basically, the collapse of wall street was locked in when that deal was signed and a massive collapse beyond anything we’ve seen before is likely. WS investors will soon realise that printing trillions of dollars will eventually create a worthless currency, as an added bonus to the hyper-inflation and will push the global economy to shift to the Yuan, which was already a looming threat at pre-new green deal printing levels. Once that shift occurs then Wall St is toasted forever along with the US economy and that will cascade to all western aligned economies. Biden’s name in history will be remembered because he signed the deal, proving again that the pen is far mightier than the sword.

Serge Wright
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 19, 2022 6:56 pm

Agree, China does have problems, but it’s very actively sandbagging against what’s coming by going on a big coal mining binge and securing energy via it’s partnership arrangement with Russia. On the other hand, the USA is doing the exact opposite of what’s required and there is more than 2 years before the next presidential election.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 5:35 am

It would go worse for everyone else! Western economies are so dependent on China products that anything affecting China’s output will devastate Western economies – without a shot being fired. Look at what Russia has done just with the energy sector. Now add the semiconductor industry and all its downstream impacts. The West is just seeing a taste of semiconductor supply chain interruptions from China today. Steel, steel products (think equipment cabinets), solar panels, and a myriad of other things will bring the West to its knees in a short period of time.

John R T
Reply to  Serge Wright
August 19, 2022 8:33 pm

China – burning Australian coal, at 2010 price$, for twenty years more; Global South infrastructure development$ claimed after defaults; and, millions of slaves: Xi has wiggle-room.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 19, 2022 7:02 pm

I have heard that over a million mortgage holders have refused to pay in China. That’s gotta hurt.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 19, 2022 8:30 pm

Then there is the huge amount of US debt that China holds. What happens to China if we repay that debt with worthless dollars? What happens to Chinese industry if Americans can’t afford to buy Chinese goods. They should be afraid. Very afraid!

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 20, 2022 5:36 am

If we can’t afford to buy Chinese goods then our economy will have already failed. It is America that should be afraid.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 1:06 am

going to war is almost always a reliable option. sometimes it even wins in the long run.

Reply to  AndyHce
August 20, 2022 1:26 am

Unfortunately, this ^

michael hart
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2022 9:00 am

Agreed. Investors and traders alike have no better option than to go with the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Not only is the Chinese currency unreliable, it is controlled by a government which is capricious, to put it gently.

The US will be able to continue printing money for a while yet. Ultimately it comes down to asking yourself “Who do I trust more when it comes to making and conserving real money?” The Swiss franc just doesn’t have the mass, despite its sharp, antiseptic sting.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  michael hart
August 20, 2022 2:04 pm

It’s just a little more complicated than this. You also have to ask yourself where you can spend the currency. If your biggest trading partner is no longer the US but China then you have a huge impetus to use the yuan as your reserve currency.

Steve Oregon
August 19, 2022 6:37 pm

I think Roger Pielke nailed the more simpler and inarguable problem. Math.
It makes all of the legislation and spending a fraud that has no chance of impacting the atmosphere, climate, weather or sea rise.

The IPCC target for 2030 requires a global 45% reduction in emissions from 2010, 

The world needs a reduction of 5,800 mtoe but will consume about 4,200 mtoe more in 2030.

The world added only about 64 mtoe of carbon-free energy every year over the last decade. 

We need 15 times more carbon-free each year. All new carbon-emitting energy would have to cease immediately.                     We are adding far more than twice the carbon than carbon-free energy.

Any growth in supply of carbon-free energy is adding to and not replacing fossil fuels.

To meet the Net Zero challenge We need a new nuclear plant every day for the next 30 years, while retiring an equivalent amount of fossil fuel energy every day. 

Reply to  Steve Oregon
August 19, 2022 8:57 pm

You are 100% correct Steve Oregon.
But nuclear plants are not in the vision of these green politicians as the whole theory according to their plan book is to cut energy .
They believe and this includes the UN that they world is like a spoilt child .
It is fine for them to fly around the world to climate parties but we as commoners have to cut back NOW.
Cutting back on energy will soon lead to poverty and severe food shortages in many countries but these dimwits pushing climate change and carbon zero, think well that is what has to happen as we all are using to much energy .
IF and its a BIG IF there really was a threat of runaway warming through rising levels of CO2 , activists and green leaning governments would be planing and building new state of the art Nuclear power plants .
Can any one here tell why this is not happening.

Bob Close
Reply to  Steve Oregon
August 20, 2022 7:30 am

Take Australia for example, it sold it’s manufacturing industries to Asia and now relies on overseas products for everything, whilst its’ economy is based on selling raw materials for steel making and energy production. If it seriously wants to decarbonize its economy further, because of the supposed climate crisis and virtue signalling, then morally it has to stop coal mining, uranium and oil/gas production, in favour of unreliable weather dependent energy- which franking wont work.
Us Aussies have legislated against using nuclear power or weaponry, so we can’t use this most reliable energy form to fill the gaps. Talk about fencing your self into a corner!
This is all because some climate alarmists believe there may be a warming crisis later this century, so we have to act now to stop it and unfortunately destroy our society in the process!

How stupid, must we look to the world, especially the Chinese, who don’t need to buy us out now, or sanction our exports, they can just wait a decade and we will tamely invite them in to take over, from a failed state. Perhaps, that’s what Labor and the Greens are hoping for?
On the other hand, maybe they will finally wake up, that they have been conned over climate, and will trash their stupid energy policies and get back to productive, modern fossil fuel generation and reliable power for all, as well as the fairies at the bottom of the garden!

August 19, 2022 7:07 pm

James Freeman wrote: “What if intermittent solar and wind power can never be counted on to reliably and efficiently replace the fuels we need today?”

I think that we already know the answer. Solar and windmills are only decent in niche applications. To totally rely on them is inane.
At least he’s starting to get the idea.

August 19, 2022 7:17 pm

I wouldn’t but too much importance on these articles. Likely just an attempt to appear “fair & balanced”. Even CNN has occasionally committed journalism recently.

There is little evidence that anyone has actually learned from the black outs in CA, TX, and Australia, or the 105% increase in energy costs in Germany.

If Big Corp & Wall Street were really in opposition the Democrats would not have put the climate stuff in recent legislation. After all they are the ones who funded the Democrat party in 2020 and continue to fund them in 2022.

August 19, 2022 7:45 pm

Australian 1c and 2c coins were discontinued some years ago. The reason was that they held more value in the metal than their face value. Their purchasing power was more melted than face value. Before that the round 50c silver coin was replaced with less valuable metal alloy.

My point-
I understand that you can get daily subscription to morning and afternoon WSJ for $318 per year; 6 days a week. I am estimating each paper has 150g of wood content and delivered to your door So a tad more than $1/day you get 300g of wood with a heating value of roughly 7MJ; say 2kWh. Do you realise that is lower cost fuel than German electricity.

Do not get sucked into this digital nonsense. Paper has heating value. Important if you live in a cold or even temperate climate. I wonder when the BILD will put up prices for the hard version. The UK newspaper prices have a solid upward trajectory already.

Reply to  RickWill
August 20, 2022 2:24 am

Is there still a campaign to abolish 1 cent in the US? I think we had one to get rid of the 1p in UK… must check what happened to that!

Reply to  griff
August 20, 2022 8:04 am

Might as well toss nickels and dimes into the pot too. They don’t buy anything anymore. About the only useful coin left in the U.S. is the quarter. No one uses dollar coins and the fifty-cent piece is unnecessarily large so it’s not commonly used either. I toss my pennies into the penny jar at the store, and no longer apologize for taking out up to three if needed, or into the recycling bin where they might end up being put to better use.

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
August 20, 2022 9:00 am

We still have the 1p and 2p coins in the UK, although I believe the Mint is producing a fewer number – 2018-20 marked a point where no new coins were minted and numbers produced went down after 2020.

David S
August 19, 2022 8:21 pm

A light goes on at the WSJ.

Kevin kilty
August 19, 2022 8:26 pm

Mr. Worrall, You are confusing the editorial stance of the WSJ with its news division. The news division is as left-wing and ignorant as any news staff in the U.S. Quite a number seem to act as goto persons for various dem pols. I could no longer stand the news division so let my subscription lapse. I may never return.

The motto of the editorial board is “free markets and free people.” They try to uphold it. Freeman, Sternberg, Jenkins, Henninger, Strassel, Baker and Riley are top drawer in my estimation.

Paul Johnson
August 19, 2022 9:24 pm

Scott Adams is planning to address ESG in a series of Dilbert cartoons. It’s doomed.

Philip CM
August 19, 2022 10:52 pm

Not to worry. The hard-working taxpayer is there to rescue the elitists when their fast money greed fails… too big to fail, amirite!

August 19, 2022 11:03 pm

The climate fraud financial bubble and all the funds which have invested in it will soon or later collapse as the subprime bubble did.

The sooner the better since as long as this fraud lasts, considerable energies and raw materials will be wasted with the only result of devastating entire territories and impoverishing the population.

Coeur de Lion
August 19, 2022 11:52 pm

I have just written an anguished appeal to the editor of the UK’s Spectator weekly saying fer chrissake take a lead. They’ve had one or two murmuring articles by such as Matt Ridley and Lord Lawson but there’s now an opportunity to take a real position. Triggered by the Diary in the last issue by childrens author Anthony Horowitz and his panic while reading Hothouse Earth by Bill McGuire who is a ‘professor of climate hazards’ can you believe? Easily.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
August 20, 2022 2:23 am

The major preoccupations of Spectator staff are drinking and adultery…

Reply to  griff
August 20, 2022 8:01 am

Usual Ad Hom crap from you.

Richard Page
Reply to  HotScot
August 20, 2022 9:03 am

On this occasion I believe you might be mistaken about Griff – that’s not his ‘usual ad-hom crap’, that’s envy!

Old Cocky
Reply to  griff
August 20, 2022 2:26 pm

Doesn’t that apply to everybody in media?

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
August 20, 2022 4:27 am

I’m a subscriber. I’ll look out for it.

August 20, 2022 1:02 am

Thanks Eric. Some of these investment managers might also be coming around to realise that the worlds reserves of lithium and nickel are insufficient to supply replacement of the global ICE fleet for more than two 10 year battery cycles (original battery + 1 replacement), whilst there is not enough cobalt reserves for even one cycle. This is not annual production, this is known world reserves. The Geological Survey of Finland and Michaux have useful papers on this.

Even worse, this says nothing of the additional requirements for these same materials to provide large batteries as significant power storage buffers for solar and wind, or as domestic household battery storage for solar.

As it turns out then, the lithium battery superhero of the ESG revolution is unsustainable.

And yes one of the WSJ articles you quoted nailed it, it’s basically a mix of natural gas, nuclear, and fusion research, for a practical energy future.

Richard Page
Reply to  DPP
August 20, 2022 9:05 am

Ah the lithium battery superhero – “Self Immolation Man”!

August 20, 2022 1:16 am

WSJ have done it before in 2011 by publishing Doug Keenan’s article ‘How scientific is climate science’. and,


Longtime readers of WUWT will know of Doug Keenan who died this year 2022 according to a note added to his website. I am personally sad about this having met and talked with him on climate and non-climate matters.

August 20, 2022 1:25 am

Isn’t “climate” just a politics plot to reduce the power of all those fossil fuel producers, like the arabs, the russians, etc. ?
It’s so hard to imagine the politicians behind the madness really believe in this co2-crap?

Richard Page
Reply to  chrissie
August 20, 2022 9:09 am

If it was, it backfired disastrously – it has done next to nothing about hydrocarbon producers whilst harming (and beginning a crippling punishment process on) western hydrocarbon consumers.

August 20, 2022 1:28 am

Here’s a new (to me) proposition for the WSJ editors to chew over. It came from Dessler in the Koonin-Dessler debate and it’s this : We carry on down the renewables route and if it proves to be unworkable we simply return to fossil fuels. I don’t know where to begin on this.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Charlie
August 20, 2022 7:26 am

I read that too. One can only wonder at such thinking.

Richard Page
Reply to  Charlie
August 20, 2022 9:17 am

It’s a continuation of the magical thinking that they started with. The ‘game theory’ only considered what would happen if the temperature either stayed the same or went up and the geniuses took this assumption and stated that, even if they were wrong, no harm would be done and they could simply carry on. The fact that temperatures might go down or that even temporary lowering of temperatures might cause huge amounts of harm never entered their conversation. They simply believe that they live in a magical kingdom where they can try out new things and there is no downside at all – it’s a form of collective delusion that will end millions of lives if not stopped.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Richard Page
August 20, 2022 1:18 pm

The main driver of the sub-prime mortgage collapse (turning collections of mortgages into securities) was that the algorithm for valuing them developed by a Chinese national had no provisions for home values going down. During the collapse he skipped back to China.

An entire new financial instrument (market) based upon a logical fallacy. Just imagine the thinking required to make new securities and valuing them based solely on impenetrable computerized-speculation that assumes the perpetual expansion of the nation’s housing market (a bubble with no end), with no downswings allowed.

It didn’t help that Federal and local governments artificially lowered the lending standards for “social equity” and “anti-racism.” Talk about pumping up the unstable bubble further. I think the politicians directing Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac had alot to do with the misallocations in housing finance and resulting instability.

Oh, FJB, as always.

Rod Evans
August 20, 2022 2:10 am

Environment, Social, Governance, is a misguided concept based on nothing beyond virtue signalling. It is a concept promoted by the slick at the expense of the investors and sold to the public.
The bundling up of worthless investments does not make them valuable. This was painfully demonstrated during the last example of an investment stampede, as more and more careered over the cliff. Will no one learn from the world economic crisis they created back in the 2008 period.

Gregg Eshelman
August 20, 2022 2:53 am

“What is one person’s opinion, or even a handful of critical opinions, against the massed wisdom and might, the massed consensus of the entire financial industry?”

Several million managers of their own money could’ve told those educated idjits what kind of a huge mess they were in. Anyone who has ever given money to a friend or acquaintance they know has a sketchy history of being able to pay it back, even without interest, could’ve told all those bankers that making loans to people who didn’t obviously have the ability to pay it back was a real dumb thing to do.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
August 20, 2022 1:21 pm

OPM, Gregg, OPM. And making money off the transaction, not the transaction’s profitability. The financial industry always wins.

Michael in Dublin
August 20, 2022 3:21 am

City Journal

Perhaps this article is disingenuous when comparing numbers?
For those without a good grasp of numbers the journalist should have been clearer.

Indian Point 0.375 square miles for a nuclear plant
versus 500 square miles of turbines

or better 240 acres vs 320000 acres.

For perspective:
American football field approx 1 acre
Premier League soccer field approx 1.76 acres

Dave Fair
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 20, 2022 1:22 pm

Good point for future reporting.

Danley Wolfe
August 20, 2022 10:47 am

I am not sure there is any change in political orientation / on climate change. This is a reaction to the indefensible Chicken Lilttle statements and positions that are coming out of the White House and Democrats in Congress.

August 20, 2022 12:28 pm

This is very interesting.

Where others are claiming that the W.E.F. (Davos, Soros, Schwab) has talked Gates and the rest into destroying the Western economies by reducing energy production, and impoverishing (and freezing and staving to death) many by pushing the false claim of a climate catastrophe, the Great Satan Paper #2 (NYT is #1) is going back to its even-handed reporting that made it great. Perhaps a survival technique?

In a discussion with the CEO of IMCC (now Mosaic) many years ago, I asked him if he was selling fertilizer at a loss (net of fixed costs) as a means to benefit the poorer countries of the world? He did not understand.
I then pointed out to him that raising the economic condition of poor families decrease the pressure to have excessive children, and provides for a more stable economic picture amide prosperity increases (see China, the last 30 years).

Some years later, after reading the goals of the Club or Rome (sustainability thru population decrease) I realize that I was right and they were wrong. Even more obvious in the present environment when the W.E.F. is depending on chaos and destitution to reduce the population. IT WILL NOT WORK. Only prosperity will lead to long term sustainability.

They may force a one-world government to save us from the Armageddon they would produce, but there will be thousands of years of gorilla warfare between the haves and the have-nots.

August 20, 2022 12:41 pm

When the grand climate con march reaches the gates of Wall Street, somebody has to take notice or we end up like a third-party world boutique market.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 20, 2022 12:43 pm

Third world boutique market

B Hedt
August 20, 2022 5:11 pm

I was always taught to have a Plan B “no matter what” and I have been subject to many corporate types lecturing on this and admonishing those who have failed to develop their plan B. You know the old chestnut of “A failure to plan is a plan to fail”. Well these days I ask the big shots in business (woke xankers on big salaries) to detail their plan B just in case their CO2 religion and its effect on the globe turns out to be nothing more than a complete crock of BS as per the hard evidence available to all demonstrates. It’s a lot of fun to watch the incredulously stupid look on their faces, especially when you repeat the question several times😂 without an answer.

Brian J. BAKER
August 25, 2022 4:42 am

The more interesting aspect of the Kirk speech was that it was approved by senior managers prior to delivery. Now either those managers didn’t read the speech or they decided to let Kirk fly the kite, knowing that they could test the water and deal with the aftermath. My money’s on the latter. Capitalists always try to cover all the bases, but you never know what they really think. Supporting RSG was intended to bat away concerns that capitalism was uncaring. The same goes for AWG. But when the chickens come home to roost there are always fallback positions. “Never believed a single word of it.” Michael Shellenberger was the first green to break cover on the question of energy density. A question that will surface again and again when it comes to the abolition of ICE. The political elite demanded to abolition of ICE production capacity leaving people with no choice except EV’s. When the motor industry faces collapse in around 2030, because of the various mandates look out for the selection of reverse gear.

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