By Robert Bradley Jr. — December 6, 2022
“What if a company bases its ESG ‘politics’ not on climate model projections or ‘attribution science’ but on the consumer imperative of affordable, plentiful, reliable energy?”
“The give-away is that now that everyone knows that fossil fuels are winning and the saturation effect is closing the mitigation window, the Church [of Climate] goers will not check their premises. If they really had ‘climate anxiety,’ they would want to understand the case for CO2/climate optimism….” (RLB, below)
The exchange began on social media regarding the paper “ESG Isn’t Woke, It’s Capitalism,” by Robert Eccles. “There are a number of important points to debate about ESG from a company, investor, and public policy perspective,” he began.
This is best done with a goal of finding common ground. This webinar is another step Dan [Crowley] and I are taking to bring my Democratic side and his Republican side together on making sense of ESG. What it is and what it isn’t. What it can do and what it can’t do. Our first step was the article “Turning Down the Heat on the ESG Debate: Separating Material Risk Disclosures from Salient Political Issues.” https://lnkd.in/e_fbgzj4
Who is Dan Crowley, the other voice in the two-person discussion? A critic of ESG? Nope, a once or fake conservative/Republican trying to sell ESG to a rightly skeptical audience. Obviously, Mr. Eccles needs to engage with a real opponent about the legitimacy of ESG instead of assuming it.
Government and politics driving ESG [is] anything other than “free market.” ESG is simply trying to get what cannot be gotten with future legislation.
To which Paul Watchman replied:
You are confusing material Investment risk factors with woke capitalism or Marxism. It is apolitical, amoral unethical and does not care a fig for Republicans or Democrats. Like all tools it has be to sharp, well-maintained and in the hands of a skilled craftsman or craftswoman.
‘Material investment risk factors’ … What if a company bases its ESG ‘politics’ not on climate model projections or ‘attribution science’ but on the consumer imperative of affordable, plentiful, reliable energy? More oil, gas, and coal for the people–and help the landscape by avoiding industrial wind turbines, for example. “Material investment risk factors” premised on climate alarmism is a shaky foundation. A political foundation
Watchman: Get the G wrong and there is little hope for anything else.
Bradley: “G” as in neutral government with the common law strictures against force and fraud. Let civil society take it from there with G removed. The ‘G’ in government (again, showing how ESG is subjective in its political essentials) should be classical liberal G as in minimal and enforcer of private property rights. Not ‘G’ as in defining good and bad for activism and enforcement in areas such as climate change.
Then came a scathing response to Paul Watchman from Professor Ujjval Vyas:
What makes you think you have the brain power to create the right “G”. Your Freshfields report would have failed my classes and plenty of my other students, regardless of their political views, would have seen right through the special pleading and lack of rigor.
A few “important” titles and positions does not constitute rigor. And I for one have always had an absolute abhorrence for arguments from authority and especially argument from apparatchik authority. Let alone from an apparatchik at the UN. Please break away and start thinking for yourself rather than serving some misguided notion that you are part of God’s salvation army. It is like listening to Al Gore or other aelf-proclaimed demigods speaking from the mountaintops.
A deep abiding commitment to ethical action should make your skin crawl when demagogues abrogate to themselves the mantle of “saving the world” from the coming Apocalypse. Seek a higher level of self-examination and standards of personal ethical commitment to extirpate hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement.
Come join the rest of us mere mortals committed to ethical action without the luxury or religious fundamentalist certainty of your position as a member of the “elect”.
He said it, not me. But while Paul Watchman is very polite and learned, his inability to check his premises midstream amid failure has been frustrating. So I commented on Vyas:
This is a strong denunciation [of Watchman], but it is as if the EU/UK energy crisis did not happen, and it is business-as-usual for the Church of Climate. Very little rethink, which is easy with a sober look at climate models and an understanding of energy density. And I guess no quantity of industrial wind turbines and solar arrays is ‘too much’.
There is a huge ‘pretense of knowledge’ to believe that the economy and climate can be planned by ‘experts’ and politicians. And that government failure does not rival political [sic: market] failure. Humility is needed in climate science and climate economics and climate policy–and it is wholly missing as the congregation lives through each other with confirmation bias.
How about COP28 having debates on each aspect of the climate question? I propose that here:
Vyas responded to my comment:
Sadly, it is like asking for a public debate on Scientology or Snake Handling. It is the self-righteousness that is intolerable and the bizarre responses you get when you make the simple claim that they are the ones who are ethically suspect. Surprised they don’t have special uniforms like clerics or other members of a religious hierarchy (maybe this could also include hair shirts for the ones predisposed to wailing and knashing of teeth). Give me Montaigne over Robespierre any day. The former understood the difficulty of living a good life, the latter was sure he knew he had the answers and knew who should die and live in the new Utopia.
The give-away is that now that everyone knows that fossil fuels are winning and the saturation effect is closing the mitigation window, the Church goers will not check their premises. If they really had ‘climate anxiety,’ they would want to understand the case for CO2/climate optimism, but that would be Atheism.
The debate continued…. But much had been said about ESG and the whole debatable premises behind it: climate alarmism and magical-thinking forced energy transformation.