ESG Investing Is a Nonstarter, But We Keep Getting Pushed Into It

ESG Investing Is a Nonstarter, But We Keep Getting Pushed Into It

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The world of finance is turning bullish on ESG, an investment strategy directing funds to corporations with woke environmental, social, and governance policies. Trillions of dollars have already flowed into ESG funds, projected to hit $50 trillion in two years.

ESG boosters claim the funds enable investors to do well by doing good. You can make good money while simultaneously bettering the world.

Wish it were so. In fact, ESG funds do neither.

Investing goals that compete with shareholder profitability have predictable results. A recent NYU study compared investment results created by firms with high versus low ESG scores, which are generated by professional ratings agencies. Over the past five years, high ESG funds have returned 6.3% compared with 8.9% for others. Over time, that’s a chunk of change.

Thus, Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron warned his state’s pension fund managers to avoid funds that “put ancillary interests before investment returns,” which would “violate statutory and contractual fiduciary duties” to the pensioners depending on them. Seniors deserve better than to have their retirements hijacked by an ideology they might not share.

The basic tenants of ESG are radical environmental policy (primarily the elimination of fossil fuels), woke social policies promoted by the company, and corporate governance that replaces merit with preferences based on race or gender.

The driving forces behind the growth of ESG are three very powerful financial firms. BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are, between them, the largest shareholders in 80% of the companies in the S&P 500. Their financial heft gives them the ability to force companies to implement ESG, making them, in effect, upstream controllers of these companies.

ESG is based on the foundational principle of progressivism—the notion that the most beneficial governance comes from giving experts, the best and the brightest, control over our lives. Personal freedoms and democratic processes must yield to a governing elite that knows best.

No goal is pursued more tenaciously than the elimination of carbon-based fuels. Consumers must be pushed into using renewables, principally by regulating fossil fuels into being scarce and expensive.

Green New Dealers may be thrilled to have the backing of the ESG behemoths, but the problem is that Europe is already experiencing a full-blown energy crisis, with America not far behind. For a year now, a post-COVID demand surge, combined with nuclear plant closures worldwide, long-standing over-investment in impractical renewables, and a global drop of over 50% in oil and gas investment since 2014, have combined to put serious pressure on economies worldwide.

Aluminum smelters, glass factories, and other EU manufacturers have had to shutter plants for lack of affordable energy. In the UK, the number of people behind on their energy bills ballooned from 3 million to 11 million earlier this year. Even in relatively secure Germany, there is deep concern over looming shortages of heating oil this winter after being shut off by Russia.

The hard fact is that, in our current state of technology, fossil fuels are the mainstay economic resource, whether we like it or not. We need more oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy, not less.

The hard-core environmental left, now joined by ESG interests, has worked itself into a lather insisting we can only avoid global catastrophe by achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050. Environmental alarmists achieve about the same accuracy with their predictions as the apocalyptic preachers of yesteryear. But even in the early stages of the project, it’s becoming obvious that it simply can’t be done.

Even if eliminating all emissions of carbon would significantly reduce atmospheric temperatures, and even if humans are the main villains of global warming, and even if we could somehow convince China and India to not sabotage the effort, it doesn’t matter. It’s neither economically nor politically possible to deprive humankind of the benefits of carbon fuels.

The financial titans pushing ESG are blowing an opportunity to do some real good. We need respected leaders who can stand up to the hysteria and exaggerations to propose practical, feasible solutions that would protect humanity from the worst effects of atmospheric warming.

Instead, the self-appointed experts are using other peoples’ trillions to push us down the road to dystopian government and perpetual poverty.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Why I Switched—To Democrat, Then Back to Republican

Why I Switched—To Democrat, Then Back to Republican

By Sarah B. |

Even though I was raised in a loving, conservative home, and first registered to vote as a Republican, I switched to Democrat. Why? Partly out of pressure (basically bullied by my husband), but also, like many others, I had heard liberals were the compassionate ones, concerned about protecting the rights of others.

I justified that my husband was one of those liberals, and I could help the Party by sharing my conservative ideas. But he turned out to be a Leftist—insisting that we were “entitled to state benefits,” always angry about supposed racism (but without evidence), and always in fear of COVID or global warming. This was not the compassion I expected from liberals but instead a lot of ‘righteous’ anger. Eventually I woke up tired and worn out from the anger of the Far Left. I still have dear liberal friends, but I had to escape the mindset that took away my sanity and hope. Here’s what I learned.

1 – Democrats are no longer “the compassionate ones.” They’re either old school liberals (like John F. Kennedy or even Bill Clinton) OR they’re Leftists. The true liberals still care, but they don’t realize that their party has been taken over by socialists, and it’s demolishing what they believe in—what our forefathers created in our Constitutional Republic. The Democrat platform no longer cares about the rights and freedoms of the people; only about taking control.

2 – The Democrat media is NOT fact-based. When I registered as a Democrat, I noticed the videos posted to my Facebook made AOC look like the American Joan of Arc, standing up to Big Pharma and Big Tech. Nowhere was I shown the full sound bites where she makes no sense: ‘the Green New deal is going to save us from certain death in a decade!’ They use terms like fossil fuels, but have no idea what it really means. They say renewable energy is a great innovation that will keep improving, but it’s nowhere close to beating petroleum or nuclear power—both of which help most people in poorer countries.

3 – Democrat activists are kind of shady. Whenever someone found out that I was a registered Democrat, and they were too, the conversation turned SUPER secretive. They lowered their voice and looked around making sure no one else was listening, like we were part of a spy network. No joke. Every time! Once I was part of an activist group talking about staging a protest in front of a local GOP office—again it felt shady, rather than doing good work…. Eventually, I thought to myself: if what the Republicans (my family) are standing for is so bad, why is there a need to always be looking behind your shoulder? Why is everything in the Democrat party secretive?

After four years of living like this, I was obese, SUPER in debt, angry, and impatient with people: things I never wanted to be or have my son see. It hit me one day that my parents’ “normal” life was healthy. It had schedules, hard work, gratitude, and hope. Conservative values actually made happiness possible.

Leftist thinking had derailed my life. I had to make some tough choices, but now I’m free! Today, with my family’s support, I’ve lost and kept off over 20 pounds, paid off debts, been at peace with who I am, and become strong in my faith. Now, I have the ability to be fully present for my son. (He goes to the gym with me, and we even go to Republican meetings together!) Honestly, I can say it’s when I embraced conservative thinking that we started getting healthy.

Now I’m part of Chandler/Gilbert Republican Women, I’ve worked on campaigns, and contribute research and admin support for Arizona Women of Action. I’m excited to be an activist for freedom! I hope my story encourages others to think about their beliefs, and remember WHY we’re fighting—for a healthy, happy country.

Sarah is a part of the Chandler/Gilbert Republican Women and contributes research and administrative support for Arizona Women of Action.

The Corporation Commission’s Upcoming Meeting Could Have a Huge Impact on You

The Corporation Commission’s Upcoming Meeting Could Have a Huge Impact on You

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

If you don’t typically pay attention to the Arizona Corporation Commission, now is a good time to start.

The role of this government agency is to set rates and policies for utilities. That sounds simple enough, right? But for over a year now, the commission has been in the process of developing a “clean energy” plan that looks to ban all fossil fuels in our state. Next week, this renewable energy mandate will be brought up for a vote again. And the consequences could be a disaster.

Green New Deal mandates would cost ratepayers over $6 billion

In July 2020, the commission quietly released its plan to impose California-style energy mandates in our state. But it wasn’t until August of this year that an independent cost analysis had been completed. And the results were eye-opening.

In order to achieve the 100% clean energy mandate by 2050, utilities would need to phase out all fossil fuels, purchase more solar and wind generation, expand lithium-ion battery storage, and convert natural gas generation to green hydrogen. The cost for all this would be over $6 billion, which comes out to an estimated $60 per month or $720 per year for the average ratepayer.

Remember when the green energy lobby said that these mandates would actually save you money? It turns out that was just another lie. But the cost isn’t the only issue.