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BlackRock’s tyrannical ESG agenda Is Larry Fink a threat to democracy?

Larry Fink owes investors an apology. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Larry Fink owes investors an apology. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images


March 2, 2023   8 mins

As February turns to March, the finance world is waiting with bated breath for one of its most dubious annual traditions: The Larry Fink Annual Letter to CEOs. Since 2012, when the BlackRock chief executive wrote his first letter, the occasion has come to symbolise the growing threat both to shareholder capitalism and American democracy posed by investment houses’ crusade to force the principles of ESG, or “environmental, social, and governance” investing, down the throats of companies, investors, and the public.

ESG first entered the investment and banking mainstream as a survival strategy. In 2009, BlackRock had acquired Barclay’s Global Investors Ltd, making it the largest investment firm in the world with almost $3 trillion in assets under management (AUM), a sum larger than the total revenue of the US federal treasury. Politically speaking, BlackRock’s emergence as an investment superpower could hardly have come at a worse time. Amid the wreckage of the 2008 Financial Crisis and then the ululations of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, public suspicion of big banks and corporations was at an all-time high. Finance, in particular, became a morality play: financial institutions were the greedy villains, while policymakers played the heroic civic advocates reining them in. For BlackRock, the chances of continuing to grow freely in such a hostile policy climate seemed remote.

But BlackRock’s leaders had an epiphany — one that would repeat itself in the C-suites of several of its competitors in the early 2010s. What if big investment houses could rebrand themselves as so unimpeachably virtuous and civic-minded that their virtue outshone even their regulators themselves? Such a strategy would be game-changing. Not only would it afford investment houses a mile-wide road to limitless growth; it could even, if played judiciously, accord the companies themselves quasi-governmental power.

The ESG principles underpinning that strategy had already been written. The 2004 United Nations report “Who Cares Wins,” which introduced the principles of ESG to a worldwide audience, suggested that investors would make higher long-term profits if they put more emphasis on environmental and social progress. The small print was that the task of defining these impossibly broad categories (“environmental” or “social”) would be left to international institutions. Per those institutions’ priorities, “environmental” would mostly focus on implementing CO2-reduction goals, while “social” would mean anything related to the UN’s stated social goals on issues such as gender parity, racial justice, and poverty reduction. In other words, from the very beginning, the goal of ESG was to harmonise the priorities of political elites with those of business leaders. This approach was nothing new in Europe, where Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum (WEF) had long blurred the lines between business and government. But in the US, where the WEF ethos had failed to take root and the shareholder remained king, it was a radical departure.

When the UN invited global financial institutions to sign onto the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2007, the total global assets managed by ESG-minded investing vehicles was around $10 trillion. By 2020, a mere 13 years later, that has grown to more than $30 trillion worldwide and more than $17 trillion in the US. New private equity firms and investment outfits devoted purely to ESG — such as Al Gore’s Generation Investment — were springing up every year, and most large US investment firms began offering ESG-mandated mutual funds, leading Bloomberg in 2021 to project $53 trillion invested in ESG by 2025.

As the ESG agenda took hold, the individual investor increasingly found himself shunted aside. Admittedly, the roots of this shift lay in the early Eighties, when federal proxy voting rules were changed to allow fund managers such as BlackRock to vote on behalf of their clients. The idea was a good one at the time, in that it recognised that few individual investors have the time to attend shareholder meetings or the wherewithal to make their views known to company leadership. But it handed vast power to investment companies — admittedly under the understanding that they would vote on behalf of their clients for one purpose only: the maximisation of profits and shareholder returns. It was, however, only a matter of time before this power was exploited.

That time came in the 2010s, as investment companies began instead to vote in line with the ESG agenda. Company leaders who opposed this were either quickly made to see its inherent wisdom, overruled, or out of a job.

In 2020, BlackRock voted at 16,200 shareholder meetings on 153,000 company proposals. Frequently, these votes were against company management. According to the company’s own Investment Stewardship Annual Report: “In 2020, we identified 244 companies that were making insufficient progress integrating climate risk into their business models or disclosures. Of these companies, we took voting action against 53, or 22%. We have put the remaining 191 companies ‘on watch’. Those that do not make significant progress risk voting action against management in 2021.”

In the same report, BlackRock boasted of having voted against management more than 1,500 times for “insufficient diversity” in company management. This interventionist approach was hardly limited to BlackRock. At State Street Global Advisors, in 2017 alone, proxies voted against the re-election of board members at 400 companies that it felt had made insufficient effort to appoint female board members.

But for huge investors such as BlackRock, attending shareholder meetings remained a rather inefficient method of coercing company managers into accepting the Good News of ESG. By 2012, Larry Fink had already discovered a far better method: the royal proclamation.

Fink’s first few letters contained tell-tale signs of the revolution to come, particularly in 2015, when he chastised managers for returning too much money to their investors in dividends and buybacks. Then, in his 2018 letter, he went a step further, advocating that CEOs step away from traditional shareholder capitalism and toward ESG by embracing the idea of “stakeholders”. In his words: “Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” “Every company,” he wrote, “must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Allow me to translate: On behalf of millions of shareholders I’ve never met, I declare that they no longer truly own the companies they have invested in. Society does.

As Vivek Ramaswamy convincingly argues in his book Woke, Inc., this feint of widening the pool of “stakeholders” beyond shareholders marginalises the shareholder and elevates the manager. By making companies answerable to everyone, proponents of stakeholder capitalism make them answerable to no one.

In his 2020 letter, modestly subtitled “A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance”, Fink decreed that all American companies must redesign their businesses to align with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, with the implied threat of shareholder activism or even divestment if they failed to do so. To that end, he declared that all portfolio companies would thenceforward need to define climate risk as investment risk in their financial analyses — a measure designed to disadvantage companies engaged in heavy industry or fossil fuel production or use, and likely shunt them into cleaner businesses. Furthermore, since the nearest-term climate risks for many businesses are government climate regulations rather than the actual effects of climate change, this is a thinly-disguised method for coercing companies into complying with international climate agreements.

Second, Fink stipulated that companies must disclose their climate risk to investors using accounting methods created by two organisations which are constituted primarily of representatives from investment companies including BlackRock and international organisations such as the UN, World Bank, and IFC. Fink ordered that these disclosures specifically draw a path to the two-degree global temperature increase stipulated by the Paris Agreement.

A reader sympathetic to Fink’s goals might reasonably ask why such use of the bully pulpit is a problem. After all, if companies don’t do the right thing on their own, why shouldn’t Larry Fink incentivise them to do so? But in making his demands, Fink is speaking with the authority of an elected representative who has polled his investors and found that his proposals have their universal support, when he has not.

Considering that BlackRock is headquartered in the United States, which within the last decade elected a president who withdrew America from the Paris Agreement, there are probably many BlackRock investors who would either reject ESG principles out of hand or else disagree with Fink’s methods of applying them. For example, while many Americans would agree with Fink that climate change is cause for concern, some would dispute the idea that reaching Net Zero emissions by 2050 is a workable strategy, or even that businesses should focus on climate change at the expense of prioritising other problems such as hunger, poverty or terrorism. Similarly, some individual investors might disagree with State Street’s insistence on gender and diversity quotas for company boards.

Living as we do in a free-market capitalist democracy, there is supposed to be room for disagreement on questions such as these. When companies disagree with one another, the result is that they choose different strategies, allowing the market to choose the best strategy in the long term. But when the CEOs of every company in America answer to Larry Fink first and their actual investors second, that diversity — and therefore, the probability that we ever discover the best strategies — plummets.

There is a further irony in this. Over the past decade, as investment houses such as BlackRock have exerted ever-greater influence over decision-making at their portfolio companies, investors have in fact been signalling for them to take a step back. We can see this in the growing popularity of passive strategies (in which investment companies take a backseat role) compared with active strategies (in which they more frequently buy and sell stocks and actively intervene in the affairs of portfolio companies to improve performance). In 2011, 21% of US AUM were managed passively, compared with 79% managed actively; by 2018, the split had narrowed to 36% to 64%. Parity is projected for 2025. BlackRock’s own active-to-passive balance has followed a similar trajectory. Their portfolio had been primarily actively managed until 2009. But by 2018, $3.9 trillion of their $6 trillion assets were invested passively. Just as BlackRock’s customers were voting with their dollars for the firm to intervene less in company policy, BlackRock’s leaders were declaring it their sacred duty to intervene more.

Over the years, ESG advocates have parried charges of overreach by responding that investing with ESG criteria is just as lucrative as traditional investing. This has always been a dubious argument: after all, if favouring ESG-friendly companies were a prudent financial strategy, an investor would not need to publicly commit to ESG in order to do it; it would simply be the best financial decision.

The evidence of ESG’s performance has until recently been ambiguous enough to offer ammunition to both sides. But that has begun to change. In 2022, eight of the top ten actively managed US ESG funds (including one of BlackRock’s) performed worse than the S&P 500. This demonstrates two things. First, that ESG funds are not some financial miracle. And second, that the performance of ESG funds is tightly bound to the tech industry, which had a terrible year in 2022. (Unsurprisingly, tech stocks are overrepresented in ESG funds, since it is easier for tech companies to claim low environmental impact than companies that actually make things.)

Not only is ESG failing to make money, but it is not even achieving its non-financial goals. One sizeable Columbia University and London School of Economics study published in 2021 found that US companies in 147 ESG portfolios had worse compliance records for both labour and environmental rules than US companies in 2,428 non-ESG portfolios. They also found that companies added to ESG portfolios did not subsequently improve compliance with labour or environmental regulations. This study added to a growing body of evidence that ESG investing is not only anti-democratic but ineffective.

Over the past few months, investment companies have begun to take notice. Of particular note was investing giant Vanguard’s December 2022 decision to pull out of a Net Zero 2050 pledge. Last week, Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley told the Financial Times: “We don’t believe that we should dictate company strategy […] It would be hubris to presume that we know the right strategy for the thousands of companies that Vanguard invests with.” The just-announced presidential campaign of Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the most articulate spokesmen on ESG’s excesses, will doubtless only amplify demands for corporate independence.

Larry Fink has not yet posted a 2023 letter. Perhaps he is delaying as he contemplates how to respond to the growing anti-ESG tide, a tide he bitterly decried at the January WEF in Davos. I might be unusual among ESG detractors in my belief that Fink should write another CEO letter this year. But it should be a very short one, the writing of which is unlikely to take too much time away from his busy schedule of saving the planet through regular flights to Aspen and Davos. The letter should read, simply:

Dear CEO,

I’m sorry.


John Masko is a journalist based in Boston, specialising in business and international politics.


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J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

An excellent article, imo, that summarizes the true motivations behind ESG.
I was interested to read that Ramaswamy recently filed paperwork for a presidential run. I suspect he’s too little known to succeed, but he’ll certainly highlight the massive hypocrisy behind corporate ESG and DEI initiatives. More power to him.

R E P
R E P
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

VR has seen behind the curtain and decided to speak up…the corporate media will attempt to destroy him…

R E P
R E P
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

VR has seen behind the curtain and decided to speak up…the corporate media will attempt to destroy him…

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

An excellent article, imo, that summarizes the true motivations behind ESG.
I was interested to read that Ramaswamy recently filed paperwork for a presidential run. I suspect he’s too little known to succeed, but he’ll certainly highlight the massive hypocrisy behind corporate ESG and DEI initiatives. More power to him.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I wonder if it’s possible to sue if your pension fund is not trying to maximize ROI. I think this would shut down the ESG market pretty quickly.

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

In general people don’t like companies who crash oil tankers, leave toxic chemicals behind, spread DDT and general screw people over by poor pay and conditions. They don’t like it when the tax payer picks up the bill for cleanup or social welfare and they don’t have the time or own any shares to vote down management at big corporations who aren’t improving the share price or dividends but are increasing board and senior management pay and bonuses and sending off retiring CEO’S with golden handshakes measured in millions of $/£
So asset owners take note and vote against pay increases for companies that aren’t producing increasing dividends or higher share prices and have widening pay ratios between the Board and the workers.
This is where the G in ESG began.
Then it grew as people get sick of fires, floods, hurricanes and child labour, water taps that catch on fire and old white haired me in private companies doing as they please.

ESG isn’t really the cause of your whining, its a reaction and likely over reaction to the greed and single minded focus on profit above all else.

And FYI your pension fund isn’t trying to maximise ROI, first and foremost they are trying not to lose you money. Then they try to grow it positively in a risk adjusted way, as little bits of your salary drip in each month. Thats why they don’t put all the chips on black or buy crypto.

Last edited 1 year ago by dave dobbin
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  dave dobbin

Credulous rubbish that misses the obvious point that ESG does not in fact prevent companies behaving in the negative ways you describe, but that existing civil law and market forces do actually achieve this.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  dave dobbin

Credulous rubbish that misses the obvious point that ESG does not in fact prevent companies behaving in the negative ways you describe, but that existing civil law and market forces do actually achieve this.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

In general people don’t like companies who crash oil tankers, leave toxic chemicals behind, spread DDT and general screw people over by poor pay and conditions. They don’t like it when the tax payer picks up the bill for cleanup or social welfare and they don’t have the time or own any shares to vote down management at big corporations who aren’t improving the share price or dividends but are increasing board and senior management pay and bonuses and sending off retiring CEO’S with golden handshakes measured in millions of $/£
So asset owners take note and vote against pay increases for companies that aren’t producing increasing dividends or higher share prices and have widening pay ratios between the Board and the workers.
This is where the G in ESG began.
Then it grew as people get sick of fires, floods, hurricanes and child labour, water taps that catch on fire and old white haired me in private companies doing as they please.

ESG isn’t really the cause of your whining, its a reaction and likely over reaction to the greed and single minded focus on profit above all else.

And FYI your pension fund isn’t trying to maximise ROI, first and foremost they are trying not to lose you money. Then they try to grow it positively in a risk adjusted way, as little bits of your salary drip in each month. Thats why they don’t put all the chips on black or buy crypto.

Last edited 1 year ago by dave dobbin
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I wonder if it’s possible to sue if your pension fund is not trying to maximize ROI. I think this would shut down the ESG market pretty quickly.

Mary McFarlane
Mary McFarlane
1 year ago

I sold a small investment in a large insurance company recently, chiefly because I was fed up with the climate crap on their website. I don’t suppose they notice that I’ve gone, but if my feeling is common to others, it might have some effect.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary McFarlane

Good for you. That is how things change.

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Depends if others who invest in that company agree with your or Mary hypothesis. I’m all for investors being proactive so sell those shares or don’t buy in other firms.
If they are a general insurance company and insuring homes in the US hurricane or forest fire areas, they are probably taking a hammering on claims anyway

Last edited 1 year ago by dave dobbin
dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Depends if others who invest in that company agree with your or Mary hypothesis. I’m all for investors being proactive so sell those shares or don’t buy in other firms.
If they are a general insurance company and insuring homes in the US hurricane or forest fire areas, they are probably taking a hammering on claims anyway

Last edited 1 year ago by dave dobbin
Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary McFarlane

Many of us would really appreciate a company that would rate companies on their wokeness, or not, etc so that we could make informed decisions about what to buy/invest in.
Anyone know one?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary McFarlane

Good for you. That is how things change.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary McFarlane

Many of us would really appreciate a company that would rate companies on their wokeness, or not, etc so that we could make informed decisions about what to buy/invest in.
Anyone know one?

Mary McFarlane
Mary McFarlane
1 year ago

I sold a small investment in a large insurance company recently, chiefly because I was fed up with the climate crap on their website. I don’t suppose they notice that I’ve gone, but if my feeling is common to others, it might have some effect.

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago

Comapnies can get slapped with millions in fine for discriminating against black people or failinmg to prevent discrimination.
I am sure that slapping millions on fines for anti white discrimination at Black Rock would make the ESG mob revise their judgement very fast

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago

Problem, who is going to be brave enough to do that?

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago

Problem, who is going to be brave enough to do that?

Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago

Comapnies can get slapped with millions in fine for discriminating against black people or failinmg to prevent discrimination.
I am sure that slapping millions on fines for anti white discrimination at Black Rock would make the ESG mob revise their judgement very fast

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

As the class divide widens all across the Western world so the wealthy become increasingly strident in their campaign to change the subject and divide the opposition to their predations.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

“By 2020, a mere 13 years later, that has grown to more than $30 trillion worldwide and more than $17 trillion in the US.” 
I’d say they have plenty of resources to change the subject to whatever they wish the subject to be.

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

G was happening before it became ESG and voting against pay increases for senior management of average or poor performing companies was how asset managers started on the path

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

“By 2020, a mere 13 years later, that has grown to more than $30 trillion worldwide and more than $17 trillion in the US.” 
I’d say they have plenty of resources to change the subject to whatever they wish the subject to be.

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

G was happening before it became ESG and voting against pay increases for senior management of average or poor performing companies was how asset managers started on the path

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

As the class divide widens all across the Western world so the wealthy become increasingly strident in their campaign to change the subject and divide the opposition to their predations.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
1 year ago

The problem with the E in ESG is that many companies such as those in agriculture will actually benefit from increased CO2 in the atmosphere while most companies will be unaffected. To require everyone to treat a 1-2 degree planetary warming in the next century as a short term environment risk to be declared is to compel their management to become virtuous fiction writers.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
1 year ago

The problem with the E in ESG is that many companies such as those in agriculture will actually benefit from increased CO2 in the atmosphere while most companies will be unaffected. To require everyone to treat a 1-2 degree planetary warming in the next century as a short term environment risk to be declared is to compel their management to become virtuous fiction writers.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

BlackRock is not a threat to democracy as long as people vote the way BlackRock wants them to.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

BlackRock is not a threat to democracy as long as people vote the way they want them to.

To aid in understanding this, can you please say who the words ‘people’ and ‘they’ designate?

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

MH, your edit has made your meaning clearer. Thank you.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

In communicating via writing, I have found that it’s worth scanning what’s been written to see if there any way to misread it – because someone inevitably will! 🙂
Avoiding pronouns (which can be linked to the wrong subject/object) in favour of direct references is always a good start.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

In communicating via writing, I have found that it’s worth scanning what’s been written to see if there any way to misread it – because someone inevitably will! 🙂
Avoiding pronouns (which can be linked to the wrong subject/object) in favour of direct references is always a good start.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Plonker.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

MH, your edit has made your meaning clearer. Thank you.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Plonker.

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Some of my pension was invested in Black Rock funds, their performance was appalling.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Moore

See you’ve got it all wrong. You are just a dirty peasant expecting reasonable return on your investment. What you should do is just be grateful you are funneling money to your betters for their pet social projects and private yachts. BlackRock is making the world a better place for everyone including you, even if they have to destroy your retirement to do so.
Seriously, I hate these people.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy Moore

See you’ve got it all wrong. You are just a dirty peasant expecting reasonable return on your investment. What you should do is just be grateful you are funneling money to your betters for their pet social projects and private yachts. BlackRock is making the world a better place for everyone including you, even if they have to destroy your retirement to do so.
Seriously, I hate these people.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

BlackRock is not a threat to democracy as long as people vote the way they want them to.

To aid in understanding this, can you please say who the words ‘people’ and ‘they’ designate?

Andy Moore
Andy Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Some of my pension was invested in Black Rock funds, their performance was appalling.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

BlackRock is not a threat to democracy as long as people vote the way BlackRock wants them to.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
David Shipley
David Shipley
1 year ago

It’s all completely hypcritical, performative rubbish. Fink is no greener than Dame Emma Thompson or Prince Harry. I have twice been on boards that have moved their fund management from BlackRock; both times they were far more concerned with the appearance of the portfolio than with its actual content. Their stance on ESG is entirely consistent with this.

David Shipley
David Shipley
1 year ago

It’s all completely hypcritical, performative rubbish. Fink is no greener than Dame Emma Thompson or Prince Harry. I have twice been on boards that have moved their fund management from BlackRock; both times they were far more concerned with the appearance of the portfolio than with its actual content. Their stance on ESG is entirely consistent with this.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Larry Fink is Satan’s right hand man, he is evil.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

You fink so?

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Good one. Never met the real devil, met some who could be devilish (which I partook in on occasions), but know of ‘evil’ people and they are frightening. What I have read and heard about Fink, his surname says it all! He should never have been allowed to grow BlackRock into the behemoth it has become.
Where were the gatekeepers? Anti-Trusts and the rest. Global village se moer!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

“By 2020, a mere 13 years later, that has grown to more than $30 trillion worldwide and more than $17 trillion in the US.”
This is the gatekeeper. 

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Abominable!

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Abominable!

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

“By 2020, a mere 13 years later, that has grown to more than $30 trillion worldwide and more than $17 trillion in the US.”
This is the gatekeeper. 

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

So Larry Fink is really a ‘Fink’?

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Good one. Never met the real devil, met some who could be devilish (which I partook in on occasions), but know of ‘evil’ people and they are frightening. What I have read and heard about Fink, his surname says it all! He should never have been allowed to grow BlackRock into the behemoth it has become.
Where were the gatekeepers? Anti-Trusts and the rest. Global village se moer!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

So Larry Fink is really a ‘Fink’?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

With a name like that you are probably CORRECT!

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

You fink so?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

With a name like that you are probably CORRECT!

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Larry Fink is Satan’s right hand man, he is evil.

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
1 year ago

The clue is in the numbers. Actively managed funds charge higher fees than passively managed funds. So the more we minions invest in the passive stuff, the harder it is for the likes of Fink to prosper. ESG is no more and no less than a collection of intellectually flimsy, fashionable, vaguely lefty aspirations. In short, a bit of a con. The news that this tommyrot emerged at the UN surprises me not one bit.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

Unfortunately, unless there are some active investors, there can’t be any indices for passive funds to track.

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

Passive funds are cheap to run so the fees are lower. You just copy a benchmark and automate processes as much as you can so you need less people to run things. The punters like cheap products.
Active management takes more people so it costs more.
The investment firm is still making the same margin.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

Unfortunately, unless there are some active investors, there can’t be any indices for passive funds to track.

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

Passive funds are cheap to run so the fees are lower. You just copy a benchmark and automate processes as much as you can so you need less people to run things. The punters like cheap products.
Active management takes more people so it costs more.
The investment firm is still making the same margin.

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
1 year ago

The clue is in the numbers. Actively managed funds charge higher fees than passively managed funds. So the more we minions invest in the passive stuff, the harder it is for the likes of Fink to prosper. ESG is no more and no less than a collection of intellectually flimsy, fashionable, vaguely lefty aspirations. In short, a bit of a con. The news that this tommyrot emerged at the UN surprises me not one bit.

Jeremy Eves
Jeremy Eves
1 year ago

Unelected power is always a threat to individual liberty; sometimes it takes a while to become apparent. John Masko makes a good argument about the power of Blackrock and Larry Fink, BUT, one of the reasons that ESG is popular is that unrestrained, or unguided, capitalism has sometimes been at too high a social cost and/or with unacceptable and/or unintended consequences. A framework is necessary; the question is how to implement it without handing unaccountable power to the framers or regulators.
I do not want to invest directly or through managers in companies which oppress their workers, employ children or are careless of their environment, even if such might well offer the highest RoI. But neither do I want to invest in companies which restrain free speech, or interfere in the private lives and beliefs of their employees in the name of social progressiveness.

Diane Merriam
Diane Merriam
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Eves

Even elected power is a threat to individual liberty. After all, an election means the majority (or plurality) is ruling over all the individuals that make up the rest of the population. I think it was Churchill who said that democracy was the worst form of government … except for all the rest.
The US in particular was based on the idea of a small and constrained federal government where even the majority could not trample on the rights of the minority without a difficult and drawn out process of amending the Constitution.
But, as human nature has proven over and over, given enough time, power always grows and centralizes. Not only does power corrupt, it attracts the already corrupt and easily corruptible.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Merriam

Important to remember as well that democracy is NOT the best form of Government. We have it because it SHOULD NOT be the worst and the worst can be really terrible!
Unfortunately democracy is very unlikely to be the best possible (at least in the short term, until the tolerant dictator goes mad) and, as we can currently discern, even democracy can go insane (and yes I know our democracy (just like communism) has never been pure.)

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Diane Merriam

Important to remember as well that democracy is NOT the best form of Government. We have it because it SHOULD NOT be the worst and the worst can be really terrible!
Unfortunately democracy is very unlikely to be the best possible (at least in the short term, until the tolerant dictator goes mad) and, as we can currently discern, even democracy can go insane (and yes I know our democracy (just like communism) has never been pure.)

Diane Merriam
Diane Merriam
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Eves

Even elected power is a threat to individual liberty. After all, an election means the majority (or plurality) is ruling over all the individuals that make up the rest of the population. I think it was Churchill who said that democracy was the worst form of government … except for all the rest.
The US in particular was based on the idea of a small and constrained federal government where even the majority could not trample on the rights of the minority without a difficult and drawn out process of amending the Constitution.
But, as human nature has proven over and over, given enough time, power always grows and centralizes. Not only does power corrupt, it attracts the already corrupt and easily corruptible.

Jeremy Eves
Jeremy Eves
1 year ago

Unelected power is always a threat to individual liberty; sometimes it takes a while to become apparent. John Masko makes a good argument about the power of Blackrock and Larry Fink, BUT, one of the reasons that ESG is popular is that unrestrained, or unguided, capitalism has sometimes been at too high a social cost and/or with unacceptable and/or unintended consequences. A framework is necessary; the question is how to implement it without handing unaccountable power to the framers or regulators.
I do not want to invest directly or through managers in companies which oppress their workers, employ children or are careless of their environment, even if such might well offer the highest RoI. But neither do I want to invest in companies which restrain free speech, or interfere in the private lives and beliefs of their employees in the name of social progressiveness.

SIMON WOLF
SIMON WOLF
1 year ago

BBC4 radio ‘Start The Week’ prog this week was 45 mins on Capitalism of which of the 3 guests Martin Wolf is a Woke, Capitalist,Kate Raworth is a believer in all firms being Green Co-Operatives and the third was American Socialist Bernie Saunders .Needless to say the BBC presenter Tom Sutcliffe was just part of the echo chamber.

SIMON WOLF
SIMON WOLF
1 year ago

BBC4 radio ‘Start The Week’ prog this week was 45 mins on Capitalism of which of the 3 guests Martin Wolf is a Woke, Capitalist,Kate Raworth is a believer in all firms being Green Co-Operatives and the third was American Socialist Bernie Saunders .Needless to say the BBC presenter Tom Sutcliffe was just part of the echo chamber.

Alex Papaioannou
Alex Papaioannou
1 year ago

Clearly this manipulation will reliably, and predictably deliver returns in sectors that directly benefit from ESG driven investment eg renewable energy, DEI consultancy etc. It would be interesting to assess the corellation between Blackrock’s ROI in those ESG fueled sectors and the growth of ESG investment over the same period. A positive correlation might suggest market manipulation (through the bullying of CEOs) to make ESG investments in those same sectors in which Blackrock already hold substantial long positions.

Alex Papaioannou
Alex Papaioannou
1 year ago

Clearly this manipulation will reliably, and predictably deliver returns in sectors that directly benefit from ESG driven investment eg renewable energy, DEI consultancy etc. It would be interesting to assess the corellation between Blackrock’s ROI in those ESG fueled sectors and the growth of ESG investment over the same period. A positive correlation might suggest market manipulation (through the bullying of CEOs) to make ESG investments in those same sectors in which Blackrock already hold substantial long positions.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
1 year ago

A powerhouse of a piece from the new guy.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
1 year ago

A powerhouse of a piece from the new guy.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

I did see BlackRock begin to slow down in forcing ESG onto companies. Exxon was a target, was required to add green board members but has now ignored any new direction.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

I did see BlackRock begin to slow down in forcing ESG onto companies. Exxon was a target, was required to add green board members but has now ignored any new direction.

R E P
R E P
1 year ago

ESG = Big Business vs Small Business

Last edited 1 year ago by R E P
dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  R E P

Big business may be listed in the main indexes (S&P, Nasdaq, FTSE) and there are listing rules and the ability to vote.
Smaller companies avoid all that trouble and costs and aren’t investable by the asset managers.

But smaller companies especially newer ones make a virtue of there ESG credentials and if the punters like their product or service they buy it and the company may grow

dave dobbin
dave dobbin
1 year ago
Reply to  R E P

Big business may be listed in the main indexes (S&P, Nasdaq, FTSE) and there are listing rules and the ability to vote.
Smaller companies avoid all that trouble and costs and aren’t investable by the asset managers.

But smaller companies especially newer ones make a virtue of there ESG credentials and if the punters like their product or service they buy it and the company may grow

R E P
R E P
1 year ago

ESG = Big Business vs Small Business

Last edited 1 year ago by R E P
Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

Larry Fink and his ilk are probably motivated, in large part, by the idea that if they publicly sign onto large parts of the ‘woke’ agenda, the woke faction (who lean heavily towards socialism) will then ignore their ideological ‘allies’ – who can then get on with the business of transferring an even larger share of everyone‘s wealth into their own pockets.
The woke faction is, of course, too clueless to work this out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
1 year ago

Larry Fink and his ilk are probably motivated, in large part, by the idea that if they publicly sign onto large parts of the ‘woke’ agenda, the woke faction (who lean heavily towards socialism) will then ignore their ideological ‘allies’ – who can then get on with the business of transferring an even larger share of everyone‘s wealth into their own pockets.
The woke faction is, of course, too clueless to work this out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Noel Chiappa
Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
1 year ago

I bet all the push in companies for DEI comes exactly ftom the same place. At the end we are just getting the policies that Blackrock wants not what we asked for.

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
1 year ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

Division Inequality and Exclusion.

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
1 year ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

Division Inequality and Exclusion.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
1 year ago

I bet all the push in companies for DEI comes exactly ftom the same place. At the end we are just getting the policies that Blackrock wants not what we asked for.

Alex Cranberg
Alex Cranberg
1 year ago

Find out how “woke” is your fund manage (or your state pension fund). We graded them based on their vote in the Exxon proxy battle (should exxon continue to be an oil company?). Would you believe that Texas state pension funds graded a “D”?? Even worse than BlackRock!!

https://www.insight-esg-energy.com/

Alex Cranberg
Alex Cranberg
1 year ago

Find out how “woke” is your fund manage (or your state pension fund). We graded them based on their vote in the Exxon proxy battle (should exxon continue to be an oil company?). Would you believe that Texas state pension funds graded a “D”?? Even worse than BlackRock!!

https://www.insight-esg-energy.com/

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 year ago

I have a simple way to assess the quality of a Company management or it’s prospects.

Get hold of however it expresses its priorities and strategy and ask yourself; is this about winning money at the expense of able competitors, or is it predominantly stuff that nobody will oppose, like having ESG aspirations?

if it’s the former, you have a management that is engaged with the really tough business of persuading people to part with their money in their direction rather than competitors. That’s hard, you’ve got to be smart to pull that off and if they’re doing it well they are people to take notice of. They’ll talk about share, value, growth, investment.

If it’s the latter then you’ve got weak ones who haven’t got the brains or balls for a fight but will set self-appointed simple targets that nobody else is interested in obstructing. They’ll talk about stakeholders, social purpose, etc. They’ll often be conspicuous by making very big shows of their “successes” which they’ll flamboyantly celebrate. Their competitors will let them get on with it, while taking their money off them.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 year ago

I have a simple way to assess the quality of a Company management or it’s prospects.

Get hold of however it expresses its priorities and strategy and ask yourself; is this about winning money at the expense of able competitors, or is it predominantly stuff that nobody will oppose, like having ESG aspirations?

if it’s the former, you have a management that is engaged with the really tough business of persuading people to part with their money in their direction rather than competitors. That’s hard, you’ve got to be smart to pull that off and if they’re doing it well they are people to take notice of. They’ll talk about share, value, growth, investment.

If it’s the latter then you’ve got weak ones who haven’t got the brains or balls for a fight but will set self-appointed simple targets that nobody else is interested in obstructing. They’ll talk about stakeholders, social purpose, etc. They’ll often be conspicuous by making very big shows of their “successes” which they’ll flamboyantly celebrate. Their competitors will let them get on with it, while taking their money off them.

Bob Garey
Bob Garey
1 year ago

Great article

Bob Garey
Bob Garey
1 year ago

Great article

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

Go Woke, Go Broke being proved yet again.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

Go Woke, Go Broke being proved yet again.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
1 year ago

Can someone explain why the tech industry had had a bad year in 2022. I had thought covid had given them a huge boost.

Ian L
Ian L
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

I think 2022 was the downslope following that boost. Slower demand (who buys Peloton now?)

But I also think that the jump in interest rates would have forced a reckoning after years of cheap debt.

Ian L
Ian L
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

I think 2022 was the downslope following that boost. Slower demand (who buys Peloton now?)

But I also think that the jump in interest rates would have forced a reckoning after years of cheap debt.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
1 year ago

Can someone explain why the tech industry had had a bad year in 2022. I had thought covid had given them a huge boost.

Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
10 months ago

This scheme sounds like an excuse to do what elites always do during a collapse which is to funnel all money and wealth to themselves.

simon lamb
simon lamb
1 year ago

I don’t think the author and people here get this at all. Medium term investing is about anticipation, and rarely do you moderate strategies in response to short-term market results. The fact is that world must wean itself off fossil fuels, must bring the welfare of natural capital into its calculations, not only for the sake of the planet we inhabit but to reduce risk. Any fund manager not thinking hard about environmental risk right now is sleep-walking into quicksand – this is mainstream thinking.
While I can’t stand BLM and its derived wokery, if we want our children to live in a better world (and equally to the point, extremely poor children elsewhere) is it not good that powerful investors are prepared to do right by them wherever possible? The article and most comments seem to emerge from a world view in which nothing but money matters (usually their money). Governments need to change business calculations to encourage responsible investment that is also more profitable than the horrendously damaging paradigm it has operated in for the last 200 years. But I’m four-square behind the person who hasn’t the patience to wait for this in a world on the brink, and does everything they can to hasten the day that carbon emissions plunge, nature begins to recover, and poor people have enough food on their plate. Like any top investor, Larry Fink is ahead of the game, and it may not be long before his critics wished they’d got on board and reaped the environmental, societal – and yes – juicy financial rewards to come.

Last edited 1 year ago by simon lamb
Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  simon lamb

Finally I find a sensible comment, thank you.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  simon lamb

The danger here though is when politically powerful agents behave in a way that puts ecological welfare ahead of human well-being. The planet is here for our benefit and not the other way around. Besides, I”d rather not put my pension funds in the hands of American CEOs who, let’s face it, don’t have a great track record of treating people very well.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
1 year ago
Reply to  simon lamb

Finally I find a sensible comment, thank you.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  simon lamb

The danger here though is when politically powerful agents behave in a way that puts ecological welfare ahead of human well-being. The planet is here for our benefit and not the other way around. Besides, I”d rather not put my pension funds in the hands of American CEOs who, let’s face it, don’t have a great track record of treating people very well.

simon lamb
simon lamb
1 year ago

I don’t think the author and people here get this at all. Medium term investing is about anticipation, and rarely do you moderate strategies in response to short-term market results. The fact is that world must wean itself off fossil fuels, must bring the welfare of natural capital into its calculations, not only for the sake of the planet we inhabit but to reduce risk. Any fund manager not thinking hard about environmental risk right now is sleep-walking into quicksand – this is mainstream thinking.
While I can’t stand BLM and its derived wokery, if we want our children to live in a better world (and equally to the point, extremely poor children elsewhere) is it not good that powerful investors are prepared to do right by them wherever possible? The article and most comments seem to emerge from a world view in which nothing but money matters (usually their money). Governments need to change business calculations to encourage responsible investment that is also more profitable than the horrendously damaging paradigm it has operated in for the last 200 years. But I’m four-square behind the person who hasn’t the patience to wait for this in a world on the brink, and does everything they can to hasten the day that carbon emissions plunge, nature begins to recover, and poor people have enough food on their plate. Like any top investor, Larry Fink is ahead of the game, and it may not be long before his critics wished they’d got on board and reaped the environmental, societal – and yes – juicy financial rewards to come.

Last edited 1 year ago by simon lamb
Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Perfectly encapsulates why any attempt to mitigate the negative affects of climate change quickly meet a brick wall of economic protectionism.
Will this change? Maybe. People now understand the impacts of industrial pollution, resulting in it becoming socially and ethically unacceptable, perhaps the same will happen with carbon emitters, eventually, although it’s too late anyway.
Whether one believes ESG is there only for cynical purposes makes no difference to that goal.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Putting aside detailed science/model arguments re myths spread by, and destructive influence of, the ‘Climate Change Fanatics’ particularly on the scientific method, hence Science. (ie There should be no such thing as a ‘denier’ in science, as Feynman pointed out and as any Scientist worth his salt should accept – ‘
“Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.”
IF you have to revert to ‘denier’ as your only argument, then your argument isn’t worth the model it was based on.)
A more general reading of news raises a number of points. One is, why should this arbitrary point in time & climate be “ideal” and be preserved at catastrophic human cost? Would the Greens have demanded preserving the Ice Age? What about this intriguing era.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/385SHpTG5M25Xr6G3FSMJTG/seven-things-that-happened-when-the-planet-got-really-really-hot
The irony is the current Cult leader announced to day
“It’s too late to save the Planet.”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-64815875
How on earth can any rational person believe this guy? The planet doesn’t give a toss. The former and late doyen of the Greens, Prof Lovelock (his Gaia hypothesis promoting him to Godlike status – a sort of real life ‘The Man Who Would be King.” drama. Though in his case it wasn’t a woman, but his scientific principles depriving him of that position, twice over. The first time when he espoused Nuclear Power, and the second when he ‘Recanted’ his Alarmist Views’
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/gaia-scientist-james-lovelock-i-was-alarmist-about-climate-change-flna730066
Here is some Lovelock recanting
“We will have global warming, but it’s been deferred a bit,” Lovelock said.
‘I made a mistake’
Then when asked why no others were being so outspoken (other than the fact IF they were, the BBC at least would usually censor them!) he pointed out what most of us sceptics already know – “Follow the money.” – always a useful starting point in any investigation.
As “an independent and a loner,” he said he did not mind saying “All right, I made a mistake.” He claimed a university or government scientist might fear an admission of a mistake would lead to the loss of funding.(Hmm, now where else might such fears lead to ‘junk science’ and mask mandates?)
The we get to another issue, a word. “Fossil” – the clue to it all? Perhaps we should be thanking gas/coal/oil burners for ‘releasing imprisoned Carbon’. Carbon that the malignant planet kept sequestering to eliminate life (Try a CO2 free atmosphere in your models and see how well that works out) currently few dispute the 15% increase in planetary greening thanks to CO2.
As the first BBC link points out (I”m amazed this remains on the BBC) all that Carbon, those 7c higher temperatures not only didn’t fry the planet, but they were when Mammals evolved. Life was abundant and all that carbon was ‘sequestered’ after being fixed by living organisms.
Net Zero is impossible, and insane. It will kill millions if not billions, BUT they’ll not include Al Gore, Obama, Greta or any of the leading Green lights of the rich west. (PS Look up who lost out to Europe when LNG was bid for in the last winter and who lost out when Europe went looking to assuage its Veg shortage – I’ll give a clue for the search , Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Africa.)
Lomborg is who we should listen to NOT Greta.
Finally to paraphrase a well known saying,
“Be fearful of global financiers bearing ESG gifts.”

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

I won’t seek to change your mind on the issue since you and an element of the audience here are clearly embedded with unwavering confirmation bias. On that note, Lomborg is the perfect example of a narrator selecting certain stories and data similar to your post, all of which come under the heading of denial dogma.
What we will agree on is that ‘net zero’ is impossible, the reason however is economic protectionism. Hedge funds want profits, governments want growth. That won’t change.
The snippit I will add however, and is often misunderstood by the layperson, is that CO2 persists in the atmosphere for two hundred years – if you can understand the implications of that, then perhaps one is not lost entirely.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Here, here! Well done chap!
I especially like the reference to the last ice age, which we are still getting over, hence the melting of the remaining glaciers. All perfectly normal and expected by the reasonably informed. If these same-minded people were around during the previous extremely warm era, they would decry the death of the dinosaurs and complain about how cold the earth was becoming. Simply ludicrous.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

face/palm

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Who is paying you? Kerry? And do you also fly around the world in an awesome jet spewing your BS?

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Believe it or not that are opinions outside of your normal echo chamber.

Bryan Benaway
Bryan Benaway
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What echo chamber is that? The one where CO2 is a hazardous pollutant that will undeniably cause a Climate Armageddon that’s pushed incessantly everywhere, all the time, by mainstream “reporters” and clueless socialites? Oh wait, that’s the story you can’t ignore no matter how hard you try…and thus the only possible “echo chamber” one could reasonably inhabit.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Benaway

CO2 is not a pollutant, it’s a greenhouse gas.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Bryan Benaway

CO2 is not a pollutant, it’s a greenhouse gas.

Bryan Benaway
Bryan Benaway
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What echo chamber is that? The one where CO2 is a hazardous pollutant that will undeniably cause a Climate Armageddon that’s pushed incessantly everywhere, all the time, by mainstream “reporters” and clueless socialites? Oh wait, that’s the story you can’t ignore no matter how hard you try…and thus the only possible “echo chamber” one could reasonably inhabit.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Believe it or not that are opinions outside of your normal echo chamber.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Who is paying you? Kerry? And do you also fly around the world in an awesome jet spewing your BS?

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

face/palm

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

I won’t seek to change your mind on the issue since you and an element of the audience here are clearly embedded with unwavering confirmation bias. On that note, Lomborg is the perfect example of a narrator selecting certain stories and data similar to your post, all of which come under the heading of denial dogma.
What we will agree on is that ‘net zero’ is impossible, the reason however is economic protectionism. Hedge funds want profits, governments want growth. That won’t change.
The snippit I will add however, and is often misunderstood by the layperson, is that CO2 persists in the atmosphere for two hundred years – if you can understand the implications of that, then perhaps one is not lost entirely.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Here, here! Well done chap!
I especially like the reference to the last ice age, which we are still getting over, hence the melting of the remaining glaciers. All perfectly normal and expected by the reasonably informed. If these same-minded people were around during the previous extremely warm era, they would decry the death of the dinosaurs and complain about how cold the earth was becoming. Simply ludicrous.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Putting aside detailed science/model arguments re myths spread by, and destructive influence of, the ‘Climate Change Fanatics’ particularly on the scientific method, hence Science. (ie There should be no such thing as a ‘denier’ in science, as Feynman pointed out and as any Scientist worth his salt should accept – ‘
“Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.”
IF you have to revert to ‘denier’ as your only argument, then your argument isn’t worth the model it was based on.)
A more general reading of news raises a number of points. One is, why should this arbitrary point in time & climate be “ideal” and be preserved at catastrophic human cost? Would the Greens have demanded preserving the Ice Age? What about this intriguing era.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/385SHpTG5M25Xr6G3FSMJTG/seven-things-that-happened-when-the-planet-got-really-really-hot
The irony is the current Cult leader announced to day
“It’s too late to save the Planet.”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-64815875
How on earth can any rational person believe this guy? The planet doesn’t give a toss. The former and late doyen of the Greens, Prof Lovelock (his Gaia hypothesis promoting him to Godlike status – a sort of real life ‘The Man Who Would be King.” drama. Though in his case it wasn’t a woman, but his scientific principles depriving him of that position, twice over. The first time when he espoused Nuclear Power, and the second when he ‘Recanted’ his Alarmist Views’
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/gaia-scientist-james-lovelock-i-was-alarmist-about-climate-change-flna730066
Here is some Lovelock recanting
“We will have global warming, but it’s been deferred a bit,” Lovelock said.
‘I made a mistake’
Then when asked why no others were being so outspoken (other than the fact IF they were, the BBC at least would usually censor them!) he pointed out what most of us sceptics already know – “Follow the money.” – always a useful starting point in any investigation.
As “an independent and a loner,” he said he did not mind saying “All right, I made a mistake.” He claimed a university or government scientist might fear an admission of a mistake would lead to the loss of funding.(Hmm, now where else might such fears lead to ‘junk science’ and mask mandates?)
The we get to another issue, a word. “Fossil” – the clue to it all? Perhaps we should be thanking gas/coal/oil burners for ‘releasing imprisoned Carbon’. Carbon that the malignant planet kept sequestering to eliminate life (Try a CO2 free atmosphere in your models and see how well that works out) currently few dispute the 15% increase in planetary greening thanks to CO2.
As the first BBC link points out (I”m amazed this remains on the BBC) all that Carbon, those 7c higher temperatures not only didn’t fry the planet, but they were when Mammals evolved. Life was abundant and all that carbon was ‘sequestered’ after being fixed by living organisms.
Net Zero is impossible, and insane. It will kill millions if not billions, BUT they’ll not include Al Gore, Obama, Greta or any of the leading Green lights of the rich west. (PS Look up who lost out to Europe when LNG was bid for in the last winter and who lost out when Europe went looking to assuage its Veg shortage – I’ll give a clue for the search , Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Africa.)
Lomborg is who we should listen to NOT Greta.
Finally to paraphrase a well known saying,
“Be fearful of global financiers bearing ESG gifts.”

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Perfectly encapsulates why any attempt to mitigate the negative affects of climate change quickly meet a brick wall of economic protectionism.
Will this change? Maybe. People now understand the impacts of industrial pollution, resulting in it becoming socially and ethically unacceptable, perhaps the same will happen with carbon emitters, eventually, although it’s too late anyway.
Whether one believes ESG is there only for cynical purposes makes no difference to that goal.