A shocking new summary of fossil fuel's assault on public health
"I think the question I get asked the most may be: why do these vast oil companies not simply convert to energy companies? Why don’t Exxon and Chevron decide to own the renewable future, instead of investing at most a few percent of their research budgets on clean tech?"
This is THE critical question in the climate conversation. To find the answer, we have to discover the mechanics of accountability of companies that are owned by the public markets to The Growth Imperative that requires that they always grow their share price. "Simply convert" is not a formula for share price growth. It is a formula for cash flow maintenance, but not share price growth. And that difference makes all the difference.
As long as fossil fuel companies like Exxon and Chevron are owned by the public markets, they are required by their social contract with those markets to grow their share price. Why?
Because the markets exist to deliver liquidity to market participants: current holders can always sell, because there will always be new buyers willing to buy. And new buyers can always buy, because there will always be current holders willing to sell. What makes current holders sell and new buyers buy? Profits on trades. And what makes profits on trades? Growth in share price. And what makes growth in share price? Growth in the scale of the corporations whose shares are being bought and sold in the markets for maintaining market-clearing prices.
In the entire global economy today there is only one institution that authentically values growth. That is the institution of share price trading. The rest of us are just enslaved to this one institution.
We need to set ourselves free from this enslavement to share price trading before we can tackle the climate crisis.
We can do that by acting to set another institution free from share price trading. Our institutions for the fiduciary ownership of intergenerational fiduciary money aggregated into social superfunds of vast size for the the purpose of delivering the dignity of future income security in retirement (pensions) and civil society (endowments).
That's where victory in the climate fight begins. By setting Pensions & Endowments - and ourselves - free from share price trading and the tyranny of The Growth Imperative.
An effective demonstration: Facebook's AI decided the picture was "potentially violent" and so obscured it when I posted the link on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/RevJSS/posts/pfbid0MLWd3pCUqXaKDRHQ2NL4hV8EWNwpnXFF2SECYCTtZkQ6xcVWHuJbMGPBzvhSVoCMl
The one trillion dollar question indeed: "I think the question I get asked the most may be: why do these vast oil companies not simply convert to energy companies? Why don’t Exxon and Chevron decide to own the renewable future, instead of investing at most a few percent of their research budgets on clean tech?"
The big issue in going to renewables is storage. If only we can tax fossils fuels more and make profits on storage tax free, it would create the perfect incentive for oil majors to allocate their funds and expertise to this topic. May they make indecent profits from clean energy storage!
Please, oh please Bill, stop flying all over the planet. Arizona, Egypt... some of us have curtailed air travel due to it's enormous carbon cost. I know your influence is great, and you're doing crucial work. Just don't fly.
The most inspiring article I've read in 20 years of climate activism, because of this moment in time, for both the crisis and the possibility of surviving it, and every single linked addition, from Just Stop Oil to Tim MacDonald's comment, extends the power. A call to action for every single one of us.