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« Sir Paul's new politicking | Main | Diary dates, hunger games edition »

Diary dates, divestment edition

There's a Guardian campaign afoot, and academia is leaping into action to help the cause of right-on folk. This time it's the Cambridge lot.

Climate Damage, Portfolio Risk and Fossil Fuel Investments
Date: 12:30-14:00, Monday 27th April 2015
Venue: KH107, Keynes House, Judge Business School, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AG

CSaP Policy Fellow Howard Covington is giving the first EPRG Energy & Environment Seminar of the Easter term 2015. At 12:30 on Monday 27th April Howard will give a paper on "Climate Damage, Portfolio Risk and Fossil Fuel Investments".

Howard is a former investment banker and asset manager, and has been chief executive of two City firms. He is a Trustee of the Science Museum and the Royal Institution, and the first non-academic chairman of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge. He has written op-ed pieces on climate change for the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. He is now the Chairman of Science Museum's Finance and Strategy Committee.

Mr Covington seems chummy with Chris Rapley.

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Reader Comments (16)

The WSJ article he wrote in 2010 is worth reading.
He almost comes across as reasonably skeptical about just how wrong the climate models can be (like the financial models he compares them to). It falls down in that his skepticism is asymmetric: he appears not to consider that things might turn out hunky dory, only that it might be worse than we thought.

So near, and yet so far. Five more years of non-warming seems to have passed him by.

May 13, 2015 at 2:56 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"Climate Damage, Portfolio Risk and Fossil Fuel Investments".

In the natural world, Climate never damages - Weather does; in the financial and political world, Climate policy enriches the privileged while damaging the health, wealth and prosperity of the poor who are forced to take all the pain of the 'our-planet-salvation' equation without the gain.

Most people have piggy-banks, rarely overstocked; the well-healed have portfolios. The greener, the better; taking the 'widows mite' from the many is both 'socially responsible' when it's supposedly saving their grandchildren and amazingly lucrative. Portfolio risk, is when the peasants stop filling the trough with their never-ending stream of state subsidies.
Fossil Fuel investments do make real money, albeit less than they used to, thanks to parasitic plundering that have re-allocated the financial rewards by favouring low energy-density, high cost and intermittent production over a now-demonised but high energy-density, low cost and continuous production source.
Irrespective of how modern FF technology is now employed to reduce real pollution, Green propaganda has successfully implanted the catechism into the public psyche that Carbon, whether elemental or in conjunction with other elements, is the beast with an extra nipple.

As Howard Covington is a former investment banker and asset manager, both respected and honoured occupations for most of the population, I look forward to hearing him acclaim that natural climatic variations have and will still dominate over anthropogenic influences, that selling short on FF portfolios depends for success upon politicians not succumbing to the cold, hard logic of scientists who understand numbers and sciencey-stuff, and that impoverishing yourself and the shareholders you represent for a however fashionable, however hubristic and however populist hypothesis may not be career enhancing.

May 13, 2015 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Very refreshing to read (on Judith Curry's blog) a public official saying (paraphrased):

My job [as a pension fund manager] is to maximise returns. My job is not to use other peoples money to promote my own personal beliefs.

May 13, 2015 at 6:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Howard is a former investment banker and asset manager, and has been chief executive of two City firms.

In other words he found god 'after ' he made his pile of cash .

And is anything stopping him given away any money he made from 'evil fossil fuels ' no , and will he give it away , your joking right .

In the old days on their death beds people like to 'polish their souls ' by admitting their sins and given to the church . Now some like to do a similar thing but in public and without the 'given ' part, only its green-wash they apply not absolution , but the intent remains the same.

May 13, 2015 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

NB New Star Asset Management (of which he was CEO) went bust in the crash.
There is no such word as "failure" in the City!

May 13, 2015 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered Commentercjcjc

Err, what fossil fuel investments do they have in mind? As far as UK electricity power generation is concerned I can't recall the last time we invested in any fossil fuel generation.

May 13, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

@Capell "There's gold SUBSIDIES in them hills" Paul Homewood has pointed out Lord Debden's company building new gas power station right next to one being closed down.
Seems some stations close down cos due to renewables obligation laws they can't run at full efficiency.
..whereas due to renewables obligation laws others have won good big strike prices in auctions to secure backup power

May 13, 2015 at 9:15 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The models, concerning the IPCC models, it puzzles me why the feedbacks kick in only after year 2000 and the temperature predictions/projections fan out to preposterous heights in the following century as if there is something critical about a global average temperature of say 14.65C that doesn’t apply at 13.82C or that the feedbacks begin only after the CO2 concentration reaches 375 ppm and not at lower concentrations (when its greenhouse effect is more potent).
Perhaps an enthusiast can explain.

May 13, 2015 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Hanley

Couldn't the Grauniad set a really good example by just giving their shares away to a charity, that actually does something useful with the money?

The Grauniad is already rolling in money they inherited. Surely they would not want to be labelled self righteous hypocrites for another day/week/year/decade/millennium?

May 13, 2015 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Yet another member of the metroplitan elite who as got into a position of influence through his PC position and his PC contacts, not through his ability or his expertise.

May 13, 2015 at 9:32 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"Peak Oil" didn't work out.
"Divestment" is Plan B.
"Keep it in the Ground" by UN fiat will be next.

May 13, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterKenW

"Climate Damage, Portfolio Risk and Fossil Fuel Investments".

Divestment so shift their money into lucrative land deals instead.So cottages ,Hotels and Condos by the sea.
Howard Covington about his real estate portfolio any nice exotic beach front property.Another Lex Luthor.

May 13, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

It is fascinating to watch the Guardian pronouncement about fossil fuel divestment being acted upon across academia. It is like a religious instruction being implemented by the faithful.

One would think that journalists and academics would be leading the movement to discover why climate scientists are still relying on predictions from failed models. But then, politicisation means that the real truth is the one that furthers the socialist green agenda.

May 13, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Schrodingers Cat, it is brilliant to know that so many left wing academics, are throwing away their pensions, based on left wing failed science, maths, logic, history, politics, common sense etc.

"Keep it in the ground" , could be a reference to the Grauniad's business model, circulation strategy and editorial policy about where to position their head, when faced with logic failures.

May 13, 2015 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It is impossible to be both an "investment banker" and an "asset manager" (if you're a fiduciary).

There is a fundamental and unavoidable conflict of interest. By the very nature of their business, investment bankers are liars. They have no obligation or duty of fiduciary responsibility to anyone.

May 13, 2015 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

Divestment away from Fossil Fuel and into Multi National Timber Logging companies.

Evict third world pheasant dirt farmers ,shanty town dweller and native peoples and compensate them with worthless Carbon Credits.

Then flattern Bio Deverse Natural Habital in the name of Ethical Bio Fuels.

May 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

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