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Discussion > Why is it political?

Sep 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM | Lord Beaverbrook

I once drove through Naples, Florida about 20 years ago.

So what did these two leviathons from the US achieve (0.4% of BP stock) at the BP meeting in April 2011:

Dudley attempted to appease major institutional shareholders, including Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, and the Florida State Board of Administration, which are unhappy about a lack of transparency over safety improvements at the company.

Very commendable - but if this is it politics, then it has nothing to with AGW, has it, more like fertilizer stirring?

Oh wait, there was some violence:

Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation fisherwoman from Seadrift, Texas, was arrested after evading security to enter the foyer of the building, where she covered herself in a dark syrup to represent oil.

Sep 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Shell oil
want to develop low carbon bio fuels

HSBC finance
Managing our environmental footprint and seeking a leadership role on climate change

Vodaphone phones
love smart meters
And they want to reduce greenhouse gasses from their operation

BP. oil
We believe increasing energy efficiency and the greater use of existing lower-carbon fuels can make fast and material impacts

BHP Billiton mining
We are continuing to work across our global operations to find lasting solutions to the issues associated with climate change

Rio Tinto, mining
Burning coal is a major contributor
to man made greenhouse gases.
Rio Tinto has accepted the challenge,
with other producers and governments,
to implement low emission technologies
to reduce emissions of greenhouse
gases to the atmosphere from the
combustion of coal.

Glaxo healthcare
Our long-term goal is for our entire value chain to be carbon neutral by 2050, with a 10% reduction in our carbon footprint by 2015

BAT tobacco
We recognise the significant concerns about climate change in general and the specific challenges it could pose to our business in commercial, regulatory or physical ways

Anglo American, mining
The Group is committed to reducing energy intensity by 15% by 2014, based on the 2004 baseline. Over the decade to 2014, the Group is aiming for a 10% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of production.

BG Group, gas
We are taking action in our operations and through
our core product - natural gas - to help tackle the global challenge of climate change

So all of the diverse companies in the above list share the same belief that AGW is a problem for the climate, even the mining companies, and have policies in place in order to reduce their effect on climate change, and they came to that conclusion independently without the direction from their 'common' shareholders who are united in that view.

Sep 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

And here are some companies that are not on the top 10 list:

These project Environmental Standards include:

•Air emissions (sulfur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter);

•Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions;

•Drill cuttings discharge, water management, waste management, and land use;

•Flare and venting;

•Energy efficiency and greenhouse gases (GHGs);

•Marine geophysical operations; and,

•Socioeconomic impacts.

WalMart: this is from the WalMart Canada site:
Key Performance Indicators 2008 Results 2009 Results
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) produced in Canada:
Emission per retail sq. ft. - Metric Tonnes C02 Equivalent 0.0078 0.0077
Direct - Metric Tonnes C02 Equivalent 89,093 96,880
Indirect - Metric Tonnes C02 Equivalent 206,028 207,443
Total electricity intensity per sq. ft. 19.43 kWh 18.65 kWh
(Overall greenhouse gases have increased compared to 2008 due to the addition of new and expanded stores, however, improvements in energy efficiency and design have mitigated an increase when measured on a square foot basis.)

Let's try one that isn't even in the top 100.
Procter and Gamble:
Our Long Term Operational End Points
Powering our plants with 100% renewable energy
Emitting no fossil-based CO2 or toxic emissions

How about one that doesn't manufacture or distribute anything that uses energy to convert matter (into something comprehensible to mankind). Say # 63 Zurich Financial Services. Read this:
OK maybe that is a bad example.:-)

The interesting question is can we find any publicly traded company, or any large organization for that matter, that doesn't make reference to reducing greenhouse gases somewhere in their publications.

With the exception of Zurich, it's just Public Relations brother....and right now providing these kind of PR programs is the cost of the dance.

Sep 19, 2011 at 3:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterdkkraft

I suppose I should answer this question in advance.

dkkraft is it really just PR or are they true believers?

The answer is both.

They think it is good PR so they hire / assign true believers to the CSR / Sustainabilty posts.

In some ways it is like how you would staff a University Environmental Studies Dept.

Sep 19, 2011 at 4:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterdkkraft


Sorry, I missed your post on page changeover.

What influence did the 0.4% stock option convey?

I agree, very little I suspect, but what if the American 'public sector' is increased, Obamacare etc., what influence does, for instance, a 4% stock option convey?

Figures are relative, you can see the trend.


Thanks for posting, as a thought process the idea is to refine/reform to try and get to a conclusion and you have just helped with that.

'They think it is good PR so they hire / assign true believers to the CSR / Sustainabilty posts.'

Who are 'They'?

They being the Board of Directors of a company.

So who decides who is on the board of directors?

The shareholders.

The concept that we are now forming is that the senior management of companies are becoming more what..... Socially aware. environmentally friendly, more atuned to using social indicators as to the company's performance than solely financial indicators.

Which is I suppose not a huge leap of thinking to arrive at:

When there is a 'socialist' styled government in power for an extended period, the public sector grows and the pension schemes have a greater influence on the boards of companies who pass on that 'socialist' influence into the private sector.

When there is a 'capitalist' styled government in power for an extended time, the public sector shrinks and the pension schemes have a lesser influence on the boards of companies who pass on a 'capitalist' influence into the private sector.

An item in the news this morning from the Liberal Democrat conference. Not verbatim but:

The Liberals want to reform the process of Board level pay in companies to end the discrepency between directors and workers pay rises.

What is their proposal?

To give more powers to shareholders which will enable them to vote down propositions concerning board level pay rises.

That very process in action.

Sep 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

"So all of the diverse companies in the above list share the same belief that AGW is a problem for the climate, even the mining companies, and have policies in place in order to reduce their effect on climate change, and they came to that conclusion independently without the direction from their 'common' shareholders who are united in that view."
Sep 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Lord Beaverbrook

You see, this is where all your tin foil hat nonsense falls apart.

You were presented with a list of shareholdings that should have made you say 'oh, hold on, overall these companies will be undeniably hurt, rather than more profitable, from greening. As they're by far the major share holdings, then government would be better ignorning environmental issues from a pensions point of view'.

Instead, you printed out PR fluff, and minor things which damage profitability, or in some cases, genuine corporate responsibility, for each company. I've no idea what point you were trying to make, but you failed to do so.

It's the mark of a person to admit they're wrong in the face of overwhelming evidence, but for people like you, I fear, the lure of conspiracy theory just proves too great, for things like evidence to get in the way.

Let's face, you've put so much time into this thread alone, that you were never going to change your mind.

Sep 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Sep 16, 2011 at 12:47 AM | Lord Beaverbrook - the first message on this thread.

We are wasting too much of the Bishop's blog-paper on this - we are approaching the bottom of page 2 already.

To stop pussyfooting around, the whole of the first message is a load of oblate spheroids being based on the false premise of "the public sector pension fund".

There are about 100 "funded" pension schemes which cover half of the public sector workforce, and then there is a compulsory "Ponzi" scheme for the other half of the public sector workforce (plus all the OAPs).

You have concluded that because some major enterprises issue "greenish" statements, then AGW must be true.

The fact of the matter is that laws, with the misguided objective of "saving the planet", have been enacted which increase the cost of doing business, which then knocks on into higher prices for the things that the peasants buy.

I am grateful to dkraft (Sep 18, 2011 at 7:19 PM) for so eloquently expanding my fig leaf metaphor - perhaps LB, you missed that post as well, (or should that be "red mist").

Some business are more cynical than others and may be they detect a commercial advantage in pretending to take AGW seriously, others are getting their retaliation in first so that when the peasants finally cotton on to fact that they are being ripped-off, those enterprises can say to the peasants "we told you so at the beginning, we were only obeying the stupid laws, and that costs money" and, it comes out of your wallet.

I will thank Lord Beaverbrook for one thing, this thread has kept me amused over the weekend.

Sep 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff


Thanks for contributing, it was enjoyable, made the weekend fly along.

Sep 19, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook