Mario Lewis and the Divestment Movement

I just wrote about Mario Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute who, in National Review in 2007, attempted to discredit the vigorous protests by the late Rick Piltz on the George W Bush administration’s revising science reports to downplay the dangers of climate change.

Well, Mr Lewis also has an article at CEI’s which accuses the fossil fuel divestment movement of having a “Heart of Darkness“. I won’t recount the argument here.

However I did make the following comment there:

The complaint is one of incomplete accounting, market failure, and a tragedy of commons. Fossil fuel energy is not “cheap energy”, as its full cost is not reflected in its price. It is heavily subsidized, and infrastructure to consume it was built with government funds, as well as promoted through illegal monopolistic arrangements. See United States v. National City Lines, 1951 (186 F.2d 562).

Moreover, one emission-free energy, solar, is now competitive with fossil fuel production of electricity, even if subsidies were removed (on both fossil fuels and solar, of course). In time, other energy sources will compete with fossil fuels squarely.

While the divestment movement is named for divestment as a symbolic and political act, many of us who are divesting are transferring those funds to clean energy sources. One easy way is to invest in the several Exchange Traded Funds which specialize in these companies.

I hardly say that is hypocritical. It’s simply judging where we want to put our monies, based upon personal values, something which every investor ought to do.

I reproduce it here because it is just possible that the comment will never otherwise see the light of day.

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This entry was posted in citizenship, climate, investing, investment in wind and solar energy, politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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