Woeful journalism supports tobacco investment.
This got on my wick.
This article from the Telegraph managed to press about six of my buttons at the same time. Here’s the headline as a link. ‘Woeful ethical funds mean investors lose out on hundreds of thousands’. I messaged the author of the article on Twitter. I’ll see if he responds. But here’s the thing. So yes, if you invested in ethical funds ten years ago, rather than say tobacco and oil, you have made less money. True. But, here’s the thing. It also means you haven’t been responsible for deliberately and knowingly profiting from giving people lung cancer. The Telegraph article describes this as a ‘feel good factor.’
Er, no. It’s not a ‘feel good factor.’ It’s more akin to not partaking in mass homicide for money. Would you smoke? Noooo! It gives you cancer and heart disease! Would you like to profit from other people being given cancer and heart disease? Why sure I would! Kerching.
Not. Likewise with investing in fossil fuel companies, notoriously dodgy, environmentally ruinous, and from a ‘providing for the future perspective’ not exactly demonstrative of long term thinking. Investing in fossil fuel companies is a bit of a ‘F.U Future’ kinda approach to investment.
Another one of my buttons pressed was a mention that the Church of England is well invested in oil and fossil fuels. I understand they are in the process of divestment, maybe 2020, maybe 2023.
“James Buchanan, from Operation Noah’s Bright Now disinvestment campaign, said on Sunday that Synod had “drawn a line in the sand”.
“Today, the Church of England has drawn a line in the sand and, given the increasing financial risk of fossil-fuel investments, they would be well advised to divest sooner rather than later.”
They really should. They have £8Billion to invest. They could invest this in ways that really made people sit up and take notice. They could invest in super ethical companies, Christian companies even, renewable energy companies, ethical startups, and to some degree I’m sure they do. When I get time for a bit of long form journalism I’ll find out the facts of their investments and see if I can come up with some improvements. Just seems to me, on the face of it, if they want people to take them seriously, they need to stand up, stand out, and take a stand.
Maybe EthicalMuch needs to do the same. Maybe we will.