“Sell Off All Fossil Fuel Investments Now”

The April 2018 interview on “Glen’s Parallax Perspectives” explores an important aspect of the climate crisis that has been largely neglected. If people pay attention to this aspect, we can protect the climate and also save ourselves from serious financial losses.

The climate crisis has forced the world to start significantly shifting away from coal and oil. We must shift away from all fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) much more rapidly in order to protect Planet Earth – and all of us – from catastrophic climate disruptions.

Sharply reducing our consumption of fossil fuels will financially hurt the fossil fuel companies. Many coal companies have already gone bankrupt. Oil and natural gas companies will soon follow. Smart investors have been selling their fossil fuel investments not so much because they’re concerned about the climate crisis, but much more because fossil fuel stocks and bonds have become risky investments that will crash soon.

This means serious risk for anyone who has in-vested in fossil fuel companies. Many individual investors, mutual funds, pension funds, non-profit organization endowment funds, and other investors in fossil fuel companies are at serious risk.

The April 2018 episode of “Glen’s Parallax Perspectives” interviews two very knowledgeable guests who have been working on this: Donna Albert and Bourtai Hargrove. They and other persons including Glen Anderson, who hosted the interview, have been urging the Washington State Investment Board to protect teachers, state employees, and local government employees from the financial danger that the climate crisis causes for our pensions.

Donna Albert is a professional civil engineer. She has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering and 25 years of experience working as an engineer for the State of Washington. This includes some years as an energy engineer.

Bourtai Hargrove is an attorney who retired after working for the State of Washington. She has a long and varied background – both profession-ally and as a volunteer – working for many social justice issues. Bourtai has accomplished much as a local organizer who confronts the climate crisis.

Our interview includes the two graphs summarized and linked here:

We showed this graph — CARBON CRUNCH graph shows our “Carbon Budget” and urgent need to stop burning fossil fuels — and discussed it several times during the interview.  It shows a “CARBON BUDGET” — the total amount of carbon dioxide we can emit into the atmosphere before causing extremely serious climate disruptions.  If we had started transitioning away from fossil fuels some years ago, we would have had more time for a more gradual transition to energy conservation and renewable energy.  But we have been continuing to pollute the atmosphere with carbon dioxide — “spending” our “carbon budget” — so less of the “carbon budget” remains.  This means that we must rapidly and significantly reduce our burning of fossil fuels.  This graph shows that the longer we wait to significantly transition away from burning fossil fuels, the more rapidly we will have to do it.

We also showed this graph — Transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables — which shows how we must sharply reduce burning fossil fuels (the large black blob at the left side of the graph) and transition rapidly to conservation, efficiency, and alternatives (the growing areas on the graph’s right side).

To watch this interview, click this link:  CLICK HERE to watch this interview

To read a thorough summary of what we said (and see information sources listed at the end of the document), click this link:  2018.04 Program Summary — Divest from Fossil Fuels

Near the end of the interview Donna read parts of the letter and resolution we gave to the Washington State Investment Board on February 15, 2018.  You can read them both at this link:  Letter and Resolution given to WSIB on February 15, 2018

This list from a few years ago is still useful:   Information Resources about Divesting from Fossil Fuels

The program airs on Thurston Community Television (channel 22 for cable TV subscribers in Thurston County WA) three times a week throughout April 2018:  Every Monday at 1:30 pm, every Wednesday at 5:00 pm, and every Thursday at 9:00 pm.  For more information about this local station and community access media, see www.tcmedia.org