Saturday, April 20, 2024

Alexander: Doomsday scenarios from the ‘Climate Change Cultists’ can’t influence the Fed’s decisions

by BIZ Magazine

Climate change hysteria has now reached our federal agencies.

Well, our trillions-of-dollars financial industry should not be intimidated by our federal agencies—under threat of fines and penalties—into adhering to highly controversial Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors.   

This is ludicrous, of course.  Investment decisions should only be made based upon a fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder profit by increasing market share, not upon whether a particular entity is sufficiently Woke—whether that’s with regard to so-called racial “justice,” “equity,” transgenderism, child genital mutilation, or “climate change.”  Unfortunately, an increasing trend among investors is to apply these kinds of non-financial ESG metrics as part of the process to (misidentify material risks and growth opportunities.  

But those are the corporations, and they can deal with this issue at their own financial peril.  My point today involves the participation of our federal agencies in this charade.

We cannot tolerate the ESG agenda being imposed across our federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) and the Labor Department.

There has to be pushback, and not only of a political nature, but legally as well because these agencies are spending taxpayer dollars.

To that end, the U.S. Supreme Court case of EPA v. West Virginia provides great insight into how federal agencies can be forced in litigation to curb their ESG agendas.  The Supreme Court in West Virginia held that “the Environmental Protection Agency had exceeded its congressional authority in violation of the ‘major questions’ doctrine.”  What this means in simple terms is that the EPA “couldn’t enact regulations on matters of vast political or economic significance without Congress’ clear assent.”  (Wall Street Journal, P. Tice, 08-24-23).

Let’s review one of the most prominent issues in the Woke agenda, climate change.

Climate Change religionists have been advancing doomsday scenarios for decades now.   Acid rain would deforest large swaths of the globe; there would be another ice age; the ozone would disappear; global warming would melt the world’s glaciers.  Now, the “world is on fire!” but the percentage of the globe that burns each year has been declining since 2001.  (B. Lomborg, Wall St. Journal, 8-1-23).   None of it has happened.  In fact, in the last 200 years the temperature of the earth has increased, slightly and erratically, by only about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. (Richard Lindzen, MIT Physicist. 04-18-2016)

Let me offer one hometown example.  

Let’s focus on the month of July: the temperature on one July 2023 day in my hometown of Shreveport, LA reached 108 degrees, topping a previous record of 107 degrees set July 16, 1875.  (Shreveport Times/National Weather Service).  (I note the highest Shreveport temperature on record is 110 degrees on August 18, 1909—114 years ago, and still early in terms of man-made CO2 production). 

Well, the American Industrial Revolution generally began in the 1870s and continued through World War II.  Dramatic improvements to agriculture, manufacturing, and the introduction of new modes of transportation including steamships, the automobile, and airplanes were all part of it.  Climate alarmists would argue that’s when all the man-made co2 began to be released in great abundance.

So, when Shreveport’s previous highest July temperature ever—107 degrees—occurred in the year 1875, the Industrial Revolution and its man-made carbon-producing activities had barely started.  So, how could Shreveport’s hottest July day in history until July 2023 have occurred before human beings were supposedly “polluting” the atmosphere and “warming” the globe?  Because this is the result of the natural fluctuations of weather. 

So yes, let’s continue to monitor the temperature of the earth as we monitor many other things like hurricanes, Asian murder hornets, and viruses from China, but this insanity about “the world is ending due to climate change” needs to stop.  

More importantly, this policy madness certainly cannot be allowed to be advanced by our federal agencies, acting on their own and outside of their congressional authority, to influence market decisions and financial investment—and far more seriously, to undermine our constitutional freedoms through the power of the authoritarian state.

We’re simply never going to view the heating and cooling of the planet as the doomsday scenario the Climate Change Religionists demand, given the fact that the contribution of humanity to climate change is, at best, “unsettled” and there are credible opposing viewpoints.

Royal Alexander is a Shreveport attorney

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