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AFF Sentinel V20#37-Turmoil Might Come Before Enlightenment

How Close Are We to Peak Stupid Now?

Steve Dittmer | AFF Sentinel

Colorado Springs, CO

Originally sent to subscribers 08/18/23

There’s nothing like a dose of pocketbook reality to engender some doubt among citizens about so-called “conventional wisdom” or “everybody knows” or, these days, “progressive” movements.

The price of gas, food, insurance, electricity and inflated prices for nearly everything, has begun sifting into most people’s minds. Of course, those sentiments follow the thinking of many of us since about January, 2021.

As was pointed out in a recent radio show, energy and interest rates pretty much factor in everything modern society functions on. So the left’s concerted effort to make energy prohibitively expensive and pump trillions into the economy boosting inflation and interest rates are working well enough that perhaps even the most oblivious -- what Rush used to call the “uninformed” -- are becoming aware of the sources of our troubles.

We began writing about the “woke” ESG (environmental-social-corporate governance) movement infiltrating major corporations in the spring of 2021. There are many regular, average Americans who rely on financial institutions and publicly held corporations to generate income for their retirement income, pensions, investment funds and living expenses. They have begun jerking back corporate executive suites to the concept of putting fiduciary interests of shareholders and satisfaction of customers ahead of “woke” social movements and wish lists of inexperienced employees.

Even Larry Fink, the wiseacre who runs Blackrock and supports the social justice scoring system the big corporations fear to offend, has evidently heard the clamor from the street far below. He has acknowledged soft pedaling his insistence that the whole world must heel to the ESG movement because ESG has gotten “too political.” That’s like saying wading in the ocean at the seashore has gotten “too wet.”

Using government edicts to achieve ends the electorate has not voted for is kind of political. Strident yelling at corporate annual meetings to try to force ends and methods that are not designed to achieve economic, business or profit-making goals must, therefore, be political. In fact, in recent months, shareholder resolutions at annual meetings have less often involved ESG and DEI goals as shareholders have gotten tired of indulging far left ideologies that are designed to wreck or hobble companies and industries.

Huge corporations are complex things. Young millennials in public relations departments and as employees at some companies seem to have a faster impact on company policy from the inside if the top executives are more responsive to social trends and fear being pilloried by activists on social media. Response to shareholders takes more time. If federal government incentives, disincentives, regulations and subsidies join in, things can get out of hand faster than we realize.

Ford laying off engineers and executives in internal combustion engine departments already and states outlawing the sale of gasoline engine vehicles in a few short years defies all common sense. But “progressive” furor, government regulations and government subsidies have persuaded auto manufacturers that there is no future in gasoline engines. Stellantis, once known as Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, is already planning to start restricting the number of Jeeps it ships to California and like states because they don’t want to be stuck with inventory in dealerships that won’t be allowed to sell them.

But the recent admission by Ford’s CEO that getting out of town very far in an EV is fraught with difficulties was an interesting event. There are a host of similar stories from panicky EV owners getting locked inside cars with dead batteries, getting towed because charging stations were inoperable, cars that won’t charge in really cold weather, ranges that shrink drastically in certain situations and discovering a dead cell phone can be a bigger problem than they knew. You see, the only way to unlock certain EV’s when the battery goes dead is some app on a cell phone. What if you’re out of cell coverage range? Who knew?

In an industry like the meat business where the weather and the consumer keeps everyone so close to reality, it is hard to understand how major Fortune 500 corporations can become so lost. A story in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal sheds some light. Much of the story concerns the lack of scientific and economic proof for the climate change revolution that has taken over government and many corporations. The question is, how did this happen?

Peter Huntsman, chairman and CEO of an international chemical company his father, Jon Huntsman Sr. founded over 50 years ago, gave two reasons from his experience dealing with CEOS of major corporations. One, the fear of a “vociferous, branding, cancellation attack” if one doesn’t follow the orthodoxy and two, by the time many executives reach the CEO suite, they are a few years from retirement and don’t want to create a ruckus, get fired and lose their pensions (A CEO Who Doesn’t Equivocate About Climate,” 08/19-20/23).

Huntsman said adhering to ESG and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) ideologies has created the goal of “appearing righteous” as important as producing profits.

At the same time, the terrific progress businesses have made in the last 50 years to improve efficiency and productivity is ignored by the naysayers. Producing the same amount of carbon emissions as in 1970, we produce much more electricity, transport and drive many more miles, produce more goods more efficiently and have grown GDP by 30 times, Huntsman said.

Huntsman is one of a growing number of folks willing to speak out that while the climate may be shifting, there is no “climate emergency.” Regulating and taxing Americans to attempt to achieve arbitrary, unfounded climate goals is a fast way to kill innovation and kill production of the fossil fuels we need until valid replacements are found.

Corporate CEO’s don’t talk about American exceptionalism, American free markets, he said. 

“The more you travel around the world, you see the progress we’ve made here. No place has come remotely close to what we’ve done in this country, and it seems like people almost want to avoid talking about that.”

And yet, our political elite are intent on following the paths that socialist-Communist- Marxist systems have proven over and over do not work.

Edi. Note: the pic below looked so good, we had to keep it again, (courtesy beef Check off).


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