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Sen V20#28-Who’s Running the Show?

Source: Steve Dittmer | AFF

Is "Wokeness" Reaching Peak Stupid?

Don’t you just long for the days when we thought we were smarter than the old folks and would change things for the future?

We didn’t think that everything that came before we reached the age of reason (8) was wrong and our ancestors were evil. We thought there would be better ways. We didn’t want to invoice people today for things done 200 or 400 years ago that we had decided last week were impermissible.

And we certainly didn’t think that we controlled Mother Nature as to determining the climate, the weather and what gender we were at birth.

Legislation, regulation, corporate policy, lawsuits, church doctrine and activities aren’t enough. Now a court case in Montana holds that not only are things being done wrong, the fixes aren’t happening fast enough. Incredibly enough, this is not the only case like this in court systems across the country.

In the Montana case -- we’re not making this up -- the plaintiffs at filing were ages 2 to 18 years old. Now kids in diapers are not only having their diapers invaded by surgeons with nefarious intent but are filing suit in court over climate change, no less. This sets new definitions of being a “tool” being used by lawyers.

In this case, Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit public interest law firm is the culprit. They have been filing climate change cases for over a decade.

This case charges that Montana’s constitution since 1972 explicitly guaranteed the right to “a clean and healthful environment” and that requires effective action protecting water, wildlife, public lands and the atmosphere, (“Youths Sue States to compel Actions on Climate Change,” Wall Street Journal, 06/12/23). The state’s reliance on, and production of, fossil fuels is at odds with that guarantee, making state policy unconstitutional, the suit contends.

An environmental law professor from UCLA commented that maybe Montana will push the bounds of “climate leadership.”

Don’t you just love “leadership” when applied to going in wrong directions without relevant facts or logic to guide the direction?

Montana’s attorney general doesn’t like it either.

“There are no relevant facts to find and there are no existing Montana laws or policies for the District Court to interpret, apply or attempt to fashion some form of relief,” the AG said about the case.

Ah, but we have the all-knowing, all-encompassing UN to rely on. The infamous UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims the global greenhouse gas emissions hit a record in 2022.

Wonder which end of the “hockey stick” they are measuring from?

As for the tools, er, plaintiffs, they are offspring of farmers, outdoor enthusiasts and Native Americans who claim wildfire smoke has kept them indoors away from sports training or that “unpredictable weather” has been damaging crops or killing livestock -- evidence the state has not been constitutionally protecting them.

After all, weather and climate never kept people indoors, damaged crops or affected livestock before man invented internal combustion engines or power plants, did they?

Montana’s legislature has already passed a law explicitly prohibiting the analysis of greenhouse gases and climate effects in state agency environmental impact reviews.

We will see if that makes any difference to the District Court.

There are also cases in federal and state court systems in Oregon and Hawaii that could come to trial.

There are signs both business and the citizenry are losing patience with increasingly ridiculous and unsupportable moves by the left.

Steve Moore, of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, noted an extensive survey of public company earnings calls where (Environmental, Social and Governance) ESG issues were raised or “diversity, equity or inclusion” (DEI) or “sustainability” mentioned by executives peaked in the first quarter of 2022, declining by other a third by now.

A companion story in the Wall Street Journal noted that might be a response to investors who wanted companies to focus [gasp] “on their operations, not the social good…” A professor at MIT said it was easier to “stay out of the conversation,” be less “controversial” and concentrate on more traditional ”core” facets of business (“Companies Seek to Avert Backlash, Avoid Talk of Social, Green Issues,” Wall Street Journal, 06/13/13).

They are calling that “green hushing.”

That is about communication or transparency or lack thereof. They are still putting money and time into the initiatives, just not talking about them. Employee DEI training and emissions reductions are still ongoing. They are still tracking and reporting their “progress” and, more importantly, in some cases, tying executive compensation to ESG metrics, the Journal noted.

Companies are also preparing for proposed SEC requirements calling for climate disclosure data on their supply chains. Is there a stack of emissions reporting forms in your future?

Over two/thirds of CEOs claim that ESG programs improve their financial performance, while some groups contend companies are neglecting their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders.

For example, a year ago meal kit provider Blue Apron was bragging that it continued to focus on ESG metrics. But it has been busy since cutting jobs and this week announced it was selling its operational assets to another company.

A famous business consulting firm said some of the relative silence about ESG might be an effort to avoid “greenwashing,” or “touting overly optimistic projections for sustainability.”

Not mentioned in these articles was the movement of employees dictating to major public companies how to run the company according to ESG goals, not the company business. That might even be at play in many companies discovering they are not doing so well with employees not coming into the office. Many of the corporations who allowed employees to work when and where they pleased are calling them back to the office.

Imagine the concept of management running corporations and shareholders’ interests being paramount instead of strident activist or pouty employees running the show.

And maybe two-year-olds shouldn’t be determining climate policy?

These are more implications of the life-should-be-free-and-fair philosophy -- and we don’t mean free as in individual liberty and freedom of association. They mean the government will pay for it, not them, as in, send the bill to the taxpayers.

The good news is that the worm might be turning. We started writing about corporate “ESG” issues in spring 2021. There are signs people are waking up, not woke.

There’s a big difference.

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