On Wednesday the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, Gary Gensler, will hold a vote on one of his most controversial proposals: a rule that would require corporate America to disclose material risks posed by climate change.
I write about this in Climate Cult: Exposing and Defeating Their War on Life, Liberty, and Property. Should the SEC vote to impose this new rule, America will have taken a giant step towards something referred to in the Bible’s book of Revelation as “the mark of the Beast;” a device that will allow people to participate in the common economy.
In this case, the SEC will demand that publicly traded companies provide their investors with environmental scores, a part pf something known as ESG—Environment, Social, Governance. “E” is not about being a good steward of the environment; it’s about “climate justice.” Based on Joe Biden’s assertions that climate change is “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity,”, climate justice implies the goal of every organization is to be carbon neutral or Net Zero. According the UNICEF — the United Nations Children’s Fund — climate justice also means “combating social injustice, gender injustice, economic injustice, intergenerational injustice and environmental injustice.”
S” provides scoring metrics for gender and diversity inclusion, relationships with labor unions, relations, mental health of employees, and community relations. “S” is a slap in the face to the for-profit corporate world. Generally, those who risk their own capital by starting or funding a business are the ones who have the first opportunity for greater reward. But not with ESG. The management team running a company works not just for the shareholders, but also for stakeholders who are given a voice in the boardroom, even though they have no skin in the game. Stakeholders have powerful influence on decisions, often at the expense of the shareholders who retain personal financial risks and obligations.
“G,” is for governance and applies to the board of directors, their race and gender makeup, political contributions, lobbying, hiring diversity, employee benefits, and community philanthropy.
ESG, then, is an imposed measurement of things that don’t relate to business performance and, because living up to such standards is costly, ESG principles tend to hinder new players from entering the market. Startups find themselves pressured for disclosure on everything from their staff’s race and gender to every bit of carbon dioxide expelled from their supply chain.
When the climate disclosure rule was first proposed in March 2022, Gensler said, “… investors need reliable information about climate risks to make informed investment decisions. Today’s proposal would help issuers more efficiently and effectively disclose these risks and meet investor demand, as many issuers already seek to do,” he added.
If the SEC approves this plan, the “S” and “G” are soon to follow. And there will be trickle down to you, the average citizen. Don’t be surprised when a personal ESG score is a part of a job application—after all, the company will want to keep their overall rating high for investors. And why would a bank or financial institution want to mar their ESG by have a carbon sinner as a client.
Think I’m joking? As I discuss in Climate Cult, a chilling sign that everyone should consider occurred in 2021, when Deutsche Bank AG and Signature Bank announced that they would no longer provide financial services to former President Donald Trump or his business, the Trump Organization, purely for ideological reasons.