Woke SVB: Remembering Woke Enron

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 22, 2023 No Comments

The demise of the “Climate Bank” SVB makes a look back at ‘Woke Enron’ timely. This post is an excerpt from Robert Bradley, Jr. Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy (2009), pp. 309–310.

In the fall of 2001, Ken Lay set the tone for what would be Enron’s last Environmental, Health, and Safety Management Conference:

We believe that incorporating environmental and social considerations into the way we manage risk, govern our projects, and develop products and services will help us maintain our competitive advantage. As we move forward, we will leverage our intellectual capital and innovative capabilities to promote sustainable business practices around the world.

At this meeting, Enron’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) task force listed its “Accomplishments to Date,” which were:

  • Secured board oversight of social/environmental performance
  • Expressed support for Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Completed corporate responsibility task force
  • Developed and pilot-tested human rights audit
  • Developed security and human rights guidelines
  • Established formal partnerships with WBCSD [World Business Council on Sustainable Development], IBLF [International Business Leaders Forum], and CI [Conservation International]
  • Identified language to strengthen code of ethics
  • Providing project support—Calypso, Transredes, Dabhol and Cuiabá
  • Responding to stakeholder concerns on an ongoing basis

The goals for 2002 included:

  • Formally adopt CERES Principles
  • Complete indigenous peoples’ policy
  • Specify social/environmental expectations in formal relationships with vendors and contractors
  • Review results of stakeholder survey and develop strategy to address outcome
  • Create awareness of social/environmental trends among [Enron’s] origination and investment groups
  • Add corporate responsibility performance attribute to PRC [Performance Review Committee] process
  • Present task force recommendations to Dr.
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Milton Howard’s Grid Cancer Projects

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 21, 2023 No Comments

“It took a decade in Texas, but the cancer grew and spread–thanks, in part, to the very projects that Mr. Howard lists on his resume. Between 3,000 and 4,000 MW of mostly wind but also solar projects are claimed, led by Los Vientos I, II, III, IV, V, and VI….

Milton R. Howard, one of the nation’s leading wind/solar developers (along with the spouse of the Houston Chronicle business editorialist, another story) sees himself as a great man, creating value for society in addition to his employer and himself.

He describes himself as a “people person” who is “making this world a better place than I found it.”

I am driven to make things better from an overall economic, social and environmental standpoint. I am passionate and a high achiever but also very much a people person.

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Geoengineering: New Area for the Climate Industrial Complex?

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 28, 2023 3 Comments

“There are substantial environmental, technical, and cost challenges in using carbon dioxide removal (CDR) at the scale needed to significantly reduce global warming…. [that make it] unlikely that CDR could be implemented rapidly enough or at sufficient scale to entirely avoid dangerous levels of climate warming in the near term.” (Pro, public letter, February 27, 2023)

“The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering risks becoming a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate denialists, and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.” (Con, open letter: January 17, 2022)

It is hard, contradictory, and hypocritical to be “green” as conventionally defined. I am reminded of a comment in the 1970s that noted “a general frustration generated by the energy crisis: every solution to the problem seems to create tremendous problems of its own.”…

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Bret Stephens’ Climate Conversion: Utterly Unconvincing

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 8, 2022 4 Comments

“Learning is a process, not a destination. Bret Stephens should reconsider his reconsideration to educate his readers on the benefits of CO2 enrichment and positive weather/climate trends (including global lukewarming). And do it in such a way that instead of trying to fire him, the alarmists have to answer (not duck) the hard questions about their position.”

The intellectual case against climate alarmism and forced energy transformation has always been strong. Recent events have made this case stronger with more data contradicting climate model projections. The statistics of extreme weather events and global (luke)warming are hard to ignore. In addition, the “fat tail” of worst-case, extreme warming have been scaled back in the mainstream literature. All this is good news and an antidote for ‘climate anxiety’.

Given all this (isn’t this typical of neo-Malthusian scares?),…

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Gas Furnaces: Big Brother Says No

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 11, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

MasterResource: New Principals Joining In

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 5, 2022 No Comments Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury’s “Climate Hub” (on the road to serfdom)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 1, 2022 1 Comment Continue Reading

Climate Retreat: Thomas Friedman on COP26 (energy density, anyone?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 17, 2021 1 Comment Continue Reading

Andrew Dessler: Going Downstream with Climate Alarmism (economics, public policy ahead)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 30, 2021 7 Comments Continue Reading

‘Ludwig von Mises: A Final Salute’ (1973 tribute for today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- September 29, 2021 1 Comment Continue Reading