Thursday, February 12, 2015

On Global Divestment Day: A Chicago Theory of Risk Management

Mother Nature Says "Divest!"
(So do Black and Scholes.)
Tomorrow is Global Divestment Day.

There will be activities in Chicago.

To mark the day, I dredged up my memory of financial principals to respond to an article in The Wall Street Journal with these words:

The reason university (and other) investment offices should divest from fossil fuel stocks is: they provide overly-large exposure to risk. Raising awareness of this is the real point of Global Divestment Day. 

 (See "The Feel-Good Folly of Fossil-Fuel Valuation" on the Scarry Thoughts blog.)

Chicago is the home of sophisticated financial analysis. It's time for us to lead the conversation about the true shape of the coming economy.

Related posts

What was striking to me was that, despite the U of C's reputation as a center of economic research and thinking and teaching, all four of the panelists appeared singularly uninterested in the central economic problem of the climate crisis: how will the supply and demand of goods and services change as a result of society's understanding of the climate crisis? and how will the market react to signals about such changes?

(See EXTRA! Climate Economics Confound U of C Profs! )

Oil companies are valued by the market based on their reserves. The problem with this approach is that the total reserves claimed by the oil companies is FIVE TIMES what can possibly be burned without driving up the temperature of the atmosphere up by a catastrophic amount and, as McKibben puts it, "breaking the planet." How can the value of oil companies be a function of reserves that can never be used?

(See The REALLY Big Short: The Jig is Up with Oil Companies)

The planning that is under way for 2015 clearly envisions the connections between multiple issues -- nuclear disarmament, clean (non-nuclear) energy, and climate -- and a need to involve everyone who cares about these issues.

(See #NoNukesTuesday: Disarmament? Clean Power? Climate? All three?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feb 3 and 5 - Renewable Energy Town Halls in Evanston and Wilmette

Participate in town halls on renewable energy with leading experts February 3, 2015, in Wilmette and February 5, 2015, in Evanston. Both events are sponsored by Chicago Area Peace Action:

We Need Your Help.

Enable Illinois to reduce our dependence on dirty and dangerous sources of energy and transition to clean renewable energy.

The devastating impacts of climate change are now happening at a faster rate than previously projected. No new positive legislative actions are projected to come from Congress in the near future. Aggressive state energy strategies in support of EPA carbon standards are our best hope for reducing climate change.

These renewable energy plans along with continued energy efficiency actions will enable Illinois to take a leadership role in reducing carbon pollution and by so doing become a model for other states as they take aggressive actions to slow the dangerous impacts of climate change.

Illinois is heavily dependent on coal and nuclear power to provide energy. Over 86% of power plant energy in Illinois comes from these two sources. As you might expect, the utility providers of this energy are strongly opposed to plans for renewable energy. Even worse, they are now trying to convince our elected representatives to further increase the subsidies they receive.

Add your voice in support of moving away from coal and nuclear power and into an abundant supply of clean renewable energy for Illinois.

Both events are free but there is limited seating at both locations. Please RSVP if you are planning to attend.

Contact Jack Kelly, Pres. Emeritus Chicago Area Peace Action

Contact Dave Kraft, Founder Nuclear Energy Information Service 773.342.7650


Feb. 3rd event in Wilmette:
1242 Wilmette Ave.
Tuesday February 3rd
7:00 to 8:30pm

February 5th event in Evanston:
1703 Orrington Ave.
Thursday February 5th
7:00 to 8:30pm

Related posts

A recent report says that four major U.S. corporations are facilitating the adoption of solar panels by their employees. Can we make it work in Chicago?

(See Can Chicago Corporations Make Solar Energy an Employee Benefit? )

It's not immediately obvious how Chicago and Illinois can move quickly to get electricity in a zero-carbon manner.  But here are a few initial thoughts . . . and wind is part of the answer . . . .

(See What If Chicago Started to "Think Different" About Electricity? )

According to the Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service, "Illinois is by far the most nuclear state in the United States . . . . Illinois was also home to the first commercial power reactor . . . one of the first commercial power reactors to close prematurely . . . . ComEd’s two large PWR reactors in Zion, IL also had to close prematurely . . . . We also have the first and only commercial storage facility for high level waste . . . Besides the 3 plants which closed prematurely, Illinois currently has eleven operating nukes – far more than any other state . . . etc. etc."

(See Chicago, IL: Zero Carbon AND Zero Nuclear! )

Related links

February 5, 2015: "If Illinois wants to meet President Barack Obama's mandate to curb carbon dioxide pollution by 30 percent by 2030, it should invest heavily in energy efficiency and renewable energy," in "Coalition urges Illinois to boost energy goals," by Julie Wernau in the Chicago Tribune.