Shareholder Activism versus Divestment

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Dear Editor: I read with interest the article “Quakers, Climate, and Money” in the May/June 2015 issue of Western Friend. I am always happy when Friends concern themselves as individuals with the future that climate change will bring, and take action. I would like your readers to know, however, that in deciding how to handle invested assets, they may find useful information by reading about the movement for divestment from fossil fuel companies that is going on worldwide. The Friend who wrote the article may find additional information that could change his opinion about the values of shareholder activism vs. divestment.

Another point where your readers would benefit from another opinion – and more information – is about the goodness of BP as a corporate citizen involved with producing renewable energy. BP has some wind farms, it is true, but it tried to sell them. It shut down its research on renewables and has locked its findings up and refuses to let anyone see them. Further, the value of BP’s investment in biofuels should be questioned. Biofuels are not seen within the environmental movement as a good source of renewable energy. The food production they displace is significant, and the amount of energy needed to produce them is almost as much as they in turn produce when burned.

I hope interested readers will do a Google search to learn more. Abundant journalism from credible sources is available and easy to access.

I am a member of Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run, and of the Fracking Working Group of Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting. Thank you.

– Karie Firoozmand, Balitmore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run

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