Opinion: Lawmakers lauded for divestment

When it comes to money and our personal finances or those of our local, state and federal governments, we all aspire to be vigilant and smart about how those limited funds are working in our best interest. Those of us who are watching the global effects of climate change can very easily come to the conclusion, along with the scientists, that there is not just a potential threat to humankind, but a looming disaster.
 The revelation of ExxonMobil’s prior knowledge of the exacerbating effects of their energy production on the globe and the disinformation campaign that they launched so many years ago, has brought to light how greed and power have co-opted rational and empathetic business practice and now that has to be stopped to protect the entire ecosphere.
It is distinctly ironic that one of the arguments against the renewable power industries is that they can’t survive without subsidies. Meanwhile, the very mature and profitable oil and coal industries continue to receive subsidies to the tune of around $4 billion per year. With only modest subsidies, which serve to get the momentum going, the solar, wind, geothermal and hydro industries are now flourishing and creating not only a tremendous job market but real solutions to our dilemma.
I applaud our governor and Legislature for taking on the challenge of divesting in these destructive and soon to be not-profitable investments. I am also heartened by the due diligence being applied by the committees tasked with spending our money wisely, and I have to trust that their research and findings will serve to amplify the need to remove these investments from the portfolio, not only from the point of view of smart investing but giving heed to the ethical and moral implications that are part and parcel to this discussion.
Paul McMahon

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