Oil, pensions don't mix
EDITOR: I feel blessed to live in a county that is working tirelessly to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Nothing is more urgent. However, there is a huge disconnect. While Sonoma County works diligently to decrease its carbon footprint, its retirement fund, the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association, invests in the very companies that are choking the atmosphere.
Make no mistake, the fossil-fuel industries have no intention of reducing their emissions. They have enough fuel in their reserves to exceed more than five times the safety limit of an increase in global temperature of 2 degrees Celsius. Yet companies worldwide spent $650 billion in 2012 in the search for more. Exxon alone spends $100,000 every day. If we allow the big oil companies to do business as usual, no amount of local planning will save us from catastrophic climate change.
Sonoma County's retirement association needs to divest its assets from fossil-fuel companies. Doing so would not only be the right thing to do, it also would be prudent economically. Financial analysts worldwide concur with a statement from Forbes: “Although they have been lucrative, fossil fuels are becoming increasingly risky investments.”
Investing in fossil fuels is suicide.