Welcome to Better Have My Money, my Monday night newsletter about investing in your future and the stock market.
I had another newsletter planned but then I saw footage of Swedish climate change activist teen Greta Thunberg speaking at the United Nations today, slamming world leaders for not taking major action to reduce to effects of climate change.
Reading her speech reminded me of some of the issues I personally have with investing: businesses — and therefore people, since people own and run businesses — have grown tremendous wealth off the destruction of the environment and they don’t want to lose risking their wealth now even if it means the destruction of our planet.
As Greta said today:
This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!
You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
I am guilty of pushing the fairytale of eternal economic growth. Because, historically, it has been.
Regardless of world war or depression or terror attack or greedy bankers trying to encourage people who can’t afford home loans to get them, the stock market has recovered time and time again.
But that doesn’t mean it will always do that.
As Greta said today, of the proposals currently being pushed by world leaders:
“rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist…
How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions? With today's emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than eight and a half years.
Think about this when it comes to which companies you want to invest in — and which you don’t. Who can help build a new future? And who has gotten rich off stripping the world’s limited resources?
In my immediate future (aka early tomorrow morning) I’m flying to Houston, Texas, for work, an area currently coping with major flooding after Tropical Storm Imelda hit just last week.
Today the Houston Chronicle wrote about how residents of southeast Texas are sick and tired of having to rebuild again and again (I first visited Houston while covering Hurricane Harvey in 2017) as climate change sees extreme weather such as hurricanes, tropical storms and flooding become more regular.
As Greta said:
You are failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you and if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.
May I recommend throwing some of your investment earnings to the People’s Climate Network this week?
Sorry, not sorry, to be a major bummer this week.
May you not be shamed publicly by a powerful teen.
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