BHE (Berkshire Energy) is actually heavily based on wind generation and investing heavily in renewables, more than most utilities in the US. They are basically leaders in this area:
For the climate resolution, listen to Warren's answer on this in 2019:
They let their business operate fairly independently and want to avoid creating bureaucracy which doesn't create value which is how they generally operate.
In Charlie's words: "We're about as good as you can get [in renewables] and you should worry about something else... If this isn't good enough for you we can't help you."
BHE also publishes environmental reports and emissions data  for anyone, including investors, to assess to what degree they are preparing against climate change risk.
I wonder what the context of that comment is?
The New Yorker is wonderfully tone deaf and plays right into its market of people who wouldn’t feel the difference between $3/gal gas and $8/gal gas.
These kinds of comics miss the point when people’s actual concerns are about being able to afford their commute or keep their heat on. Until they actually address the tradeoff being proposed, it’s just anti-intellectual Facebook feed bait.
The proof of their true intentions will come when we see their response to the eventual demand recovery. If they silently re-open the taps, they're working like a cartel. If they keep the taps shut they're honest environmentalists.
This is absurd almost to the point of gaslighting. Claiming that you as a 97 year old investor know more than an entire field of scientists and calling it modesty? Ridiculous
A significant minority of people have nothing in the stock market whatsoever, and of those who do, another large portion are only invested thanks to their pension plan, and so they don't actually know that they own (possibly via index fund) shares in oil companies (and basically every other large company).
Don't you mean "majority" instead of "minority" there? Most people worldwide (I won't speak for the US, maybe I'm wrong there) don't own anything on any stock market at all.
If we assume Warren Buffett isn’t foolish, I would venture to guess this is exactly what you might say if you are 90 years old and want to keep your investments and status sound through to the final years.
Class A — 250,000 shares out of 640,000 shares outstanding
Class B — 10,000 shares out of 1,330,000,000 shares outstanding
If Warren Buffett had abstained, the climate report measure would have still been defeated by the remaining votes against.
Believe me, if I were a billionaire I too would be defending other billionaires, peasants be damned. Bigly.
If he was just deflecting the activist investors for the sake of preserving his stock value, fine. But to go out on a limb to explicitly defend the ethics of Chevron, that's much tougher to swallow. Their behavior in Ecuador alone is enough to come to a much different conclusion.
This quote says it all. It's expected that companies make certain symbolic gestures because they are seen as "material to performance" not because they make the world better. I don't think these gestures are actually material to performance (and they certainly don't make the world better). I suppose this is a good test.
Also disappointing because I doubt he would invest in a business with a large overhanging risk of paying much higher costs to operate, yet by this statement he’s helping to tie everyone to high nonabated climate costs
He could always say he changed his mind.
To the scientists out there, I don't get this statement,
"While Buffett acknowledged that the world is "moving away from" fossil fuels he said "that could change.""
1. Yes--there will always be countries that will use the cheapest form of energy.
2. Is he claiming Golbal Warming do to burning will be debunked?
WWII killed only 3% of the world's population - by far not the deadliest event in human history.
dinosaurs were around for 165M years. humans have been around for 200k? and we've only been destroying plant and animal ecosystems (on which we depend) at industrial scales for a few hundred years?
you seem very confident that we have a bright future because WWII didn't wipe us out 75 years ago and we've been expanding our abuse of resources ever since?
i think humans will be around for a while, but not for 10 million years and certainly not at present population levels.
- Upton Sinclair
When Buffet can solve some differential equations, give a lecture on climate and ecology, or something like that, then I'll consider listening to him.
Progress on this front is possible (corporate climate change responsibility), and occurring. Check out Engine No 1’s activist success with Exxon within the last week. They pushed for pro climate directors, Blackrock followed (because Blackrock can’t push themselves directly as an indexer), and Exxon lost even after fishing for backpeddlers during the shareholder meeting (which is very much not common or within good taste from a corporate governance perspective). Like a wound, constant pressure must be applied.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/26/engine-no-1-gets-at-least-2-... (Engine No. 1 wins at least 2 Exxon board seats as activist pushes for climate strategy change)
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-05-27/exxon-... (Matt Levine’s take on Exxon)
> We talked about the proxy fight yesterday, before the votes were counted. The vote was close, and there were delays, but it looks like Engine No. 1 got at least two of its four director candidates elected to Exxon’s 12-person board. That doesn’t exactly give Engine No. 1 control of Exxon, it doesn’t exactly put Woods’s job in jeopardy, it doesn’t exactly mean that Engine No. 1 can go implement its plans to invest in renewables and become carbon-neutral. It does give Engine No. 1’s directors seats in the boardroom, though, and power to influence Exxon’s strategy.
> More important, perhaps, it shows that this can work. Shareholders — even shareholders of Exxon — can do this. If Woods and the other Exxon directors decide to ignore Engine No. 1’s plans, keep doing what they were doing, and stick their fingers in their ears and shout “I can’t hear you” whenever the Engine No. 1 nominees speak at board meetings, then next year Engine No. 1 will run a proxy fight for all of the board seats and win. Exxon’s CEO and directors have to take this shareholder vote seriously, because it proves that the shareholders are willing and able to fire them. You might think that that would be obvious — that the shareholders’ “ownership” of the corporation, and their voting rights, of course meant that they could fire officers and directors whom they didn’t like — but I don’t think it was obvious, and I think in practice it often wasn’t true. Now it is.
That’s a ridiculous assumption.
> Well! About a hundred of you emailed me to say that it’s obvious what’s in it for Engine No. 1: publicity. This is a hedge fund that launched six months ago; it runs a small fund and doesn’t have much of a track record. Now it is The Little Engine That Took Down Exxon. It has gone from nothing to being a daring successful activist, and an activist with a halo of environmental virtue. It can fundraise off of that forever, attract lots of money, collect lots of fees, etc. The $30 million of proxy expenses are an investment to make millions more in management fees.
> A related benefit is what any activist fund gets from a successful proxy fight: The next company they go after will be intimidated by their Exxon victory, and will try to settle by giving them board seats. You spend $30 million on one proxy fight so you don’t have to spend any money on five more. You show up at a meeting with the next company’s CEO, you put Exxon’s severed head on the table, you say “board seats, now,” and you get them without a fight.
> Fine! That’s all fair enough. One reader pointed out another, more technical but also quite important answer: It is customary for activist hedge funds that win their proxy fights to be reimbursed by the company. So, because it won, Engine No. 1 probably spent $30 million of Exxon’s money on the proxy fight, not its own. That probably helps. It took a big risk here: If it had lost the proxy fight, it would be out $30 million and wouldn’t have all the fundraising benefit of having taken down Exxon. But because it won, the economics actually look pretty good.
> I think the basic reading here is that at a giant public company like Exxon, the managers and board of directors sort of assume that they get to decide who can be on the board, and that shareholders are not really supposed to interfere. Technically this assumption is wrong, and at Exxon last week it did not work out, but you can see why Exxon found it so surprising.
Without further specifics, it's unclear what the measure was about. For all I know it could have been a thinly-veiled attempt at corporate power. And starting the article with "The billionaire also offered a full-throated defense of the oil and gas industry." doesn't really help with credibility.
People are still going to need to heat their homes, move from one place to another, and all other sorts of things that, for now, require fossil fuels.
For those who demand immediate divestiture from all fossil fuel companies, what is your plan to do the things that we currently need these fuels to do? Let people freeze / starve?
About 50 would do the job and their names and addresses are public record. They are not poor.
If a group of around 20k-800k ultra-rich people became so blinded by greed that their actions were the equivalent of aiming a gun and squeezing on a trigger at every other human today, every future human, and every other living thing, wouldn't murdering 50 people to make a sufficient point to change the course of enough corrupt plutocracies around the world to ensure the survival of the species, wouldn't that be morally-justified?
Does pacifist non-violence solve everything when the opposition responds to nothing short of threats to their personal security and cedes nothing without a harsh and bitter fight? Should the American Revolutionaries have held hands and hoped the British would leave out of the kindness of their hearts?
In this context, your comment seems like self-righteous moralizing on the wrong side of history.
This has been tried. Many, many times. With decidedly mixed results. Convince me you'll do better.
If someone threatens your life, your children's lives, your friends' lives, your neighbor's life, and you do nothing, what does that make you? A coward, yes? Petitions, strong language, holding hands, sitting in the street, and singing will definitely light a fire under their asses when they're in power, won't it?
Nothing has been "tried" in climate emergency except gentle suggestions and begging that has fallen on deaf ears. This isn't big tobacco milking profits from a dangerous product with delay tactics; it's the big, omnicidal Holocene extinction. Dead as in everything and everyone.