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ESG: How Governments Use Corporations to Achieve Their Agenda and Control People



Commentary


Politics and business used to be two separate worlds. Politicians are supposed to make laws, and CEOs are meant to make profits, but all that is changing. The EpochTV documentary “The Shadow State” addresses the rising dominance of ESG. Short for Environmental Social Governance, ESG is a business scoring system that unites corporations, governments, and institutions under a woke leftist agenda. It includes the world’s largest banks, investment managers, pension funds, and insurance companies. Driven by International organizations like the World Economic Forum and with Wallstreet at its center, the ESG industry has reached an astounding 55 trillion in assets (it was 19 trillion in 2014). It is projected to nearly double by 2025.


Consolidation of Corporate Power


The film poses the question: will corporations turn into agents of morality and social change? Will Wallstreet be allowed to control and manipulate individual people? Are the days of customers and shareholders controlling banks and tech companies over? Large finance, tech, and media organizations have jumped on board with ESG. For example, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said, “you have to force behaviors, and we are forcing behaviors.”


The rise of ESG has led to CEOs taking on both a moral and political role. Global organizations set the agenda and then coordinate the work of governments and corporations. For example, the documentary shows how all ESG industry initiatives align with the UN’s sustainable economic goals. In a free market, corporations and business entities are meant to make money for their shareholders. This requires serving fellow humans and providing what they need. The film notes that fascism changes the purpose away from the customer and consumer and towards the government’s goals and policymakers.


An image from video footage featured in “The Shadow State” about the ESG industry. (EpochTV)


According to the documentary, whoever owns the gold makes the rules. The corporations that control the flow of capital control the behavior of every industry. The film explores how the consolidation of corporate power allows companies to push progressive policies. It also cites the crossover between corporations and government bureaucracy. For example, the Biden administration employs many former BlackRock employees, with many holding positions influencing policy on economics and China. Climate change and racial equity have become central goals in agencies like the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Justice, rather than inflation and other issues these agencies were created to address. According to the film, the Department of Labor instituted a new rule under the Biden administration, allowing private pension funds to invest on ideological grounds rather than economic returns.


The documentary shows how the Obama administration turned to banks when Congress failed to pass its gun control agenda. Operation Choke Point allowed banks to do what the president was not legally allowed to do. This included threats from bank regulators against banks that lent to gun shops. Shops found their bank accounts terminated without cause or explanation.


Shortages and Environmental Impact


The film cites that European countries are facing the potential for fuel and food shortages as well as a decline in living standards. Commodities, once in abundance, are becoming increasingly unaffordable, such as gasoline. While world leaders blame Russia, the documentary shows how the root causes trace back to before the invasion of Ukraine, with oil and gas producers knowing they are being phased out despite the growing demand for fossil fuels worldwide. Can wind and solar energy fill the gap? According to the episode, countries like Germany have invested heavily in wind and solar and are now facing critical energy shortages. Some claim it’s because Russia cut off their energy exports, but California has taken similar policy moves and is experiencing the same results, such as power outages.


An image from video footage featured in “The Shadow State” about the ESG industry. (EpochTV)


This EpochTV original details how ESG goals and requirements impact agriculture and business. For example, small and medium-sized farmers must comply with data reporting practices they may be unable to keep up with. The same is true for small businesses that don’t have the money to keep up with the infrastructure and reporting requirements of ESG. The documentary concludes that ESG guts the middle and consolidates power among large corporations and politicians.


According to the film, the environmental goals of ESG may not be helping the environment at all. Despite being told that renewables are better for the environment, the film shows that renewable energy takes 300–400 times more land for solar panels than nuclear plants, requiring 17 times more steel and cement than nuclear plants. In addition, all the additional material becomes an excess waste on the backend, with about 300 times more hazardous waste from solar panels than from nuclear. The documentary highlights a World Economic Forum report pushing for electric vehicles while noting that the production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles emits twice as much carbon dioxide and uses double the energy as building a gasoline-powered car. This creates a carbon debt, meaning the average person needs to drive an EV for a more extended period to make up for the emissions required to build it. The documentary states that battery production causes more environmental damage than carbon emissions and goes into the water, air pollution, and more in various areas worldwide.


ESG Is Bad for Business and Shareholders


The film examines whether ESG benefits shareholders and those saving for retirement through 401k and pension funds. A 2020 study by the center for retirement research at Boston College found that ESG policies reduce annual returns by 70 to 90 basis points. Decisions from Disney, Coca-Cola, and Major League Baseball toward woke stances alienated large portions of their customers. PayPal also faced backlash for its political positions, leading to its stock tumbling after discovering that it would fine accounts that spread “misinformation.” In addition, companies like United Airlines announced racial and gender hiring quotas, violating the Civil Rights Act that prohibits racial discrimination in hiring. The film makes the case that complying with ESG standards exposes companies to prosecution and employee lawsuits and that ESG standards are anti-democratic and often illegal.


ESG Threatens Freedom and Prosperity


The EpochTV documentary also stresses that the ESG system and goals do not have the social impact they claim to. Instead of creating a cleaner, better world for everyone, ESG policies lead to shortages and crises. The film states that ESG is out of step with the American people and trying to achieve left-wing goals through extra-legal roles. This would allow corporations to run a country without the people ever taking a vote. While ESG tries to implement policy without public accountability, the documentary argues that the way to improve the world is by putting people and policies in place that are scrutinized and accountable to the American people and the political process.


An image from video footage featured in “The Shadow State” about the ESG industry (EpochTV)




Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

 

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