From the Revd Michael Roberts
Sir, - It was with a high degree of concern that I filled in
the survey from the Ethical Investment Advisory Group on
fossil-fuel disinvestment (News, 13 December). I
thought the questions were over the top, but totally logical as an
outworking of disinvestment. If Operation Noah is offended by the
survey, so much the worse for it, for several reasons.
First, I presume that it has the courage of its convictions and
that its members use no fossil fuels, whether for transport,
heating, or manufacture. I would like to know how the members
travel around, heat their homes, and cook.
Second, whether we like it or not (and I don't), we shall have
to use fossil fuels for many decades, possibly into the 22nd
century. That is also the view of Friends of the Earth.
Third, to disinvest takes away the Churches' input into
Fourth, action like this would not be prophetic, but ultimately
is rather silly, and not grounded in the real world. It will weaken
the Churches' witness in many spheres, especially over the
We live in a world in which creation has been damaged by human
misuse, as in climate change, pollution, the exhaustion of natural
resources, and the damage of land through farming or deforestation.
The Church will not help the environment with so-called prophetic
acts like this.
Perhaps the way forward is to realise that we are stuck with
fossil fuels, and to use our influence on fossil-fuel firms, and to
encourage all to use all resources wisely.
35 Worcester Avenue
Garstang PR3 1FJ
From Mr George Reiss
Sir, - The Stern report was clear that investing in measures
to slow down climate change could be profitable, generate jobs, and
help the environment, all at the same time. We have been given a
fruitful world with resources sufficient for all without pilfering
the inheritance of the younger generation.
Criticism of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group's (EIAG's)
clumsy consultation on allowing the C of E's funds to add to
climate change was entirely justified. The online survey was a
little like being asked to choose between voting for despotism and
and sliding into poverty. There are in fact other alternatives. I
was taken aback at how poorly the questions were chosen and
phrased. If the survey reflects the quality of the EIAG's thinking,
then the group badly needs better advice.
Operation Noah correctly picked up on the inadequate information
and leading questions within the survey, but the EIAG also
polarised the story into pensions v. environment. Common sense
tells us that if we neglect our stewardship of the earth then our
pensions will suffer, too. The EIAG only has to look in the
newspaper to see that there are good financial returns to be made
from investing in environmentally friendly ways.
We need a better-informed and balanced offering from those who
help put the Church's money to work.
41A Sandy Lane
Wolverhampton WV6 9EB