by a Blog Reader
Claudette Buttigieg, a Nationalist Party MP, addressed a Maltese event on ESG. In blaring headlines, the Malta Independent announced that according to Buttigieg, “Many have very little to no idea what ‘ESG’ is, or what it is used for.” You would think that Buttigieg, or the journalist who covered her presentation, would go into details explaining what ESG stands for. All we were told instead was that “S” stood for “social aspects” and that there was also “the governance and environment aspect.” Three cryptic aspects, and the reader is expected to figure out the details.
The liberals in the United States are promoting this concept in the name of diversity. That’s what “social aspects” in the “S” stand for, diversity. Diversity in liberal circles is code for getting rid of white men at the helm of industry and inside universities. “People of colour” (a broad and encompassing term that excludes white men) are inserted in their places. The EU, increasingly intolerant of our culture, is pushing the Maltese on the “S” front. The “E” and “G” are just sweeteners for the imbeciles to swallow the whole pill. What’s there not to like about a better environment? And better governance? Except that there is the poison pill sandwiched in between. When a society starts dividing its people by skin colour, it’s asking for massive social unrest.
“All laws, policies and strategies should and must have ESG in their foundation,” Buttigieg proclaimed, parroting socialist jingo imported from afar. Claudette, why “all”? Where are the supporting results? Where is the evidence to support such a bold statement? ESG is another nonsense theory peddled by politicians who would starve to death if they had to manage a sausage cart for a living. In their audacity, they want to dictate “all laws, policies, and strategies” to the detriment of industry and society. Over a year ago, Harvard Business Review published an article by Sanjai Bhagat demonstrating that ESG funds tend to lag in performance when compared to the market overall. Tapping into research using data from Morningstar, Bhagat explained how researchers poured through sustainability ratings of over 20,000 mutual funds. None of the high-sustainability, or high ESG, funds out performed any of the lowest-rated funds (i.e., with less ESG funds). None means none.
It gets worse. Research else where has also shown that companies that proclaim fealty to ESG principles are hypocrites in action, demonstrating the opposite in practice. It’s like the Gozo-Valletta fast ferries declaring on Facebook that they “aim at being the top eco-friendly solution to travel… equipped with the latest green technology.” A big “E” for the “environment,” the Claudettes would think. In the meantime, as one Valletta resident put it, the ferry sounds like a plane taking off “and you can literally taste the exhaust in your mouth.”
Buttigieg said that Maltese companies are telling researchers that they are shifting their funding for ESG initiatives. Don’t believe them! Researchers at Columbia University and the London School of Economics compared the records of 147 ESG fund portfolios and the records of 2,428 in non-ESG portfolios. Results? The companies in ESG portfolios had the worse compliance records, both for environmental rules and labour rules. The researchers also found that companies that later on joined ESG portfolios did not subsequently improve their compliance with the rules.
In Malta we have had about thirty years of experience with the ESG’s “E,” the “environment” compliance. Gozo drew ConsumeLess funding from the EU for certifying Gozitan businesses as operating with a reduction in energy usage. It’s all nonsense. The only time Gozitan businesses consumed less was in the late seventies and early eighties, under Mintoff and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, when a shabby and outdated energy infrastructure left whole swaths of the island without water and electricity almost every other day. Now? The air conditioners are buzzing like crazy. The Bolts and Wolts roam the streets. The traffic jam in central Victoria remains stubborn. Witness the nonsense in political vocabulary, an island of consume more and ConsumeLess. The Maltese Islands have become the money laundering and greenwashing centres of the Mediterranean. Greenwashing is the fabrication of unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly. Have you read about Enemalta’s environmental commitment? It has entire webpages about it. Trust Toni tal-Pastizzi instead. No fuss about how green his sooth-covered bakery is. Old Toni isn’t into this nonsense. He never obtained an MBA. Much less one laced with deceptive tricks.
The progressive EU is increasing pressure on Malta to focus on the “S,” the social aspects, or diversity, of the ESG model. But the diversity aspects can be tweaked to befuddle the public too. For example, in the United States, the tobacco companies that kill over eight million Americans every year, get very high ESG ratings. How do they achieve this as opposed to Tesla which is into clean energy? How could tobacco be more ethical than an investment in electric cars?
High ESG scores have a lot to do with the tobacco industry’s embrace of political progressivism. One tobacco company, Atria, promotes transgender women in sports and makes a big issue about it in its advertising. Tesla, on the other hand, is run by overwhelmingly white men like many Maltese companies. Philip Morris International, another giant tobacco company, advertises its partnership with “African data scientists.” In Malta, we take them in by the boatload, even with lesser credentials. In its 2022 ESG report, Philip Morris sheds crocodile tears lamenting that women in tobacco farming often “face structural and cultural barriers.” It could have been talking about the marijuana market in Malta as if that’s what we need, more women trafficking marijuana.
Buttigieg described former Nationalist MP Claudio Grech as the only Maltese parliamentarian “to discuss ESG in the past but it was not given any importance.” Some, she lamented, even “tried to ridicule it.” Deservedly so, on the basis of the published research. When you start manning boards with the minister’s girlfriend or prostitute, your “S” score goes up – she isn’t a white man – but you start making a mockery of democracy and the way things are run. Instead, let the best people take good care of us and our scarce resources. And tell the Americans to stuff their “S,” just like the U.S. Supreme Court did last Thursday with regard to university admissions.
Sexist Labour Practices