On June 3, the Charlottesville City Council voted to stop investing in companies that directly or indirectly contribute to climate change, such as chemical companies, railroads, airlines and utilities.

Doesn’t the city regularly use products made by these companies? And isn’t using a product indirectly investing in that company?

If it is the city’s goal to stop investing in these products, how does the city wean itself from indirectly using them?

What will a proposed City Council meeting look like going forward? To be consistent, will the council ban airline and rail travel by city employees? Will it restrict personnel from buying fuel for backhoes, cranes and garbage trucks?

Did councilors really mean that they would not indirectly invest in energy companies? It seems to me that buying products is indirectly investing in them. It helps keep them in business. It helps make them profitable.

Although solar and wind are producing more energy every day, it is not nearly enough to allow us to give up on coal and oil any time soon.

Right now we regularly use goods and services that railroads, airlines and chemical companies provide. When we buy those goods, we indirectly invest in those enterprises. We cool and heat our homes. We put gas in our cars and go to work. We couldn’t live very well without these products.

Energy companies are not the bad guys. Without them, life today would be pretty miserable. They keep ups from slipping back into a 19th-century way of living.

The recent City Council vote was merely symbolic: It might sound good, but it will have no impact unless it’s followed up by banning products made by these companies. However, nobody wants to do that or will do it.

Let’s invest in companies that supply us with the goods and services we need. Our lives will be better and Charlottesville’s investment account will be much stronger as a result.

Robert E. Hill, Albemarle County

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