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emschulze,
My apologies for not replying sooner.

Your inference that I have a "small problem" with Enron is correct. However I fail to see how this illustrates a "lack of proportionality" on my part. For the record, I chose words like "role," "allegations," and "concern" precisely in order to maintain a sense of proportion. In the interest of fairness, I even noted some of ENE's attributes. I haven't, as you suggest, "blacklisted" anyone. (If you are referring to the statement that I currently hold no O&G stocks, I merely mentioned this for the sake of disclosure.) You're free to disagree with my opinion of ENE, however I feel that I must argue against your idea that many SRInvestors give "undue weight to certain factors". It is my position is that it is up to each individual to decide what issues, if any, are inconsequential to him or her.

I too am of the opinion that SRInvesting is about effecting the course of history and investors "should be aware of their influence when making investment decisions." But who is to say in what direction history should be moved? Who can declare which causes should be sacrificed to the benefit of others? You, for example, seem to feel that those who profit from the world's dependence on fossil fuels are no more or less irresponsible than those end users who are pretty much forced to use whatever power source is provided to them by their utility companies. By this logic, would you consider a company that builds nuclear power plants or transports nuclear waste just as attractive as a bank or retail operation that happens to be located in a region served by nuclear power? Even so, there are many perfectly responsible investors who would be well within their rights to disagree with you on both counts.

You also seem to consider corporate influence over our political system in the pursuit of self-serving anti-regulatory legislation a lesser evil than the (admittedly sometimes biased) efforts of so-called "axe-grinding groups" -- I prefer the term "watchdogs" -- to monitor and question corporate activities. On the other hand, there are those who hold the First Amendment more dear than any other value, despite it's occasional abuses. Others feel that the diligence required to protect civil rights, human rights, voters' rights, the health and safety of workers, the well being of women and children, the sanctity and dignity of indigenous peoples, the global environment, or the survival and humane treatment of animal species is worth the cost of occasionally erring on the side of caution. IMO, the work of watchdog groups is absolutely essential to the work of SRI. The occasional inconvenience caused to powerful MNCs by their efforts pales in comparison to the invaluable information watchdog organizations provide. Further, when serious charges have been made and a corp does little or nothing to disprove them, I would think that it is within reason to approach said corporation with a modicum of wariness.

(Oh and, for the record, I do not consider spending millions of dollars to exert undue influence over our government and political system "responsible citizenship." If corporations want to play a "financial role in the political process" how about contributing to a fund that allows equal air time for all parties, sponsoring non-partisan political debates, or backing non-profit organizations that work to register voters and ensure fair elections?)

I don't claim that my way of viewing the world is the only way. I simply hope to learn as much as possible, to make the best decisions I can, and to help others find an investment path that is most satisfying to them by sharing my impressions. Even though we may not see completely eye to eye, I hope that I too have your respect. If not, then I respectfully request that we agree to disagree.

Best,
Susan

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