The LA Times is running a great series on the underbelly on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation by looking at the Foundation’s investment portfolio.
“In a contradiction between its grants and its endowment holdings”, the Times investigation found that “the foundation reaps vast financial gains every year from investments that contravene its good works”.
At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health in the Niger Delta the Times found it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron and Total. These are the companies responsible for most of the flares that carpet the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe. At Ebocha, Eni is accused by locals of polluting the air and affecting their health, giving them what is know as “the cough.”
Moreover, according to the Times, “local leaders blame oil development for fostering some of the very afflictions that the foundation combats. Oil workers, for example, and soldiers protecting them are a magnet for prostitution, contributing to a surge in HIV and teenage pregnancy, both targets in the Gates Foundation’s efforts to ease the ills of society, especially among the poor. Oil bore holes fill with stagnant water, which is ideal for mosquitoes that spread malaria, one of the diseases the foundation is fighting”.
So Bill Gates and your Foundation, its time to put your money where your mouth is and disinvest from Big Oil. Go on, you know you can afford it…