From the perspective of our planet’s people and its environment, perhaps the most fateful choice being made by the U.S. government right now is the choice to use military force to back up major energy companies in gaining control of global fossil fuel deposits.
Tragically for the vast majority of Americans and the world, the executives of energy giants, like ExxonMobil and BP, and military contractors like Honeywell and Lockheed Martin declare “war for resources”, with politicians fronting for them.
An example is the very tight personal and professional relationship between President Barack Obama and David M. Cote, the Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International. (See the article on this website on the Obama-Cote relationship.)
While Honeywell is probably most known in the U.S. for its iconic round home heating thermostats, Honeywell services the oil and gas industry, and it is one the world’s largest military contractors, providing, among other things, the engine and guidance and targeting equipment for the MQ-9 Reaper drone, the workhorse of U.S. drone killing.
The Reaper is key to the new U.S. strategy of using drones to apply deadly force around the world on behalf of major corporations in their drive to capture and hold precious non-renewable resources. This strategy is by no means necessary for U.S. growth and prosperity. Indeed it is absolutely essential to U.S. and global survival that the U.S., as the world’s foremost military power, immediately shift its resources away from war and conquest and toward the research and development of renewable energy sources that do not contribute to global climate change.
How do we force our government to turn away from war for resources? One way is make it very, very expensive for companies like Honeywell to profit from war.
Honeywell is a good choice for a consumer boycott because, unlike other weapons makers, a large portion of its sales, about 15%, is from consumer products (See list on this website). Honeywell customers also include other businesses and institutions such as hospitals and schools. For example, Honeywell scanners used in the Yale University Library.
As for divestment, Honeywell stock is widely held by financial institutions, public employee pension funds, school endowments and religious groups.
Don’t Bank on the Bomb: A Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons identifies Honeywell as a target for divestment because of its nuclear weapons work and lists 59 financial firms investing in Honeywell, including Bank of America, Citibank, TIAA-CREF, New York Life, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.
(Note, David M. Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell served on the JPMorgan Chase board of directors for six years before resigning in 2013. He and a colleague on the company’s risk committee departed, according to a New York Times report, after receiving weak stockholder support for reelection and criticism that the committee “lacked the financial prowess” to protect the company against the kind of trading losses it suffered in 2012.
In addition to divestment in Honeywell, we recommend divestment in the following firms that supply parts for the Reaper drone as well as a number of other weaponized drones and surveillance drones.
Boeing: Intelligence workstation and mission planning system; laser guidance for bombs.
Exelis: Sensors; bomb and missile release systems.
L-3 Communications: Sensors; satellite communications link; tactical data link.
Lockheed Martin: Hellfire missiles; Paveway laser-guided bombs.
Microsoft: Software for detection of humans and human-made objects.
Northrup Grumman: All-weather surveillance radar.
Raytheon: Targeting system that can be connected to Hellfire missiles; AIM-92 Stinger missiles.