Pester your parents about their pensions

1st April 2010 by

Parents are tricky aren’t they? You can’t leave them alone for one minute, in case they go and invest their pension funds in huge energy-sucking, environment destroying initiatives like the tar sands.

Oh, what? They have already? Bad parents!

They deserve to be grounded, but since we can’t do that, our challenge this month is to (nicely) pester our parents about their pensions instead.

Why? Well. The thing is, if you have a pension, pay a mortgage, pay council tax, have a bank account, or hold an insurance policy, you may well be investing in Shell and BP. And those guys are currently using that money to invest in the exploitation of the Canadian tar sands , which is having a disastrous impact on the global climate, the health and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and the forests, rivers and wildlife of Northern Alberta.

It is quite embarrassing that our British banks are behaving this way, but the plus side is that if you or your parents, or anyone else for that matter banks with these guys, that means they own a fragment of these companies and they can use their voices to question their investments in the tar sands. It’s especially important to do so this month, as BP and Shell are holding their AGMs and shareholders will get a chance to vote on resolutions to do with the tar sands (if that sounds like gobbledygook, don’t worry, we don’t really understand it either, but hopefully your parents will know what you’re banging on about).

There’s a simple way to help your parents influence these decisions – direct them to:

This website very clearly explains what you can do if you do have a pension, and what you can do if you don’t, and only takes about five minutes to complete. This isn’t just about tar sands, ultimately it’s also about people attempting to democratize decisions that are constantly made on our behalf using our money.

The challenge: We’ll be documenting how our own pestering goes with our parents this month! And of course we want to hear how to goes for you too? So please share your videos, stories and blog posts about it here.

One Response to “Pester your parents about their pensions”

  1. Liz says:

    I tried to pester my mom on the weekend but it turns out that in Canada, pension options are pretty limited. Had anyone else had more luck?

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