The Truth Ain’t That Incovinient Anymore, So What’s Next?

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I attended Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth lecture in Toronto tonight. I assume many of you have seen the movie so I’m not going to go into the details of the presentation, which is essentially the same as the movie give-or-take a couple of slides. Instead, I’m going to share with you some of the thoughts I had as I was listening to the former VP. Firstly, I bought this whole climate change thing a long time ago and I’ve seen the movie, so substantively I got very little out of this. As with the movie, I thought Gore spent a disproportionate amount of time going over the evidence proving that climate change is actually occurring, and not enough on discussing how, in practical terms, we can solve the climate problem. This brings me to my second main thought. One of the most fundamental drivers behind my confidence that cleantech and alt energy represent very attractive investment stories in the long run is the fact that they offer plenty of opportunities to have the cake and eat it too. Climate change and the environment are increasingly on the radar of politicians, and that’s only going to intensify as various ecological services (e.g. climate control, fresh water, etc.) get scarcer. This means that politicians will be pressured to take action, and that this action will create tremendous opportunities in a number of fields. What I think is the main missing link in Gore’s crusade is a stronger focus on how embracing cleantech will not only help humanity solve its environmental problems, but also how it will help create value fro investors and generate economic growth. I think it is high time that pundits and politicians move away from a constant focus on the downsides (environmentally as much as economically) to a focus on the opportunities related to climate change. As I’ve said before, this isn’t about changing the size of the pie, it’s about altering its composition. My humble advice to Al Gore (and to all of you out there who do this sort of stuff): re-weight the content of your presentation to focus on the value creation angle of climate change, and show investors and the public at large that not only is this nothing to be afraid of, but, that, if the regulatory and incentive frameworks put in place to deal with climate change are constructed adequately, many investors and companies will stand to make lots of money. This is not, in my view, a negative-sum game, and that’s the point that needs to be driven home.


  1. I agree with all of your thoughts above 110%!
    I also think that clean tech, will alleviate some of the the “Energy Feudalism” that the world currently experiences, where certain groups… and all too frequently the west – have to pay homage to what can only be termed “Energy Barons”, with less than satisfactory leadership credentials of their own countries. Who are propped up by oil revenues and all too often reside in developing countries.
    It also allows investment and economic growth to flow more widely and with greater balance within nations – at local levels. It allows greater weath sharing in developed nations – and lends itself well to “stake-holder” incentive-based economics.
    I also think it will do much to actually promote economic stability – contrary to the current petrochemical model.
    This coupled with the environmental benefits are why I wish to be associated with Alt-Eng / Clean tech!
    Due to the huge variety of benefits that can result.
    Its all a question of making the technologies feasible – environmentally and economically, as quickly as possible.

  2. Charles,
    Well said. I agree with your attitude.
    I have been considering buying 100 shares in all the stocks in the Wilder Hill Index and then putting a 8% stop limit to sell on each one. Then just wait. A hand full of them are bound to be winners in the next ten years.
    What do you think?
    Chris Walker

  3. Chris:
    I don’t know what to think. I’m quite certain that you’re not being serious, and, if that’s the case, I’m also not too sure why you would post something like this here.
    If you are being serious, I apologize. Since you might be serious, I’ll tell you why I would never do anything like this.
    Besides being a trading commission nightmare, your portfolio would end up being very large and would require a lot more attention than you can probably give it (I know from reading your website that you’re not a professional trader).
    Setting a stop-loss at 8% for all securities regardless of their individual characteristics is almost sure to be a loosing strategy for volatile clean tech stocks, as you would get killed during the next market correction.
    Finally, I would never invest in stocks only based on the hope that they might do well within the next 10 years. When picking stocks, I research them pretty extensively.
    Again, I apologize if you were being serious.


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