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Shorting The Least Green Companies

Newsweek recently released its 2009 Green Rankings for America's 500 largest corporations.  Investors would do well to examine the bottom of the list, as well as the top.

DISCLOSURE: Tom Konrad and/or his clients have short positions in DAL.

DISCLAIMER: The information and trades provided here and in the comments are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

was posted on AltEnergyStocks.com.

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I agree green investments will be great long-tem as well. Current market conditions seem to be putting everything on the back burner.

Cement, however, works wonders when it comes to strengthening sea-side structures. I would actually expect cement to a beneficiary from a changing climate and the need to re-build and strengthen the built environment (http://www.altenergystocks.com/archives/2009/09/climate_change_corporate_disclosure_should_you_care_1.html).

I think an interesting long idea could be cement makers working on ways to make cement less carbon-intensive.

I actually said something similar a couple years ago in my article about investing for rising sea levels.

The questions are: How much cement will be needed for new dykes and levees to deal with sea level rise, and how soon? Will the added demand be significant compared to their current demand? Will sea levels rise fast enough to make a difference within your investing time horizon? Will a substitute for cement be adopted in the meantime?

I don't know the answer to these, but I think that the risks of climate regulation (1-2 years) will happen much sooner than the risks of high waters (10-30 years.)

That seems to make cement a poor short-term play.

High waters proper may not be the only variable here. I'm also thinking of destructive extreme weather events like hurricanes Ike and Katrina.

Given that infrastructure spending in the US (stimulus aside) is no longer growing much past the normal rate of economic growth (and even below that), extreme weather events that require unplanned infrastructure spending could provide nice boosts to revenue.

Given what's happened in Europe and what looks like it might not happen in Copenhagen, I'm inclined to think that opportunities may materialize sooner than regulatory risks.

I have no faith at all in politicians enacting carbon regulations with any kind of bite, and so far history has proven me right.

Good point. The scenario I've long felt is most likely would be a series of climate disasters (which would probably require cement) that finally galvanize politicians to act.

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