The incessant, ubiquitous expressed desire of activists clamouring for government action on climate change is that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced significantly. In fact, there are campaigns galore lobbying for “Zero Carbon” emissions by 2050.
This would be laughable were its impossibility not so starkly obvious.
Most protesters drive to their events, and wave signs made of paper and fastened with metal to wood. The hypocrisy apparent in that single reality is why climate protest never really achieves widespread adoption outside of the radical student and socially dis-enfranchized demographic.
That, plus expecting the government to “do something” about the result of billions of individually arrived-at consumer choices, is the height of naivete. Governments operate for the largest financial operators on the planet. They don’t care about you, or your stupid outrage. Boring. Dumb. Irrelevant.
If protesters were serious about mitigating climate change, they would do so by example. They would already have zero emissions lifestyles. They wouldn’t have or use anything made from plastic derived from hydrocarbon.
Individuals need to adopt behaviours through choices they make. Showing up at a protest and waving a sign makes you part of the problem, not the solution. By protesting, you provide the world with the illusion something is being done. Protesting isn’t doing something. It’s complaining without doing anything.
Our entire social structure is constructed on a narrative skeleton comprised of events and destinations, all of which are fuelled by people. People emit carbon and heat whenever they move. Our value system prizes travel and possession, not constraint and\ thoughtfulness.
Travel, for example, is the romantic objective of everyone 14 and over. The more exotic the destination, the better.
Their ambitions are fuelled by the advertisements of travel and airline companies, who fill the social media universe with images of beautiful people doing beautiful things. Its a right of passage for the young.
Take a year off school and go find yourself.
Great. But now lets incorporate the concept that the only thing “cool” about travel is when you do so under your own power. Walk, ride, sail (technically not “your” power, but…), ski, run. Bagging temples in Tibet for your bucket list is impressive. Doing so without the use of any fossil or electric fuel is awesome.
That means no commercial flight, no taxi from the airport. Overseas travel becomes a matter of sailing only. Choosing where you live depends on where you work. Vacations are had locally and arrived at under one’s own power.
Ridiculous, right? Utter poppycock. Never going to happen.
But these behavioural modifications are the base minimum of what is required to achieve just a slightly lower carbon emission footprint.
Here’s the thing: climate change behavioural modification is simply not possible without a negative economic impact. And that simple reality prevents anyone from doing anything that could possibly be described as meaningful when it comes to mitigating climate change.
Which students are going to adhere to walking to school?
Which kids are going to volunteer to walk or ride their bikes to soccer, gymnastics, music lessons or other extracurricular activities?
Which parents are going to set the example by living within walking distance to work, and actually undertaking that commute method consistently, regardless of weather?
Which government leaders are going to voluntarily achieve a neutral carbon existence through a serious revision of their attitude toward air travel?
Put up your hands!
Aha….see. There are no hands raised. Everybody is operating on the delusion that a hybrid or electric vehicle is all the action and choice required to comply with each individuals’ limited vision of how their own behaviour impacts the environment.
Or most pathetically, that climate change is non-existent.
Making Climate Change Work For Investors
The bottom line is that climate change is here to stay as long as the human population continues to grow.
Increasingly, governments will cave into protesters in the interests of civil stability, and so as an investor, one needs to turn one’s thoughts to what companies are likely to benefit from climate change.
There are numerous startups, for example, who are pursuing “carbon sequestration” technologies, where CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are removed from the air or the waste stream of industrial processes and sequestered somehow in a way that keeps them out of the atmosphere.
These technologies and more are all part of Midas Letter’s Technology Investor Report, available at www.techinvestalert.com.
Midas Letter is provided as a source of information only, and is in no way to be construed as investment advice. James West, the author and publisher of the Midas Letter, is not authorized to provide investor advice, and provides this information only to readers who are interested in knowing what he is investing in and how he reaches such decisions.
Investing in emerging public companies involves a high degree of risk and investors in such companies could lose all their money. Always consult a duly accredited investment professional in your jurisdiction prior to making any investment decision.
Midas Letter occasionally accepts fees for advertising and sponsorship from public companies featured on this site. James West and/or Midas Letter may also receive compensation from companies affiliated with companies featured on this site. James West and/or Midas Letter also invests in companies on this site and so readers should view all information on this site as biased.