Free Investment Advice from an Expert

Jeremy Grantham, Chief Investment Strategist for GMO, an Management Firm that oversees more than $100 billion in investments, announced his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline in an interview with Charlie Rose Mar 11, 2013. Grantham is known for having predicted the last several financial crises.

Grantham says that climate change is a numbers issue; the rise of .8oC in temperature is obvious, we can see spring arriving earlier, and know that it took additional carbon in the air to make that happen. Grantham continues, explaining the problem with continuing to burn fossil fuels is that we can only emit 565 gigatons of carbon into the air before world temperatures reach “2oC which is considered the boundary, below which we might limp our way through.” But in fuel reserves there is five times that much, “enough to cook our goose and guarantee our grandchildren starve to death in floods and all.”

Every previous human civilization expanded, then met limits of available resources and collapsed. Grantham describes two gifts that our civilization has that give him hope. The first is our ability to limit birth rates, and the fact that when people get richer, they choose to have fewer children. A shrinking population puts less pressure on finite resources.

The second gift is alternative energy technology, solar, wind, geothermal, new grid, and batteries which give us the ability to “move fairly seamlessly” to using the renewable resource of energy from the sun which never runs out. “If you can capture the sun’s energy, you can keep civilization going.”

Then he added, “Science will not guarantee to save us it will only give us a possible out.”

Listen to the interview at :

Wind, Water, and Sunlight Power a Plan for a Better Economy

‘We can’t afford a green energy economy” is a myth, obvious to people who are paying attention to the hyper expensive effects of a planet-scorching fossil fuel economy.

However, now a group of scientists, headed by Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford have crunched the numbers and laid out a serious plan for a transition to an affordable energy infrastructure in New York State that uses primarily wind, water and sun. It does not require that we ‘live in trees and eat bugs’. To the contrary, it reduces our energy costs, creates millions of jobs, improves public health and costs less than the side effects of continuing to burn fossil fuels.

The report is Examining the Feasibility of Converting NY State’s All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water, and Sunlight  2013  Mark Z Jacobson, Robert W Howarth, Mark A Delucchi et al.

This plan calls for electricity to be generated by solar, wind, geothermal and some hydro and wave technology.  It calls for batteries and hydrogen fuel cells in cars, trucks, buses, locomotives and ships. For heating and cooling buildings, it uses ground source heat pumps and heat exchangers.

The investment in new energy infrastructure would increasingly develop low-carbon technologies and by 2020, all new investment would be in these systems, The savings would help us phase out old fuel dependent systems by 2050.

Since renewable electricity is several times more efficient than fossil fuel combustion, losing very little energy to waste heat, the plan reduces electric usage.  

It would stabilize energy prices bringing electric rates down   from $.18/kWh to $.13/kWh, create millions of new jobs, reduce air pollution and improve public health.

The transition would help us deal with what Jacobson describes as “the epic environmental and ecological costs we all pay for our current energy supply,”  a “Fiscal Energy Cliff.” See Interviews and story on the report in Huff post.

How to Talk About Climate Change

Climate science is really very simple. There are basically four things to know about it, four answers to all the questions and arguments.   Climate change is happening.   People are causing it.   It is serious.   There are things we can do to reduce the risks.  That’s it.

If you agree with some or all of these statements, then you can tell other people. It is useful to know details, but most important to share reasons that persuaded you.

‘Is it really happening?’ people ask this in many ways. They will suggest that the warming has stopped, or scientists are self-interested or in a conspiracy, or the Antarctic is adding ice. You can answer these comments by saying that that climate change is happening and you are convinced because, just look out the window at the weird weather. Or you may refer to news reports of record-setting high temperatures and extreme weather, or to studies by NASA, the Academies of Science and 99% of climate scientists.

‘Are people causing it?’ That is what people are really asking when they say that it’s just a natural process, or that sunspots, contrails, or volcanoes are the cause, or that nobody knows.  To answer that question, point out the gigantic number of cars, factories, houses, electric plants and airplanes that are burning trillions of tons of coal, oil and natural gas. In a simple lab experiment we can see that burning fuel produces carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide heats air. So, what is all that warming gas doing, if not warming the planet.

‘Is it really serious?’ People who don’t know that this is a serious problem may say that we can keep burning fossil fuels for years and years. They may argue that CO2 is not harmful, and that animals will adapt, and that we are alarmists. We can surely say that  it is serious to the million people who have died from extreme weather, accidents, hunger, and illness related to the warming climate. It is serious to the millions who are homeless, and jobless, the victims of floods, droughts, fires, and storm surges and rising oceans. It is serious to the people who will suffer increasing damages to their towns, food supplies, and health for decades more even after we stop burning fossil fuels. The military says that climate change threatens the security of America.  The World Bank talks about cascading economic effects and risk of collapse of efforts to adapt.   The Pope called “on people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming…” Climate change is serious.

‘What should we do about it?’ We hear a wide variety of discouraging comments. Instead of countering each one, let’s adopt a clear vision of a path forward. Most citizens are concerned about the climate change and want more green energy. The fossil fuel companies are fighting any reduction in their share of the energy market with powerful lobbying, and media influence.   Still, this is a democracy. More and more citizens telling the facts to their elected representatives have resulted in increased clean energy and energy efficiency in many states and cities. Many local groups are fighting hard to protect their communities from fossil fuel pollution.

We have to change the Congressional gridlock on this issue and get a national policy that promoting  a green economy. If you recycle, walk more, and otherwise reduce your use of electricity and fuel, thank you. If you are active in organizations that promote clean energy and efficiency, thank you again.  Now, make others be equally responsible. Lobby for a carbon tax, for subsidies for green energy and not  fossil fuel, for regulations that require efficient buildings, for low carbon transportation, and increasing purchase of clean energy by the government.

Speak up. Go online and to meetings with Citizens Climate Lobby, Climate Reality, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club or League of Conservation Voters. Millions of voices can create a new safe, healthy and prosperous green energy economy.

Electric Car with Gyroscope

Lit Motors’ C-1. Range – 200 miles on one charge. Will go 100 mph. Priced $24,000 initially, half that with mass marketing.  Gyroscope included. Launches 2014.