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Tags: green | climate | bond | investing

Not Easy Being Green: Hot Topic of Climate Investing

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Denis Kleinfeld By Monday, 01 April 2019 11:39 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Yogi Berra once said: “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

Milton Friedman offered: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Bloomberg Businessweek recently explained that “trillions of dollars of investment are needed to combat global warming.”  

The theory is that global warming is causing detrimental climate change. The proposed solution of the green industrial complex is to spend an indeterminate number of trillions of dollars.

In an unstable world economy with governments deep in debt, policies which allocate capital wisely is a decisive factor for a nation being successful — or maybe not surviving at all.

"Green bonds" are an outgrowth of so-called impact investing, which seeks to achieve social and environmental benefits, such as curbing global warming to save the earth from climate change, while earning a financial return.

Investing in bonds (and securities, for that matter) enable people with money to take advantage of an opportunity to make more money. 

It’s a question of taking a risk.

Philanthropically minded people looking to make a difference are willing to give away money in return for achieving whatever it is that motivates them.

For example, Bill Gates has started a program to help in creating sanitation facilities is parts of the world where it is desperately needed. 

Others are looking to invest money in financially worthy projects and programs that will generate enough cash flow to meet their economic expectations. 

There is little dispute that a lot of money is to be made on protecting water supplies, updating infrastructure, efficient waste management, energy-cost reduction, pollution protection, and a wide array of other projects in a loosely defined investment class of being “green.”

Few such projects are particularly controversial.

What is controversial (and an unquantifiable investment risk) is investing in energy projects to reduce greenhouse gasses to stop the climate from changing.

Governments, in particular, invest huge sums in “sustainable” energy projects because politicians think that they will get re-elected and stay in power by risking taxpayer’s credit borrowing money or guaranteeing loans.

Investors need to be especially cautious in understanding exactly in what they are investing.

Green (or sustainable-energy) projects like wind and solar intend to reduce CO2 and thereby save the earth from manmade global warming are the riskiest.

Germany has been at the forefront of moving their entire country onto sustainable energy.

What has been the results?

Reuters reports that German consumers are paying record prices for power including gas. Germany is building another gas pipeline to connect to Russia for their energy survival. Britain's energy costs are 50% higher than those in the United States.

Germany's Angela Merkel is finding out that the theory of sustainable energy does not work in practice.

What are some of the facts that investors need to have in their knowledge banks to make a cogent decision about investing to save the world from global warming?

The most vital factor in greenhouse gas is water vapor, not CO2. Water cycles throughout the world are picking up energy as it evaporates and releasing it as rain. The mobility and efficiency in absorbing heat energy is the mechanism in explaining the climate of the earth.

David Legates pointed out in his article "It’s Not About Climate — It Never Was" that a warmer climate and more carbon dioxide creates a longer growing season to help feed growing populations. CO2 is plant food enabling “virtually all plants grow faster and are more efficient in using water.”

What about all the fuss over temperatures?

Assuming that temperatures have risen by tenths or hundredths in recent years, less than the statistical margin of error, the temperatures in growing urban areas skew the data.

None of the climate models have even come close to the correct prediction.

There aren't more tornadoes. The last year was one of the quietest and least-deadly for tornadoes in United States history.

Hurricanes aren't more frequent and more intense.

Polar-bear populations are the highest on record.

The earth’s fastest shrinking glacier is now growing at the rate it was shrinking.

An article in the Daily Signal reminds us that in 1958, Betty Friedman (a leader of radical feminism) wrote an article for Harper’s Magazine describing the “coming ice age.” 

Iain Calder, writing for Newsmax, explained: “Between 1973 and 1977 Time Magazine has some blaring page one covers like: 'The Cooling of America,' 'The Big Freeze,' and 'How to Survive the Coming Ice Age (Things You Can Do to Make a Difference).'"

In the 1990s, the collective narrative changed to global warming, which led to climate change.

Al Gore, in 2009, predicted that there was a 75% chance that within 5-7 years the entire polar ice cap would be gone during the summer months.

Today, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal tells us that the earth only has 12 years before its doom.

Then there is a variable that isn't included in the algorithms used in the errant climate prediction models. That is that the magnetic field of the earth is moving erratically, and the scientist don't know why.

The earth’s magnetic poles have always been on the move. The magnetic field deflects the charged particles from the sun. Its impact on the climate cannot be overstated.

The theory of global warming isnt reflected in the reality of the outcome.

Is there any harm in building sustainable-energy projects?

Yes, there is.

Paul Driessen, writing in Townhall.com (“Saved by Pseudo-renewable Energy?”), tells us that fossil fuels are dense and compact. Alternative-energy technologies aren't so advantageous.

“Wind, solar, and biofuel energy is dispersed, weather dependent, expensive and land-intensive … far more land-and far more raw materials-than energy-generation-equivalent fossil fuel counterparts. Add in back-up fossil fuel generators or massive battery arrays, and those impacts are astronomical.”

Then there are the tons of concrete and steel needed for infrastructure, copper for cables, the resources to make the wind turbines, solar arrays and such. Manufacturing isn't free.

There are reasons why China and India aren't exactly rushing to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement to decrease carbon-dioxide emissions. 

What does this all mean for investors looking to be “green”?

It means that investing in a "Green Bond" means looking less at the “green” and focus primarily on the bond.

After all, the first rule of investing is to get the return of your principal and then a return on principle.

Always remember that when investing, with the best of intentions, to keep focused on the results.

Denis Kleinfeld is known as a strategic tax and wealth protection lawyer, widely published author and creative teacher.

© 2024 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

What does this all mean for investors looking to be “green”? It means that investing in a Green Bond means looking less at the “green” and focus primarily on the bond.
green, climate, bond, investing
Monday, 01 April 2019 11:39 AM
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