Global Warming: Is It a Morally Acceptable Investment Opportunity?
By Anthony Wile - September 24, 2013

AP writes of moves by the Obama administration "to limit power-plant carbon pollution." This is no doubt a step toward the kind of carbon tax that Australia recently put in place and which the new, conservative Australian government is now attempting to roll back.

At the same time as the Obama administration is "pressing ahead with tough requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants," Forbes magazine points out, "Global Warming Alarmists … Science Has Exposed Your Unwarranted Hysteria."

The two articles provide us with important insights regarding dominant social themes and the pushback provided by what we call the Internet Reformation. The question readers must decide is whether they believe elite memes are viable in the 21st century and thus worthy of supporting from a profit standpoint. A corollary to this is whether you are willing to participate in certain activities to generate a profit on your investment.

As we move ahead with a new and more focused approach to Daily Bell analysis, I will be discussing the opportunities generally offered by elite dominant social themes as well as whether or not they are viable investments from a mainstream investor receptivity point of view. However, from a personal moral standpoint I will not be seeking to invest my resources – capital or time – in situations that I do not find morally acceptable – regardless of how much potential profit may be "on the table." It is also important to note that I do not portend to be anyone's moral compass and leave any investigation into how to profit from elite manufactured trends up to each person to determine for themselves.

This is a kind of "free-market" divergence, in my humble estimation. There are plenty of "green funds" but so far no one has offered investment advice based on distinguishing between opportunities that enhance freedom and those that reduce it. Our emphasis, therefore, is not just on making a return on money but doing so in a way that is palatable for those who have a concern about the way the world is trending, especially the West.

In fact, a main choice facing investors these days is to figure out whether society's organizational memes shall provide ongoing profits or whether they shall wither and fail due to relentless 'Net exposure that increasingly casts doubt on the foundational assumptions buttressing these themes.

And thus we come to global warming, AKA climate change, certainly a foundational meme early in the 21st century. It is also a failing one: Increasingly, according to both public and private surveys, people either don't believe warmist rhetoric or downplay its importance.

It is a proverbial "big deal," given the stakes in play.

Global warming, like Western government's generic warnings about "terrorism," is an open-ended meme that gives authorities the power to level any tax, regulate any industry and control private utilization of energy. The basis for this authority is that any additional carbon emission, presumably man-made, is dangerous to life as we know it. This provides moral authority as well as a justification for action.

The huge amount of time, energy and political capital that have been poured into establishing the veracity of certain memes makes it very difficult for those promoting them to disengage. Once such emergencies have been established, the natural next step is for vast private-public partnerships to be created to "solve" the problems that have been presented.

If this were the 20th century, this problem/solution approach – no matter its veracity – would have a good chance of working. But this is the 21st century and the seamless information matrix that once informed the Western world has become unraveled. Information is available now that directly contradicts elite dominant social themes and even undermines calls to action.

It is a main reason why those promoting global warming have had such a difficult time translating it into political action. After numerous, high level international conferences held under the auspices of the United Nations, backers of global warming action obviously anticipated that by now there would be a global action.

The main engine driving global warming solutions was to be an intricate market for so-called "carbon credits" that some estimated would overtake currency trading as the world's central financial engine. Companies would buy and sell carbon credits based on their industrial needs. Trading commissions generated would provide a bonanza for the West's largest financial firms and banks and also enrich governments via taxation of these commissions.

But something happened on the way to the creation of this vast, new trading franchise. Considerable and ever-expanding pushback in the form of reasoned arguments opposed to global warming and then climate change began to undermine the project. Emails were leaked casting doubt on the evidence; much anticipated government consensus began to fracture; private industry proved less-than-enthusiastic about carbon-market participation.

As is the case with many elite memes, the foundering of global warming did not halt the project's momentum from a governmental standpoint. A US carbon mart trading facility closed down but, predictably, a facility was re-established in Africa where Western elites have an easier time manipulating culture and commerce. And finally, due to the availability of a radical Labour government in Australia, forces backing carbon taxes were able to impose such taxes on a major Western country – though the tax is currently in doubt due to the recent election of a Conservative regime.

As we learn from this just-posted AP article, the forces behind global-warming fiscal solutions have now generated enough leverage in the United States to ensure that the Obama Administration has begun to act on "carbon pollution." Here's more from the AP article:

Linking global warming to public health, disease and extreme weather, the Obama administration pressed ahead Friday with tough requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, despite protests from industry and Republicans that it would dim coal's future.

The proposal, which would set the first national limits on heat-trapping pollution from future power plants, is intended to help reshape where Americans get electricity, moving from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by cleaner sources of energy.


It's also a key step in President Barack Obama's global warming plans, because it would put in motion proposals to end what he called "the limitless dumping of carbon pollution" from all power plants. Under the law once the Environmental Protection Agency controls carbon at new plants, it will also control carbon at existing plants – a regulation the agency said Friday it would start work on immediately to meet a June 2014 deadline.

Yet the federal government's own analysis of the new power plant proposal concludes that it would have a "negligible" impact on carbon dioxide emissions, pose little to no costs for the industry and provide no additional benefits to the public by 2022. That's because it essentially locks in what was widely expected to happen anyway.

Even without new federal regulations, the agency concluded that no new coal plants would have been built without carbon controls. Instead, the bulk of new power in this country would be supplied by natural gas, which already meets the standard announced Friday.

"The EPA … does not anticipate this rule will have any impacts on the price of electricity, employment or labor markets or the U.S. economy," the EPA wrote in its analysis.

Of course, if a rule is not to have any impact, the question must be asked: Why then implement it? And indeed, there are those who do not believe this EPA analysis.

The industry, and its allies in Congress, quickly dismissed that conclusion. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the agency was holding the coal industry to "impossible standards." "If these regulations go into effect," he said, "American jobs will be lost, electricity prices will soar and economic uncertainty will grow."

Deck Slone, a senior vice president at Arch Coal, said that the technology was simply not available to clean coal plant emissions. "We believe that coal plants with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions will be achievable in time, but such technology is simply not available today," he said. "The administration's proposal goes way too far, way too fast – and threatens to arrest rather than spur technology advances."

We can see in this last statement that even industrial opponents of the EPA have at this point decided that carbon regulations and taxation are probably inevitable. Their stance seems to be one aimed at slowing implementation rather than rejecting the regulatory gambit outright.

But this is too bad. There are considerable reasons to oppose any form of regulation when it comes to carbon as reported in the Forbes article. The article reports on the just-published Climate Change Reconsidered II, authored by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), and published by the Heartland Institute. Here's more:

The NIPCC "is an international panel of scientists and scholars who came together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. NIPCC has no formal attachment to or sponsorship from any government or governmental agency. It is wholly independent of political pressures or influences and therefore is not predisposed to produce politically motivated conclusions or policy recommendations …

… The conclusion of the report is that the U.N.'s IPCC has exaggerated the amount of global warming likely to occur due to mankind's emissions of CO2, and the warming that human civilization will cause as a result "is likely to be modest and cause no net harm to the global environment or to human well-being." The primary, dominant cause of global climate change is natural causes, not human effects, the report concludes. "The hypothesis of human-caused global warming comes up short not merely of 'full scientific certainty' but of reasonable certainty or even plausibility," the report states.

The fundamentals of the argument is that CO2 is not some toxic industrial gas, but a natural, trace gas constituting just 0.038% of the atmosphere. For readers disadvantaged by excessive exposure to the party propaganda organ called the New York Times, that is less than 4/100ths of one percent. The report states, "At the current level of 400 parts per million, we still live in a CO2-starved world. Atmospheric levels (of CO2) 15 times greater existed during the pre-Cambrian period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse effects," such as catastrophic global warming.

Moreover, CO2 is actually essential to all life on the planet. Plants need CO2 to grow and conduct photosynthesis, which is the natural process that creates food for animals and fish at the bottom of the food chain. The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere that has occurred due to human emissions has actually increased agricultural growth and output as a result, causing actually an increased greening of the planet. So has any warming caused by such human emissions, as minor warming increases agricultural growth. The report states, "CO2 is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere 'greens' the planet and helps feed the growing human population."

These statements succinctly summarize the divide between those who want to act on climate change by restricting the production of man-made carbon and those who believe the entire issue has been manufactured, either maliciously or with misguided but good intentions.

The publication of the NIPCC study at the same time as the Obama administration has moved aggressively to implement regulations restricting the production of man-made carbon puts the debate between warmists and skeptics into sharp relief. It cuts to the heart of the effectiveness of elite memes in the 21st century. Are these basic building blocks of a "brave, new world" actually viable in the 21st century or are they doomed to failure as 'Net information undermines their credibility and degrades any potential moral high ground?

The Forbes article asks, "Who will decide American public policy on the issue of potentially catastrophic man caused global warming?"

Critical Understanding of Global Warming Provided by Upcoming Conference

This is just the sort of issue we shall be discussing at our upcoming Canadian conference in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, from October 16th through 20th, which I've already mentioned in previous articles. We have secured a beautiful resort in an exclusive setting and are opening the doors to an absolute maximum of 100 people.

Because of the extremely confidential nature of this opportunity, we have reserved the entire Keltic Lodge resort to ensure utmost privacy, and most of the 100 seats are already spoken for. Many are filled by financial money managers, bankers, asset managers, leading free-market thinkers and senior executives who understand the importance of what is now occurring.

The rest of the audience includes accredited investors who have acted quickly to secure remaining seats – and as indicated, most are already gone, given the importance of the event. On arrival, participants will receive a very special report shedding light on the grand, elite promotion now being planned. It will explain the structured mechanism we've built to take advantage of this moment and the ways we are leveraging this opportunity.

If you have the time and resources to attend, I would truly urge you to make a reservation while there is still space. No one else is approaching issues such as global warming from a free-market investing standpoint. No other group has our record when it comes to accuracy and forecasting using our models. See you there!

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