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Burn Down The House

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August 30, 2008 – Comments (13)

Yup, that's what I almost did and it reminds me of how it changed my long term investment strategy.

Last year I got an awakening on the threat of global warming.  Two things came to me in the same week.  I was doing a lab with my student where I got them to design a thermos and we went over the theory of heat transfer.  The same week I read some of Jame Lovelock's material for the first time.

Teaching the theories as applied to a thermos that Lovelock explains in his work as to why global warming will increase got my attention big time.

I never wrote about my long term investments strategies here, not once.  I wanted to work in the north for a few years and then set up some kind of business in a latin American country to that would appeal to boomers retiring and trying to stretch their retirement dollars.  I took a couple weeks of Spanish in the summer of 2007 in Costa Rica and I signed up for a Spanish course right before I got my job up north.  I was going to spend a few years learning some Spanish and learning about the countries before working towards making some kind of career and income generator for myself perhaps in Costa Rica.  It occurred to me to take advantage of that low cost living for myself.  But, I don't think I am old enough to avoid living through some of the consequences of global warming...

Lovelock's work made me change my mind.  He thinks we could see a 5 centigrade increase in global temperature in the next 20 years. That means a huge increase in the deserts on the planet.  It just seemed to me that the nice warm retirement plan could be one where getting food is difficult.

So, what the heck does that have to do with my almost burning my home down?   Last May I wrote about how the daylight was "killing" me up here.  My biological clock to go to sleep at night just wasn't working because of how it was daylight past 11.  The locals suggested covering the bedroom windows with foil.  Well, there are these glass blocks and I just covered over where I had plastic up.  The reflective power of the sun through those blocks was so powerful, there are scorch marks on the window sill.  And it simply reaffirms Lovelock's application of science to this theories.

So, just what is Lovelock saying?

We are not getting the full dose of the sun's power and greenhouse effect because aerosol pollutants in the upper atmosphere are reflecting some of the sun's rays back. 

Further, and this I saw more recently in a documentary, our planet's ice caps and glaciers are melting.  The loss of their reflective power can not be underestimated.  What was white and reflected energy back into space is now melted, dark and now absorbs energy.  This further amplifies the greenhouse effect.

I just loved hearing in the news this summer about an upper atmospheric storm.  I'd never heard that in the news before, or perhaps I just had never noticed it.  But, with increasing temperature comes increasing ability to have storms, storms that can blow those atmospheric pollutants away, outside the Earth's gravity.

We have two source of reflective power that sends some of the sun's rays away from us.  One has been rapidly melting away and the other can easily be blown away.

Lovelock thinks we should be planning for global warming, and that's what I am doing...

13 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 30, 2008 at 7:08 PM, MaskedMan2007 (99.25) wrote:

The problem with global warming is that a lof of people still don't believe in this phenomenon. Nothing to helps, few years back here in Quebec City, a kind of walk was organized one day during the winter and it has been cancelled because it was too cold outside that day! I think that global warming has to be taken more seriously in consideration by a lot of people before anything serious can be done.

 

 

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#2) On August 30, 2008 at 7:08 PM, MaskedMan2007 (99.25) wrote:

The problem with global warming is that a lof of people still don't believe in this phenomenon. Nothing to helps, few years back here in Quebec City, a kind of walk was organized one day during the winter and it has been cancelled because it was too cold outside that day! I think that global warming has to be taken more seriously in consideration by a lot of people before anything serious can be done.

 

 

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#3) On August 30, 2008 at 7:26 PM, RainierMan (81.21) wrote:

Peter Lynch wrote an article about how the current energy crisis is an historical in civilization, partly because of global warming. I believe that he's always been one of the people who was skeptical of disaster scenarios, so I think it's significant that HE'S saying that.

I've been pondering the investment aspect of global warming as well, but have had trouble translating that into anything that is less than obvious to invest in. All the obvious stuff to invest in seems overpriced because everyone else had the same idea. I know I'm missing something, but I'm not savvy enough to find it.

I do think g.w. is a sure bet. There is just now way the world is going to make the shift to massive greenhouse gas reductions in time. Unfortunately. 

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#4) On August 30, 2008 at 8:01 PM, russiangambit (29.49) wrote:

> I've been pondering the investment aspect of global warming as well, but have had trouble translating that into anything that is less than obvious to invest in.

I think water desalination will be a good investment, 5-10 years from now.

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#5) On August 30, 2008 at 9:42 PM, loriyacht (31.90) wrote:

All my real life investments are in wind energy technology.  I know I should be diversifying, but nothing else looks as interesting as an investment.  So far, it's working pretty well.

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#6) On August 30, 2008 at 10:56 PM, FleaBagger (29.37) wrote:

I think you're a fast reader, dwot (though perhaps, like me, you're a skimmer). Regardless, this article (let me know if the link doesn't work) is worth taking the time to read. Everyone else should read it too.

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#7) On August 31, 2008 at 12:01 AM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

 Hey dwot how are you. It is all hype. The sun will start a 7 year cycle for sun spots and the weather will get wicket wild. Also if the earth is warming then why is the south pole not warming also? The highest temperature ever recorded at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is −13.6 °C (7.5 °F: December 27, 1978), and the lowest is −82.8 °C (−117.0 °F: June 23, 1982)[6] (however, this is not the lowest recorded anywhere on earth, that being −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F) at Vostok Station) on July 21, 1983. You can't have one without the other. Ever wonder why there is oil in Alaska and the north Pole. Maybe because it was tropical thousands of years ago. Maybe it is going back to the way it was. Then you can just stay at home and live in a jungle. Every thousands of years the poles shift. Jungles become Ice and Ice lands become jungles. There is talk about a pole shift in 2012 but who knows if it will happen then. All at once or slowly. I just want clean Air to breath. But then again the time the plants grew the most was when there was lost of carbon dioxide.

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#8) On August 31, 2008 at 3:29 AM, AnomaLee (28.88) wrote:

But then again the time the plants grew the most was when there was lost of carbon dioxide.


I'm a little disappointed that you even made that statement considering your post are typically "above the influence"

The earth has experienced higher levels of carbon-dioxide in the past. During the Jurassic period the earth was much warmer than it is today. 

However, fluorocarbons do not equal carbon-dioxide. The billions of tons of other compounds that we've spewed into our environment especially in the 100 years have never been more more abundant in our atmoshphere.

I repeart Fluorocarbons do not equal carbon-dioxide...

Everyone is correct in saying the environment of earth is cyclical, but it's naive to say we have as humans have had a negligible impact.

Our footprint has been huge...

Most environmentalist read one article and stop. IThis environmentalist movement is worse than watching an Easter Egg hunt. When you talk to someone it's like speaking to people who follow politics by watching Fox news.

Despite our atmosphere the greater damage has been the nearly irreversible damage we've done to our oceans. It's easy for us to scream "Save the rain forest" while we continue to over-fish and contanminate our rivers and oceans. Virtually all of our atmospheric conditions are determined by our oceanic conditions, and the findings are indisputable. We are absolutely destroying the largest ecosystem that exists on our planet. I promise that if you researce this topic you will be amazed at how large the human footprint really is. 

If you want investment themes get out of water utilities and stocks that heavily utilize water such as aluminum makers -- invest in aluminum instead. 

Invest in companies that offer solutions or alternatives. Many contractors are opportunistic to buys.

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#9) On August 31, 2008 at 12:52 PM, jdlech (< 20) wrote:

Yes, global conditions are cyclical.  If one looks at the global temperature and carbon dioxide charts going back as far as we can measure, you might find that every spike in temperature was followed by a plunge into thousands of years of ice age.  Now the temperature is starting to spike again - this time we're supposed to be the cause.  The truth is; I don't care who caused it; we're going to have a few dozen or so years of global waming (maybe even a hundred years) then we'll be plunged into another ice age.  I think we, as a civilization, might survive a hundred years of global warming, but I don't think we can maket it for thousands of years on a snowball.

I understand that there are a lot of people who would lose a lot of money if they had to change their ways to mitigate global warming.  I can appreciate the reasoning behind their efforts to keep the status quo.  But now we're talking about civilization here; not just some kid in Bangladesh or Chad.

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#10) On August 31, 2008 at 3:53 PM, Jhana9 (< 20) wrote:

I've watched this debate for the last 10 years. First, it was, to environmentalists, "There is no global warming". Then it was, "There is negligable global warming". Now, it's "There is global warming, but it's not human induced". Next it will be, "It too late to stop it anyway", or "We should really worry about an ice age instead". Or "Well, some regions will benefit from it".  In fact those arguments are already starting.

The science backing up global warming as human induced is so overwhelming that the only people who don't believe it are those who don't want to believe it for one reason or another.

Since I don't think it's going to stop, I may as well try to invest accordingly. Drought, heat waves, loss of coastal land, loss fisheries, etc, must have impacts that will create opportunities. It's just a matter of understanding them and get the timing right.

Unfortunately... 

 

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#11) On August 31, 2008 at 11:17 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

Off Topic you have to watch this BREAKING NEWS 

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#12) On September 01, 2008 at 5:01 PM, dwot (97.03) wrote:

It is hard to tell where some of the comments are directed.  I think there is a threat of increased global warming.  Another one not mentioned is also the absorption of energy as ice caps melt.  That changing of ice to water absorbs enormous energy.  That would be another lab we do with kids to show the effects of ice melting and how long it can keep temperatures fairly flat. 

So, that would be a third effect that work against us...

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#13) On September 17, 2008 at 4:52 PM, BradAllenton (31.38) wrote:

I believe global warming is a FACT, but I know that some people think it's just voodoo hype.

So either way you fall on the issue you need to ask yourself this. What If I AM Wrong?

Believers- We will be striving to clean up our act, maybe have cleaner air, maybe find better ways to power the planet, maybe have a few trees left, maybe have less cancer, Maybe have better lives........... So all in all even if I and others are wrong you can see there are still positives.

Non-Believers- If you are wrong..... Umm ya well here is the thing...... WE WILL ALL DIE IN A SEWER OF AN EARTH

As You can see I can afford to be wrong and you can't, but by all means don't let that budge your position on the issue.

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