Is it just me or does it seem that ninety percent of the articles written in The Economist, The Guardian, Bloomberg, The New York Times (I don’t actually read it) are centered around the infatuation with global warming (sorry, I mean climate change)?
Today I am being lectured by a Swedish teenager at the UN on why the world will end soon because of the evil inherent in capitalism. I’m not going to lampoon her like I would Sanders, AOC and the other lemmings of the left, because she really can’t help the fact that she grew up in socialist fairyland. She has had her 15 minutes of fame, unless, of course, the Nobel Prize communists give the young comrade an award.
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However, I will spew polemic truth toward the grown-up version of Greta Thunberg, the fossil-fuel hating Elizabeth Warren, who has taken Bernie Sanders’ lithium prescription and becomes bug-eyed at town hall meetings where she rails against American capitalism.
One wonders if this quisling of our time (Vidkun Quisling was the Scandinavian sympathizer of German occupied Norway in WWII) knows that the free market is already doing these things based on the same capitalist incentives Greta and so many other activists are blaming for environmental disaster. Natural gas, for example, is cheaper and produces 50% fewer emissions than coal, nuclear power has been modernized and made much safer in recent decades while producing no emissions. How envious the nuclear French must be.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the names you know are once again attracted to green technology. The likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, are household names. Their wagers cover mature technologies like electric cars and wind turbines, as well as fast-maturing ones such as high-voltage grids and meatless burgers.
They all want what is best for the planet, and if they can put a little coin in their pocket in the meantime, so be it. While some have withdrawn from this sector due in part to the industry being less government subsidized, Musk and mineral magnate Robert Friedland are still plowing in billions. Musk for the batteries and Friedland for the minerals that power them.
Did I forget to mention that Warren Buffett was into the green action? In 2008 Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway invested $232 million in BYD. Wang Chuanfu is the president of BYD, the company he founded in 1995, which started out making rechargeable batteries. With the help of Buffett’s capital infusion, BYD now manufactures solar cells, electric cars, heavy machinery, and mobile phone components. His stake is now worth over $1.5 billion.
BYD’s sales surpassed $18 billion last year, putting it among the biggest makers of batteries and electric cars in the world. Buffett makes it look easy. He didn’t lift a finger or get any dirt under his nails. Just understanding the business, its products and markets and a basic Graham and Dodd investment analysis. The waiting for most is the hardest part.
One more before we close. The pontiff himself. Yes, that bully of the pulpit, Pope Francis, who ultimately controls the strings of the Vatican Bank, which has assets in excess of $3 billion. He must have been reading biology books under the tables while being a bouncer in Argentinian bars before his calling.
Armed with astute scientific knowledge, the Pope rounded up oil bosses from BP, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total, and strong-armed them to support “economically meaningful” carbon prices and disclose risks posed by climate change to their companies. Don’t look at me, I was confirmed Catholic.
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