Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Participating in the Clean Energy Wave

I was up late last night thinking about investments and clean energy.

Over the last year and a half, I began investing in to energy and clean energy stocks. I started around Dec 04 and finished rollig over my investments around November 05. Well, I am up 50%.

I see no reason in sight for it to stop. I look around the US and see everything that will need to change - cars, lights, sprawl, natural gas fired power plants, roofs without solar panels, SUVs, freeways full of trucks, grocery shelves full of food from Mexico and California, plastic grocery sacks, plans for new coal-fired power plants and new highway bridges … I can go on and on and on. They do not have a clue!

In the next 20 years it is all going to change. A gigantic transformation of our economy is underway. I believe that it will make the tech boom of the 90ties look like the bunny hill. And it will change our world.

Even our republican government sees it (my bold):

President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative is a "Vision for Victory," according to Alexander Karsner, DOE's new Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Assistant Secretary Karsner declared that the energy initiative could lead to victory over U.S. enemies; over U.S. dependence on unstable regimes and ideologies; and over "anxiety and misplaced fears that we are passive and helpless to better this nation and better our planet." Assistant Secretary Karsner emphasized, "Maximizing energy efficiency and renewable energy is the domestic epicenter in the war on terror, and it is imperative that we maximize the partnerships between the public and private sectors in new and creative ways with a sense of seriousness, national purpose, and the urgency the situation merits."

They see it in a different light than I do (i.e., militaristic). I see it as survival of our and the planet's quality of life.

My goal in life is to steer the energy solution toward energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) not nuclear. Nuclear is a false solution. Uranium is limited, waste is dangerous, it is too complex (complex solutions are the wrong solutions), etc.

There are a few ways that each of us can do that:
1. put EE and RE into/on our homes
2. make part of your career include EE and RE
3. tell people about it, lobby for it, etc
4. invest in it

The better EE and RE stocks do:
* The more seriously the financial markets treat the sectors and the more other people invest…
* The better financed EE and RE firms are to do R&D and grow.
* The more and smarter the entrepreneurs that start EE and RE businesses.

So when we invest in EE and RE there are many benefits:
1. Empower the companies and sectors you invest in
2. Make the RE future a bit more likely
3. Do good for the planet
4. Help create local jobs and strengthen local economies (rather then importing fuel from far away)
5. Help put and end to global tensions over energy resources

So I suggest you think about rolling some investments into managed funds that purchase EE and RE stocks. I only know of two and one is brand new.

The first is the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Exchange traded fund (PBW).
Find more about it here:

I began purchasing it about a year ago when it was first issued. Those initial investments are up over 70%. An exchange traded fund is like mutual fund that but is traded real time. They hold about 30 stocks traded on the US stock exchanges. The managers actively move in and out of stocks – so that you do not have to actively manage it.

The second is Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy mutual fund (GAAEX)
Find more about it here:

It is brand spanking new. I began investing in their peak oil and gas fund (GAGEX) in December of 2004. Those initial investments are up almost 100%.

GAAEX is so new that they do not even list which stock they own. Read more about it here:

What I really like about GAAEX is that they will purchase international stocks that are not traded on the US stock exchanges, and one of their two main fund managers lives in England. Again they will own many stocks, and will move in and out of shares to maximize return – just like PBW.

No doubt the investments will be more volatile than standard funds. But in the longer term they will do better, plus they support a sector of the market all of us believe in.

Your comments?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Thoughts on Oil and the Artric National Wildlife Refuge

Just wait, when the going gets tough, and I am sure it will, we will get every drop of oil that we can pump out of the earth. So yes, one day the oil industry will be in ANWR, as well as offshore California, offshore Florida and every other precious oil bearing place.

The longer we hold off on drilling in those areas - the better the oil exploration and production technology will be. With hopefully reduced damage to the environment.

After all that oil is:
* Fossil carbon waiting to warm our climate
* Money in our subterranean petro-bank

Are there items that we make today from oil, and can only be made from oil, that have become vital to our lives? For example medicines, plastic valves used to replace heart valves, oil for bearings... Perhaps we should save the ANWR oil for those purposes and use it over the centuries?

Ha Ha Ha... I really doubt that.

Our society is infantile. Now, now, now! Who cares about the future? The next quarter, the next NASCAR race, the next paycheck. Long term thinkers may wonder about their kid’s college education or their retirement.

Today in the Madison paper, on page A7, there was a tiny story on global warming. The huge team of scientists that participate on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with a statement that in the next 100 years temperature would increase by five degrees (so far we have seen a one degree increase), sea level would rise, and millions would starve as the planet dries up and cereal crop production declines.

Who cares right... after all did you hear who was kicked off "American Idol".

And what happens if we use much of that cereal crop to make ethanol or biodiesel?

The First World drive or Third World starve quandary is coming at us.

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