Confessions of a Climate Change Sceptic

Today’s Markets and Money takes a seat in the confessional booth.

It concerns a burden we’ve been shouldering for some time.

In fact, to address our problem, we recently sought professional help.

We attended our first CSA meeting early last week.

CSA is short for Climate Sceptics Anonymous.

It’s an informal group. We keep to ourselves in today’s politically-correct world.

We’re trying to kick our habit, but it’s proving more difficult than any of us imagined.

Our group mentor began the meeting by handing out a thick leaflet. He referred to it as ‘scientific research’.

Yet, regardless of how many papers we pore over, we remain unconvinced that mankind has anything to do with climate change.

To be sure, we don’t disagree that the climate is changing. We’re just doubtful that our fridges and air-conditioners are to blame.

As we see it, the universe is cyclical. Spring gives way to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, and back again.

Ice ages give way to periods of warming, which in turn pave the way for times of global cooling. Everything in nature loops from one extreme to the other. And it does so without mankind’s guiding hand.

Those attending the CSA meeting agreed that man-made climate change is a narrative used by the international elite to push ahead with a global carbon tax. But we know we’re the minority.

We see the vitriolic commentaries targeting us in the mainstream news. We badly want to be part of the majority, but common sense tells us otherwise.

Finding a place of belonging, we attended our second meeting mid-week. We are proud to announce that we made something of a breakthrough. More below.

At our second meeting, the group mentor asked us about renewable energy.

Though we believe it to be a positive development, we said we ultimately didn’t care for it. Why should we?

Our forefathers didn’t care about clean energy. They milked oil and coal for every penny. They waged wars, dropping bombs and polluting surroundings. They spilled chemicals into rivers, killing marine life and toxifying drinking water. They sprayed crops with hazardous substances.

For them, philanthropy was a question of money, not of humanity’s advancement and longevity.

Many of mankind’s breakthrough technologies were borne from a desire to outwit and outlast enemies. They were not the result of selfless pursuits, but a yearning for power, wealth and control.

We are no different from them. We’ve picked up the baton, and have outpaced them in many respects.

‘Renewable energy is just another money-making scheme, driven by self-interest,’ we declared smugly.

The mentor had elicited the response he was looking for. He nodded in agreement. ‘Self-interest will always shape humanity’s progress. And it is greed and individual aspiration that drives self-interest.’

‘So, let me ask you again: What do you think about renewable energy?’

Agitated by his persistence, we replied that, as long as coal-powered electricity is better for our bank accounts, we’d never opt for renewable energy like solar power. It’s too expensive.

‘The costs are falling quickly,’ he pointed out. ‘Even if you don’t care for it, if the costs of dirtier energy fuels and renewable energies were on par, and they delivered reliable power, would there be any reason to opt for dirtier fuels?’

We shook our head in agreement.

And then he said something which made us sit up.

‘You don’t have to believe that climate change is man-made. Let’s say it is hoax, some story concocted by an international elite to push through a global tax agenda. What would our world look like today if everyone knew it was a hoax?

‘Would we have seen anywhere near the effort put into developing renewable energies? Would Tesla be building the single largest solar-power factory, powering tens of thousands of homes in the US? Would they be planning to produce half a million battery-powered vehicles a year?

‘Since everyone here is a pragmatist, you correctly see that renewable energy is driven by self-interest. But would you not agree that energy sources which are clean and potentially infinite are preferable to ones which are finite and dug up from the ground?

‘The point is this,’ he continued. ‘It doesn’t matter whether climate change is man-made or not. What matters is that climate change awareness has birthed a global movement towards renewable energy that directly benefits not only you, but everyone in the world.

‘If it is a globalist ruse aimed at forcing through a global tax, it is one of those rare instances in which self-interest and common good align.’

We walked out of the meeting confused. We weren’t rehabilitated. But we’d started to look at climate change in a new light.

Climate change may or may not be man-made. That detail doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. What matters is that climate change awareness is leading to positive developments in the renewables energy space. And some people are making money capitalising on these transition years. A lot of money.

Our mentor, sensing that he had made a breakthrough, sent us a follow-up email yesterday. All it contained was this link. We’re forwarding it to you today. It might help you discover what we’re starting to see for ourselves.

***

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This week in Markets and Money

Do you focus on the salt and pepper or the meat and vegies? That was the question Vern posed to readers in Monday’s Markets and Money.

Vern wasn’t looking to start a culinary debate. It’s his way of exploring the truth behind the growth of Australian property prices.

As Vern sees it, the government focuses on the salt and pepper when it comes to the property market. They’ll tell you it’s those pesky foreigners pushing up prices. But, as Vern says, the government would never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

What is the truth?

That Melbourne property prices haven’t been as strong as in Sydney, despite receiving more foreign investment. Foreign investment accounts for 10–15% of sales in new properties and 6–8% among existing properties. In short, the number of existing dwellings far exceeds the supply of new properties being released on the market.

So if foreign investment is really the salt and pepper of the Aussie property market, what is the meat and vegies? Click here to find out.

On Tuesday, with President Trump coming to the market’s rescue, Jason altered his outlook on the timing for a 10–15% stock market correction. With markets showing signs of technical weakness, Trump floated a new policy just as his trifecta of election promises began losing steam.

Trump said that he would announce something ‘phenomenal’ in terms of tax in the next 2–3 weeks. Which means the US stock market is likely to rally in anticipation of this.

Yet Jason says a 10–15% stock market correction, both in the US and here in Australia, still looms in the short term. He also believes there are two ways you could make big money once the correction hits. Go here now to find out how.

On Wednesday, Jason delved into the world of lithium-ion batteries. Specifically, Tesla Motors’ gigantic Gigafactory under construction in Nevada, US. The factory should double global battery production capacity next year. Tesla plans to make half a million electric cars a year by 2018 — all running on lithium-ion batteries.

And though there’s no shortage of global lithium reserves, there isn’t a huge amount of lithium in the US. That spells opportunity. You can discover what Jason believes will become the hottest lithium stock in the world right here.

On Thursday, Callum Newman took on a bullish view of the Aussie economy. With furniture retailer Nick Scali’s half-year profits up 45%, Callum believes Australia isn’t heading for recession.

As house prices go up, owners feel richer. So they buy things like couches and coffee tables. And, when people feel wealthier, it tends to reflect in rising stock markets too.

Callum believes the stock market bull run could keep going much longer. And with bull markets typically peaking in times of unbridled optimism, he could be right. After all, pessimism abounds at the moment. Investors in Australia and the US are worried about interest rates, Trump, China and the Federal Reserve.

Yet, as Callum says, bull markets tend to climb ‘walls of worry’. Which is why this bull market could keep on climbing. To see why, click here.

In Friday’s Markets and Money, Vern took aim at the vexing issue of retirement. What used to look like a pending paradise now looks more like hell for approaching retirees.

Low interest rates hurting cash holdings… Harsher asset tests for age pensions… Retirees have much to worry about.

To keep the age pension dream alive, the government has broached the idea of reviewing welfare cuts and taxation. Eventually, though, the age pension itself will come under review. And the family home could be the first domino to fall.

As Vern sees it, there’s more chance of snow on the Gold Coast in December than there is of the family home retaining its current asset test exemption.

Because of this, retirees are turning to investment industry professionals to manage their savings. Vern says that’s a mistake. If you’re approaching retirement, or are already in retirement, you need to see why. Click here now.

Before we sign off this week, don’t forget to check out the latest episode of the Financial Anarchists podcast.

In this week’s episode:

Why Australia’s East Coast is about to get hit by a gas supply crisis…and how you can profit…

Kris Sayce calls in from the retirement capital of America to talk about your twilight years…

Former Markets and Money editor Greg Canavan joins the team in the studio to reveal the silver lining of the oncoming cloud…

Plus much more…

Listen here now.

Until next week,

Mat Spasic,

For Markets and Money


Markets and Money offers an independent and critical perspective on the Australian and global investment markets. Slightly offbeat and far from institutional, Markets and Money delivers you straight-forward, humorous, and useful investment insights from a world wide network of analysts, contrarians, and successful investors.


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