Whose Ox Was Gore-D?

By Queenan, Joe | Chief Executive (U.S.), September 2006 | Go to article overview

Whose Ox Was Gore-D?


Queenan, Joe, Chief Executive (U.S.)


HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE COMING APOCALYPSE. BY JOE QUEENAN

Global warming has now officially joined the ranks of topics it is no longer acceptable to make light of. Due to the stunning popularity of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, which looks an awful lot like those public service documentaries they used to show during sixth period in the high school auditorium - The united States Department of Agriculture: Fun and Helpful! or Our Friend, The Amoeba-everyone now has to be terribly serious about the subject, and admit that the polar ice cap is melting and Armageddon is nigh.

The only holdouts are ornery varmints like the folks at The Wall Street Journal editorial page who cheekily continue to publish iconoclastic op-ed pieces by professors from MIT warning that there is in fact no scientific consensus on global warming. But everybody else has pretty much thrown in the towel, conceding that if somebody as serious and thoughtful as Al Gore says that the end is near, then the end must be near. And, to be perfectly honest, what in blazes does the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology know about global warming, anyway? I mean, really.

Working from the assumption that global warming will devastate large areas of the planet in the coming decades, it seems appropriate to ask how savvy investors plan to profit from the coming apocalypse. Citigroup recently published an analyst's report recommending solid infrastructure stocks like Archer Daniels, Caterpillar, General Electric and Monsanto, all of which should conceivably be involved in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Smart Money has also addressed the issue. All this makes sense; reducing greenhouse emissions is certainly on the agenda. But by concentrating on mammoth companies like GE and 3M, investors could conceivably be overlooking some small, less obvious ways to earn a solid return on capital during the bleak years ahead. …

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