There is no Planet ‘B’ (Mike Berners-Lee): Thoughts of Saltydog Investor
Now I do not profess to be any sort of authority on how the world should sort out the impending doom of climate change.
I have always thought that science, in time, would come to the rescue by developing a new complete energy creation and delivery system which would give enough for all. This I saw coming from a mixture of renewables, nuclear fission, followed by nuclear fusion.
Recently, one of the Saltydog members pointed out to me that this was a naive and somewhat restricted viewpoint. There would never be enough energy to satisfy demand, due to the expansion of the world’s population and its needs, and this would race the development of the supply chain anyway.
The solution could only come from restricting the expansion of our populations whilst chasing the Nirvana of abundant clean energy. Thinking along these lines brings up the question of there being only a finite amount of usable space on earth. The total number of people keeps on going up and most are living longer. Will there be enough room?
There are some that say this can be resolved by going to the moon and other planets, or living on the oceans’ seabed. This to me just seems to be plain ridiculous. Mining these places for minerals yes, but migrating there, give me a break! After all, who can hold their breath for that long?
Today, discussing population control is seen to be unethical, against religious beliefs, and not to be entertained. China tried it and then apparently gave up because of the problems caused by disturbing their economy, and creating gender imbalance. So why should anybody else try?
My understanding is that if families restricted themselves to two offspring, in two generations the population would be falling naturally.
This is already happening in the developed countries of the West, but for economic, religious and medical reasons not in the developing countries of the Third World. Perhaps it could be encouraged further in the West by tax incentives, and in the developing countries by financial assistance.
As you can see, this is far too simple a view, and well beyond my own ability to rationalise, and also it appears, that of our politicians! It just seems to me that along with the “Greta” approach there needs to be one of population control, in order to master the enormous problem of climate control.
A billion less people rather than a billion more, would result in more space, fewer houses, fewer cars, and a need for less food and energy. Simple to say, but far from simple to achieve.
At the moment, it would seem that most of the sectors in the stock-markets around the world are level or falling. Certainly, my old favourite sector of UK smaller companies is taking a rest. This economic turmoil is said to be caused by the soaring prices and lack of availability of commodities in general, oil and gas in particular. Some commentators are saying that this might be the start of a super-cycle for commodities. Whether or not this is true, only time will tell.
It does however prompt the thought that there must be funds that are going to benefit from this situation. Mining funds such as BlackRock Gold & General and as nuclear power comes back into favour, the uranium miner specialist Geiger Counter Investment Trust.
The funds that take my fancy at the moment are TB Guinness Global Energy, and its sister fund TB Guinness Sustainable Energy. I have successfully held the former before, but exited in June when it went off the boil.
Global Energy invests into coal, oil, gas and utilities associated with these carbon fuels. Sustainable Energy invests into renewable energy start-up companies, and the larger established wind and solar businesses.
Today’s supply situation might just be the perfect storm that makes both of these funds take-off.
Best wishes and good luck with your investments.
Founder & Chairman