Environment - June 5
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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Investment Implications of an Abrupt Climate Change (PDF)
Eric Sprott and Kevin Bambrough, Sprott Assett Management
It appears that the debate on global warming is about to come to an abrupt end. One can even say that, among the scientific community, it has already ended. ... [Recent climate change findings are summarized] ...
The world is warming and it is because of fossil fuel emissions. Emissions can only be curbed by the large-scale replacement of both transporation and power generation infrastructure. Nuclear energy is the best possible alternative. Advanced technology will continue to make nuclear energy cleaner, cheaper and safer.
Solar, wind and hydro power all suffer from many limitations. ...Coal will still be required to play a large role in the global energy picture but new technologies must be advanced and implemented to sequester CO2 and reduce overall emissions.
In terms of transportation fuels, we may be several decades away from a viable and cheaper environmentally friendly mode of transportation...
Climate change is an event that would put nations and communities at loggerheads, accentuating the divisions that already exist within us. It would also put government finances under strain the world over. ... [there is a possibility of] a hyperinflationary environment. Real returns from traditional asset classes will likely be difficult to achieve but there will also be many unique opportunities for outsized gains in areas such as emission reducing technologies, the nuclear/uranium sector, synthetic fuels and soft commodities to name just a few.
It is possible that some of the more extreme consequences of global warming remain preventable and we expect many steps will be taken to combat the forces at work. Global warming thus emerges as both a threat and an investment opportunity. The time to debate has ended. Governments, businesses and the general public are just now waking up to the seriousness of global warming as we witness its consequences unfolding around the planet. The reality is that we are courting with much more than just economic disaster.
Submitter WT writes: "This 55-page PDF is titled "Investment Implications of an Abrupt Climate Change" but don't be misled by the title, there is a lot more here than investment information."
Al Gore on "Fresh Air" (Audio)
Terry Gross, National Public Radio
For 17 years, former Vice President Al Gore has been on the forefront of warning against global warming. But in his new documentary, The Inconvenient Truth, he says that he "failed to get the message out." He's now getting the message out with his documentary and new book of the same name (published by Rodale Press).
(4 June 2006)
Also online is transcript of the interview.
Desert cities are living on borrowed time, UN warns
John Vidal, The Guardian
The 500 million people who live in the world's desert regions can expect to find life increasingly unbearable as already high temperatures soar and the available water is used up or turns salty, according to the United Nations.
Desert cities in the US and Middle East, such as Phoenix and Riyadh, may be living on borrowed time as water tables drop and supplies become undrinkable, says a report coinciding with today's world environment day.
Twentieth-century modernist dreams of greening deserts by diverting rivers and mining underground water are wholly unrealistic, it warns.
But the report also proposes that deserts become the powerhouses of the next century, capturing the world's solar energy and potentially exporting electricity across continents.
(5 June 2006)