Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama's Green Economy - The $100 Billion Prize

There's something about a crisis that forces people to reexamine things, drop old prejudices and finally seek new solutions.

Because, frankly, the old solutions just don't work the way they used to.

That's certainly the case with the current economic crisis and the promise of green investing to help lead the world into a new era of sustainable economic growth.

Green is going mainstream, and there's a heightened sense of urgency. Obama's new $800 billion (give or take) stimulus program has alotted at least $100 billion toward green energy grids... solar and wind power... clean coal and other technologies. That's 1/8th of the package - an absolute knock-out percentage by any stretch.

Clearly, Obama's putting his money where his mouth was on the campaign trail, and that's a good thing.

I would love nothing more than to see mainstream investment minds, writers, bloggers and journalists actively embracing green as a result... rather than playing with it like a cat plays with a mouse, waiting for it to die some inevitable death. As if green were a fad. As if it were the Chia pet of investing.

In fact, since the money is going to flow there, it seems the mainstream is adjusting to the new reality, and starting to - gasp - embrace it!

Bloomberg's John Wasik wrote in anticipation of the stimulous going through:

If Congress is serious about battling climate change, it will mean putting more than 10 million cleaner and carbon-neutral vehicles on the road and retrofitting buildings, factories, offices and homes.

Green buildings not only save energy and reduce carbon emissions, but can create employment. In Germany, just insulating 200,000 apartments led to 25,000 new jobs.

As infrastructure and transportation are rebuilt and "greened," it will demand more new steel, concrete, plastics, electronics, clean power and earthmoving vehicles.

Corporate Earnings

Another benefit may turn up in your personal portfolio. A green economy lifts almost every industry as bottom lines improve because less energy and resources are consumed. Communities from Silicon Valley to the Mahoning Valley can all prosper from this boom. Companies such as General Electric Co., Duke Energy Corp., Caterpillar Inc., Siemens AG and Hitachi Ltd. will benefit from big infrastructure and energy spending.
Yes, Big John. Welcome to the green side.

Of course, our argument here all along is that green = efficiency. How in the world could any self-respecting capitalist not love the idea of increasing efficiency to promote long-term economic growth... while creating millions of new jobs now?

More to come.


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