How to save the environment, like a capitalist pig

Extinction Rebellion protestors appear to be in serious need of advice.

This is my open letter to them, which I think Exponential Investor readers need to see…

Dear Extinction Rebellion,

Protesting is really just a rude way to ask for something. But I think it’s time to stop asking and start doing.

How can you save the environment, instead of just appealing to politicians to do it for you?

I think it’s time you created a fund. And listed it on the stock exchange.

It would be a real green fund. Not run for profit, but for conservation and preservation. To save the world.

The fund would buy the resources you want to protect, and the ones you want undisturbed. Then you could make the decisions for what happens to those resources.

The fund would buy oil wells to stop their pumping. Rainforests to stop them burning or being cut down. Old cars that pollute to take them off the streets. Land in central London for rewilding. And cruise ship terminals to stop boats docking.

Your fund would invest in airlines to stop them from expanding and green tech to keep it growing. You could reinvent the likes of BP by taking over its board and turn ExxonMobil into a solar power company.

You could change the world, like a capitalist pig. And nobody could stop you. Heck, the police would be on your side.

Mostly kind regards,

Nickolai Hubble

This may sound pie in the sky. But real conservationists already do it. And the fact that you don’t hear about it proves my point. It’s about action instead of talk.

Steve Irwin, known in the UK as The Crocodile Hunter, or just the guy who said “Crikey” a lot, used to buy up vast tracts of land in Australia. And do nothing with them.

It was his form of conservation. Preserve wildlife habitat, not by lobbying, building fences, starting funds, staging PR campaigns, getting celebrities to fly in from LA, or any other nonsense. He just went out and did it.

I know because I was harassed by a bunch of local teenagers with machete knives on a school camping trip while on such a tract of land… We were rescued by Steve Irwin’s dad.

My point is, if you want to save the whales, put them up for sale. And buy them. And then leave them alone. 

This would make whale hunts illegal – theft. And it would put police in Japan on your side.

Pollution is supposedly a lack of property rights. Nobody owns the Great Barrier Reef. So who cares about it?

But what if people could own it? Then they’d make damn sure it’s protected. That it doesn’t depreciate over time.

If you’d like to save or preserve something, own it. Don’t ask a politician to protect it for you.

Here’s my prediction for Exponential Investors looking for the next investment boom. Eventually, conservationists and environmentalists will figure out that they have the buying power to change the world.

They’ll go from disrupting Oxford Circus with bamboo structures to owning Oxford Circus’ commercial infrastructure.

They’ll save the world, like a capitalist pig.

To be clear, I’d be one of them. I’d be happy to own a 1/1,000 share in a beluga, for the sake of helping the species. Actually, I prefer lemurs. I’d happily buy a few square feet of prime lemur country in Madagascar, alongside thousands of likeminded others. And then leave it for the lemurs, no matter how much oil or rare earths were discovered nearby.

I bet you’d be interested too. Perhaps in other causes?

But this isn’t Extinction Investor. It’s Exponential Investor. And the aim of the investment game is to be one step ahead of the buying boom I see coming.

If I’m right about the coming wave of environmentalist investing, what would it mean for your portfolio? As environmental impact investing goes mainstream, what’ll its fund managers be buying?

Green tech, land for rewilding, companies they want to shut down and plenty more.

Some of these assets will be good buys. Others will be disastrous shares to hold as environmentalists take them down.

In coming years, it’ll pay to pay attention to the likes of Extinction Rebellion. The causes they favour, and the money that’ll move.

But before they get going, perhaps they need to check out my friend Sam Volkering’s new initiative. He wants to make financial education a part of the national school curriculum. And he needs your help to do it.

Until next time,

Nick Hubble
Editor, Southbank Investment Research

Category: Energy

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