Wall Street's contribution to the debate on how to curb global warming: Buy coal, sell solar.
While investors including T. Boone Pickens and Warren Buffett are pushing cash into green technologies, the tilt toward Peabody and away from First Solar is the widest in two years. It reflects a sense that government support for reducing air pollution may be waning, said Kevin Landis, whose Firsthand Alternative Energy Fund outperformed the solar index this year.
"Until government policies favor renewable energy over dirty coal, solar may seem too risky now for some investors," said Landis, whose $260 million fund include SunPower Corp. and Suntech Power Holdings Co. "Coal may make sense short term."
[Related -First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) Q3 Earnings Preview: International Growth, Cost Improvements In Focus]
The rationale for increasing investment in renewable energies was undercut when the United Nations effort to extend limits on carbon dioxide emissions failed in December in Copenhagen. President Barack Obama's energy and climate legislation has foundered in 2010 as Congressional members sidelined it to tackle healthcare.
UN-led talks failed to extend the 1997 Kyoto treaty's carbon limits beyond 2012 for 37 regulated countries, undermining confidence at companies that they'll need to own carbon-emission permits in future decades.
Lawmakers foot-dragging pushes back limits on emissions another 8 years U.S. Climate Action Delay Gives More Time for Carbon Capture, AEP Says – the goal of the coal industry is to prolong the use of coal
[Related -Is This The Start Of A Correction?]
Senator Feinstein blames the stalled economy for failing to act legislatively on climate change bills. And in a stunning remark of contradiction said "Things like global warming are good when the economy is good and people are secure."
According to a survey, however, American concern for global warming peaked at 40% in 2008. That concern fell to 32% in a Gallup poll this year. More remarkably, only 31% of Americans felt GW was exaggerated in 1997. That number has grown to 48% today. So, even as the evidence of global warming mounts, the effective propaganda campaigns of the skeptics/industry lobbyists etc are able to smear credible science to be less believable.
Americans Are Less Concerned About Climate Than in 2008, Gallup Poll Shows
In other climate-related news it looks like Asia will possibly leap 9-10 yrs ahead of the US on global warming legislation (even if it is flawed cap and trade models):
Obama Trade Goal Fights His Clean-Energy Plan at U.S. Export-Import Bank President Barack Obama's goals of boosting U.S. exports and combating climate change are colliding as the U.S. Export-Import Bank expands financing for oil, gas, mining and power-plant projects.
Japan Cap-and-Trade Bill Wins Backing From Cabinet, Heads for Parliament Japan's Cabinet has endorsed a climate-protection draft law today that would cap industrial emissions for the first time and thrust the second-biggest economy into the $125 billion market for trading carbon credits. (beginning 2011 possibly)