How can you make money from this whole global warming thing? I mentioned back in January that I was investing in a water resources portfolio (PHO) under the theory that water would be the next bubble. So far I'm up 9%, but the market is up in general, so that's no big deal. Global warming is predicted to cause massive droughts in some places, so this seems like a good hedge.

But it got me thinking that there must be a way for believers in global warming to profit at the expense of skeptics, assuming the believers are right. For investment purposes it doesn't matter what is causing global warming. All that matters is that it is happening and apparently already unstoppable according to a growing consensus of scientists.

The obvious stock plays have already been run up. If you invest now in solar, wind, and other green energy players, you might be getting in late. And some other better technology could overtake them. I'm looking for an investment that doesn't involve green technology.

For example, I already play soccer and tennis at indoor facilities. If there was a stock you could buy in some company that was building indoor sports clubs that would be a good play. You'll need them when it gets hotter.

Food supplies will be disrupted in some places and maybe improved in others. If you could find a way to invest in an agribusiness that has its operations in places likely to have improved growing conditions with global warming that might be a play.

Maybe real estate is the way to go, but it's harder to diversify. The idea is to find places that have just okay weather now that will have terrific weather later. That seems too risky. Real estate is influenced by too many other factors.

The best investment hedge might be as simple as a portfolio of sunscreen manufacturers.

What are your global warming investment ideas? And resist the urge to say, "beachfront property in Idaho."
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +5
  • Print
  • Share


Sort By:
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
Please stay out of Canada and stop trying to exploit us. We have a pretty good thing going and don't want your poorly run, criminal-based economic system or your your fascist-leaning approach to civil rights !$%*!$%* things up.

Much Obliged, Smith
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
Infrastructure. Specifically earth movers and dam builders. The oceans will not rise 10ft in a week, it takes years. People will not abandon Manhattan and London to move to Idaho, they will build dams and levees. Look at which companies were positioned well in New Orleans and buy.
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
Opening a Hooters restaurant in a soon to be bourgening North West Passage port town.

May 4, 2009
Drugs. There'll always be desperate, stupid people, and law enforcement's ability to combat the problem is only going to diminish as their mechanized police force dwindles in operation.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
How about an indoor rock climbing gym for your facilities play? Great workout and it simulates being outdoors very nicely, plus it has the added element of fear and danger attached. If interested, I know a great place to start one...
May 4, 2009
Only one guy said "carbon offset credits" thus far? Easiest thing in the world. The whole thing is a scam, but because a few, limited forms of it are gov't-sanctioned, idiots pay insane amounts of money.

The gov't-sanctioned part is through renewable power companies, which sell each kilowatt of energy they make twice: one to the guy who'll use it, and once to some holding company which will sell it on to another holding company, which will sell it to a supermarket or someplace, which sells it to some idiot willing to fork over $49.95 for a week's worth of electricity he'll never get.

The impossibility of tracing these "credits," combined with the fact that no actual product is involved anyway, opens the market for entrepreneurs who want to sell what I call false carbon credits. These are exactly the same as real carbon credits in effect, except that there's no need to deal with a wind-electric company that's sleazy enough to sell its energy twice. Just claim you do, and sell as many credits as you want. All you need to get started is a website (though some way to get worthless plastic cards printed would be nice for later expansion), and the market is limited only by the number of idiots in the country, which, as everyone knows, is not really a limit.

Another good concept I have been working on is methane credits. For about $25, I would promise to plug up the anus of one cow for one hour using a special, humane device I haven't developed. I would claim to have deals with various dairy-farmers to allow me to put this on their cows, but in reality I would just be taking people's money. Anyone who wants to invest in this concept is welcome to e-mail me at an email address I'm not going to give out, because I'm not sure I really want to be associated with this concept, anyway.
May 4, 2009
You could buy a ski resort in one of the few places where snow will still be good on a warmer planet.
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
Geopolitical/Environmental plays ....

Canadian oil development initiatives. (Ongoing deterioration of US relations with OPEC nations will increase demand for North American (domestic) oil sources sharply.)

Canadian arctic development initiatives. (The Northwest Passage has (finally) been found and that will change the face of international shipping and eco tourism.)

Canadian water redirection/transportation initiatives. (99.99% of British Columbia's vast fresh water supply currently spills into the Pacific Ocean and will need to be redirected to the south.)

Canadian potash. (Do not confuse with Canadian pot.)

Canadian beer. (Always an excellent buy.)

-1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
I say invest in areas that will be affected by severe weather events since they seem to be getting more common. Perhaps some manufacturers of flood-resistant carpeting, roofing, or siding? Or to come at it from the opposite direction, start shorting insurance companies that have a heavy portfolio of customers in low-lying and coastal areas.
May 4, 2009
The best bet is to get in on companies that are getting our tax dollars as subsidies, since that is the only way any of them are going to really make any money.
May 4, 2009
Buy land in "mountainous" areas near population centers. I live about 3000ft above sea level and !$%*!$%* or so west of Baltimore/DC -- the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate">adiabatic temperature difference</a> simply because of the altitude difference is 10F or so. My guess is that more people will gradually choose for a cooler climate (but then, look at Florida and Las Vegas -- maybe buy air conditioning stock?).
May 4, 2009
What about your underground holes idea, remember? It could not only solve space problems, but protect from the outside excess of heat. Anyway, I wouldn't try to play the prediction game on investing.
May 4, 2009
Real Estate is the answer. If sea levels are going to rise 10 feet, buy the land thats at 11 or 12 feet, the waterfront is always in demand

[You forgot to mention Idaho. -- Scott]
May 4, 2009
If Algore gets his way your best bet is to buy forested land and sell the 'carbon credits' to people trying to make an honest living. Can I count all the acres I 'bought' in the "Save the Rainforest" campaign in the 90's?
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
I say, buy land in Canada.... or heck, just buy the whole thing, i'm sure our army will help.

This is great as global warming shifts the prime growing areas from midwest USA north into central Canada. You'll win on the food supply side.

And you'll get some additional perks as well, such as Canada's thriving pot market. As the state budget problems get worse and worse, they simply can't ignore what California is already doing, slowly legalizing and taxing this huge economic power....

Mmmm, Canadian corn chips... anyone got any Fritos, i got the munchies from my "back pain medicine".
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog