I’m Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is and Betting against Climate Change

I’ve invested in a fund that will aim to short-sell overvalued renewable energy stocks.

‘As oil crashes, is it time to short solar stocks?’ Gosh, I wish I’d read that headline a year ago. The solar stock it tipped for doom in January 2015 has since plummeted from $19 to $2.65.

Yes, hindsight can be a wonderful thing. But what if there were an area of the markets which you knew to be grotesquely overvalued as a result of ignorance, dishonesty, and false sentiment? You’d be mad not to bet against it, wouldn’t you? It would hardly be gambling: more like plain common sense.

This is how I’ve felt for quite some time about the climate change industry. Very often when I read the expert commentators writing on the subject in the City pages, I’m shocked by how much more I know than they do. Invariably — and the same goes for financiers and big corporates — their opinions rest on assumptions that man-made global warming is real, that renewables are a viable alternative to fossil fuels, that the data hasn’t been fiddled, and so on. But if all these premises are false, what then?

Well that’s where my new hedge fund comes in. When I say ‘my’ hedge fund, I mean the start-up to which I’ve just ‘donated’ on the internet. It cost me $75 for a single share in its management company, which I don’t think is going to make me rich. But it’s the principle that matters. This, as far as I know, is the first investment vehicle explicitly to bet against the climate change ‘consensus’. And it’s about time — on the Big Short principle — that the good guys called this rigged market’s bluff.

Up until now the bad guys have made all the running. The annual climate change industry is worth roughly the same as the online shopping industry: $1.5 trillion. But where one performs a valuable service, giving people more of what they want, more cheaply and efficiently, the other does the exact opposite. It’s a racket, a form of state-sanctioned organised crime. Given the choice, no one — save perhaps the odd, bearded poi enthusiast — would spend a penny of their income on wind turbines, solar panels, research grants for dubious climate science projects, local council sustainability officers, et al.

Climate change is a Potemkin industry; it’s the very emblem of crony capitalism — entirely dependent for its existence on favours granted to rent-seeking troughers by the political class. As Warren Buffett famously said: ‘We get a tax credit if we build wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them.’

Read the rest at the Spectator.