Links Emerge Between War on Terror, Climate Change and Asset Prices


This morning…our fingers froze at the keyboard. We were suddenly struck by an irony so immense we could scarcely breathe, let alone type. Or else it was a hangover. We had to loosen our collar…sit back…and relax for a minute.

The world seems to be in the grip of three immense frenzies at once, we realised. Each one is breathtaking. Each one is awe-inspiring. And each one is a monumental humbug. Each part of this hysterical trinity has tres partes of its own…one part truth…one part lie…and one part complete absurdity. And each one supports the other, reinforcing one delusion with another, even bigger one.

In the New World, a recent poll showed that Americans thought the war on terror was the single most important issue on the planet. While back in the Old World, a similar question drew a different reply: it is global warming that the Europeans worry about. Meanwhile, all over the world, from Manchester to Mandalay, everyone believes he can get rich without working; all he has to do is to buy a financial asset and watch it go up in price.

It is this last fantasy that interests us most, here at the Daily Reckoning headquarters. Every sentient being on earth seems to have come to believe that it is money that matters most…and the way to get money is to speculate. Asset prices only go up, he believes. And each one believes he has some special gift that permits him to choose the one that goes up most. Seeing neither error nor risk in this proposition, he then proceeds to leverage himself – borrowing money either for consumption (Americans) or speculation (Chinese) so that he can take advantage of it.

What results is a huge splurge of spending – on consumption in North America…and capital investment in Asia. This frenzy of activity, of course, brings about a huge increase in the consumption of resources – notably oil.

Meanwhile, a hypothesis has conveniently arisen: Increased usage of fossil fuels raises the worlds CO2 levels…trapping heat. The authorities, naturally, rush to ‘save the planet,’ conveniently alarmed by the plight of polar bears and penguins. How can they help? They can raise taxes! Yes, global warming is to be remedied by a global tax on fuel, so as to raise prices and discourage users. Who will collect and redistribute the tax? If you guessed the Girl Scouts or the Kiwanis Clubs you are a naïve moron. The tax will be collected by governments, the largest of which is also the largest user of fossil fuel…and the greatest contributor to the alleged danger.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
Bill Bonner

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  1. My point in all of this is that CO2 does NOT cause climate change; I am not arguing that a change in the climate might be occurring. The climate on earth changes all the time and that global change is caused by the Sun (a new NASA finding). All life on the planet is carbon based, CO2 is part of our food chain, and it is not a pollutant. The biggest “green house gas” is water vapor. If climate change is caused by human activity then we would need to start eliminating life on the planet, yes this is absurd, so is the assertion that humans are causing climate change. It just is NOT the truth.

    Science fact 2+2=4 a scientific fact is a truth that never changes can be reproduced by anyone every time.

    Additional information

    Dr Coles
    June 7, 2007
  2. We at Connecticut Real Estate and Construction have not the time to waste while the G8 deliberate picayune details about what sorts and how much of greenhouse gasses are allowable, and who was going to conform or not.

    One might ask, what is the hurry? The hurry is: we humans are in the process of destroying our planet. Global warming is the single most significant environmental crisis the world community has ever seen. The 2007 G8 Summit in Germany will focus on the reversal of global warming. President Bush, of course opposes this proposal. Like his strategy in the Middle East, he has a better idea, and he wants to convince the world of something they already know is untrue. This time it’s not that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but that global warming is not that dire an issue.

    Our Nero-like President fiddles, but we cannot allow our Rome to go up in flames. This isn’t a city’s destruction we speak of. It is the end of all of us, of history, of every thought and feeling humankind ever produced. Our present federal government is not going to do anything about this crisis.

    Connecticut Real Estate and Construction will do something about it, because Connecticut needs GREEN workforce housing in significant number for very important reasons. Suburban sprawl is killing the environment. When we continually clear off two acres per household to put up large houses, we cut down trees which produce oxygen, we deplete the filtering system for our water, and we make houses which leave a carbon footprint which further opens a hole in the ozone. If we instead build multiple units together and build them with solar photovoltaic cell panels and with geothermal heating and cooling, we leave virtually no carbon footprint, we leave sufficient greenery to filter water run-off, and we provide our workforce with housing that allows them to stay in the state and not flee to the South and Southwest as has been the recent trend. As a result, those businesses (and their tax revenues) which require those workers need not flee with the workforce, a trend we have seen throughout the Northeast region of the country.

    Additionally, we will build elderly housing. The Boomer Generation is aging. They are retiring at record rates and require specific housing that does not exist in sufficient number. We will build it. We will build commercial buildings and office space to go along with the elderly and workforce housing. We need cooperation from local governments to achieve our goals, and we need that cooperation quickly. As we move forward, we will build with town tax rolls in mind. We are aware that the workforce housing will require significant services and expenses, most notably educational expenses. This is why mixing the elderly housing with the workforce balances the ledger, for the elderly pay taxes without sending children to schools. Further, the commercial and office buildings will bring in significant tax revenues without pulling out revenues from the local municipality. This formula is referred to as “Smart Growth” and is to be part of our plans

    While proposing “caution” and “care” is rarely foolhardy advice, studies on these issues have already been done and “smart growth” is necessary throughout the state and the country. We cannot wait. The cost is too dear for all of us to sit idly by and fiddle away time as the planet goes up in flames.

    Miles Shapiro
    June 8, 2007
  3. It took you guys how long to work this out?


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