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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pollution in Asia threatening food supply, human health

The Toronto Star article excerpted below illustrates in a profound way that we need to green up not just the energy supply, but the entire economic cycle. Green energy companies will lead the way, but all firms promoting and practicing green, ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable business must be considered as worthy investment targets for evaluation.

hazy brown clouds in Asia threaten food, health

Latest UN report covers 7-plus years of findings


BEIJING–Thick brown clouds of soot, particles and chemicals stretching from the Persian Gulf to Asia threaten health and food supplies in the world, the UN reported yesterday.

The regional haze, known as atmospheric brown clouds, contributes to glacial melting, reduces sunlight and helps create extreme weather conditions that affect agricultural production, said the report commissioned by the UN Environment Program.

The huge plumes have darkened 13 megacities in Asia – including Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Cairo, Mumbai and New Delhi – sharply "dimming" the amount of light by as much as 25 per cent in some places.

Caused by the burning of fossil fuels, wood and plants, the brown clouds also play a significant role in exacerbating the effects of greenhouse gases, the report said.

"Imagine for a moment a three-kilometre-thick band of soot, particles, a cocktail of chemicals that stretches from the Arabic Peninsula to Asia," said Achim Steiner, United Nations undersecretary general and executive director of the UN Environment Program.

Some particles in the clouds, such as soot, absorb sunlight and heat the air. That's led to a steady melting of Himalayan glaciers, the source of most of the continent's major rivers, the report said. At the same time, the clouds have also helped mask the full impact of global warming by helping cool the Earth's surface and tamp down rising temperatures by between 20 to 80 per cent, the study said. That's because some of the particles reflect sunlight and cool down the air.

The latest findings, conducted by an international collaboration of scientists over seven-plus years, are the most detailed to date on the brown cloud phenomenon, which is not unique to Asia. Other hotspots are seen in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America.

Full article at: Toronto Star story on pollution in Asia

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Obama Victory a Blessing for Environment and Clean Energy Stocks

If you take a few minutes and visit the website that specializes in statistical analysis of USA Presidential election polls, www.FiveThirtyEight.com , add all the tossup states to McCain's safe and projected seats, and it looks like the United States of America will have a vibrant and aware new President.

Individual investors looking to benefit from the anticipated green energy stocks post-Bush rally may want to consider initiating dollar-cost averaging programs into a few different renewable energy mutual funds and green power exchange traded funds.

Here are a few renewable power investment funds for you to research, prices quoted as of NOV04 2008:

Clean Energy Mutual Funds / Green Power ETFs

New Alternatives Fund (NALFX)

Invests at least 25% of assets in common shares of companies which have an interest in alternative energy. $29.00

Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund A (CGAEX)

CGAEX invests in the alternative energy sector. Recently held and may still hold top global alternative energy stocks such as Vestas, FSLR, and Gamesa. $8.12

Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy (GAAEX)

Invests 80% in companies involved in the alternative energy and clean energy technology sectors. At 6.21, stock down over 60% from a high around $17. Recently held good positions in Ormat, Vestas, Nordex, EDF, SOLON and Iberdola, all major global competitors in the alternative energy sector.

Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX) Trust

Goal is to match performance of Ardour Global Index (Extra Liquid) (AGIXL) by investing in publicly-listed companies engaged in alternative fuels and clean energy technology and renewable power generation. At 28.17, down from 62; GEX was formerly a Van Eck Fund.

First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge US (QCLN)

Pursues investment results to match performance of equity index NASDAQ Clean Edge U.S. Liquid Series Index (the Index). Shares closed today at 14.33.

Powershares Cleantech (PZD) Portfolio

52 week high is 38.02; shares closed today at 20.04, up $1.37.

PowerShares Global Clean Energy (PBD) Portfolio

Based on the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index. Focuses on greener and generally renewable sources of energy and clean energy technology. At 14.52, down from 38.10, but up $1.47 on election day.

Publicly-listed Wind Energy Investment Funds

PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio (PWND)

Exposure to worldwide windpower industry, off from year high of 29.09, at 11.92 may be time to dollar cost average a position into this vehicle. Do some research and consult your investment advisor as to suitability for you.

PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (AMEX:PBW)

Attempts to match investment performance of WilderHill Clean Energy Index (the Index). $10.95

First Trust Global Wind Energy (FAN)

At 14.19 (up 12% today), seeks to track performance of ISE Global Wind Energy Index. Year's high was 31.50.

Solar Power Investment Funds

Claymore/MAC Global Solar Index (TAN)

Worldwide solar power index fund; now at 13.55, the shares have a 52-week high of 30.79, but are also up from their low of 7.77. Invests in many photovoltaic solar power companies.

Alternative Energy Stocks Investing Info

Green Stocks Investing Mutual Funds

PVintell.com Solar Photovoltaic Power Companies

Geotherma.info Geothermal Power Stocks Investing

WindIntell.com Top Wind Energy Investing Blog

WaterIntell.com Water Purification, Desalination; Energy From Water

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