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Investing in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted July 8, 2021

Erin Eldrige lives in Portland, Oregon.

She’s a single mother who works as a server at a hotel restaurant at night and as a CrossFit coach in the morning.

She makes a pretty decent living, but let’s just say she’s not living high on the hog.

Now that her 7-year-old daughter is out of school for the summer, Erin wakes up at 4:30 a.m., has breakfast, gets her daughter ready, and goes to the gym where she coaches three classes from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Her daughter sits behind the desk and reads quietly while Mom helps athletes of all shapes and sizes become stronger, fitter, and healthier. The money isn’t great, but she loves helping people get in shape. And as a coach, she also gets free access to the gym 24 hours a day — certainly a bonus as she also trains for marathons and CrossFit competitions. Basically, it’s her home away from home.

Of course, two weeks ago, it wasn’t quite so inviting when temperatures exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you know anything about CrossFit gyms, you know they don’t typically have air conditioning, and certainly not in a place like Portland, where such temperatures are unheard of.

Erin didn't have air conditioning in her house either, although I did order a window unit for her on Amazon since I figured she could use a respite from the crushing heat dome that enveloped the city.

Even without the new air conditioner, though, Erin is one of the lucky ones. Make no mistake: Now that this heat wave is starting to relent, data will show that some people didn’t survive it.

Certainly that was the case in Arizona last year, when nearly 500 deaths were linked to extreme heat. And according to the CDC, heat is historically the top weather-related killer in the U.S., with floods coming in second, resulting in 98 deaths per year.  

Annual deaths related to heat in the U.S. come in at around 700.

Interestingly, one of the worst heat waves in U.S. history came during the summer of 1896, when nearly 1,500 people died in New York City — yet temperatures never exceeded 100 degrees.

Of course, back then, air conditioning wasn’t a thing, and access to fresh water wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is today. In fact, it wasn’t until 1914 that the first in-home air conditioner was installed in a mansion in Minneapolis, and only in the 1950s did air conditioning systems show up in suburban homes and apartment buildings.

Today, few people lack access to air conditioning, and in the U.S., you’ll never again see 1,500 people die from heat-related deaths in 90-degree weather.

And for that, you can thank the power of capitalism.

Just as capitalism enabled us to have access to air conditioning, refrigeration, and clean water — all the things that make it easier to survive heat waves — it is also enabling the development of new technologies that will allow us to live relatively safely and comfortably in a world where extreme weather conditions will become the norm.

Cashing in on Climate Change

Think about all the new adaptation and mitigation technologies and industries that will thrive as the planet gets warmer:

  • New crop varieties and meat production technologies, such as culture-based meat.
  • New, efficient irrigation and resource-saving technologies.
  • Early warning and information sharing systems.
  • Soil and water conservation technologies.
  • New, cleaner energy technologies that will come from the decarbonization of electricity generation.
  • New, cleaner transportation technologies that will rely less on fossil fuels and more on electricity sourced from wind, solar, and small modular nuclear reactors.

There’s a lot of opportunity here, although the low-hanging fruit right now is a basket of “cleaner” forms of electricity generation.

Make no mistake: The global energy economy is transitioning away from one heavily weighted in fossil fuels to one heavily weighted in new energy technologies, such as wind, solar, battery storage, and small modular nuclear reactors, which I would argue offer you the biggest bang for your buck right now.

While I’m certainly not looking forward to more heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather events that are coming down the pike, I’m sure as hell not opposed to making a few bucks from the companies that are going to make this new reality bearable.

I would encourage you to do the same.

Click here to find out what we’re investing in now.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.

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