This series is running because I am placing a major bet on the Wellness Revolution and at the recent Jyske Bank seminar saw three ways that profits are sure to be made in the years ahead. This social revolution has incredibly far ranging implications in every walk of life. How we choose to think, eat, sleep and exercise will have a profound effect on which businesses succeed.
One area that will be touched more than most others is the way we react to our environment. This is why the front page article in the September 16, 2003 USA Today read, “One of these cars is an environmentalist's dream.” The article tells how Ford and Toyota begin selling cars in October 2003 that have exhaust that is cleaner than the air we breath in cities.
This article explains how a revolution in low pollution cars is growing. Environmental issues will have an impact on a growing number of businesses. For example Issue 76 of Fedmarket.com's “Government Contractor Report” says:
"* SALES TIP OF THE WEEK *
Selling environmental and energy-efficient products can give you> an
edge in winning government business, even if your prices aren't the lowest.
The acquisition of environmental and energy-efficient products has become a
priority in government. The FAR says that agencies MUST implement 'cost-
effective contracting preference programs promoting energy-efficiency,
water conservation, and the acquisition of environmentally preferable
products and services.' If your company doesn't sell environmental and
energy-efficient products, consider doing so. It's not just about altruism;
the business reasons are more and more compelling."
All this started me thinking about one of the speakers at the recent Jyske Bank seminar where I spoke. His name is Bjorn Lomborg and he is known for his controversial book the “Skeptical Environmentalist”
Bjorn is an environmentalist himself but says in his book that we might want to reconsider where we place our environmental priorities.
He does not feel that doomsday is close or that we have to act in desperation. His speech pointed out that things really are getting better and we have more leisure, greater security, fewer accidents, more education more food, fewer starving and healthier and longer lives. He showed many impressive charts supporting these facts showing how the calories per day per capita are growing everywhere. He showed how cancer deaths are down and that 35% of cancer is related to bad eating habits and 30% to smoking and only 2% pollution.
He also asks the question of whether we have enough resources and shows that oil reserves have actually grown as prices of commodities have dropped (indicating an ever increasing supply in relationship to demand).
There are also some impressive statistics that suggests that global warming is a limited problem that will wane as we stop using fossil fuels, (not whether but when). He also suggests that continued loss of the rain forest will not dramatically affect the world's oxygen supply.
Bjorn's book created a storm of controversy in Denmark and I can see why. His thinking flies very much in the face of a lot of environmental thinking. I however like his overall philosophy about how we should improve the environment. Let's be efficient and act, based on facts and out of logic not panic. He believes there is enormous waste in the environmental field now and that we might redirect our efforts and do even more for less. That's a refreshing thought!
How environmental issues unfold can have an incredible impact on your investments and your health. I recommend you read Bjorn Lomborg's book and whether you agree with him or not think about how his observations could affect industry if even a part of them are correct.
We will have a special session on investing in the new environment at our upcoming International Investing Made EZ course in Jefferson, North Carolina November 7-8-9. Details are at https://www.garyascott.com/courses/bldh.html
If you are a golfer join us a day early for the “Beat the Banker” golf tournament hosted by Thomas Fischer of Jyske Bank. Details are at https://www.garyascott.com/archives/2003/09/01/893/
You can get more details about Jyske Bank and Thomas's schedule at FISCHER@jyskebank.dk
Until then, may your environment be clear.