The Internet of Things: Our Greatest Shot at Battling Climate Change

You think this is what will prevent climate change? Think again. (Source: U.S. Air Force.)

Machine to machine communication, or the internet of things, is on the precipice of taking the world by storm. At its very core, machine to machine communication is the ability to connect everything, I mean everything, through a vast network of sensors and devices which can communicate with each other. The possibilities of this technological evolution span an immensely wide spectrum; ranging from monitoring your health through your smartphone, to your house knowing where you are to adjust lighting and heating.

 

The way that the internet of things could revolutionize our lives can be hard to conceptualize all at once. So today let’s focus on one place where machine to machine communication could have an immense impact: Energy consumption.  Not only could this technology make turning the lights on easier, but it could be the key to us effectively managing anthropogenic carbon emissions.

 

Regardless of your thoughts and opinions on climate change and the scope of how much carbon emissions affects the global atmosphere, we all can agree on one thing: Emitting less carbon is a good thing, especially if it can be done without impeding economic growth. For years, the battleground for the climate change debate has been on the energy generation side, pitting alternative energy options like wind and solar against fossil fuels. The problem with fixating on this side of the argument, though, is that even under the most ambitious outlooks for alternative energy growth, we will never be able to get carbon emissions below the threshold many think is required to prevent significant temperature changes over the next century. 

Does that mean there's no shot at significantly reducing carbon emissions? No -- we're just focusing on the wrong side of the energy equation, and that is where machine to machine communications comes into play. Let’s look at how the internet of things can mean for carbon emissions, and how investors could make some hefty profits from it. 

Energy consumption's overdue evolution
We humans are a fascinating study in inefficiency. We will sit in traffic on the freeway rather than take the alternative route on "slower" roads. We oversupply the electricity grid because we don't know precisely how much demand is needed at any given moment. It's not that we deliberately try to do things less efficiently; we just don't always have the adequate information to make the most efficient decision.  

When you add all of these little inefficiencies up, it amounts to massive amounts of wasted energy and, in turn, unnecessary carbon emissions. In the U.S. alone, 1.9 billion gallons of fuel is consumed every year from drivers sitting in traffic. That's 186 million tons of unnecessary CO2 emissions each year just in the U.S. 

Now, imagine a world where every automobile was able to communicate with the others, giving instant feedback on traffic conditions and providing alternative routes to avoid traffic jams. This is the fundamental concept of machine-to-machine communications, and it goes way beyond the scope of just automobiles and household conveniences.

One of the added benefits of this technology is the impact it could have on our everyday energy consumption and the ultimate reduction in total carbon emissions. A recent report by the Carbon War Room estimates that the incorporation of machine-to-machine communication in the energy, transportation, built environment (its fancy term for buildings), and agriculture sectors could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 9.1 gigatons of CO2 equivalent annually. That's 18.2 trillion pounds, or equivalent to eliminating all of the United States' and India's total greenhouse gas emissions combined, and more than triple the reductions we can expect with an extremely ambitious alternative energy conversion program. 

How is this possible? Increased communication between everything -- engines, appliances, generators, automobiles -- allows for instant feedback for more efficient travel routes, optimized fertilizer and water consumption to reduce deforestation, real-time monitoring of electricity consumption and instant feedback to generators, and fully integrated heating, cooling, and lighting systems that can adjust for human occupancy. 

There are lots of projections and estimates related to carbon emissions and climate change, but the one that has emerged as the standard bearer is the amount of carbon emissions it would take to increase global temperatures by 2 degrees Centigrade. According to the UN's Environment Programme, annual anthropological greenhouse gas emissions would need to decrease by 15% from recent levels to keep us under the carbon atmospheric levels. Based on current emissions and the 9.1 gigaton estimate from Carbon War Room's report, it would be enough to reduce global emissions by 18.6%, well within the range of the UN's projections. 

A more powerful tool against climate change than alternative energy. (Source: commons.wikimedia.org/YuMaNuMa.)

The Internet of Things is still very much in its infancy, but it's taking off fast. The pending boom in machine-to machine communication helps explain why Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) shelled out more thah $3.2 billion for smart-thermostat company Nest Labs. Its ability allows customers to better manage heating and cooling in households and instantly provide feedback to utilities in order to better manage energy demand during peak load hours. Sure, estimates put the total number of machine-to-machine capable devices in the billions, but for the Internet of things to be truly effective, everything needs to be connected. Estimates for total connected devices around the globe could reach into the trillions. This could lead to an industry with annual revenues of a whopping $948 billion.

The big players in the technology world, like Google and Intel (NASDAQ: INTL  ) , will undoubtedly be major players in this fast-growing market. Aside from its investment with Nest for smarter home energy use, Google is also getting into the transportation game with its Open Auto Alliance, a group of automakers and technology companies that will establish common practices such that vehicles from different manufacturers can communicate with each other -- the building block for self driving vehicles. With that much money on the line, can you really blame these companies for diving into this market?

What a Fool believes
The Internet of Things trend is approaching ... fast. For investors, it could be an amazing opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new market with trillion dollar potential, but it is so much more than that. Increased productivity and elimination of wasteful energy consumption through smart devices could be the one and only key to cutting greenhouse gas emission enough to reduce the chances of significant climate change. So go ahead and continue arguing about the use of fossil fuels or alternative energy -- the investors who will really be betting on reducing carbon emissions will be putting their money here. 

The Internet of things is going to explode this year, so we picked this under-the-radar company as our top stock for 2014
The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and this company's position in the Internet of things revolution could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in our special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this company on the bleeding edge of the Internet of things.


Read/Post Comments (83) | Recommend This Article (38)

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  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:22 PM, jer1041 wrote:

    Gee, too bad the dinosaurs didn't have this back when they were battling climate change. What a hoax, for some to get filthy rich off of.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:31 PM, DanHazelwood wrote:

    Even if you buy into a machine-to-machine more energy efficient world, the massive expense to install this in an industrial economy is significant as is the time to deploy. As stock investment it is fundamentally either betting on a VERY long haul (decades) or betting on the company becoming fashionable before profitable.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:40 PM, xetn wrote:

    This is the dumbest article I have ever read on TMF.

    You cannot stop climate change: it has been going on since the planet was created.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:41 PM, dgmennie wrote:

    Since the Earth's atmosphere is shared by all regardless of involvement with the 'science' (or perhaps politics/religion) of climate change, there is no way anything mankind can do will have positive impact unless ALL people EVERYWHERE are somehow convinced to cut back on carbon dioxide generation. I do not see this happening. Note the Chinese rapidly building coal-fired power plants and choking on their own pollution.

    Given the extremely tiny timeline that makes up the historical record on climate (vs the millions/billions of years that climate has existed), trying to draw valid scientific coinclusions on climate based on this whisp of data seems foolish.

    There are most likely many other factors that can and do greatly influence Earth's climate that are beyond our control or influence: volcanic eruptions; changes in solar output; changes in the Earth's orbit, etc. Probably there are several unknown, but equally significant factors that also come into play long before mankind's contribution much matters.

    Why have there been ICE AGES completely independent of man-made carbon dioxide? Nobody has yet come up with a good answer to just this one question.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:43 PM, Snertie wrote:

    I fear the ugly reality behind the "smart grid" is not necessarily about making it more efficient, but building the ability to turn things off when there's not enough power to go around. So next time there's a brown-out in your area, they'll be able to shut down your air conditioner so that they can keep someone else's running. (My guess is that "someone else" will be somebody more politically favored than I am)

    One of Steve Jobs last public appearances was before the Cupertino city council, seeking approval for Apple's massive new headquarters. One of the features of the facility was that it would have its own power generation capability from natural gas so that it could operate independent of the grid. Although analysts and Apple fans had speculated that this was some sort of grand "green" statement, Job's explanation to the city council was far more simple and self-serving; if the power goes out, then his thousands of employees cannot work and Apple loses money.

    Now, the power today in Cupertino isn't known for being particularly unreliable. So what does Steve Jobs see coming that others do not? Perhaps it's state mandates that more of California's grid be powered by "renewables" that are inherently unreliable and not yet ready for prime-time to be controlled by "smart-grid" technology that will allow operators to selectively shut down consumption when there is not enough power to go around.

    Having all your appliances interconnected makes controlling that possibility all that much easier for the utilities.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:46 PM, Nihilo wrote:

    We've had very warm periods and very cold periods in the history of the Earth when atmospheric carbon levels were considerably higher than what we see today. There's no point arguing what has become an article of faith with some people. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Yeah, yeah, just gimme a reasonable return on investment. Thanks.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:48 PM, bugahamike wrote:

    jer and zet both have it right. I kept waiting for Al Gore to make an appearance ;-)

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:00 PM, tulok58 wrote:

    I like Tyler's perspective.

    His perspective of emitting less carbon and focusing on the management perspective of carbon is better that trying to make it a "religious" argument.

    His citing example of Nest is relevant. I have had one in my home for over a year and it is a great saver of energy.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:01 PM, CHAZZZ7 wrote:

    It is a proven fact that it was 1 centigrade hotter during the medival period. The earth goes through cycles, as proven by looking at past records.The pattern we are in now is like we had in the 70's according to accuweather. This yeay(2013-2014 winter) has proven to be colder than normal but like the winters in the late 70's thanks to La Nina and ElNino events like in the early 70's. Same type events and weather patterns. Climate change and global warming are hoax's to provide a way to tax everyone. As of Feb,12,2013 Real Sciense reported that this year is the Most Artic Ice ever recorded,more than 10 million km have formed.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:12 PM, eddietheinvestor wrote:

    It's good to know that all Motley Fool articles are approved by the White House before they can be put on the website.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:20 PM, divybuy wrote:

    Biggest hoax pulled on humanity. Follow the money, who is getting rich of this scam. The world has been going through changes since time began. BS.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:22 PM, Parsoncole wrote:

    This article is an absolute joke. Makes me ashamed of Motley Fool. This is a time when the name is certainly applies.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:46 PM, TMFDirtyBird wrote:

    @jer1041, xetn, Nihlio, CHAZZZ7

    I actually agree with you. The earth's climate is perpetually in flux. Studies of Antarctic ice have shown that atmospheric levels of carbon have been higher than they are today, and the earth has gone through phases of warmer and colder climate.

    The earth has endured much worse than just about anything humans can throw at it, and it will continue to endure for millions of years. Species will go extinct, others will adapt, some new species will emerge.

    However...

    If we have the technology and wherewithal to reduce anthropogenic carbon emissions--which should slow the absorption of radiant heat in the atmosphere, maintain the general parameters of our existing climate for longer, and do it in a way that doesn't impede with economic growth--why be opposed to it or write it off as a hoax?

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:57 PM, cmalek wrote:

    Tyler,

    Be careful what you wish for. Computers blindly, literally and inexorably follow their programming. Instead of re-routing you to a slower, less used road, the traffic control computer may decide that your trip does not have a high enough priority, just park your "smart car" on the shoulder and shut off the engine until the traffic clears. If you live in LA or NYC or Atlanta that could be for hours. Imagine how comfortable it would be to be sitting on the side of an Atlanta highway in the middle of July and not being able to run the engine to run the A/C. You can spend the time cogitating on how wonderful The Internet of Things is.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 7:14 PM, jmac0013 wrote:

    all the scary predictions are based on the climate models which are a utter failure, unable to predict the stoppage in warming for the past 16 years.

    They used water vapor feedback to triple the amount of warming by CO2 alone. Recently, a paper proved that the feedback is near zero, due to clouds and precipitation cooling. CO2 is weak and getting weaker as the finite radiation from the earth is depleted in the two narrow absorption bands of CO2.

    The 9.2 billion dollars a year spent on this nonsense is a total waste.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 7:37 PM, yoshii wrote:

    Oh good, more "climate change" hoo-hah. On the one hand, I like that my Uranium holdings are climbing, BUT, this scam has got to stop. Do any of you actually believe that world-wide communism can hold the climate in some sort of stasis? The thing that bothers me the most is the revision of historical data. The GISS crew and the NOAA crew have been "cooling the past" to show the present is warming. According to the "pre-revised" data there hasn't been any trend to heat since 1940. If the "science is settled" and the facts support the warming, why the revisions?

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 8:13 PM, rahill58 wrote:

    What everyone keeps forgetting is that carbon dioxide is one the most under utilized and under appreciated natural resource.

    Carbon dioxide can be combined with hydrogen using a copper platinum catalyst to make methane.

    Carbon dioxide is used in enhanced oil field recovery.

    Carbon dioxide can be used to replace methane in the ice lattice of methane hydrate

    Carbon dioxide can be used as a feed stock for algae farms.

    We need to find a cost effective way to capture and reuse the carbon dioxide that we emit instead of wasting money on this global warming / climate change hysteria

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 8:36 PM, pixal wrote:

    Tyler, you need to do your own research. You're obviously smart enough to find the truth. Identify the most abundant greenhouse gas. Look at the greenhouse effect of just one major volcanic eruption. Look at the estimated average cycles of global heating and cooling over the last hundred thousand years. Identify the percentage of greenhouse gases that are caused by humans. And it wouldn't hurt to look at the impact of increased CO2 on plants. Then ask yourself who gains by increased greenhouse gas controls.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 9:01 PM, cajunbelle70663 wrote:

    Can you say Skynet? :). If everything "talks" to everything else, it can be hacked.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 9:41 PM, thidmark wrote:

    The planet's doing fine. It's the people on it that are getting more and more corrupted.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 10:30 PM, taloft wrote:

    Don't forget to turn off the Volcanoes. Mt. Pinatubo put out more CO2 and other greenhouse gases than mankind throughout the industrial revolution. That's one volcano.

    Opps, looks like pixal beat me to it.

    If you really want people to get onboard with the internet of things regarding energy, tell them how much money they will save on their electric bill. After all, this is a website dealing with personal finance. Appeal to their wallet.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 10:39 PM, Kiffit wrote:

    Tyler, the really easy answer to climate change is to charge for 'environmental services', which are presently economic 'externalities'. Once they are priced in, the market will take care of the technology supply side efficiencies and consumers will reduce consumption and use the resources they do buy more efficiently.

    It is a really simple mechanism but there are so many powerful rent seekers and ideological cranks in the blogosphere, this is proving difficult

    A lot of the comments here reflect that. Money, Marketing and Mendacity beat science and rational policy with ease, every time.

    And it is not hard to see why. The Shop Troops are now so well drilled and trained to be market responsive, they'll buy water at 4000X the price of tap. They can be sold anything by bogus free market 'scientific' institutions like Heartland Foundation, George C Marshall and Cato 'Institutes'.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot, its mainstream 'post normal' science that is the 'hoax' and 'scam' run by scientific 'peer pals' suffering from 'groupthink' and promoting funding/credentialing 'racketeering' in order to push an international socialist plot to dis-industrialize the country and promote a world government conspiracy to destroy capitalism and the American way of life.

    I think I got em all; the ideological crank's climate change check list of cliches......

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:14 PM, Kiffit wrote:

    Oh and BP’s general manager of global energy markets and US economics, Mark Finley, agrees with me wholeheartedly. See link below

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/2/28/energy...

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:23 PM, Davesparkman wrote:

    You truley are a FOOL!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:31 PM, Grey99 wrote:

    The moment one reads "we all can agree on one thing: Emitting less carbon is a good thing, especially if it can be done without impeding economic growth. " credibility of the author evaporates and he immediately falls into being nothing more than a "Gore" flunky. There a a vast body of evidence which contradicts such trite statements. Too bad so many "educated" individuals fall for global greenhouse nonsense.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:32 PM, BriscoCounty wrote:

    Motley Fool has lost a lot of credibility with me over this article.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:38 PM, Kiffit wrote:

    Davesparkman, please try to learn how to spell before you call anyone else a fool.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:40 PM, Kiffit wrote:

    Oh, Dave, see if you can manage to to produce something to support your assertion. This is generally regarded as a good thing if you want to be taken seriously.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 1:14 AM, taloft wrote:

    Yes, because ad hominem attacks add so much more credibility to your argument.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405297020430140...

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 2:00 AM, STOCKMIND wrote:

    I thought MF was touting SWIR as the hot stock for the internet of things? What is your assessment for SWIR now?

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 2:06 AM, Kiffit wrote:

    Either Tal you don't know what ad hominem means or I am missing something.. I mildly point out a trewly silly spelling mistake and lack of support for a what really was an ad hominem attack on me.

    But then that is what you guys specialize in; accusing others of what you indulge in as a matter of course

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 6:26 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    If you want to invest in IoT look at Apple, IBM and Cisco, not a company that makes thermostats (that's a joke much like driverless cars and Glass -- which will not sell anything for 5-10 years). It's the hardware/software integration thats important --- not just hardware.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 7:36 AM, DanSSwing wrote:

    No, we CANNOT all agree that emitting less carbon is a good thing. It has been proven that carbon emission leads to more plant growth, not surprisingly since CO2 is what they breathe. We should focus on controlling particulate emissions because that is what causes pollution. The focus on CO2 has been a colossal waste of time and resources.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 9:00 AM, taloft wrote:

    I was agreeing with your post directly above mine and putting up a link to an article to support what I believe to have a cogent view regarding the subject at hand.

    Yet, you wasted no time lumping me into the "You guys" group and accusing me of something that wasn't there instead of addressing the article I linked to.

    Snarky much? I think I'll stick with "You guys". At least the Kool-Aid over here doesn't have a metallic after taste.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 9:34 AM, dsmoyer1 wrote:

    I am encouraged by the comments I've read here. Manmade global climate change is quite possibly the greatest scam ever perpetrated on mankind.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 10:13 AM, zgriner wrote:

    Just remember, 83.9% of all statistics quoted on the Internet are either inaccurate or made up.

    Is there a waste of energy?? Absolutely.

    That includes what it took to create this article.

    Humans are a frustrating study in cognitive dissonance and compartmentalism. If we experience situations that contradict our cherished beliefs, we ignore or deny those situations as being relevant, or consider them anomalous. Or we apply different values depending on how our life is affected, even if those values are contradictory.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 10:35 AM, dreamimmigrant wrote:

    Tyler, for your own good, you might want to avoid propagating this pseudo-science ... more and more people are starting to see this scam unravel and you don't want to be caught in the pages of the internet as a lemming. This not only discredits you but also discredits this otherwise respected website.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 10:39 AM, TMFLomax wrote:

    Tyler,

    This is a very good article. I fear that many people commenting have done what too many people do these days: look at a term like "climate change" and immediately launch into what you described very well as the "religious" aspect of it.

    The real interesting crux of your argument feeds very strongly into business and investing -- increasing efficiency and reducing waste and protecting resources.

    It's funny, we've gotten from "there is NO such thing as climate change" to "OK, climate change is happening but it's not because of humans so who cares what anybody tries to do about it and in fact nobody should try to do anything about it" -- these are not progressive views or arguments.

    in another aside, I think that investors had better pay attention to what their companies are saying/doing about GHGs etc. Obviously it is not frivolous, and we are increasingly seeing them generate or save money because of their efforts to innovate in this area.

    Anyway. Very, very good thought-provoking article, and the "Internet of Things" is incredibly exciting on many levels including business/investing. (A long time coming, too. It's been what, about 10 years since we first started talking about "smart homes" and so forth? We are finally getting there in a real way...)

    Alyce

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 11:00 AM, SkepikI wrote:

    <in another aside, I think that investors had better pay attention to what their companies are saying/doing about GHGs etc. Obviously it is not frivolous, and we are increasingly seeing them generate or save money because of their efforts to innovate in this area.>

    OK Alyce, this if nothing else convinces me that Alexandria is too close to DC.

    When the "climate change" empirical models have failed repeatedly, it obviously is frivolous. In most engineering and disciplined science evaluations, the model is then abandoned or the "fudge factors" (every empirical model has them) are adjusted so that the model tracks reality. In this case that is not being done, the modelers are "doubling down" on already bad predictions. BUT THAT'S NEITHER HERE NOR THERE where this discussion started. I don't even know why you or others took it in the direction it went. BECAUSE:

    Efficiency is its own reward. "Fake Efficiency" is not. Its ok with me if you and others want to reward companies for the PR reality of their climate change "position". One could look at this as reality even if carbon emissions mean nothing. But only the DC crowd could totally ignore or give passing nods to he incredible efficiency and cost savings from the effective elimination of waste and swing the spotlight to "carbon emissions" Geez Louise.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 11:03 AM, cmalek wrote:

    "I fear that many people commenting have done what too many people do these days: look at a term like "climate change" and immediately launch into what you described very well as the "religious" aspect of it."

    Alyce,

    Don't even go there because you are a prime example of a "religious zealot." You will not admit that there could be another viewpoint other than one that agrees with your beliefs. In all the years you've been with MF, I don't think you've ever admitted you were wrong about something.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 11:37 AM, SkepikI wrote:

    ^ Don't be too hard on Alyce. Like many MBAs living too close to DC shes bought into a "base argument" theory as if it is fact. However, that does not mean she hasn't veered into truth via the back door. Neither does it mean us skeptics (imagine that) are correct either, only that we have spotted the obvious flaws in the base argument.

    But as an investor, I have to consider the PRAGMATIC aspects of her analysis even if I dont buy the base argument. If P&G's stock can be affected by rumors that their corporate logo is a satanic and black magic statement of affiliation (true history that everyone has now forgotten), then its entirely rational to presume customers and investors will buy into the business of enterprises who bow down before climate change.

    If the effect on someones business prospects from witchcraft, sunspots, or biodynamics is turned into reality by the human interactions of thousands of customers and their incorrect? beliefs, the effect is the same on my investment as oh say climate change belief. I am willing to accept the premise that climate change position means something if Alyce or anyone else can show me that it does with something beyond assertions. I have yet to see it.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 12:03 PM, cooncreekcrawler wrote:

    Good article. I will never forget the term "anthropogenic carbon emissions"----a term obviously missed by a few readers. Can't wait to use it myself.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Weelson wrote:

    There is a small penny stock company out of Texas named Vertical Computer Systems that has already settled lawsuits with Microsoft and LG, and looks to be very close to settling with Samsung. They are scheduled to go to trial with Interwoven on March 28th. Vertical has several patents that many who are much more technical that me, believe is the backbone to the Internet of Things.

    In addition to this, they also have a patent dealing with Fiber Optics that many believe is also the backbone of the technology that Google and Verizon is employing to set up their fiber optic communications programs. Google has already deployed the technology in Utah and Austin Tx, and is expected to hit 34 cities with it in the near future.

    Would love to see the Fool investigate this company and let us know what they think.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 12:42 PM, sabertoothtiger2 wrote:

    Thanks, Tyler. Energy efficiency is an important part of the solution to climate change.

    I doubt if it's a good idea to shift focus away from other efforts, though.

    For those who are questioning the science, here's the latest from the National Academy of Scientists, in the form of 20 questions about the climate, with their answers based on current scientific understanding:

    http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discuss...

    It's well worth reading for anyone who wants to understand the subject better.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 1:40 PM, Trashman0430 wrote:

    I am not knocking the article technology like this could be very important to ours and the worlds economy. But, effecting climate change is like trying to put a scrubber stack on a volcano. And those who have accepted either collection of "science facts" on climate change are in for a smoky ride.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 1:46 PM, TMFLomax wrote:

    Apologies to the author for getting a bit off topic here, but Skepikle and cmalek and I have had some interesting discussions in the past.

    Skepikl,

    Thanks for the "don't be too hard on Alyce" -- I do mean well. I do believe that these types of issues represent a sea change -- and a huge financial opportunity do make positive, innovative changes (as well as a potential threat, but I do see the sides of the arguments here). People can certainly disagree with me. (And I actually do have data in some articles, and one column I started culling data -- financial, about business initiatives related to these issues that are definitely not just for PR -- for that is not completed yet.)

    cmalek,

    As a Fool, I actually can't tell you how much I DO appreciate admitting one is wrong. It is psychologically hard to do although I do truly believe it is the right thing to do; can be terribly embarrassing; and sometimes people respect you less if you do change your mind on reassessment (granted, I'm not a fan of quickly "wobbling" and have little conviction -- now that we have mentioned the word "religion," might as well have "politics," it simply does happen a lot).

    I have admitted to being wrong in a few discussions lately. As much as I think Tesla is a truly amazing company, I do believe I was fairly wrong in being too wrapped up in financial risk to make a bullish call at $20 or $30 (yes, sounds pretty awful right now??). I admitted it in a discussion board conversation about Tesla.

    I also recently at a conference made an admission in a microphone about selling First Solar out of the real-money portfolio. That was not saying renewables aren't a great industry, but again, I was worried that some things were going wrong that overall business and to cut the losses. Oops. Not a good call (and there was admittedly a lot of logical worry about solar -- and that company -- at the time).

    I also am right sometimes. The real-money portfolio I've been managing for Fool.com has done well. This is over 3 years -- granted, it's not 5, 10, 15 etc. years. Ideally I do hold stocks for far longer than that.

    Truth is, anyone who tries to tell each other they are 100% right is lying. (Too bold a statement? i doubt they even do it on purpose, of course, but nobody is.)

    Apologies on defending myself on someone else's article, but, some of this is about the Foolish way -- motley, transparent, and honest.

    Have a great weekend!

    Alyce

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 1:48 PM, Trashman0430 wrote:

    cmalek,

    Be careful with labels, you are putting yourself into the same box you are trying to put Alyce into.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 2:15 PM, abyrne wrote:

    Climate change deniers: all of your posts at the end an internet article have convinced me that the science behind climate change is just bad science! What was I thinking using my years of scientific experience to judge the science on its merits?! I should have gotten my facts from a bunch politically-motivated, non-scientist talking heads (I love you, Rush!) instead of trying to be objective and thinking for myself.

    You guys can deny all you want, but the fact is that the science behind anthropogenic climate change is solid and unambiguous. Years ago, I was very skeptical about the climate change, as any good scientist should be, but I was convinced by the data and the science, not by a political commentator.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 4:34 PM, skywalker wrote:

    Now I have also to add my opinion on climate change. I live in germany and travel a lot around the world. If been to many places the last 25 years. You can see that the earth climate is changing. The sea level in the indian ocean has risen. Lots of islands fighting water erosion. They set up levys. The desert areas in africa are widening. Greenland has less snow and ics every year. In alaska the glaciers getting smaller and smaller. And in sibiria the permafrost grounds are no longer permafrost grounds. They start to melt in the summer!

    So everybody that denies that climate change is real should travel the world and see for themself. The stuff thats in the net or said by scientists is not really the truth. They write what they are paid for.

    Just one example: smoking is not dangerous for your health.

    So it's up to everyone to do his own research and see for themself. Just don't believe what the media and the experts say.

    Travel on Fools.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 5:10 PM, devoish wrote:

    Climate change is not real, but it is normal, it is too expensive to fix and it is too big a problem. Smart systems are really an evil Gov't plot to give your electricity to connected politicos, rational people just want a return on investment and will not join the climate change panic. Its been hotter before, you are corrupt and its all a hoax and you should be ashamed.

    Other than the above list of flaws provided by the first 10 comments, an interesting article.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 5:31 PM, TAANSTAAFL wrote:

    Investors' Business Daily had a sapient column on "climate change" on 27-Feb.

    "Greenpeace Co-Founder Tells Truth About Climate Change"

    Y'all might want to read it before spewing your opinions.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 11:45 PM, southernshark wrote:

    I don't buy the internet of things and feel its just a bunch of nonsense. I've heard the rap and I ain't buying it.

    The internet dies in 2014... too bad we will still be writing about the death of the internet, on the internet in 2024. The whole internet of things, is nothing but a buzzword for making things more connected. In no way shape or form does that kill off the internet. It just means more stuff is plugged into it.

    As for the greenhouse stuff, I'm not drinking the Kool-aid. And I ain't reading a report by Greenpeace. I will admit though that we should reduce pollution whenever we have a chance. I'm sure that dumping all this stuff onto the planet is a bad idea. But there is no way I'd ever support a carbon tax.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 6:05 AM, devoish wrote:

    TAANSTAAFL,

    I do not think being a member of Greenpeace or even a founding member automatically qualifies a person as an expert on climate change or lack there-of. If it did there are many more Greenpeace experts saying that climate is warming due to CO2 being burned into the atmosphere by humans, whose opinion I would have to respect, also.

    We have all heard from a very small vocal group of people who teach that higher levels of Co2 in the atmosphere is not contributing to a warming climate. For the most part they do not seem to be able to agree on what is causing the warming, but rather seem convinced of what I call the ABC's of denial - Anything But Co2 seems to be an answer they never disagree with vocally, no matter what that anything is, whether it was cosmic rays, Milankovitch cycles, volcanic activity, or solar cycles, etc. A few extreme deniers have even stuck to some of these theories after their predicted cooling did not happen.

    You seem to have hit on a valid issue against Co2 being the cause of global warming, by pointing out that 450 million years ago Co2 was 10 times higher than it is now, and there was an ice age which obviously contradicts the scientific consensus behind global warming and the solid physics behind the heat trapping ability of Co2.

    Obviously any scientist sticking to the idea that Co2 is raising temperatures today would have to explain such an obvious contradiction. To me, scientists would also have to be given credit for being honest about the existence of such a contradiction and also be given the obligation to explain it. What the consensus among science seems to be is that 450 million years ago, when the earth still had one super continent, the output from the sun was significantly less than it is now. I have no reason to dispute sciences contradictory Co2 measurements, or their compensating solar radiation measurements just as I have no reason to dispute the observation that a pot of water on my stove will warm in the sunlight, cool in the evening but lighting a fire under it will over match the night time cooling effect I saw yesterday evening.

    I can believe science when it tells me that the sun is going to burn out in 5 billion years or so, and I can also believe science when it tells me that the sun was weaker 450 million years ago and Co2 levels were also much higher. I don't want to be arbitrarily selective that some scientific consensus is good and another is bad unless some new, more detailed information actually comes along.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 9:00 AM, judysway wrote:

    Choose wisely with whom you connect with and the ideas you promote and choose wisely with whom to invest your hard earned money!

    The artic once grew palm trees, now covered in ice, change is part of our planet! What should not be a part of our planet is a "one world order controlled by a few powerful people". American's do not need to "pay" for this transition by a taxation based on false claims of "Climate Change"!

    Interconnected machines in some ways may be good, other ways not so good! A "driverless" car would be a huge problem! What about insurance when it hits something or someone! "Google Eyes" on everyone if used to spy would be a nightmare for everyone! The ability to transfer life support data to a doctor trying to save a life would be a good thing!

    Perhaps having machines that require less energy to operate would be a good thing.

    I will use my investment dollars to invest in companies that bring actual good to all of us. I do not want my dollars wasted on worthless ideas!

    If Motley Fool continues to "promote" Global Warming, The ACA, and Marijuana, I will have to move on to a better advice space for investing ideas.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 10:50 AM, judysway wrote:

    A wise man once said: " Do not argue with a fool, for a fool is too foolish to know that he is a fool.

    Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice shame on ME!

    Once you know you've been fooled, look for the agenda behind the fool and everything else is revealed, all the rest of the agenda unfolds. Deception is the rule of order in this current time. It is a time in which we must search hard for truth, and that is even more important than ever in our search for investments.

    A drugged and sedated population is very easy to fool! Marijuana investments and promotions are not good for all of us! Out of control in our high schools!

    Global Warming is a scam, promoted for taxation and payouts to "cronies" , as in Solendra. That is twice "fooled!

    The ACA is a nightmare of taxation and selected care given or denied. Nothing is "FREE"! Lawmakers are Exempt? Wonder Why? Fooled again!

    The list goes on and on, nothing is believable out of this administration. Government control of all the people and confiscation of the wealth of the people and nation are at stake here.

    I sure do hope the Motley Fool sticks with investment merits on investing and financial planning and not promote political viewpoints from the far left without fair and balanced from the right.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 1:47 PM, leongchen wrote:

    Hi Tyler.

    You provided me a new perspective. Thank you for this article.

    To those who disagree, as i life rule i distrust those who think they have to put down others to make a point. If your intention really is to promote awareness, that doesn't help your case.

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 7:16 PM, broknrekord3 wrote:

    I'm curious how many people on here denying climate change actually have any real background in science. Speaking objectively, my guess is few.

    But yes, it's all a giant scam that has thousands of educated scientists fooled. The fact they haven't been able to take all the millions of variables to conclusively track specifically how the global climate is changing is absolute proof that it's false!

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 8:42 PM, roxander wrote:

    if we plant pot throughout all of the united states this plant will help balance the global climate .

  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2014, at 10:44 PM, BillFromNY wrote:

    I respect science, but I don't worship it. Science taught us for a long time that the sun revolved around the earth. It took a lot of courage for a scientist to oppose this view and risk being ostracized by the scientific community in union with the Church.

    I think that many scientists felt the same pressures during the heyday of global warming during the Clinton administration. The media was overwhelmingly pro-warming and it was hard to challenge them.

    I can't say for sure that humans are not accelerating the warming of the earth by burning fossil fuels, but the rate of change is still so low that I think that humans, who are a very adaptable bunch, will have time to adjust to these changes. In some parts of the globe the changes would be devastating, but other parts of the globe would benefit.

    I think our species has more to fear from nuclear proliferation and antibiotic resistant bacteria.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 2:16 AM, Athens1215 wrote:

    Alyce,

    Actually, we haven't gone from "there is NO such thing as climate change" to "OK, climate change is happening but it's not because of humans so who cares what anybody tries to do about it and in fact nobody should try to do anything about it" - we have gone from 'A new mini ice age is engulfing the earth (1970's) to the glaciers will disappear by 2030 and the oceans will rise 10 meters due to man-made global warming (1990's) to we are in a period of man-made "climate change' (notice the shift in rhetoric, since the planet hasn't warmed in 17 years in spite of mankind pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere than ever before.)'

    Anyone who doesn't comprehend these about-face lies has only herself to blame. What's worse, to parrot the lies as fact and deny the past and present is so disheartening, since the UNCF slogan is so apropos, "the mind is a terrible thing to waste." If you only watch ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, MSNBC and read USA Today, NY Times, Washington Post, AP - realize those are not different news outlets. They are organizations regurgitating propaganda from a single source. Notice they cover the exact same stories and ignore the exact same stories. Notice they use the exact same buzzwords - words that demonstrate their "news" is pre-fabbed talking points.

    And if you celebrate the fact that your home will soon be wired to record every sound made within, video and wifi-detect (like radar) every step you and your family take, use your computer cam and your smart TV to monitor every conversation you make, you get every last ounce of slavery coming your way. The Internet of Things may be a wise investment with your dollars - this tech is coming - but it is not wise to put the technology anywhere near your home, unless you enjoy submitting to Orwellian fascist states.

    When I first read 1984, I thought, "No way any one would ever given in to that way of thinking." Yet, here in 2014, Alyce, you optimize the automatons of that novel in blind obedience to groupthink.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 7:30 AM, devoish wrote:

    Broknrekord,

    Can you really identify 1 million climate variables?

    Scientists, including both those who theorized that Co2 was not driving climate, and those who theorized it is, have identified many variables, from volcanic activity, to solar radiation intensity, to milankovitch cycles, to the reflective ability of snow and ice cover compared to open water.

    One example of something that scientists had to adjust for was the observation that the oceans seem to be absorbing more Co2 than corals can survive, an observation called ocean acidification.

    I am not counting on an unknown Great Aunt Lucille I do not even know exists to save my retirement from the investment industry with a generous cash donation when she dies, and I am not counting on a Great Unknown to balance the effect of massive volumes of pollution be dumped into the air and oceans.

    Bill,

    I respect science <i>because</I> they had, and continue to have, the courage to challenge religion, greed, and each other with study and greater understanding.

    Unlike you, I am very concerned that politics and greed will prevent the majority of humans from having the resources to adapt to climate change quickly enough.

    Athens1215,

    I too am very concerned with allowing private corporations unfettered access to mine my personal data and access into my house. Recent events seem to suggest populations have more influence to stop the Government and the NSA than Amazon or Google.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 8:49 AM, broknrekord3 wrote:

    Devoish,

    I agree with you-- I do hope you know i was being facetious.

    I also am not entirely convinced that global warming will be entirely a bad thing. That's not to say I'm against EPA regulations; I'm totally against the drivel coming out from the right wing anti-EPA crowd. Some interesting research from Yale, though:

    http://news.yale.edu/2014/02/04/yale-study-forest-emissions-...

    Doesn't mean it would be a fun ride getting there, but if we can survive, we might be fortunate enough to have fallen in s**t and come out smelling like a rose.

    -Andy

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 9:06 AM, GirlsUnder30 wrote:
  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 9:12 AM, Raysr1 wrote:

    I have been following a company VCSY a over the counter stock for some time now. I just found out that they have been in several suits with four of the largest companies in the world. They have won first with Microsoft, and they received a settlement and also from LG, and now Samsung has ask to sit down with VCSY and try to work out an settlement in Chicago ILL. Samsung is flying in a top ranking official from Korea to help on this settlement talks with VCSY. Also on March 31, 2014, VCSY will have a jury trial with Interwoven corp. while HP sits by and hoping VCSY wins and they will too. This is the last suit VCSY has to win and thin (IMO) they will have all their ducks in a row and their stock price will go up like a rocket.

    It will pay for you to check this out and report it to the public.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 11:01 AM, devoish wrote:

    BroKenreKord3,

    I did not understand that you were being facetious at all.

    Your link is interesting, and for me, new information.

    “We might do a lot of work to reduce air pollution from road vehicle and industrial emissions, but in a warmer future world the natural ecosystems are just going to bring the ozone and aerosol particles right back,” she said. “Reducing and preventing the accumulation of fossil-fuel CO2 is the only way to ensure a safe climate future now.”- Nadine Unger

    I am not worried that humanity will allow the return of "natural ecosystems" of the size described during the Pilocene any time soon.

    It makes sense that Co2 sources that do not have short term negative feed backs, such as transportation, would ideally, be the first to be reduced when we understand them.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 12:23 PM, Lou1962 wrote:

    Very disappointed to see the same climate deniers are trolling here as well...

    We can all ignore it and sit and wait for the sea to rush around our ankles. Or we can take some level of proactive actions...

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/09/ipcc-climate-change-r...

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 12:37 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    While the climate is changing (of course) and it might be caused by human activity there is very little that we can do except radically changing their lifestyle. Going back to the horse and buggy days, heating our homes w/ other means besides fossil fuels, etc. -- solar energy, hydrogen-powered vehicles, and wind power will take decades to be viable -- if the technology was available and efficient we'd all have solar panels on our roofs and a wind turbine in the back yard by now. In the meantime our standard of living will go down and our technological advances will stop. I don't think many of us will like to live in that type of world.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 12:52 PM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    And one more thing...... How many of the climate change proponents here have a solar panel on their roof, ride their bike to work, take part in a car pool or ride a zero-emissions bus, and don't fly or drive their car to go on vacation? Note that the average commercial flight burns over 3.6 tons of CO per 1000 km flown. To go from NYC to LA results in 14.4 tons of CO released into the air or about 289 lbs. per person in a plane filled with 100 people.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 2:08 PM, duuude1 wrote:

    Let's just review the things some of you duuudes are saying here:

    xetn wrote: "This is the dumbest article I have ever read on TMF."

    eddietheinvestor wrote: "It's good to know that all Motley Fool articles are approved by the White House before they can be put on the website."

    divybuy wrote: "Biggest hoax pulled on humanity. Follow the money, who is getting rich of this scam. The world has been going through changes since time began. BS."

    Parsoncole wrote: "This article is an absolute joke. Makes me ashamed of Motley Fool. This is a time when the name is certainly applies."

    yoshii wrote: "Oh good, more "climate change" hoo-hah."

    Davesparkman wrote: "You truley are a FOOL!!!"

    Grey99 wrote: "Too bad so many "educated" individuals fall for global greenhouse nonsense."

    BriscoCounty wrote: "Motley Fool has lost a lot of credibility with me over this article. "

    DanSSwing wrote: "The focus on CO2 has been a colossal waste of time and resources."

    dsmoyer1 wrote: "Manmade global climate change is quite possibly the greatest scam ever perpetrated on mankind."

    zgriner wrote: "Is there a waste of energy?? Absolutely. That includes what it took to create this article."

    dreamimmigrant wrote: "Tyler, for your own good, you might want to avoid propagating this pseudo-science"

    cmalek wrote: "Don't even go there because you are a prime example of a "religious zealot." "

    Have I left out any other charming duuudes? I thought I even saw some back and forth about "ad hominem" attacks, used in a way basically meaning "you called me something yucky!". REALLY?

    Ya'll post crap and whine when someone smears crap back at ya'll?? And try to make it sound righteous by calling it an "ad hominem" attack on your poor self??

    We read a lot about the discrepency in incomes, about how much the 1% make compared to the rest of us.

    What we don't read about is the discrepency in intelligence, drive, and motivation between a few and the rest of us (who post on these message boards). About the discrepency between an Elon Musk (who comes here to the US and overturns the staid and old but market-leading companies in the internet, space, solar, and automotive industries) and the numbnuts who post here!

    Why does it take a South freakin' African to come here and shake up our freakin' American industries!?!? Because most of the people here in the US are poorly educated, don't understand math and science, and are barely motivated enough to sit on their couches in their underwear posting crap like the above comments on these boards instead of working their @$$es off making market-changing companies.

    There are poor kids in Indian slums who look over here, shake their heads and say "I can beat these numbnuts" - and like Elon will come here and start companies that will bury the ones we Americans have built. I will bet lots of $$ that the person who pushes IoT to a practical and world-changing thresshold will NOT be an American-born duuude - but will be some foreign kid who comes here to show us how it's really done.

    Duuudes, ya'll are a disappointing bunch.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 5:39 PM, yoshii wrote:

    Hmm. Why don't those "kids in Indian slums" do their great things in their country?

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 5:42 PM, HoosierRube wrote:

    Wow, a little Elon Man Love rant.

    Someone hasnt had their Twixt bar today.

  • Report this Comment On March 02, 2014, at 6:36 PM, devoish wrote:

    Good rant, duuude1. I know it takes some time and effort to read through and pick out what you reply to.

    Best wishes,

    Steven

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 2:02 AM, JSergeant wrote:

    duuude1:

    I love your rant - well said.

    <i>Why does it take a South freakin' African to come here and shake up our freakin' American industries!?!? Because most of the people here in the US are poorly educated, don't understand math and science, and are barely motivated enough to sit on their couches in their underwear posting crap like the above comments on these boards instead of working their @$$es off making market-changing companies.</i>

    John

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 9:12 AM, cmalek wrote:

    @abyrne74:

    "fact is that the science behind anthropogenic climate change is solid and unambiguous."

    I see you got a new buzz phrase to play with "anthropogenic climate change." The science behind it is far from "solid and unambiguous." Back in the 1960s & 1970s the popular opinion was that the Russkis were causing all kinds of problems with the weather with their nuclear test. That opinion was also based on "solid and unambiguous" science.

    "my years of scientific experience"

    Do you think you are the only one here that has scientific experience?

    "a bunch politically-motivated, non-scientist talking heads "

    I was going to say the same about the Global Warming proselytizers, but you beat me to the high moral ground.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 9:53 AM, wvowell wrote:

    When can we get rid of all you idiots that believe in this Global Warming Crap!!

    It was proven during Bush's presidency that the data supporting this bull was inaccurate, misleading, with NO basis of fact. Manipulated data!!!

    Where do you have proof that we should all agree that emitting less carbon is good?

    Global warming and Carbon emissions one gigantic hoax!

    You Marxist have used this crap to help scare the uninformed.

    Tyler please crawl in a hole and don't come out until you have an awakening.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 10:11 AM, Snertie wrote:

    @Kiffit, it seems to me that it's the "powerful rent seekers and ideological cranks" that are mostly behind this agenda. They're the one poised to profit from any "charge for 'environmental services'" scheme, the spoils from which would be spent on all kinds of "remediation" which would have little to nothing to do with the climate.

    And there's little question that BP's "science" is tainted by economic interest. But then why should we assume that the "climate industry" which receives billions of dollars annually is any more pure?

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 10:16 AM, Snertie wrote:

    Oh, and have any Fools been watching Apple's Tim Cook on the topic? He's basically told the "climate deniers" to dump their Apple stock, when some became critical of some of Apple's "sustainability" agenda.

    Um, has anyone bothered to mention to Tim Cook that pretty much ALL of Apple's products are manufactured in China, which is the cheapest place to manufacture them mainly because they don't give a damn about their CO2 footprint or "climate change"?

    I suggest that Apple pull all of it's manufacturing out of unregulated high CO2 countries. Of course, the cost of an iPad will likely top $3k, but hey, it's all about "sustainability" isn't it Tim?

    Hypocrites!

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 10:35 AM, cmalek wrote:

    @"CO2 is rising, CO2 is rising" crowd:

    Nobody here is denying climate change. Climate change is almost as old as the Earth itself. It has been going on since the Earth acquired an atmosphere around 3.5 BILLION years ago. Since then there have been periods with high CO2 and low temps, high CO@ and high temps, low CO2 and low temps and low CO2 and high temps.

    25,000-30,000 years ago humans migrated over a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, becoming what we now know as "Native Americans." During the same period, the British Isles were part of the European land mass. The world wide sea levels were about 300 feet lower than they are today and the temperatures were similar to what we have today. The sea levels did not rise until 10-11,000 years ago when the last Ice Age ended.

    Have you ever considered where the name "Greenland" came from? It wasn't because the Vikings had a twisted sense of humor. During the period of Norse exploration (5th-10th century) Greenland was warm enough to support lush vegetation. In fact the Viking had quite a few permanent settlements on Greenland. Only starting in the 13th century, when the Little Ice Age started, did Greenland ice over and develop glaciers. So the assertion by the Global Warming proponents that the melting of Greenland glaciers is unnatural, is silly. The island is only returning to its previous state.

    The problem is that the GW proponents are picking a convenient data point as their baseline and treating any deviation as unnatural. If we pick a different point, the deviations either disappear or become a part of a cycle.

    As Devoish said, there a million variables that determine the climate, so to pick out one, CO2, and categorically state that IT IS THE CULPRIT is ludicrous and unscientific. Right now CO2 is sexy so it gets a lot of press. However, there is a greenhouse gas that, pound for pound, is 20 times more dangerous than CO2 and only few outside of the scientific community ever talk about it. That gas is METHANE (CH4). It is the one greenhouse gas that without a question causes anthropogenic climate change.

    Most of the methane is produced by ruminant animals (cows, sheep, camels, etc. In fact, any living creature that ingests plants, generates methane. Manure used in growing our organic food also emits methane. Any decomposition of plant matter produces methane. In total, about 600% of methane is organically produced. Coal mining is responsible for about 11% of methane released into the atmosphere. The remaining methane is released during petroleum and natural gas production.

    Unfortunately, while we can stop burning fossil fuels and thus curtail CO2 generation, to curtail generation of methane, humans would have to cease raising animals and we would have to eliminate all plants life. We can drastically cut down on CO2 but that will not help with anthropogenic climate change because methane will always be generated.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 10:55 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    @ Snertie: In spite of my skepticism regarding the "corrective action" possible from the human side of climate change (especially in North America) and Tim Cook's (he is infected with Algore disease) narrowmindedness and hypocrisy (*) I'll hold onto the stock for now. I'm a greedy capitalist at heart.

    (*) I wonder how much CO2 his jet dumps into the atmosphere when he flies around the world visiting Apple's factories, etc.

  • Report this Comment On March 03, 2014, at 1:30 PM, hbannerman wrote:

    Wow is Al Gore powerful !

    One guy responsible for:

    - the sea level rising

    - ocean acidifying

    - record loss of sea ice in the Arctic, shipping lanes now open

    - January the 4th hottest on record despite the polar vortex

    - record heat in Australia that forced them to add another color to their weather map for temps >120 F

    - melting of the permafrost in Alaska

    - massive die off of world's coral reefs

    - record droughts in the south west

    - record rain falls and monsoons

    What a powerful guy!

    Old legal phrase: res ipsa loquitor. The earth is speaking for itself; it certainly doesn't need anyone to speak for it.

    For all of you folks who pride yourselves as savvy investors, "follow the money." The banks, the stock market, the insurance companies, the major industries are all convinced climate change is real, and happening.

    And they are adjusting their attitudes and investments to reflect the reality. Scarce water. Renewable energies. Shifting disease patterns. Movements of plant and animals and crop growing areas.

    Yeah...this is all Al Gores' fault...

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 5:30 PM, stclark98 wrote:

    Sierra Wireless is the global leader in M2M technology. Check out their list of Blue Chip customers and due your DD on their 20 years in machine 2 machine development. This relatively unknown is a goldmine just waiting for the discoverer. Just my opinion but I'v been long on them for quite some time. I like what the future holds. :)

  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2014, at 4:08 PM, thidmark wrote:

    "It's funny, we've gotten from "there is NO such thing as climate change" to "OK, climate change is happening but it's not because of humans so who cares what anybody tries to do about it and in fact nobody should try to do anything about it"

    Almost as funny as going from "global warming" to "climate change."

    If only the "peak oil" and "world overpopulation" zealots could have come up with a successful rebranding ...

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2014, at 3:57 PM, WDavidStephenson wrote:

    OMG: I can't believe all the deniers who believe pseudo-science on this issue and blither on here: 97% of all climate scientists agree global warming is real, and the UN has just issued its sternest warning ever on the subject. Now Sen. Inhofe will invite all of you to testify before his committee.

    I just quoted this article in my blog: bit.ly/1zHvJcC. Glad to see The Motley Fool isn't taken in.

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