Answer Might be Blowing in the Wind
It was hard to miss T. Boone Pickens' PR blitz earlier this month that kicked off his campaign to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increase windfarm production. With all eyes on the explosive cost of oil, Boone explains why gas prices are so high and states that we are past the point of no return with cheap oil. He said it will stay where it is or get worse based on new demand from China and India and a finite supply of oil.
With 60 years in the oil business, he did a good job getting his message across until he told Bloomberg last week that he won't put windfarms on his ranch, "because I think they are ugly." Now, call me crazy, but I don't care how rich and powerful you are - everyone needs PR help avoiding landmines if you are kicking off a PR campaign to drive excitement around a new multi-billion dollar effort. He clearly didn't go over his talking points before making this comment, and this isn't exactly the best way to get his neighbors and future customers clamouring about for windfarms.
But seriously, I do hope his effort is successful, despite the cynicism around "clean tech." I was reading "The Onion" this weekend, one of my favorites you may notice as I have a tendency to keep referencing it. It has a humorous article about the need for another bubble.
"According to investment experts, now that the option of making millions of dollars in a short time with imaginary profits from bad real-estate deals has disappeared, the need for another spontaneous make-believe source of wealth has never been more urgent."
Although this was an exaggeration, for those of us living in the technology market we all know there is an element of truth to this. Mark Veverka of Barron's has already cast his doubts on clean tech last year, calling it a "fuzzy business category" in a blog explaining that saving humanity and making profits are rarely intertwined.
I see what he's saying, but I think T. Boone might be onto something. Global warming is finally accepted by society as a real problem, and whenever I read articles like the one I did yesterday pointing out anxiety-ridden tidbits like a quarter of the world's oil is shipped through a narrow passage called the Strait of Hormuz between Israel and Iran, I tend to get a little antsy for other energy sources for the world.