Gates and Buffet to invest in tar sands and spawn more two-headed fish?
Two heads are apparently not better than one — certainly not for fish and apparently not for the super-rich either.
If you thought that the two richest Americans got that way by being green — or had suddenly become green because they are now giving their money to charitable causes — you were mistaken. The National Post reports that last week that the two gazillionaires “quietly flew into northeastern Alberta on Monday, where they took in the oil sands, apparently with awe.”
Who wouldn’t be awed by the “biggest global warming crime ever seen” — an investment so tempting even BP is selling out its environmental credentials to invest in? Who wouldn’t be awed by Canada’s version of liquid coal? Who wouldn’t be awed an environmental blight so unprecedented that last week a mutated two-headed goldeye fish was found downstream? George Poitras of the Mikesew Cree said,
People were in disbelief. Here they saw a fish that we suspect is very much linked to tar sands development and contamination of the Athabasca River. Our elders tell us that what happens to the animals and the fish is just a sign of what is going to happen to human life.
As for the other two exotic heads found in Canada last week, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, who made a presentation to the dynamic duo, said:
They were exercising curiosity, basically saying, “Wow, this is neat.”
I’m gonna have to say that I seriously doubt that Buffett used the word “neat” although I suppose Gates might have, especially if they served him the fish, Simpson‘s style. (Note to my many nuclear-radiation-supporting readers — I am
mostly fully aware that the Simpsons is fiction.)
One source said Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffett, who in recent months said he favours investing in the Canadian oil sands because they offer a secure supply of oil for the United States, visited the booming hub to satisfy “their own curiosity” but also “with investment in mind.”
I can understand the desire of any smart investor to make money off of peak oil. But these guys not only have more money than many countries, they have pledged to devote most of that money to the public good. And that means investments in the tar sands — or liquid coal or a Hummer factory — must be considered off the table for them.
Buffet in particular carries a lot of weight in the investment community given his astonishing track record over the decades. Heck, even though oil prices have been declining recently, “Canadian energy shares have reportedly risen as much as 7.5 percent since Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and world’s richest man Warren Buffet ‘secretly’ toured oil sands properties by Helicopter this week.” That is precisely why they should publicly state that the tar sands is a socially irresponsible investment.
Shout out to Lloyd Alter at Treehugger.