fire fighter

The green transition is underway but how it's handled will separate the winning and losing countries for the rest of the century.

On one side is an ideology-driven shift that's dogmatic and littered with defeatism and anti-humanism. It dominates the discussion in Europe and its main feature is absolutism. There's no compromise and that extends to the war in Russia where there's no compromise and no measure too extreme, even if it means submarining its own economy and impoverishing its people.

I keep coming back to a comment Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins on May 30 emphasizing the need to cut off Russian oil: "It's only money," he said.

The other side is characterized as climate deniers or those who would doom the planet but there's a third side emerging.

Today, Stuart Kirk, the head of sustainable investing at HSBC quit his post. He left the investment bank in the aftermath of a presentation where he said investors need not worry about climate risk. He said central bankers like Mark Carney were trying to “out hyperbole the next guy”... "I feel it's getting a little bit out of hand," he said.

Many of his points were overplayed and the delivery was sloppy. There was far too much screaming who cares and taking shots at others. He sounded like someone deeply frustrated by negativity and burdensome compliance but he touched on the most-important point:

"I don't doubt the science at all," he said. "Human beings have been amazing at adapting throughout history."

In a LinkedIn post where he announced his departure today, he took it a step further with a point I have been making for years: Human beings have been amazing at innovation throughout history.

"Human ingenuity can and will overcome the challenges ahead, while at the same time offering huge investment opportunities," he wrote.

This newspaper clipping is from October 1903 and estimates it will take 1-10 million years for human flight:

airplanes will take a million years

Just two months later, the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.

The climate challenge will be solved and humans will prosper. I'm tremendously bullish on carbon capture technology and can't wrap my head around the huge crowd of greens who are willing to spend any amount of money on climate projects and inflict incredible suffering but won't spend a dime to find out of there's a path to mitigation there. Thankfully, oil and gas companies are making the huge investments in technology anyway and some governments realize the potential.

They're part of the third group who wants to fix emissions without destroying humanity. They want a managed transition, not an abrupt end to fossil fuels. They believe in the power of innovation.

I think it's a shame that we pumped trillions of dollars of cheap money into Web 3.0 and profitless (and marginally beneficial) tech companies in the past three years but we will figure it out. In the meantime, Europe's dogmatism and inflexibility is sinking the eurozone economy.