On December 2, 2014, Bloomberg published an article titled Oil Investors May Be Running Off a Cliff They Can’t See in the Personal Finance section of their online publication. The article focuses on the risks associated with investing in companies that specialize in developing or financing fossil fuel resources in an era where there is an increased focus on treaties or laws limiting CO2 emissions and where there is increasing competition from alternative energy sources that have lower emissions profiles.
Nuclear energy was not mentioned in the article. That is not only an oversight, but it represents a disservice to the people who turn to Bloomberg for useful, hopefully comprehensive, financial and investment advice. Among the available alternatives, only nuclear fission offers the potential of addressing both CO2 and the need for increasing quantities of controllable power to enable humans to do the work they need or want to do.
Here is a copy of the email I sent to the article author, with a copy to his editor.
Dear Mr. Morales:
I read with interest your recent article titled Oil Investors May Be Running Off a Cliff They Can’t See.
There is a glaring omission in the article – it does not include any mention of nuclear energy.
Nuclear fission is a proven, ultra-low emission power source that can displace fossil fuel combustion in several important applications including electrical power generation, industrial process heat, district heating systems, and commercial ship propulsion.
It provides a real opportunity to make progress towards meeting climate targets without sacrificing the benefits of abundant, reliable energy. If its costs can be brought down through a combination of innovation and a reduction in onerous regulations that allow almost veto power to “the public” — a term that includes competitors — it would post a serious threat to the value of oil investments.
Keep up the good work, but please consider providing a little more comprehensive coverage of the topic next time.
Publisher, Atomic Insights
I also decided to participate in the active discussion thread, which has already attracted almost 300 comments.
The biggest long term threat to the continued domination of fossil fuel combustion as THE master resource that enables industrial society to function is the widespread use of actinide fission, which is a better, cleaner, more affordable, vastly more abundant and more reliable power source.
Smart money players at the top of fossil fuel interests have long fought a delaying action to keep their atomic competition suppressed. The same financial controllers should be moving some of their current CapEx into nuclear technologies as a way to maintain a strong position in the energy industry and, at the same time, participate in the vast expansion of global prosperity that will result from the investments that will be required.
The public does not look forward to trying to live within the limitations that would be imposed by trying to meet carbon limits with only weak tools like wind and solar, but they would embrace a shift that reduces fossil fuel consumption while enabling access to even more abundant energy sources. Society has a great deal of work to do and a short time in which to do it; that is a situation that demands MORE power, not less.
Interestingly enough, there was not a single mention of the ‘N’ word (nuclear) in the lengthy article above, despite its topic of financial threats to the fossil fuel industry and all of its current partners in the world economy.
Publisher, Atomic Insights
Within minutes, an anonymous commenter accused me of not being “impartial.” After I admitted the difficulty of remaining impartial after accumulating information about energy, the same commenter accused me of being out of touch because I included my signature at the end of my comment. As he told me, “This is not USENET.”
That was pretty perceptive of him; he may not know that I have been commenting on articles about energy since 1991, when USENET bulletin boards were all the rage on the Internet and the World Wide Web did not yet exist. When I persisted in defending my decision to sign my comments, another person told me I was being pretentious and trolling for traffic.
I need your advice. Am I exposing my age by signing comments? Is that a pretentious habit with the potential for turning people off? Though I don’t worry too much about arguing with others, it doesn’t help me achieve my mission if I annoy everyone reading a thread.