George Soros: Investing In Green Energy Could Save Global Economy

October 14, 2008

As reported in Huffington Post Green

Last Friday, in an interview with Bill Moyers on PBS, George Soros, who has made billions of dollars based on his ability to read the ebb and flow of markets, suggested that investing in alternative energy technologies, refurbishing aging electricity grids and pursuing household energy efficiency, among other green strategies, could yet save the global economy.

Mr. Soros, whose prescient book “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means,” was published in May, told Moyers that the business of green could serve as the new “motor of the world economy” — echoing a refrain he has used before.

Click on link below to listen, with transcript to be found after the link.

http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/george-soros-on-the-green-energy-economy/

 

Excerpt transcript:

BILL MOYERS: So let’s think about those people down at Neely’s Barbecue going home tonight having heard you. What they’ve heard you say is the system is really disfunctioning right now. It’s out of control. Nobody’s in charge. They’ve heard you express your own worry that in the next three months it could get much, much worse.

And they’ve heard you say that you don’t see much good news immediately on the horizon. So let’s leave them something to think about as they go home. Let them go home and say, “Mr. Soros said here are three things we can do, simply.” One?

GEORGE SOROS: Well, deal with the mortgage problem. Reduce foreclosures. Recapitalize the banks. And then work on a better world order where we work together to resolve problems that confront humanity like global warming. And I think that dealing with global warming will require a lot of investment.

You see, for the last 25 years the world economy, the motor of the world economy that has been driving it was consumption by the American consumer who has been spending more than he has been saving, all right? Than he’s been producing. So that motor is now switched off. It’s finished. It’s run out of — can’t continue. You need a new motor. And we have a big problem. Global warming. It requires big investment. And that could be the motor of the world economy in the years to come.

BILL MOYERS: Putting more money in, building infrastructure, converting to green technology.

GEORGE SOROS: Instead of consuming, building an electricity grid, saving on energy, rewiring the houses, adjusting your lifestyle where energy has got to cost more until it you introduce those new things. So it will be painful. But at least we will survive and not cook.

BILL MOYERS: You’re talking about this being the end of an era and needing to create a whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world, right?

GEORGE SOROS: Yes.

On Sunday, Mr. Soros blasted leaders of the United States and Europe for being “consistently behind the curve” in dealing with the global financial crisis.

“This is the crisis of my lifetime,” Mr. Soros told The Associated Press during the weekend meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. “I haven’t seen anything like it and I won’t see anything like it again.”

It is also worth noting that despite his sanguine disposition toward clean-energy development, Mr. Soros has drawn jeers from green advocates — principally for his investments in sugar cane production (destined to become ethanol) in Brazil, which critics say is mowing down forests at an unprecedented pace.

Wrote The Washington Post last year:

“Deforestation in the Cerrado is actually happening at a higher rate than it has in the Amazon,” said John Buchanan, senior director of business practices for Conservation International in Arlington. “If the actual deforestation rates continue, all the remaining vegetation in the Cerrado could be lost by the year 2030. That would be a huge loss of biodiversity.”

The roots of this transformation lie in the worldwide demand for ethanol, recently boosted by a U.S. Senate bill that would mandate the use of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, more than six times the capacity of the United States’ 115 ethanol refineries. President Bush, who proposed a similar increase in his State of the Union address, visited Brazil and negotiated a deal in March to promote ethanol production in Latin America and the Caribbean.

U.S. companies and investors — including George Soros and agribusiness giants Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill — are staking out territory in Brazil, expecting even greater growth in biofuels.

One Response to “George Soros: Investing In Green Energy Could Save Global Economy”

  1. Real Estate in Central America…

    Can you believe it? Finally some decent content on this topic, thanks for your posts and comments….

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