Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided. Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO. This battle has been his focus for the last 13 years. Its chief goal: to decarbonize the global economy. Among the green technology investments — and the biggest proportion — are solid state lithium batteries.

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Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided. Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of GMO. This battle has been his focus for the last 13 years. Its chief goal: to decarbonize the global economy. Among the green technology investments — and the biggest proportion — are solid state lithium batteries.

Grantham, 81, who heads GMO, famously forecast the bubble in Japan, the technology sector meltdown of and the U. It invests in clean energy, batteries, regenerative farming, aquaculture and copper mining, among other environmentally focused entities. ThinkAdvisor interviewed Grantham on Thursday.

Speaking from his office in Boston, he declined to address the market per se, but nonetheless provided insight into what he believes will be changing consumer demands resulting from coronavirus — all positives for battling climate change. Please elaborate. Actually, the unraveling process has been very clear for a while. How will coronavirus affect the global economy?

The reduction in global GDP goes straight to the bottom line. However, if we knock a couple of points off global GDP, that buys us a year of grace in terms of the long struggle to reduce CO2 emissions [greenhouse gases]. Are there any other effects that the coronavirus pandemic will have on the fight to save the earth from climate change? This is a perfect example that even this ill wind is benefiting something.

If everyone travels less, stays at home and plays it safe for a while, then pollution goes down and traffic deaths go down. More or less everything unpleasant goes down for a while to mitigate the unpleasantness of coronavirus. Now everywhere in the West, people are reconsidering how critical it is to have a little more diversification. Please explain. I think that going forward there will be at least a minority of emergency suppliers closer at hand.

Also, shortening the supply lines is a great help [to combat] climate change: less shipping, less energy involved. In general, global trade has been good for the economy but bad for climate. What lingering effects might coronavirus have on consumer lifestyle, and consequently some areas of the economy?

For the indefinite future, people will perhaps think longer and harder about taking a cruise, depending on how serious the virus will be considered looking back in a year or two. What about plane trips?

The same with airline travel. And [with people staying home], traffic accidents have dropped rapidly. So that goes into the pot as well. How much will that impact avoiding routine flu in the future? Hundreds of millions of people are adopting more hygienic behavior — washing their hands [frequently] and keeping more of a distance from one another.

That will deal with the seasonable flu as a freebie. In fact, it may save more seasonal flu deaths than are lost form coronavirus. Going forward, these patterns of good behavior will stay. So coronavirus will reduce seasonal flu deaths quite a few years — a decade or two — into the future. What will it take? If it comes down to good behavior based on altruism, then welcome to an age of 5 degrees centigrade warmer and a very tenuous civilization.

Sooner or later, it has to be regulation done at the top level. But climate change is about time. Eventually technology will solve the problems.

The [issue] is when that will happen. Time is precious. Climate change has already done a lot of damage, and a lot more will be done — much of it irreversible. Are you saying the situation dictates that laws must be changed and new ones instituted? And the next summer, there are five neighbors doing that. What about the behavior of business and government? The politicians of the Republican variety dared not mention the [term]; and today, increasingly, they do. Next [election], one candidate for president will have climate change as a top two or three issue on their agenda.

That will be huge for America. So, the wheels are turning. With the Trump presidency, we took a step back in caring for the environment. He appointed a coal lobbyist. I mean, a coal lobbyist to protect us from environmental damage! Is there a bright side to that? Having an anti-science president and administration has caused a pushback at state level and at the level of science.

You could say that almost the moment Trump was elected, scientists began to stand a little firmer — they had been understating the issue. And the activists have been stimulated just as the damage has accelerated.

The good guys needed a kick in the pants. Hopefully the next administration will move things forward, not backward. What about other philanthropists? On the margin, one or two of the new billionaire types do see the light and have joined our group, loosely speaking.

A third of America will become unlivable if that happens. How will people cope? Everyone will be crowding into the North and desperately trying to grow new kinds of food. So it owns a lot of copper, and it owns lithium [for batteries]. Copper is central to electrification, which is essential to greening our economy.

You do need some fairly dirty metals to drive that greening process. What else does the fund invest in? It has a lot of energy-efficient plays — [concerning] wind and solar [power] — and it invests in regenerative farming, which is essential because bad farming pollutes the water. So going from bad farming to good farming is a win-win.

Any other wins? And if done well, the farmer makes more money. I think that good, sensible regenerative farming is the biggest single input we can have over the next few decades. But where was I at age 55 [now 81]? I knew nothing and did nothing [about climate change].

There were people out there, like Prince Charles who 35 years ago moved to regenerative farming and talked a good game on climate change. Did one particular thing trigger your move to do something about it? One thing led to another. I had developed a theory about land being a terrific investment vehicle, and one way to make a return while you held the land was growing trees. We got drawn in and became environmentalists. A year or two later we began to realize that climate change was doing its [bad] job.

When you made your famed accurate calls about the economy and market, did people heed what you were telling them right away? We had a better audience in and I started [speaking about] climate change 13 years ago at a dinner talk I gave to our clients. There was quite a bit of eye-rolling. Some of the questioners were skeptical. That has completely disappeared from our client base.

These things work in a mysterious way, and there are many repercussions. Not the least is on climate change.


This bull market will not end with a massive pullback, investor Jeremy Grantham says

Those gains, they add, are estimated in so-called real terms, meaning in addition to any general price inflation. They are typically in slower-growing businesses. Naturally investors will need strong nerves to buy into the maelstrom of the global pandemic. But those who are investing retirement accounts such as a k or an IRA should be thinking in horizons of five, 10, or even 20 years, financial advisers say.


GMO’s Grantham Sees a Silver Lining in Coronavirus Crisis

His firm seeks to understand historical changes in markets and predict results for seven years into the future. When there is deviation from historical means averages , the firm may take an investment position based on a return to the mean. The firm allocates assets based on internal predictions of market direction. Grantham claims to have mostly avoided investing in Japanese equities and real estate in the late eighties, as well as technology stocks during the Internet bubble in the late nineties. You can perhaps only have that degree of confidence if you have been to the history books as much as we have and looked at every bubble and every bust. We have found that there are no exceptions.


Jeremy Grantham warns eventually only the rich will procreate as chemicals leave the poor sterile


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