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Profit From the Military's Biggest Fear

"Clear and Present Danger"

Written by Briton Ryle
Posted November 12, 2014

Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, said: "The national security community is rightly worried about [this event] because of the magnitude of its expected impacts around the globe, even in our own country... [This event] poses a clear and present danger to the United States of America.”

General Gordon Sullivan, USA (Ret.), former Army chief of staff said: "[This event] is a national security issue. We found that [this event] will lead to instability in geopolitics and impact American military operations around the world."

Admiral Joseph Lopez said: "[This event] will provide the conditions that will extend the war on terror."

Retired General Paul Kern was the Commander of the United States Army Materiel Command under President George W. Bush. He said: "Military planning should view [this event] as a threat to the balance of energy access, water supplies, and a healthy environment, and it should require a response."

Admiral John Nathman, former Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command under President George W. Bush, said: “There are serious risks to doing nothing about [this event]. We can pay now or we're going to pay a whole lot later.”

What “event” are these military bigwigs talking about? Are they worried about the threat ISIS poses in the Middle East? Do they fear Iran's nuclear program? Ebola?

Nope. The event these high-ranking and highly decorated military men are worried about is climate change.

Now, I'm not a scientist. I'm not here to convince you that climate change is real. You are free to believe whatever you want.

However, I am an investment analyst, and there are significant investment angles here.

So when a group of people as consistently conservative as generals and admirals say climate change is a “clear and present danger” to the United States... well, we should probably pay attention.

The fact is, they aren't just worried about it — the Pentagon is actively planning for the impact climate change could have on the world.

And it has been since 2004, when Fortune magazine reported the existence of a secret document that warned climate change could push powers such as China, India, and Pakistan into nuclear war over fresh water supplies.

Food and Water Shortages

For the Pentagon, the threat that climate change will impact food and water supplies is the biggest concern.

Ron Keys, a retired four-star general who commanded all Air Force aircraft and personnel worldwide, says: “People are going to have less water, less food... [t]here are going to be huge regional wars around those issues.”

It has been suggested that a severe drought that hit 60% of Syria between 2006 and 2010 pushed a couple million into poverty. When the Syrian government did nothing to help, civil war broke out. And that civil war gave ISIS its start...

And it's no coincidence that some of ISIS's first moves were to secure oil and water resources.

Maybe that Syrian drought was an effect of climate change, or maybe not. But we should be able to agree that poverty and a lack of economic opportunity lead to violence.

From the moment impoverished street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi yelled, "How do you expect me to make a living?” as he set himself on fire in protest of Tunisia's economic disparity, violence swept across the Middle East in what's become known as the Arab Spring.

Governments fell, and fundamentalist groups like ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and the Islamist rebels in Libya have been there to fill the power vacuum.

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Rising Seas and Renewable Energy

Hampton Roads in Virginia is home to about 25% of the active-duty U.S. military. Just up the Elizabeth River is the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, one of the biggest shipyards in the world, with 800 acres and four miles of waterfront.

Hampton Roads has seen a big increase in flooding over the last decade, and it's expected to get worse. The military is already bringing in sandbags...

The Arctic ice cap is melting. That's going to create new sea-lanes, as well as expose mineral and fossil fuel resources that countries (China and Russia?) will seek to control.

In the Southwest, military bases are already dealing with electricity and water shortages.

A 2010 Defense Department review pointed to climate change and energy security as "prominent military vulnerabilities."

The Navy SEALs are being outfitted with solar technology to power equipment, purify water, and refrigerate medical supplies. The goal is to make the SEALs even more self-sufficient.

The Navy and Air Force are experimenting with running jets on biofuels that use wood waste, algae, and less petroleum. They say increased oil prices will add $1 billion to the Navy's projected fuel budget for the coming year. And the Navy believes biofuel prices could be competitive with oil by 2020.

In 2007, one-third of Army casualties in Afghanistan resulted from attacks on fuel convoys. Scientific American reports that "renewable and energy-efficient technologies and practices - such as solar blankets used to recharge new instruments or batteries - soldiers and contractors cut down on resupply missions and also lighten their loads on patrols and at bases. Solar modules at frontline bases have already significantly cut diesel use, reducing the number of convoy trips - and the potential for ambushes and roadside bombs."

Thomas Hicks, the Navy's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy, says the Navy's energy investments have nothing to do with “advancing an environmental agenda... They're about improving our combat capability, improving our mission effectiveness, and reducing our vulnerabilities to foreign sources of fossil fuel. It's about returning more of our brave sailors and Marines back home to their families safely."

Amen to that.

Right now, the U.S. Army is working on a pilot project called Net Zero Energy Installations. The goal is to transform nine installations to be “net energy zero.”

So bases like Fort Hunter Liggett in California and Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands are using solar arrays and cogeneration. Fort Hood in Texas is using wind and solar to achieve the goal.

Georgia Power will hire contractors to install solar panels to generate 30 megawatts of power each for the Fort Stewart, Fort Gordon, Fort Benning, and Kings Bay bases.

The bottom line here is simple: Renewable energy (solar, wind, fuel cells, etc.) might be the very best sector for investment over the next 20 years. Don't miss it.

I will be recommending a new renewable energy stock to my Wealth Advisory subscribers in the November issue, which comes out next week. We've got nice gains on two renewable stocks already, and they pay 3.3% and 6.7% dividends.

You can learn more about The Wealth Advisory here.

Until next time,

Until next time,

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Briton Ryle

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A 21-year veteran of the newsletter business, Briton Ryle is the editor of The Wealth Advisory income stock newsletter, with a focus on top-quality dividend growth stocks and REITs. Briton also manages the Real Income Trader advisory service, where his readers take regular cash payouts using a low-risk covered call option strategy. He also contributes a weekly column to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Briton, click here.

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