After decades of increasing pressures on Europe's population by a militant green agenda of unilateral self sacrifice for the greater global good, we finally saw widespread public revolt in France.
The net political effect of the Yellow Vest protests aimed at a further increase in already high motor fuel taxes is the birth of a new electoral demographic in Europe.
The events will serve as a reminder to leaders worldwide of the need to balance needs of the economy with the desire to contributing global environmental wellness.
Natural gas will be the big winner of the new political situation, given that it is the easiest political response to the need to balance interests. Oil and nuclear will also do well.
Coal remains the odd one out, which will see further declines in demand, but only for as long as relatively affordable natural gas remains widely available, after which we could see a comeback.
With coal companies going bust, electric cars seeing exponential growth in most major markets around the world, the green energy revolution has been assumed to be fait accompli by large segments of the population and in the investment world. There has been no shortage of opinions expressed along the lines of "Oil producers better get all their reserves out of the ground now, because in two decades those reserves will be worth nothing and they will be stranded in the ground forever". It is the irresistible lure of the concept of constant human progress, which made this story so irresistible, causing people to bet parts of their investment portfolios accordingly. Just to be clear I am myself betting on such green technologies indirectly. I own Albemarle (ALB) stock, with a longer-term time frame in mind, betting on lithium demand exploding as demand for green energy products such as EV car batteries, energy storage capacity and other technologies continue to be implemented. Having said that, I also own plenty of oil & gas producers in my portfolio for the long term, such as Chevron , Shell , Suncor. So I am clearly not betting on the end of the oil & gas era. The "Yellow Vests" protests in France, which are also spreading to other places like Belgium, may be an early indication of why it might be a mistake to assume that the green revolution has already been won.
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