I had the pleasure of reading Clean Money by John Rubino this past week.

Amidst all the doom and gloom of the collapsing stock market, rising unemployment, and worries about peak oil, the Clean Money is a refreshing change of pace. I give it two thumbs up or for those on the stars system, 4 stars out of four.

Rubino explains all of the latest technologies in a very easy to understand way, while sorting out the comparative advantages of competing technologies in solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, batteries, agriculture, pollution control, and smart grids.

From the Inside Flap

Today, we face unprecedented environmental and energy challenges. But for astute investors, this might actually be good news, because big, complex problems create vast opportunities. Solutions for global warming or Peak Oil will be worth literally trillions of dollars, and capital, as a result, is pouring into “clean” technologies like solar power and desalination. Understand this transition—and avoid its many pitfalls—and you have a chance to profit from one of tomorrow’s great bull markets.

With Clean Money, John Rubino, Editor of GreenStockInvesting.com, introduces you to the world of clean tech (also known as green tech) and its wealth creation potential. His two previous books were right on target, correctly predicting the recent housing bust and credit crisis, and helping many readers achieve financial independence. Now, with Clean Money, Rubino skillfully explains:

  • Why green tech will be the investment opportunity of a lifetime

  • How to build a clean-tech portfolio that fits your temperament and circumstances

  • Why the hottest green sectors are also the most complex and risky

  • How to approach this market wisely by separating reality from hype

This accessible guide introduces a variety of clean energy sources—from solar power and wind to geothermal and biofuels—and shows how these renewable resources will spawn successful companies and rising share prices. Clean Money also clearly explains newer concepts like emissions trading and desalination that will play major roles in the transition to sustainable abundance. Page by page, you’ll discover the technologies that will drive this boom and become familiar with the state of their markets, their growth prospects, and the companies that are best positioned to become tomorrow’s success stories.

After putting the clean-tech boom in perspective, Clean Money presents a series of investment strategies for building your own portfolio of clean-tech stocks, while helping to minimize the risks that always accompany markets with extraordinary upside potential.

Innovation Trumps Peak Oil

I do not believe as some do, that clean energy, alternate energy, or for that matter any bubble in anything is going to suddenly reverse the carnage we have seen in the stock market over the last year. The stock market collapse and the bust of housing are far bigger than any advances that are going to come from energy, at least anytime soon and perhaps for decades.

However, I have been and remain optimistic that there is a solution to “Peak Oil”, and that our energy dependence on foreign oil can be cut in half or more, perhaps lots more, if we just do things correctly in the next decade.

I-10 Sunshine Belt

Imagine where we might be if we had not spent the $1 trillion we wasted in Iraq, or the $1 trillion or more in bailout money in the past few months and instead lined I-10 from California to Florida with mirrors or other technology to harvest free sunshine.

I am not proposing we do that, although it might make sense. Rather I am saying that it would have made 1000 times more sense than wasting the $trillions we did. The free market should sort this stuff out, not the government. The free market probably would be much further along had it not been for misguided government subsidies given to ethanol.

One thing we know is that Obama is going to create jobs (or attempt to), and energy as opposed to military is likely to be a beneficiary. Looking ahead, huge investment gains await those who can pick the winners in alternative energy.

A word of caution is also in order: Do not expect to see another bubble where one can throw money at anything with the name “clean” or “green” in it and expect to do well. Huge losses await those who invest in the wrong technologies or mistime their entries.

Clean Money provides a framework for understanding the competing technologies and for sorting out the winners and losers. Anyone interested in alternative energy, especially those looking to invest in alternative energy solutions, should pick up a copy of the book.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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