Market disaster on Wall Street plays positive in Silicon Valley

You may think the U.S. is divided along political lines, perhaps you sense a rift in cultural values.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

You may think the U.S. is divided along political lines, perhaps you sense a rift in cultural values. But let me tell you that's peanuts compared to the coming brutal high-stakes rift over the core of the US economy. Will it be Pentagon contracts, oil and gasoline? Or will clean tech make a clean sweep, led by companies that will become this era's version of Amazon, eBay and Google?

When I blogged about oil prices and cleantech VC money on June 6, I had no inkling the stock market was going to swan dive into an empty pool. I had no inside information and I rarely even look at the financial news or websites, far too boring and depressing. The best way to summarize how the MainstreamMedia played the Friday oil price run-up:O-MY-GAWD.

So now oil is within dripping distance of $140 per barrel. And it wasn't long ago I was marveling at a future that threatened us with $150 per barrel. I had no idea that could happen before the big Fourth of July driving holiday.

In light of the Wall Street nausea at the current US currency, unemployment and energy use trends, it is little wonder that the largest non-corporate investment fund in America is looking to get even greener. Calpers could hand over half a billion dollars to VC Vinod Khosla. No wonder the "Wall Street Journal" wants to see him disrespected, if not totally dismembered. At a time when GM is firing thousands, closing plants, the country's largest pension fund is going green. Oh how unhappy Houston, Wall Street and Detroit must be feeling after the market debacle on Friday.

Of course, it's long been true that cheap energy is the basis of the current Amrican economy. If expensive energy is our future, that will bring either economic disruption or a re-tooling of the American economy. Clearly we cannot muddle along on our current path, borrowing money so we can drive to the mall to buy stuff imported from China. Unless we just want to mortgage the whole nation to the Chinese capitalist/communist/authoritarian/proletariat regime. After Friday they probably think we're a bad investment anyway.

Editorial standards