by Kyle Johnson
If you’ve spent much time on social media, you’ve probably come across posts or comments with nothing more than this:
These two emoji—Clown World—convey that whatever is being discussed is self-evidently absurd. It’s further proof that we live in a crazy world.
Few memes have the popularity or impact of Clown World. It’s used by political commentators of varying stripes and has been adopted by many financial and economic commentators. It’s an accepted critique of popular culture writ large.
A recent event bolstered my belief that it’s often what fails to get attention that best proves that we live in a Clown World.
Regardless of where you stand on what’s happening between Ukraine and Russia, there’s no denying that it is, in fact, a war.
With Ukraine’s pending application for EU membership, it’s no surprise that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently paid a visit. But it wasn’t for the reasons you might expect. At a time when countless Ukrainians mourn the loss of loved ones, cope with grievous injuries, and need help securing food and shelter, Ms. von der Leyen skipped photo-op displays of compassion. Instead, she promoted LED lightbulbs. 
What would make for a great Monty Python skit is promoted as important information by official sources.
Because the Green Agenda is foundational to the Clown World, no one is exempted:
• Some doctors and scientists believe we need to address the carbon footprint of cancer treatments. 
• Others fret about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with anesthesia. 
• Harvard Medical School has formally decided to integrate climate change into its curriculum. 
• We’re also told that if someone dies, their body should be composted… you know, to save the planet. 
Of course, Clown World has infested corporations and financial media. Shareholders are suing Shell’s board of directors, alleging they’ve failed to manage the risks associated with climate change.  Perhaps these shareholders will partner up with the Taliban to mine lithium and mineral deposits “worth” $1 trillion.  Maybe they’ll build solar-powered rockets to mine the potato-shaped asteroid “worth” $10 quintillion! 
I’m not a forecaster, but Clown World’s continued and increasing absurdity seems like a solid bet.
Just look at what’s happened with President Biden and the oil and gas industry.
On the campaign trail, candidate Biden said, “I guarantee you, we’re gonna end fossil fuel.” On his first day in office, Biden cancelled permits for the Keystone Pipeline. But during his recent State of the Union address, he was (or at least pretended to be) miffed that oil and gas companies are hesitant to invest in new projects. Biden assured investors that we’ll need oil for “at least” 10 more years—and seemed surprised that his remark prompted laughter.
I have no idea if Biden genuinely believes that. Maybe it’s a random number he pulled out of thin air. Or perhaps it’s a projection he’s regurgitating from an intelligence briefing. Not knowing where you stand is a hallmark of Clown World.
But by narrowing our focus to the markets, investors can find more solid ground: the Clown World is and will continue forcing oil prices to rise.
Anything can happen in the near term. And oil typically suffers in a recession. It’s a similar story for natural gas. Even with the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, we don’t see any urgent reason to buy with Northern Hemisphere spring just around the corner. We are waiting for clarity on how the global recession will impact energy demand before considering any new investments in the sector—with great uranium plays being the exception.
Even Clown World is catching on to how vital uranium is.
Many die-hard climate activists are beginning to acknowledge that so-called alternative energy solutions can’t meet baseload power demand. Because coal is so unappealing, many are warming to nuclear power. Even the extremist among extremists—Greta Thunberg—said that Germany should keep its remaining nuclear reactors online.
There are other reasons to get excited about uranium. Japan is bringing many idle reactors back online and building 20 new reactors to replace decommissioned ones. Legendary speculator Rick Rule has said for years that Japanese restarts would be the catalyst that sends uranium much higher. And now it’s happening.
Large companies like Kazatomprom and Cameco (and even some juniors) have announced new long-term contracts to sell uranium. This is the catalyst we’ve been looking for.
Moreover, the US government has become a new end user in the uranium market. The creation of the US Strategic Uranium Reserve is taking uranium off the market, altering the balance of supply and demand. Though not the biggest buyer, we think the US government has helped establish a price floor.
While demand rises, the war between Ukraine and Russia threatens to significantly limit supply from Kazakhstan—far and away the world’s leading uranium producer.
With Clown World increasingly on board, it’s difficult to imagine how anything short of a nuclear meltdown can stop uranium’s rally this year.
We plan to invest accordingly.
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