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Green Investment Drops as Oprah-Led Education Bubble Continues to Inflate

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Right on cue, after last week's wild, shot-in-the-dark prediction, under the headline: "Hollywood Bursts Green Bubble, Inflates Education Bubble; Latest Media-Friendly Cause They Know Nothing About," based on nothing more than a feeling (now try to get that out of your head for the rest of the day...), what pops up in Google Alerts first thing this morning?

"Green-Tech Investment Plummets."

The New York Times reports:

"Global venture capital investment in green technology companies fell 30 percent, to $1.53 billion, in the third quarter of 2010, according to a preliminary report issued Friday by the Cleantech Group, a San Francisco-based research and consulting firm. California, an epicenter of green technology innovation, suffered a precipitous decline, with investment falling 61 percent."

The numbers don't lie. America's celebrity cult machine, led in large part by professional narcissist Oprah Winfrey, has, in fact, rushed to jump on today's "hot" bandwagon: education.

Now that famous people have a new cause their PR handlers are telling them to get behind, they can stop telling us what kind of cars to drive and start telling people who never asked for their help in the first place how to best educate the nation's children.

Not long ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg might have donated $100 million in company stock to research projects in the algae-to-fuel arena. But that's so 12 months ago. So, he gave the money to the Newark, New Jersey school system on Oprah's show--at her behest, rather than doing it anonymously, as he had planned.

Then, just days ago, singer Fantasia Barrino, rapper Ludacris, and educational powerhouse Shaquille O'Neal announced their support for an educational campaign called "Get Schooled."

And, in the off-chance that the valiant efforts by Shaq, et al, don't work, publishing giant Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that it is making a $400 million investment to introduce more technology into classrooms, including plans to invest $300 million over the next three years developing programs like a pilot algebra application for the Apple iPad currently being tested by 400 California students.

The bright side of all this is, perhaps now that Hollywood's attention has been captured by something else, actual innovation and progress in renewable energy can be made without Sheryl Crow and Larry David's wife gumming up the works.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.