When the Banks say “No,” 300 Central Pennsylvanians say “Yes”
On the 60th anniversary of D-Day, during our trip to honor my Uncle Arthur, who was killed in the Normandy invasion, my son and I wept at the grave of Private J. Shon, a 22 year old Scotsman buried in the Bayeux War Cemetery. Laying among 4,647 other fallen soldiers from WWII, his tombstone was engraved with these few words: “He died the helpless to defend. A Scottish soldier’s noble end.” We shed tears not only of deep sadness for a life cut short by the tragedy of war, but also of great admiration for the truly heroic sacrifices of so many.
Sacrifice for the helpless are the key words. For the greater good, Private Shon risked…and gave his life. And millions of American soldiers, my father and mother among them, volunteered to risk their lives immediately after Pearl Harbor, because the call to action was urgent. And young Americans, who volunteered for military service after Pearl Harbor and 9/11, continue today to enlist in our armed forces….risking their lives for minimal to modest pay. Men and women with a firm ethical compass would call these volunteers heroes.
Bringing our Veterans’ ideals into today’s civilian world, the question naturally arises: how can we sacrifice to defend the helpless from current grave threats? The answer begins with a recent draft report from The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, publicized on the Internet two weeks ago. The report is a frightening summary of how global warming will increasingly endanger our children and grandchildren in the next thirty to forty years, if our carbon emissions continue at their present rate. As reported by the Associated Press, Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, who wasn’t part of the international study team, said the report confirms what researchers and top U.S. Military scientists have known for a long time: “Climate change threatens our health, land, food and water security.”
Understanding that our children and grandchildren are today helpless to defend themselves from these threats, I have been inspired by the hundreds of Central Pennsylvanians who have rallied to defend the helpless in the last four years. Their story began in 2009, when my two local business partners and I, with our own money, founded the JPF Venture Fund 1, dedicated to investing solely in businesses that not only had great commercial potential, but also broad humanitarian impacts, particularly addressing climate change.
One company that fit this description perfectly was Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTE), which had two proven technologies, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) and Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC) that clearly met our Fund’s investment standard for broad positive social impacts. These technologies demonstrated a capacity to provide 24/7 clean electricity and eco-friendly air conditioning in a wide global region where 3 billion people live, thereby dramatically decreasing carbon emissions around the world. Equally compelling for humanitarian impacts, OTEC can also produce plentiful amounts of fresh drinking water for millions of people in dire need. As for our Fund’s other investment standard…excellent financial returns for our investors…we saw that, with 20 years of rising oil prices, OTEC and SWAC’s immediate commercial promise and global marketability was staggering.
Four years later, thanks to 300+ individual investors (mostly from Central PA), investing more than $12 million, either into our Fund, or later directly into Lancaster-based OTE, our company’s swift journey toward success is reflected by OTE’s robust pipeline of global OTEC and related SWAC projects, each having projected gross revenues ranging from $400 million – $800 million.
I am indeed privileged to serve as a Director and Head of Communications for an organization founded and supported by so many good solid citizens, who embrace an inspiring reality: that we can take our money and use it at once for both financial and humanitarians benefits.
This reality explains why our individual investors (many doctors, business owners, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals) are contagiously enthused about their company, OTE, and its capacity to truly achieve the “triple bottom line”…a term which has been aptly described as measuring a business’ success by the “three Ps”….profits, people, and planet. OTE’s investors embody the very heart of truly ethical investing, and their company is now the global leader in OTEC and SWAC…poised to help meaningfully address the world’s most pressing problems, that threaten the future of all of our children.
With the week of Oct 13th-16th, officially declared “National Ethical Investment Week,” one would have expected these few days to highlight those segments of the financial industry also willing to take some modest investment risk for the benefit of society at large. But that was not the case.
Reaching out to established financial funds, including some claiming to be “green”, OTE was given the same response we have heard from literally hundreds of other funds in the last 3 years: “We love what your company is doing for the world and would like to invest, but you are a bit too early for us….so come back in a year or two when your revenue streams are stronger and we will put money into OTE then.” Read between the lines: they don’t invest in companies that aren’t already large and generating wealth; in fact they really aren’t in the “investment” business at all…they only participate in wealth management. This explains why our company has been funded 100% by individual investors…and 0% by the financial industry.
So this seems to be the financial industry motto: Let somebody else lead the way; take the risk; make the sacrifice necessary to ensure our children and their children a better world.
Private J. Shon: He died the helpless to defend. A Scottish soldier’s noble end.” OTE’s growing army of ethical investors knows what these words mean. And I use the word army quite purposefully because there are two things that the every American soldier knows. First, that their sacrifice and service to country is indeed noble. Second, and equally important, that there is great strength in numbers…when many people of courage and common purpose bond together for a just end.
With Veteran’s Day here, it is with the greatest humility and respect that we humbly ask you to consider joining our army of accredited investors by visiting our investment page at www.otecorporation.com, or calling us at 717-299-1344. Your children and grandchildren will be most grateful…and proud of your legacy of sacrifice.