Showing posts from May 31, 2014

The myth about climate change

Click here to view the original article.

[The placid-cow-like views of Canadian farmers on climate change may be leaving them open to a rude awakening. *RON*]
Eric Reguly, The Globe and Mail, May. 29 2014
Climate change is not all bad news. The higher temperatures that bring floods, droughts and wildfires also, broadly speaking, expand growing seasons and improve crop yields. We humans might drown in a flash flood or burn to a crisp in a midsummer heat wave, but we’d die with our stomachs full.

That, at least, was the theory.

Indeed, the 2007 report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (which won the Nobel Peace Prize that year) was fairly sanguine about the impact of climate change on harvests. The latest IPCC report, released in March, took a distinctly darker view. The summary of its final draft noted that the “Negative impacts of climate trends [on food production] have been more common than positive ones.”

It added that, without adaptation measures, temperat…

William D Cohan on Wall Street whistleblowers

Click here to view the original article.

["The personal price of exposing financial wrongdoing can be devastating. William D Cohan meets three men who went public and paid for it." This piece reads very much like an unveiled warning to financiers on what they can expect if they try to blow the whistle on Wall Street wrongdoing. *RON]

By William D. Cohan, Financial Times, May 30, 2014

Whistleblowing is not for the faint-hearted – and especially not on Wall Street.

On Wall Street, as every­one now knows, wrong­doing by bankers, traders and executives led to disaster in 2008 after they were rewarded for taking risks with other people’s money. Leading bankers and traders were motivated – by the hope of getting large bonuses – to package up mortgages into securities and then sell them off as AAA-rated investments all over the world. This happened even though one damning email after another makes clear they knew some of the mortgages would probably default and that the securities sho…

Sterling to Reap 15,900 Percent Return on Sale

Click here to view the original article.

[Obnoxious bigot whines about being hard done by all the way to the bank. *RON*]

Josh Barro, New York Times, May 30, 2014
Whether he likes it or not, Donald Sterling is poised to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft chief executive. And, for $2 billion, what’s not to like about it? Sterling bought the Clippers for $12.5 million in June 1981, according to some reports, and he’ll get a tidy 15,900 percent return over 33 years, an annualized rate of 16.6 percent. In fact, he’s probably done even better than that, because of the distributions of profits during the years of ownership.

To say the least, the rate of return is very impressive. It’s a much better performance than most of the ways Sterling could have invested his money.

For example, it’s about four and a half times the return he would have gotten by putting his money in the stocks of the S&P 500 index and reinvesting the dividends.

Desmond Tutu: Oilsands 'Filth' Created By Greed

Click here to view the original article.

By Bob Weber, CP / Huffington Post, 05/31/2014

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu has called Alberta's oilsands "filth" created by greed, and has urged all sides to work together to protect the environment and aboriginal rights.

"The fact that this filth is being created now, when the link between carbon emissions and global warming is so obvious, reflects negligence and greed," Tutu told more than 200 rapt attendees at a conference on oilsands development and treaty rights in Fort McMurray on Saturday.

"The oilsands are emblematic of an era of high carbon and high-risk fuels that must end if we are committed to a safer climate."

"Oilsands development not only devastates our shared climate, it is also stripping away the rights of First Nations and affected communities to protect their children, land and water from being poisoned."

Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nati…

Feds still improperly collecting background info on access-to-info requesters

Click here to view the original article.
[The Information Commissioner has identified several "instances of political interference by staff in the office of the Public Works minister, where material that should have been released was withheld illegally under the Act." *RON*]
By Dean Beeby, CP / Huffington Post, 05/31/2014

OTTAWA - The federal government continues to collect background information on individuals who file access-to-information requests, more than seven months after officials agreed to stop the practice.

An online service launched last year requires all requesters applying for documents under the Access to Information Act first to indicate whether they're members of the media, business, academia or other categories.

The service, which to date has processed almost 30,000 electronic access-to-information requests, does not allow a requester to decline to identify her or his background — and failure to select a category halts the process in its tracks.

Last fall, Ca…

Weather forecasters at Environment Canada aren’t supposed to discuss climate change in public, says a Canadian government spokesman.

Click here to view the original article.
[“I’m probably quitting. Harper wins.” – Federal scientist in Canada. *RON*]
Mike DeSouza, May 27, 2014

Environment Canada made the comments in response to emailed questions about its communications policy.

The department defended its policy by suggesting that Environment Canada meteorologists – among the most widely-quoted group of government experts in media reports and broadcasts – weren’t qualified to answer questions about climate change.

“Environment Canada scientists speak to their area of expertise,” said spokesman Mark Johnson in an email. “For example, our Weather Preparedness Meteorologists are experts in their field of severe weather and speak to this subject. Questions about climate change or long-term trends would be directed to a climatologist or other applicable authority.”

Environment Canada estimates that nearly half of all the calls it takes from journalists are related to the weather. Its meteorologists also offer a 24-hour media…