Showing posts from April 1, 2016

Unaoil Corruption Scandal: Monaco Raids Company Offices Amid Revelation Of Involvement Of Foreign Companies

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[This is the "biggest leak of confidential files in the history of the oil industry," and the story is getting scant coverage, to put it mildly, in the mainstream media. Most of the articles are from the Huffington Post and, where the story is getting some coverage, Halliburton (i.e., Dick Cheney's company) is typically left out. Okay, I just came across this: Mainstream Media Ignores Blockbuster Expose of Massive Bribery in Iraq by Unaoil. *RON*]
By Sneha Shankar, International Business Times, 1 April 2016

Police officials in Monaco raided offices and homes of officials from oil company Unaoil on a request from the United Kingdom after allegations of corruption, involving several foreign companies. The large-scale corruption was revealed in a joint report Thursday by Australia's Fairfax Media and the Huffington Post which said that Unaoil and its owners — the Ahsani family — used multi-million dollar commissions to bribe corru…

Open letter to Premier Christy Clark: B.C. businesses support a stronger carbon tax

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[130+ businesses so far have signed. B.C. Climate Leadership Plan with $10 per tonne per year increase will benefit the economy. For a fast negative response by the Liberals, see B.C.'s Carbon Tax Needs A Hike, According To Businesses*RON*]
Pembina Institute, 30 April 2016

More than 130 B.C. businesses have signed the following open letter calling on the B.C. government to commit to strengthening the province’s carbon tax as part of the Climate Leadership Plan, due out this spring.

The Board of Change, Clean Energy BC, Climate Smart Businesses Inc., Pembina Institute and Clean Energy Canada initiated the letter, which was released today (March 30).

March 29, 2016

The Honourable Christy Clark, MLA
Premier of the Province of British Columbia
Box 9041
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E1

Dear Premier,

New York Reaches Deal to Raise Minimum Wage to $15

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[Is change beginning? We now have Trudeau running around the world encouraging government investment, and this is the first time in a good long while that we've heard a US governor trumpeting "We're leaders in economic justice." *RON*]

By Inae Oh, Mother Jones, 1 April 2016

Not to be outdone by its perennial rival on the west, New York announced on Thursday it had reached a deal to raise the minimum wage in New York City to $15by 2018. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hailed the agreement as the "best plan the state has produced in decades."

"We're leaders in economic justice," he said in an announcement outlining the state's budget.

But unlike California, where lawmakers approved a measure to hike its statewide minimum to $15, the Empire State failed to reach an agreement on a statewide minimum. Instead a hike will go into effect regionally: Areas outside of New York City, including New York's wealthier…

‘This will change the Great Barrier Reef forever’: Australia’s natural wonder ‘fried’ by underwater heat wave

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[No one knows how much of the reef will die. See also: Link between fossil fuels and Great Barrier Reef bleaching clear and incontrovertible.  *RON*]

By Jonathan Pearlman, The Telegraph, 30 March 2016

SYDNEY — An underwater heat wave in the Great Barrier Reef has led to devastating coral bleaching which has damaged or killed 95 per cent of the northern reefs, according to scientists.

An aerial survey of 520 sites across the 2,500-kilometre stretch of delicate coral reefs in north-east Australia found that the most pristine sections had been “fried” and were facing some of the worst bleaching in recorded history.

Long stretches of the reef, which is world heritage-listed and one of the country’s top tourist destinations, have turned “snow-white” following bleaching which began six months ago, according to the researchers.

Nobel Prize Economist Says American Inequality Didn’t Just Happen. It Was Created.

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[How government policies keep power at the top of society. *RON*]

By Joseph E. Stiglitz, Evonomics
American inequality didn’t just happen. It was created. Market forces played a role, but it was not market forces alone. In a sense, that should be obvious: economic laws are universal, but our growing inequality— especially the amounts seized by the upper 1 percent—is a distinctly American “achievement.” That outsize inequality is not predestined offers reason for hope, but in reality it is likely to get worse. The forces that have been at play in creating these outcomes are self-reinforcing.

America’s current level of inequality is unusual. Compared with other countries and compared with what it was in the past even in the United States, it’s unusually large, and it has been increasing unusually fast. It used to be said that watching for changes in inequality was like watching grass grow: it’s hard to see the changes in any short span of time. But …

David Suzuki: Tapping Earth's abundant geothermal energy

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[BC could get the same amount of energy from geothermal sources for half the construction cost with less environmental disruption while creating more jobs: "Unfortunately, geothermal hasn’t received the same level of government support as other sources of energy." *RON*]

by David Suzuki on March 29th, 2016 at 11:09 PM

In the midst of controversy over B.C.’s Peace River Site C dam project, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association released a study showing the province could get the same amount of energy more affordably from geothermal sources for about half the construction costs.

Unlike Site C, geothermal wouldn’t require massive transmission upgrades, would be less environmentally disruptive, and would create more jobs throughout the province rather than just in one area.

Despite the many benefits of geothermal, Canada is the only “Pacific Ring of Fire” country that doesn’t use it for commercial-scale energy. According to the Desm…