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Showing posts from September 2, 2016

'The Mother of All Risks': Insurance Giants Call on G20 to Stop Bankrolling Fossil Fuels

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["Three of the world's biggest insurance companies this week are demanding that G20 countries stop bankrolling the fossil fuels industry." Multinational firms managing $1.2tn in assets declare subsidies for coal, oil, and gas 'simply unsustainable.' *RON*]

Lauren McCauleyCommon Dreams, 29 August 2016

Warning that climate change amounts to the "mother of all risks," three of the world's biggest insurance companies this week are demanding that G20 countries stop bankrolling the fossil fuels industry.

Multi-national insurance giants Aviva, Aegon, and Amlin, which together manage $1.2tn in assets, released a statement Tuesday calling on the leaders of the world's biggest economies to commit to ending coal, oil, and gas subsidies within four years.

"Climate change in particular represents the mother of all risks—to business and to society as a whole. And that risk is magnified by the way in which fossil f…

Feds say temporary foreign workers could be necessary for LNG projects in BC

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[Election 2017. We can all retire and go home now that the non-existent projects with their non-existent jobs are going to be given to nobody in BC. *RON*]
Posted by Chris Newton, EnergeticCity.ca, 29 August 2016
OTTAWA —Federal Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk was told earlier this year to give a positive signal to LNG companies regarding the use of temporary foreign workers, but only if Canadians were considered for jobs first.

Mihychuk’s officials told her in February that it was inevitable that companies would need temporary foreign workers to proceed with energy projects in Western Canada.

In a briefing note on February 1st, officials wrote that the federal government can speed up how quickly it processes applications for temporary foreign workers, but couldn’t waive requirements for LNG projects.

Economists Should Stop Defending Milton Friedman’s Pseudo-science

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[On the pseudo-scientific nature of Friedman's "as if" methodology and the ideological nature of his logic. *RON*]
By George H. Blackford, Evonomics, 

"Consider the problem of predicting the shots made by an expert billiard player. It seems not at all unreasonable that excellent predictions would be yielded by the hypothesis that the billiard player made his shots as if he knew the complicated mathematical formulas that would give the optimum directions of travel, could estimate accurately by eye the angles, etc., describing the location of the balls, could make lightning calculations from the formulas, and could then make the balls travel in the direction indicated by the formulas. Our confidence in this hypothesis is not based on the belief that billiard players, even expert ones, can or do go through the process described; it derives rather from the belief that, unless in some way or other they were capable of reaching essen…

The Congo story no one has told you

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[More than 60 people were killed earlier this month, but it wasn't in the US; It wasn't Europe; it wasn't South America. It happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I doubt that we can be very optimistic that developed world disinterest in the problems of the developing world will change very soon, except where Western soldiers on the ground and dying. *RON*]
Gabrielle Karol, KXTV, 30 August 2016
Over the weekend, ABC10 News received an email from a local viewer, Julia Wyman.

She wanted to know why we hadn’t covered a massacre that had occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this month. More than 60 people had been killed.

She wrote: “Black lives in America matter, black lives in Europe matter, but based on media coverage, black lives in Africa do not matter. If 60 people were killed in Louisiana, or Paris for that matter, it would be all over every news service.”

We had to hand it to Wyman – she had a point. So, we…

Nasa: Earth is warming at a pace 'unprecedented in 1,000 years'

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[Records of temperature that go back far further than 1800s suggest warming of recent decades is out of step with any period over the past millennium. An unlivable Middle East and North Africa, rising sea levels, melting polar caps and the Sixth Extinction. *RON*]

Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 30 August 2016


The planet is warming at a pace not experienced within the past 1,000 years, at least, making it “very unlikely” that the world will stay within a crucial temperature limit agreed by nations just last year, according to Nasa’s top climate scientist.

This year has already seen scorching heat around the world, with the average global temperature peaking at 1.38C above levels experienced in the 19th century, perilously close to the 1.5C limit agreed in the landmark Paris climate accord. July was the warmest month since modern record keeping began in 1880, with each month since October 2015 setting a new high mark for heat.

But Nasa said that reco…

Democracy And Capitalism May Be Headed For Divorce

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[Inequality is fueling global political unrest. Zach Carter on Martin Wolf. I would have posted the Wolf article itself but I got stuck behind their paywall. "If the legitimacy of our democratic political systems is to be maintained, economic policy must be orientated towards promoting the interests of the many not the few." *RON*]

Zach Carter, Huffington Post, 31 August 2016

The financial calamity of 2008 laid bare ugly problems in the global economic order. The mess has now festered into a political crisis that jeopardizes the link between market-driven economies and representative democracy.

So argues Martin Wolf, the most influential living British economics writer, in a Wednesday column for the Financial Times titled “Capitalism and Democracy: The Strain is Showing.” Fixing the economic norms most English-speaking people refer to as “capitalism,” Wolf argues, will be difficult. But a first step requires rethinking what elites have …