The University of British Columbia is following the lead of faculty and...
The University of British Columbia is following the lead of faculty and students at Harvard University, the University of California, Stanford University and many other universities across North America. Also of note, Norway’s sovereign investment fund, the largest in the World @ $1.3 Trillion, has already made the decision to divest. The current fossil fuel market collapse and likely long term instability is prima facie evidence of the need for divestment, and to prevent further increases in carbon emissions.
UBS has confirmed it is being investigated by US authorities into whether it helped Americans evade taxes through investments banned in the US. The Swiss bank said US regulators were investigating potential sales of so called “bearer bonds”. These bonds can be transferred without registering ownership, enabling wealthy clients to potentially hide assets. The fresh investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and from the US Securities and Exchange Commission comes after UBS paid $780m (£512m) in 2009 to settle a separate Justice Department tax-evasion probe.
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), worth $850bn (£556bn) and founded on the nation’s oil and gas wealth, revealed a total of 114 companies had been dumped on environmental and climate grounds in its first report on responsible investing, released on Thursday. The companies divested also include tar sands producers, cement makers and gold miners.
As part of a fast-growing campaign, over $50bn in fossil fuel company stocks have been divested by 180 organisations on the basis that their business models are incompatible with the pledge by the world’s governments to tackle global warming. But the GPFG is the highest profile institution to divest to date.
In an extraordinary turn of events, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission appears set to implement strong new rules, later this month to enforce Net Neutrality on the Internet. If the new rules are implemented, it will have major favorable implications for future global Internet policy with the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, Switzerland. This means simply that all traffic on the Internet will be treated equally and fairly, which is one of the founding principles of the Internet, since its invention by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vin Cerf and others back in the 1980’s.
This issue began with Fox News alleged terrorism expert, Steven Emerson claiming that there were “no go areas” in England for non-Muslims. In an extraordinary turn of events, British Prime Minister David Cameron was asked to comment on Emerson’s claim, and replied that he had almost “choked on his porridge” when he first heard that claim, and that the alleged terrorism expert was “a complete idiot.” It was an extraordinary but necessary response from the PM, and both Fox News and Emerson apologized to Cameron. But the French were not done with Fox News.. at an extremely sensitive moment for the French, the Canal Plus satirical news show Le Petit Journal, described as something of a French version of John Stewart’s The Daily Show, decided to use classic French satire to further skewer Fox News. The brilliant stroke of genius, included fake news reports from Fox correspondents in Paris reporting from the alleged “no go areas.”
The growing downturn in the fossil fuels industry has extraordinary implications globally. While some are proposing theories that this downturn will be short-lived, there simply isn’t much evidence to support an optimistic forecast. Saudi Arabia is openly executing a long term strategy to squeeze “high cost oil producers,” using its unquestioned leverage and the lowest production costs in the World. Europe is facing potential deflation, and the current European recession is forcing the European Central Bank to begin “quantitative easing,” beginning this week, essentially printing money. The Russian economy is in shambles as the ruble weakens, something Putin did not plan on occurring. The Chinese economy has weakened sharply and will likely remain weak into the near foreseeable future. Meanwhile Canada is at the mercy of these global forces, with little in the way of economic reserves to defend its economy, having bet the entire Canadian economy on oil.
Report Lacks The Rigor Necessary To Give It Much Credibility. The AO report’s “economic impact” conclusions are based on 2014 Survey Monkey voluntary responses, which are problematic due to an apparent lack of critical assessment. The report does not follow the kind of rigorous industry analysis performed by leading technology consultancy firms like International Data Corporation (IDC) or Gartner.
While there have been hints of advanced battery technology development reported in various journals, there was nothing even hinted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. This would suggest that we are still a very long way off from any commercial solution to our dead and dying batteries. Ironically my wife last night announced that the battery in her iPhone 5S was not holding a charge like it formerly did. Anyone with this problem also knows that mobile phone stores do not generally even carry replacement batteries. These retailers prefer to use the situation to try to sell you a new phone.
Je suis fier d’etre Francais aujourd’ hui. 3.7 Million people turned out in Paris today, officially. Yesterday, large numbers of people also marched in Nice, Toulouse, Lyon and Nantes.
UPDATE: January 15, 2015. Target announced today that it will be closing all 133 stores in Canada, including the Vernon and Kelowna stores. eliminating at least a couple of hundred local $10/hr jobs and a handful of slightly better paid management jobs. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Target’s 17,000 + Canadian layoffs of […]