Category Archives: Uncategorized

The 100 People and Companies Responsible for 71% of the World’s Carbon Emissions

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Sure, we can cut down on our plastic lids at Starbucks or reduce our bags at the grocery checkout.

And maybe we can try to have a backyard composter to ease up on the waste that makes it to landfill.

Some of us are even going vegetarian or vegan to help cut back on carbon-producing animals that were once a mainstay of our diets.

Of course, when we recycle, we know a LOT of it winds up in landfill or the ocean.

We do the little things because we want to believe the little things will add up.

But they won’t.

Just 100 people head the 100 companies that produce 71% of the world’s emissions.

Here’s some additional insight on this report from The Guardian UK.

Carbon Tracker study in 2015 found that fossil fuel companies risked wasting more than $2tn over the coming decade by pursuing coal, oil and gas projects that could be worthless in the face of international action on climate change and advances in renewables – in turn posing substantial threats to investor returns.

A fifth of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions are backed by public investment, according to the report. “That puts a significant responsibility on those investors to engage with carbon majors and urge them to disclose climate risk,” says Faria.

Investors should move out of fossil fuels, says Michael Brune, executive director of US environmental organisation the Sierra Club. “Not only is it morally risky, it’s economically risky. The world is moving away from fossil fuels towards clean energy and is doing so at an accelerated pace. Those left holding investments in fossil fuel companies will find their investments becoming more and more risky over time.”

Of course, none of these companies would exist if we simply dialed back on everything we consumed on a daily basis, but it’s an important reminder that change will have to come from 7 billion of us demanding our governments to take action against these corporate giants.

For the record, some of this information is moderately misleading. The Pentagon is recorded as the world’s single largest emitter of greenhouse gases compared to the rest of the US government. If I make a similar leap in logic, then we’d get rid of all military around the globe, but we know that’s just not going to happen.

Which brings me back to the key question of the article: can we as individuals have an impact on what happens on a global level or should we pressure our governments to institute reforms that might work against the interest of specifici companies and their shareholders?

An alternative is that if we have money to save, we make that our investment managers or our own decisions go towards options that focus on renewables and companies that have a substantially smaller carbon footprint.

Or maybe all three (and more).

Let’s go!

Category: Uncategorized

Prince Charles: We Need a New System

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More voices are entering the ring when it comes to opinions about how we should be guiding this great planet called Earth.

Prince Charles has todded in his opinion: We need a new economic model or the planet will burn.

To add:

“We can’t go on like this, with every month another record in temperatures being broken,” he told CNN in an exclusive interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “If we leave it too long, and we have done, just growing things is going to become difficult.”

“Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done? I don’t want to,” hetold the audience at the WEF’s 50th annual meeting.

Now, we have to look at the source and ask ‘what’s up?’ Here’s a guy who has spent his entire life sheltered behind a system that is sheltered by another system.

It’s like he’s on the inner circle of Russian dolls and he’s only just barely seeing the light of reality of what’s happening around the globe.

I suppose this is a good thing. The more people – regardless of stature or significance – that call out for attention to the global climate crisis, the better.

In other words, it’s happening. Let’s ALL make it happen and stop living in the dark ages.

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Educate Me, Part II: The High Cost of Privatizing Public Education

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The Ford government (and other right-wing idealogues) want to push kids into online classrooms so that they can hack away at education funding, especially for teachers.

Commenting on online programs becomes a little awkward for me because I know there’s a time and a place for it. In facft, I’ve done numerous online courses successfully over the last decade or so and I also predict that Massive Online Organized Classrooms (MOOCs) will dominate the landscape within a few years.

But that’s more relevant to post-secondary education, isn’t it?

Our kids need attention, not more screen time.

But as the Conservative pundits push forward with this agenda, it’s important that we all come to grips with who the beneficiaries are: the private companies that organize the online classrooms.

Just like book publishing was a massive shift of public spending towards massive private companies instead our classrooms, so too will online learning result in a shift away from the public good and into the hands of a select few.

This article explores the impact of private education (or charter schools) pretending it’s public and identifies the pitfalls in trusting this exchange.

Despite flying somewhat under the mainstream radar, online charter schools have faced a wave of both negative press and poor results in research studies. One large-scale study from 2015 found that the “academic benefits from online charter schools are currently the exception rather than the rule.” By June of 2016, even a group that supports, runs, and owns charter schools published a report calling for more stringent oversight and regulation of online charter schools, saying, “The well-documented, disturbingly low performance by too many full-time virtual charter public schools should serve as a call to action for state leaders and authorizers across the country.”

….

Between 2011 and 2014, 100 percent of the children enrolled in Philadelphia-area cyber schools who took state achievement tests failed.

….

The companies who run online and virtual schools are also consistently accused of financial impropriety

The quote that really stuck with me:

Targeting the most economically vulnerable students ultimately yields cyber education businesses increased profits resulting from the segrenomics of apartheid schools. The undereducation of the poor and people of color is a business opportunity that generates great profit for businesses but provides little in the way of quality instruction.

Who the fuck thinks this way? Hands-in-the-public-till-money-grabbing 1%ers, that’s who. We have to stop in Ontario before it’s too late and we wind up with the same idiocracy that’s being built in America.

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Educate Me, Please

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The educational system in Ontario (and elsewhere) is a mess.

I’ll start with the classic statement that ends with a but: “I’m not an expert …”

BUT …

We have rolling strikes that have been going for the last several months. There is no sign of them ending.

We have a government that is hell bent on NOT negotatiating.
There is a complete failure to bring a mediator to the table (something that should be legislated to force both parties to actually work on finding a solution).
What’s the future of education when all we’re really doing is pushing the whole system to the bottom?
Will the Ford government introduce broader private education, further separating the classes of people that can afford school (and therefore university) and those that can’t?
They’ll be saying in their private board rooms: “Let’s make sure they can count our change and clean our toilets. That’s about as smart as we want the population to be.”

Why We ALL Need Better Education

The last 200 years has seen a radical shift in the educational system compared to all of humanity before that.
Roughly 200 ago (give or take a few decades), we as a society demanded universal, free public education.
Once we organized universal public education, the increase in ALL measures of quality of life, especially economic growth, has been exponential. Information, knowledge, incomes, health and more have all grown to new and unique ranges that we could NOT have imagined 200 years ago.
Even organized religion and other cults have taken a hit as we learn to be skeptical about what’s on offer.
Universal education has given us ALL a future.
Conservative governments want to take this away.
Yes, this massive explosion in wealth comes with a downside. We are most likely going to burn out this planet within another generation (if that) and yes, there are still massive disparities between the ultra-rich and the destitute poor.
But … not until recently have we all had ways to grow on these massive tsunami waves of wealth that haven’t been available before.
Maybe I’m just having this revelation now because I’m a father of a young man that I want nothing but the best for, but maybe it’s also because we’re about to throw away all of the good that we’ve been able to bring to the world. All of the promise, the love and the peace that comes with a better connected globe and deep new communities of people that are committed to real change.
Conservatives just want a bigger pile of coin to sit on for themselves. Unions just want to control the thousands of teachers and manipulate them into believing that they are being robbed by the public.
We need to find a better way to do things or our entire system will get an F.
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Wow. Tru-Dough-Nut Scandal in Canada. Only in Canada.

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So, our Prime Minister walks into a local small business.

Spends a few hundred dollars. Or whatever amount.

Promotes the business simply by dropping by. Helping them spread news about their awesomeness.

They will make money for a VERY long time.

They will make doughnuts.

Conservatives, critics and mindless media? LOSE THEIR FREAKIN MINDS over the fact that Trudeau is a bourgoisie arse whipe blowing Canadian taxpayer dollars on ‘Oh Doughnuts’ in Winnipeg as opposed to mindlessly waiting in the drive thru at Tim Horton’s.

Here are a few random quotes:

Like most Albertans, I have to watch our dollar. At Costco, I bought food that was on sale & would last. I stretch my $ to provide nutritional meals 4 my family & the idea of a treat for us is at the bottom of our list. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to see this entitlement

[Editor’s note: just a reminder that Costco is the furthest thing from Canadian]

Another company your foundation has shares in perhaps?

… donuts brought to you by the Canadian Taxpayers….

And the most vital, irrelevant and absurd theme:

$47 a dozen or $10.99 for Tim’s. Why eat like the Bourgeoisie?

At $47 a,dozen. I guess when you have unlimited tax payer credit card, paying outrageous money for donuts is ok. Tim Hortons too low class for you

These people know Tim Horton’s isn’t Canadian-owned, right?

Tim Hortons hasn’t exactly ingratiated itself to Canadians recently, and certainly not in Winnipeg, where 15 unionized Tims workers were locked out of their workplace amid pay negotiations.

Only in Canada do we get a scandal about … doughtnuts.

Tru-dough-nuts.

Category: Uncategorized