Is sustainability sustainable in the Age of Trump?

first_imgWe believe there is still plenty of opportunity to protect our environment and society, in part because Trump’s actions have virtually no popular support and limited business support.Even Trump voters support environmental regulation and renewable energy.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors. For Americans who care about sustainability, it’s been three long, tough months. It started in January with two executive orders lifting financial and environmental restrictions on oil and coal companies. Then came the appointment of EPA antagonist Scott Pruitt as head of the agency, followed by President Trump’s proposed 31 percent cut to the EPA budget. Finally, there was the president’s March 28 executive order to withdraw from the Clean Power Plan and cancel Barack Obama’s 2016 auto emissions standards.What’s next? Trump has said many times he wants to withdraw from the 2015 Paris COP21 climate accord. But whether the U.S. stays in the accord or not, it’s clear the new administration has no intention of meeting our commitments to it.They killed us, but they ain’t whupped us yetWhat now? Let’s start by taking a deep breath and remember what Tim Kaine said in his election night concession speech:“They killed us, but they ain’t whupped us yet.”We believe there is still plenty of opportunity to protect our environment and society, in part because Trump’s actions have virtually no popular support and limited business support.Pew Research says 89 percent of Americans support expanding the use of solar power, and 59 percent support stricter environmental laws and regulations.Even Trump voters support environmental regulation and renewable energy. Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies found that 75 percent of Trump voters support action to accelerate the deployment and use of clean energy.Bucking the business communityThe Trump team is also on the “wrong” side of Big Business. GreenBiz’s 2017 Green Economy survey looked specifically at how corporate sustainability strategies will be affected by power shifts in the presidency and Congress. The survey finds that these changes will have no impact on 60 percent of the respondents’ sustainability strategies, and just over a third say it will “slow us down but not stop us.”Pledging allegianceWhy do companies plan to stay the course? For one thing, many organizations have already publicly pledged allegiance to sustainable business practices while tying their brands to a socially responsible mission.A Corporate Citizenship survey reports that 40 percent of companies are working to achieve at least one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—up from 19 percent last year.Of course, companies know that sustainability isn’t just good for their brand — it’s good for their business. A study by Harvard Business School demonstrates that sustainability-focused companies outperform their peers. An Arabesque/Oxford study shows Good Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) standards lower the cost of capital and help deliver better operational performance.Better engagement and retention metrics Sustainability is proving to be a big factor in employee engagement and retention. A study by SHRM, BSR & Aurosoorya found that morale was 55 percent higher in companies with strong sustainability programs. Cone Research found that 64 percent of millennial job candidates won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility commitments.The investor climate is changingAs business proves the sustainable business case, sustainable finance is on the rise.According to the Sustainability Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, 58 stock exchanges — representing over 70 percent of listed equity markets — have made a public commitment to advancing sustainability in their market.In the U.S., total assets invested that consider environmental issues have grown 77-fold since 2010 and now exceed $7.79 trillion, according to the Green Business 2017 report.Joining forces, speaking outAll of this is emboldening business leaders to speak out publicly about sustainability and, increasingly, to join forces with other leaders to amplify the message.In 2013, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed Risky Business with former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulsen and philanthropist Tom Steyer. Their mission is to speak out on the economic risks of climate change and make the case for why the U.S. should invest in a clean energy economy.An open letter to world leaders was issued in the lead up to COP21 in Paris. Here, a coalition of CEOs from 79 companies and 20 economic sectors — representing $2.1 trillion of combined revenue —affirmed their commitment to ambitious business action on climate change, and urged the world’s leaders to reach an ambitious climate deal at COP21.By COP21, the coalition had 543 companies and investors commit to at least one of its initiatives, which included adopting a science-based target, putting a price on carbon, and procuring 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources. By the beginning of 2017, 688 companies and investors have committed to at least one of these initiatives.Is sustainability sustainable?Is sustainability in the U.S. really sustainable now that Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office? The GreenBiz report is cautiously optimistic:“In an increasingly complex business environment of growing resource use and climate concern, along with the uncertainties brought about by the 2016 U.S. elections, sustainable business faces a challenging future. However, we’re seeing that the world’s largest companies remain steadfast in their sustainability commitments and achievements.”The fact is, sustainable business is an enormous opportunity. A recent study by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission says that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in just four economic systems could open 60 market ‘hot spots’ worth an estimated $12 trillion by 2030.”The sustainable business opportunity is probably bigger than that. We would argue that it is stronger than any one person’s political agenda, even the president of the United States.A longer version of this article is available on Corporate Eco Forum’s EcoInnovator Blog. Climate Politics, Energy, Environment, Environmental Policy, Green Energy, Renewable Energy, Sustainability Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Rhett Butlerlast_img read more

An appeal to His Excellency

first_imgDear Editor,Please publish this letter as an appeal to His Excellency, President David Granger, to review the performance and conduct of some ministers of Government, and take appropriate actions to engender national confidence in the economy and security of the people and nation. The buck stops with you, Mr President, as the Executive Leader of Guyana.Citizens are aware of the widespread perception and belief that the situation in Guyana is deteriorating. This is causing much anguish for the people, who look for redress through active and timely interventions. There is also the widespread perception and belief that the performance of some ministers is at best third rate and mediocre. This must be a source of grave embarrassment to you, as President.The conduct, behaviour, and performance of some ministers leave much to be desired.One can point to several recent examples in words and actions of some ministers, including the following: attacks and intimidation of the Judiciary, and direct attacks on judges; financial management of the economy relating to actions by the Ministry of Finance; rising crime rates, which are engendering fear and anxiety for the security of citizens and the business community, relating to actions/inactions by the Ministry of Public Security; the unsatisfactory and wasteful expenditure in the health sector under the Ministry of Public Health; and the unsatisfactory situation in the agriculture sector under the Ministry of Agriculture.Some ministers appear not to understand their constitutional functions, and they micro-manage and get involved in management/administration of operational matters, instead of concentrating on their policy direction role. Article 115 of the Constitution of Guyana defines the responsibilities and functions of ministers and permanent secretaries, the accounting heads of ministries.The view is widespread that there should be radical changes in the Cabinet – a cabinet reshuffle, dropping some ministers and bringing in some high-level technocratic skills into the Cabinet and Government.Yours faithfully,Joshua Singhlast_img read more

Public safety is more important than cops’ privacy rights

first_imgIn an ideal world, this kind of disclosure wouldn’t be necessary. But this isn’t an ideal world, and the LAPD hasn’t always been a model of the ideal police department. Honest cops – and there’s no doubt all but a few are honest – should have nothing to fear. It’s true dirty cops would probably lie on the disclosure forms, but lies have a way of catching up with people. The Police Commission will make the decision to do what it thinks is best for the city and for the department. Hopefully, the dedicated officers of the LAPD will honor that decision – as much as they may hate it – and continue to protect and serve the people of L.A. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The way the Los Angeles Police Protective League tells it, if the Police Commission adopts tough financial disclosure rules for gang and narcotics officers today, then about 500 officers will either quit or ask for transfers to other units. That would truly be a blow for the Los Angeles Police Department, though it’s hard to believe 500 cops would jeopardize public safety if they have nothing to hide. Truly, it’s disappointing that people sworn to protect the public safety – and compensated handsomely for it – would so cavalierly threaten to undermine it as a political ploy. The PPL and its members hate this proposed requirement, one of the last changes needed to comply with the consent decree put in place after the Rampart scandal. No one should need to be reminded that the scandal involved rogue cops in a gang unit who acted like hoodlums and went unreported because of the code of silence among fellow officers. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe police union says financial disclosure is an invasion of privacy because it requires officers who are working in gang and narcotics units to provide details of their own and their family’s finances. The claim is that such disclosures would open officers up to identity theft since information about their debts, income, property and stocks would be on file at the LAPD. This is intrusive, certainly, but not quite the invasion that the PPL makes it out to be. People who have such important jobs must be as above suspicion as possible. That’s why people entrusted with national defense endure lengthy and somewhat humiliating scrutiny of their public and private lives. Indeed, every top city official has to disclose some financial details as a matter of course. Those records are public, while officers’ files would not be. What’s ironic, of course, is the elaborate records of everyone’s financial activities on file with banks, credit agencies and other institutions that afford the average citizen far less privacy protection than police officers would have with records kept by the LAPD. last_img read more

Lets imagine… Jump a few years into the future A

first_imgLet’s imagine… Jump a few years into the future. All the hoopla about IoT is history. A lot of equipment comes with network interfaces. The software embedded in the equipment uses resources on the network to get its job done.Imagine a new machine being installed in a factory. It’s in position, the mechanical setup is complete, the electricals have been tested. Next step is to plug in (or switch on) the network connection.What happens next? I agree there’s a case for machines only speaking when they are spoken to. But rather than wait for the local controllers to execute their next ‘discovery’ scan, let’s assume this is an active machine. It will get things started by looking for the resources it will use on the network. Some of these will be IoT-ish, but in addition, some resources the machine needs will be ordinary applications.The first example is asset management. The newly connected machine will probe for all the asset management systems it knows about, using all the protocols it has got. It must find a way to register itself as a new asset. This means finding a way to message the organization’s ERP system, and self register in the asset management module with details like manufacturer, model number, and serial number.The next example is configuration. The machine needs to phone home to the organization that provided it to its new user. Why? Because the machine needs to find out what functions the new user has paid for. So it must get a message to the customer relationship management system; or perhaps the sales order handling system of the provider. One of these systems will respond with information to instruct the machine to configure itself according to the order. It’s likely the machine will be largely autonomous. But maybe it still needs occasional operator attention. So it may need to contact the human resources system, and exchange information about who is authorized to access the machine.Some observationsThis is hardly revolutionary. Even today, we are disappointed if plugging in a USB device, or switching on a network-connected media player needs any follow-up actions. Surely it just loads the right drivers, registers as a device or source or player, and finds any applications which might be interested in its capabilities. We expect to plug in, switch on and use, with no need for geeky selection of options, and manual input of names and addresses to get things connected.Of course IoT enables a lot of new things to happen. The new machine will be reporting sensor readings to an analytics system which will recognize problems before they cause breakdown. An optimization system will be making second-by-second decisions responding to status, plans for the next few minutes, hours and days, and adjusting activity accordingly. A machine learning system may be monitoring the relationships between plans, inputs and outputs of an operator-controlled machine with a view to providing a better operator-assistance service next year. There will be new data flows to and from this machine up and down the supply chain, improving visibility and enabling faster reaction to problems.But for this machine to be part of a business, and not just a demonstration, it needs the ordinary apps as well. So if your focus is, say, financial software used by manufacturers, remember that one day, your software will be scanning machines like this one so that you can implement new automated ways of calculating first year capital allowances for tax, or utilization levels for the activity-based-costing model.Next stepsFor developers, the vital change in mindset is to supplement an inward-looking, function- and performance-based focus on your software modules with outward looking consideration of how to use the new connectivity.The ‘things’ for IoT have existed as records in business system databases. But now the business system can also reach these ‘things’ directly. Where are they, what is their status? If this triggers ideas on how to do something new or different or better, then you are part of the futurelast_img read more