Sign of the times

NY Times tells the truth for a change

The Extinction Rebellion protested outside the New York Times HQ complaining that the paper and other mainstream media outlets are not doing enough to alert people of the climate emergency we face. The demands included compelling journalists to use more hysterical language so they can push for more “radical responses.”

70 were arrested. No care for wasting other people’s time.

The NYT was a little upset and released the following,

There is no national news organization that devotes more time, staff or resources to producing deeply reported coverage to help readers understand climate change than The New York Times.” The paper also claimed in a statement that it published almost 800 articles on climate change last year.

One of the first factual things it has written in a while.

How efficiently does your NSW council operate?

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Who has ever bothered to read the annual reports published by the local councils? Have we ever brought our local councillors to task on costs? For instance, why does household waste removal cost 2x as much in Woollahra as it does in Penrith? Of course, income disparity is one factor but is there a luxury element to garbage disposal in the wealthy suburbs? Garbage collection is just garbage collection, no? Of course, the distances travelled by garbage trucks might be a factor. Yet Waverley costs $17,500/hectare for annual rubbish disposal whereas Hornsby (arguably national parks don’t make it apples for apples comparisons) is $511/ha. Lane Cove has a similar area to Waverley but costs only $4,709/ha. Someone is making some serious coin on the collections in some council areas based off annual escalations one would think.

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Why does the City of Sydney council have a $924/resident cost per council staff versus $277 in Liverpool? Or on an area basis, why does it cost $83,000/ha in Sydney vs a similarly populated Parramatta at $12,300/ha?

Staff ha.png30% of Clover Moore’s budget is allocated to council staff. Councils in Hornsby, The Hills and Camden are less than 20%. Cumberland and Liverpool councils have around 50% of the budget allocated to staff.

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The City of Sydney rakes in $757mn pa or $3,154 per 240,000 odd residents. Mosman pulls in just under $50mn or $1,600 per 31,000 residents. Blacktown pulls in $640mn revenue per annum across 366,534 residents.

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Did we realise the collective equity base of our Sydney metro councils exceeds $66bn? $21bn of that in Sydney. How well are those assets being managed? There are some lazy balance sheets and even lazier investment strategies for all the collective billions sitting in those accounts.

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So next time you attend your council meeting, perhaps you can ask what the investment strategies are among the millions of your monies raised has been allocated?

 

We should be thinking of merging more councils. Plenty of inefficiencies to be squeezed out and plenty of opportunities to lower rates to the residents. Get off the high horse on declaring climate emergencies and look at streamlining services that really benefit those they serve.

Sydney to declare a Climate Emergency

If there was any city in Australia that was about to be swamped by rising sea levels, Sydney would be a front runner. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore wants her council to announce a “climate emergency” in a vote next week and demand the Morrison government step in and help businesses exit fossil fuel industries.

Moore only needs to type in the waterfront suburbs on http://www.realestate.com.au and see all see for herself whether there is mass panic selling of multi million dollar properties for a song. She won’t find them. Much less banks willing to finance them.

The idea of Sydney joining the 600 other jurisdictions across 13 countries declaring this rubbish speaks for itself. These issues have been preached about for decades. Why not declare an emergency then? All Moore is doing is looking to hijack a trendy hashtag to appear “woke”. Don’t forget she used a slug of ratepayer funds to help promote same sex marriage. Hardly the remit of a local council but hey it’s social justice.

Perhaps she can commit to 100% renewables and claims to reduce CO2 by 2024. If she is so confident of her climate emergency perhaps she should guarantee that if sea levels don’t rise and hot temperatures don’t stray out of statistical norms for a sustained period that she promises to declare “climate normality” and lower rates to her constituents by the amount of any net excess caused by her declaration. For she knows that if absolutely nothing happens then there are no consequences.

Recall the climate action plan of Ireland and the lack of money to fund it. Or Canada and pipeline approvals the day after its declaration.

Follow the money!

Identity Politics rejected by those who would seemingly benefit

Quillette columnist Coleman Hughes testified in front of a House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties on the subject of a bill proposing to conduct a commission into slavery reparations. Hughes’ testimony was not what activists wanted to hear so he was heckled by them.

He argued that such a path would further divide the nation. Such is the scourge of identity politics and the victim mentality.

He was booed when he said, “Black people don’t need another apology. We need safer neighborhoods and better schools. We need a less punitive criminal justice system. We need affordable health care. And none of these things can be achieved through reparations for slavery.”

He went on to describe that reparations were not only divisive, but an “insult to many black Americans by putting a price on the suffering of their ancestors, and we would turn the relationship between black Americans and white Americans from a coalition into a transaction

Reparations by definition are only given to victims, so the moment you give me reparations, you’ve made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that, you’ve made 1/3 of black Americans who poll against reparations into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner...

The question is not what America owes me by virtue of my ancestry, the question is what all Americans owe each other by virtue of being citizens of the same nation…And the obligation of citizenship is not transactional. It’s not contingent on ancestry. It never expires, and it can’t be paid off. For all these reasons, bill HR 40 is a moral and political mistake.”

Isn’t it ironic how out of touch the political class is when the very people they hope will give them the answer they want to hear do the exact opposite.

Woodie Guthrie, that evil white supremacist

It is unlikely that Woodie Guthrie ever channeled his inner racist when he penned ‘This land is your land‘. Yet native rights activist Mali Obomsawin said his lyrics,

…as they are embraced today evoke Manifest Destiny and expansionism (‘this land was made for you and me’). When sung as a political act, the gathering or demonstration is infused with anti-Nativism and reinforces the blind spot.

Just to clear the air, the lyrics (also sung by African-American Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings)

This land is your land, this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
And saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me , a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling
In the wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me
This land…”
So it is hardly anything more than Aussies celebrating in our own national anthem the words, “our land abounds in nature’s gifts of beauty, rich and rare”
Although Obomsawin contends,

This land ‘was’ our land, through genocide, broken treaties, and a legal system created by and for the colonial interest, this land ‘became’ American land. But to question the legitimacy of American land control today instantly makes one the most radical person in the room–even in leftist circles. And because Indigenous critiques of this country are so fundamental, our voices are often marginalized to the point of invisibility.By critiquing ‘This Land Is Your Land,’…I don’t mean to imply that Guthrie himself promoted conquest, but the song is indicative of American leftists’ role in Native invisibility

As Alyssa Duvall points out, “How do these people not walk into more telephone poles when they’re so busy watching out for racism, overt or covert, everywhere?”

They’ll never get it

Yet another example of the lunatics within the Extinction Rebellion (XR). Printing 1000s of paper leaflets and using those evil fossil-fuel based adhesives to fasten them to public and private property. CM is reminded of the echo chamber within XR when they claimed that many corporates backed their cause with a joint letter to The Times UK. As a reminder,

“CM attaches their own published business models in brackets below. We also attach the distance of each HQ from the protest epicentre in LondonIt’s easy to say how woke you are about impacting local businesses when you’re nowhere near it. Read on

The letter to the Times

Sir, Contrary to belief, there is business support for the Extinction Rebellion (XR) agenda. The multi million-pound costs that the Extinction Rebellion protests have imposed on business are regrettable, as is the inconvenience to Londoners. But future costs imposed on our economies by the climate emergency will be many orders of magnitude greater.

Hard pressure drives change, but even the most committed businesses will need time to respond. We welcome the news that  Extinction Rebellion is evolving a new platform, XR Business, to engage business leaders, investors and advisers. To drive things forward, the idea is to convene a meeting of XR activists and experts with business leaders and influencers.

Most businesses were not designed in the context of the developing climate emergency. Hence  we must urgently redesign entire industries and businesses, using science-based targets. 

To kick start the process, businesses should make a declaration that we face a climate emergency and organise a session at a full board meeting to consider the case for urgent action. We will encourage the senior management teams of which we are part to do likewise.

Signed

Seb Beloe, partner at WHEB

(“WHEB is a positive impact investor focused on the opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon and sustainable global economy.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 1.3km

——

Thomas Bourne, CEO and co-founder, Greenheart Business Ltd

(“Using the B Corp framework to assess, plan for and embed positive social & environmental impact improvements within your business – from specific operational improvements through to comprehensive or transformational (i.e. business model) change.)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 337.6km

——
Amy Clarke, co-founder, Tribe Impact Capital LLC

(“We use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for uncovering client’s values and to measure and report portfolio performance…To facilitate this we have created four Tribe Themes…we actively select positive investments that directly contribute to global sustainable development and address a social, economic or environmental issue society is facing.)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.5km

——
Chris Davis, CSO, The Body Shop International Ltd

(Social activism has been a part of the Body Shop since 1986 when it proposed an alliance with Greenpeace to save the whales“Protecting and regenerating habitats is also known as ‘re-wilding’. Find out how you can help us re-wild the world and protect our animal friends by fighting against deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 107.2km

——–

John Elkington co-founder and Louise Kjellerup Roper, CEO, Volans Ventures Ltd

(“By conducting inquiries into our planet’s most wicked problems, we help business drive positive change at an unprecedented pace and scale.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.2km
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Brad Frankel, CEO and co-founder, Flooglebinder Ltd

(“Our aim is to inspire students to become changemakers and future leaders through a range of educational programmes that connect young people with the outdoors. Our programmes firmly adhere to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. By understanding, enjoying and respecting these environments through adventure and play, we hope to develop more global citizens and positive ambassadors for our planet.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 267.2km
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Jake Hayman, CEO, Ten Years’ Time

(“Whether the cause area is climate change or economic fairness, mental health, homelessness or education, we work with those who are ready to leave the safe ideas behind and want instead to understand, challenge and do their bit to reinvigorate failing systems.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 6.4km

——

Jeremy Leggett, founder and director, Solarcentury Ltd

(“We’re in business for a purpose: to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change through the widespread adoption of solar power.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 4.8km

——

Charmian Love and Amanda Feldman, co-founders, Heliotropy Ltd

(“We broker partnerships across sectors  to support private sector engagement in social and environmental issues.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 6.4km

—-
Andy Middleton, founder and chief exploration officer, TYF Group

(“Our mission is to inspire long lives of adventure and promote discovery and care for nature.We create life-changing adventures with a light touch on nature, focus young people’s sight & skills for the future and help organisations with innovation & sustainability. We play for the planet.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 387.2km

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Safia Minney, founder & Former CEO, People Tree Fair Trade group.

(“Fairtrade promotes training on climate change mitigation for farmers. For example, some training offers advice on switching to environmentally friendly practices, such as developing nutrient-rich soils that support healthy plants and encouraging wildlife to help control pests and diseases.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.2km

—–
James Perry, partner, Snowball LLP

(“Project Snowball LLP is a pioneering investment organisation that targets social and environmental impact alongside financial return.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 60.8km

——
Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever plc

(“The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan sets out to decouple our growth from our environmental footprint, while increasing our positive social impact. “)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 361.6km

—–
Samer Salty, co-founder and managing partner, Zouk Capital LLP

(“Zouk’s ESG Policy includes an Ethical Investment Policy for negative screening and an innovative and bespoke methodology for assessing the value creation across Environmental, Social, and Governance principles driven by the portfolio companies…Zouk adheres to and is a signatory of the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) and is also fully Carbon Neutral.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 3.2km

—–
Sir Tim Smit, founder of The Eden Project, executive chairman of Eden Regeneration Ltd

(“Get a feel for what we believe in – from the way we run our site to the transformational social and environmental projects that we run on our doorstep and around the world.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 396.8km

—–
Hermione Taylor, CEO and founder, The Do Nation Enterprise Ltd

(“If changing behaviours was easy, we’d all be super-fit with PhDs, empty inboxes and spotless bathrooms. And, what’s more, climate change probably wouldn’t be a problem.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 6.4km

—–
Diana Verde Nieto, CEO and co-founder, Positive Luxury Ltd

(“Fashion recycling has been on the rise in recent years – so how are consumers shopping pre-worn today? To celebrate Earth Day, we investigate the popularity of the more environmentally-friendly way to stay stylish.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 4.8km

—–
Dale Vince OBE, founder, The Ecotricity Group

(“We’ll use the money from your energy bills to develop new sources of green energy. So you can help build a green Britain – just by being with us.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 171.2km

—–
Bevis Watts, managing director, Triodos Bank UK

(“Our bank was founded on the conviction that banking can be a powerful force for good. We offer a range of financial and banking services to savers, investors and entrepreneurs who want to change the world for the better. By connecting these groups, we are building a community of people united in their desire to make a positive impact on society, culture and environment.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 189km

—–
Tim Westwell, co-founder and former CEO, Pukka

(“Doing good things helps make good things happen. We create things that help you, help nature and everything inbetween. It’s called conservation through commerce – striving to positively change the world for you, business and the planet.“)

HQ Distance from XR protest: 182.6km

—–
Gail Bradbrook (co-founder)  Extinction Rebellion
Fiona Ellis (XR Business)

We’ve covered XR in previous posts. They’re leading this disruption.

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So there you have it. Every co-signatory has a vested interest with a business model attached to climate change. Many advertise the brands of other co-signatories on their respective websites. There is nothing woke about signing a letter which seeks self-promotion. Is this about saving the planet or cynically riding off the back of a movement to get press based marketing?