Friday, April 11, 2014

Being Optimistic Peter's Abundance Espresso Shot #4 - Peter's Laws #2 & 3

Peter's Abundance Espresso Shot #4 - Peter's Laws #2 & 3 - YouTube





Being optimistic is your free choice!

And its your best shot to build a brighter future!

You can predict the future if you shape it!

Connect with other changemakers and go for it!

YOU MATTER!






Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The mesh sharing and serendipity

The mesh sharing and serendipity



The Mesh? About the Mesh, Serendipity, Sharing & more…

From a Society30 point
of view, economic growth can no longer be described with indexes such as
GNP (the only reason to show growth in our Gross National Product is to
convince the financial dragons that we are able to repay our debts
within the agreed upon term). The Interdependent Economy of Society30
has other growth regulators than we are used to:


- It is all about what goes out, and not what comes in. So, you will
not hear “Are we richer today than yesterday?” It’s all about people
being better off. Why produce more products that nobody wants?

- It is about connections, not transactions. Growing smart is about
connecting and co-creating, and not just about trading goods with each
other.

- It is about people, not products.

- It is about skills – the commitment and creativity of people.

- It is about openness, fading boundaries, and originality or authenticity. Trusting the processes, trusting each other.


After all, we are able to grow in the indirect tangible affairs mentioned above. This is called social capital.

My question is whether you would want to exactly measure such growth…


The new value networks, the place where the old and the new work
together again, are characterized by clear communication and directly
doing business, designing, producing, and assessing together.


This is The Mesh, not just a network, but the basic foundation of
connected and engaged people that forms the starting point of new value
creating social networks. When I explained this “mesh” concept to the
Dutch philosopher Jan Flameling, he immediately mentioned Gilles Deleuze’s model
for society, a rhizome: a (botanical) organism that, in this case,
allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data
representation and interpretation.


A grown-up Mesh is an enormous cluster of value networks. Processes
in this chaordic (chaotic and organized) playing field are simplified by
the use of social media and technologies: the “Easycracy,” as Dutch
Management Thinker Martijn Aslander
coined it, arises. Our society will become much flatter, and therefore
simpler, because we are better connected with each other through
knowledge and through transaction systems.


So, a new economic playing field is arising. The alliance of
prosumers with the new Organization 3.0 ensures that consumers are
participants at an early stage, and in doing so, determine what and how
things are being produced. By doing so, all stakeholders in The Mesh of
an organization combine social capital and traditional capital, both of
which are needed to co-create value. According to Lisa Gansky, author of
the book The Mesh,
“Mesh companies create, share and use social media, wireless networks,
and data crunched from every available source to provide people with
goods and services at the exact moment they need them, without the
burden and expense of owning them outright”. Our new Serendipity Machine
Dashboard stimulates mesh working. Did you check it out already?



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tax Dodging Companies Hoarding Nearly One Trillion Overseas

Tax Dodging Companies Hoarding Nearly One Trillion Overseas | Common Dreams



"It's astounding that pro-austerity
ideologues are claiming that we have no choice but to slash spending on
vital programs like food stamps and Medicaid while big corporations are
draining the Treasury through massive tax dodging."




 

Tax Dodging Companies Hoarding Nearly One Trillion Overseas

New analysis, hearing, report make clear: tax dodging corporations siphon revenue that could help Main Street

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Profits for U.S. companies are at a record high, yet companies
have hoarded nearly one trillion overseas to dodge U.S. taxes, a new
Moody's analysis shows.

Photo: janinsanfran/cc/flickr
The findings, based on an analysis that looked at U.S.
non-financial, Moody’s-rated companies, also reveal that these companies
had stockpiled $1.64 trillion in cash at the end of 2013. That's about
up about 12 percent from the year before.


Leading the pack of cash hoarders is Apple, which stockpiled $158.8 billion last year.


One of the companies exploiting tax loopholes to avoid paying U.S.
taxes is Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar, which was scrutinized
Tuesday at a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing.


"Caterpillar is an American success story that produces iconic
industrial machines. But it is also a member of the corporate
profit-shifting club that has transferred billions of dollars offshore
to avoid paying U.S. taxes," Subcommittee Chairman Carl Levin said in
his opening statement.


Current polices incentivize such practices because companies don't
have to pay taxes on profits from these overseas subsidiaries if the
money isn't brought back to the United States.


"From 2000 to 2012," Levin stated, "Caterpillar shipped $8 billion in
profits to its Swiss affiliate, reducing Caterpillar’s U.S. tax bill by
$2.4 billion."


That kind of loss of revenue has real impacts on Americans, Levin
added, because it "increases the tax burden on working families, and it
reduces our ability to make investments in education and training,
research and development, trade promotion, intellectual property
protection, infrastructure, national security and more – investments on
which Caterpillar and other U.S. companies depend for their success."


This echoes findings from a report released last week showing
that the decrease in corporate tax revenues has "demonstrably harmed
state and federal budgets and the provision of services those funds pay
for."


"Millions of Americans have yet to see any economic recovery," stated
George Goehl, Executive Director of National People’s Action, which
co-authored the report. "They're struggling to find jobs, make ends
meet, and provide for their families. This report shows that the revenue
needed for recovery didn't just vanish, it was siphoned off by
corporations who refuse to pay their fair share."


The report shows that the downward spiral in funding of public
services like schools and roads could be helped by an increase in
corporate tax revenue.   Some lawmakers, however, have pushed austerity
on Main Street as the only option, as Sarah Anderson, Global Economy
Project Director at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Common Dreams.


"It's astounding that Rep. Paul Ryan and other pro-austerity
ideologues are claiming that we have no choice but to slash spending on
vital programs like food stamps and Medicaid while big corporations are
draining the Treasury through massive tax dodging," Anderson said.


Sen. John McCain, the ranking minority member of the subcommittee,
blamed "the highest corporate tax rate of any country in the world" — 35
percent— as motivation for corporations like Caterpillar to park
profits overseas.


Yet, as Anderson and others have pointed out,


very few companies pay anything like those rates. Total corporate
federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of U.S. profits in 2011, according to
the Congressional Budget Office. The average profitable company in the
Fortune 500 paid just 18.5% of its profits in federal income taxes
between 2008 and 2010, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a
nonpartisan tax research organization. Dozens of large and profitable
companies paid nothing in recent years.


"It is long past time to stop offshore profit shifting and start
ensuring that profitable U.S. multinationals meet their U.S. tax
obligations," Levin stated.


____________________

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stop Meat Industry Pollution - ForceChange


Stop Meat Industry Pollution

 

Goal: Reduce pollution from massive livestock operations to save animals and the environment


The raising and harvesting of meat, as unethical as it may be, is
also part of several detrimental issues facing the world today: loss of
wildlife, climate change, and the pollution of water are all concerns
which have received widespread attention. Massive livestock operations
are contributing to each of these problems in significant ways. We must
petition to reduce the huge numbers of livestock at these facilities,
and create safeguards to reduce their impact.

Between 1980 and 2010, meat production tripled, and is set to double
again by 2020. The earth and its wildlife are already feeling the
burden, but with the impending population boom set to raise the world’s
human count to 10 billion by 2050, the blow to the wildlife populations
and the environment will be even more catastrophic than it is now.

The problems created by such immense quantities of livestock include these:

- Wildlife: wild animals are killed for preying on livestock and are
decimated to enable the expansion of agricultural lands, creating
unstable ecosystems and extinction of local wildlife populations.

- Environment: livestock are responsible for 14.5% of global
greenhouse gas emissions – more than every form of transport combined.
In the U.S. around 5.5 million metric tons of methane, a greenhouse gas
25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, comes from meat production
operations.

- Water: almost 50% of water use in America is directed towards
raising livestock. Animal agriculture has taken over almost half of the
landmass of the lower 48 states, and has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers
in 22 states, and groundwater in 17 states.

These monumental impacts on wild animals and the environment will
only become worse as more livestock is required to feed the burgeoning
human population. Sign this petition to stop the horrific damage from
meat production.

 Please sign and share

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Must WATCH Exponential Growth! Arithmetic, Population and Energy

ExxonMobil to disclose carbon emissions risk

Oil Giant: 'Assess' Climate Risks? OK; 'Leave It In the Ground?' Never | Common Dreams



“If Big Oil can’t redirect capital to low-carbon energy alternatives, investors will.” —Natasha Lamb



Oil Giant: 'Assess' Climate Risks? OK; 'Leave It In the Ground?' Never

ExxonMobil to disclose carbon emissions risk

by Bryant Harris
Activist
shareholders hope that publicly assessing and disclosing the financial
risk associated with certain carbon-intensive operations will dissuade
Exxon and other energy companies from extracting oil and natural gas in
high-risk, environmentally sensitive areas like deep water and tar
sands. (Credit: Bigstock)
WASHINGTON
- As the
international community and the U.S. government place a heightened
emphasis on reducing carbon emissions as a way to combat global climate
change, shareholders have convinced the oil-and gas giant ExxonMobil to
publicly disclose the risk that strengthened regulation could pose to
its profits.

The Texas-based company announced its intentions last
week and agreed to publish a carbon asset risk report on its website by
the end of the month.


“If Big Oil can’t redirect capital to low-carbon energy alternatives, investors will.” —Natasha Lamb
“Investors … are looking at the energy market and starting to see
shifts that they’re concerned about,” Danielle Fugere, president of As
You Sow, an advocacy group that spearheaded shareholder pressure on the
issue, told IPS.


“Those range from the potential for carbon regulations to what
happens if the world actually gets smart and works to limit carbon in
order to prevent global warming. The investors are looking at increasing
cost curves for non-conventional fuels.”


Activist shareholders hope that publicly assessing and disclosing the
financial risk associated with certain carbon-intensive operations will
dissuade Exxon and other energy companies from extracting oil and
natural gas in high-risk, environmentally sensitive areas like deep
water and tar sands.


Exxon’s decision was largely due to pressure from As You Sow and a
key shareholder, Arjuna Capital. In return, Arjuna Capital and As You
Sow dropped a shareholder resolution that would have put the issue to a
vote at Exxon’s annual shareholder meeting.


“If we are going to avoid catastrophic climate change, we can only
burn one third of [known] carbon reserves,” Natasha Lamb, the director
of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna Capital, told
IPS. “So the big question is, if regulation market forces prevent oil
companies from burning that other two-thirds, why are they spending so
much in shareholder value exploiting more?


“As investors, we want to understand what kind of scenario analyses
they’re running taking these huge risks into account, and if they’re
profitably allocating shareholder capital."


Investors ultimately hope that a combination of increased regulations
on carbon emissions and subsequent shareholder concerns will prompt
large energy firms to diversify their assets and invest in more
sustainable forms of energy.


“Forward-thinking companies need to re-assess how they allocate
shareholder capital and act strategically to shift their business
models,” said Lamb. “If Big Oil can’t redirect capital to low-carbon
energy alternatives, investors will.”


Lamb also believes that Exxon’s decision will set a precedent and
encourage other companies to similarly disclose their carbon asset
risks, lest they alienate their investors.


“There are 10 other shareholder proposals this year asking companies
to report on carbon emissions risks,” Lamb said. “I would expect that,
after Exxon’s announcement, you’ll see increasing disclosures from
fossil fuel companies.”


The move also signifies that Exxon, which has a history of lobbying
against climate change legislation, may start to take the issue more
seriously in public – particularly as shareholders become concerned
about the effects of carbon emissions regulations on the energy giant.


“I think it’s important that Exxon has questioned whether climate
change is occurring, and I think the company’s finally saying, ‘Yes,
climate change is real,’” said As You Sow’s Fugere.


While Exxon initially challenged the resolution with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s main corporate regulator,
the SEC overruled the challenge. Although the SEC had instituted a
requirement compelling companies to publicly report on the impacts of
climate change on their businesses, Congress passed legislation that
blocked that mandate in 2010.


Stranded assets


Along with the rest of the international community, the United States
and European Union have agreed to limit the average increase in global
temperatures to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


Yet climate scientists calculate that if humans burn more than a
third of the world’s current proven carbon reserves between 2000 and
2050, there is a 20 percent risk that the global temperature will rise
beyond this level. Non-profit advocacy groups like the Carbon Tracker
Initiative have thus coined the term “unburnable carbon” to describe the
excess reserves that would raise the global temperature by more than
two degrees above pre-industrial levels.


Nonetheless, in 2012, the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel
companies invested approximately 674 billion dollars to discover and
develop new carbon reserves. Because companies cannot utilise new
reserves without breaking the international community’s agreed-upon
standards, some shareholders consider the exploration and development of
additional carbon reserves to be a “stranded asset”, an asset that is
obsolete and must therefore be recorded as a loss on a company’s balance
sheets.


The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s 2013 report on
unburnable carbon and the large amount of shareholder money invested in
new carbon reserves prompted Ceres, a group of 70 international
investors with more than three trillion dollars in assets, to pressure
the top 45 energy companies to assess and report on the risks that a
global decrease in carbon demand could pose.


Such initiatives are already starting to have a public impact. Last
January, for instance, Ceres’s shareholders successfully pressured
FirstEnergy, an Ohio-based utility company, into studying and reporting
on what it could do to reduce carbon emissions in line with President
Barack Obama’s goal of reducing total U.S. carbon emissions by 80
percent by 2050.


Additionally, last year As You Sow filed a vote with shareholders at
CONSOL Energy, a natural gas and coal firm, requesting that the company
report on the risk of stranded assets derived from carbon emissions.
While CONSOL was resistant to the request on the grounds that it already
produces a corporate social responsibility report, nearly 20 percent of
CONSOL shareholders voted in favour of the proposal, a figure that
Fugere deems significant.


“Over a billion dollars in investor
assets voted in favour of that,” said Fugere. “That was about a 20 to
22 percent ruling, depending on who you ask. When you have over 20
percent of your shareholders indicating it’s a concern, companies are
going to take note.”



Saturday, March 22, 2014

There's no reason why the environment or sustainability needs to be boring.

Studio C: Gabe Zichermann says it's time for "game on" | GreenBiz.com


Gabe Zichermann: Studio C at VERGE SF 2013

Gabe Zichermann, founder and CEO of Gamification Co., believes business success is driven by tools that excite rather than bore. By synthesizing the best ideas from gaming, loyalty programs and behavioral economics, Zichermann says employee engagement can reach new heights. "The best ideas often fail because they don't get buy-in and participation from the end user," he said during a Studio C conversation at GreenBiz Forum 2014.

Lets make sustainability education more SEXY and Exciting!