September 24, 2011

Green Army: Finance, Research and Development

Global War on Disinformation

George Soros (1930):
There has been an ongoing conflict between market values and other, more traditional value systems …
Advertising, marketing, even packaging, aim at shaping people's preferences rather than, as laissez-faire theory holds, merely responding to them.
Unsure of what they stand for, people increasingly rely on money as the criterion of value.
What is more expensive is considered better.
The value of a work of art can be judged by the price it fetches.
People deserve respect and admiration because they are rich.
What used to be a medium of exchange has usurped the place of fundamental values, reversing the relationship postulated by economic theory.
What used to be professions have turned into businesses.
The cult of success has replaced a belief in principles.
(The Capitalist Threat, The Atlantic Monthly, 279:2, pp 45-58, February 1997)

Jarecki Eugene [Documentary Film Maker]:
The 400 richest Americans today, now have more money than the bottom 150 million. …
[The Pew Research center has demonstrated that] 300 people incarcerated per 100,000 in a society … deters crime …
As you climb from 300 to 500 you start to see a diminishing impact on crime — you stop fighting crime with that incarceration …
Beyond 500 you [create] more crime than you are deterring.
We incarcerate 740 per 100,000 in America [— more than China or Russia.]
And in 10 American cities, African Americans are incarcerated at a rate of 4000 per 100,000.
Ten times the recommended dosage.
(The House I Live In, RSA, 20 May 2013)

Kate Raworth [Senior Researcher, Oxfam]:
What would it take to end [world] hunger?
It would take 3% of the current global food supply.
30% of today's food supply is lost, wasted or thrown away in the supply chain.
So we're looking for 10% of what we don't even eat at the moment.
(Doughnut Economics: Creating a safe and just space for humanity, RSA, 18 October 2012)

Matthew Taylor (1960) [Chief Executive, RSA]:
If you want to be happy for a year — get married.
If you want to be happy for a decade — get a dog.
If you want to be happy for the whole of your life — get a garden.
(The Power to Act: A New Angle on Our Toughest Problems, RSA, 12 September 2012)

Would you like to know more?

Earth is our Business

Polly Higgins: Lawyer

There was a man who sat underneath and oak tree.
And he came to a very important decision in his life.
He decided that it was time to abolish slavery.
His name was William Wilberforce.
Now, when William Wilberforce started on his journey, he didn't know how long it would take for that outcome to become a reality.
He didn't know whether or not it would happen in his lifetime.
In fact it did.
Despite all the odds being stacked against him, two days before he died, the laws were passed.
He died a happy man.
And that triggered a ripple effect right across the world.
Now that's a man who didn't have Facebook of Google.
We do. …

Today we can do the same.
It's a different form of slavery.
Instead of it being human beings, it's … the earth itself that's become enslaved …
… I believe, that by creating an international law of ecocide, we can … end the era of ecocide. …
The extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystems(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or be other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severe diminished. …
We know we can use technology and innovation in another way.
We do have solutions.
[It's about] facilitating a governance system that allows industry to flourish.
I really don't want to see economies collapse over this. …
Because he was absolutely clear that you have to make sure that industry is held in place in a transition period.
And in fact … not one of those three hundred companies [who were dependent on slavery] went underwater.
A lot of them went on to trading in tea in China and some of them became policers of the sea.
So you get poacher turning gamekeeper if you like.
So they were all helped financially … so that the economy didn't falter …
Now if that means we throw extra money at this problem in the short term to get through a transition period, so be it.
[It] will create more resilient economies in the long run. …

(RSA, 16 May 2012)

Would you like to know more?



Buffet, Warren

Gates, Bill
Soros, George

Research and Development

Australian Academy of Science

American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Geophysical Union
Australian Centre for Independent Journalism

Center for Strategic and International Studies and Center for a New American Security
Climate Change Research Centre
Climate Council
Climate Institute

Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation

Cultural Cognition Project

Grattan Institute

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Global Change Institute

Greenpeace International

Royal Society
Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce

Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Strategic Studies Institute

Sustainable Development Commission
The University of Sydney

World Bank

World Health Organisation


Warren Buffet (1930)

  • Wikipedia, 5 April 2013.

    Buffet is … is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth.
    Buffett is also a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Gates Foundation.

Bill Gates (1955)

  • Bill Gates on How to Stop Global Warming, Rolling Stone, 9 December 2010.
    Jeff Goodell.

    Bill Gates is investing millions to halt global warming by creating an inexhaustible supply of carbon-free energy. …
    In recent years, America's wealthiest man has begun to tackle energy issues in a major way, investing millions in everything from high-capacity batteries to machines that can scrub carbon dioxide out of the air.

    As he sees it, the biggest challenge is … figuring out how to raise the standard of living in the developing world without wrecking the climate.
    Achieving that, he argues, will require an "energy miracle" — a technological breakthrough that creates an inexhaustible supply of carbon-free energy.
    Although he doesn't know what form that miracle will take, he knows we need to think big.
    We don't really grasp the scale of the problem we're facing …
    The right goal is not to cut our carbon emissions in half.
    The right goal is zero.
    Would you like to know more?

George Soros (1930)

  • The Capitalist Threat, February 1997.
  • The Brothers Koch: Rich, Political And Playing To Win, Fresh Air, WHYY, 26 August 2010.
    Jane Mayer.

    [When] I did write about George Soros and the fortune — questioning the amount of money he was putting into politics, there was a big difference between writing about Soros and writing about the Koch brothers.

    George Soros spent days talking to me and let me watch his operation pretty closely.
    And he puts out a lot of information about where his money is going.

    By contrast, the Koch family refused to answer even the most fundamental question about their activities.
    They are … not just under the radar, they are underground.
    And you cannot get this information out of them.
    So they prefer to be a much more closeted political force.

  • Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama, The New Yorker, 30 August 2010.
    Jane Mayer.

    George Soros, runs a foundation, the Open Society Institute, that has spent as much as a hundred million dollars a year in America.
    Soros has also made generous private contributions to various Democratic campaigns, including Obama’s.
    But Michael Vachon, his spokesman, argued that Soros’s giving is transparent, and that
    none of his contributions are in the service of his own economic interests.

Research And Development

American Geophysical Union

  • American Geophysical Union, Russian heat wave had both manmade and natural causes, Release No 12-10, February 21 2012.

    The heat wave that struck western Russia in summer 2010, [killed] 55,000 people, broke July temperatures records and caused $15 billion in damage. …
    [Otto et al used the weatherathome project on] to run … two sets of simulations.
    One set looked at heat waves that would be expected using 1960s climate conditions [and a] second set examined heat waves under those conditions for the 2000s.
    … July temperatures for western Russia [reached] 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) …

    [The] 2010 temperatures were only reached every 99 years or so under the pre-global warming conditions.
    Under the … climate [conditions] of the 2000s, those extreme temperatures popped up … every 33 years — a three-fold increase over just four decades.

  • Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol 39, L04702, 2012.
    F E L Otto, N Massey, G J van Oldenborgh, R G Jones and M R Allen.

    In the summer 2010 Western Russia was hit by an extraordinary heat wave, with the region experiencing by far the warmest July since records began.
    Whether and to what extent this event is attributable to anthropogenic climate change is controversial.
    Dole et al (2011) report the 2010 Russian heat wave was “mainly natural in origin” whereas Rahmstorf and Coumou (2011) write that with a probability of 80% “the 2010 July heat record would not have occurred” without the large-scale climate warming since 1980, most of which has been attributed to the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. …
    [We] use the results from a large ensemble simulation experiment with an atmospheric general circulation model to show that there is no substantive contradiction between these two papers …
    [The] same event can be both
    • mostly internally-generated in terms of magnitude and
    • mostly externally-driven in terms of occurrence-probability.
    The difference in conclusion between these two papers illustrates the importance of specifying precisely what question is being asked in addressing the issue of attribution of individual weather events to external drivers of climate.

Climate Institute

About Us

Established in late 2005, The Climate Institute is a non-partisan, independent research organisation that works with community, business and government to catalyse and drive the change and innovation needed for a low pollution economy and culture. …

The Climate Institute is primarily funded by a donation from the Poola Foundation (Tom Kantor Fund).

Climate Partners

Leading Partner
    Westpac Group
Major Partners
    General Electric
    Better Place
    Australia Post

Give Well

Evidence-based giving.
The current list of Australian tax exempt charities: deductible gift recipients.

Greenpeace International

Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)

Sydney Ideas

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