Sunday, 24 June 2012

Business stuff from the week 18-24/6/12

'Renewable energy use surged worldwide last year'
Solar power alone had a global investment rise of 52%, to $147 billion. Europe remains behind China and the US, and the capitalist 'austerity' slashes to the public sector have caused setbacks, but the industry appears to be maturing as expected.
"In 1903, the United States had over 500 car companies, most of which quickly fell by the wayside even as the automobile sector grew into an industrial juggernaut... Writing off the auto industry based on the failures of weaker firms would have been foolish. Today, the renewable energy sector is experiencing similar growing pains as the sector consolidates." - Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Why has the US recovered from recession so much better than the UK?
For the plain and simple reason that they didn't cut State expenditure as much. We knew that budget cuts would cause damage, but the Conservatives, with their boundless confidence, ignored that little thing called 'knowledge' and started slashing away!

I seriously doubt whether any/many of these corporations are actually going to do what they've said they're going to.
Organisations such as those mentioned are notorious for making populistic claims, and then either not bothering to do anything, or employing a series of tricks to make it seem like they've achieved, when in fact they haven't - foe example, exporting the costs to other franchises/countries.
Greenpeace has recently been executing a rather large campaign against Volkswagen for 'greenwashing' - making claims of ecological friendliness, when in fact, their market-leading car is a tiny proportion of their stock!
Saying you're going to do something, and actually doing it, are two very different things. And they don't have a history of following through on their promises.
"Rio+20 will be known as Greenwash+20 because governments are failing to hold corporations to account and are serving the interest of polluters not their people," said Mittler [political director of Greenpeace International]

'Honda to recycle rare earths to be green'
Either Honda's really going 'all out' with the greenwashing, or they actually mean it!
They have plans to produce electric vehicles, to supply all their energy needs from renewable sources, and they also plan to recycle all the rare earth metals that they use.
Currently, the rest of the world demands its rare earth metal consumption be fed by China, despite the fact that only 30% of the world's resources are actually in China.
The reason the other economies of the world are demanding China do their work for them, is that the overheads in rare earth metal extraction are large.
Rather than bothering to collaborate in extracting some of the other 70% of the world's resources, they're just insisting that China do all the work!
Listen up, capitalist economies of the world: if you want REMs so desperately, then get off your arses, learn how to do collaboration, and extract some yourselves!

"The protection of the environment is never a pretext for gaining advantage or increasing economic returns," said Su Bo, a deputy industry minister, at a news conference.
Precisely - it could also be said that gaining advantage or increasing economic returns is never a justification for damaging the environment.

This better be regulated properly, or they'll just claim low emissions in the interests of greenwashing.
And that will look highly suspicious! Lower collective emissions than have been observed...
There are already-known techniques to locate the source of emissions. They should use them.

'Roche probed over faulty drug-safety reporting'
Point to note: They have not been picked up on any particular drug's side-effects - only their process for reporting them.
This is not evidence for specific fraudulence, but of systematic recklessness. Industry-funded trials are notorious for 'losing' bad results.

Vince Cable, on behalf of the UK government, has announced a completely spineless attempt to mitigate obscene executive pay - instead of proper regulation, the shareholders get to decide when pay goes up. Rubbish!

From April 2013, UK charities will not have to do any paperwork for small contributions, rendering Gift Aid unnecessary for small amounts.
This should mean far more people being accosted by charity-workers with buckets!

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