Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sustainability-related news from Reuters for 2/23


I built the core of Gingrich pledges $2.50 gas; President Obama hits back from a Reuters article that I originally posted as part of a comment to Overnight News Digest on Daily Kos. Here are the rest of the sustainability-related articles from that comment. Note that most of them are heavily slanted to economy and society, especially through the lens of politics.
International News

Greece sets stage for Friday bond swap
By George Georgiopoulos and Lefteris Papadimas
ATHENS | Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:34pm EST
(Reuters) - Greece took its first step towards reaping urgently needed funds agreed in a 130-billion-euro rescue package on Thursday as its parliament endorsed a bond swap for private holders of its debt.

The swap, in which investors trade bonds for lower-value debt, is to be launched on Friday with the aim of slicing 100 billion euros off liabilities worth 160 percent of national output that have brought the country to the brink of a chaotic bankruptcy.

"By approving this law, parliament will allow us to start getting out of the vortex," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told lawmakers earlier.
U.S News

USPS closings plan to eliminate up to 35,000 jobs
hu Feb 23, 2012 8:03pm EST
(Reuters) - The U.S. Postal Service announced plans on Thursday to close or consolidate 223 mail processing centers and eliminate up to 35,000 jobs as part of its strategy to cut costs by reducing its network of facilities.

The Postal Service has been losing billions of dollars each year as email chips away at mail volumes and as it faces massive annual payments to the federal government.

Postal officials said in September they would study more than 250 of the 461 processing sites for possible consolidation with other facilities as part of a series of cost-cutting steps. They also announced plans to end next-day delivery to cut back on overnight work.
Jim Rogers: U.S. Presidential favorites clueless on economy (3:27)
Feb. 23 - Jim Rogers predicts Obama will win the U.S. election but argues that none of the leading candidates have any idea how to get the economy back on track.

Maryland gay marriage bill passes, heads to governor
By Alice Popovici
ANNAPOLIS, Maryland | Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:51pm EST
(Reuters) - The Maryland Senate approved on Thursday a same-sex marriage bill that will now be sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has promised to sign the legislation and make the state the eighth in the nation to legalize gay and lesbian nuptials.

The Senate voted in favor of the bill, which had previously been approved by the state's lower House of Delegates, after a full day of debate that included efforts by opponents to derail the measure with a series of proposed amendments.

The preliminary vote tally of 25 to 22 drew loud cheering and applause from the gallery in the 18th-century State House.

AIG posts huge 4th-quarter profit on tax benefit
By Ben Berkowitz
Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:24pm EST
(Reuters) - Bailed-out insurer American International Group reported a $19.8 billion profit for the fourth quarter, after an accounting change that allowed the company to record an enormous one-time benefit.

The move, which sent the company's shares up by about 6 percent, essentially means AIG will not pay tax on tens of billions of dollars in income in the coming years, thanks to benefits that stem from its financial crisis-era losses.

AIG said in the third quarter that its results in the fourth quarter would determine whether it could release a so-called valuation allowance against the tax assets.
Insight: Bankers escape big penalties in FDIC failed bank cases
By Philip Shishkin
WASHINGTON | Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:33pm EST
(Reuters) - Like many banks engulfed by the mortgage crisis, First National Bank of Nevada specialized in risky home loans that didn't require borrowers to prove their incomes. When the housing bubble burst, First National got crushed in 2008 under the weight of bad loans that it could no longer resell to investors.

Last year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued two former senior executives of the defunct bank for alleged negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, hoping to recover nearly $200 million in losses that it tied directly to those executives' decisions. The two men denied wrongdoing and settled for $40 million.

But they didn't pay a dime.
After all the stories about the economy and society, here is one that is about society as well as the environment.

On the Lighter Side

Michael Moore champions Oscar documentary makers
By Jordan Riefe
LOS ANGELES | Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:48pm EST
(Reuters) - Director Michael Moore championed non-fiction filmmakers on Wednesday night at a pre-Oscar event honoring nominees for best documentaries, attributing a growing appetite for the art form to a public starved for the truth.

The often controversial director, who won an Oscar for gun control movie "Bowling for Columbine" and scored the highest-grossing documentary of all-time with anti-war film "Fahrenheit 9/11," was hosting a symposium at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences featuring nominees for best documentary features and short subjects.

"We've been living in a time where people have been lied to a lot," Moore told Reuters. "People are tired of it and they want the truth, and documentaries represent the truth."
Feature film documentaries nominated for this year's Oscars include, "Hell and Back Again" by Danfung Dennis, "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman, "Pina" by Wim Wenders, "Undefeated" by TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay, and "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
I don't like the ELF, as I think they're too extreme and their tactics counterproductive, but their story should be told.


  1. You can be "sustainable" without being "resilient".

    "Sustainable"? A using a fluorescent light bulb.

    "Resilient"? The opposite of this:

    1. You posed a contrast worth exploring in future posts. After all, I really should be looking for resilience more than sustainability if I'm keeping with the theme I described in my first post on this blog. You also posted a link to a very informative post. However, I don't see how the post supports the point you're trying to make. Do you have something more focused on resiliency to promote?