Thursday, March 27, 2014

Notes from the Green Awakening Network/Greening Sacred Spaces Forum March 01

Thanks to Sue Carson, St James Anglican Church, Dundas and Co-Chair of Greening Niagara Diocese!

 Notes from March 1st, 2014.
Divestment issues. March 1st – Sue attended The Green Awakening Network Forum in Toronto. 4 excellent speakers suggesting ways to divest out of oil companies.

Rev. Fletcher Harper from New Jersey.  Episcopal priest at Executive Director of GreenFaith.  
There has been a Christian history of divesting from products – tobacco, alcohol, weapons etc.
3 reasons we should act to divest:
1. If there is grave large scale harm being done by a company or government policy.
2. Intractable resistance by industry or govt. that refuses to change.
3. Need to redefine society’s moral code.
Actions:  Reinvest –don’t just protest.  Stop making the problem worse. Look at our churches energy footprint. Commit to be part of the solution. Talk about money/morals.

Jane Ambachtsheer – partner in Mercer investing consulting business based in Toronto.
Her company is world wide – 15 in TO. Told of group at Oxford, UK campaign on campuses titled “Push your Parents – your pension is f ****ing up my future”‎. 
Two reports she recommend we use:
1.The Stern Review 2006 (Sir Nicholas Stern) The economics of climate change.
2. Climate change scenarios 2011 – implications for strategic asset allocation.
  Ask yourself what is the carbon risk in my portfolio?  How much carbon is invested in the companies?  Also what is the water risk in companies (eg. Beverages)

Seven suggested areas as to where to invest instead: Alternative energies, Energy efficiencies, Water infrastructure/technologies, pollution control, waste management, sustainable resources and environmental support services.

Mike Brigham: co-founder and president of SolarShare co-op.
Is solar too expensive?  In 1977 it was $75 a watt, now 72 cents a watt.  Price dropped because of advanced technology – could drop more.  Since 2008 50% drop in price.  He went through all the types of hydro, coal, nuclear etc. Solar has to make sense – cheap, renewable. Easy to find rooftops so can be produced where it is needed in cities.

Christine Boyle: community organizer in B.C. Directs Spirited Social change.

We need to be pushing people to make BIG life changes and not just focus on the low hanging fruit (recycling/eating organically). We have to stop being polite and get engaged and be disruptive in all areas.  Draw strength from other groups that are working on the same ideas.  At 29 she will see the results of our action (or inaction) in her lifetime.

Movie “Do the Math” was shown –discussion by Monica Resendes from Toronto
Working on U of T. divestment.

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