Daily Archives: July 22, 2014

Senator Markey on Energy Security & Climate Change


Senator Markey

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Senator Markey held a Foreign Relations Subcommittee Hearing to Examine How Climate and Energy Crises Impact World Conflict. For more information visit http://www.markey.senate.gov/prioriti…

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The Stream Leads 07-22-14: Detroit residents use tech to battle water shutoffs, Turkey’s refugee camps

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CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era


Associated Press

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22)

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Harvard’s endowment returns are the worst in the Ivy League

Harvard’s multi-billion-dollar endowment hasn’t been making the grade.

Now Jane Mendillo is stepping down as head of Harvard Management Company, the entity that oversees the university’s $32 billion hoard.

Mendillo was named (paywall) president and chief executive of the college’s investment arm back in July 2008. She replaced Mohamed El-Erian, who had run Harvard’s money for a little more than a year, racking up a stellar 23% return in his first year on the job, the Wall Street Journal reported (paywall). El-Erian then left to join giant bond fund manager Pacific Investment Management Company in 2007 (he has recently announced that he is leaving PIMCO).

Former head of Harvard Management Company, Jane Mendillo.Reuters/Brian Snyder

Mendillo had the misfortune of taking the reins of HMC just as the markets were headed for a historic tumble. (The endowment posted a loss of 27% in 2008.) The endowment, which had totaled roughly $35 billion when Medillo took over, never quite recovered. But it is still, by far, the largest in the Ivy League.

….(read more).

Veritas By Mark DeCambre @mdecambre June 11, 2014

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Endowment Chief to Exit at Harvard

Jane L. Mendillo is stepping down as president and chief executive of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the university’s endowment.Credit Jodi Hilton for The New York Times

Jane L. Mendillo, the manager of Harvard’s $32.7 billion endowment, plans to step down by the end of the year, the university said on Tuesday.

Ms. Mendillo, 55, who in 2008 became president and chief executive of the Harvard Management Company, which oversees the endowment, was charged with repairing the university’s portfolio after the financial crisis. But the performance of the endowment has fallen short of the returns of other Ivy League endowments.

With investments in a range of sectors, including private equity, hedge funds and real estate, the Harvard endowment is the nation’s largest and thus wields considerable influence on Wall Street. Big university endowments, and Yale’s in particular, are often seen as a model for other investment managers.

Universities use their endowments to finance a range of activities, from scholarships to building projects. Harvard has promised to use its financial resources to make sure that anyone can afford to attend.

Harvard did not give a reason for Ms. Mendillo’s departure. In an interview, Ms. Mendillo, a former chief investment officer of Wellesley College who spent an earlier 15-year period at the Harvard Management Company, said she felt the time was right to move on.

“We’ve made a great recovery from the financial crisis, we’ve repositioned the portfolio and we’ve built a great team,” she said.

But the endowment faced challenges after the financial crisis, when declines in private equity and other illiquid investments wounded its portfolio. Over the five-year period ending June 30 of last year, the Harvard endowment had an annualized return of 1.7 percent, the worst among the Ivy League, according to data compiled by Charles A. Skorina, the founder of an executive search firm that specializes in hiring chief investment officers.

…(read more).

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U.S. Lifestyle Is Not Up for Negotiation

By Thalif Deen Reprint |

The Earth’s capacity to meet human needs is finite, and depends on lifestyle choices and associated consumption. Credit: John Snape/CC BY 2.0

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 2012 (IPS) – Just before the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, some of the industrial nations, and specifically the United States, were lambasted for their obscenely high consumption of the world’s finite resources, including food, water and energy.

The world was being gradually destroyed, environmentalists warned, by unsustainable consumption.

Hitting back at critics, then U.S. president George H.W. Bush famously declared: “The American way of life is not up for negotiations. Period.”

The message, a pre-emptive diplomatic strike by the United States, reverberated throughout the summit of world leaders, whose plan of action for the 21st century virtually skirted the hot political issue.

Now, 20 years later, the United Nations will once again focus on population, consumption and the environment at the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) in mid-June in Brazil.

The upcoming summit will adopt a new plan of action for a greener economy and a sustainable future.

A new 134-page study, released on the eve of the summit, and titled “People and the Planet“, highlights the rapid and widespread changes in the world’s population and the unprecedented levels of consumption that are threatening the well being of the planet.

Authored by the Royal Society, a 352-year-old institution described as a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, the study says the Earth’s capacity to meet human needs is finite.

But how the limits are approached depends on lifestyle choices and associated consumption – and these depend on what is used, and how, and what is regarded as essential for human wellbeing.

The members of the Royal Society’s glorious past include some of the world’s illustrious scientists and thinkers of a bygone era, the likes of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, James Watson and Albert Einstein.

Presenting the report on behalf of the Royal Society, Nobel Laureate Sir John Sulston told reporters Tuesday there is a strong link between population, consumption and the environment.

The unsustainable consumption of the world’s most developed and emerging economies must be urgently reduced, he said.

A child born in the developed world, he pointed out, consumes 30 to 50 times as much water as one born in the developing world.

….(read more).

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James Kunstler: How bad architecture wrecked cities


TED

Uploaded on May 16, 2007

http://www.ted.com In James Howard Kunstler’s view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.

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