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Local Water Debate Starting to Boil, Big Data and Big Poverty, The Problem with Liberal Professors, and more

March 13, 2018

 

As the Director of Sustainability at the Smeal College of Business, it is my responsibility to keep my mind constantly steeping in a solution of:  1 part business, 1 part technology, and 1 part each of environmental and social impact, including emerging science, news and events.  (Stir together and steep for years until it reaches desired level of understanding).  

 

In "That's News to Me" I share what I am reading with the growing Triple Bottom Lion community.

 

What am I reading? I just finished the The Sixth Extinction by

Elizabeth Kolbert (winner of Pulitzer Prize) and am now reading Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance. So.... we are losing species at 1,000 times the normal background rate and Musk says we should flee the planet and become a multi-planetary species.  Fascinating.

 

Nestle Waters officials took questions Monday. The result? ‘A lot of emotion’ (Centre Daily Times, our local newspaper)

Image source: Centre Daily Times; Phoebe Sheehan psheehan@centredaily.com
 

"Nestle Waters is hoping to build a $50 million bottling facility for its Deer Park brand bottled water in either Spring or Benner townships. The company would purchase about 150 million gallons of water per year from the Spring Township Water Authority at about $4.50 per 1,000 gallons, the CDT previously reported."

 

Nestle's corporate commitment to water stewardship includes a bold declaration that by "2030 [our] ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in our operations. In the next 15 years, almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas that are running out of water. Water, and the lack of it, is the biggest challenge the world faces going forward. As we are committed to responsible stewardship of this precious resource, we seek continuous improvement in our withdrawal, use and treatment of water."  Indeed, Nestle Waters North America Chief Sustainability Officer Nelson Switzer (pictured right) is speaking on water risk tomorrow (March 14) at the GLOBE conference in Vancouver. Locally, the Sierra Club Moshannon Chapter and the Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition are hosting a public forum, “Say No to Nestle,” from 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday at the CPI, 540 N. Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap.

VIDEO: Apparel Supplier in El Salvador Combines School and Work (PBS News Hour)

"At a garment factory that makes Tshirts bearing the logos of American universities, about a fifth of the workers at high-school dropouts. But if they want to keep their jobs, they'll need to do something about it.  Special correspondent Fred De Sam Lazaro reports from El Salvador on the factory turned college pipeline that employs those normally left out of society, including ex-gang members."

How Liberal Professors Are Ruining College (Boston Magazine)

 “I am somewhat ‘in the closet,’” he emailed me from the safety of his dorm room....I fear that many of my classmates would jump to conclusions about me,” he wrote, “should they all know I am a conservative.”

"Last spring, Samuel Abrams, a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College, in New York, decided to run the numbers. From the start, he certainly expected liberal professors to outnumber conservatives, but his data—25 years’ worth of statistics from the Higher Education Research Institute—told a far more startling tale: In the South and throughout the Great Plains, the ratio of liberal to conservative professors hovered around 3 to 1. On the liberal left coast, the ratio was 6 to 1. And then there was New England—which looked like William F. Buckley’s worst nightmare—standing at 28 to 1."

Using Big Data and the Internet of Things to Help End Poverty (Jim Kim president of the World Bank)

Image source: DoanhNhan Online

 

"It comes down to this: children everywhere simply want the kinds of opportunities they see on smartphones. If we can leverage technology to tackle the biggest global challenges of our lifetime – from poverty and inequality; to pandemics, famine, and climate change – if we help countries find new drivers of economic growth; we can make the global market system work for everyone and the planet. This is an urgent task, and we have no time to lose." 

New Report:  CERES Publishes Third Report on Corporate Progress Toward Sustainability (CERES)