Business leaders don’t want Dodo bird decisions – ask Trump to support Paris climate pact


Trump transition team

❝ More than 360 businesses and investors called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and world leaders on Wednesday to continue to support agreed curbs on global warming and to speed up efforts to move to a low-carbon economy.

In a statement addressed to Trump, U.S. President Barack Obama, members of the U.S. Congress and global leaders, the group, called 360+, reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

❝ The 360+ group includes companies such as DuPont, Gap, General Mills, Hewlett Packard, Hilton, Kellogg, Levi Strauss, L’Oreal USA, Nike, Mars Incorporated, Schneider Electric, Starbucks and Unilever.

❝ The Paris Agreement, aiming to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions this century, came into force on Nov. 4 and now has backing from 110 nations including the United States…

Trump has threatened to tear up the U.S. commitment to the accord.

❝ The 360+ group called on U.S. leaders to continue to participate in the Paris Agreement, support the continuation of U.S. commitments on climate change and continue to invest in low-carbon solutions at home and abroad.

Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness,” the group said

Making ideological decisions on matters of science and environment is pretty much inexcusable. There are comparable parallels in history. None of them ever ended well for humanity.

China’s economic slowdown, unlike that in other emerging countries, should be welcomed

Once again, all eyes are on emerging markets. Long the darlings of the global growth sweepstakes, they are being battered in early 2014. Perceptions of resilience have given way to fears of vulnerability.

The US Federal Reserve’s tapering of its unprecedented liquidity injections has been an obvious and important trigger. Emerging economies that are overly dependent on global capital flows – particularly India, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey – are finding it tougher to finance economic growth. But handwringing over China looms equally large. Long-standing concerns about the Chinese economy’s dreaded “hard landing” have intensified.

In the throes of crisis, generalization is the norm; in the end, however, it pays to differentiate. Unlike the deficit-prone emerging economies that are now in trouble – whose imbalances are strikingly reminiscent of those in the Asian economies that were hit by the late-1990’s financial crisis – China runs a current-account surplus. As a result, there is no risk of portfolio outflows resulting from the Fed’s tapering of its monthly asset purchases. And, of course, China’s outsize backstop of $3.8 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves provides ample insurance in the event of intensified financial contagion.

Yes, China’s economy is now slowing; but the significance of this is not well understood. The downturn has nothing to do with problems in other emerging economies; in fact, it is a welcome development…Yet a superficial fixation on China’s headline GDP growth persists, so that a 25% deceleration, to a 7-8% annual rate, is perceived as somehow heralding the end of the modern world’s greatest development story…

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True Believers keep Prosperity Preachers rich even in recession

Even in an economic downturn, preachers in the “prosperity gospel” movement are drawing sizable, adoring audiences. Their message — that if you have sufficient faith in God and the Bible and donate generously, God will multiply your offerings a hundredfold — is reassuring to many in hard times…

Many in this flock do not trust banks, the news media or Washington, where the Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether the Copelands and other prosperity evangelists used donations to enrich themselves and abused their tax-exempt status. But they trust the Copelands, the movement’s current patriarch and matriarch, who seem to embody prosperity with their robust health and abundance of children and grandchildren who have followed them into the ministry…

A large contingent came in wheelchairs, hoping for miraculous healings…

A call center at the ministry’s 481-employee headquarters in Newark, Tex., takes in 60,000 prayer requests a month, a publicist said. The Copelands’ broadcast reaches 134 countries, and the ministry’s income is about $100 million annually…

At the convention, the preachers…sprinkled their sermons with put-downs of the government, an overhaul of health care, public schools, the news media and other churches, many of which condemn prosperity preaching.

But mostly the preachers were working mightily to remind the crowd that they are God’s elect. “While everybody else is having a famine,” said Jerry Savelle, a Texas televangelist, “his covenant people will be having the best of times.”

“Any time a worried thought about money pops up in your mind,” Mr. Savelle continued, “the next thing you do is sow”: drop money, like seeds, in “good ground” like the preachers’ ministries. “Stop worrying, start sowing,” he added, his voice rising. “That’s God’s stimulus package for you.”

At that, hundreds streamed down the aisles to the stage, laying envelopes, cash and coins on the carpeted steps.

Remember folks – these hustlers get to do all this tax free. Being an organized religion is just about the best corporate hustle in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Gullible and Ignorant.

Of course, they have to oppose improvements in healthcare. If folks lived better and stayed healthy, these creeps would lose an important part of their audience.

Reverend Ike is Dead

Even so, I’m betting that he’s the only guy in history who will
figure out a way to take it with him.

The Rev. Frederick Eikerenkoetter, known as Rev. Ike to a legion of followers here and across the nation to whom he preached the blessings of prosperity while making millions from their donations, has died. He was 74.

A family spokesman said he died Tuesday in a Los Angeles hospital, two years after he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered.

Rev. Ike’s ministry reached its peak in the mid-1970s, when his sermons were carried on 1,770 radio stations to an audience estimated at 2.5 million.

He also preached his philosophy of self-empowerment on television and the Internet, in books and magazines, and on audiotapes and videotapes.

From the stage of the former Loews movie theater on 175th St. in Washington Heights, which he restored and transformed into his United Church Science of Living Institute, Rev. Ike would tell thousands of parishioners “this is the do-it-yourself church. The only savior in this philosophy is God in you.”

He then would exhort the believers to “close your eyes and see green … money up to your armpits, a roomful of money, and there you are, just tossing around in it like a swimming pool.”

As payback for spiritual inspiration, Rev. Ike asked for cash donations from the faithful – preferably in bills not coins. “Change makes your minister nervous in the service,” he would say.

A lot of these guys, if you think back, reached their peak in the ’70s and ’80s. Yet just when I think they are, figuratively speaking, going to die off, a new crop of them, and a new crop of followers, comes along.