July 2007 Newsletter

July 2007 Newsletter

News & Commentaries by Ron Robins


Climate Change Corp Picks Its 20 Top Climate Change Corporations – [COMMENTARY]If you are looking for ethical stocks and bonds, you might want to check-out this list of corporations who, according to Climate Change Corp.com, are environmental leaders. However, be sure to check with your financial planner or investment advisor to get help with investing.
Top 20 companies: Climate change leaders show the way, by Mike Scott, July 26, 2007, Climate Change Corp.com, USA.

Mutual Funds Analyzed By Their Carbon Footprint! – [COMMENTARY]Trucost Plc has just released a study measuring the carbon footprint of the holdings of 185 UK investment funds. The three funds with the lowest carbon print are all socially responsible investing (SRI) funds. Trucost is also likely to perform the same analysis for US funds. This kind of analysis is a real boon for ethical investing.
Carbon Counts 2007, July, 2007, Trucost Plc, UK. Also, seeU.S. in line for survey ranking mutual funds by carbon ‘footprint′, by Thao Hua, July 23, 2007, Pensions & Investments, USA.

Link To Goldman Sach’s Study Indicating Stock Price Outperformance Of Companies Selected By Their Environmental, Social And Governance (ESG) Framework. – [COMMENTARY]Goldman has developed its own ESG criteria, which certainly shows promise. This is good reading for all those investing in ethical stocks and bonds.
Introducing GS SUSTAIN, Goldman Sachs, USA.

Another Report Cites Increasing Ethanol Demand To Increase Food Prices. – [COMMENTARY] According to the article linked to below, 30% of US grain production by the end of 2008 will go towards the production of ethanol! Most of the food people eat – dairy products, poultry, eggs, etc., rely on corn as the primary animal feedstock. As you know, corn prices are rocketing upward. It seems crazy why energy conservation is not more rigorously promoted. The reason is, unfortunately, that too many people – and investors – have a stake in ever-expanding energy consumption. Where do you stand on this issue? Are you investing in carbon related industries and therefore seek higher outputs for higher profits? This is an interesting question for all ethical investors, and those interested in environmentally responsible investing.
Ethanol to fuel global food price shock, by Robert Stockdill, July 16, 2007, FoodWeekOnline.com, USA. Added July 17. See also:Corn on Corn Action, by Kevin Kerr, July 17, 2007, The Rude Awakening, USA.

Canadian Mining Report Reviews Problem Mines. – [COMMENTARY] First read the article linked to below, and then if you have the time, the study which the article is based upon. The study really illuminates both the good and the bad about mining ventures in the developing world. As long as humans demand goods, mining will be with us. For all those who will not invest in mining, then perhaps from an ethical standpoint you should give-up your car — and home too! These things all require huge amounts of stuff that comes out of the ground. However, what we should do, as ethical investors who believe in socially and environmentally responsible investing, is to try and ensure, wherever possible, that our investments go to companies with the best possible corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.
PDAC report blames poor company practices, NGOs, and corrupt governments for Canadian mining company woes, by Jack Caldwell, July 12, 2007.

John P. Mackey, Whole Foods Co-founder, Shows Dubious Ethics. – [COMMENTARY] According to reports in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, Mr. Mackey, under a pseudonym, Rahodeb, created a blog that frequently criticized Wild Oats, possibly their principal competitor and now a company they plan to takeover. This kind of unethical activity from the chairman of a company espousing high moral principles is highly disconcerting. I believe Whole Foods shareholders should show their displeasure with him by campaigning to have him step down as chairman and CEO of the company. Furthermore, from a pure governance standpoint, no public company should have the same individual be both board chairman and CEO. It can lead to conflicts of interest and management improprieties.
Whole Foods Executive Used Alias, by Andrew martin, July 12, 2007, The New York Times, USA.

Thomson Extel/UK Social Investment Forum Announce 2007 SRI & Sustainability Survey Results. [COMMENTARY] The survey provides significant insight into how the UK operations of some of the world’s largest investment companies engage in socially responsible and sustainability corporate research. According to the survey, the leading firms in this area are Citi Investment Research, Goldman Sachs International and Soci…t… G…n…rale.

Incidentally, … a fascinating new book for anyone interested in spiritual experiences.

Book Links Brain Structure To Spiritual Experiences.– [COMMENTARY] “Neuroscientist Beauregard and journalist O’Leary mount a sweeping critique of a trend in the pop science media to explain away religious experience as a brain artifact, pathology or evolutionary quirk. While sympathizing with the attraction such neurotheology holds, the authors warn against the temptation to force the complex varieties of human spirituality into simplistic categories that they argue are conceptually crude, culturally biased and often empirically untested. In recently published research using Carmelite nuns as subjects, Beauregard’s group at the University of Montreal found specific areas of brain activation associated with contemplative prayer.” Publishers Weekly.
The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, HarperOne 2007.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *