What are we reading? September 5, 2019

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Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.
 

Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

How a Canadian online snowboard-shop entrepreneur built a software company that has outpaced eBay and given rise to a new merchant class.  – Economist

https://www.economist.com/business/2019/08/31/shopify-and-the-return-of-the-merchant-class

 

Meat subscription services yoke modern e-commerce methods to traditional food production, offering farmers new ways to get their products to consumers. – Canadian Press

https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/09/02/meat-subscription-box-companies-take-over-marketing-chores-for-farmers/

 

Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Another gift to the world from Donald Trump's America: the United States Postal Service is set to bail out of the global postal union, which would end 144 years of the country's involvement in the international organization and likely launch global parcel rates into orbit. – FreightWaves

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/us-to-leave-global-postal-union-next-month-barring-last-minute-action-exit-could-send-global-parcel-rates-soaring?utm_

Pop quiz: which country is the world's third largest fossil fuels exporter? – The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/19/australia-is-third-largest-exporter-of-fossil-fuels-behind-russia-and-saudi-arabia?utm_

 

Tyler Orton, reporter:

“That popular monkey-to-man chart gets evolution all wrong”

Solid examination (with some great illustrations) of how popular preconceptions of a linear progression of evolution have been warping the way many people think evolution works. – Quartz 

https://qz.com/1701855/why-that-popular-evolution-of-man-chart-is-all-wrong/   

 

“Brexit breathes life back into Scottish independence push”

How Scots that were previously firmly on the No side of the independence referendum a few years ago are now reconsidering their positions. – The Associated Press https://www.apnews.com/2353eeacd65f49749e23a16766602647 

 

Nelson Bennett, reporter:

If you want to know just how bleak the picture is for the U.S. thermal coal industry, you need only look at American railroads. Coal, after all, makes up 13% of all freight moved by American railroads. Moody’s is predicting railroad revenues to decline by US$5 billion by 2030, thanks to the decline in coal for power generation. – Axios

https://www.axios.com/coal-railroad-industry-revenue-c3ff3097-5cdc-4350-8d93-e1eb06920b09.html

 

It’s something that Lower Mainlanders can no doubt identify with: New Yorkers have been fleeing the New York Tri-State area in droves – about 1 million over the past nine years. High housing costs, high taxes and crumbling infrastructure are cited as the main reason for New Yorkers leaving for less congested cities. – Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2019/09/05/new-yorkers-are-leaving-the-city-in-droves-heres-why-theyre-moving-and-where-theyre-going/#3465641ac589

 

It’s not quite a perpetual motion machine, but a new generation of electric dump trucks used in mining and quarries can operate without being recharged. The trucks use regenerative braking to recharge the truck’s battery. Clearly, it’s not a solution that will work for all vehicles. But dump trucks that operate in mines and quarries basically spend all day going down into a pit and then back up, and every time they go down, the braking recharges the battery, as this Wired piece explains. – Wired

https://www.wired.com/story/this-huge-electric-dump-truck-never-needs-to-plug-in

 

Glen Korstrom, reporter

Despite world markets jubilant today (September 5) about Chinese and American officials agreeing to meet to discuss trade, the volatility of the last few weeks is enough to make many investors contemplate how to invest if a global recession is in the cards. This column by finance professor Alexander Kurov provides one take on that – The Conversation

https://theconversation.com/how-to-invest-if-youre-worried-a-recession-is-coming-122003