What are we reading? October 3, 2019


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

Hayley Woodin, reporter:

Is there enough venture capital in Canada? Yes, according to a new Impact Centre report. Canadian and foreign VC funding puts Canada third in the world for VC availability. But on creating world-class unicorn companies with that funding, Canada comes last. – Impact Centre



338Canada’s Philippe Fournier examines a decade of seat changes in Quebec and the current mood in Canada’s second most populous province, where voters have been qualified as “volatile” and “dissatisfied.” “Politicians of any stripe should never take the Quebec voter for granted,” he writes.Maclean’s



The regional head of public affairs at Grab – Southeast Asia’s Uber (which actually acquired Uber’s regional operations in 2018) – on regulating ride-hailing. To be taken with a grain of salt. But his thoughts on how Singapore has successfully regulated the industry are interesting, and worth considering in a B.C. context. – Nikkei Asian Review



On the topic of ride-hailing: Uber wants to be the operating system of our everyday lives. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about safety, worker rights and the sustainability of its business model. – CNN



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Canada was declared to have eliminated measles in 1998. But outbreaks in other parts of the world worry health experts, who say this country is not immune from a resurgence of the highly contagious disease.  Ottawa Citizen



The opioid crisis has halted the rise of life expectancy in Canada and reversed it in the United States. Decriminalization offers a solution, but faces an uphill political fight.  – Foreign Policy



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Is using carbon capture to wring more oil out of the earth really a net benefit to the climate? Business in Vancouver asked this question earlier this year in a feature on carbon capture and sequestration, and the answer was “yes.” This piece by Vox likewise, grudgingly, concludes that, in the absence of carbon pricing at levels needed to make carbon capture and sequestration, using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery may indeed provide a much-needed bridge to large-scale CCS: “It may be that EOR can play a constructive role in a comprehensive decarbonization plan, helping to reduce the carbon content of the oil we can’t avoid using.” –Vox



Programs that encourage forest preservation are, of course, a good thing. But when it comes to selling carbon offsets for forest preservation, it may be a waste of money that does not achieve the greenhouse gas reductions that the offsetting agencies and businesses claim they will, according to this ProPublica investigative piece. “In case after case, I found that carbon credits hadn’t offset the amount of pollution they were supposed to, or they had brought gains that were quickly reversed or that couldn’t be accurately measured to begin with,” writes Lisa Song. “Ultimately, the polluters got a guilt-free pass to keep emitting CO, but the forest preservation that was supposed to balance the ledger either never came or didn’t last.” – ProPublica



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

Interesting read on this New York Times investigation into toxic fallout in the wake of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It also has good graphics to show the story – New York Timeshttps://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/14/world/europe/notre-dame-fire-lead.html 

The latest edition of Rennie Landscape, for Q3 2019, focuses on indicators of health in the local and national housing market. There is one piece on predicting the next recession. Another is on interest rates and the dreaded inverted yield curve. Interesting publication, and here's a link to a free download – Rennie Landscape


Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

On the ports going green beat: the Port of Long Beach (PoLB) in California reports that it has cut diesel emissions 87% since 2005 while increasing cargo handling 21% over the same period. Combined with the Port of Los Angeles, PoLB makes up one of the world's largest port complexes. PoLB's annual emissions inventory is available here: http://polb.com/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=15271


With the 2019 International Energy Outlook projecting a 50% increase in global energy use by 2050, the world is going to need all the new sources of power it can get. How about tapping wet clothing? – Off Grid Energy Independence