Hello hello. Let’s get it.
1. In what the $7 trillion investment firm BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink calls a “fundamental reshaping of finance”, climate change will become the centre of the company’s investment strategy going forward. Fink says this will involve exiting investments with “high sustainability-related risk” like thermal coal producers, and warned that risk will cause a “significant” reallocation of capital “sooner than most anticipate.” This could be quite significant.
2. There’s been a lot of hubbub recently about the role News Corp papers play in the world of climate change denial. You might recall on Friday a disgruntled Australian employee fired off an all-staff email expressing in no uncertain terms her displeasure at the way the media organisation was covering the bushfires. Now James Murdoch — son of Rupert — has issued a sharp condemnation of the family media empire’s coverage of climate change. “Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” a spokesperson for the couple told The Daily Beast. This season of “Succession” is getting good.
3. As part of a federal government push towards more sustainable housing, you could get a discount on your mortgage if you build a ‘green’ enough home. The scheme, financed by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), will see houses with a 7 star efficiency rating or above qualify for a 0.04% discount for five years, or around $7,000 on a $350,000 loan. What’s a 7-star rating, you might ask? Homes which reach that illustrious milestone tend to be made of superior materials and are designed to work with their environment in a way which largely negates the need for air-conditioning and heating.
4. The neobanks popping up in the Australian market are trying all sorts of strategies and features to get people to make the switch. 86 400, one of the contenders, has announced a feature which will analyse your power bill, suggest some cheaper alternatives, then automatically make the switch for you. Creatively named ‘Energy Switch’, it launches in February.
5. The bushfires have clearly shown the titanic potential of online fundraising. We spoke to people at Facebook and GoFundMe who are leading the charge on these new, frictionless modes of giving. But (as a Sydney academic tells us) we should be aware that big, emotional flashpoint events like the bushfires are few and far between, and more traditional fundraising modes still make up the bulk of the work.
6. Here’s a painfully British story for you: Boris Johnson wants to ring in Brexit with a mighty ‘bong’ from Big Ben. The problem is the famous clock tower is currently undergoing renovations, meaning the mighty Brexit bong – yes, I said what I said – would cost somewhere in the vicinity of half a million pounds. In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, Johnson proposed UK citizens start a crowdfunding campaign to pay for it. Crowdfunding an enormous bell bong for Brexit – that’s Britain, baby!
7. If you’re a real Tesla head, you may appreciate the company’s new ‘Bulletproof’ shirt, which commemorates/satirises the infamous reveal of the Cybertruck. You’re going to have to explain this one to people.
8. A new report accuses gay dating app Grindr of sharing identifying information about users with ad companies. In doing that, it essentially broadcasts their sexual orientation to third parties. OkCupid and Tinder also share users’ dating choices and location with ad companies, the report found. The report’s authors have called on regulators in the US and Europe to investigate whether the apps are violating privacy laws.
9. Oh how the mighty have fallen. According to stats from eMarketer, Pinterest surpassed Snapchat as the third-largest social media network in the US. Shares of Pinterest surged as much as 12% on Tuesday morning after the report was released. The real challenger is TikTok – but no one knows quite how fast it is growing.
10. In 1969, a 4.6-billion-year-old meteorite struck Murchison, Australia. Why is this one of 10 things you need to know this morning, you might ask? Well, a new study has found the meteor contained fragments of stardust older than our sun and solar system. Called ‘presolar fragments’, they give researchers a better idea of precisely how stars form. It’s a fun read.
Turns out ALDI sells a tote bag which doubles as a surreptitious goon sack. It’s like something James Bond would have if he favoured Château Cardboard instead of martinis.
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