Daily Dirt: March 21, 2013

first_imgYour outdoor news for March 21, 2013:New Routes Go Up in the New River GorgeIn a great post on DPM Climbing, Mike Williams reports that new trad routes are going up in the New River Gorge. Focusing on popular Thunder Buttress of Beauty Mountain, Williams tells the tale of how Pat Goodman claimed the first ascent of Gun Control, a variation off of the established Gun Club. It’s great to see new things being done in a place like the New, where folks have been climbing since the 80’s; refreshing to know that there still remains undiscovered and unconquered territory out there. One of the things I love about climbing pieces is the names of the routes. Some highlights from this post are: The Thundering Herd, The Golden Bullet, In Gold Blood, and That’s What She Said. I also love stories written by climbers for all the climbing jargon and especially this one because it tells the story of a first ascent through the history of the place and the lives of the people who climb it.Snowboarding Industry SummitSo reports from this winter indicate that the snowboard industry is in decline, while the ski industry is ticking up, meaning that young peoples in general are picking up skiing and sticking with it longer than snowboarding. When those in the industry learned this, some flew off the handle, but most took the news calmly enough even if they were tearing out their eyeballs in private about the death of snowboarding AS WE KNOW IT! A decline in snowboarding interest is especially important on the East Coast where the sport has traditionally been as popular – if not more popular- than skiing because it was cool and different. But now that the two styles/attitudes/punks have leaked into each discipline, the lines are blurred and snowboarding is losing out. The leaders of the industry met in Deer Valley last week at the TransWorld Conference to hash out what the sport has to do to keep growing and stop retracting. This was no emergency Situation Room type of thing – it happens every year – but the emphasis this year was definitely on the sport as a whole and not just the brands behind the curtain. We’ll see what the big players come up with next season to reflect this trend. This past season we saw Burton launch a huge “Learn to Ride” program for the kids, so expect more of that. Get ’em hooked young.You can read the full recap of the conference here.Public Support for Keystone WaningAccording to a new poll for the Center of Biological Diversity by Public Policy Polling, 61 percent of those who voted for President Obama in the last election would be “disappointed” or “betrayed” if he goes ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline. Almost 75 percent of the general public thought the Keystone XL is not in the U.S.’s “best interest.” Plenty more numbers in this story from the Sierra Club.last_img read more

Practice, practice, practice

first_imgNo one is born a great leader. There are myriad skills and techniques that must be practiced to be mastered. No matter how much you read or what kind of higher education you receive, a good leader must practice his or her skills in order to be a top performer.In a recent Inc.com blog post, best-selling author Kevin Daum takes four practices that all leaders must master to become the best performers they can be. These practices are gleaned from the book “Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow,” by Joshua Spodek. The practices are:1. Self-awareness. “Only through self-knowledge can a leader begin to consider how to work with others who have their own internal beliefs and motivations,” Daum writes.2. Effective communication. In his book, Spodek explains that people hear exactly what is said and not what is meant. He says certain words and phrases, such as beginning a sentence with “no” or “however” can shut people down before they really hear what you have to say. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Not all ‘systems-level’ ESG issues are created equal: TIIP

first_imgThe Investment Integration Project (TIIP) has produced guidelines aimed at helping asset owners and managers sift through “systems-level” environmental, societal, and financial issues to decide which are relevant to their investment processes.According to Steve Lydenberg, founder and CEO of TIIP and author of the paper explaining the guidelines, being able to identify which issues were significant enough to be integrated into investment processes “is crucial for institutional investors because issues with too narrow a focus may prove irrelevant, ineffective, or even potentially detrimental to their management of long-term risks and rewards”.He argued that considerations about environmental sustainability or “the creation of a just and prosperous society” encompassed many issues, but “not all of these can – or should – rise to the level of ‘relevant consideration’” by institutional investors.To determine which issues were worthy of their attention, institutional investors should consider four criteria, Lyndenberg suggested: consensus, relevance, effectiveness, and uncertainty.  Issues that shared these characteristics were “those that will be of sufficient concern that long-term investors can reliably treat them as credible”.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*# He said an issue could be worth considering if it had achieved a broad consensus as to its legitimacy and general importance, whether positive or negative.To pass the “relevance” test, an issue should have “substantial potential to impact positively or negatively the long-term financial performance of not simply one portfolio or asset class, but portfolios across most investors and asset classes”, according to Lydenberg.The “effectiveness” criterion would be met if institutional investors had the ability to influence the functioning of a given system.Lastly, an issue could be deemed reasonable for consideration “if it involves difficult-to-assess uncertainties in the event of systems-level disruption”.“The greater the potential for uncertainty due to systems-level disruptions, the stronger the case for consideration of these issues,” wrote Lyndenberg.Examples of “systems-level issues” that could be deemed relevant for long-term institutional investors included: climate change, access to fresh water, poverty alleviation, access to healthcare, and stability and credibility of financial systems.The paper can be found here.last_img read more

Panel discusses women’s experiences

first_imgBrown said she and her friends saw a woman at a market in Cairo wearing long shorts with her head uncovered being chased by men who were trying to grab her. Shresthova said that when volunteers and workers complete projects in developing countries, they must consider the local culture and speak with the people they are aiming to help. For one project in Nepal, she said they built water taps in villages so that women didn’t have to walk for hours to get water; however, the women were not happy.  At the event, Sarah Fisher, a graduate student studying public administration, asked how to approach women’s issues differently in someone’s home country versus a country with different customs and cultures.  The panel started off with each speaker introducing herself and telling stories about some of their trips and projects abroad. Shresthova said that when she was a dancer in India, her landlord scolded her when a male teacher drove her home from a performance during the day. The landlord told her that she caused problems by bringing men back to the house. Shresthova said her landlord made assumptions about her because she is half Nepalese. “That moment kind of drove back home to me how the layers work in different ways, and there’s yet another layer to peel back around assumptions [of] women’s roles,” Shresthova said. “It also was a moment where I was like … I’m going to stand up [for myself] here.”  Shresthova said that while she understands the importance of being culturally sensitive, she confronted her landlord and moved out that day because she didn’t want to support the landlord’s prejudiced beliefs, even if they were ingrained in his culture.  Brown said traveling to various countries that oppress women means having to take certain precautions to avoid being sexualized and abused. She said that in Egypt because of negative stereotypes toward Western women, she was instructed to wear a wedding ring and dress conservatively. Otherwise, she was told she would be “inviting men to touch [her].”  “When all the male experts left, and I was just chatting with them, they were like, ‘Actually, that time to walk was the time we had to hang out with each other and to speak,’” she said. “So something that would seem like a straightforward technological improvement to their lives was actually disrupting their female community.”  “I think it is irresponsible to some degree to not be engaged with your local community and to be engaged with these issues just internationally,” Carr said. “Though I think that obviously you should and can be doing both, but it is a good reminder for me that it’s not always productive for me as a Western woman to go into these other [countries] and be like, ‘This government, how could they do this?’” “How do you go into a refugee camp where someone has to get a pass to even be able to leave the immediate vicinity without risk of being jailed … how do you go in and then talk to them about gender mainstreaming and empowerment and agency?” Brown said.  (From left to right) Sangita Shresthova, Isabella Carr and Sara Brown discussed global women’s issues at the International Women’s Seminar Monday. (Julia Rosher/Daily Trojan) “[They] were not comfortable, it felt like they weren’t allowed to speak of it, a lot of it because they work in a small community and everyone would know,” Carr said. “Shame was something that came out a lot.”  She said it was difficult to teach ideas of gender equality and independence at a refugee camp where people must follow a strict schedule and rules to get food or leave the premises.  Panelists at the Price Women and Allies’ International Women’s Seminar discussed global issues women have continued to face domestically and abroad Monday at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. The panel featured Sara Brown, a postdoctoral fellow at the USC Shoah Foundation; Sangita Shresthova, director of research of the Civic Imagination Project@CivicPaths at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and Isabella Carr, assistant director of the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics. PWA member Tanya Shah moderated the discussion. The panelists also discussed the main differences they noticed between America and the various countries where they visited and worked. Brown said she realized on a trip to a refugee camp in Tanzania that she has acted with a large amount of privilege and agency compared to women in other parts of the world.  Carr said it’s important to focus on solving local issues rather than criticizing international practices.  “At the time, I wanted to balk and say, ‘Well, I’ll do whatever I want,’ but at the same time, I was very mindful of the fact that the advice I was being given was advice from an informed source trying to protect me,” Brown said.   Carr said that women in America, especially after  #MeToo, are more open to sharing stories of sexual abuse than women in countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina. She said many of the Bosnian women refused to talk about the forcible rapes they endured for years while in captivity.last_img read more