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5 Things to Know Today: February 15, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: February 15, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo by J. Henry Fair

Photo by J. Henry Fair

In case you missed it, there’s a mesmerizing slideshow that shows how industry is affecting the environment and it’s both beautiful and terrifying. Also, Warren Buffett just dumped Walmart, and a social enterprise wants to make a dent in the $1.6 billion American school teachers spend each year buying supplies for their students.

1. Fast Coexist: Photos of how humans are messing with the world are ironically beautiful.
Photographer J. Henry Fair has been documenting industrial production via aerial photos for nearly 20 years, showing exactly how much humans are altering the environment. In his terrifying and gorgeous new book Industrial Scars, Fair includes data about the processes that create each image—like explaining how oil is excavated from tar sands in Canada. “If I create this abstract expressionist image, then I can hopefully make people consider [industry's impact on the environment],” Fair said. 

2. LA Times: President Trump's Plans to Back Out of Paris Accord Fail to Impress Industry and Political Allies. 
Despite his campaign promise to end the Paris climate change agreement, Trump is receiving little support from both businesses and his own cabinet. Apparently, even the American Coal Council has been silent about Trump’s criticisms of the 200-nation climate plan. Many Fortune 500 businesses have already begun initiatives to decrease their carbon footprint, and will continue to move forward even if the U.S. doesn’t participate in the accord.

3. Market Watch: Under Armour Inc. was downgraded after the CEO praised Trump.
Analyst Sam Poser of Susquehanna Financial reduced his rating on the company from neutral to bearish and decreased his stock price target from $24 to $14 per share—which is 35 percent below current levels—following a statement issued by CEO Kevin Plank calling Trump an “asset” to the country, which led to backlash by celebrities and athletes sponsored by Under Armour. Plank's public opinion caused his company "reputational risk" and "make[s] it nearly impossible to effectively build a cool urban lifestyle brand in the foreseeable future," Posner wrote to clients.

4. Business Insider: Warren Buffett just broke up with Walmart.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold off $900 million worth of Walmart stock, nearly its entire share in the company. This doesn't bode well for Walmart and other brick-and-mortar retailers struggling to stay afloat against e-commerce competition like Amazon.

5. The Guardian: There’s a company that sells stationary and uses profits to buy school supplies for underprivileged children.  
Yoobi, a social enterprise founded two years ago, is giving you a reason to buy stationary. For every purchase made, the company provides school supplies to hospitals and schools in Australia and the U.S. The idea came from the sons of school teachers, who understood that many families struggle with the cost of school supplies. Distributed through Target in the U.S., Yoobi claims to have already donated enough school supplies to make going to school that much easier for 2 million American elementary school students.

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