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Short films are becoming popular amongst ambitious realtors looking for a competitive edge to stand out in the city’s housing market.

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Forget the gimmicks, fridge magnets, or free home evaluations, short films are becoming popular amongst ambitious realtors looking for a competitive edge to stand out in the city’s housing market.

A successful woman driving a Telsa pulls up and parks in the two car garage, she struts confidently through her back yard. She’s obsessed with a song by a trendy Soundcloud famous DJ, Mallrat https://www.facebook.com/lilmallrat/, from which she switches from her Model 3 electric car, to iPhone, then to her house Sonos system, seamlessly, to which she starts to dance. We’re given a cinematic tour of the smart home, from room to room has the dancer, performed by professional dancer, and successful Edmonton business woman, Larissa Kovelanko, as she rhythmically moves her body throughout the entire home. The home located at 8617 108A Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

While the beautifully shot film could be advertising any number of things – electric cars, dance classes, new religion for adults seeking meaning – it’s actually an ad for a home. The home, a brand new custom infill home built by Vrabel Homes in the core of Edmonton, near 109st, and Saskchawean drive, blocks south of Whyte Avenue. Edmonton’s bustling market place is prime location for people to shop, or hang out with friends at the local coffee shops within a short radius.

The film is the brainchild of realtor Nikita Gylander with Core Real Estate Group (corerealestategroup.ca), who sold Edmonton cinematographer Raoul Bhatt (https://www.facebook.com/raoulbhatt) his home which was built by the same builder. Nikita, the social and well connected Edmonton realtor who’s kept tight relationships with all her clients, approached Bhatt for a video, whom she was aware was in the movie business. The movie’s uniqueness shines throughout this 4min and 20second video, which we discover the three-storey house, visually and emotionally.

“The price point was much higher than what was common in the neighbourhood, because it’s a brand new home, an infill, and it has a unique layout, high end finishing’s and ability to generate an income with it’s basement suite, ideal for someone who wants a new home, but is investment savvy, ie the two bedroom legal basement suite could rent for $1800 a month, which would cover $350,000 of the mortgage. With university students at UofA just blocks away, and anyone that may enjoy flavourful foods and sips of chai at hip local indian fusion ‘coffee shop’ Remedy. So I knew the exposure [of the listing] needed to be greater than usual,” she explains.

With that in mind, Raoul suggested a short video that would appeal to her perceived prospective buyer… Nikita, an outside the box thinker, thought it would appeal to a young family looking for a quiet property in an attractive neighbourhood, or a professional that wants to be in the mix of it all. And it worked. The video has been viewed thousands of times, and the house with increasing inquiries for viewing, which was listed just last week, for the asking price at $1.1 million.

In Edmonton, real estate videos – from fanciful creations like straightforward virtual tours – are becoming more popular among realtors looking for a competitive edge in a saturated market.

According to the Edmonton Real Estate Board, there are some 3000 real estate agents working in the Edmonton and surrounding area. Forget fridge magnets. Some realtors are now doing anything to attract new clients, from throwing “wine and cheese night” open houses to branding ice cream bicycles that pedal around local fairs, this just shows how far agents are willing to go for their clients, in this case the builder of this infill.

Raoul Bhatt, After 22 years of running a software company, who initially got into film to create cinematic stories of his softwares, which have been used by NHL, Superbowl, WWE Wrestlemania, Fall Out Boy. Which also produced a short web series for Booster Juice in 2017. Has been increasingly been approached to produce docs and tv shows by national Canadian brands. Bhatt, still a CEO of his software company, has ventured into the movie business, being featured by Jetset Parking which got 1/2 million views (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AtsFUKho98), and Swimco.com (https://www.swimco.com/2018/06/meet-our-swimsuitmodel-raoul-bhatt/). Early into his new career, Raoul has realized, it’s doing things differently that makes his business stand out, and storytelling through cinema compliments his other ventures.

“The typical Realestate video, they’re definitely cheesy, but the films do to job, but when you make a movie, those are never forgotten, doesn’t matter what you’re offering” says Raoul Bhatt, who advocates anything he does be like a movie.

His film isn’t just showing off the space’s amenities, they’re also meant to be aspirational. For Nikita Gylander and Vrabel Homes, he tailored this video to who he imagines is the prospective buyer, whether it’s a professor, or a young successful career woman.

“These films show what life could be like if you lived in this home,” says Bhatt. “Instead of just some beauty shots where you can turn off the video halfway through, [lifestyle films] work because people want to see the beginning, middle and the end.”

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Ottawa should end war on plastics for sake of the environment

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From the Fraser Institute

By Kenneth P. Green

Here’s the shocker: Meng shows that for 15 out of the 16 uses, plastic products incur fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives…

For example, when you swap plastic grocery bags for paper, you get 80 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substituting plastic furniture for wood—50 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substitute plastic-based carpeting with wool—80 per cent higher GHG emissions.

It’s been known for years that efforts to ban plastic products—and encourage people to use alternatives such as paper, metal or glass—can backfire. By banning plastic waste and plastic products, governments lead consumers to switch to substitutes, but those substitutes, mainly bulkier and heavier paper-based products, mean more waste to manage.

Now a new study by Fanran Meng of the University of Sheffield drives the point home—plastic substitutes are not inherently better for the environment. Meng uses comprehensive life-cycle analysis to understand how plastic substitutes increase or decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by assessing the GHG emissions of 16 uses of plastics in five major plastic-using sectors: packaging, building and construction, automotive, textiles and consumer durables. These plastics, according to Meng, account for about 90 per cent of global plastic volume.

Here’s the shocker: Meng shows that for 15 out of the 16 uses, plastic products incur fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives. Read that again. When considering 90 per cent of global plastic use, alternatives to plastic lead to greater GHG emissions than the plastic products they displace. For example, when you swap plastic grocery bags for paper, you get 80 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substituting plastic furniture for wood—50 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substitute plastic-based carpeting with wool—80 per cent higher GHG emissions.

A few substitutions were GHG neutral, such as swapping plastic drinking cups and milk containers with paper alternatives. But overall, in the 13 uses where a plastic product has lower emissions than its non-plastic alternatives, the GHG emission impact is between 10 per cent and 90 per cent lower than the next-best alternatives.

Meng concludes that “Across most applications, simply switching from plastics to currently available non-plastic alternatives is not a viable solution for reducing GHG emissions. Therefore, care should be taken when formulating policies or interventions to reduce plastic demand that they result in the removal of the plastics from use rather than a switch to an alternative material” adding that “applying material substitution strategies to plastics never really makes sense.” Instead, Meng suggests that policies encouraging re-use of plastic products would more effectively reduce GHG emissions associated with plastics, which, globally, are responsible for 4.5 per cent of global emissions.

The Meng study should drive the last nail into the coffin of the war on plastics. This study shows that encouraging substitutes for plastic—a key element of the Trudeau government’s climate plan—will lead to higher GHG emissions than sticking with plastics, making it more difficult to achieve the government’s goal of making Canada a “net-zero” emitter of GHG by 2050.

Clearly, the Trudeau government should end its misguided campaign against plastic products, “single use” or otherwise. According to the evidence, plastic bans and substitution policies not only deprive Canadians of products they value (and in many cases, products that protect human health), they are bad for the environment and bad for the climate. The government should encourage Canadians to reuse their plastic products rather than replace them.

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ESG Puppeteers

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From Heartland Daily News

By Paul Mueller

The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework allows a small group of corporate executives, financiers, government officials, and other elites, the ESG “puppeteers,” to force everyone to serve their interests. The policies they want to impose on society — renewable energy mandates, DEI programs, restricting emissions, or costly regulatory and compliance disclosures — increase everyone’s cost of living. But the puppeteers do not worry about that since they stand to gain financially from the “climate transition.”

Consider Mark Carney. After a successful career on Wall Street, he was a governor at two different central banks. Now he serves as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance for the United Nations, which means it is his job to persuade, cajole, or bully large financial institutions to sign onto the net-zero agenda.

But Carney also has a position at one of the biggest investment firms pushing the energy transition agenda: Brookfield Asset Management. He has little reason to be concerned about the unintended consequences of his climate agenda, such as higher energy and food prices. Nor will he feel the burden his agenda imposes on hundreds of millions of people around the world.

And he is certainly not the only one. Al Gore, John Kerry, Klaus Schwab, Larry Fink, and thousands of other leaders on ESG and climate activism will weather higher prices just fine. There would be little to object to if these folks merely invested their own resources, and the resources of voluntary investors, in their climate agenda projects. But instead, they use other people’s resources, usually without their knowledge or consent, to advance their personal goals.

Even worse, they regularly use government coercion to push their agenda, which — incidentally? — redounds to their economic benefit. Brookfield Asset Management, where Mark Carney runs his own $5 billion climate fund, invests in renewable energy and climate transition projects, the demand for which is largely driven by government mandates.

For example, the National Conference of State Legislatures has long advocated “Renewable Portfolio Standards” that require state utilities to generate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources. The Clean Energy States Alliance tracks which states have committed to moving to 100 percent renewable energy, currently 23 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. And then there are thousands of “State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

Behemoth hedge fund and asset manager BlackRock announced that it is acquiring a large infrastructure company, as a chance to participate in climate transition and benefit its clients financially. BlackRock leadership expects government-fueled demand for their projects, and billions of taxpayer dollars to fund the infrastructure necessary for the “climate transition.”

CEO Larry Fink has admitted, “We believe the expansion of both physical and digital infrastructure will continue to accelerate, as governments prioritize self-sufficiency and security through increased domestic industrial capacity, energy independence, and onshoring or near-shoring of critical sectors. Policymakers are only just beginning to implement once-in-a-generation financial incentives for new infrastructure technologies and projects.” [Emphasis added.]

Carney, Fink, and other climate financiers are not capitalists. They are corporatists who think the government should direct private industry. They want to work with government officials to benefit themselves and hamstring their competition. Capitalists engage in private voluntary association and exchange. They compete with other capitalists in the marketplace for consumer dollars. Success or failure falls squarely on their shoulders and the shoulders of their investors. They are subject to the desires of consumers and are rewarded for making their customers’ lives better.

Corporatists, on the other hand, are like puppeteers. Their donations influence government officials, and, in return, their funding comes out of coerced tax dollars, not voluntary exchange. Their success arises not from improving customers’ lives, but from manipulating the system. They put on a show of creating value rather than really creating value for people. In corporatism, the “public” goals of corporations matter more than the wellbeing of citizens.

But the corporatist ESG advocates are facing serious backlash too. The Texas Permanent School Fund withdrew $8.5 billion from Blackrock last week. They join almost a dozen state pensions that have withdrawn money from Blackrock management over the past few years. And last week Alabama passed legislation defunding public DEI programs. They follow in the footsteps of Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, Tennessee, and others.

State attorneys general have been applying significant pressure on companies that signed on to the “net zero” pledges championed by Carney, Fink, and other ESG advocates. JPMorgan and State Street both withdrew from Climate Action 100+ in February. Major insurance companies started withdrawing from the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance in 2023.

Still, most Americans either don’t know much about ESG and its potential negative consequences on their lives or, worse, actually favour letting ESG distort the market. This must change. It’s time the ESG puppeteers found out that the “puppets” have ideas, goals, and plans of their own. Investors, taxpayers, and voters should not be manipulated and used to climate activists’ ends.

They must keep pulling back on the strings or, better yet, cut them altogether.

Paul Mueller is a Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. He received his PhD in economics from George Mason University. Previously, Dr. Mueller taught at The King’s College in New York City.

Originally posted at the American Institute for Economic Research, reposted with permission.

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