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  Weststar | GEM Newsletter October 2015 |




What's a Planet Worth?

lightbulb by Teresa Lopez | Founder, Green Energy Money 

In essence, we already do – we call it economic systems and development.  According to Wikipedia, the definition of an economic system is a system of production and exchange of goods and services and allocation of resources in a society. Economic systems include everything we use,  produce (creating jobs) and sell, resources traded as commodities like water, oil, electricity, food; and literally all of the products we use to sustain our modern lifestyles.

The worth of planet earth is defined mostly by the goods and services we produce and sell.  America’s consumerism has spread globally and now more than ever, our economic systems are driven by how much we produce and consume.  But quantifying our resources regarding carbon emissions and energy reduction is changing as our government policies on energy and building practices are requiring energy reduction in everything we produce, from automobiles to buildings and technology.

Carbon markets are also emerging, although still in infancy, requiring some mandatory compliance with corporations (especially utilities) to reduce their energy consumption and produce more#renewable energy.  The financial sector has seen a dramatic shift in new economic models such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Indice, and other indices that now quantify sustainability measures that transparently reflect their leadership and reduction in climate and energy impacts; and offer rewards and/or recognition for corporations engaging in this space.  

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World Population Clock

Of relevance to builders, developers, real estate agents, financial professionals and consumers, the U.S. Census Bureau has updated its World Population Clock to include country profiles, including the US demographics, trade and population statistics. Additional features include graphics on population projections and top exported goods by U.S. state or territory. As we all are aware, world populations are expanding; necessitating new trade and carbon reduction policies. See the clock


POPE FRANCIS Calls for Environmental Stewardship


On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis issued his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on Care For Our Common Home, in which he eloquently and in plain language calls for environmental protection and directly addresses climate control and the right of all people to live in a clean world with access to nature.

 In the past, encyclicals have been issued by Popes to guide the Catholic faithful. Pope Francis has stated explicitly that this encyclical is now added to the body of the Catholic Church’s teaching. In other words, we will now see a permanent shift toward environmental protection and respect in world politics as they are affected by the Catholic Church.

There are 7.3 billion people in this world. Of that it is estimated that 2.4 billion are Christians (33%) and of that 1.3 billion are Roman Catholics. This is a turning point for the planet.  For more information on environmental-catholicism history click here.   


The Oil Price Roller Coaster

                                                  Rocky Mountain Institute-Journal - summer 2015                                                        

gas money


Rocky Mountain Institute, (RMI) published a recent article and study on the price of oil and quantified the “real” costs of oil for American taxpayers. 

RMI is a leading authority on energy solutions and publishes many studies.  The article was written by Amory Lovins, co-founder, Chief Scientist and Chairman Emerituso of Rocky Mountain Institute.

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See More about the Oil Price Roller Coaster 

See More about the Future of Personal Mobility




TRID – Effective October 3rd – Stay Tuned


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Without diminishing the overall content of this issue on climate change and sustainability, let’s just say that TRID is already creating challenges in the mortgage finance arena.

 Lenders, nationwide were required to re-tool and configure entire loan processing and closing software systems.  But testing these systems wasn’t possible without first implementing the new loan procedures, which first had to be interpreted by legal and operations departments throughout the mortgage industry (TRID policies include over 2000 pages of new policies). TRID now includes almost all residential loan transactions, including construction, HELOCs, purchases and refinances (reversed mortgages, investment properties, and cash transactions are excluded)

Lenders were experiencing system glitches from day one  that policies were in place.  It is predicted to cost the mortgage industry millions of dollars. 

The real question is who is going to ultimately pay for the business losses and expected closing delays?  Are we having fun yet?    





Book Cover

Green Energy Money: Financial Solutions to Power a Sustainable Future,

is a guide to help building owners make key decisions about funding an investment in energy upgrades. It contains much of the necessary information to put the power of the marketplace behind sustainable green energy practices.

                         Learn More about the Book

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