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Archive for the category “Climate”

Opinion: UK’s Environmental Audit Committee wants to introduce “Latte Levy” on the consumer, however, what if the government added policies and taxes that hit the companies instead?

Mary Creagh MP said:

A reusable cup is one of the easiest ways to reduce cup waste but the discounts offered by coffee companies are ineffective. The plastic bag charge is proof that charges are highly effective at reducing packaging waste. We urge the Government to introduce a 25p charge on disposable cups.” (Parliament.uk, 2018)

Since last year the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) have worked on finding ways to make the Coffee industry in the United Kingdom more environmental and more sustainable. Since the one-time use of Coffee-Cups from the big international chains is a disaster to recycle and creates new levels of garbage. It is natural that this is looked into as much as other beverage and use of plastic to contain the liquid in ordinary trade. The EAC should look into the beer and soda industry as well, since they use one-time bottles of plastic that also hurts the environment.

What was striking was the recommendation from the EAC:

The Committee has called on the Government to: Introduce a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups, and use the money raised to improve the UK’s recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities. Set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023. If this target is not achieved, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups. Make producers pay more for packaging which is difficult to recycle. Improve labelling to educate consumers about how best to dispose of their cup” (Parliament.uk, 2018).

That the “Latte Levy” is coming up is a good idea, but also already could be enforced directly, as the chains to make it more costly for each cup of one-time usable cups. Since, that would make more people aware and also bring cups for the chains. Even sell more cheaply the reusable cups and make offers that are reasonable for the consumer of coffee. Instead of adding more tax on the ones buying coffee on the run to and from works at the coffee shops.

If the government wants the consumer to use reusable cups, they should put in conditions not only to hurt their pockets with a latte levy, but also make it profitable for Coffee shops and Coffee chains to earn more bucks on their sales of this. They are only in the market for the profits, not for saving planet earth. Than the government has to put forward demands and laws that put restraint on the sellers to provide with cups, which actually are recycled or reusable with a fair price.

That the government would put extra pay to extend and make sure the cups are recycled is a good enough idea. To recoup and make sure they can facilitate garbage disposal that fits the one-cup use of the modern day at the coffee shops. That the industry should reshape and change is natural. But they will only do so, if they earn money on it or have to comply with new regulations. That is if the Conservative Government wants to direct and change the policies affecting the industry and their behavior. The consumer will look at price and convenience, so they will use the best options concerning their needs and daily life.

What the “Latte Levy” does is only to make the coffee a bit more expensive, but doesn’t do enough to change behavior or either consumer nor companies. That is what the target should be. The Companies should be affected for their use of one-time use cups and the trash it creates. Peace.

Reference:

Parliament.uk – ‘MPs call for “latte levy” on coffee cups’ (05.01.2018) link: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2017/coffee-cups-report-publication-17-19/

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USA: Trump’s Draft Plan to Shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments (30.11.2017)

Ban Ki-moon: “Devastating Impact” of withdrawal from Paris Agreement (Youtube-Clip)

USA: EPA Acting Deputy Adminstrator E-Mail – “Agency’s Workforce Shaping through Voluntary Early Retirement and Separation Incentive Payment Authorities (VERA/VSIP) – (01.06.2017)

New Study Finds Worrying Climate Trend in Karamoja Over Last 35 Years (20.03.2017)

Released in Kampala today, the ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja’ found that temperatures have been rising in Karamoja over the last 35 years.

KAMPALA, Uganda, March 20, 2017 – A new study carried out by the Government of Uganda and its partners has found a new weather pattern that threatens to worsen food insecurity in the Karamoja region if no action is taken.

The study found that the average monthly rainfall in the region increased over the last 35 years and that the rainy season is now longer by two months. However, the rains – which now fall from around March to the end of the year – increasingly varied in volumes. This unpredictability was found to undermine agricultural production, thereby threatening to aggravate food insecurity in Karamoja.

Released in Kampala today, the ‘Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja’ found that temperatures have been rising in Karamoja over the last 35 years.

The rising temperatures threaten to increase the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in the region, therefore reducing availability of water for crops and animals. This too undermines food security.

A large majority of people in Karamoja, particularly women, were not aware that changes to the climate had been taking place over decades, the study states. However, most of the people that had perceived changes to the climate had not taken any action to adapt, typically because they did not know how to do so. Where trees were planted as an adaptation measure, the sale of charcoal and firewood were also a common measure that people took in response to climate-related crop failure.

Sponsored by the Swedish Government, the study was carried out in 2016 by the Ministry of Water and Environment with support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the CGIAR Consortium’s Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

The Uganda Minister for Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, said today, “These are significant findings that threaten any hope for Uganda achieving its Vision 2040 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), if no immediate action is taken.”

Cheptoris said that his Ministry was already calling for a national and regional response, advocating for climate change sensitive approaches across all Government sectors, educating the population about climate change, and undertaking emissions profiles.

“Karamoja’s population is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to climate change,” said El Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director for Uganda. “However, little has been known previously about the impacts of climate change on food security, and in particular, the ability of households in the region to adapt.”

WFP hopes that the findings and recommendations of the study will contribute to efforts toward appropriate adaptation measures while helping to identify policies that will safeguard the most vulnerable communities in Karamoja.

The study recommended that the Government and its partners increase investments in water harvesting and agroforestry schemes, education of the people, improved access to climate change information and the cultivation of drought-resistant crop varieties.

Within the Ministry of Water and Environment, the study was carried out by the Climate Change Department and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority.

Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood responds to President Trump’s Executive Order Rescinding the Clean Water Rule (28.02.2017)

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New drought risks in Ethiopia put recovery at risk (17.01.2017)

Hailemariam Desalegn Ethiopia

FAO targets pastoralists in southern regions facing failed rains on heels of a calamitous El Niño.

ROME, Italy, January 17, 2017 -New drought across swathes of southern Ethiopia may jeopardize the East African nation’s restoration of food security after the worst agricultural seasons in decades unless urgent efforts are made to shore up vulnerable households in rural areas, FAO warned today.

While an impressive government-led humanitarian effort has sharply reduced the number of hungry during the worst drought in 50 years, the legacy of last year’s El Niño along with low rainfall during a critical season pose renewed risks now, especially for pastoral communities facing forage shortfalls and water scarcity in southern regions.

Safeguarding recent gains requires responding to the livelihood-sustaining needs of fragile households that lost or sold livestock and other assets, often adding to family debt burdens to cope with the worst El Niño in modern history.

Effective and timely action has reduced the number of people who will need food aid in 2017 to 5.6 million, down from almost twice as much last August, according to the newly released Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD). However, food security in 120 woredas (districts) has worsened since July, while 86 woredas are entering their third year (since December 2015) of top-priority emergency status.

The just-approved HRD, jointly developed by the Government of Ethiopia along with UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and other development partners, covers a range of subjects including education, access to water and nutrition. It advises that the bulk of the agriculture sector needs are related to assistance to pastoralists and agropastoralists livestock assistance – a total of $42 million is required by the sector to reach 1.9 million households, mainly in drought-affected southern and southeastern pastoral regions, this year.

Drought strikes again
While northern and western Ethiopia bore the brunt of El Niño, a new drought is emerging in southern and southeastern pastoral areas including Oromia, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNP) after poor, delayed and erratic rains curbed pasture and water availability. Some 80 percent of Ethiopians depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods and an even higher share of the country’s arable land relies on seasonal rainfall.

Below-average precipitation has also affected neighboring Somalia and Kenya. The impact is expected to be most dire in early 2017 among livestock, with unusually early migrations, excess mortality rates and extreme emaciation.

FAO calls for an immediate response to support the food security and nutrition of households reliant on animals. Along with the provision of supplementary animal feed, especially along migratory routes, targeted destocking interventions will be implemented to make protein-rich meat available for vulnerable pastoral communities and support livestock prices in local markets.

Poorly-fed animals reproduce less frequently, lengthening the prospective time required to rebuild herds. For Ethiopian households, restocking after the loss of half of one’s cattle typically takes four years without adverse conditions.

Addressing fragility

Even though FAO’s support will focus on communities depending on livestock, some areas along the Rift Valley, however, especially in the northern and eastern highlands, are facing below-average crop production and therefore receive prioritized agricultural support as recovery will take longer than anticipated.

South Sudan refugees and their hosting communities in Gambella Region, are facing significant food availability and access challenges, and enabling households to produce more of their own food is essential.

After having reached 1.3 million farmers and herders affected by the El Niño-induced drought in 2016, FAO is appealing for $20 million to reach one million farming, agropastoral and pastoral households in 2017, with the aim of protecting gains made last year and preventing vulnerable households from slipping further into food insecurity.

FAO’s programme seeks in particular to support crop production, implement emergency response and resilience activities in the livestock sector, support livelihoods in refugee-hosting areas and strengthen coordination, information and analysis.

On Trump: How did we get here?

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I got to ask! How did we get here? What happen for the worldwide of events to lead to the man of that stature to be elected as the President of the United States, the Commander in Chief, the leader of the so-called free-world! That the man most enlightened and most visionary happen to be the Donald, Donald J. Trump of New York and Manhattan.

We got to ask, now that it’s a month since he won the Electoral College and days apart from when they are throwing their inherent ballot to suffocate the world for 4 years. The Electoral College that has been basis for speculations for months for all broadcaster’s from inner Montana to Hot 97 in New York. Seriously, the Democracy of world is based on few noble men and woman from the states electing a president on confidence of the rules in each state. Because the people cannot be trusted to already elect a person on the ballot. Not that the United States population is caring enough about civic education to consider a fellow caring human being, still they should reconsider their political system when a fellow like Trump can eat cake and vomit daily from the White House. Just as written here: “The Constitution does not specifically require electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote in their states, but the laws of 29 states and the District of Columbia bind electors to do so. Some require pledges or threaten fines or criminal action, according to a summary of state laws by the National Assn. of Secretaries of State. No elector has ever been prosecuted for not voting as pledged. Since 1900, there have been only nine faithless electors who defected for individual reasons, including one who abstained from voting altogether” (Los Angeles Times – ‘All the times in U.S. history that members of the electoral college voted their own way’ (08.12.2016) link: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-faithless-electors-2016-story.html).

But, still with that in mind, how did we get there? It can be so many reasons, the lacking knowledge of how government works or the need for understanding of intricate policy building to succeed in Washington D.C. or that some daft small-town ignorant citizens would drop a metaphorical bomb on the lobbyists and elite in the capital. That is what they thought they did with electing a “billionaire” Trump who after becoming President-Elect started plotting together the riches, the most connected to big-business cabinet that has been in the White House. As well as taking in men who despise the ideas of certain departments and chambers they will run; so that the American government can become smaller and take in less tax of the wealthy that they all in power represent. They are walking away from the all the needed men and woman in the grass-root that ushered in the Trump Administration. So now they can do what they want without question, because the votes secured this chair’s and possibilities that is now in for the taking.

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We got there with fear, with a dishonest media, a dishonest internet, little spread of information and quick browsing through the contested campaigns as we still doesn’t know what “Making America Great Again!” means or to what extent making it better. If that is making KKK and Alt-Right accepted as a means of less-subtle racism in politics and the American communities, that has surely happen. That the Trump Campaign has surged on the fear of immigration and job-loss is clear factors, while they haven’t had a coherent plan to fix it. This has been seen as a factor while the Obama Administration took the nation from 7.9% unemployed into 4.9 % in 8 years that has happen while the Republican Party and Trump has claimed the destruction of nation as they know it. Which cannot be seen in statistics, tax-base or in sort of inflation level since the start of Recession of 2008; but that doesn’t matter because the myth of problems is what Trump needs! Just said like this: “The term Alt-Right, reputedly coined in 2008 by Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, a bogus think-tank, encompasses views from libertarianism to paleoconservatism and onwards to the edges of pseudo-intellectual claptrap and the English language. Many Alt-Righters demonise Jews, but a few do not. Some, such as Brad Griffin of Occidental Dissent, another website, think “democracy can become a tool of oppression”, and that monarchy or dictatorship might be better; others, such as Mr Taylor, disagree. Some are techno-futurists; others espouse a kind of agrarian nostalgia. Many mourn the Confederacy. Mr Griffin thinks that, even today, North and South should separate” (…) “Yet from the quack ideologues to the out-and-proud neo-Nazis, some Alt-Right tenets are clear and constant. It repudiates feminism with misogynistic gusto. It embraces isolationism and protectionism. Above all, it champions white nationalism, or a neo-segregationist “race realism”, giving apocalyptic warning of an impending “white genocide”. Which, of course, is really just old-fashioned white supremacism in skimpy camouflage” (…) “The association precedes Mr Trump’s hiring as his campaign manager of Stephen Bannon, former boss of Breitbart News, a reactionary news website that Mr Bannon reportedly described as “the platform for the Alt-Right”, and which has covered the movement favourably” (Economist – ‘Trump and the Alt-Right Pepe and the stormtroopers’ 17.09.2016 link: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21707201-how-donald-trump-ushered-hateful-fringe-movement-mainstream-pepe-and).

Why I ask myself this now is because of we’re soon in 2017, there will be important questions ahead. Many that we cannot foresee as much as the environment and climate change might mean for us, as kid of the 90s I remember the sun-damage danger and the Ozone, now it’s the CO2 emissions and heated polluted air, that Donald Trump doesn’t believe him because he is not a penguin who’s struggling to in dwindling ice on Greenland. As he assemble people who cares for business over environment, that cares more about production than the reasons for the earthquakes in Oklahoma state: “The state has seen a sever spike in earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or higher since 2008, when energy companies ramped up their hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas in the state, Choy said. The number of 3.0 magnitude quakes rose from 2 in 2008 to 889 last year, according to USGS statistics. So far this year, there have been 572” (USA Today,’ Oklahoma earthquake reignites concerns that fracking wells may be the cause’ 07.11.2016 link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/11/07/oklahoma-earthquake-fracking-well/93447830/).

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We can wonder how this might be, as the Alt-Right, Republican Cabinet is assembled by men and woman who will honour Trump, be his advisors and take orders as he doesn’t have trouble with connections with his own businesses that his kids will control while he is in command. This is still an issue a month after as he will be Executive Producer for ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ on NBC while being in the White House, which is a hobby for the old-man who just used two years becoming President. So the Trump Organization will surely be controlled from the White House as he cannot shelf his control from anything he touches, even if that breaches with the constitution. That foreign dignitaries are now renting rooms in the Trump Hotels close to the White House, as it just happen to done during the Presidential Campaign was just coincidence: “Wednesday’s grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the culmination of a $200 million project. The Trump Organization renovated the 1899 Romanesque Revival-style Old Post Office building, on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House. With 263 guest rooms and suites, and a ballroom that Trump has said is the biggest in the nation’s capital, the hotel is among the priciest in town. Donald Trump, speaking at the event, said the hotel came in “under budget and ahead of schedule.” He cut the ribbon in the lobby alongside wife Melania and children Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany” (Bloomberg – ‘Trump Executives Tout Brand Resilience at D.C. Hotel Opening’ 26.10.2016 link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-26/trump-executives-use-d-c-hotel-opening-to-tout-brand-resilience).

So as he was a Presidential-Candidate he could consider his time to his own business, how could we get there and how could the citizens who voted for him think he will act differently a month after? Certainly the proof now is clear that he thinks of his business and opportunities as much as he can consider America first. The public might grab glimpses of his thoughts on Twitter, but not a reality of how that will be configured in actions as President.

What the world can expect and how he will acts is unsure, more unsure than the policies of the Tories coming to the “leaving Europe and European Union in the Red-White-Blue Brexit” of Theresa May. Donald Trump might bomb somewhere for oil, he might kill kids and families to stop the civil war in Syria. What we can foresee of his actions is unknown and the US Society accepted that sort opinions and as a Commander-in-Chief is exceptional.

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The bravery and the reality, the stuttering silence of hope and only despair. Industrialization together with Multi-National Companies who gotten all freedom and liberty, while the citizens has to apply and be lucky to get jobs. The reality of Multi-National Companies steering lobbying in Washington D.C. and together with giant supported Super-PACs has picked out the “good” candidates for the Trump Administration as the roots of too big to fail is evident in the matter of businesses of the day. That is where the US dream is happening and dying. It is dying because of the Multi-National gets full control of the Senate and Congress, the President and if the Supreme Court Justices dies, than they can get their selected people to run for them there too. Not for the public good or will, but for the companies’ profits. That will be on overdrive with the men that has been picked as Secretary of Treasury and Secretary of Commerce.

How did we get to a place where the Presidential Candidate who was supposed to be there for the workers, the American workers was in shambles, that he nominees a man who has done this: “Puzder observes, “They’re not talking about $15 or $12 an hour, the kind of dramatic increases that are being bandied about in the political process right now.”  CKE’s average wage, he says, is a bit over $10 an hour, “so we’re not talking about everybody in the restaurant working for $7.25.” (In California, the minimum wage is now $10.) “But we’re talking about entry-level jobs. Are people going to want to hire entry-level employees for these very high minimums, which come with Obamacare, which come with mandatory sick leave, or other benefits which the government imposes on business for these individuals? Are you going to be able to keep minimum wage entry-level job positions open for individuals?” (L.A. Times – ‘   Does Andy Puzder really want to replace his Carl’s Jr. workers with robots? No, but…’ 30.03.2016 link: http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-puzder-20160322-snap-htmlstory.html).

So with this all in mind, we should ask how we got here? Michael Moore said it so nicely back in the day: “Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.  I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states” (…) “That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around?” (…) “The Depressed Sanders Vote. Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election” (Michael More – ‘5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win’ link: http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/).

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That Michael Moore saw it coming and asked for society to think about the reasons for protest Trump vote out there and the plans for shaking certain swing-states to the Republican Party. Something that happen… and it wasn’t beautiful the ones who had hope for another experience. We can just wonder how they got duped to follow this man and made the system ready for his as commander in chief!

I just wonder how the American Experience became Donald J. Trump, how we went from hope and change, into fear and depression, where the army and military will get more power, where the multi-national companies will be more connected with the Trump Administration and the fracking, big-oil, giant banks and finance industry get more power in the White House. The Republican Party and their loyal cronies will have both houses and the Presidency under Trump. So the possibilities are endless. We can wonder how we got here.

How did we get here? And we should ask ourselves that? The answers are many and reasons for the US election turning to Trump should be asked more times as the answers will be different with times, as the layers will peeled off and we will find the core reasons for why a Reality Star, a Real Estate Investor and a Limited Label salesman, sometimes a snake-oil of that, became the next President of the United States. Peace.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair: DOJ Must Investigate Use of Force Against #DAPL Resistance (Youtube-Clip)

” “I knew North Dakota state was planning something,” says Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II of the raid on a resistance camp Thursday by militarized police. “They set up a pre-hospital tent near the camp. … That was sending me signals this was going to get out of hand.” Archambault says he asked the Department of Justice to step in and ask the state not to proceed with the raid, and now calls on the Justice Department to launch an investigation into the use of force against those resisting the Dakota Access pipeline” (Democracy Now, 2016)

Marinique: Communique d’Activite Cyclonique (28.09.2016)

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