Category Archives: Green

Green Party Policies: Only Government to create new Money

The Green Party is very democratic and open to new ideas and debates. The media have seized on some of those policies they don’t recognise and used them to attack the Party – I thought some of them were worth a little investigation – hopefully part of a series.

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The truth is out – money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it by David Graeber

The Bank of England’s dose of honesty throws the theoretical basis for austerity out the window Tuesday 18 March 2014 10.47 GMT

Back in the 1930s, Henry Ford is supposed to have remarked that it was a good thing that most Americans didn’t know how banking really works, because if they did, “there’d be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.

Last week, something remarkable happened. The Bank of England let the cat out of the bag. In a paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy”, co-authored by three economists from the Bank’s Monetary Analysis Directorate, they stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong, and that the kind of populist, heterodox positions more ordinarily associated with groups such as Occupy Wall Street are correct. In doing so, they have effectively thrown the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window.

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Why is diesel now bad news?

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By Roger Harrabin 8 December 2014

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo wants to ban diesel cars and the pollution they bring from the streets of the French capital. But not long ago, diesel engines were thought to be environmentally friendly. What could have gone wrong?

Opinion on diesel cars has swung widely over the years.

Diesel is a more efficient fuel than petrol, but in the past diesel engines were often noisy and dirty.

Then, with growing concerns over climate change, car manufacturers were urged to produce cleaner, quieter diesel cars to capitalise on their extra fuel efficiency.

The cars were fitted with a trap to catch the particles of smoke associated with the fuel. Several governments rewarded the manufacturing improvements by incentivising the purchase and use of diesel cars.

But the policy has backfired.

Going into reverse

First, there have been problems with the particle traps – some drivers have removed them because they sometimes don’t work properly unless the car is driven hot.

Second, the diesels are still producing nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which irritates the lungs of people with breathing problems. Diesels make several times more NO2 than petrol cars.

Now, in order to meet European air pollution laws, politicians are being forced into an embarrassing U-turn, telling drivers that they’ve decided they don’t much like diesels after all.

MPs in the UK have mooted a scrappage scheme for diesel cars, while the mayor of Paris has called for a ban.

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I’ve Gone Vegan to Help Try to Save the Planet

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By Chris Hedges November 10, 2014

“We have only a few years left to make radical changes to rescue ourselves from an ecological meltdown. A person who is vegan will save 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 30 square feet of forested land, 45 pounds of grain, and one sentient animal’s life every day.”

My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine’s attitude toward becoming celibate—“God grant me abstinence, but not yet.” But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction(2), and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species. It is one that my wife—who was the engine behind our family’s shift—and I have made.

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all worldwide transportation combined—cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes.(3) Livestock and their waste and flatulence account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51 percent of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.(4) Livestock causes 65 percent of all emissions of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 296 times more destructive than carbon dioxide.(5) Crops grown for livestock feed consume 56 percent of the water used in the United States.(6) Eighty percent of the world’s soy crop is fed to animals, and most of this soy is grown on cleared lands that were once rain forests. All this is taking place as an estimated 6 million children across the planet die each year from starvation and as hunger and malnutrition affect an additional 1 billion people.(7) In the United States 70 percent of the grain we grow goes to feed livestock raised for consumption.(8)

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The natural resources used to produce even minimal amounts of animal products are staggering—1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk.(9) Add to this the massive clear cutting and other destruction of forests, especially in the Amazon—where forest destruction has risen to 91 percent(10)—and we find ourselves lethally despoiling the lungs of the earth largely for the benefit of the animal agriculture industry. Our forests, especially our rain forests, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and exchange it for oxygen: Killing the forests is a death sentence for the planet. Land devoted exclusively to raising livestock now represents 45 percent of the earth’s land mass.(11)

Continue reading I’ve Gone Vegan to Help Try to Save the Planet

Bee-killing pesticides used on soya crops don’t even do what they’re supposed to

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The US EPA has yet to do much about neonicotinoids, the class of pesticides implicated in the  mass bee die-offs, but it has started looking into them. And the results of an extensive review into one such pesticide, commonly applied to soybean seeds, presents another compelling reason to ban them: using them, the agency found, isn’t any better than using no pesticides at all.

“These seed treatments provide negligible overall benefits to soybean production in most situations,” the report concludes; at most, they up revenue by $6, or less than 2 percent, per acre, but the more likely estimate is $0. Part of the problem is that the insecticides are only effective within the first few weeks of planting, while the insects they’re intended to combat aren’t typically active during that time. And if attacks do occur, the study identified a whole assortment of other, non-bee-killing alternatives that are both effective and comparable in cost.

Colony collapse disorder, on the other hand, has cost the U.S. an estimated $2 billion in lost hives and, as a result, some $30 billion in crops.

Aside from being prime suspects in the mysterious disappearance of entire bee colonies, the Center for Biological Diversity points out that the pesticides in question were also the culprit in the single largest bee die-off in history, when 50,000 honeybees were discovered dead in an Oregon parking lot. Aside from those tragedies, they’re also blamed for bird declines and for polluting waterways.

Last year, a consortium of environmental groups sued the EPA for its failure to protect important pollinators. The agency, in response, said it plans to continue reviewing the evidence until 2018.

Controversy Deepens Over Pesticides and Bee Collapse

The nerve poison harming our bees

Ban neonicotinoids now – to avert another silent spring – This pesticide is destroying life across the natural world: the evidence cannot be denied. Only a global moratorium will stop it

Widespread impacts of neonicotinoids ‘impossible to deny’

Pesticidemakers Challenge E.U. Neonicotinoid Ban in Court

Bee deaths: EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides

Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe

European Union Protects Bees but U.S. Continues to Allow Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Bee Survival in Europe

Neonicotinoid ban won’t fix all bees’ problems

Bee activist: EU ban on neonicotinoids undermined by national derogations

Neonicotinoid ban hit UK farmers hard