Monday, 27 July 2009

*Pigeon website

A new pigeon website has just been launched which will provide us all with more information on pigeons and the humane control of them. It should help those of you who often actively campaign against cruelty against them. There are loads of product reviews of all of the different types of products available on the market as well as documents discussing the law when it comes to pigeon control, do-it-yourself controls, bird flu and 21 amazing facts about the pigeon, it's all there!

The website address is: www.pigeoncontrolresourcecentre.org

Sunday, 26 July 2009

*UK animal experiments rise by 14%

The annual figures for animal experiments, was released by the Home Office this week. The report reveals the biggest year on year increase since 1987.

3,583,223 animals were used in tests in 2008, an increase of 14% on the previous year.

Despite overwhelming public concern and growing pressure for an outright ban, the UK conducted tests on 3,354 primates, our closest genetic relatives, an increase of 7% on last year. This was caused by a dramatic increase in macaques to 3,092 animals (23%).

Furthermore, contrary to the UK being hailed as a nation of animal lovers, 252 horses, 11,916 rabbits, 4,271 dogs and 176 cats were subjected to experiments.

To read BUAV Chief Executive Michelle Thew's reaction to this news and find out how you can help the BUAV continue campaigning against animal experiments, click here: http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://www.buav.org/a/2009/07/21/172

The Home Office report can be viewed here: http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://scienceandresearch.homeoffice.gov.uk/animal-research/publications-and-reference/statistics/

*True costs of the Afghan War – really staggering.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/revealed-16312bn-hidden-costs-of-afghan-war-1761469.html

"The soaring cost of Britain's military campaign in Afghanistan is laid bare today, as a comprehensive analysis reveals that the cost of fighting the Taliban has passed £12bn. An Independent on Sunday assessment of the "hidden costs" of fighting since the Taliban was ousted in 2001 reveals that the bill works out at £190 for every man, woman and child in the UK – and would pay for 23 new hospitals, 60,000 new teachers or 77,000 new nurses."

AND THE MILITARY, THE GOVERNMENT AND THEIR MINDLESS LETTER WRITERS AND COMMENTATORS CALL FOR MORE MONEY TO BE SPENT!! Hundreds of servicemen will have to spend the rest of their life injured in body and mind, while the damage we have inflicted on Afghanistan will be remembered for generations.

Friday, 24 July 2009

*Market Failure

EDF, who have nuke contracts with neoLabour and are sponsoring the greenwash "Green Britain Day", are fined by OFGEM for delivering poor 'customer service':

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jul/24/edf-fined-connection-failures-ofgem

Proponents of the idea that the free market and "competition" will improve service as companies compete for "customers" is once again shown to be the fallacy that it is. Instructive too is the fact that the Vestas plant in the IOW was actually making a profit - another example of the failed logic of capitalism.

*Hove election win opens way to Westminster victory*

Greens in Brighton and Hove are jubilant at winning the strategically important Goldsmid by-election in Hove, taking the seat from the Tories.

The result sees the election of the first Green councillor, Alex Phillips, from Hove to Brighton and Hove City Council and deprives the Tories of their majority on the council.

Caroline Lucas, national Green Party leader, said, "This is a spectacular win.

"It signals an unstoppable surge to elect the first Green MP at Westminster, whenever Gordon decides to go to the country.

"With this result, we're on the threshold of taking Green politics to the heart of Westminster."

Alex Phillips said, "Thank you to all the voters who put their faith in me. It's a ringing endorsement of Green policies and the work of Green councillors locally.

"I will be hardworking and unswerving in my task of representing local people and delivering positive Green change."

"Hopefully this means we can put pressure on the Tories and concentrate on our policies of a 20mph speed limit and introducing a living wage, which is more than the current minimum wage."

Councillor Bill Randall, convenor of the Green councillors on the city council, said, "With my council colleagues, we'll be reviewing the options and consulting our membership to ensure that we get the best, greenest deal for local residents. Between us we will do what is right in these very difficult times."

Alex won 38.5% of the votes -an increase of 17% over the last time the seat was contested with a swing of more than 12% from Labour to Green.

Full result

GRN 1,456 - 38.5% (+17.6%) GRN GAIN FROM CON

CON 1,104 - 29.2% (-0.9%)

LAB 816 - 21.5% (-6.8%)

LD 280 - 7.4% (-7.32%)

UKIP 129 - 3.4% N/A (others 6% last time)

Thursday, 23 July 2009

*Rhetorical moral question for the day…is being ‘economical with the truth’ still a lie?

It just all depends on how you look at some things...

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern California , was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that Congressman Harry Reid's great-great uncle, Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889. Both Judy and Harry Reid share this common ancestor.
The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows in Montana territory.

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: 'Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.'

So Judy recently e-mailed Congressman Harry Reid for information about their great-great uncle.

Believe it or not, Harry Reid's staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:

"Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory . His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."


NOW THAT's how it's done, Folks!
That's real POLITICAL SPIN

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

*Meat Free Monday

Sir Paul McCartney has urged meat eaters to consider going vegetarian one day a week. Launching the Meat Free Monday campaign, Sir Paul joined his son James and daughters, Stella and Mary, and a host of celebrities in St James's Park to launch the initiative. Stars, both vegetarian and meat eaters,- joined Macca to raise awareness of the campaign, which will help combat climate change.

The campaign was prompted by a United Nations report, which says meat production is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. This compares with an estimated 13% from transport.

*Massive petition presented to PM

Caroline Lucas submitted a 1.5m strong petition to 10 Downing St on 2nd July, calling on the Government to develop a 'road map' to move towards the end of animal testing.

She was part of an all-party delegation organised by Uncaged, which has collected the signatures on what is understood to be the largest animal welfare petition in British history.

The petition was submitted at a critical point in the historic debate over animal testing - the UK Government is currently asking for the public's views on animal research ahead of discussions with other governments over a new European Union law.

The Uncaged petition cites moral and scientific reasons to work towards eliminating animal experiments. Laboratory experiments on animals often cause severe suffering, and evidence is emerging that shows that animal tests do not reliably predict human reactions - while non-animal methods can offer greater accuracy and safety assurance.

Yet despite this evidence, the number of animal experiments in Britain has actually increased since 2001 to over 3m a year. Dr Lucas is calling for action to reverse that trend and work towards replacing animal experiments with viable non-animal alternatives.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

*What's wrong with the TaxPayers' Alliance?

The article below is from The Other Taxpayer' Alliance. Well worth looking at their website www.taxpayersalliance.org

The TaxPayers' Alliance is a tremendously successful campaign group. Barely a day goes by without Chief Executive Matthew Elliott appearing in the media, representing the views of "ordinary taxpayers". In fact never a day goes by: the Alliance boasts an average hit rate of 13 media appearances a day and puts the links on its website to prove it.

The problem is that it isn't an alliance of ordinary taxpayers at all. It is an alliance of right-wing ideologues. Its academic advisory council is a who's who of the proponents of discredited Thatcherite policies: Eamonn Butler and Marsden Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute, academics Patrick Minford and Kenneth Minogue, Margaret Thatcher's former economic advisor Sir Alan Walters, and others such as ex-Institute of Directors policy head Ruth Lea.

Not everything the TPA says is wrong. Who could disagree with its commitment to "criticise all examples of wasteful and unnecessary spending", or to putting 2012 London Olympic spending under scrutiny? But the Alliance's concern for better public spending is a stepping stone to its desire for less public spending. And far from being a voice for "ordinary" taxpayers, its policies – opposing all tax rises (what, for everyone, in any circumstance?) and backing a flat rather than progressive tax – will increase inequality and shift wealth from poor to rich.

Friday, 3 July 2009

*German Green Party politician fined for playing klezmer music

A Dresden politician was fined for playing loud klezmer music outside City Hall to disturb a neo-Nazi march.

Stephan Kuhn of the Green Party was ordered Wednesday to pay a $210 fine, which will benefit an organization that helps victims of right-wing violence.

Neo-Nazis held a commemorative march on Feb.13, 2008, on the anniversary of the World War II firebombing of Dresden by Allied forces, which right-wing extremists have taken to calling the "bombing Holocaust." In protest, Kuhn blasted the music at the neo-Nazis from the windows of the Green Party parliamentary fraction offices.

According to the indictment, the state prosecutor said it was proven that "loud Jewish music" was played from the window, interrupting a speech that a neo-Nazi was trying to deliver. Kuhn, the state said, thus interfered with the right to free assembly.

Kuhn said he did not regret his actions. "If I was able to stop the flow of brown [Nazi] verbal muck, I am more than willing to accept the payment of a fine," he told reporters.

Reportedly, in a similar case in 2006, a state prosecutor in Mittenberg, in the former west German state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, dismissed charges against a Catholic priest who rang church bells during a neo-Nazi gathering in the local marketplace.

The members of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany were unable to continue their rally and filed suit.

*Support Sea Shepherd

The Netherlands wants to ban the controversial anti-whaling organisation Sea Shepherd from sailing under the Dutch flag. Public Works State Secretary Tineke Huizinga said Friday she wants to amend the law quickly to make this possible.

The American organisation Sea Shepherd has two ships sailing under the Dutch flag. The Netherlands provided the necessary certificate of registry for this in 2007, after Sea Shepherd had promised in writing not to use violence and to comply with the safety rules. Nonetheless, a number of incidents have taken place between Sea Shepherd ships and Japanese whalers in the Antarctic.

Japan has repeatedly complained to the Netherlands about the Sea Shepherd. It appears difficult at the moment to take action against ships that do not comply with the rules, so the cabinet wants to speedily extend its legal options for withdrawing certificates of registry.

THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!

Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 1000 signatures - please sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/appeal-to-the-dutch-government-who-wants-emergency-act-against-environmental-pirates-sea-shepherd

Read more here also:

http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-090629-1.html

http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-090702-1.html

Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

*CARBON REPORT

This looks to be a very interesting report, coming 2 weeks before the government's white paper on energy ... it says that the UK could attract 45% of the global offshore wind market by 2020, delivering £65bn of net economic value and 225,000 total jobs by 2050.

==

http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/publications/publicationdetail?productid=CTC752

==

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/02/uk-renewables-potential-carbon-trust

250,000 jobs and £70bn revenue - the forecast for a thriving UK renewables sector

Study from the Carbon Trust warns that potential of renewables sector will only be realised if government invests in research and removes regulatory barriers

Alok Jha, green technology correspondent The Guardian Thursday 2 July 2009 00.05 BST

The UK could benefit from 250,000 jobs and up to £70bn in revenue from offshore wind and wave technologies by 2050, according to a study by the Carbon Trust. This potential will only be realised, however, if the government gives clear signals to industry, so that investors know where to put their money, rather than leaving new technologies to face the market alone.

The Carbon Trust, a government-backed agency that studies ways to promote low-carbon technologies, carried out economic analyses in six areas of low-carbon industry including offshore wind, wave, solid-state lighting and micro combined heat and power.

The studies, published today, looked at the current status and costs of the technology, how these would develop and what research and development costs there might be in the coming decades.

The studies for offshore wind and wave power showed these technologies could provide at least 15% of the total carbon savings required to meet the UK's 2050 CO2 reduction targets. "The UK's greenhouse gas targets mean that by 2050 We must reduce our emissions to just one-10th of today's levels, per unit of output," said John Beddington, the government's chief scientific adviser.

"This is a formidable challenge, requiring step changes in the rate at which we improve our energy efficiency and in low-carbon innovation.The Carbon Trust's proposals recognise the need for us to be smarter in focusing our investments, including to help businesses seize the economic opportunities of the transition."

According to the new analysis, published just a few weeks ahead of the forthcoming government white paper on energy, the UK could attract 45% of the global offshore wind market by 2020, delivering £65bn of net economic value and 225,000 total jobs by 2050.

This would only happen with an investment of up to £600m into research, the removal of regulatory barriers and incentives to increase the deployment of the turbines. In the UK this means installing around 29GW of wind by 2020 and upwards of 40GW by 2050. A large part of the economic benefit would come from exporting technology developed here.

For wave, the outlook is more modest. Around a quarter of the world's wave technologies are being developed in the UK and the Carbon Trust said Britain should be the "natural owner" of the global market in this area. It could generate revenues worth £2bn per year by 2050 and up to 16,000 direct jobs.

"These technologies are not green 'nice to haves' but are critical to the economic recovery of the UK," said Tom Delay, the chief executive of the Carbon Trust. "To reap the significant rewards from their successful development we must prioritise and comprehensively back the technologies that offer the best chance of securing long-term carbon savings, jobs and revenue for Britain. Rather than following in the footsteps of others, this new analysis shows it is an economic no-brainer to be leading from the front."

In addition to the direct jobs in these in industries, there would be further benefits to the economy. "The UK's also very good at the secondary service industries - things like the financing of wind farms, the legal documents, environmental assessments," said Paul Arwas, a consultant who wrote the new Carbon Trust report. "Those jobs would be in addition - for offshore wind, it would be another 70,000 by 2050."

None of this will happen, though, without government support. Arwas said that when encouraging new industries, authorities tended to swing between two poles - either direct state funding or allowing markets to decide. "Either the governments didn't intervene at all or, if they did they did it by market mechanisms which are totally undifferentiated by technology. There you end up with a situation where, to take a footballing analogy, you've got the under 21s playing the under 12s."

Instead the Carbon Trust has proposed a new, semi-interventionist, model where the government chooses a family of technologies to invest in, for example wave power, and tells developers there will be subsidies or long-term help available to develop the sector as a whole but without backing individual technologies.

John Sauven, Greenpeace's executive director, welcomed the Carbon Trust's proposed approach. "Every country now needs a decarbonisation plan to help solve three of our greatest challenges - climate stability, energy security and economic prosperity. The UK has an enormous untapped supply of clean, green renewable energy and a world class engineering industry well placed to develop it."

Martin Rees, the president of the Royal Society, said the UK had little choice but to develop these new technologies, given the dwindling supplies of fossil fuels: "In the past we have let opportunities to capitalise on our scientific leadership slip through our fingers. The US and others are investing heavily in low carbon technologies; we must not fall behind and waste the scientific expertise that we have in the UK."