Wednesday, 31 December 2008

*Happy first sub-prime period.

I wish you all a happy allegedly 'first' sub-time period within the next
larger time period imposed on us by the pseudo-scientifisc lackeys of
international finance capital in order to facilitate their exploitation
of the world's working classes!

(Received from a fellow member of Green Left and too good not to recycle)

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Climate change fight could create many jobs: aid experts

by Andrew Newby
DOHA, Nov 30, 2008 (AFP) - Aid specialists support a claim by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that efforts to adapt to climate change could create "millions of jobs" if enough funding is available.

"There is huge potential," particularly in developing countries, according to Poonam Ahluwalia, president of Youth Employment Summit, a US-based group which specialises in the creation of sustainable employment for young people.

"I would like to see a climate change fund that would put money aside to fund youth employment projects in (climate change) mitigation, emission reduction, energy conservation and clean energy production," she said in Doha on Sunday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Financing for Development, Ahluwalia said developing countries have been disproportionately affected by climate change compared with countries where carbon emissions are highest, "and that should be reflected in aid funding."

The UN's Ban said in Doha on Friday that studies show 10 million jobs could be lost because of the global economic crisis.

Taking strong action to adapt to climate change could lead to renewed growth and implementing the relevant technologies could create "millions of jobs," he said.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso told delegates on Saturday that efforts to deal with climate change "will fail" unless poorer countries are helped to adapt to the environmental and technological challenges.

A conference on climate change is scheduled to open in Poznan in Poland on Monday, to be followed by a summit next year in Copenhagen, where new emission reduction targets are scheduled to be agreed to follow those of the Kyoto accord.
"Doha and Poznan have to move forward together, hand in hand. Indeed, Copenhagen will not succeed without a serious solution on adaptation," Barroso said.

He told AFP on Friday that projects to deal with climate change and provide energy security can contribute to growth, while renewable energy projects such as solar power "can be a great source of revenue" in developing countries.

Ahuwalia said developing countries need help with funding in order to pay the upfront costs of implementing sustainable technology.

"One project in India is for renewable energy lanterns" which can be assembled locally, creating jobs, but cost 80 dollars -- around eight times the cost of a non-renewable lantern.

But the renewable lanterns cost very little to operate, "so over time can lead to big savings as well as a reduction in carbon emissions," she said.

The YES campaign, funded by the US government aid programme, Microsoft and Levi Strauss, aims to create two million green employment opportunities by 2012.

"We can no longer view addressing the climate crisis, poverty eradication efforts, and providing employment opportunities for youth in developing countries as separate from each other," Ahuwalia said.

Dan Timms, senior spokesman for Oxfam, said the organisation is already implementing many climate change adaptation projects which will maintain existing low-energy occupations or create sustainable new jobs.

"In South Africa, for example, farmers are planting faster-maturing crops, making the most of less-reliable rains. In Bangladesh, villagers are creating floating vegetable gardens to protect their livelihoods against flooding," he said.

"In Vietnam, communities are planting dense mangroves along the coast, to diffuse storm waves."

Timms said it is important that new funding is found to help developing countries adapt to climate change, as there is a threat that some donors may otherwise simply divert aid from other vital projects such as in health or education.

Hilde Frafjord Johnson, deputy executive director of UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, said that for poverty reduction goals to be met, jobs must be found for the large numbers of young people in developing countries.

Adapting to climate change could help fill this need, she said.

In Afghanistan, which Johnson visited recently, 68 percent of the population is under 25 and it is "absolutely critical" that young people there be given opportunities to keep them from being tempted astray.

Globally, UNICEF has previously focused its education work on children of primary school age, but has begun doing more with adolescents to prepare them better for opportunities they may have as adults, she said.

Andrew is a member of Barnet Green Party, but now based in Cyprus.

*Sustainable Investing"

This is the latest book by Nick Robbins, Green Party activist in Merton.

Sustainable Investing

October 2008
272 pages
ISBN: 9781844075485

Related Subject Areas:
Business and Environmental Management

Sustainable Investing
The Art of Long-Term Performance
Cary Krosinsky and Nick Robins
Series: Environmental Market Insights
(other books in this series)

'Buy and read this book. Without it, you are playing yesterday's game.'
Robert A. G. Monks

'Essential reading, whether you are an investor, a CEO or simply someone wanting to enjoy both a pension and a world fit for future life.'
John Elkington, co-founder of ENDS, SustainAbility and Volans, and co-author of The Power of Unreasonable People

'A significant contribution to a rapidly growing field ... This is a must-read book for practitioners and investment analysts alike.'
Gordon L. Clark, Oxford University

'This book richly deserves to be read by everyone in the investment community - and many beyond.'
Rob Lake, APG Investments, The Netherlands

Sustainable Investing is fast becoming the smart way of generating long-term returns. With conventional investors now scrambling to factor in issues such as climate change, this book captures a turning point in the evolution of global finance. Bringing together leading practitioners of Sustainable Investing from across the globe, this book charts how this agenda has evolved, what impact it has today, and what prospects are emerging for the years ahead.

Sustainable Investing has already been outperforming the mainstream, and concerned investors need to know how best to position themselves for potentially radical market change.

‘This splendid book provides up to date analyses of virtually the entire spectrum of socially related investment possibilities. The field is in a rapid state of change - Steve Viederman’s lovely piece on the Fiduciary remains a constant guide - I recommend to everyone that you buy and read this book. Without it, you are playing yesterday’s game.’
Robert A.G. Monks, shareholder activist and leading founder of the practice of Corporate Governance
next review >>
About the author(s)
Cary Krosinsky is a long-standing expert on the intersection of equity ownership and Sustainable and Responsible Investing, and is now Vice President, North America of Trucost Plc. Nick Robins, former Head of SRI research and SRI funds at Henderson Global Investors, is now Head of the HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence.
Foreword by Steve Lydenberg * Introduction * Part I: The Rise of Sustainable Investing * The Emergence of Sustainable Investing * Sustainable Equity Investing: The Market-Beating Strategy * Investors: A Force for Sustainability * Sustainability Analysis * Part II: Confronting New Risks and Opportunities * Observations from the Carbon Emission Markets: Implications for Carbon Finance * Carbon Exposure * Clean Energy Opportunities * Water * Part III: Sustainability Across the Other Asset Classes * Fixed Income and Microfinance * Sustainable and Responsible Property Investing * Private Equity: Unlocking the Sustainability Potential * Social Businesses * Part IV: Future Directions and Trends * China * India * Civil Society and Capital Markets * Fiduciary Duty * The Global Agenda * Conclusion: Sustainable Investing - The Art of Long-Term Performance * Index

Saturday, 13 December 2008


Good little video on the Brent Green Party campaign against Asda lorries

Friday, 12 December 2008

*Green Party eBay auction.

I'm writing to introduce you to the first ever London Green Party online auction. The items have all been donated by Green Party members and whilst anyone can bid for items,all the proceeds from this auction will go towards the London Federation's campaign funds to get Jean Lambert re-elected.

We hope that the four items on sale will be of particular interest to Green Party members and that knowing that your money will be going towards a good cause - you'll feel encouraged to bid.


Please click on the links below or search for all items on sale in ebay for the user greendean.2009 (there's a '.' in the middle).

(1) A piece of history from the 2008 US Presidential elections.Two pens - one from the Obama campaign and one from the McCain campaign.

(2) Another piece of world history - but this time from 1994.A genuine ballot paper from the 1994 Presidential Elections in South Africa with Nelson Mandela standing for the ANC.

(3) Where you a member of the party in the early 1980s? A rare example of a sweatshirt sold by the Ecology Party as it was. Likely to be in the early 1980s as the party changed its name in 1985. The label refers to "fibres from Monsanto" but I have been reassured that this is before Monsanto got into GM.

(4) Finally, a Lewes Pound. Introduced by the Lewes Transition Town. A lovely article in its own right, but further it symbolises the desire of a local community to ensure that the local economy is strengthened and enhanced. As a gift it will at the very least provoke interesting discussions amongst family and friends this Christmas.

If the items listed are not really what you're looking for but you'd like to make a contribution to the campaign funds , then please make a cheque payable to "London Green Party" and send it with your name and address to Graham Lee, London Green Party Treasurer, 58 Beech Avenue, Ruislip, HA4 8UQ.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

*Hornsey Journal article about the Green Room

Newspapers used to become tomorrow's chip wrappers - but one title, detailing a historic event, has managed to survive 108 years.

Tucked away in a small Highgate shop you can find the original newspaper published during the Siege of Mafeking in 1900 detailing when the British Army fought back the Boers after a 217-day siege.

The Green Room in Archway Road has been described as the most unusual shop in London - and it is not hard to see why. Along with the newspaper, which carries the masthead "Published daily, shells permitting", you can find an 80-million-year-old dinosaur egg, a Maggie Thatcher flatulating doll, a piece of dinosaur dung and a Zimbabwean $500,000,000 note.

Noel Lynch, who runs the shop, said: "A friend of mine got the newspaper for us and was kind enough to donate it. I've put a £50 tag on it but it's not something you can really value and you certainly couldn't put an accurate price on it. It will be worth different amounts to different people."

The shop, which is owned by Barnet Green Co-op Ltd, is a not-for-profit charity which promotes and raises funds for environmental causes. It opened in its current location in 2005 and Mr Lynch uses all his resources to make sure it is stocked with the weird and wonderful.

He said: "We have stuff coming in every day. I've got a newspaper from the French Revolution from 1798 and also a letter from the fellow who shot Martin Luther King. Sometimes I look for stuff myself but I have a lot of people who owe me favours and support the shop looking for us."

But Mr Lynch admits that with a low footfall on Archway Road the shop has had to resort to different methods to get prospective customers in the door. He said: "There's not a lot of pedestrian traffic along here so to get around that we proactively try to stock unusual and quirky things that are not too expensive. For us to be able to survive we need to have stuff that people will talk about and remember. We rely on people sending their friends in."

Also in stock are an ancient Roman bronze ring, a replica of the tribute penny used by Jesus Christ in render unto Caesar, a 13th century horseshoe and medieval English ship nails.

*Council leaders offer Lake District as nuclear dump

From The Guardian:

The Labour leadership team at Cumbria county council has agreed to make an "expression of interest" that would pinpoint an area around the Lake District as the most likely place for Britain's first high-level nuclear waste dump. The controversial move was taken on a vote of the council's inner cabinet amid allegations democracy was being stifled and despite a warning from a top scientist that new studies showed a link between atomic sites and incidents of cancer.

Tim Knowles, the council cabinet member responsible for nuclear issues, insisted the decision did not involve "commitments" but merely brought the local authority to the negotiating table. "We're a long way from deciding whether Cumbria is the right place to store nuclear waste deep underground and there's a huge amount of detail required on what community support packages are acceptable, long-term environmental safety and potential site locations," he said.The expression of interest follows a government white paper, which invited local authorities to volunteer to host the burial of nuclear waste in return for investment in roads, schools and other public services. Without a new high-level waste dump the government's plan for new atomic power stations would be hard to achieve.

Friday, 5 December 2008

* Green solutions to recession

Green solutions to recession
The environment is more important than ever and its campaigners must ditch those fancy buzzwords

By Darren Johnson

If past experience is anything to go by, recessions are not kind to green politics. I recall the buzz of campaigning for the Green party in the late 80s. We had an unprecedented explosion of environmental awareness that was rapidly followed by the virtual disappearance of the environment as a political issue when the impact of the early 90s' recession started to bite. After securing 15% of the nationwide vote in the 1989 European elections, those of us who stood on the Green ticket in the subsequent general election three years later were struggling to get 500 votes apiece.

That mustn't happen this time. It is vital that the environmental and the economic challenges we face are dealt with in an integrated fashion. As the Stern report made so clear the economic cost of not dealing with climate change would be devastating compared with the cost of dealing with it.

We also need to make very clear that tackling the recession in a green way is not about producing a gameplan to get us back to growth, credit binges and wildly escalating house prices as quickly as possible. If we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and tackling rather than adding to environmental devastation we need to change our economic priorities, not just while the recession lasts but permanently.

The political mainstream is failing to come up with really creative solutions and seems fixated on short-term answers to boost consumer spending. Yet, so far, the green movement has failed to make its voice properly heard. This is not for the lack of brilliant ideas. The Green New Deal for example, written by a cast of prominent figures from the green movement, puts together a raft of impressive proposals such as a massive home insulation programme to create jobs and cut bills, as well as measures to boost manufacturing of green technology and properly regulate the finance sector.

But are we doing enough to convince people? Especially in times of recession, Greens need to tackle people's everyday fears and aspirations in a way they can relate to in a language that is relevant. Otherwise, environmental concerns will just be seen as an abstract luxury for the good times that can easily be dispensed with once the going gets tough.

I still see far too many leaflets, articles and press releases, however, whether from the Green party or from green pressure groups, that are full of impenetrable jargon, far removed from the everyday conversations in pubs, cafes and workplaces. This has got to change. If we are concerned about dwindling oil supplies then let us say that, rather than use the technocratic geek-speak of the "peak oil" debate. If we want home insulation programmes and green energy schemes to create lots of new jobs for plumbers, roofers and electricians then let's say that, rather than making vague pronouncements about "green collar jobs" and expecting people to know or care what we mean. Jobs that don't sound real, don't look real and don't seem like they will ever pay real money to real people are unlikely to ever capture the public's imagination.

Yes we can be pleased that the green movement is packed full of intelligent, highly-educated and well-read individuals. But if we look back to one of the biggest achievements of the 20th century, few were better educated and more articulate than William Beveridge. Yet he was able to build mass public support for a new welfare state and get millions of people buying copies of a parliamentary report, not by talking elitist gobbledegook, but by talking of the need to tackle the five "giant evils" of want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. The challenges we face today are even greater but if we communicate our solutions effectively there is no reason why we cannot achieve similar levels of popular support for them as Beveridge did.



HD Pesticides Commonly Used on Golf Courses Linked to Disease: NIH

By Dan Shapley

How green is your green?

A pesticide commonly used on the turf at golf courses was linked to a
whopping 250% increase in diabetes risk to the workers who apply the
pesticides, according to one of the largest studies of its kind,
by the National Institutes of Health.

The chemical, trichlorfon, was associated with an 85% increase in risk
of diabetes for even infrequent users, and a 250% increase in risk for
those who had applied it more than 10 times. Of those who used the
chemical frequently, 8.5% developed diabetes, versus 3.5% of those who
had never used it. The same pesticide has been used to kill
cockroaches, crickets, bedbugs, fleas, flies and ticks, but its main
current use is on turf, such as at golf courses.

It was the most extreme connection researchers found between pesticide
applicators and diabetes, but not the only one. Use of any of the
pesticides studied for more than 100 days in a lifetime increased
diabetes risk 17%. The other pesticides studied were aldrin,
chlordane, heptachlor, dichlorvos, alachlor and cynazine, all of which
are chlorinated pesticides.

Diabetes affects nearly 21 million Americans, and rates of disease
have been increasing dramatically in recent years, particularly among

"The results suggest that pesticides may be a contributing factor for
diabetes along with known risk factors such as obesity, lack of
exercise and having a family history of diabetes," said Dale Sandler,
Ph.D., chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the National Institute of
Environmental Health Services and co-author on the paper. "Although
the amount of diabetes explained by pesticides is small, these new
findings may extend beyond the pesticide applicators in the study."

The study focused only on adults whose work requires them to use
pesticides repeatedly. That said, there were more than 30,000 people
in the study, so the results have real statistical weight. Though the
same pesticides are often used in households in off-the-shelf
formulations, and though some can be found on residue in foods,
researchers said the risk to the general population is probably low.
Some of those pesticides studied have already been removed from the
market because they were deemed unsafe for other reasons.

"This is not cause for alarm," Sandler said, "since there is no
evidence of health effects at such very low levels of exposure."

Still, the study raises clear questions about the safety of these
pesticides for workers, and if the results continue along the lines of
similar studies of similar chemicals, health risks linked to lower
exposures, particularly for children, may be only a matter of time.
Families can take this study as another piece of evidence that the
cure may be worse than the ill when it comes to dealing with pests
around the house.

And for golfers, think twice about kissing your ball for good luck.
(Better yet, ask some hard questions of your favorite golf courses and
see if you can inspire some changes that will make the course safer
for golfers, and the groundskeepers.)

Copyright 2008 Hearst Communications, Inc.