Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:55:51 PM EST
Switzerland becomes first country to submit Paris climate deal pledge | Environment | The Guardian

Switzerland has become the first country to formally communicate its contribution to a UN climate change deal: 50% greenhouse gas cuts on 1990 levels by 2030.

Released on Friday, the Swiss government says 30% of those cuts will be achieved within the country, with the remaining 20% through carbon markets or other forms of offsets.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulgaria scraps incentives for new renewable energy installations | EurActiv

Bulgaria's parliament scrapped preferential prices for new renewable energy installations on Thursday as the country is struggling to cut deficits in the energy sector and keep a lid on consumers' utility bills.

Wind power farms and photovoltaic parks mushroomed in 2011, after Bulgaria introduced generous subsidies for renewable energy, guaranteed for 20 years and committed to buy all the energy produced by them.

But the incentives have weighed on the power costs in the European Union's poorest country, which has met its 2020 target for a 16% share of renewable energy at the end of 2013.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 01:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bulgaria's interest is evidently to keep on burning Russian gas.

(BTW, Euractiv: do you ever qualify subsidies to fossil fuels and nukes as "generous"?).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 02:31:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beyond the Swedish Model | Jacobin

There's this misconception about the Nordic welfare state: that it was only possible because of a high level of trust within the population. In the last few years, research has shown that it's actually an effect of the universal welfare system that people come to trust each other and then the welfare system becomes a further reflection of this.

But if you look, for example, at Milton Friedman's more polemical works, he says that if you want to cut the welfare system, you cut the subsidies and run it on deficit for a few years so that the quality drops -- then people won't be interested in defending the welfare system.

This is actually what the right wing normally does when it comes to power: they cut subsidies so that the quality of, for example, public schools drops, and then they propose private schools. People start saying, "Well, if public schools are so bad, then we have to have a private alternative for those who can afford it." This was an ideological attack and an explicit strategy to undermine trust in the welfare system.

At the same time, in Sweden, 80 to 90 percent of the public says that they would be willing to pay a higher level of taxes to fund higher levels of welfare. So the expectation of welfare programs is still quite high -- it's just not being pushed by any political party other than the Left Party.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 at 08:25:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New US Patents Could Signal The End Of Pesticides & GMOs | Collective-Evolution
SMART Pesticides

Paul Stamets, the world's leading mycologist, filed a patent in 2001 that was intentionally given little attention. In the words of pesticide industry executives, this patent represents "The most disruptive technology that we have ever witnessed." The biopesticides described in the patent reveals a near permanent, safe solution for over 200,000 species of insects, and it all comes from a mushroom. After what is called "sporulation" of a select entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that kill insects), the area becomes unsuitable for whatever insect(s) the fungi are coded for. Additionally, extracts of the entomopathogenic fungi can steer insects in different directions.

This is literally a complete paradigm shift away from the entire idea of pesticides. Instead of aiming to kill all problematic insects, a farmer could simply disperse a solution of pre-sporulation fungi among his or her crops. The insects would then simply live their lives around the crops, paying no attention to them. This simple idea flies in the face of the current, poorly thought out practice of spraying ever-increasing amounts of pesticides on resistant bugs. Going further, this biopesticide would also eliminate the need for round-up ready GMO seeds and BT seeds that grow the pesticides in the crop and which needlessly endanger us, the consumer, in the process. Perhaps the most enticing element of this biopesticide fungi is that it's essentially free. According to the patent, it can be "cultivated on agricultural waste." We are looking at a 100% safe, natural technology that literally can end all GMO and pesticide manufacturers overnight with a new class of  SMART Pesticides.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 1st, 2015 at 06:58:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series