CBRN Threats and the Arab Spring

Instability in Libya and Syria creates a dangerous security situation.

Is there a danger of proliferation in Syria and Libya?

Since the popular uprising against the autocratic regime of Tunisian President Ben Ali in December 2010, a variety of countries in the Middle East and North Africa have experienced large scale demonstrations and protests. More than a year later, the results are mixed. Autocratic governments in Tunisia and Libya have been overthrown, the Egyptian president was forced to resign and whilst new elections have been held in Tunisia and Egypt, the internal situation in Libya remains unstable. Meanwhile, in Syria, large scale demonstrations, followed by government oppression and escalating violence, have pushed the country towards civil war.

Although the so called ‘Arab Spring’ has been generally welcomed, some doubts and concerns about future political developments remain. An important question is whether or not the transformations will lead to new CBRN threats or affect existing ones. In a region with an already precarious security situation, the danger of possible CBRN proliferation is one which should not be overlooked.

A recent UN report from a mission that assessed the impact of the Libyan crisis on the wider Sahel region in North-Africa shows there is reason for concern. The report indicates that large quantities of conventional weapons and ammunition from Libyan stockpiles are smuggled across the border into the region, including advanced weaponry. Some of these weapons could be sold to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda or Boko Haram and an increase in terrorist and criminal activities in the region is already evident.[1]

Although there have been no indications of the proliferation of non-conventional weapons in Libya to non-state actors so far, it is a good example of how the Arab Spring may lead to new CBRN threats.

This report focuses on two Arab countries: Libya and Syria. Both countries have been suspected of attempts to develop nuclear weapons, but more importantly, are widely recognised by the international community to possess chemical weapons. The current unrest in the two countries increases the CBRN proliferation threat. The situation has a negative impact on internal security, and more importantly, may diminish the protection of (suspected) chemical warfare agents and sensitive materials and technology, which makes them easier to obtain by non-state actors. Since international non-proliferation treaties are a key defence against proliferation, the last part of this report will identify possible actions against proliferation as well as likely gaps in the international non-proliferation system.

After years of US led pressure and sanctions, Libya came in from the cold by striking a grand deal with the West in 2003. The Gadhafi regime promised to destroy its chemical weapon arsenal and announced its intentions to halt develop of nuclear weapons. Consequently, it acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and became a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2004. In return, the West lifted many economic sanctions and upgraded diplomatic ties. Soon thereafter, information about Libya’s past CBRN programme became public.

Although Libya had been a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1975, it began its nuclear programme shortly after Gadhafi came to power in 1969. The regime tried to procure nuclear technologies from other countries, as well as from the A.Q. Khan Network. Despite these efforts, the Gadhafi regime was still years away from developing a nuclear weapon when the deal was struck.

When Libya joined the OPCW, it declared a chemical arsenal of more than 23 metric tons of sulphur mustard agent, about 3000 metric tons of chemical agent precursors and more than 3500 empty aerial bomb casings, designed to carry chemical agents.[2] Among the chemical agent precursors were chemicals that could be used for the production of nerve agents such as Sarin and Soman, which are far more lethal and effective than mustard gas. Large scale production of nerve agents however, proved to pose too many technical difficulties for the Libyan chemical engineers.[3]

Libya has been a party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) since 1982, but before 2003, there were some suspicions that the country also had a biological weapons programme. However, no evidence of this has ever been found.

Read the full article here.

To download a PDF copy of the original report, please go to http://goo.gl/i0Bh7 [PDF 866.49KB, 10 pages]

REM helps Gloucestershire farmhouse cut heating bills by 50%

With energy prices constantly rising, UK homeowners are looking for cheaper and more efficient ways to heat their houses. With the installation of a HybridCube® hot water tank, wood burning stove and two large solar panels at a farmhouse in Gloucestershire, REM has helped to cut the home’s annual heating bills in half – despite the price of oil doubling in the same period.

In 2009, the farmhouse owners required a heating system that would reduce reliance upon depleting oil reserves whilst saving money and making the home more environmentally friendly. After searching the market, Solaris (Solar thermal panels) from renewable energy specialists REM fitted the bill.

These panels connected to their existing boiler and an REM Sanicube® thermal store helped reduce their oil usage significantly as the solar panels not only provide solar hot water but solar heating as well. A corrosion-free plastic hot water thermal store, the corrosion-free plastic hot water tank, the Sanicube® can be used for both hot water storage and as an instantaneous hot water heater. It also can be multifuelled with the solar, wood, oil and in an emergency electric immersion heater providing the necessary heat.

To create an even more energy and cost efficient system, the homeowners upgraded the system with the integration in 2011 of a wood burning stove/boiler into the house and the Sanicube® .

Particularly appealing to the building’s owner was the shape and size of the stove, as well as its adaptability. The tall and slim module easily fits into a kitchen alcove, surrounded by 3ft thick stone walls, which act as a natural radiator and thermal mass store to further improve the system’s performance.

Despite the price of domestic heating oil rising from approximately 35p to 60p – the household spend on oil and wood is less than half it was before the installation. Thanks to a high performance heating and hot water system from REM, this farmhouse in Gloucestershire serves as a perfect example of how simple changes can help to make a positive difference to energy usage, heating bills and the environment.

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Ethical Food Firm Redwood Set To Make A Splash By Putting Out Nine New Lines This Weekend, Including Fish Free 'Fish'

Redwood's Fish Style Steaks

Multi award winning ethical food firm The Redwood Wholefood Company is aiming to make a splash this weekend by putting out nine new lines, including fabulous fish-free ‘fish’ cakes and ‘fish’ steaks, both made from 100% natural plant-based ingredients.

Also making their debut at the Natural and Organic Products Europe Show at Olympia on 1st and 2nd April 2012 are Redwood’s delicious new vegan pizzas, meat-free sausage rolls and pasties, dairy-free ‘Parmesan’ and a strawberry dessert made from highly nutritious pea protein.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, by the year 2030 an additional 37 million tonnes of fish each year will be needed to maintain current levels of fish consumption and to cope with an increased world population of 2 billion more people.

With the number of fish left in the ocean declining rapidly, Redwood’s new Making Waves Gourmet Fish Style Cakes and Fish Style Steaks offer a more ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free alternative.

Like Redwood’s ever popular Fishless Fingers, these mouthwatering new fish alternatives are made from succulent ‘fish’ flakes with a crispy breadcrumb coating and have all the taste of the ocean yet none of the fish.

Also making an appearance for the first time will be Redwood’s fabulous new gourmet vegan pizzas, believed to be the first range of vegan pizzas on the market in the UK.

Featuring Redwood’s dairy free Super Melting ‘Mozzarella’, these come in three delicious varieties including a Meatless Feast made with Redwood’s amazingly realistic Cheatin’ meats, Cheezly & Tomato and Ham Style with Pineapple.

On show too will be Redwood’s new meat-free and more-ish Sausage Rolls, made with the company’s award-winning Lincolnshire style sausages, traditional style vegetarian pasties and a wonderful flavour-enhancing vegan ‘Parmesan’. With its delicious piquant taste, Redwood’s new dairy-free Parmesan-style cheese is the perfect ingredient for adding extra flavour to salads, minestrone and pasta dishes.

Last but not least, Redwood will be showcasing its new Strawberry pud, the latest addition to its growing range of delicious “Wot No Dairy” yoghurt style desserts. Produced from highly nutritious pea protein so free from dairy, soya and allergens, Wot No Dairy desserts also come in raspberry, peach & apricot, plain and black cherry varieties. Made from natural ingredients and sweetened with fruit juice, Wot No Dairy desserts are higher in protein than many dairy-free ’yoghurts’ produced from oat or rice.

Everything in the Redwood range is made from natural plant-based ingredients so free from animal products and derivatives as well as cholesterol, artificial colours/preservatives, lactose, hydrogenated fats and GMOs. This makes them suitable not just for vegetarians and vegans, but also for people suffering from lactose or casein intolerance and anyone looking for a healthier and more ethical lifestyle.

Redwood products are also kosher certified and the company itself is halal process certified.

According to The Ethical Company Organisation and The Good Shopping Guide, Redwood is the UK’s most ethical vegetarian foods firm. Find out more at www.redwoodfoods.co.uk or visit us at Stand 8090, Natural and Organic Products Europe Show, Olympia, 1-2 April 2012.

About The Redwood Wholefood Company (www.redwoodfoods.co.uk)
Owned by charity campaigner Heather Mills, Redwood is the leading supplier of vegan foods to the health trade and 100% British. Rated the UK’s most ethical vegetarian foods supplier by The Ethical Company Organisation, Redwood produces more than 50 different foods under the Vegideli, Cheatin’ and Cheezly brand names at its animal-free factory in Corby, Northamptonshire. All Redwood foods are made from 100% natural plant-based ingredients so free from animal products and derivatives as well as cholesterol, artificial colours/preservatives, lactose, hydrogenated fats and GMOs, making them suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well as those looking for healthier and more ethical lifestyles. Widely recognised as one of the most innovative and inspirational vegetarian food companies in the UK, Redwood is renowned for being at the cutting edge of food manufacturing and exports to 18 countries worldwide.

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Recharge Tools Lithium Grass Trimmer/Edger Is Now Available at Wal-Mart Canada

The Recharge Tools brand GTLI-10 Lithium Powered Grass Trimmer/Edger, from Driven by Solar, is now available at Wal-Mart Canada Stores.

Mississauga, ON, March 2012 : Driven by Solar Inc., the maker of the Recharge Mower and Recharge Tools brands, is thrilled to announce that the Recharge Tools model GTLI-10, lithium powered Grass Trimmer/Edger, is now available at Wal-Mart stores in Canada. The Recharge Tools Grass Trimmer/Edger produces beautiful finished results without nasty fumes.

“Having the opportunity to partner with Wal-Mart is a great endorsement of our brand” says Driven by Solar Inc., President Allan Hechtman. “We proudly offer our Recharge Tools Lithium Powered Grass Trimmer to a growing audience of environmentally friendly consumers seeking sustainable solutions.”

The Recharge Tools Lithium Powered Grass Trimmer/Edger includes a number of features that set it apart from others. The overall unit, including battery, weighs less than 6 lbs. allowing it to be easily maneuvered. An attached set of coasting wheels relieves the user of the burden of balancing the unit for edging. The memory-free lithium battery pack can be fully recharged in about an hour through the use of the Energy Star rated charger. This same battery is also interchangeable with the Recharge Tools Lithium Powered Hedge Trimmer.

Further setting the GTLI-10 Lithium Powered Grass Trimmer/Edger apart is how it actually trims and edges. Rather than using nylon line that frequently tangles and is the biggest complaint from users, the Recharge Tools Grass Trimmer/Edger operates using Flexiblades. These are easy to replace pliable resin cutting blades that outperform standard nylon line.

The Recharge Tools Grass Trimmer/Edger is now available at Wal-Mart retail locations throughout Canada. It is also available online through Walmart.ca http://bit.ly/z91EWg.
Additional product details are available by visiting the company website at http://www.rechargemower.com

Driven By Solar Inc., the company behind the Recharge Mower and Recharge Tools brands and registered trademarks, was established in early 2008. The company is focused on developing, producing and marketing a growing selection of environmentally friendly lawn and garden tools.

The company credo… “A greener lawn. A greener planet.” remains well entrenched.

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Sainsbury’s leads the UK with ambitious rollout of solar panels to stores

Ely solar panels

Sainsbury’s has today announced that it has reached another milestone in its industry-leading innovative renewable energy strategy. Through its ambitious plan to install innovative PV cylindrical technology at stores across its estate the retailer has now generated 7.0 MWp of electricity, enough to power 2,000 homes for a year.

This milestone follows the installation on solar panels at 115 Sainsbury's supermarkets, meaning the retailer now has over 36,600 panels of cylindrical PV in stores across the country. This is the largest multi-roof installation of solar panels in UK history.

Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury's Property Director, said: "Sainsbury's is proud of its industry leading commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and today is another important milestone in our journey. Our targets are in place because we recognise that this is the right thing for us to do as a responsible retailer. We know that reaching these targets will not be easy but we are confident that we can meet them, making a real difference to our environmental footprint.

"Exciting and ambitious projects are great examples of our determination to meet the stretching targets set by our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan."

This installation of solar panels is part of Sainsbury's wider commitment to reduce its operational carbon footprint through using renewable energy technologies at its stores. As well as solar panels Sainsbury's has recently installed its 26th biomass boiler in its new Ely store and plans to double the number these in stores by the end of 2012. Beyond this five Geo-Exchange ground source heat pumps have also been installed since the retailer's first successful trial at its Crayford store in 2010 with plans to triple these by the end of the year.

Sainsbury's investment in onsite renewable energy technologies is part of its ambitious corporate target to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 30% absolute and 65% relative by 2020 compared with 2005. This is part of a broader target of an absolute carbon reduction of 50% by 2030.

This broader target is one of 20 targets recently published in Sainsbury's 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan launched in October 2011. This industry-leading plan acts as a new cornerstone to Sainsbury's business strategy and sets out 20 sustainability targets to be achieved by 2020. This £1 billion plan aims to ensure the company remains at the forefront of sustainability between now and 2020.

Sainsbury's is committed to looking at ways to further reduce its carbon footprint.

  • Four stores using solar thermal hot water are currently being trialed with a view to further rollout, while air source heat pumps have been installed as standard specification since 1998 and are in every store providing heating / cooling for colleague areas.  
  • As well as using a variety of renewable energy technologies onsite, Sainsbury's has also entered into direct Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) offering a fixed price for 8-10 years with onshore wind farms in Scotland, biomass generators and Anaerobic Digestion sites. Sainsbury's currently sources over 4% of its power from such renewable sources with plans to exceed 10% by 2013.
  • Sainsbury's donates surplus food that is for human consumption to charities such as FareShare and other local organisations, to ensure that it is not wasted.  Since late 2011 waste food from all stores that is not fit for human consumption has been backhauled to the depots and put to a positive use. All the waste bread is sent for animal feed with the remainder waste being sent to Anaerobic Digestion to create electricity for the national grid.

Sainsbury's is also an industry leader in the sale of British produce, spending over £4 billion each year with its UK suppliers. As part of the 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan we will double the amount of British food we sell.

Sainsbury's is committed to helping customers Live Well For Less. We do this by showing customers how they can Live Well- with great quality and standards - For Less- less money than you thought, with less hassle and less impact on the environment. For further details visit our Live Well For Less website.

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Malware in Chrome Store Hijacks Facebook Accounts

Hackers are getting sneakier and savvier these days, and they don't seem to be bothered by their shameful and unlawful acts. Which place is their latest exploit? The Chrome Web Store!

According to Gizmodo, hackers are now exploiting the Official Chrome Web Store, lacing its offerings with malicious malware, in the hope that unsuspecting users will download them.

In the same report, hijacking Facebook accounts was specifically mentioned as the target of these dubious and unscrupulous hackers.

Facebook users who have seen posts or ads offering to make their profile page a different color other than "Facebook Blue" or embellishing it Friendster style should beware, because that's likely one of the forms of malware highlighted.

Read the rest of this article here.

Earth Day Is April 22, Planning a Successful Eco-Event Just Got Easier with Seed Paper

Seed paper cards spread good will and generate lasting interest.

Easy print at home seed paper invitations

Seattle, WA, March 2012 : On Earth Day 2012, more than 1 billion people worldwide will take action to protect our planet and make a difference in their neighborhood. Earthday.org asks the question “What can you do for Earth Day?” and a small Seattle company has the answer. Earth Day is a global event where everyone can get involved to improve the world we all share. Of The Earth aims to help individuals and businesses create a buzz that drives people to participate with their seed papers.

Seed paper is unique paper that is formed by hand with live plant seeds embedded within the sheets. These print safe papers then carry messages of eco-responsibility which encourage the holder to dig a hole and complete the lifecycle of the message with their own hands. These messages have a greater impact by directly engaging the individual with a task that results in a bouquet of flowers, herbs or even trees. Businesses like ABC, Wal-Mart and Time, Inc. have used Of The Earth papers to promote their events. Earth Day is the right time to spread the seeds and promote neighborhood cleaning events, recycling workshops and tree planting parties.

Connecting with people on Facebook or Twitter is a cost effective and earth friendly approach but does not have the same impact as putting seed paper in people’s hands. Seed paper has a remarkable hook that grabs attention as people are less likely to throw away something living. With seed paper invitations, people are inspired to participate. The target audience will be able to close the circle of life on environmentally responsible paper use and start a new circle with the plants that will bloom and clean the air as they filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Planting the paper starts the cycle.

For seventeen years, a small company in Seattle has been focused on doing their part to positively impact the world choosing ethics over profits and putting their tree-free seed paper invitations in the hands of their customer’s friends and families worldwide. Co-owner Lori Graham said, “I had to mail almost 100 invitations for my wedding and just couldn’t bear the idea that the paper was going to waste.” Using this motivation, she and her husband created an invitation and (two months after their wedding) business where the hundreds of pieces that each customer mailed spread the message of making responsible choices that touched every generation of their families. Since that humble start; Lori and her husband/business partner Kevin estimate that millions of people have received their message of responsible stewardship. Since 1995, their handmade paper company Of The Earth has been a leader in innovation with an earth focused product line. You can find their seed papers at http://www.custompaper.com. People have more choices than ever today with invitations that are not only cost effective (especially important in this economy) by being do it yourself, but also close the circle with seed paper cards that sprout when planted. Of The Earth offers handmade seed paper invitations that you can print at home for less than $2 each. See the many invitation kit choices here.

Earth Day 2012 is the right opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Paul Mitchell , Yahoo and The Home Depot by using seed paper to spread the message of growth and change in a sustainable way.

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Logistics companies respond to tanker strike vote

Fuel distribution companies have responded to Unite’s plan for industrial action, after tanker drivers at five out of seven firms voted to strike.

Wincanton, where drivers voted for the strike, said: “It is disappointing to see that some of our drivers have voted in favour of industrial action, which we believe is wholly unnecessary. The exact reasons for the dispute remain unclear.

“We remain committed to an open dialogue with Unite and to continuing discussions with our employees. The result of the ballot is not a true reflection of sentiments across our business; in fact, almost a third of our 440 drivers did not return a vote, meaning that less than 50 per cent support any form of industrial action.

“Our drivers are among the best rewarded in the industry, with average earnings of £45,000 per annum. They are professional, highly skilled and take immense pride in their work. A 15 per cent year-on-year reduction in accidents over the past five years and a recent safety award by the Energy Institute demonstrate that our health and safety standards are among the highest in the sector.

“Along with the six other distribution businesses that were balloted, Wincanton has actively supported the Fuels Forum, which was set up by Unite last year to promote areas such as minimum health and safety standards. We therefore believe that this dispute is unfounded and targets the wrong section of the market.”

A spokesperson for DHL Supply Chain said: “We are delighted that our tanker drivers have voted against taking strike action, which would have caused massive disruption to our customers and the general public. Moving to sector-wide collective bargaining can only increase instability in the current market and jeopardise those employers, including DHL, whose drivers already enjoy industry-leading working practices and Health & Safety measures.”

The Road Haulage Association says it is disappointed that Unite tanker have chosen to strike at a time when the price of fuel is of paramount importance to UK hauliers and the general public.

It said: "The Association believes that this action, when fuels prices are so high, by drivers who enjoy amongst the best working terms and conditions in the haulage industry, will not be welcomed by hauliers and the public and will have a negative impact on the economy."

Unite has called on Energy secretary Ed Davey to intervene in the dispute. Assistant general secretary Diana Holland said the union was strongly committed to talks and to achieving a negotiated resolution. The oil companies, retailers and employers were currently the barrier.

The government could help avoid confrontation by bringing to the table all the stakeholders in the downstream oil distribution sector, she said.

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This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Zimride reinvents the carpool with Facebook

Hitchhiking is so yesterday. A San Francisco-based startup called Zimride is using the power of social media to connect drivers with people needing rides -- saving people money, helping the environment and sometimes helping its customers make new friends.

Zimride reinvents the carpool with Facebook

"Zimriding is really fun," says John Zimmer, the company's co-founder and chief operating officer."We've had people who have met a girlfriend or boyfriend, or found a new job."

When I first heard about Zimride, I was dubious. Is there really a business in car pooling, especially when it requires riding with a stranger?

After talking with John, and learning more about the company, I've changed my mind. Zimride could grow into a nice business. It's off to a good start: Built on college campuses, around workplaces and events, Zimride by last summer had formed more than 26,000 carpools, created more than 100 million shared miles and saved drivers more than $50 million in expenses. Last September, Zimride raised $6 million in venture capital from investors Mayfield Fund, Floodgate and K9 Ventures. Facebook's fbFund provided $250,000 in seed funding back in 2008.

Read the rest of the article here.

Have Breakfast with the Birds

Haith's know a thing or two about birds and therefore it comes as no surprise that they’re about to launch a Limited Edition Bird Breakfast. It’s a celebration of Haith’s 75th Anniversary and the London 2012 Olympic Games so they’ve come up with the aptly named – Olympeck! Bird Breakfast.

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the same can be argued for birds and their breakfast. The first meal of the day will kick start the metabolism and set you up for the day ahead, so Haith’s are encouraging Britons to take 10 minutes to have breakfast with the birds throughout the Spring and Summer.

Of course, there’s a serious message behind this fun campaign: breakfast is good for us, and it’s the perfect occasion to feed the birds too. In an Olympic year we’ll all be checking our waistlines, but let’s spare a thought for the garden birds and help them get out of the blocks this summer.

Haith’s are such good sports, so to celebrate their 75th Anniversary they’re giving away one bag of Olympeck! Bird Breakfast a day for 75 days from 14th May until 27th July which also just happens to be the date for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Haith’s – The Bird Food Specialist Since 1937, have put together Olympeck! Bird Breakfast and it’s been created to feed to lots of different birds on three different levels: bird feeder, bird table or straight from the ground. “This is the best way to attract lots of birds,” say Haith’s. The mix contains sunflower hearts, which have overtaken the popularity of peanuts in recent years. It will be popular with just about every common garden bird who’d visit your bird table for breakfast: tits, finches, thrushes, Robins, Wrens, Blackbirds, House Sparrows and Doves.

For the chance to bag yourself a bag of Haith’s Olympeck! Bird Breakfast, enter the FREE daily competition on the Haith’s website at www.haiths.com from 14th May 2012. Haith’s Limited Edition Olympeck! Bird Breakfast will also be available to purchase online.

On your marks! Get set! Go Olympeck!

A recent Bird Watch survey by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) revealed an influx of countryside birds visiting our gardens and whilst Goldfinches are now found in almost five times as many gardens as they were 16 years ago, other species are struggling.

The bird count, which involves thousands of households tracking the birds in their gardens every week, has seen a decline in thrushes and starlings, experts believe this is down to poor survival rates after fledging and during the birds’ first winter.

“Every daylight minute birds must search for food, feed the young and then find more. Now and again, they must also feed themselves or one another. Depending on the weather and other factors, natural food may be scarce. A shortage of caterpillars, drought that bakes the earth so that worms are inaccessible. They may well need or even rely on extra help. From us,” says Bill Oddie – who has worked with Haith’s since 2000.

• Website: http://www.haiths.com
• YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/haiths1937
• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Haiths/260797073994900

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New report says there are five major areas of risk in putting money into new nuclear plants

Nuclear_Power_Stn1 According to a new report from the Energy Fair group (PDF, http://bit.ly/zGgbHF), anyone considering investing in new nuclear plants faces five major areas of risk: market risk, cost risk, subsidy risk, political risk and construction risk.

By the time any new nuclear plant could be built in the UK (2020 or later), the market for its electricity will be disappearing, regardless of any possible increase in the overall demand for electricity. The tumbling cost of photovoltaics (PV) and the falling costs of other renewables, with the likely completion of the European internal market for electricity and the strengthening of the European transmission grid, means that consumers, large and small, will be empowered to generate much of their own electricity or to buy it from anywhere in Europe -- and this without the need for subsidies. Explosive growth of PV is likely to take much of the profitable peak-time market for electricity. And there will be stiff competition to fill in the gaps left by PV, from a range of other sources, many of which are better suited to the gap-filling roll than is nuclear power.

There is good evidence that, contrary to the often-repeated claim that nuclear power is cheap, it is one of the most expensive ways of generating electricity. The inflation-adjusted cost of building new nuclear power stations has been on a rising trend for many years, and will be boosted by the introduction of new safety measures after the Fukushima disaster. Meanwhile, the cost of most renewable sources of power is falling.

Although nuclear power is a long-established industry which should be commercially viable without support, it depends heavily on subsidies. This is a clear breach of the principle of fair competition. At any stage, some or all of the subsidies may be withdrawn, either via complaints to the European Commission, or via the European Court of Justice, or via decisions made by politicians. Energy Fair has already submitted a complaint to the Directorate General for Competition of the EC about subsidies for nuclear power. State aid which is deemed to be illegal must be repaid. Consumers may refuse to pay surcharges on electricity bills. There is additional subsidy-related risk arising from the great complexity of government proposals in this area, with its potential for unexpected and unintended consequences.

Apart from the risk that politicians may decide to withdraw some or all of the subsidies for nuclear power, it is vulnerable to political action arising from events like the nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima. That disaster led to a sharp global shift in public opinion against nuclear power and it led to decisions by politicians to close down nuclear power stations and to accelerate the roll-out of alternative sources of power. The next nuclear disaster — and the world has been averaging one such disaster every 11 years — is likely to lead to even more decisive actions by politicians, perhaps including the closing down of nuclear plants that are still under construction or are relatively new.

The delays and cost overruns in the Olkiluoto and Flamanville nuclear projects are just recent examples of nuclear projects where actual build times and actual costs greatly exceed what was estimated at the outset. But the extraordinary complexity of nuclear power stations — which is likely to increase, after Fukushima, with the added complexity of new safety systems — means that construction risk will remain a major hazard for investors for the foreseeable future.
In general, renewables can be built much faster than nuclear power stations, they are cheaper than nuclear power (taking account of all subsidies), they provide greater security in energy supplies than nuclear power, they are substantially more effective in cutting emissions of CO2, there are more than enough to meet our needs now and for the foreseeable future, they provide diversity in energy supplies, and they are largely free of the several problems with nuclear power.

The commercial opportunities lie in renewable sources of power. They are growing fast while the numbers of operating nuclear plants in the world is falling. Renewables are, commercially, much less risky than nuclear power.

“Energy Fair has provided an excellent review of the risks facing investors in new nuclear plants.” said Ivan Kotev, an analyst with the consultancy firm Candole Partners. “The accessible language, the abundant bibliographical evidence, and current examples make the report important reading not only for investors and policy-makers worldwide, but for all stakeholders concerned with nuclear energy. The report makes the already questionable economics of new nuclear plants appear even less convincing.”

“This is an excellent piece of work” said Tom Burke CBE, Founding Director of the campaigning group E3G. “It is essential reading for anyone considering putting money into new nuclear power stations. The downside of any such investment is much greater than any possible upside and contrasts starkly with the huge opportunities that are opening up in renewable sources of power.”

1 The report from Energy Fair, called “The financial risks of investing in new nuclear power plants” may be downloaded as a PDF file from http://bit.ly/zGgbHF. Updated versions of the report may be downloaded via http://bit.ly/yLM7y4 .

2 Research by Energy Fair shows that, in general, renewables can be built much faster than nuclear power stations, they are cheaper than nuclear power (taking account of all subsidies), they provide greater security in energy supplies than nuclear power, they are substantially more effective in cutting emissions of CO2, there are more than enough to meet our needs now and for the foreseeable future, they provide diversity in energy supplies, and they have none of the many problems of nuclear power. For more detail, with links to relevant sources of information, see http://www.energyfair.org.uk/oppcost .

3 Around the world, the average annual growth of wind power in recent years has been more than 27% (http://bit.ly/A5fWmx) and the annual growth in solar power has been about 30% (http://bit.ly/zFs1W1). In 2010, the worldwide growth of solar power was an impressive 70% (http://reut.rs/wWhSoi). Meanwhile, nuclear plants are being shut down.

4 The tumbling cost of PV and the falling cost of other renewables is likely to lead to an explosive growth of PV and substantial growth in clean power from such things as onshore and offshore wind power, combined-heat-and-power (CHP), wave power, power from tidal streams and tidal lagoons, power from biomass, biogas and biomethane, enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), hydropower, and large-scale generation of solar power and wind power in desert regions. Another ‘dash for gas’ (http://bit.ly/GHu9Mj) may also undermine the market for UK nuclear electricity. Although there may be increases in demand from the electrification of road transport, there are likely to be reductions in demand from super-insulation of buildings and the roll-out of super-efficient LED lighting.

5 It is expected that, by 2020, the long-awaited European internal market for electricity will be completed (http://bit.ly/x4USEv), a development that the Government supports. It is also expected that bottlenecks in transmission will be eased and the European transmission grid will be stronger (http://bit.ly/wdqtz1). In general, transmission links can be built quite fast. For example, it took only 18 months to complete the ‘BritNed’ link between the Netherlands and the UK (http://bit.ly/xrNCew).

6 A formal complaint about subsidies for nuclear power has been made by Energy Fair to the European Commission (DG Competition), see http://www.energyfair.org.uk/actions.

7 Research by the Energy Fair group has identified several existing subsidies for nuclear power and some potential new subsidies. They are summarised in “Forms of support for nuclear power” (PDF, http://bit.ly/zYGR2Q) and described more fully in the following two documents, each with an executive summary:

* “Subsidies for nuclear power in the UK government’s proposals for electricity market reform” (PDF, http://bit.ly/zrgCQ9). Mainly about proposed new subsidies.

* “Nuclear Subsidies” (PDF, http://bit.ly/yn1T9s). Mainly about existing subsidies.

8 An Arabic translation of this news release is here: http://bit.ly/y5OWK5 (PDF).

By the time any new nuclear plant could be built in the UK, the market for its electricity will be disappearing

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.


MO Bacter gives you a moss-free lawn

DJ TURFCARE has launched a new 7.5 kilo bag for the award-winning MO Bacter – the organic lawn fertiliser that destroys moss by indirect action and eliminates debris by bacterial action, avoiding the need to rake.

It has been trialled on BBC TV’s Beechgrove Garden series in Scotland and has, up till now, only been available in 20 kilo bags.

The new size bag will treat up to 75 square metres, while 20 kilos will treat up to 200 square metres.

“MO Bacter has proved one of our most successful organic lawn products,” says managing director David Jenkins.

The BTME (BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition) award-winning product has received much praise from both professional and amateur gardeners alike.

MO Bacter is an organic slow-release granular fertiliser from Viano of Belgium, which eradicates moss, feeds grass for three months and improves the soil.

Moss dies as a result of excess potassium but leaves no black debris. The dead moss is then digested by the bacteria in MO Bacter (npk: 5-5-20). The product does not stain stonework, patios or paths.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has seen remarkable results in which two inches of moss at one cemetery in Oxfordshire was virtually eliminated in six months, with no need for scarifying to remove debris. And headstones were completely unmarked.

Renowned head groundsman Eddie Seaward tested MO Bacter and said he found it to be “very effective and very efficient.”

The product is harmless to animals and wildlife and will not damage border plants.

“MO Bacter is revolutionising the way moss is treated on grass near stonework,” says David Jenkins.

DJ Turfcare, based in Surrey, is sole UK distributor for Viano products.

*MO Bacter, which is granular, is available for both professional and domestic users.

What is MO Bacter?
MO Bacter is an organic slow-release granular fertiliser based on the NPK formulation 5-5-20 (Nitrogen 5percent Phosphate 5percent and Potassium 20percent). It also contains a natural bacteria (Bacillus sp.).

What does it do?
MO Bacter applies the three essential nutrients to the turf on your lawn and an extra dose of potassium, which moss cannot survive. The moss dies as a result of the secondary action of this potassium overdose, while grass strength is greatly improved.

Within three to four weeks of application, under ideal conditions, you will see the moss go brown. A short time afterwards this dead moss will start to disappear, the bacteria in MO Bacter digesting the dead material.

The slow-release granules will continue to supply nutrients to the grass plants for up to three months, ensuring a healthy lawn that you will be proud of.

How is it applied?
By hand or spreader at the rate of one handful (about 200 grammes) per two square metres. A 20 kilo bag will treat 200 square metres.
It does not matter if it rains afterwards. MO Bacter works best when the soil temperature reaches 10degC so warm damp conditions are ideal.

When is it applied?
MO Bacter can be applied from March through to July for healthy grass and moss elimination but can also be very successful when used in early autumn for acting as a moss control throughout the winter.

How is it stored?
Keep MO Bacter in cool dry conditions, stored in the plastic bag and secured at the top. You can continue to use the product for up to 12 months after the bag has been opened. It should keep well if you ensure the bag is not in damp conditions.

What are the advantages of MO Bacter?
There are five main advantages: MO Bacter is Organic, Slow-release, Does not mark stonework, Does not harm children, animals or plants, Destroys moss while eradicating debris – which means no raking.

Where can I get advice on MO Bacter?
Simply call DJ Turfcare on 01483 200976 and the friendly staff will be pleased to help. They have many years of experience in the turfcare industry and should be able to offer advice on all your lawn problems.


This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Trident Cancellation Could Save UK £83.5 Billion

BASIC Report: Options for UK Nuclear Weapons Programme

The last Labour Government reaffirmed its commitment to Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, based on Trident, at the end of 2006. The current coalition government, in its October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), maintained a commitment to this decision in principle but also announced some changes to UK nuclear doctrine, a reduction in the number of warheads and missiles possessed by the United Kingdom, and a delay to the timetable for the construction of the replacement submarines on which the Trident system depends.

The decision to delay the final judgment on replacing the submarines until after the next election has created a window of opportunity for further deliberation on UK nuclear weapons policy. The starting point for the BASIC Trident Commission is a belief that it is important to make the most of this opportunity.

We are living through a period of enormous change in international affairs with new powers and security threats emerging, increased nuclear proliferation risks, and growing pressure on economies and defence budgets in the West. Since the original 2006-07 decision on Trident renewal modest arms control progress has also been made by the United States and Russia and President Obama has set out a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. The current government, more recently, has also initiated a further review of possible alternatives to Trident.
In our view, there is a strong case in this context for a fundamental, independent, review of UK nuclear weapons policy.

There is also a case, in the national interest, for lifting the issue of the United Kingdom’s possession of nuclear weapons out of the day to day party political context and for thinking about it in a cross party forum. The BASIC Trident Commission is doing this by facilitating, hosting, and delivering a credible crossparty expert Commission to examine the issue in depth.

The Commission is focusing on three questions in particular, namely:
• Should the United Kingdom continue to be a nuclear weapons state? • If so, is Trident the only or best option for delivering the deterrent? • What more can and should the United Kingdom do to facilitate faster progress on global nuclear disarmament?

This discussion paper addresses part of the context of relevance to all three of these questions. It is the second in a series and makes an important contribution to our understanding of the economic implications of the decisions that the government have to make about Trident. The paper outlines the industrial factors that are relevant to the UK’s Trident system, considers the potential impact of government decisions on jobs and local economies and estimates the cost of both the renewal and the operation of the system over time. Of course, economic factors should not be the determinant factors in the decision whether to renew Trident.

However, if for no other reason than that the manufacture and maintenance of Trident is concentrated within a small number of highly dependent communities, the Government will need to take account of economic factors when considering alternatives.

The report is published in the name of the author, rather than in the name of the Commission as a whole, but it will feed into the Commission’s deliberations and we hope it will stimulate wider discussions and further submissions of evidence for the Commission’s consideration.

1. This study reports on the employment, skills, regional and industrial impacts of the Trident replacement decision (the Successor Deterrent Programme). It is not claimed that the replacement decision should be dominated by these impacts. However, in making choices, policy-makers need to be aware of the impacts of their decisions.
2. The UK submarine industry is a unique industry with a single customer, monopoly suppliers and small production numbers. Gaps in design and construction work present major problems in retaining the specialist design and construction worker skills, especially the skills needed for nuclear work. However, more analysis and evidence is needed on the costs and benefits of production gaps of different magnitudes, including their cost and employment implications.
3. A Trident replacement will be costly with total costs of some £87 billion over the period 2007 to 2062, equivalent to annual average costs of £1.6 billion. A replacement will possibly support some 26,000 jobs some of which are located in high unemployment areas (e.g. Barrow-in-Furness). However, it must be recognised that a Trident replacement is designed to contribute to UK defence by providing peace, protection and security: it is not designed to support UK jobs. Often, there are alternative and more costeffective methods of creating UK jobs.
4. Cancellation will produce substantial cost savings of up to £83.5 billion over the period 2016 to 2062, equivalent to an annual average saving of £1.86 billion. It should be emphasised that the total cost savings will not be available immediately on cancellation in 2016: they occur over the period 2016 to 2062. Cancellation also means job losses with some high unemployment areas at risk. The worst case scenario for submarine-related jobs assumes that after 2052, the United Kingdom will withdraw completely from the operation of nuclear-powered submarines. The result would be the loss of 9,200 jobs after 2037 followed by the loss of a further 21,700 jobs after 2052: a total of almost 31,000 jobs being lost.
5. Any possible cancellation will not occur before 2016. Some of the high unemployment areas at risk have submarine work which will continue to about 2025. This means that there is a substantial adjustment period allowing Government to decide on the future of the UK submarine industry and to introduce appropriate public policies to allow a smooth adjustment to cancellation.

The full report can be viewed at http://goo.gl/EnNKN (PDF 804KB, 32 pages)

Company or Organisation Portrait:
BASIC is a small but influential think tank with one very large idea: we want a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons. A growing number of politicians, government officials and other decision-makers share our vision. We work constructively with them - and with others who are not yet convinced - to achieve our goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We leverage our reputation as a respected, trusted and independent source of information, ideas and perspectives to inform debate and foster creative solutions.

BASIC is the only peace and security non-governmental organization that is British-American in composition and focus. We work on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage sustainable transatlantic security policies and to develop the strategies that can achieve them. We partner with other international NGOs that share our goals and we promote public understanding of the danger of growing nuclear arsenals.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Chickens become firm family favourite in time for National Pet Month

Vanessa's daughter cuddles Victoria

With National Pet Month approaching, which this year runs from 7 April to 7 May, it’s time to start celebrating the animals in our life.

But it isn’t just cats and dogs that are getting all the attention. As animal feed specialist Dodson & Horrell reveals, more people than ever before are turning to an alternative to our four legged friends.

Chickens and hens are wowing animal lovers across the UK this year, with the feathery friends increasingly proving their credentials as family pets.

In the lead up to National Pet Month animal feed specialist Dodson & Horrell has recorded a 25% increase in chicken feed sales across the UK in the last two years and a surge in demand for chicken feeders and accessories.

The popularity of chickens has been backed up by the NFU Poultry board, with an estimated three million hens now being kept in people’s back yards.[1]

Chris Gordon, Technical Director and Dodson & Horrell’s resident chicken enthusiast says: “As well as demand for chicken feed and accessories increasing, we also hear lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest that chickens are fast becoming a viable option when people are choosing pets along with traditional choices like dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.

“We used to find that chickens were limited to farms or smallholdings and in the gardens of those living in the country but now it’s increasingly common for chickens to reside in backyards in our towns and cities.”
To help chicken lovers bringing these clucking friends into their lives, Dodson & Horrell has these top ten tips and facts.

Dodson & Horrell’s Top Tips
1. Scrupulous cleanliness is the key. Birds need regular worming and the house needs spraying against red mite.
2. Be sure to feed your chickens an appropriate food for laying hens but do not over feed. More feed does not equal more eggs and a fat bird readily succumbs to liver disease and can become too fat to lay.
3. Birds are thirsty animals so clean water must be continually available.
4. Shut your chickens in at night so they don’t get attacked by foxes.
5. To achieve good laying buy a ‘pullet’, a young domestic hen.
6. Birds should have good housing, one to four square feet per bird, and a fresh run area where they can peck and forage. Include a dust bath, sand, ash box or a half square foot pit per bird.
7. A good, well kept chicken will produce between 150 and 250 eggs per year.
8. Bantams are essentially scaled down versions of the hybrid hen, lay smaller eggs and can be a sound option if space is limited.
9. Egg laying takes place when there is no cock bird (a male over 12 months old) present. Traditional breeds lay in spasms, basically enough to sit on at any one time.
10. Modern, developed (hybrid) birds are bred to lay almost continuously.

For Vanessa Kimbell, who has one of the top UK food and lifestyle blogs (Goddess on a Budget), life without chickens would just be unthinkable. The mother of three, who lives in a village in Northamptonshire, considers her eight chickens an integral part of the family.

“Not only are they fabulous in terms of teaching the kids where food comes from," said Vanessa, "but they are also much loved pets, each with their own personality and traits. We first got the chickens for their fresh eggs, but now they are about far more than that. The children play with them, they are gentle and fun, and get along with our dog and three cats.

“As well as providing us all with hours of entertainment, they are hilarious with their antics, we also eat our own free range fresh eggs with pride - we just love them!"


Dodson & Horrell Ltd is a leading developer and manufacturer of animal feed. Based in Northamptonshire, its products are sold nationwide and the company exports to over 40 countries worldwide.

Specialising in equine nutrition, Dodson & Horrell also produces feed for pets, farm animals and poultry.

Dodson & Horrell’s heritage in developing high-quality feed is backed up by its two Royal Warrants; one for its range of horse feed and one for its range of dog feed under the brand Chudleys; and its involvement with Equestrian Team GBR as the official supplier of nutrition.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Government to use military drivers for fuel tankers

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

London, UK, March 26, 2012 : In the event of a possible strike by fuel tanker drivers the British government is intending to use military personnel to deliver fuel to gas stations.

army_oil_tanker_with_escort Britain is training soldiers to transport fuel to petrol stations amid concern about a possible strike by oil tanker drivers, said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

Four hundred soldiers are ready to drive lorries from refineries should oil tanker drivers vote to strike after the ballot of 2,000 workers today, Monday 26, 2012, supported by the Unite union.

Maude said the government has “learned the lessons of the past and stand ready to act to minimize disruption to motorists, to industry and to our emergency services in the event of a strike,” he is quoted to having said.

Coalition Ministers are determined not to see a repeat of the widespread disruption caused in 2000, when garages, supermarkets, schools, hospitals and airports were badly hit, catching the Labour Government unawares.

Ministers are ready to use emergency powers to keep such vital services open. They will use police to stop any threatened blockade by striking drivers, and this week they will start assembling a squad of up to 300 qualified Army lorry drivers to replace the tanker drivers if necessary.

Motorists will be urged to keep their tanks topped up, though Ministers stress there is no need to panic.

300 drivers making up for possible 2,000 drivers going on strike will hardly make much of an impact in trying to keep things moving and even less so if they have to use the military's own fleet of tankers which are much small, holding less fuel per tanker.

Therefore problems are going to arise should a strike happen and motorist best be prepared not just to keep their tanks topped upp but also to make contingencies to use alternatives to their usual modes of transportation. Time to dust off the old bicycle in the garage.

This is yet a further militarization of our society by using the armed forces to break legitimate labor disputes.

What is going to come next? One can but asked but does one really dare.

My worst fears are that that is not going to stop at this time only but that we are going to be seeing more of this if discontent due to rising living costs and falling real term wages continue.

Then again, this may just be what the government is actually looking for to give it a reason to militarize things further still.

Considering that we are in the year of the Olympics in London where demonstrations have been declared, basically, acts of terrorism, the same could be, no doubt, applied to strikes of, especially, “essential” workers and services.

We have begun to go down a slippery slope and we could just be looking at, as I have indicated, further militarization of the home front.

It is rather strange that the UK is looking at such contingencies when just recently the President of the Unites States, Barack Obama, has signed an Executive Order militarizing the country basically.

Food for thought, methinks...

© 2012


by Debbie Pearson

Medical writer and editor, Annita Manning once brought up a good point: “High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us?” We’ve known since 2003, through scientific research and lab testing, that these new-fangled bio-tech foods are not all they’re cracked up to be. The subject has popped up again in recent months at protests nation-wide, with greater fervor, as time is running short. It’s been confirmed that bio-tech products are not only depriving us from the nutrition our bodies require and making us sick, they’re quickly sucking the life out of our soil, turning our fertile farmland into a barren desert.

Our global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by the year 2050. Some believe that with a population of those proportions, it may not be possible to feed and clothe everyone. Will bio-technology will be our saving grace? Today’s bio-technology brings us the advantage of having the “highest yielding conventional and biotech seeds on the market, advanced traits and technologies that enable more nutritious and durable crops, and the safest, most effective crop protection solutions”(1). Companies who manufacture these Bio-tech products claim that they can keep insects and weeds at bay, and increase productivity, all while ensuring environmental standards are met.

Monsanto Company is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation who does all this and more. The largest of the bio-tech producers, it prides itself on the “dedication to positive and supportive relationships with farmers, sustainable and environmentally-conscious agricultural practices, policies that promote safe, healthy and reliable food sources for our growing planet, and ethical, transparent and competitive business conduct.”(1) They also pride themselves in working alongside Regulatory agencies like the EPA, FDA and the USDA to ensure food safety. In fact, they work so closely that many of Monsanto’s former employees now have positions in Congress, the Senate, and in the above-named government regulatory agencies (4). It makes one think there could be a conflict of interest here, much to the detriment of our environment.

Monsanto has a lengthy history of bringing us the deadliest chemicals known to man. The company began in 1901 with their first product saccharine. In 1919, they brought us salicylic acid and rubber-processing materials. The 1920’s brought us sulfuric acid. 1940’s, it was plastics, including polystyrene, synthetic fibers, DDT, Agent Orange, aspartame, bovine somatotropin (BST), and PCB’s. They were also involved with developing the first nuclear weapons. In 1954, they formed Mobay and marketed polyurethanes in the US. In 1968, they were the first company to start mass production of LED’s, using gallium arsenide phosphide. We see these every day on digital clocks, watches, and calculators. They were the largest producer of Agent Orange during the Viet Nam war, which caused profound health damage to our US soldiers and the children born to them after exposure to the herbicide.

Now they bring us “Roundup”, a highly toxic pesticide, when used along with Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready seeds, will successfully combat weeds. According to USDA scientist Robert Kremer, Roundup may also be damaging to the soil with repeated use (2). The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which may be causing fungal root disease of farm crops and plants.

Another scientist, Michael McNeill, Ph.D, at an August 2011 conference in Boulder, Colorado, has observed trends that are consistent with the research that Kremer has done. According to Boulder Weekly magazine:

McNeill explains that glyphosate is a chelating agent, which means it clamps onto molecules that are valuable to a plant, like iron, calcium, manganese, and zinc….The farmers’ increased use of Roundup is actually harming their crops, according to McNeill, because it is killing micronutrients in the soil that they need, a development that has been documented in several scientific papers by the nation’s leading experts in the field. For example, he says, harmful fungi and parasites like fusarium, phytopthora and pythium are on the rise as a result of the poison, while beneficial fungi and other organisms that help plants reduce minerals to a usable state are on the decline. He explains that the overuse of glyphosate mean that oxidizing agents are on the rise, creating oxides that plants can’t use, leading to lower yields and higher susceptibility to disease.(3)

There are also reports of Roundup having produced weed-killer resistant weeds. These warnings from scientists should cause enough concern to at least look into these issues. But Monsanto has knowingly and falsely informed the public, claiming that glyphosate/RoundUp begins to decompose once it absorbs into the soil. There is no other source that we know of that supports Monsanto’s claims besides the company and their cronies.

Despite this history, Monsanto has been entrusted to “feed the masses” with their bio-tech products. Despite all scientific warnings, which have been disregarded and downplayed by the regulatory agencies that have been put in place to protect the public from unsafe food and products. The same regulatory agencies that are run by government appointed former employees of the mega-corporation Monsanto (4).

Monsanto is very adamant about their mission to feed the world, developing their science to accomplish just that. After all, the world’s food security depends on the steady production of healthy, nutritious crops, right? Hence, the “need” for large-scale farming. Large-scale farming calls for large-scale measures to keep weeds under control.

The human species has survived for millions of years without the need for toxic chemicals for weed control. They are unnecessary and there are alternatives (5).

More farmers these days have shown an interest in transitioning from bio-technology back to a simpler approach to farming. This approach would not require the soil to be rebuilt because of the overuse of toxic chemicals, and has been proven to be sustainable to the health of our farmlands.

Buying organic produce from local producers is not only beneficial to our health and the health of our environment, but also to our economy. Local Food Co-ops have been cropping up across the country, which also cuts the risk of food contamination while stored in warehouses for cross-country transportation. It’s a slow start, but it is catching on. If we don’t do something fast, a massive percentage of our farmland will be so over-wrought with damaged soil, it will take years to reverse the effects.

Because without fertile soil, how will we feed the cows, chickens and goats? Without manure, how will we re-build the soil?

Works Cited

  1. http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/default.aspx Retrieved 18 February 2012.

  2. http://grist.org/politics/usda-downplays-own-scientists-research-on-danger-of-roundup/ Retrieved 18 February 2012.

  3. http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-6211-expert-gmos-to-blame-for-problems-in-plants-animals.html Retrieved 18 February 2012.

  4. http://geke.us/MonsantoVenn.html/

  5. Stonebrook, Shelley. “The 10 Worst Garden Weeds.” Mother Earth News 247 (August/September 2011).

About the author:

Debbie Pearson has made her home in Colorado for the last 20 years, and is currently a Photography major at the Academy of Art University. While taking a required journalism class for the Associates program, she has discovered that she enjoys writing just as much as she does photography.

Stamp price hike part of Postal Service plan to cut losses

In the same stupid attempt as for Royal Mail in the UK the USPS believes that by increasing postal rates they can make up for losses. Sorry, but you’ll lose more that way...

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A nickel boost in the first-class stamp price to 50 cents is part of the U.S. Postal Service's latest plan to stop bleeding red ink but they do not seem to understand that the more they increase the prises the fewer items of real mail people are going to send.

The Postal Service released the 5-year business plan to Congress recently in part to push Congress to pass legislation to help them get through ongoing financial woes. Due in large part to declining first-class mail volume, the service recorded a $3.3 billion loss in the final three months of last year, which is usually a profitable period.

This decline, as far as I would suggest, is very much due to the fact that they keep raising the prices and people opting for email instead. When they cannot even guarantee delivery for the special items of the guaranteed third day delivery then who is going to pay for it?

The Postal Service says that, if nothing is done, it faces $18 billion in losses by 2015. Lawmakers have been working on different plans for months, but all of them have controversial aspects and are stalled.

Among the plans to cover its losses the USPS suggests this price hike to 50cents from 45cents for First Class but also, so it seems, a cut in home delivery from six days a week to five and the closure of thousands of post offices and mail processing plants. And the service also considers slowing down the delivery of first class mail by a day.

In addition to that they propose serious cuts in employee number cutting the workforce by 155,000 by 2016 , mostly through pushing some of the 283,000 eligible to retire.

All that that is going to do, aside from costing lots of people a job, is even less, as I have said already, letters being sent.

Who, in their right mind, if they can, is going to send a letter by USPS which will take four to five days to reach its destination, including just up the road, when they can send an email which will be in the hands of the recipient, or at least his email service, within seconds? I know that I would not.

© 2012

NatureFest at Hagley Encourages Kids to Explore, Experience and Enjoy our Environment

Hagley Museum and Library to present a new spring event titled NatureFest.

Wilmington, Delaware, March 2012 : Hagley Museum and Library presents a new spring event, NatureFest, on Saturday, April 28. NatureFest combines Arbor Day, Earth Day and May Day celebrations. Hagley’s upper property will host hands-on activities and crafts for families from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to NatureFest is $2 for members, $3 for not-yet members, and free for children five and under. Please use Buck Road Entrance off Route 100. NatureFest is an outdoor event, held rain or shine. Please dress appropriately for outdoor fun.

Below is a sample of the activities offered at NatureFest:

  •     Nature Walks: Visitors will be guided on nature walks in honor of the du Pont family’s annual tradition of searching for the first signs of spring at Hagley.*
  •     Tours: Experience E. I. du Pont’s formal French Garden; the Eleutherian Mills greenhouses; and Hagley’s champion trees, led by Hagley’s knowledgeable gardens and grounds staff.
  •     Tree Climbing: Using a climbing harness, kids can scale one of Hagley’s trees.
  •     Leaf Rubbings: Children will make rubbings from leaf plates and match them to trees on Hagley’s property.
  •     Floriography: Families will discover a Victorian cipher tradition by creating tissue paper flowers in a variety of colors to send a “secret message.”
  •     Capillary Action Experiment: Young scientists and their parents can see how capillaries work to transport water throughout a plant.

NatureFest will also feature hands-on activities, experiments, and displays by the American Chemical Society, 4-H, Girl Scouts of the USA, and Boy Scouts of America.

The Belin House Organic Café will be selling a selection of family-friendly outdoor favorites. Highlights of the menu include hamburgers, hotdogs, and Portobello mushroom burgers, fruit salad, blueberry lemonade, and more.

*Nature hikes are not suitable for strollers or people with difficulty walking.

Hagley Museum and library collects, preserves and interprets the unfolding history of American enterprise. For more information, call 302-685-2400 weekdays or visit http://www.hagley.org.

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Ausbau der Post-it Recycling Range

Neue Produkte für ein nachhaltiges Büro

Neuss, März 2012: Mehr Nachhaltigkeit im Büro - dafür sorgt die kontinuierliche Erweiterung der Post-it Recycling Range. Mit der Einführung der neuen Recycling Page Marker macht 3M ab sofort jeden Schreibtisch zu einem noch umweltschonenderen Arbeitsplatz.

Wie die übrigen Post-it Recycling Produkte sind auch die Page Marker mit dem Blauen Engel zertifiziert, da sie aus 100 Prozent Altpapier hergestellt sind. Auf vielfältige Farben muss trotz ökologischem Anspruch nicht verzichtet werden: So präsentieren sich die neuen Recycling Page Marker in grasgrün, hellgrün, bananengelb, mandarinenorange und himmelblau. Die neuen Post-it Recycling Page Marker sind in einer breiten (25 x 76 mm) und einer schmalen Variante (15 x 50 mm) erhältlich. Während die breiten Recycling Page Marker im 3er-Pack angeboten werden, gibt es die schmalen im bunten 5-er Pack.

Post it Glasspender mittel Umweltschonend & Stilvoll: der Spender aus Glas und Kork

Damit die nachhaltigen Post-it Haftnotizen auch jederzeit griffbereit sind, gibt es den Post-it Recycling Z-Notes Spender (jetzt neu auch mit nur einem Block gelber Post-it Recycling Z-Notes). Trotz des ökologischen Anspruchs wurde bei der Produktenwicklung der Design-Aspekt nicht vernachlässigt. So präsentiert sich der Spender im modernen Look aus wertigem, recycelbarem Glas kombiniert mit 100 Prozent recyceltem Kork. Dank seines stimmigen Eigengewichts ist das Büroaccessoire besonders standfest und lässt sich auch mit einer Hand leicht bedienen. Da er aus nur zwei Komponenten besteht, ist er zudem auch ganz einfach nachfüllbar.

Weitere Informationen unter www.post-it.de und www.3m-buerosortiment.de.

Über 3M Deutschland GmbH

3M beherrscht die Kunst, zündende Ideen in Tausende von einfallsreichen Produkten umzusetzen - kurz: ein Innovationsunternehmen, welches ständig Neues erfindet. Die einzigartige Kultur der kreativen Zusammenarbeit stellt eine unerschöpfliche Quelle für leistungsstarke Technologien dar, die das Leben besser machen. Bei einem Umsatz von rund 27 Mrd. US-Dollar beschäftigt 3M weltweit etwa 80.000 Menschen und hat Niederlassungen in mehr als 65 Ländern. Weitere Informationen: www.3M.de oder auf Twitter @ 3M_Die_Erfinder

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Focus On Technology Overlooks Human Behavior When Addressing Climate Change

ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2012) — Technology alone won't help the world turn away from fossil fuel-based energy sources, says University of Oregon sociologist Richard York. In a newly published paper, York argues for a shift in political and economic policies to embrace the concept that continued growth in energy consumption is not sustainable.

Many nations, including the United States, are actively pursuing technological advances to reduce the use of fossil fuels to potentially mitigate human contributions to climate-change. The approach of the International Panel on Climate Change assumes alternative energy sources -- nuclear, wind and hydro -- will equally displace fossil fuel consumption. This approach, York argues, ignores "the complexity of human behavior."

Read the rest of the article here.

The New UK E-liquid Company T-juice is Experiencing High Sales Volumes in their First Week of Business

T-Juice, the new and exciting e-liquid start up, has already clocked over 100 orders from new customers in their first seven days of going live to the public

T-Juice opened their doors to the public and launched their new website http://www.t-juice.com only a little over a week ago. Since then they have experienced a lot of demand for this new and exciting product. E-Liquid is the stuff that you put into electronic cigarettes to vaporise and inhale. This vaporised e-liquid gives you the same emotional and psychological feeling as smoking but without a lot of the nasty stuff like carbon monoxide and tar.

T-juice started their brand so that consumers could be confident in what they are ‘putting in their pipe’ and vaping. Their quality product only contains ingredients that are EU sourced. A lot of the electronic cigarettes on the market come with Chinese made e-liquid which causes concern for many western authorities, as batch control is very difficult to regulate.

“I am truly surprised by the massive demand for our product over the last week; it seems that people are happy to pay a little bit more for quality. We are in the process of getting reviews done by some of the most respected people in the business. We are then planning to engage in test drives with electronic cigarette companies and consumers. All of this feedback is extremely important as it helps us to improve our products and process.

Over the next year we hope to become one of Europe’s top e-liquid brands and have a large international network of resellers and partners. This fledgling market is growing at an exponential rate and we are hopefully in the perfect position to grow fast.” commented Richard Jones of T-Juice.

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Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.

Paper equals dead trees?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Time and again some misguided members of the environmental movement come up with the phrase that paper books and such equal dead trees and that anything done electronically, whether books, newspapers, journals, etc., save x-amount of trees.

The truth of the matter is, however, that the less paper we use the fewer trees will be planted by the paper industry who, where it is done in the sustainable manner it should be done, has its own forests.

The often cited saved rainforest trees is another red herring as no hardwood trees are used for wood pulp for the making of paper, at least not of the rainforest kind, as they are far too hard for making paper.

There are, obviously, other fiber products that can be made into paper; originally paper was made from rags. And onto of that hemp, nettles, bamboo, etc. could be used. But that is not the point here.

The fact is that millions of trees are being planted every year in order to create paper and if paper made from wood pulp would not be used those trees simply would not be planted.

In other words, the paper industry is not necessarily a bad thing for those trees, while they grow, absorb carbon from the atmosphere and lock it up, and when the wood is made into paper, especially books which may be retained for many years, even centuries, then the carbon remains locked up in them.

In the same way that any wood products, whether house or piece of furniture made from real wood, also will serve the very same purpose.

Trees are cut down for this, as for the making of paper, but they are felled at the optimum time for, after the tree has done its growing it will no longer be a carbon sequester but a net carbon producer, and it is just before that time that forestry does the felling and then the replanting of trees.

Trees left to grow beyond the growing time, as said, will become producers of carbon dioxide rather than absorbing and storing it and when a tree is allowed to die and fall and then is allowed to rot in the woods that is worse still.

In that latter process not only the carbon that was stored in the tree is released but the process of decay also releases methane, the latter which is a much more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2.

Therefore, before people go around making statements such as that a book or a wooden table, etc., are dead trees, they better get their fact from the proper sources and do some serious thinking.

Alas, much like vegetarians and vegans who believe that animals such as cows, sheep, pigs, etc., will have such a great life should the world decide to become vegetarian or even vegan tomorrow, and are misguided, in the same way are those that believe that the world would be better without commercial forestry.

The wrong kind of knowledge is a dangerous thing...

© 2012

Global New Energy Summit Highlights the Role of Public Policy with an Exclusive Panel of Current and Former U.S. Senators

Energy leaders from around the globe will gather April 9-11, 2012 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the fourth annual Global New Energy Summit. Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader, will moderate a panel of members from both sides of the aisle discussing ways to address global energy demands.

Colorado Springs, CO, March 2012 : Energy leaders from around the globe will assemble April 9-11, 2012 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the fourth annual Global New Energy Summit. The event will bring together internationally recognized leaders across multiple energy-related disciplines – including science, industry, policy and finance – to discuss the current state of the global energy marketplace and identify practical, multi-disciplinary approaches to responsibly address global energy demands.

Summit panels will discuss the latest trends in innovation, policy, markets and capital across all areas of energy, including oil, gas and coal, solar, wind, water, biofuels, nuclear, transmission and smart grid. This year’s summit will open with an International Expo highlighting exciting activities taking place in key regions including Asia, Europe and North America.

The Public Policy panel, being held Tuesday morning, includes Mr. Tom Daschle, former two-time Senate Majority Leader; Mr. Robert “Bob” Bennett, former 3-term Utah Senator; and current first full term Colorado Senator Mr. Michael Bennet.

The panel will address timely issues such as the role played by the federal government and state and local governments in defining and executing an energy policy; the path to a long term energy strategy; financing critical upgrades to the aging power grid; the impact of energy on our national security and the need to integrate new energy sources with the existing infrastructure. The discussion will include a Q&A segment, opening the floor to conference attendee questions.

“Public policy plays a crucial role in defining our country’s portfolio of energy sources and maximizing our regional assets. Having Tom Daschle, Bob Bennett and Michael Bennet on the Policy Panel will provide attendees a real down-to-earth view of the complexities of developing a policy or suite of policies that meet the country’s needs and is flexible for future opportunities. They’ve been in the trenches and bring unique insights to this discussion.” said David Blivin, Executive Producer of the GNE Summit.

The Global New Energy Summit is in its fourth year, and brings together science, industry, policy and finance leaders to exchange ideas and build bridges to address burgeoning global energy demands. Committed Summit participants include Denis Hayes, Initial Organizer of Earth Day; Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader; Greg Leveille, Head of Global Unconventional Resources at ConocoPhillips, and leaders from NREL, LANL, Luca Technologies, ITC Holdings, Colorado Springs Utilities, EPRI, Patton Boggs LLP, Altira Ventures, DLA Piper, Intel, Arsenal Ventures, Wells Fargo, and numerous others.

To learn more about the event or to register to attend, visit http://www.globalnewenergysummit.org/

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Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

This article is for your information only and the GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not (necessarily) approve, endorse or recommend the product, service or company mentioned.