...89101112...


Being proactive re: childcare worker shortage – The Rocky Mountain Goat

HomeOpinionBeing proactive re: childcare worker shortage

July 20, 2017 The Goat Opinion

by EVAN MATTHEWS, editor

Valemount has a growing problem with the lack of available licensed childcare.

This week, Manager of the Valemount Childrens Activity Society Krista Voth told the Goat the daycare is desperate for Early Childhood Educators (ECE) and ECE assistants, which is causing a growing waitlist for the centre.

Voth says the society will even consider hiring people to work while they take their courses.

Meanwhile, parents in the community are struggling to hold down jobs, especially during summer months when school is out. Some parents are even contemplating moving.

There have been more than 20 babies born in Valemount in the last year, according to the Childrens Activity Society.

While some are looking at solutions to address the childcare issue, the only thing for certain is that a gap exists in the community between the number of children and the available care.

Now the citizens of Valemount need to address it.

When the mill closed, people were fleeing in droves. The community has since recovered, in a transition from a resource extraction-based economy to a tourism-based economy.

As this community has longed for, people are coming and staying with their families. The community needs reliable childcare.

I dont know what the solution is, but an issue exists.

Our community needs to work on viable solutions before families start to move away, or avoid moving here in the first place.

There are not many people I know of who can afford to take time away from work. The time to address the issue is now.

Escaping 100 Mile House

Valemount daycare desperate for workers

Here is the original post:

Being proactive re: childcare worker shortage – The Rocky Mountain Goat

Open season for our notion building polies – The Conversation AU

Since the Finkel review was announced it has been open season for notion building in the energy space. While Malcolm has been spruiking Snowy 2.zero pumped hydro, Craig has been promising death by renewables, quite literally. Josh seems to be for just about everything, besides Labor state governments of course, and reckons we are on track to meet Paris commitments. Barnaby, true to form, is backing coal, and presumably thinks Paris will take care of itself.

The one I like the best, but really hasnt been nailed quite the way I thought it should, is Tonys call for nuclear subs. Imagine, our first truly dispatchable power system, capable of delivering a few hundred megawatts just about anywhere you need it. Sail and plug, just what we need to shore up our fragile energy system. The tour of dispatch last year including Tasmania from January through June, South Australia June through November, and then on to Queensland for the summer would have been a nice little money spinner for the Navy, worth around quarter of a billion dollars on the energy markets. And that doesnt include offsets, such as the purported $44 million Tasmanian government spent on diesel gensets. Could it be our best notion yet for meeting Paris?

It goes without saying that our political masters dont need much provocation to indulge in a bit of notion building. After all, it is what they do best.

But, in case you are wondering why this sudden release of energy, it might be useful to reflect on some recent analyses that paint a truly disturbing picture for our energy sector.

The first comes from the European Commissions latest electricity market update, providing the comparison of wholesale electricity prices shown below.

As recently as three years ago our electricity wholesale prices were low by any measure. In fact according to the ECs analysis, our market prices then briefly dipped below those in the US. Then, ours were just 20% of the Japanese price.

How times have changed.

According to the ECs latest analysis our prices tracked pretty closely with the US until the second half of 2015. It seems things to start going awry just about when Josh was received the poison chalice as Minister for Energy and Resources.

Six quarters later and the EC now estimates that for Quarter 1 this year our prices were a staggering 400% higher than in the US.

This last quarter we even managed to top Japan, which is some achievement considering that across the quarter we exported some20 million tonnes of our thermal coal and over half a million tonnes of LNG to help them sure up a power system still reverberating from the shock waves of Fukushima. Thats about half as much thermal coal as used to power our system.

The second comes from BPs latest Statistical Review of World Energy released in June, which provides national figures for all things related to energy production and consumption, including sector wide emissions.

According to BPs latest figures, our energy sector produced about 409 million tonnes of CO2 in 2016. That amounts to 16.7 tonnes for every Australian. On a per capita basis, that puts our energy sector a touch above the next most emissions intensive economy in the developed world – the US at 16.5 tonnes. Even Canada, which has a resource based economy more comparable to our own, gets away with only 14.6 tonnes per person.

Worryingly, relative to 2005 levels our energy sector emissions are up about 10%, which stands in stark contrast to most other advanced economies, and especially the US, down 12% over the same interval.

So the notion that we are on track to meet Paris is, at best, notional.

To achieve such extraordinary wholesale price outcomes, one might imagine something remarkable had happened to our energy system since 2014. Our Coal-cons such as Craig Kelly would believe it is because our power system is groaning under the weight of renewable production.

But perhaps it the absence of renewables. Or maybe it is both, peskily masked in a cloak of invisibility. Check out the figure below, which shows our electricity production by key fuel group (coal, gas and renewables) over the period since our power prices have risen from the lowest to highest on the international pecking order.

Can you determine a trend that could account for anything? Im damned if I can.

And that in itself is sure to be worry enough to keep it open season on notion building for a long time to come.

For those interested, some more detailed discussion of the crisis besetting the National Electricity Market (NEM) in eastern Australia can be found in my Anatomy of an Energy Crisis series, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

Visit link:

Open season for our notion building polies – The Conversation AU

Opinion: Splash of innovation a new water agenda for BC – Vancouver Sun

FILE PHOTO Houses in the Green Bay area of West Kelowna are surrounded by water on Tuesday May 23, 2017. GARY NYLANDER / The Daily Courier

As the heat of summer swings into full effect, most British Columbians are thinking only of vacations and long lazy days at their local swimming holes or favourite beaches. But for the leaders of our new government, holidays are likely one of the furthest things from their minds as they begin the daunting task of setting priorities and the work agenda ahead.

No shortage of pressing issues and challenges will demand this new governments attention as it looks to fulfil its platform commitments to change and renewal. But water is one issue that matters most to many communities across B.C.

The province is endowed with a rich freshwater heritage that is vitally important to all British Columbians. For Indigenous peoples, water is not only the foundation of their constitutionally-protected rights, but also integral to connections to the land, spiritual and physical well-being, and community and economic development. Communities across the province rely on abundant and clean fresh water for quality of life, healthy ecosystems and vibrant economies.

Waters uneven distribution over the landscape and its seasonal and annual variability pose real challenges for water management in the province. Until recently, sustainable water management in British Columbia was only ever a secondary consideration to the priority of building the provincial resource-based economy. Past (and even current) dominant management practices struck an unsustainable balance, based primarily on draining, channelling, damming, and diverting water out of streams, lakes and aquifers, and dumping waste back into those systems. In the process, watersheds have become fragmented and natural capital has been degraded.

As devastating fires blaze through the Interior only weeks after stories of severe flooding dominated headlines, we are reminded yet again what the new normal of more frequent and extreme events might look like in the province: The implications of climate change on our freshwater systems and community well-being are severe.

Even before these extreme events, water security and concern that not enough is being done to protect water resources have ranked high as priorities for the public. In a comprehensive 2013 poll, 93 per cent of British Columbians stated that water is our most precious natural resource, and indicated a low degree of confidence that current management approaches are adequate to ensure freshwater security.

Water underpins the myriad issues of the day from energy production, to agriculture, to drinking water security. It is the foundation of any sustainable integrated resource development and management regime.

Building a bold new water agenda must be a top priority for our new government. To address British Columbias pressing water challenges and position itself as a freshwater leader resilient to a changing climate and responsive to local needs B.C. must change both water management (on-the-ground activities) and governance (processes of decision-making and holding decision makers to account).

Fortunately, B.C.s new leaders will not be starting from scratch: the previous government introduced the Water Sustainability Act in 2016 to improve water management and decision-making in B.C., including regulating groundwater use and enabling protection of water flows for fish and ecosystems. This initiative, however, is only partly complete. Many of its most important components, like watershed planning and a robust regime to protect ecological flows, still require implementation with adequate resourcing and independent oversight.

Now is a critical moment of opportunity for our leaders to build on the foundation of the Water Sustainability Act and set B.C. on a course toward a sustainable freshwater future.

To offer support to government, our team at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project at the University of Victoria has set out a ten-step plan that provides the specific elements and actions required for meaningful progress on a new water agenda for B.C. In addition to full implementation of the new provincial water legislation, this agenda provides direction to ensure sufficient funds to deliver on a comprehensive program, engage Indigenous governments as partners in governing and managing fresh water, build resilience through protecting vital natural systems, provide the necessary science and information to make informed evidence-based decisions and ensure competent and independent oversight and accountability.

With a revitalized water agenda, B.C. can expect growing water security, increased public confidence through evidence-based decisions, decreased conflicts as natural capital is protected, and greater ability to adapt to the oncoming changes in climate.

As B.C.s new government settles into the hard work of building the path forward for the province, our message is simple: Get the water right and the rest will follow. Our communities, economies, ecosystems and future generations depend on it.

Oliver M. Brandes is co-Director of University of Victorias POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Centre for Global Studies. Jon ORiordan is the former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management and POLIS Strategic Water Policy Advisor. Rosie Simms is the Water Law and Policy Researcher with POLIS. They recently authored and released A Revitalized Water Agenda for British Columbias Circular Economy to catalyze action on water in B.C.

Excerpt from:

Opinion: Splash of innovation a new water agenda for BC – Vancouver Sun

FG to create additional leather research centres across geo-political zones – NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)

THE Federal Government has announced its readiness to create additional Leather Research and Development Centres in other geo-political zones of Nigeria so as to complement the existing ones.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, announced this in Abuja during the matriculation and inauguration of the Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST) North Central Regional Leather R&D Cluster Extension Centre and official training infrastructure.

He said the processes that would enhance the establishment of these centres had reached advanced stages, and it was expected to help strengthen greater grassroots participation in leather technology, thereby helping to stimulate more indigenous capacity for the ultimate benefit of the people.

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the birth of a new national development order for the nation that would be science, technology and innovation driven.

Onu said this would help move the Nigeria economy from being resource based to become knowledge based and innovation driven, needed to lay a solid foundation for the transformation of the nation so as to attain the greatness she desired and deserved.

The minister emphasised that this was why the government had decided that it would create additional centres in other zones of the country, where none currently existed.

Earlier, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, whose message was delivered by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abuja Enterprises Agency, Malam Tukur Arabi, said leather was Nigeria`s second highest revenue source after oil, thus the need to diversify into Leather Value Chain (LVC).

I believe it is the reason why the LVC cluster has been established to improve the value and promote awareness of leather as a prime resource in Nigeria, he said.

He then encouraged all stakeholders to pursue vigorously the establishment of the centre, which would enable quality control over the hides and skin from the farm.

Acting Director General/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NILEST, Dr Eucharia Ngozi Oparah, called on Federal Government to give the agency the needed support to carry out her mandate of training and research in the field of leather and leather products.

For a sustainable growth in the leather and leather products national economy, the institution should also empowered and converted to a degree awarding institution because the highest qualification currently awarded by the institution is Higher National Diploma (HND), the DG stressed.

FCT minister issues 2-month deadline to Bwari fish farm estate

FCTA pays contractors over N57 bn outstanding obligations

Link:

FG to create additional leather research centres across geo-political zones – NIGERIAN TRIBUNE (press release) (blog)

Nigeria ranks least in oil revenue savings, among resource-based countries NEITI – BusinessDay (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI),has expressed concern that Nigeria posts the least record in oil revenue savings, among resource based countries, as it is currently advocating a robust policy to save portion of oil and gas revenue for the rainy day and for inter generational equity.

NEITI therefore suggested urgent measures to be taken by all tiers of government to include the immediate transfer of all revenue savings in the stabilisation fund and the Excess Crude Account into the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund.

But Oil and Gas industry experts said the country could not havebeen expected to have good savings whenthe governors are always interested in sharing whatever the countries earns as revenue to the detriment of futuregenerations.

NEITI insists that recommendations for a Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund Model is stemmed from the fact that of its more transparent model,it is well structured and having a better clarity for some re-investments to grow the wealth. He notes that NSWF scores 90% in terms of transparency in mangement structure in continental ratings.

Waziri Adio,the Executive Secretary of NEITI said if Nigeria has imbibed the culture of savings overtime, it would had some buffer to shielf it from the perennial economic recession that it is presently suffering from.

The Executive Secretary during a presentation to Newsmen titled:The case for a robust oil savings fund for Nigeria,lamented that inspite of the benefits and the huge revenues that have accrued from oil and gas over the years,Nigeria has one of the lowest resource savings in the world.

Take the volatility of the oil price and know you dont have control over it.Take the exhaustion of the oil resources which is already known fact that in the next 38 years we could cease to exist.But what we do with the money we are getting now from the oil is what we have control over,and we must do it wellAdio said.

He suggested Norway,as a key country experience where Nigeria could learn from,whom he said commenced the culture of savings well before it discovered oil.

Norway, a country of 5.2 million people has a sovereign wealth fund worth $922 billion,Chile $24 billion,Angola $4.6 billion and Botswana $5.7 billion.Others are Russia $89.9 billion and Kuwait $592 billion.

Dirran Fawibe, the chairman andchief executive officer of International Energy Servicetold BusinessDay the situation isnotunexpected because thecountryeats all that she earns as revenues.

He said the governors are always agitating that the revenue that comes to the federation account must be shared without thinking of the raining day.

Allthe effortsof Okonjo Iweala , theformer ministerfor Financeto make thegovernorsseereasons for thecountryto have structuredSovereign Wealth Fundwas rebuffedasthe memberoftheNational assemblydont feelconcerned aboutsavingfor the future.

Another chief executive of an oil company but does not want his name mentioned said what did you expect from corrupt governments that have governed this country over the years.Most of the past governments that have ruled this country are aware of how some of the resourced based countries such as Norway, Saudi Arabia have made good savings for their futuregenerations from oil revenues. But they turned deaf ears to suggestions from experts and shared everything each time, he said

Rotimi Amaechi, the current Minister of Transport said that when he was the chairman of the Nigerian GovernorsForum, the governors demanded the sharing of money from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) under the last federal government because it was not properly managed

He explained further: In 2009, we had an economic crisis so President Yaradua put $1billion in the economy so no one felt the crisis. I cant remember what was left in that account, the excess crude account. During Goodluck Jonathan, every month when the governors went for the economic council meeting, the amount in the account kept dropping. If we asked about what happened to the money, the response we got was that the president approved for it to be spent. So we said can we please share this money because the rate at which it was going, the president would have continually approved $1billion to spend and we wont know what we are spending for and they wont give us an account.

Nigeria it would be noted currently has three oil savings fund.They are Sovereign Wealth Fund with $1.5bn,the Excess Crude Account with $2.3 bn and the stabilisation fund with N29.02bn($95M).

Suggesting way forward in his presentation,the Executive Secretary recommended that government should,Initiate amendment to sector 162 of the constitution to accomodate the welfare of future generations.The constitutional option is necessary to ensure that the rules are not subjected to political fluidity.The negotiations need to be complemented with appropriate guarantees for transparent and accountable governance of the funds to reasures stakeholders especially at the sub-national level

He also recommend in his presentations the need to delink government expenditure from oil revenues to support policy initiatives that pursues prudent macro-economic policies,better economic and social environment for the next generation.This is in addition to ensuring that there is constant savings whether oil prices are high or low and provide regular payouts from the returns on investments of the funds to compensate beneficiaries (the three tiers of government)for their sacrifice.

Olusola Belloand HARRISON EDEH, ABUJA

Read more from the original source:

Nigeria ranks least in oil revenue savings, among resource-based countries NEITI – BusinessDay (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

Luxembourg adopts space resources law – SpaceNews.com – SpaceNews

tienne Schneider, deputy prime minister of Luxembourg, said passage of the law “reinforces its position as a European hub” for the emerging space resources industry. Credit: SpaceNews/Jeff Foust

WASHINGTON The government of Luxembourg has passed a bill giving companies the rights to space resources they extract from asteroids or other celestial bodies.

The parliament of Luxembourg, a unicameral body known as the Chamber of Deputies, voted 55 to 2 in favor of the space resources law July 13. Passage of the bill means the act will become law on Aug. 1.

Luxembourg is the first adopter in Europe of a legal and regulatory framework recognizing that space resources are capable of being owned by private companies, tienne Schneider, deputy prime minister and minister of the economy, said in a statement. The Grand Duchy thus reinforces its position as a European hub for the exploration and use of space resources.

The law, which the government has been working on since last year, grants companies operating out of the country ownership of space resources they extract, similar to provisions in the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which became law in the U.S. in November 2015.

Space resources are capable of being appropriated, the first article of the Luxembourg act states, according to an English translation provided by the government.

The rest of the act sets up a system for the government to authorize and supervise resource extraction and other space activities, with the exception of communications satellites, which are regulated by other laws in the country.

Passage of the law was expected. Schneider, speaking at an event organized by the Luxembourg government in New York in June, predicted that the parliament would pass the law by July. He said then that the law was similar in scope to the U.S. law, with the exception that companies need not be based in Luxembourg to take advantage of its provisions.

Both the U.S. and Luxembourg laws grant ownership to resources only after they have been extracted, avoiding potential conflicts with the Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits companies from claiming territory on celestial bodies. Nonetheless, the U.S. law has been criticized by some nations in forums like the U.N.s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

In its statement about the new space resources act, the Luxembourg government states that, in addition to the law, it seeks to promote international cooperation in order to progress on a future governance scheme and a global regulatory framework of space resources utilization. An example of that work cited in the release is an agreement with the European Space Agency on studies of space resource exploration and utilization.

The passage of the law is the latest milestone for Luxembourgs SpaceResources.lu initiative, which seeks to make the country a key player in the emerging space resources industry. The country has committed to spent at least 200 million euros ($230 million) on the effort, including making investments in asteroid mining companies in exchange for them setting up offices in Luxembourg.

One of those companies is Planetary Resources, based near Seattle but with a European office in Luxembourg. Luxembourgs new space resources law provides Planetary Resources with a strong basis for stability and predictability for our current and future asteroid mining operations, said Peter Marquez, acting general manager of the company, in a July 13 statement.

More:

Luxembourg adopts space resources law – SpaceNews.com – SpaceNews

#SWMEThemes: The Middle East and the New Space Resource … – SpaceWatch Middle East (press release) (subscription) (blog)

An artistss rendering of a mining operation on the Moon. Image courtesy of OilPrice.com

In the first of our week-long #SWMEThemes on the Middle East and Space Resources, Dr. Tom James of Navitas Resources LLP argues that with its heritage in extracting oil and gas from harshenvironments and recent investments in space programmes, many Middle Eastern countries are well-placed to take advantage of the nascent space resources economy.

The new space resources economy will provide huge benefits for mankind, from pushing technologies forward as we find ways to live sustainably beyond our planet, to improved earth observations to help protect and preserve and improve life back on Earth, to creating new jobs, companies, and opportunities. The Middle East is pouring petrodollars in to the new space economy as it drives its economies to a service and knowledge-based economy and builds its stake in the future of the human race.

As we have witnessed over the past ten years especially, the space industry has becoming more commercialised, with greater investment by the private sector, such as Elon Musks SpaceX and Sir Richard Bransons Virgin Galactic. Both firms have investors from the Middle East, and Virgin Galactic hopes to utilise a spaceport in Abu Dhabi. These new space entrepreneurs are focussed on costs, and this has helped bring downward pressure on launch prices and cost-saving advances in satellite technology have combined to open the door for small and midsize space companies to enter the market, providing new niche services and solutions. These companies, many of whom are basing themselves in the Gulf thanks to pro-active local government support, are well-positioned to serve the increasing demand for bandwidth and services across regions that expect to see large population growth, such as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Since Astronaut Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon 45 years ago, we have made little to no progress on new rocket technology or costs or performance of space vehicles, with governments sticking to what worked in the 1960s and 1970s. Now with private firms driving the space race with much larger resources than most governments, we stand on the brink of returning to space this time, to stay. With the annual space economy already sized at U.S.$330 billion a year, its an interesting business to get in to and its attracting increased interest from investors and entrepreneurs.

To really drive the new space economy forward however, we must first reduce the cost of getting stuff in to space from the Earths surface. In space there are many asteroids and mining opportunities for resources to build new larger space ships and space stations and lower costs, but the initial machinery and people to make that happen will have to come from the Earths surface.

Therefore, the most immediate valuable resource that people will pay a premium for in space will initially be water. Made up of hydrogen and oxygen, there is a lot of things you can do with it!

Therefore water has been dubbed the new oil in space and Middle East investors understand the opportunities, as their investment in new emerging commercial space companies and technologies is growing as the region works to shift from an oil-based to a knowledge-based economy and secure a part in the future of supplying energy in space.

Water as Fuel

I expect companies to launch satellites searching for rare gases and metals in asteroids within five years, with actual mining happening within eight.A single asteroid might contain 175 times more platinum than the Earth mines in a year, but its not metal that is the most important commodity in the short term. Its water.

In the long term, most of the commodities mined in space will stay in space to power a low-orbit space economy built around satellites and space stations. In that scenario, water accumulated in space would become the most immediately valuable commodity as it could be used for rocket fuel for interstellar voyages, and to supply oxygen to keep astronauts and space colonies alive. To date all the water for space missions and all the rocket fuel has to be taken to space from the Earths surface and that costs a lot of money as it increases the payload of rockets that must escape the Earths gravity.

A major issue in making access to space cheaper is that every space mission must carry its own fuel for in-space operations, since in-space refuelling does not currently exist. Even if it did, that fuel would have to be lifted and stored on orbit in fuel depots at even higher prices. Currently it costs around U.S.$8,000/kg to $12,000/kg net cost to launch most payloads into low-Earth orbit (LEO). New breakthroughs in technology must be realized to significantly reduce this high cost. We are starting to see some of those technologies now succeed, for example the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket which is truly re-usable and lands itself after a successful deployment of cargo to space. This type of technology, combined with the large reduction in payload in fuel and supplies, is necessary to refuel in space with water and oxygen already extracted there will massively reduce payloads and cost still further. The corresponding cost and price benefit could give customers around a 30 percent discount over expendable rocket versions.

To avoid this high-cost barrier to real progress, a means to provide cheaper propellants in space has to be developed. One such firm, Shackleton Energy, is working on the answer by proposing to mine ice water on the Moon. Water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen, and in turn can create fuel, drinking water, and oxygen to sustain long term colonies in space.

Middle East in Space

The UAE and Saudi Arabia already have space programmes, with the Saudis signing a pact with Russia in 2015 for cooperation on space exploration and the development of a new space station. With the annual space economy having grown to already U.S.$330 billion dollars it is an interesting time for Middle East countries, that must plan many decades ahead in the development of their economies in to digital- and knowledge-based economies, to get in to the space business. Interestingly the majority of the recent growth in the space economy, in absolute terms and as a percentage, took place on the commercial side of the space economy. Commercial products, services, infrastructure, and support industries add up to slightly more than 75% of the space economy, with government spending (24% of total) constituting the remainder. Thats right government spending is now the minority!

Besides investing petrodollars in to a new economy of the future for their society here on Earth, building a space industry in many countries of the Middle East makes a lot of sense from a geographical standpoint. The closer a country is to the equator, the more surface velocity there is from spinning around the Earths axis, meaning space ships need to burn less fuel to exit the atmosphere. In addition from a communication standpoint it is better to have an orbit around the equator and if you launch away from the equator you must burn a lot of extra fuel to correct the trajectory of your rockets after launch. All of this benefits a number of Middle Eastern countries as potential launch sites.

Dr. Tom James has been involved in energy and commodity markets since 1989 and is an international business architect, risk manager, and trading director, having developed his skills and expertise over the years whilst at top tier financial and trading institutions

around the world. He has been consulting to industry since 2004 when he was head-hunted to be a lead designer and risk management advisor for BHP Billitons commodity trading unit. More recently, he has been a Senior Energy Advisor to the United States Department of Defense.During his career, Tom has written and published seven books on commodity markets and trading. Tomis a frequent speaker at energy and commodity conferences in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and runs training courses throughout the world. He is also a regular commentator on market trends for international news channels including Bloomberg Hong Kong, CNBC, CNBC Asia, and BBC World Service.

Original published at: https://spacewatchme.com/2017/07/swmethemes-middle-east-new-space-resource-economy/

Go here to see the original:

#SWMEThemes: The Middle East and the New Space Resource … – SpaceWatch Middle East (press release) (subscription) (blog)

FG will intensify effort in promoting leather technology Onu – Daily … – Daily Post Nigeria

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said in Abuja on Thursday that the Federal Government would take critical steps to advance leather production in the country.

Onu spoke at the matriculation of trainees and inauguration of Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), North Central Leather cluster extension centre as well as leather training infrastructure.

The minister said such serious steps to promote leather production would quicken Nigerias industrialisation process.

By doing this, we will also strengthen our capacity to convert our rich agricultural products into viable economic goods and services that we need for both domestic consumption as well strengthen export earnings.

This will help in job and wealth creation, help restore national self-reliance and self-confidence, enhance prosperity and boost our economy, he said.

The minister said that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was determined to use Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to lay a solid foundation for Nigerias economic diversification.

According to him, the days event is an affirmation of the resolution.

The minister said the Federal Governments new national development order on STI would help move the country from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based and innovation driven economy.

He said the process of creating additional leather research and development centres in other geo-political zones had reached advance stage.

It is expected that this will help strengthen greater grassroots participation in leather technology, thereby helping to stimulate more indigenous capacity for the ultimate benefit of our people.

Finally, I urge the trainees of this institute to take the vocation seriously.

Nigeria will look up to you on the completion of your training to help in her efforts to use leather technology to create wealth and job, reduce poverty and enhance prosperity for our people.

Earlier, NILEST Acting Director-General, Dr Eucharia Oparah, said NILEST was the only tertiary institution in Nigeria engaged in the training of middle-level manpower for the leather technology sub-sector of the economy.

We have been training artisans, technicians and technologists at different levels since the inception of the institute.

Also, we have been collaborating with the tanneries, leather manufacturers, government and private organisations within and outside the country, she said.

According to her leather has become the major earner of foreign exchange after oil.

She added that for a sustainable growth NILEST should be given the needed support to carry out its mandate of training and research in the field of leather and leather products.

She said the institute ought be empowered and converted to a degree awarding institution as the highest qualification currently awarded by the institute was Higher National Diploma. (NAN)

View original post here:

FG will intensify effort in promoting leather technology Onu – Daily … – Daily Post Nigeria

Circular economy – Wikipedia

A circular economy is a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling.[1] This is contrast to a linear economy which is a ‘take, make, dispose’ model of production.[2]

The term encompasses more than the production and consumption of goods and services, including a shift from fossil fuels to the use of renewable energy, and the role of diversity as a characteristic of resilient and productive systems. It includes discussion of the role of money and finance as part of the wider debate, and some of its pioneers have called for a revamp of economic performance measurement tools.[3]

“The concept of a circular economy (CE) has been first raised by two British environmental economists David W. Pearce and R. Kerry Turner in 1989. In Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment,[4] they pointed out that a traditional open-ended economy was developed with no built-in tendency to recycle, which was reflected by treating the environment as a waste reservoir”.[5] The circular economy is grounded in the study of feedback-rich (non-linear) systems, particularly living systems.[6] A major outcome of this is the notion of optimising systems rather than components, or the notion of design for fit. As a generic notion it draws from a number of more specific approaches including cradle to cradle, biomimicry, industrial ecology, and the ‘blue economy.

Linear “take, make, dispose” industrial processes and the lifestyles that feed on them deplete finite reserves to create products that end up in landfills or in incinerators.

This realisation triggered the thought process of a few scientists and thinkers, including Walter R. Stahel, an architect, economist, and a founding father of industrial sustainability. Credited with having coined the expression “Cradle to Cradle” (in contrast with “Cradle to Grave”, illustrating our “Resource to Waste” way of functioning), in the late 1970s, Stahel worked on developing a “closed loop” approach to production processes, co-founding the Product-Life Institute in Geneva more than 25 years ago. In the UK, Steve D. Parker researched waste as a resource in the UK agricultural sector in 1982, developing novel closed loop production systems mimicking, and integrated with, the symbiotic biological ecosystems they exploited.

In their 1976 Hannah Reekman research report to the European Commission, “The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy”, Walter Stahel and Genevieve Reday sketched the vision of an economy in loops (or circular economy) and its impact on job creation, economic competitiveness, resource savings, and waste prevention. The report was published in 1982 as the book Jobs for Tomorrow: The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy.[7]

Considered as one of the first pragmatic and credible sustainability think tanks, the main goals of Stahel’s institute are product-life extension, long-life goods, reconditioning activities, and waste prevention. It also insists on the importance of selling services rather than products, an idea referred to as the “functional service economy” and sometimes put under the wider notion of “performance economy” which also advocates “more localisation of economic activity”.[8]

In broader terms, the circular approach is a framework that takes insights from living systems. It considers that our systems should work like organisms, processing nutrients that can be fed back into the cyclewhether biological or technicalhence the “closed loop” or “regenerative” terms usually associated with it.

The generic Circular Economy label can be applied to, and claimed by, several different schools of thought, that all gravitate around the same basic principles which they have refined in different ways. The idea itself, which is centred on taking insights from living systems, is hardly a new one and hence cannot be traced back to one precise date or author, yet its practical applications to modern economic systems and industrial processes have gained momentum since the late 1970s, giving birth to four prominent movements, detailed below. The idea of circular material flows as a model for the economy was presented in 1966 by Kenneth E. Boulding in his paper, The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth.[9] Promoting a circular economy was identified as national policy in Chinas 11th five-year plan starting in 2006.[10] The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an independent charity established in 2010, has more recently outlined the economic opportunity of a circular economy. As part of its educational mission, the Foundation has worked to bring together complementary schools of thought and create a coherent framework, thus giving the concept a wide exposure and appeal.[11]

Most frequently described as a framework for thinking, its supporters claim it is a coherent model that has value as part of a response to the end of the era of cheap oil and materials and can contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy. In line with this, a circular economy can contribute to meet the COP 21 Paris Agreement. The emissions reduction commitments made by 195 countries at the COP 21 Paris Agreement, are not sufficient to limit global warming to 1.5C. To reach the 1.5C ambition it is estimated that additional emissions reductions of 15 billion tonnes CO2 per year need to be achieved by 2030. Circle Economy and Ecofys estimated that circular economy strategies may deliver emissions reductions that could basically bridge the gap by half.[12]

The circular economy seems intuitively to be more sustainable than the current linear economic system. The reduction of resource inputs into and waste and emission leakage out of the system reduces resource depletion and environmental pollution. However, these simple assumptions are not sufficient to deal with the involved systemic complexity and disregards potential trade-offs. For example, the social dimension of sustainability seems to be only marginally addressed in many publications on the Circular Economy, and there are cases that require different or additional strategies, like purchasing new, more energy efficient equipment. By reviewing the literature, a team of researchers from Cambridge and TU Delft could show that there are at least eight different relationship types between sustainability and the circular economy:[1]

1.Conditional relation

2.Strong conditional relation

3.Necessary but not sufficient conditional relation

4.Beneficial relationship

5.Subset relation (structured and unstructured)

6.Degree relation

7.Cost-benefit/trade-off relation

8.Selective relation

With a surge in popularity, many circular principles are available, varying widely depending on the problems being addressed, the audience, or the lens through which the author views the world. There are at least the following key elements to be identified within a circular economy.

Ensure renewable, reusable, non-toxic resources are utilised as materials and energy in an efficient way. Ultimately the system should aim to run on current sunshine and generate energy through renewable sources. An example of this principle is The Biosphere Rules framework for closed-loop production which identifies Power Autonomy as one of nature’s principles for sustainable manufacturing. It requires that energy efficiency be first maximized so that renewable energy becomes economical. It also requires that materials need to be non-toxic to be able to recirculate without causing harm to the living environment.

The second element aims to utilise waste streams as a source of secondary resources and recover waste for reuse and recycling and is grounded on the idea that waste does not exist. It is necessary here to design out waste, meaning that both the biological and technical components (nutrients) of a product are designed intentionally in such a way that waste streams are minimalized.

Account for the systems perspective during the design process, to use the right materials, to design for appropriate lifetime and to design for extended future use. Meaning that a product is designed to fit within a materials cycle, can easily be dissembled and can easily be used with a different purpose. Hereby one could consider strategies like emotionally durable design. It should be stressed that there is not something like one ideal blueprint for future design. Modularity, versatility and adaptiveness are to be prioritised in an uncertain and fast evolving world, meaning that diverse products, materials, and systems, with many connections and scales are more resilient in the face of external shocks, than monotone systems built simply for efficiency.

While resources are in-use, maintain, repair and upgrade them to maximise their lifetime and give them a second life through take back strategies when applicable. This could mean that a product is accompanied with a pre-thought maintenance programme to maximise its lifetime, including a buyback program and supporting logistics system. Second hand sales or refurbish programs also falls within this element.

Within a circular economy, one should work together throughout the supply chain, internally within organisations and with the public sector to increase transparency and create joint value. For the business sector this calls for collaboration within the supply chain and cross-sectoral, recognising the interdependence between the different market players. Governments can support this by creating the right incentives, for example via common standards within a regulatory framework and provide business support.

Track and optimise resource use and strengthen connections between supply chain actors through digital, online platforms and technologies that provide insights. It also encompasses virtualized value creation and delivering, for example via 3D printers, and communicating with customers virtually.

In a circular economy, prices act as messages, and therefore need to reflect full costs in order to be effective.[13] The full costs of negative externalities are revealed and taken into account, and perverse subsidies are removed. A lack of transparency on externalities acts as a barrier to the transition to a circular economy.

The circular economy is a framework that draws upon and encompasses principles from:[14]

The ability to understand how things influence one another within a whole. Elements are considered as fitting in their infrastructure, environment and social context. Whilst a machine is also a system, systems thinking usually refers to nonlinear systems: systems where through feedback and imprecise starting conditions the outcome is not necessarily proportional to the input and where evolution of the system is possible: the system can display emergent properties. Examples of these systems are all living systems and any open system such as meteorological systems or ocean currents, even the orbits of the planets have nonlinear characteristics.

Understanding a system is crucial when trying to decide and plan (corrections) in a system. Missing or misinterpreting the trends, flows, functions of, and human influences on, our socio-ecological systems can result in disastrous results. In order to prevent errors in planning or design an understanding of the system should be applied to the whole and to the details of the plan or design. The Natural Step created a set of systems conditions (or sustainability principles) that can be applied when designing for (parts of) a circular economy to ensure alignment with functions of the socio-ecological system.

The concept of the circular economy has previously been expressed as the circulation of money versus goods, services, access rights, valuable documents, etc., in macroeconomics. This situation has been illustrated in many diagrams for money and goods circulation associated with social systems. As a system, various agencies or entities are connected by paths through which the various goods etc., pass in exchange for money. However, this situation is different from the circular economy described above, where the flow is unilinear – in only one direction, that is, until the recycled goods again are spread over the world.

Janine Benyus, author of “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature”, defines her approach as “a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example. I think of it as “innovation inspired by nature.[15] Biomimicry relies on three key principles:

Industrial Ecology is the study of material and energy flows through industrial systems. Focusing on connections between operators within the “industrial ecosystem”, this approach aims at creating closed loop processes in which waste is seen as input, thus eliminating the notion of undesirable by-product. Industrial ecology adopts a systemic – or holistic – point of view, designing production processes according to local ecological constraints whilst looking at their global impact from the outset, and attempting to shape them so they perform as close to living systems as possible. This framework is sometimes referred to as the “science of sustainability”, given its interdisciplinary nature, and its principles can also be applied in the services sector. With an emphasis on natural capital restoration, Industrial Ecology also focuses on social wellbeing.[16]

Created by Walter R. Stahel, a Swiss architect, who graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zrich in 1971. He has been influential in developing the field of sustainability, by advocating ‘service-life extension of goods – reuse, repair, remanufacture, upgrade technologically’ philosophies as they apply to industrialised economies. He co-founded the Product Life Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, a consultancy devoted to developing sustainable strategies and policies, after receiving recognition for his prize winning paper ‘The Product Life Factor’ in 1982. His ideas and those of similar theorists led to what is now known as the circular economy in which industry adopts the reuse and service-life extension of goods as a strategy of waste prevention, regional job creation and resource efficiency in order to decouple wealth from resource consumption, that is to dematerialise the industrial economy.

Cooper (2005)[17] proposed a theoretical model to illustrate the significance of product life span in a progress towards sustainable consumption. The longer product life spans could contribute to eco-efficiency and sufficiency, thus, slowing the consumption in order to progress towards sustainable consumption.[17]

Initiated by former Ecover CEO and Belgian entrepreneur Gunter Pauli, derived from the study of natural biological production processes the official manifesto states, “using the resources available…the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow”.[18] Based on 21 founding principles, the Blue Economy insists on solutions being determined by their local environment and physical / ecological characteristics, putting the emphasis on gravity as the primary source of energy – a point that differentiates this school of thought from the others within the Circular Economy.[19] The report – which doubles as the movements manifesto – describes “100 innovations which can create 100 million jobs within the next 10 years”, and provides many example of winning South-South collaborative projects, another original feature of this approach intent on promoting its hands-on focus.

The Biosphere Rules is a framework for implementing closed loop production processes. They derived from nature systems and translated for industrial production systems. The five principles are Materials Parsimony, Value Cycling, Power Autonomy, Sustainable Product Platforms and Function Over Form.

In January 2012, a report was released entitled Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition. The report, commissioned by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and developed by McKinsey & Company, was the first of its kind to consider the economic and business opportunity for the transition to a restorative, circular model. Using product case studies and economy-wide analysis, the report details the potential for significant benefits across the EU. It argues that a subset of the EU manufacturing sector could realise net materials cost savings worth up to $630 billion annually towards 2025stimulating economic activity in the areas of product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment. Towards the Circular Economy also identified the key building blocks in making the transition to a circular economy, namely in skills in circular design and production, new business models, skills in building cascades and reverse cycles, and cross-cycle/cross-sector collaboration.[20]

In January 2015 a Definitive Guide to The Circular Economy[21] was published by Coara with the specific aim to raise awareness amongst the general population of the environmental problems already being caused by our “throwaway culture”. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE,) in particular, is contributing to excessive use of landfill sites across the globe in which society is both discarding valuable metals but also dumping toxic compounds that are polluting the surrounding land and water supplies. Mobile devices and computer hard drives typically contain valuable metals such as silver and copper but also hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Consumers are unaware of the environmental significance of upgrading their mobile phones, for instance, on such a frequent basis but could do much to encourage manufacturers to start to move away from the wasteful, polluting linear economy towards are sustainable circular economy.

On 17 December 2012, the European Commission published a document entitled Manifesto for a Resource Efficient Europe. This manifesto clearly stated that “In a world with growing pressures on resources and the environment, the EU has no choice but to go for the transition to a resource-efficient and ultimately regenerative circular economy.”[22] Furthermore, the document highlighted the importance of “a systemic change in the use and recovery of resources in the economy” in ensuring future jobs and competitiveness, and outlined potential pathways to a circular economy, in innovation and investment, regulation, tackling harmful subsidies, increasing opportunities for new business models, and setting clear targets.

The European environmental research and innovation policy aims at supporting the transition to a circular economy in Europe, defining and driving the implementation of a transformative agenda to green the economy and the society as a whole, to achieve a truly sustainable development. Research and innovation in Europe are financially supported by the programme Horizon 2020, which is also open to participation worldwide.[23]

The European Commission introduced a Circular Economy proposal in 2015. Historically, the policy debate in Brussels mainly focused on waste management which is the second half of the cycle, and very little is said about the first half: eco-design. To draw the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders to this loophole, the Ecothis. An EU campaign was launched raising awareness about the economic and environmental consequences of not including eco-design as part of the circular economy package.[24]

A circular economy calls upon opportunities to create greater value and align incentives through business models that build on the interaction between products and services. Linder and Williander describe a circular business model as a business model in which the conceptual logic for value creation is based on utilizing the economic value retained in products after use in the production of new offerings.[25]

Basically this means that a circular business model is not focused merely on selling a product, but encompasses a shift in thinking about value proposition, bringing forward a whole range of different business models to be used. To mention just a few examples: product-service systems, virtualized services, and collaborative consumption which encompasses the sharing economy. This comprises both the incentives and benefits offered to customers for bringing back used products and a change in revenue streams, comprising payments for a circular product or service, or payments for delivered availability, usage, or performance related to the product-based service offered.

These new ways of doing business require businesses to create an attractive business model for financiers, and financiers to change the way they perceive the risks and opportunities associated with these models. To help businesses position themselves in a circular context and develop future strategies for doing business in a circular economy, the Value Hill has been created. The Value Hill proposes a categorisation based on the lifecycle phases of a product: pre-, in- and post- use. This allows businesses to position themselves on the Value Hill and understand possible circular strategies they can implement as well as identify missing partners in their circular network. The Value Hill provides an overview of the circular partners and collaborations essential to the success of a circular value network.[26]

Mateusz Lewandowski provides a proposition to address this need to design circular business models and presents an extension of the framework from Osterwalder and Pigneur, namely the circular business model canvas (CBMC). The CBMC consists of eleven building blocks, encompassing not only traditional components with minor modifications, but also material loops and adaptation factors. Those building blocks allow the designing of a business model according to the principles of circular economy.[27]

Read the original:

Circular economy – Wikipedia

FG to increase effort in promoting leather technology Minister – P.M. News

Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said in Abuja on Thursday that the Federal Government would take critical steps to advance leather technology in the country.

Onu spoke at the matriculation of trainees and inauguration of Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), North Central Leather cluster extension centre as well as leather training infrastructure.

The minister said such serious steps to promote leather production would quicken Nigerias industrialisation process.

By doing this, we will also strengthen our capacity to convert our rich agricultural products into viable economic goods and services that we need for both domestic consumption as well strengthen export earnings.

This will help in job and wealth creation, help restore national self-reliance and self-confidence, enhance prosperity and boost our economy, he said.

The minister said that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was determined to use Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to lay a solid foundation for Nigerias economic diversification.

According to him, the days event is an affirmation of the resolution.

The minister said the Federal Governments new national development order on STI would help move the country from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based and innovation driven economy.

He said the process of creating additional leather research and development centres in other geo-political zones had reached advance stage.

It is expected that this will help strengthen greater grassroots participation in leather technology, thereby helping to stimulate more indigenous capacity for the ultimate benefit of our people.

Finally, I urge the trainees of this institute to take the vocation seriously.

Nigeria will look up to you on the completion of your training to help in her efforts to use leather technology to create wealth and job, reduce poverty and enhance prosperity for our people.

READ:Customs educates public on damaged vehicles importation

Earlier, NILEST Acting Director-General, Dr Eucharia Oparah, said NILEST was the only tertiary institution in Nigeria engaged in the training of middle-level manpower for the leather technology sub-sector of the economy.

We have been training artisans, technicians and technologists at different levels since the inception of the institute.

Also, we have been collaborating with the tanneries, leather manufacturers, government and private organisations within and outside the country, she said.

According to her leather has become the major earner of foreign exchange after oil.

She added that for a sustainable growth NILEST should be given the needed support to carry out its mandate of training and research in the field of leather and leather products.

She said the institute ought be empowered and converted to a degree awarding institution as the highest qualification currently awarded by the institute was Higher National Diploma.

Read the original post:

FG to increase effort in promoting leather technology Minister – P.M. News

NDP contenders unite around climate – www.kingstonregion.com/


http://www.kingstonregion.com/
NDP contenders unite around climate
http://www.kingstonregion.com/
Prior to the debate, Weir called on candidates to explain how they would help make carbon pricing work for Saskatchewan's resourcebased economy. The next NDP leadership debates is slated for August in Victoria and Montreal as well as in Vancouver in …

See the original post here:

NDP contenders unite around climate – http://www.kingstonregion.com/

NDP Leadership Contenders Square Off On Climate Change – Huffington Post Canada

OTTAWA NDP leadership contenders vying for the same job found some common ground Tuesday night in their vociferous opposition to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister on carbon pricing.

Their fourth leadership debate, held in Saskatoon, marks the beginning of the last half of the race for a party hoping to rebuild and grow following the painful results of the 2015 election including in western Canada.

Candidates Manitoba MP Niki Ashton, Quebec MP Guy Caron, Ontario MP Charlie Angus and Ontario legislator Jagmeet Singh all took aim at Wall for his strident opposition of Ottawa’s plan to put a price on carbon emissions.

The premier has vowed to go to court if the province is forced to adopt it.

Angus said Tuesday the Saskatchewan premier fails to acknowledge the 20th century is over, noting that as NDP leader he would personally favour adopting a legislated carbon budget to reduce emissions.

“The guy, no offence, but he is like the man violently defending the future of the typewriter when everyone else has moved to cell phones,” Angus said, adding he will work with any government on the Prairies willing to diversify its economy.

“We have an enormous renewable potential in Saskatchewan and Alberta.”

For her part, Ashton came out swinging against the conservative in the province next door Pallister.

“Coming from Manitoba, I can say my premier, Brian Pallister, doesn’t speak for me and I’m venturing to guess a lot of people here in this room don’t feel that Brad Wall speaks for them,” she said.

Pricing carbon is necessary to fight climate change but a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work when it comes to implementing a carbon plan, Singh said.

“We need to also know that every province is different so we have to approach that,” he said.

Singh said a proposal outlined in his climate change plan includes working with each province to explore solutions. He has also vowed to reduce carbon emissions to 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2025 five years ahead of the current Liberal target.

“My plan also proposes if we are going to bring in a carbon tax, it has to be twinned with rebates to low and middle income families so they are not disproportionately impacted which we know will happen otherwise,” Singh said.

Pallister and Wall are wrong, Caron added, noting it says something when the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Mining Association of Canada are open to carbon pricing.

“This is the type of thinking that left us behind and lagging behind most of the European countries on this,” Caron said.

Ashton and Caron have both forcefully opposed the Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal to carry oil from Alberta to British Columbia, but have yet to unveil their full climate plans.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s debate the only event of its kind in the Prairies during the course of the race the leadership candidates acknowledged the province is the birthplace of the NDP.

It currently holds three seats in the province including Regina New Democrat MP Erin Weir.

NDP Leadership Race 2017: Candidates

Prior to the debate, Weird called on candidates to explain how they would help make carbon pricing work for Saskatchewan’s resource-based economy.

The next NDP leadership debates is slated for August in Victoria and Montreal as well as in Vancouver in September.

Online voting in the leadership race will begin on Sept. 18, with results to be announced in October after each round of balloting.

Also On HuffPost:

More:

NDP Leadership Contenders Square Off On Climate Change – Huffington Post Canada

Free tour of Netarts Bay salt marshes – Coast Weekend

Photo by Jim Young

NETARTS Walk along the salt marsh of Netarts Bay while learning about how plants survive in a salty world noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 16.

Join Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed, Estuary, Beach, and Sea for a free guided tour along the salt marsh at the southern end of Netarts Bay.

The class size is limited to 10 participants. Registration is required.

The tour includes an easy-to-moderate walk through muddy areas and trails covered by brush. It is best suited for participates 12 and older comfortable with walking in these environments. Participants should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for this adventure, organizers advised.

The event is part of theExplore Natureseries of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures.Explore Nature events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and nonprofit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences that highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the areas natural resources and natural resource-based economy, according to a release.

Though there is no cost to attend the program, tax-exempt donations to Netarts Bay WEBS to enable programs like this are encouraged, organizers said.

A link is available on the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Facebook and Eventbrite pages. Transportation to natural areas is provided by WEBS.

At times, the tour areas will have a moderate number of mosquitos. WEBS requests that participants take appropriate precautions to ensure their comfort.

For questions,email jimyoung4990@gmail.com or call503-842-2153.

Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

Share with Us – We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism.

Be Civil – It’s OK to have a difference in opinion but there’s no need to be a jerk. We reserve the right to delete any comments that we feel are spammy, off-topic, or reckless to the community.

Be proactive – Use the ‘Flag as Inappropriate’ link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

More:

Free tour of Netarts Bay salt marshes – Coast Weekend

Unilever to increase investment portfolio in Nigeria – Vanguard News – Vanguard

By Princewill Ekwujuru

UNILEVER West Africas Vice President, Supply Chain, Siddharth Ramaswamy,said the company has concluded plans to increase its investment portfolio in the country, thereby enhancing local manufacturing. This reiterates the companys commitment to contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Ramaswamysaid this during the courtesy visit and factory tour by the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, to the manufacturing firm.

According to him, the company which has been operating in Nigeria for almost 100 years, would continue to invest in the country, despite the prevailing economic challenges. Nigeria is strategic to our business operations. This is why we remain committed to the countrys socio-economic development. We currently operate two manufacturing hubs in Nigeria, and we are already taking actions to increase our local manufacturing capacity.

There are ongoing investments which will not only provide additional employment opportunities for Nigerians, but will deliver further economic value through the development of a sustainable supply chain structure consisting of local manufacturers, he said.

Responding, the minister commended Unilever for its long serving history in Nigeria, and re-affirmed the governments commitment to support Unilever in its operation.

According to him, the government is working hard to move the nations economy from a resource based to a knowledge based economy and the government is looking up to partner with organisations such as Unilever to achieve this, through synergy with several research institutions under the Ministry of Science and Technology.He said visits such as this, is to create an avenue to see how the government can assist organizations such as Unilever to overcome challenges by providing enabling environment to grow its business either through incentives or enabling legal framework.

We want companies to use more of local raw materials in production processes. Because when this happens, new jobs will be created, and our Gross Domestic product, GDP, will grow- thereby, reducing poverty. This can only happen if we work with you and other responsible companies, he said.

Onu urged Unilever to show more interest in local research in order to improve its production process. He charged Unilever to work more closely with FIIRO and other research center sunder the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Read the original:

Unilever to increase investment portfolio in Nigeria – Vanguard News – Vanguard

Resisting The Deregulation Of Environmental Protection – HuffPost

When the fundamental structure of American environmental law was put into place in the 1970s and 1980s, protecting the environment was a consensus, a nonpartisan goal supported by over two-thirds of the American public. Support was so widespread that the 1972 Clean Water Act was enacted over then President Richard Nixons veto. There was a real debate about how to best protect the environment, and Congress knew how to compromise. The deal that led to the Superfund toxic waste clean-up bill in 1980 was a compromise between conservative Senator Jesse Helms and liberal then-Representative (later New Jersey Governor) Jim Florio. The political attack on environmental regulation from the right began with Ronald Reagan as an attack on big government regulation, not on the goal of protecting the environment. Since that time, the environment has become a more partisan issue. Huge majorities of Democrats and Independents support environmental regulation, and while Republican support often exceeds 50 percent, it is lukewarm at best. The problem remains, how do you keep the environment from being polluted without laws making pollution illegal?

The answer is you cant prevent pollution without rules, and because all air pollution crosses state boundaries and many water pollution problems also cross state borders, some of the rules must be set by the federal government. In the case of climate change, greenhouse gas pollution crosses both state and national boundaries. Still, many environmental issues are local and state specific. In these cases, state and local rules can be very effective in maintaining environmental quality. Additionally, over the past several decades, a central strategy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been to delegate federal regulatory authority to the states. EPA did this, in part, due to federal resource constraints, and in part due to a belief that environmental rules needed to be adjusted to the specific needs of Americas diverse local conditions. Each community has its own economic, social, political, cultural and ecological environment and what works in Portland, Oregon, might not work in Portland, Maine.

Today we have an EPA Administrator who is willfully and aggressively deregulating elements of environmental protection. He is not trying to repeal environmental laws, since he knows he will lose those battles. Instead he is focusing his attention on regulations, starting with rolling back rules issued under the Obama Administration. He is revising rules without the advice of long-time EPA professionals and instead consulting with outside think tanks, industry representatives, and conservative advocates to redraft rules. While this means that many Obama-era rules will not be implemented, it does not mean that the new weaker rules will automatically be put into effect. Courts will be reviewing these changes, and some will be rejected due to an inadequate process of public participation prior to revision, while others will be rejected because they do not fulfill the intended mandates of the law. Regardless of federal action, states may well continue their own more stringent rules. We are in uncharted territory with a determined, anti-environmental EPA Administrator. The only point that is certain is that environmental lawyers will be fully employed during Scott Pruitts shameful term as EPA Administrator.

One of the key arguments for national environmental standards nearly half a century ago was the fear that states and localities would use lower environmental standards to compete for industry. However, in the last several decades the connection between pollution and health became widely understood, and the desire to protect housing values and a communitys way of life led to the development of NIMBY the not in my backyard syndrome. Local opposition to new factories, waste treatment facilities, power plants, and, in some cases, any construction at all has resulted in local anti-development politics that can be quite powerful. When development is permitted it is often only allowed once developers commit to specific measures designed to limit pollution, traffic, and other factors that impact local quality of life. This local and state level political force was not widespread when EPA was established in 1970. It is not universal since there are communities that will accept any kind of development they can get, but NIMBY is a major political force in a majority of American communities.

Another change since 1970 has been the growth of environmental liability law and the development of internal practices of sustainability management in many large corporations. Companies are more careful about their environmental impacts because they fear being sued by those who suffer damages due to those impacts. They are also more careful about their use of energy, water and other materials due to the rising costs of those resources.

I mention these factors not to argue that EPA is unimportant, because the agency is very important, but because EPA is not the only institution available to protect the environment. Its no longer the 1970s or 80s. Environmental protection is hardwired into Americas governmental, nonprofit and private institutions. It can be weakened, and unscrupulous businesses may take advantage of Trumps approach and could start drilling soon on public lands and in fragile ocean environments. But when the first leak, spill or environmental disaster takes place, these folks will come to learn that Americans do not want to see their beaches or national parks damaged or destroyed. Most people really like to breathe and they expect government to ensure that their air, water and land is free of poisons.

The starting point for opposing environmental deregulation is the recognition that the U.S. federal government is not all powerful. The founders designed a political structure of checks and balances and shared sovereignty. States, cities, corporations and large nonprofits have enormous power and resources. While it would be helpful for the federal government to do its fair share of the heavy lifting in protecting the environment, it is not essential. Federal deregulation should and will be fought in the courts. States will be suing, as will environmental interest groups. The environmental groups will need private money to battle the federal government. But in addition to fighting weakened rules, we should focus our attention and creativity on state, local and private institutions. Lets not be defined by opposition. Lets not be overly engaged with stopping foolish federal policies and instead look to develop more creative and positive approaches that ignore and bypass the federal government.

Weve been used to a dysfunctional and deadlocked federal government for decades. What weve not seen since the days of Anne Gorsuch in the early Reagan years is an effort to attack and dismantle fundamental environmental rules. As in those years, it is not clear how successful Pruitt will be in modifying his corner of the administrative state. After two years of noise, President Reagans political advisors convinced him to cut loose his Interior Secretary and EPA Administrator, after which Reagan brought back the first EPA Administrator, William Ruckelshaus, a serious and creative environmentalist. It is far from clear that anything like that could ever happen under Trumps very strange decision-making process.

But just as Trump and his attention-getting antics are a distraction from the difficult work of governance, Pruitts moves at deregulation must be countered, but not obsessed over. The long and difficult transition from a finite resource to a renewable resource based economy was never going to originate in Washington anyway. The main engine of change will be communities, businesses, nonprofits and cities. So, while we resist federal cutbacks in environmental protection policies and programs, we need to continue to keep our eye on the daily, operational tasks of creating sustainable homes, businesses, cities and communities. We need to build the public-private partnerships that will transform the way we live. We need to counter the effort of state-level electric utilities that want to destroy the household solar industry. And we should remember to offer Scott Pruitt a discount when he stops by in a few years, finally in the market for a used Tesla.

The Morning Email

Wake up to the day’s most important news.

Read more:

Resisting The Deregulation Of Environmental Protection – HuffPost

Will a Resource Based Economy Work?

There has been a longer discussion recently in this article whether a resource based economy will work or not. And the opposers argument was largely centered around a notion that in RBE there will be no contracts, that people can just walk away from their job, and that this will lead to a lack of mining ore. That we wont find people to work in the mines to dig up minerals needed for our social production as he calls it, to produce our cell phones and laptops, etc.

Of course, he does have a point. But not only in regards to mining ore, but in regards to the operation of the whole planet. I understand his concern as I have it myself. The complexity of the world we have today is extremely vast when it comes to the production of goods and services. Of course, mining of ore to extract minerals, is one of the aspects of this complexity. We have a huge production of different products that need everything from aluminum to plastics to glass to silicon to mention but a tiny percentage of the whole. And all of these minerals and raw materials are processed in a lot of different places and manufactured into a huge amount of different products. And this goes on on thousands of locations all over the planet.

All of the alternative solutions to the problems we have in the world today deal with solutionswithin the monetary system. We have recycling, carbon shares, cradle to cradle, environmental protection, and so forth. All of these deals with the industry and the monetary system staying as it is. Recycling means that we have to recycle the minerals and raw materials used in many of our products. Carbon shares is a monetary way for the society to be able to continue to pollute the environment, but it will cost a bit more for the polluter. Cradle to cradle means that industries produce everything with the termination and recycling of the product in mind, not using any harmful agents in the product. Environmental protection is the total of allmeasures taken in regards to protect the environment, but still within the monetary system.

All of these measures assumethat the monetary system, the industry, the free market and so forth stay largely as it is. With recycling, cradle to cradle and carbon shares thinking, we still think in terms ofcontinuousconsumption and unlimited economic growth.

It is understandable that the majority of people can not think in terms of changing the whole system, from the root and up, because it is very difficult to think that far out of the box.

We have all become used to our way of life, with tonnes and tonnes of different products inthousandsof different categories. And we all think that this has to go on. We all think that we need hundreds of different producers of cell phones, lap tops, cars, mattresses, guitars, etc. etc.

Yes, we, humans are an industrious race. We have ideas, we produce, we manufacture, we consume, and we do it all over again. This is who we are. Isnt it? Humans have proven to be full of ideas and ingenious solutions to many of the problems of being human. We are also very good at creating problems for ourselves, so that we can have yet more to solve. We constantly do this, and it seems to be human nature. And we all want to be free. Free to do what we want, travel where we want, think and say what we want, work with what we want and live wherever we want. Of course, this kind of freedom is limited to only a few in our world today.

My point and question is; How can/will a resource based economy work on a global scale, without it becoming a totalitarian system? For sure, none of us wants any global machinegovernment, even though that is what Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project proposes. We all wants to be able to make our owndecisions. So, how can it work, then? We are all so indoctrinated into thinking that if theres no penalty in terms of job loss, money loss, property loss and so forth, we cant get people to do what is needed in society.

We think that if everyone will be able to do whatever they want to do, then we will lack a whole lot of people to dig ore as our commenter puts it. No one will take on a dangerous job like going into the mines and dig out the urgently needed minerals to produce our cell phones, because when he/she gets everything he/she needs, he/she could simply walk away whenever he/she wants. Since there wouldnt be any binding contract (in terms of money/property/job loss) in a resource based economy, the whole of society would simply collaps.

Trust me, I truly, really and utterly understand this concern and this disbelief in a resource based economy.

The first time I heard about RBE, Iimmediatelygot a feeling that this is good, but at the same time, I couldnt get it to work in my intellectual analyzing mind. And thats why I started this blog. I felt strongly that RBE is possible, and not only possible, but the best alternative humanity has ever been able to choose. But I couldnt prove it. Because I too was totally indoctrinated in my mind in regards to thinking about money and property as givens. As something thats always been there, like air. It has taken me a couple of years to dedoctrinate myself into seeing how RBE can be possible.

So, back to our question. If we have no money or need for money, and everything is provided for everyone, what will make people work in the mines and do all the dirty work needed in our society? It is a very good question, and I am not sure that I can give a 100% answer to that. Because I dont know. I can only speculate and imagine, which I have done for a couple of years. And my answer goes like this:

Firstly, we have to think of RBE as a totally and utterly different society. We can not think of an RBE society with our monetary goggles. We have to take them off. We have to be able to imagine that the individuals on this planet can actually shift their way of thinking from a penalty based society to a freedom of contribution society where we do what we do because we want to contribute to society in meaningful ways. Many people think this way already and refuse to take jobs just to earn money but do what they do because of theirconviction in a different society. They have an inherent need to do something meaningful that truly contributes to this world.Thinking that there has to be a monetary penalty lurking in the background to get people to do what is really needed in society is seeing this with the old monetary goggles.

The truth is that the monetary reward is over rated in terms of production efficiency. There have numerous studies that support this. Take a look atDan PinksTED Talk about this phenomena and the animation made from it. What is shows is that higher incentives leads to worse performance. It sounds like a self contradictory statement, but when you think about it and see the background, it is not. And these results have been replicated over and over again bypsychiatrists, sociologists and economists. For simple, straight forward tasks, if you do this, then you get that, monetary incentives are great. But when a task gets more complicated, when it requires some more conceptual thinking, the monetary incentives dont work.

What the research continues to show is that money is a motivator only when it gets people to take on a job. After getting the job, there are other factors that leads to betterperformanceand personal satisfaction, and they are; Autonomy, mastery and purpose. Money only plays a part if the job doesnt pay good enough for people to make a living. As soon as people are paid enough, then these other factors are the important ones.

What this shows is that the true values within humans are not penalty centered, but rather centered around our previous notion of freedom of contribution. Autonomy is a vital value. People wants to feel that they have a freedom to choose what they do and how they do it. Mastery is an equally important value. To have enough education and experience to really feel that one masters and succeeds in resolving the tasks at hand. And last, but not least:purpose. We all have to feel a sense of purpose in what we do. It has to be meaningful. In other words, money, and the threat of a monetary penalty is not the reasons why people do stuff.

This shows to prove that people actually might be digging ore if there is a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose in the job.

Then we come to the point where we have to take off the monetary goggles and put on the RBE goggles instead. When we have this totally brand new world and way of thinking, there would be so many things that would be different. Since people doesnt have to take a job because of money anymore, what would people do? Why would they do anything? Well, the formersection should give the answer. People would seek meaningful and purposeful tasks. We would seek tasks where we feel a sense of autonomy and mastery. I think we also can add several reasons why people would do stuff that the mentioned research doesnt show. Likeexcitement, interest and fulfillment.

So, meaning, purpose, mastery, autonomy, excitement, interest and fulfillment are what really drives people, and what will drive people in a resource based economy.

Now, back to digging ore. If this activity brings any of the above mentioned elements, people will do it. But, when we have a resource based economy, where most people have waken up from the continuous consumption cycle and where most people wants to contribute to the betterment of society, things like digging ore will not be as needed as before. Why? Because of several things. With the new mindset of humanity, consumption will go drastically down. Not so much new minerals and raw materials has to be dug up. Production will go down too, as products will be made to last and instead of postponing the release of new technology to maximize profit, the newest technology can be released right away, thus saving millions of tonnes of raw material that other wise would have been used in the never ending new products. And lastly, technology that digs ore will be developed, minimizing the need for human personell way down in the mines.

To see how a resource based economy can work, we can divide it into 4 categories:

1. The human values has changed, or rather, has become acknowledged.

2. Technology has become more and more developed, removing the need for humans doing dangerous andrepetitivetasks.

3. As a result of RBE, society as a whole has changed drastically.

4. The notion of property and ownership has changed.

The most important first step for RBE to work is the human values. As we see, people are intrinsically motivated by other things than money, like a sense of purpose and meaning. It is only todays need for money that locks people into a mind prison thinking that money is what motivates them, when it really is not.

So this is about education and awakening. For RBE not to be a totalitarian, global, machine based government, which non of us want, people have to wake up one by one into the truth of their own motivation. We, as individuals have to train ourselves and each other into thinking of why we are here and what we really want to do, not in terms of money, but in terms of what we feel as our true purpose here on the planet.

I am training myself everyday to think this way. And the way I do it is to tell my self that every thing I do, I do of service to the planet and humanity, service to others, and service to my self. Service to my self in terms of what I want to do here on earth. And, I have already had theepiphanythat being of service to others can be extremely fulfilling for my self. Thus, doing what I do the very best way I can do it, is a fulfilling thing. And this has nothing to do with money. What is funny, though, is that since I started thinking like this, I have had more to do in my business than ever before, which of course brings in much more money than ever before as well.

Of course, we can say that money is a means of gratitude, a flow of appreciation, going from one person to another. I am not opposed to that way of thinking. Far from it. It is just that money and property and the whole management of the whole planet has been so thoroughly fucked up by the money logic, that trying to think of a world totally without money and property would do us all very good. It certainly does me good. And I realize that as soon as I start to think in terms of money, Iimmediatelyget that old stressful feeling again. It is me not thinking about money but at my purpose of being of service that brings the money in! Because when I think that I dont need money, I become relaxed, and the law of attraction works in my favor.

And then, my friends, what would be the logicalconsequenceof this? Well, if all of us started thinking of our purpose, rather than money, and doing things out of purpose rather than money.we wouldnt need any money! When our purpose is to be of service, to give and share, then everyone will always have enough of everything ever needed.And low and behold, we would actually live purpose- and meaningful lives. Every one of us. No need to stress for more money, paying bills, pay taxes, take up loans, do accounting, pay insurance, and what have you.

For a resource based economy to work, more and more people on the planet have to wake up to this reality. It is a human choice that we have to do as individuals. There are already a whole lot of volunteers around the world working for non-profit volunteer organizations. So the notion is not new. The question is whether it will spread to the rest of society as well. But that a whole world could work for free for each other should be totally possible. At least when enough (critical mass) people realize the benefits of doing this, rather than toiling with money and all that it entails.

When the new value system is in place, when enough people realize the above mentioned, both people who now are in normal jobs, but also those who are in politics and those who run large corporations, the abandonment of money will be a reality. Then, with the profit motive gone, technology can be developed without the hindrances that patents and greed used to be for unlimited development.

When we can concentrate on developing the best technology for everyone in every circumstance, and we can truly let technology replace 99% of todays jobs. Jobs that now are kept open, since replacing them with technology would bedevastatingfor the economy. Today, millions of people still work in factories doning work that easily could have been replaced by machines, robots and technology. There are already a whole lot of machines and technology in place, but again and again, I see people closing the lid on cardboard boxes and other meaninglessrepetitivetasks easily replaceable by technology.

And back to the ore digging metaphor. I am pretty sure that this field is also one where technology and machines could do much more work then it does today, replacing the need for human personell in mines. Besides, when we truly make products to last, and human values have changed, we wont consume as much, and we will be able to recycle 100% of all waste, maybe extracting enough of what raw materials we need, not needing to dig much more holes in the planet. In other words, technology teamed with the new human values, will make the need for constantly new stuff much much less, and thus the need to constantly dig up new resources.

And to me, being a part of a world where we all try to maximise human and environmental potential and protection, rather than profit, and where we work to develop technology to serve these ends is very interesting and fulfilling.

It would also be a true investment in humanity and the planet. An investment where we strive to take care of the environment,build up the soil, educate all humans and build asustainableworld. A world we all can truly enjoy for the rest of our lives and for all coming generations.

Now, with the human values and the new focus ontechnologyin place, society will change drastically. We all work to fulfill our purpose in life, for our own and others betterment, to master new skills, to share our knowledge and experience and to have exiting and meaningful work. In a society with no money or propertywe can all truly care about each other with no secret agenda.

All humans will be educated to serve other humans and the planet itself. The population will automaticallystabilize when everyone understands that every person can not have more then one child in his/her lifetime, meaning maximum twochildren per family. When this is followed we will have a one birth per one death, securing a stable population on the planet. And this is made by individual choice, not by force. By choice, because people now are educated to see the whole picture, and their own place in it.

What used to be companies and corporations will transform to be hubs of knowledge within their respective fields. There can still be employees, but they wont be there because they need to collect a pay check. They will be there because it is their field of interest and ofexpertise, because they want to be there. To participate and collaborate. People can still start businesses, but not for monetary gain, but to work together on new solutions to old or new problems, to create works of art, to draw new buildings, develop new transportation or new types of energy, new medicines or what have you.It will be a purpose driven world, rather than a profit driven one. It will be a world where human potential is maximized in all aspects.

So then, what would the ore miners do? Maybe some of them have been working in the mine for years and years and know nothing else. Maybe these would want to continue doing what they do, but maybe a little less. Maybe take a long vacation, or only work a couple of days a week. Maybe this leads to adeficiencyofColtan for a while, but so what? So what if we dont get the new iPhone 5 this fall. So what if we dont get the newest flat screen 52 inches LED powered Full HD TV this christmas. So what!?

The only thing in this world that needs this is the never satisfied, always craving, always consuming, never stopping Monetary System that needs cyclical consumption, planned obsolescence and endless waste to exist. But WE dont need that. We are not consumers, it is this system that has made people this way. It is this system that needs us to constantly consume and crave more and more and more, and no wonder, cause if we dont, the whole system will collaps. Just like that. If we stop buying our cell phones, our cars, our flat screens, our new jeans, ourjewelry, our what have you, there will be no more monetary system. So, thats why we need an alternative ASAP. And here we are, discussing RBE.

Back to the ore miners. Some other of the ore miners might have thought of smarter ways to do things, might have ideas to ease the process of getting up that ore. But, he cant tell anyone about it, because if he does, he might loose his job. Because his idea is for a machine that can DO his job. But now, in the new resource based economy, that is exactly what he can do. Of course, the mining company doesnt need to earn money any more either, so they might also relax a bit, digging that ore.

They have now become a part of a globalcooperationof former mining companies, working together in coordinating what is really needed of mined minerals in the world. And the former ore miner workers idea to a new machine that can replace the humans needed down in the mine is welcomed with open arms. He becomes a part of the new global mining cooperation, working together with researchers, scientists andenvironmentalistson how to provide what is now needed of new minerals in a most planet friendly way.

Some of the other miners also wants to be a part of this and becomes a part of the global team. Then again, other miners might grab the opportunity to do something completely different. One of them had always had an interest for sociology, but never go to study it. He goes of to university. The university that is now open for everyone. And the learning is now strongly aided by new technology, facilitating the possibility for many more people to learn than ever before. Another one had wanted to travel the world. Off she goes, being able to go anywhere she wants for as long as she wants. She learns a lot on her trip, and wants to study anthropology to understandindigenouspeople better, and how they can contribute to the world. A third one had several inventive ideas for improving and cleaning contaminated water. He quickly finds other people within these fields where his ideas becomes picked up, improved, tested and used in the real world, improving water everywhere it is needed.

All former patents are now made public, for everyone to study and contribute to. All secrets ever held by governments are let out in the open. All borders are opened and totally free travel by every one made possible. New efficient, environmentally friendly, energy independent and healthy transportation, housing and cities are built all over the planet. And everyone can live anywhere they want, according to their own interest and need. Everyone can contribute in the fields that interest them the most. Everyone can educate themselves in new fields at any time. The world has become 100% efficient in terms of human satisfaction and development. The question is, what do you want to do?. Not in terms of money, but in terms of what is needed on the planet at any time and what theindividualfeel is fulfilling to spend his or her days on.

There is a natural coordination in this. When a beach is full, one goes somewhere else. When a field is full, when an area is full, when there is no need, one finds something else to do, elsewhere. And there will always be needs that needs to be met. And we meet them in our full ability. If it is too much, we say so and get more help. We all collaborate in this world.

Humanity has discovered its true purpose here on earth. It turned out that it is not to compete for imaginary money and to hoard property, but to build a better world together, so that everyone can participate in true challenges and feel true and lasting joy.

Property and ownership have, as money, been around for thousands of years, and has been the key building blocks in the development of the capitalist socio-economic system. So, what about property and ownership in RBE? I feel the thoughts float towards communism and other not-so-nice isms here. Shall we have no ownership and own no property in RBE?

I will make a distinction here between personal property and public property.Personal property is your movable items that you own, also called movable property. Public property is what today is dedicated to the use of the public, owned collectively by the population or the state.Today, one person can own vast amounts of land and other property as their private property. More and more state property is now also becoming privately owned. This has been the constant struggle between the capitalists and the state for millennia. The state and the public wants to have property available for itscitizens, while the capitalists wants to secure as much property for themselves.

In RBE, some different models can be discussed. Obviously, no one person can own huge amount of land, like there is today. Still, if a family or a person wants and needs some land to have a family domain to live on and to grow their own food on, this could beaccommodated. Then who would accomodate this, one might ask. In Jacque Frescos RBE, there wouldnt be any state. Instead, there would be computerizeddecisionmaking, determining the fate of humanity. I can not see this working on a large, global scale. For sure, computers can, and does, make a lot of day to day decisions. And for sure, they can and willdefinitelybe extended to make more societal decisions than they do today. But, many decisions will still have to be up to us, the humans. And not to forget, WE are the ones who will be programming the computers, based on what we want out of them.

I foresee some kind of coordination, where coordinators and informators are assigned to different areas on the planet. The persons will not have any deciding power, but will coordinate and inform, together with data technology, what is decided on a particular place. They will be coordinating and informing the community, so to speak. But the community will have constant voting power in all relevant areas. Not like today, where someone are elected, and you have to stick with that person for the remainder of the period. I say relevant areas, because some things can not be voted upon, like the best angle for the pillar under the bridge that is to be built. These types of decisions are up to the specialized personell.

Computers and coordination aside, back to the land. The Venus Project proposes to build completely new cities that would be 100% self sufficient in terms of energy and food production, and very efficient in terms of transportation, energy use and waste management. This is something that would be a naturalextensionof RBE, when the majority of humans starts to think not in terms of money, but in terms of the betterment of people and the planet. So, new and more efficient cities is a natural way to use the land. At the same time, existing cities will be optimized as much as possible in terms of energy use, transportation and waste management. Buildings and parts of cities that are too difficult to optimize, will be recycled into new uses.

Today we have a lot of farming on the planet. Outside our existing cities there are hectare upon hectare of fields of all sorts, producing everything from maize to potatoes and rice to grapes. Today, all of the production of food is dependent on oil, both for transportation, but also for fertilizers and pesticides. An lot of todays food production is simply thrown away to uphold the food prizes on the global marked. Too much bananas? Then we throw some mega tonnes away, so that the rest can be sold for a good prize. Today, millions of tonnes of food is thrown away every day, because unsold food rot away in supermarkets waste containers. At the same time our earth and soil and water gets contaminated with all the artificial fertilizers andpesticidesused to grow the food.

I RBE, the new cities will be 100% self sufficient in terms of food production, utilizing both hydroponics, aquaponics and permaculture principles, providing clean, safe, nutritious and locally produced food all year round with absolutely no use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Very little food will go to waste in RBE, and we will thus need to produce much less of it, than today. So, some land around the cities will be used for food production for that respective city. And since there is no competition between food producers, the food production can be optimized to the true need of the population, minimizing wasteful production and transportation.

Of course, there will be a lot of room for individual choice in RBE, much more than today, where individual choice is determined by ones money amount. If one wants to live on an old type farm, on the country side, one can do this. This is not problem. There is still plenty of land on the planet, and people who wants to live in wooden old houses, redecorate themselves and grow their own food, can do that. If they wants to combine and use the latest technology on their land, they can do that too.

Just as today, we will in RBE have three major categories of land:

1. Cities

2. Country side

3. Wilderness

In difference from today, we will all have access to all of it. Of course, if someone is using it already, and that use is needed, then that part of the land is taken. Just like when you come to a beach, you dont put your towel on top on someone elses. No you put your towel somewhere else on the beach. And if the beach is full, you go somewhere else, or come back another day. And property will be used purposefully. If there is a factor there, producing clothing or something else, then that property is used for that, just like today, except that no one own the factory, but all of us. Someone has responsibility over it, but no one owns it.

In todays world, we see that in many cases, things work better if they are privately owned and sold to the public. At the same time, privately owned corporations can be responsible for a lot of pollution and misbehaving. In other cases, public services work better than private. It seems like it all boils down to the individuals behind it. A corporation can be (quite) environmentally conscious, treat its employers well, and work pretty well for all parties. Still, it is totally binded by the demand of the owners and employees to make profit and go well economically speaking. This, more often than not, ruins the businesses possibility to act in a responsible way when it comes to the environment and to its employees.

Then we come to todays public services. Some work well, some work terrible. At least, there isnt as pronounced profit motive here, as with the privately owned corporations, so more regards can be given to environment and human health. But again, public services are also dependent on money, and thus, are also somewhat a slave to the profit motive.

Privately or publicly owned. What is best? Again, it seems like it boils down to the persons and the intent behind it. It is the individual persons with their stronger or weaker intent that drives the results in this.

Non of us wants a resource based economy to be a new totalitarian dictatorial system. So, back to our first premise, human values and human awakening. It all boils down to this. We, as individuals have to wake up andconsciouslychoose this new direction. We have to consciously choose to share our property and give it up as our own. We have to understand the value in RBE against todays system, and choose based on what works best.

Property is a mindset. As written in another article, we dont really own anything. Ownership is an illusion. We think we own things, we believe we own stuff, but really, we dont. At best, we can say that this is in my possession as long as I need it and use it. This is the only ownership we will ever have overanything. You have a pair of jeans. You might have bought them in a store, you might have gotten them as a gift, or you might have picked them up for free in a used clothes container or sharing market. In any case, you are in possession of them right now. You might lend them to a friend, you might give them away tomorrow, they might be ripped apart by your dog, you might loose them on a trip, or you might throw them away. In any case, when were they yours? Were yours when they were made at the factory? Are they still yours after you have given them away?

No, the notion of ownership and property is only a construction to make the capitalistic society work.Ownership and property has been tools to create the economy and the system we have today, the monetary capitalistic system. There is no real ownership in nature. There is only temporary use and respect for each other. As long as we respect each other, our personal space, then we will have no problems. You can keep a pair of pants for as long as you will, but they are never truly yours. You can walk in the forest, and as you walk on the path, you are using the path, but it is never your property.

So, how will property and ownership work in a resource based economy? It will work like it works in nature. You will own your creations, but not in a way that prevents others to use them and continue to develop them. You will own your pants, but only as long as you need and want them. You will own everything you need as long as you need it.In other words, all land will be public, but you can grow your own vegetables on a plot of land and take care of that as your own as long as you would like that. But you cant claim vast amounts of land as your own if you or your family doesnt need it. You will own your personal property for as long as you want and need it, and the rest will be public property.

In other words, all land will be public, but one can get designated areas to have for instance a family domain or to grow you own vegetables. In general, we will work together to use land and grow food in the most sustainable ways, with or without machinery.

Housing will also be common and open to anyone. Meaning that if you want to live one place for a longer period, you can do that for as long as you want. But if you want to move, you can do that too. And you dont need to bring all the furniture with you, since that will exist on the new place. To travel and visit other countries and cultures will also be much easier in a resource based economy.

In genreal, the distinction is between ownership and accessibility. It should be pretty clear by now, that when no one owns anything, but have access to everything, we all will have much much more access to all the things we today have limited or no access to. At the same time, a lot less would have to be produced of the same things.

Take cars, for instance. Today we have a vast amount of cars on the planet, and more are produced every single day. Still, most of them stands still for 90% of the time, not being in use. So, we have parking lots brim full of unused cars, because we all have to own one. When we instead ownnothing, but have access toeverything, we wouldnt need one tenth of the cars we have today. When we instead share cars, we can all have access to a lot more cars than when we all have to own one car each. We will even have access to cars we never dreamed of driving before.

When we share everyone gets more. Both of land, cars, travel possibilities, boats, clothing, furniture, technology and what have you. Our choices becomes virtuallyunlimitedin RBE vs. in todaysownershipsystem.

For example, Google (one of the new knowledge hubs in RBE) have developed technology for cars so that they can drive themselves (See video here).With this kind of technology, there wouldnt be any problem with sharing cars. One could have a car pool, where one could simply order a car, and the car would show up on your frontporch. You wouldnt even have to drive it if you didnt want to. You could get in, and relax with a good book, check out the scenery, or take a nap, while the car safely drives you to all the way to your destination.

Of course, this is only the beginning. Eventually, cars will also be electric, non-polluting, and maybe even fly!

In summing up, a resource based economy is hard to imagine from our existing mindset and what we are used to. It sounds to good to be possible. But why not? This might be the only solution we have if we want to survive as a species. Maybe we simply have to make it work.

Personally, I think RBE is more than possible. I think it is viable and a real solution for humanity. We are already half way there, with all the voluntarism that exists in the world.

The future is limitless. But only if we let go of the hoarding and self centeredness and look at what isreally possible when we abandon money an focus together on our common future.

Maybe we can look at a resource based economy as the worldtoday, only without money and property, the hopeless financial crisises, wars andbackwardsthinking, but with an emphasis on sharing, experimenting, exploring, collaborating and celebrating.

With a common effort, focussing on values and technology, we can do it. Why not?

Tags: Environment, Ownership, Resource Based Economy, Sustainability

Read more here:

Will a Resource Based Economy Work?

Minister commends Unilever Nigeria’s commitment to growth of national economy – BusinessDay (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

July 9th, 2017 Editor News 0 comments

Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has commended Unilever for its long-standing service and commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy. The minister, who made this commendation during a courtesy visit and factory tour to the manufacturing giant at the weekend, also reaffirmed governments commitment to supporting Unilever in its operation. Welcoming the minister, Siddharth Ramaswamy, Unilever West Africas vice president, Supply Chain, reiterated the companys commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy through plans to increase its investment portfolio in the country and enhance local manufacturing. According to Ramaswamy, the company, which has been operating in Nigeria for almost 100 years, would continue to invest in the country despite the prevailing economic challenges. Nigeria is strategic to our business operations. This is why we remain committed to the countrys socio-economic development. We currently operate two manufacturing hubs in Nigeria, and we are already taking actions to increase our local manufacturing capacity, Ramaswamy said. There are ongoing investments which will not only provide additional employment opportunities for Nigerians, but will deliver further economic value through the development of a sustainable supply chain structure consisting of local manufacturers, he said. In his response, Onu said the government was working hard to move the nations economy from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy and was looking to partner with organisations such as Unilever to achieve this through synergy with several research institutions under the Ministry of Science and Technology. Visits such as this, he said, were to create an avenue to see how the government could assist organisations like Unilever to overcome challenges by providing enabling environment to grow their business either through incentives or enabling legal framework. We want companies to use more of local raw materials in production processes because when this happens, new jobs will be created, and our GDP will grow, thereby reducing poverty. This can only happen if we work with you and other responsible companies, he said. The minister encouraged Unilever to show more interest in local research in order to improve its production process, while also charging the company to work more closely with FIIRO and other research centres under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Follow this link:

Minister commends Unilever Nigeria’s commitment to growth of national economy – BusinessDay (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

California’s far north deplores ‘tyranny’ of the urban majority – The Independent

The deer heads mounted on the walls of Eric Johnsons church office are testament to his passion for hunting, a lifestyle enjoyed by many in the northernmost reaches of California but one thatJohnson says surprises people he meets on his travels around America and abroad.

When people see youre from California, they instantly think of Baywatch,saysJohnson, the associate pastor of Bethel Redding, a megachurch in this small city a three-and-a-half-hour drive north of San Francisco. Its very different here from the rest of California.

Johnson lives in what might be described as Californias Great Red North, a bloc of 13 counties that voted for President Trump in November and that make up more than a fifth of the states land mass but only 3 per cent of its population.

From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, California projects an image as an economically thriving, politically liberal, sun-kissed El Dorado. It is a multiethnic experiment with a rising population, where the proportion of white people has fallen to 38 per cent.

Californias Great Red North is the opposite, a vast, rural, mountainous tract of pine forests with a political ethos that bears more resemblance to Texas than to Los Angeles. Two-thirds of the north is white, the population is shrinking and the region struggles economically, with median household incomes at $45,000, less than half that of San Francisco.

Jim Cook, former supervisor of Siskiyou County, which includes cattle ranches and the majestic slopes of Mount Shasta, calls it the forgotten part of California.

In the same state that is developing self-driving cars, theres the rugged landscape of Trinity County, where a large share of residents heat their homes with wood, plaques commemorate stagecoach routes and the county seat, Weaverville, is an old gold-mining town with a lone blinking stop-and-go traffic light.

The residents of this region argue that their political voice is drowned out in a system that has only one state senator for every million residents.

This sentiment resonates in other traditionally conservative parts of California, including large swaths of the Central Valley, which runs down the state, and it mirrors red and blue tensions felt in areas across the country. But perhaps nowhere else in California is the alienation felt more keenly than in the far north, an arresting panorama of fields filled with wildflowers and depopulated one-street towns that have never recovered from the gold rush.

People up here for a very long time have felt a sense that we dont matter, saysJames Gallagher, a state assemblyman for the Third District, which is a shorter drive from the forests of Mount Hood in Oregon than from the beaches of San Diego. We run this state like its one size fits all. You cant do that.

Many liberals in California describe themselves as the resistance to Trump. Residents of the north say they are the resistance to the resistance, politically invisible to the Democratic Governor and legislature. Californias strict regulations on the environment, gun control and hunting impinge on a rural lifestyle, they say, that urban politicians do not understand.

The states stringent air quality and climate change regulations may be appropriate for technology workers, Gallagher says, but they are onerous for people living in rural areas.

In the rural parts of the state we drive more miles, we drive older cars, our economy is an agriculture- and resource-based economy that relies on tractors and trucks, Gallagher says. You cant move an 80,000-pound load in an electric truck.

Northern California is predominantly white, conservative and rural

A recently passed gas tax, pushed through by the Democratic majority, will disproportionately hurt rural voters, he says.

Taxation and hunting are two issues northerners are quick to seize upon when criticising laws they feel are unfairly imposed by the state. But there are also more fundamental issues related to incomes and job opportunities that split California into a two-speed economy.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, unemployment rates hover around 3 per cent. In the far north, where many timber mills have shut down in recent years, unemployment is as high as 6 per cent in Shasta County and 16.2 per cent in Colusa County.

Despite a go-it-alone ethos, residents of the 13 counties in the northern bloc are much more likely to receive government medical assistance than those in the Bay Area. In the north, 31 per cent take part in Medi-Cal, the California Medicaid program, while the Bay Area rate is 19 per cent, and Californias overall figure 28 per cent.

United States Representative Doug LaMalfa, a Republican representing Northern Californias First District, blames regulations that have shut down industries for the economic disparities.

Theyve devastated ag jobs, timber jobs, mining jobs with their environmental regulations, so, yes, we have a harder time sustaining the economy, and therefore theres more people that are in a poorer situation.

Because incomes are significantly lower than the state average and the region is so thinly populated, tax revenue from the far north is a fraction of what urban areas contribute. In 2014, the 13 northern counties had a combined state income tax assessment of $1bn (776m), compared with $4bn from San Francisco County.

Resentment toward the rest of California has a long history here there have been numerous efforts to split the state since its founding in 1850. After the presidential election, a proposal to secede from the union, driven by liberals and known as Calexit, gained attention.

Residents here have long backed a different proposal for a separate state, one that would be carved out of Northern California and the southern reaches of Oregon. Flags of the so-called State of Jefferson, which was first proposed in the 19th century, fly on farms and ranches around the region.

Jefferson, named after the President who once envisioned establishing an independent nation in the western section of North America, is more a state of mind than a practicable proposal. Many see it as unrealistic for a region that has plenty of water and timber but perhaps not enough wealth to wean itself away from engines of the California economy.

However, two recent initiatives have channelled the deep feeling of underrepresentation.

In May, a loose coalition of northern activists and residents, including an Indian tribe and the small northern city of Fort Jones, joined forces to file a federal lawsuit arguing that Californias legislative system is unconstitutional because the Legislature has not expanded with the population.

The suit, filed against the California secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who oversees election laws in California, calls for an increase in the membership of the bicameral Legislature, which since 1862 has capped the number of lawmakers at 120.

The lawsuit argues that California now has the least representative system of any state in the nation. Each State Assembly member represents nearly 500,000 people and each state senator twice that.

This arbitrary cap has created an oligarchy, the lawsuit says.

By contrast, each member of the New York State Assembly represents on average 130,000 people; in New Hampshire, its 3,330 people for each representative.

Mark Baird, one of the plaintiffs, says residents of Californias far north feel as though they are being governed by an urbanised elite.

I wake up in the morning and think, What is California going to do to me today? says Baird, a former airline pilot who owns a ranch about an hours drive from the Oregon border. In a grass valley framed by low-lying hills, Bairds pastures are filled with his small herd of buffalo and a few pens of horses and donkeys.

Baird complains of restrictions on the types of guns he can own. Its tyranny by the majority, he says. The majority should never be able to deprive the minority of their inalienable rights.

Scott Wiener, a state senator representing San Francisco, says he has sympathy for the concerns of rural voters but rejects the proposal for a larger legislative body.

When you have a state as big and diverse as California, decisions are made that we dont all agree with, he says.

The second initiative is a proposed amendment to Californias Constitution that would change the method for dividing districts of the Legislatures upper house, the Senate. Instead of being based on population as they are now, Senate seats would be tied to regions, giving a larger voice to rural areas in the same way the federal Senate does.

I am asking the people with power to give up some of their power in order to allow all the voices in the state to have a little bit more strength than they do right now, says Gallagher, the assemblyman.

Northern Californians point out that the United States House of Representatives and Senate are based on the compromise between population and geography.

What I cant get over is that a court can rule that its not good for the state but it stands up at the federal level, says LaMalfa, the congressman. We wouldnt have a union if we hadnt come up with that compromise.

LaMalfa, who lives on a farm, says Californias urban denizens think of the rural areas as their park, and deplores what he describes as trophy legislation to protect animal species.

You have idealists from the cities who say, Wouldnt it be great to reintroduce wolves to rural California? LaMalfa says. He has a half-serious counterproposal: Lets introduce some wolves into Golden Gate Park and the Santa Monica Pier.

New York Times

See original here:

California’s far north deplores ‘tyranny’ of the urban majority – The Independent

Free Netarts Bay events set for July | Community … – Tillamook Headlight-Herald

The following is a press release from Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS:

The beautiful Netarts Bay is a unique ecosystem home to great marine life and birds. It also holds countless stories shared through its landscape and waters. Exploration of the area hints at how this bay formed to how it has been used by people throughout time. Discover these stories and more during any of a number of FREE events offered by the Friends of Netarts Bay – Watershed, Estuary, Beach and Sea (WEBS) this month!

A number of these events are also part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Explore Nature events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the areas natural resources and natural resource-based economy. Learn more at http://www.explorenaturetillamookcoast.com./

WEBS is a local non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining the Netarts Bay area through education and stewardship. Learn more at http://www.netartsbaytoday.org.

Hike Netarts July 19

Netarts Bay is housed between two capes, a part of the natural landscape that shapes the area. Join WEBS to explore Cape Meares. Octopus trees, giant Sitka spruce trees, and dramatic ocean views will not disappoint on this easy to moderate hike along the cape.

When: July 19 from 1 4:30 p.m.

Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register online at EventBrite.Com. More information and registration details are also available at http://www.explorenaturetillamookcounty.com.

The Art of Growing Oysters July 22

Do you enjoy Pacific Northwest oysters? Have you ever wondered about where the oysters come from? The oyster industry is an important part of Tillamook County and includes a number of farms, like JAndy Oyster Company and Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery on Netarts Bay. The tour is a rare opportunity to learn about the industry, the state of the art scientific research going on at the hatchery, and the issues faced by the shellfish along the Pacific Northwest.

When: July 22, 10 a.m. 2 p.m.

Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location.

Details: Please be prepared to walk on uneven, wet, and/or muddy surfaces.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register online at EventBrite.Com. More information and registration details are also available on the Friends of Netarts Bay Facebook page.

Geology of Netarts Bay July 23

Join the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS on an amazing and free Geologic tour around Netarts Bay. You will see landslide areas, fossil deposits on Cape Meares, Happy Camp, bay overlooks and tsunami layers from the Big One in 1700. The walk will be led by Tom Horning, a Seaside native, and Registered Geologist. Horning has been a featured speaker at the Listening to the Land series hosted by the North Coast Land Conservancy and a central figure in the new book The Next Tsunami: Living On A Restless Coast by Bonnie Henderson.

When: July 23, 8:30 a.m. noon

Where: Netarts Bay area. Sign up for specific location.

Details: Weather on the Oregon Coast is unpredictable and change quickly. Please dress accordingly. Please be prepared to walk on uneven, wet, and/or muddy surfaces. Transportation around the bay will be provided.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register online at EventBrite.Com. More information and registration details are also available on the Friends of Netarts Bay Facebook page.

Tidepool Discovery Day July 25

What amazing creatures are lurking at the waters edge? Come out to Oceanside and see! Friends of Netarts Bay Watershed Estuary Beach and Sea (WEBS) staff and volunteers will be onsite in the tide pools helping visitors understand what is living along the coastal edge. Learn about anemone clone wars, how a sea star eats, or how hermit crabs steal shell homes from other crabs! From seaweeds to sculpin fish, there is a new world to discover. Come out and enjoy! Look for our WEBS t-shirts and let us guide you through the tide pools.

WEBS is a local non-profit organization working to sustain the Netarts Bay area through education and stewardship. Learn more at http://www.netartsbaytoday.org.

When: July 25, 8:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Where: Oceanside Recreation Area

Details: Where boots or bring a change of shoes. Flip flops are never ideal for exploring tide pools. Be prepared for Oregon coast weather.

Registration: Let us know you are coming by registering! For a link, please visit Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Eventbrite site or Facebook page. We expect people to come and go, we have no limit on size at this time. We will help as many people as possible and lend resources for you to make your own discoveries.

More here:

Free Netarts Bay events set for July | Community … – Tillamook Headlight-Herald

Organic farming best option for rural economies – The Register-Guard

There are a variety of approaches we could take to boost the economy of Oregons rural counties. We can look back, and try to recapture a fragment of Oregons old economy based on resource extraction, or we can look forward to more stable and sustainable opportunities.

Organic agriculture and commerce is one such opportunity; however, the clean air, water, and soil needed for this industry to flourish are threatened by Oregons weakest in the West environmental rules. New research shows why Oregon should embrace organics and ensure that organic farming can be a big part of our states future.

Unfortunately, the rear-view mirror vision often presented by Oregons industry and policy leaders overlooks diverse, vibrant and modern economic drivers, such as organic farming and the organic trade. Instead, the focus is often on a return to industrial forestry and mass clear-cutting practices whose harm outstrips the potential economic benefits.

A recent Environmental Protection Agency report shows that one-half of Oregons 10 biggest polluters are in the wood products industry. According to the director of Oregons Office of Economic Analysis, even if we went back to peak harvest of the 70s, wed only have one-third of the workers in the mill as we did in previous years, due to technology alone.

The organic industry provides a stunning contrast. Nationwide, organic food sales in 2015 jumped by 11 percent to almost $40 billion, far outpacing the 3 percent growth rate for the overall food market. Oregon companies such as Mountain Rose Herbs, Organically Grown Co., and Hummingbird Wholesale are just a few clear examples of how organic businesses can benefit local economies, while supporting high-quality jobs in organic agriculture.

Research published by the Organic Trade Association in May 2016, from Penn State agricultural economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke, shows that supporting the growth of organic businesses can be a major boon to rural economies. Jaenickes research links economic health at the county level to organic agriculture, and shows that organic food and crop production and the business activities accompanying organic agriculture creates real and long-lasting regional economic opportunities.

Most importantly: Counties within organic hot spots have lower poverty rates and higher median annual household incomes. On average, poverty rates drop by 1.3 percentage points and median income rises by more than $2,000 in these counties. The same benefits are not found in general agricultural hot spots.

Clearly, organics can and do benefit Oregons economy, but the organic trade relies on organic agriculture, and organic agriculture depends on clean water and air.

Industrial clear-cutting practices, such as aerial herbicide spraying, threaten both the economic potential of organics and the health of our state. Herbicides that drift onto neighboring properties during routine timberland aerial spraying are a direct threat to small organic farms and businesses.

Many would-be organic farmers simply cannot afford to risk their farm becoming contaminated with Atrazine or Glyphosate by neighboring corporate landowners, which may necessitate the loss of their crop and the associated investments and income.

Protecting the environment has benefits far beyond nurturing a successful organic industry. People want to live, work and grow in places with drinkable water, breathable air and a sustainable future. Lawmakers in Oregon should take meaningful steps to protect people, farms, and drinking water. Gov. Kate Brown deserves recognition for committing to working hard for rural Oregons economies; lets also talk more about empowering communities with innovative organic ideas supported by data and science, in line with modern values.

After all, what could be better for Oregon than growing more good clean food, and protecting clean, pure water for us all?

Stacy Kraker chairs the Oregon Organic Coalition and is director of communications and marketing for Organically Grown Company in Eugene.

More Guest Viewpoint articles

Go here to read the rest:

Organic farming best option for rural economies – The Register-Guard


...89101112...