Saturday, September 28, 2013

Climate CO2 Concentrations-Canadian Climate Freeze

I heard at about the recently released IPCC report 2013.

1) Reading the latest Nat Geo, they mentioned the number of 400 ppm of CO2 concentration.  I thought it was too soon, technically.  Not last winter.  I first found a nice discussion at Lester Brown's Earth-Policy's site, then found my way to the NOAA's site. 

2) This morning (Sat. 9-29) I heard Amy Goodman's broadcast about Greenpeace and Canadian Tar Sands protests in which she mentions Canada's conservative Harper government.  I'd ultra conservative, or even reactionary.  I found a strong piece by the Guardian's Stephen Leahy, below.

3)  Greenpeace video (and collection), this one about oil pollution in Siberia by Gazprom...

Graph on Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuel Burning in Industrial Countries and the Rest of the World 1751-2012
,,,CO2 emissions in developing countries surpassed those from industrial countries in 2005 and have since continued to soar. China’s carbon emissions grew by 44 percent since 2007 to 2.4 billion tons in 2012. Together the United States and China account for more than 40 percent of worldwide emissions. Emissions in India, home to more than a billion people, overtook those in Russia for the first time in 2008. From 2007 to 2012, India’s emissions grew 43 percent to reach 596 million tons of carbon. Carbon emissions in Indonesia, another fast-growing economy, have exploded, growing 52 percent to hit 146 million tons in 2012.
Although emissions from developing countries now dominate, the industrial countries set the world on its global warming path with over a century’s worth of CO2 emissions that have accumulated in the atmosphere. Furthermore, emissions estimates discussed here include only those from fossil fuels burned within a country’s borders, meaning that the tallies do not account for international trade. For example, emissions generated from producing goods in China destined for use in the United States are added to China’s books. When emissions are counted in terms of the final destination of the product, the industrial countries’ carbon bill increases.
On a per person basis, the United States emits 4.4 tons of carbon pollution—twice as much as in China. The highest per capita carbon emissions are in several small oil and gas producing countries. In 2012, Qatar spewed out 11 tons of carbon per person. Trinidad and Tobago is next with 9 tons of carbon per person, and Kuwait follows at 7.5 tons.
Fossil fuels are not the only source of CO2 emissions. Changing the landscape, for example by burning forests, releases roughly 1 billion tons of carbon globally each year. Brazil and Indonesia have high levels of deforestation and are responsible for much of the current carbon emissions from the land.....

2)  Canada has been under its Prime Minister Steven Harper for some years.  He's a conservative who's a lot like George W. Bush.  A UK Guardian article from 2010 cites a report by a coalition of Canadian NGOs that is shocking, but typical.


Canadian government 'hiding truth about climate change', report claims

Canada's climate researchers are being muzzled, their funding slashed, research stations closed, findings ignored and advice on the critical issue of the century unsought by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, according to a 40-page report by a coalition of 60 non-governmental organisations.
"This government says they take climate change seriously but they do nothing and try to hide the truth about climate change," said Graham Saul, representing Climate Action Network Canada (CAN), which produced the report "Troubling Evidence".
"We want Canadians to understand what's going on with this government," Saul told IPS.
Climate change is not an abstract concept. It already results in the deaths of 300,000 people a year, virtually all in the world's poorest countries. Some 325 million people are being seriously affected, with economic losses averaging 125 billion dollars a year, according to "The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis", the first detailed look at climate change and the human impacts.
Released last fall by the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum, the report notes that these deaths and losses are not just from the rise in severe weather events but mainly from the gradual environmental degradation due to climate change.
"People everywhere deserve to have leaders who find the courage to achieve a solution to this crisis," writes Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general and president of the Forum, in the report.
Canadians are unlikely to know any of this.
"Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 percent," says internal government documents obtained by Climate Action Network.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pesticide Bans in El Salvador-Greenpeace-New CO-OPs

I started this morning off (9-26-2013) with a look at Friends of the Earth, then at the Pesticide Action Network in Europe, then Greenpeace action in Europe, and finally at the European Co-op member, CICOPA.  The latter reminded me of their video I found recently on youtube.  It is phenomenal, and reminded me of Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis' The Take about Argentina.  The Mondragon segment is amazing, along with fine new developments in France, Poland, and Italy.  That's my take on it.  You'll find four items below, though I plopped the youtube link here up front as a worthy highlight.
Cheers and onward to sustainability to avert the otherwise inevitable!

1  )

18 de septiembre | Informes especiales | Bosques y biodiversidad | Derechos humanos | SoberanĂ­a Alimentaria

El Salvador: MOVIAC Celebrates Ban on 53 Agrotoxics and Demands Immediate Government Enforcement

Descargar: MP3 (1.6 MB)
The Salvadoran Congress recently passed a ban on the use and commercialization of over 50 active principles of agrotoxics. The Movement of People Affected by Climate Change and Megaprojects (MOVIAC) in El Salvador considered the move a positive contribution to society.
In a press conference held by the organization on Monday 16th, in San Salvador, members of MOVIAC said the agrarian corporations are increasingly pressuring Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes to veto the measure. They demanded the government’s immediate enforcement of the ban.
The advocates of agribusiness claim that without them they would not be able to supply food for the population and plagues and weeds would abound.
MOVIAC representatives feel that banning the use of agrochemicals is a very important step, since it would prevent diseases such as kidney failure and cancer, and it would also prevent environmental pollution, especially the soil and the water streams.
“We would like to acknowledge the Legislative Assembly’s contribution to society. We believe this is a very important reform because it not only prevents future health risks, but it also prevents environmental pollution”, said Jose Acosta representative of VOCES en la Frontera and member of MOVIAC.
14th June 2012

Revolutionary judgment of EU Court grants access to court for NGO's
Today European General Court ruled [1] that European Commission’s practice of denying NGO's access to court and requesting a review is illegal. In contrast to commercially interested parties who get the opportunity from Commission to challenge their decisions, NGO's such as PAN-Europe were never granted the right to defend their interests on European level . The General Court now decided that NGO's have the right to request an internal review for a wide scope of decisions of European authorities. This concerns in fact the majority of the decisions published such as approvals, guidelines, derogations, etc. The Court ruling is based on the Aarhus Treaty on access to justice and on a wrong implementation of the Treaty in the EU. The ruling will have an enormous positive impact on NGO's in defending public interests.


New report shows urgent need to eliminate bee-killer pesticides in Europe

09 April 2013
by greenpeace -- last modified 11 April 2013
Greenpeace has released a comprehensive scientific review of the factors that put pollinators and agriculture in Europe at risk. The study highlights the ecological and economic importance of healthy bee populations and stresses the urgent need for the elimination of bee-harming pesticides from agriculture. Such elimination would be a crucial and effective first step to protect the health of bee populations and to safeguard their pollination value that is vital for the ecosystem and food production in Europe.

4) Japan: 17 new cooperatives created in the disaster-hit areas

          18 September 2013

    It is almost two and a half years, and little is heard about reconstruction work in Tohoku, even in Japan, despite the fact that reconstruction is far from complete. However, 17 new worker cooperatives have been created since the terrible earthquake and tsunami in one of the most affected regions by the earthquake in Japan.

  • 124 cooperatives recently became operative in various sectors in Cuba. 25 of them are active in the sectors of construction, transport and waste collection. Until recently, cooperative enterprises were active only in the field of agriculture in Cuba.



Monday, September 16, 2013

USW and Mondragon Update etc

With the second anniversary of Occupy Wall St. approaching, I was finally able to organize my thoughts and unearth this recent gem.

2) The link further below came to my attention in a search for the situation with the strike in Germany.

3)  A link from the above contained more about the Fast Food strike movement, also below.

The United Steelworkers, Mondragon, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center Announce a New Union Cooperative Model to Reinsert Worker Equity Back into the U.S. Economy

USW: Rob Witherell,
OEOC: Jim Anderson,
Mondragon International USA: Michael Peck,

Pittsburgh (March 26, 2012) – Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), together with representatives from Mondragon International, S.A., the global worker industrial cooperative leader, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC), announced today that a new “union co-op” model template is available for organizations wanting to combine worker equity with a progressive collective bargaining process. This template was created as follow up to the original USW-Mondragon framework agreement launched in October 2009 to collaborate in establishing Mondragon-like industrial manufacturing cooperatives that adopt collective bargaining principles to the Mondragon worker ownership model of “one worker, one vote” within the United States and Canada.
Titled “Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities: The Union Co-op Model”, this new public domain template (available at and offers a road-map primer for competitive and equitable employment creation based on fifty-five years of Mondragon principles put into marketplace practice. Aimed at creating an economy that can work for everyone who works, the union co-op model shows how “doing well by doing good” reflects core American values of self-reliance, community solidarity, and ownership as an ineluctable component of the American dream based on competitive business practices. The underlying union co-op principle is that this model will result in improved, self-reinforcing, virtuous cycle worker and customer satisfaction through higher accountability, productivity, and efficiency because all workers will have
Bill McIntyre - Program Coordinator,
Ohio Employee Ownership Center

an equal equity stake in the company, will share common goals, and adhere to common principles and practices that broaden the definition of value beyond the “bottom line”. Additionally, union co-ops through this model are structured to benefit from lower overhead costs while potentially accessing higher impact union benefit plans, such as healthcare and pensions. Simply put, union co-ops are a better way of doing business.

2) The site below looks really good-

3) and I found this link there-

The fast food strikes which made the news in August...

4)  Walmart's failure in Germany, from a moderate source-    

Walmart in Germany: Cultural Problems

walmart logoThis article on the cross-cultural problems faced by Walmart in Germany is part one of a three part article entitled International Retail and Cross Cultural Issues. If you have come straight to this page please click the link to go to the beginning.

Otherwise, read on....

Walmart move into Germany

In 1997 and 1998 Walmart acquired two companies - Wertkauf and Interspar - in Germany. During its expansion Walmart managed to also successfully enter a number of international markets including Canada, Chili, Brazil, India, and China.

However, during this whole period of expansion Walmart also experienced a number of defeats. Germany was one of them.

Culture factors in play

Analysts still argue about the reasons behind the failure of Walmart in Germany. However, among them are a number of culture-related issues that come up rather often. There were two groups of factors, which contributed to Walmart’s failure in Germany.

The first cluster is related to mismanagement.

Firstly, some of the American employee management practices just didn’t fit in the German context. For example, each employee before the shift had to participate in a morning exercise. In could be seen as harmless, but the best thing about this practice was that they had to do it chanting “WALMART! WALMART! WALMART!” . If in America such practice could be used to boost morale and inspire loyalty, then in Germany it was looked upon with annoyance, to put it mildly.

Secondly, Walmart’s ethical code caused much frustration as well. For example, the practice of actually spying on your co-workers and reporting any misconduct may be acceptable in the U.S. However, in Germany it is not the case. One only has to think back to the 1940s and post-war Germany when citizens were actually doing this on a social level - thus the modern abhorance.