MIWA – buy food, not packaging

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Czech Republic creates sales platform for dry goods that doesn’t involve packaging.

Make Wealth History

Only a tiny fraction of the world’s plastic waste gets recycled into new plastic – just 2%, according to the New Plastics Economy report. The majority of it goes into landfill, some of it is incinerated, and a whole third of it leaks into the natural environment. The biggest culprit is packaging, and there is a huge amount of research going into biodegradeable plastics, edible packaging, and networks for reuse.

Of course, there are other ways to buy food and other goods. Buying food on the street markets in Madagascar doesn’t involve much packaging. Rice, beans, and other dried foods are sold by the kapoka, a tin can that has become a basic unit of measurement. You can bring your own bag, or there’s a basket stall there if you forget. Here’s the snack aisle of a market in Antananarivo, with a variety of home-made crisps and snacks…

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There are two international coalitions fighting against terrorist organisations in Syria and Iraq. One of them consists of Russia, Turkey and Iran, and the other one is made of a variety of actors under the leadership of the United States.

Technically, the two coalitions pursue at least one common goal: the destruction of the Islamic State terrorist organisation (banned in Russia). Like Russia, the USA considers the destruction of the terrorist organisation its first priority goal in Syria and Iraq, and Donald Trump outlined this goal clearly in the very beginning of his presidency.

Prior to Trump’s arrival in the White House, Washington’s position was somewhat different: his predecessor, Barack Obama, insisted on the removal of legitimate Syrian President Bashar Assad, whereas the destruction of the Islamic State was a second priority goal for him.

When Trump announced the change of priorities in Syria, many hoped for a possibility to establish practical cooperation between the Russian Federation and the United States. In reality, it turned out differently.

Washington was extremely reluctant to communicate with the Russian military. Coordination or joint actions were out of the question, but there were no attempts of direct opposition either. The exception was the cruise missile strike on Shayrat, but it was more likely aimed at the Syrian army and Assad. It did not show a significant negative impact on the actions of the Russian military. The consequent warning and the deployment of new air defence systems proved to be enough for the Americans to abandon their ill-considered actions.

Presently, against the backdrop of the apparent success of joint operations conducted by Syrian and Russian forces against terrorists, a question arises again: is the USA going to help or hinder Russia and Syria in the destruction of ISIL?

The question is not idle. It arose first in connection with the death of Russian General Valery Asapov in Syria. The attack was too precise and too timely; the terrorists would not have been able to do it without assistance from the outside. At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Defence drew attention to the suspiciously close and peaceful neighbourhood of US servicemen and terrorists on the Syrian territory.

The Americans declined to comment on the matter, but they launched a thesis about the allegedly unfolding “race” for the right to inflict the last fatal blow on ISIL. The trophy is the right to gain control over the strategically important Syrian-Iraqi border, which is about to fall into the hands of the United States and its clients from the “moderate” Syrian opposition. The Americans claim that Moscow and Damascus make one mistake after another out of indignation, which is obviously nonsense.

As for “mistakes,” a number of questions arises: why do terrorists manage to arrange counterattacks? How do they get together all the necessary forces and means, including weapons and ammunition, transportation, as well as intelligence? Why do these counter-attacks come from the areas of the deployment of American military and pro-American forces?

Without waiting for any clear answers from Washington, the Russian side decided to strike a decisive blow on Jabhat an Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia), which is responsible for the death of General Asapov. At the same time, military operations against terrorists were intensified in the east of Syria. If the Americans want to take Raqqa and announce their triumph for the world – let them come and do it. However, the Americans are not taking any measures. On the contrary, the USA has cut activities of its Air Force in the area.

The Russian Defence Ministry demanded clarifications from the USA to find out America’s real goals in Syria. Is the destruction of ISIL and other terrorist groups still remains priority number one for Washington or does the USA want to stop Assad’s troops from winning the war with Russia’s support? Does the USA support the restoration of Syria’s territorial integrity? Indeed, what is the USA doing in Syria? The question remains.

Featured image is from the author.

Source: Is America Now Fighting on the Side of Terrorists in the Syria?

A Very British Crisis

BBC (2006)

Film Review

In 1956 Britain, France and Israel launched an illegal war of aggression against Egypt after President Gamal Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. As in the more recent US invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, UK Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s real goal was regime change – the removal of Nasser as president. Eden, like Bush and Obama believed the local population would welcome the foreign invasion – that they would use it to rise up and topple their leader.

The humiliation Britain faced over the Suez Crisis would spell the end of their role as the world’s foremost super power.

Part 1 covers Egypt’s war of independence, which began as a mass popular uprising against British military occupation. In 1952, a secret group of Egyptian military officers, led by Nasser, took advantage of the civil unrest to topple King Farouk, establish a revolutionary council and demand the withdrawal of British troops. When Britain and the US tried to isolate Nassar by blocking a World Bank loan for Egypt’s Aswan Dam, Nasser responded by nationalizing the Suez Canal Company (jointly owned by Britain and France). His intention was to use canal profits to pay for the dam.

Part 2 concerns the secret conspiracy hatched by Britain, France and and Israel to invade Egypt, reclaim the Suez Canal and remove Nasser from power.

Part 3 covers the brutal invasion and the armed civilian resistance that fought back against the invaders. It also reveals the humiliating circumstances that forced Britain to withdraw their troops before they ever reached the canal. Because both France and Britain hold vetoes on the UN Security Council, Eisenhower used economic warfare to force Britain to agree to a ceasefire. A coordinated attack on the British pound by Wall Street banks* forced Eden to request Eisenhower’s support for an IMF loan. The latter demanded an immediate ceasefire as a condition of the loan.


*The filmmakers are a bit fuzzy about the coordinated sell-off of the British pound that caused its value to plummet. Based on what Willim Engdahl has written about US economic warfare (see How the US Uses War to Protect the Dollar), I suspect it was instigated by the Economy Warfare division of US Treasury.

Though the leaders of some countries (we won’t name names) feel the Paris accord treats them unfairly, most other world powers are justifiably concerned about rising sea levels, increasingly severe and unpredictable weather patterns, and the chaos that climate change promises to bring. One huge factor is all the polluting, gas-guzzling cars on the roads.…

[list includes China, India, France, UK, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Paris, Madrid, Athens, Oslo, Copenhagen and California]

via The growing list of countries vowing to ban the sale of gas-powered cars — Quartz

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The DIY humanitarian movement.

The LR Zone

Gotta do for self and not wait for help from others….

The list of recent disasters just keeps growing—from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose to this week’s deadly Santa Rosa wildfires—with no respite in sight.

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According to Vancouver’s  straight.com, University of British Columbia researchers have developed a type of earthquake-resistant concrete that enables builders to quake proof really cheaply by sprayed them with a 10 millimeter thick (a little over 1/4 inch) coating of seismic concrete. Preliminary tests reveal that eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC) is strong enough to protect vulnerable buildings against seismic shocks as strong as the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit Tohoku, Japan, in 2011.

EDCC is described as a mixture of “cement with polymer-based fibres, flyash and other industrial additives, making it highly sustainable”.

According to UBC researchers, by replacing nearly 70 per cent of the cement in the concrete, with flyash,* it’s possible to greatly reduce the amount of carbon emissions released. Typically the production of one ton of cement releases almost a ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

This new technology will be a great boon in earthquake prone New Zealand – where many communities are tearing down historic brick and stone buildings because conventional earthquake retrofitting is so expensive.

Read more at  straight.com


*Flyash is a byproduct from burning pulverized coal in electric power generating plant.

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The cruel effect of climate change on US prisoners.

Moorbey'z Blog

What does climate change mean for a country with 2 million prisoners?

In some ways, incarcerated people are on the front lines, exposed to ever-higher temperatures — the heat index has hit 150 degrees in one prison — without air-conditioning in their cells. In Texas, at least 20 prisoners have died from heat stroke, and some of their families are suing the state for failing to protect them. This had been reported widely in local media, but the same issues have been showing up across the country, and we sensed that the American public might want to hear the story, too.

We traveled to Texas with producer Abby Ellis of Divided Films, covering hundreds of miles around the state to film people and places that capture the effects of rising temperatures, the debate over whether to air-condition prisons, and the story of a family for whom it was too late.

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