Showing posts from March 8, 2017

Scottish wind farms provide enough power for four million homes – but industry warns of job losses

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[The best government that corporations can buy. The UK Government is refusing to allow wind and solar – the cheapest forms of electricity – to compete with fossil fuels for long-term power contracts. See also: Solar and wind power cheaper than fossil fuels for the first timeWind power overtakes coal in the UK for the first timeRenewables make up nearly 90 per cent of new power capacity in EU. *RON*]
Ian Johnston, The Independent, 7 March 2017

The wind in Scotland was used to generate enough energy to power nearly four million homes in February, according to new figures. There are only about 2.5 million homes in Scotland, so the extra electricity would have been used in other parts of the UK.

The figures were revealed as a survey of Scottish renewable energy companies found the firms expected to shed more than 15 per cent of their current workforce.

Exposure to pollution kills millions of children, WHO reports find

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[Horrifying: Exposure to polluted environments is associated with more than one in four deaths among children younger than 5. *RON*]

Jia Naqvi, Washington Post, 5 March 2017
Exposure to polluted environments is associated with more than one in four deaths among children younger than 5, according to two World Health Organization reports published Monday.

Worldwide, 1.7 million children's deaths are attributable to environmental hazards, such as exposure to contaminated water, indoor and outdoor pollution, and other unsanitary conditions, the reports found.

Weaker immune systems make children's health more vulnerable to harmful effects of polluted environments, the report says.

Canada's Feminist Government Is More Talk Than Action: Report

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[The worst performance is in the area that matters most: jobs and pay equity. *RON*]
Sarah Rieger, Huffington Post, 7 March 2017

Despite having a feminist prime minister at its helm, the federal government has yet to translate its rhetoric into policy when it comes to gender parity, according to a report from Oxfam Canada.

Two days before International Women's Day, Oxfam released a "Feminist Scorecard" to show the actions the Liberal government has taken, and what still needs to be done, when it comes to gender parity. The organization said the scorecard will be the first in an annual series.

"Prime Minister Trudeau sent a powerful signal in 2015 when he appointed the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history and named women to key ministerial portfolios," reads the report.

U.S. starts deploying THAAD system in South Korea after North Korea missile test

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[Meanwhile, China claims it's meant for them. They're probably at least partly right, whatever the US says. *RON*]

James Pearson, Globe and Mail, 6 March 2017
The United States started to deploy the first elements of its advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea following North Korea’s test of four ballistic missiles, U.S. Pacific Command said on Tuesday.
The announcement came as North Korean state media said leader Kim Jong Un had personally supervised Monday’s missile launches, stepping up threats against Washington as U.S. troops conduct joint military exercises with South Korea.

“Continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday’s launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea,” U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris said in the statement.

Brazil’s Leaders Tout Austerity (Just Not for Them)

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[A coup d'état so they could give themselves a juicy raise!? *RON*]

Simon Romero, New York Times, 3 March 2017

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil’s sickly economy is hemorrhaging thousands of jobs a day, states are scrambling to pay police officers and teachers, and money for subsidized meals is in such short supply that one legislator suggested that the poor could “eat every other day.”

Still, not everyone is suffering. Civil servants in the judicial branch are enjoying a 41 percent raise. Legislators here in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, voted to increase their own salaries by more than 26 percent. And Congress, which is preparing to cut pension benefits around the country, is now allowing its members to retire with lifelong pensions after just two years in office.

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump Knows the Feds Are Closing In on Him, Foreign Policy
Knives are out for Reince, Politico
How (Not) to Refute a Lie, Berkman Klein Center Collection
The Dirty Secret Behind the Jeff Sessions Mess, Vanity Fair
Republicans Unveil Their Health Care Plan. It's a Bloodbath. Mother Jones
Team Trump Took Illegal Cash, Watchdogs Say, The Daily Beast