Oct 072017
 

Startling Facts About Ocean Pollution You Need to Know Right Now

Ocean pollution - North Pacific garbage patch

One of the major environmental issues that we get to hear about today is about ocean pollution, and how it is taking its toll on marine life. This problem is no more a thing of tomorrow. The denial mode might seem comforting, but the fact is, we are already at the receiving end.

According to the data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), approximately 1.4 billion lbs of trash is dumped in the oceans every year.

On an average, 8 million items of marine litter are disposed in oceans every single year; approximately 5 million of which are either thrown off board or lost during a storm.

It is estimated that 70 percent of the total marine litter is deposited at the seabed; the remaining 30 percent either keeps floating in the ocean or is washed ashore (beach trash).

Interestingly, pollution caused by marine transportation only accounts for 10 percent of the total ocean pollution; even that is down from 12 percent in 1990.

As a part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup campaign, 598,000 volunteers collected over 9 million lbs of trash from various sites across the world in 2011.

In oceanography, 'ocean pollution' is described as pollution of ocean water due to accidental, or deliberate dumping of harmful materials, such as crude oil, ore, or toxic materials, in it.

Around 2 million plastic bottles are used in the United States every 5 minutes.

Marine debris include a wide range of items – right from cigarette butts and plastic bottles to abandoned fishing nets and oil spilled by vessels plying in these oceans. Marine animals either ingest these debris by mistake or get entangled in them, and end up dying in most of the cases.

Shorebirds and other terrestrial species are directly or indirectly dependent on the marine biome, and therefore, are vulnerable to ocean pollution.

In their annual Beach Sweep report, the 'Clean Ocean Action' comes up with a list of unusual items found in beach trash — which they call the Roster of Ridiculous. In 2011, this list had some really unusual things, including car bumpers, hair curlers, wax teeth, fire extinguisher, and even a water cooler.

Approximately 80 percent of the total ocean pollution is attributed to land-based activities, i.e., non-point sources, like untreated sewage, industrial waste, agricultural runoff, surface runoff, etc. Actual ocean-based activities, on the other hand, only account for about 20 percent of the same. We have literally reduced our oceans to dumping grounds, in which we dump everything that we don't need – either intentionally, or unknowingly.

12 billion gallons of wastewater is emptied into seas

Of the 32 billion gallons of municipal wastewater produced, 12 billion gallons is reported to be discharged into the seas.

The list of marine pollutants is quite lengthy, and includes sewage, debris, oil (liquid petroleum hydrocarbon, to be precise), toxic chemicals, and so on. Developing nations, in particular, are notorious for dumping sewage and industrial waste directly into the sea.

Urban sewerage and industrial waste discharging pipelines add volumes of toxic chemicals to seawater. Other than household and agricultural waste, even the oil used in vehicles makes it to the oceans either as a result of surface runoff or through other sources of water.

Large vessels carrying crude oil are highly responsible for marine pollution. Incidents of oil spills triggered by accidents often make it to the headlines, but processes, like loading/unloading, discharging, ballasting, tank cleaning, etc., which are also known to contribute to this disaster, usually go unnoticed. Other than ships and oil tankers, oil slicks also occur at offshore platforms, drilling rigs, etc.

The number of large oil spills has come down from 3.4 per year between 2001-2009 to 2.5 spills per year in 2010-11. Nevertheless, our woes are far from over because even a single oil spill can adversely affect the ecology of the region.

Oil spills are categorized into major spills (over 700 tons), medium-sized spills (7-700 tons), and small spills (less than 7 tons). In 2011, 1 major and 4 medium-sized oils spills were recorded from different parts of the world.

Deepwater horizon spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 is also called the 'BP oil disaster'. It was the largest offshore oil spill in the history.

Garbage patches are areas with unusually high concentration of marine debris, microplastics in particular, which form a thin layer over the surface of the ocean. The use of the term 'garbage patch' can be misleading, as it makes one picture a huge island of garbage (made of plastic trash, floating wreckages, and other marine debris) floating in the middle of the ocean. In contrast, these formations are made up of debris, which are too small to be seen by the naked eye.

Garbage patches are found in various parts of the world; the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is one of the most prominent examples of the same.

There is a lot of confusion about the size of garbage patches; some sources say that they are as big as Texas and some even go to the extent of saying that they are the size of Greenland. Similarly, you are bound to come across several sources, which say that these garbage patches can be seen in satellite, or aerial photographs.

Most claims about garbage patches are mere myths; these debris are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Leave alone being seen in satellite photos, these garbage patches are not photogenic at all.

According to the Cruise Report Card prepared for the Friends of the Earth in 2009, Ross A. Klein estimates that a moderate-sized cruise ship on a week-long voyage with 2,200 passengers and 800 crew members aboard generates 210,000 gallons of human sewage.

In the United States, the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships prohibits the ships from dumping any kind of waste within a distance of 3 nautical miles from the coast. For certain types of waste, the distance is 12 nautical miles from the coast.

The instances of oil spills are less compared to that of garbage dumping by cruise liners, and hence these cruise liners are considered the most polluting of the lot. However, one needs to understand that a single major oil spill can lead to tons of oil being dumped in the water causing a lot more pollution than what a single cruise ship does.

Ocean-based activities account for 20 percent of the overall pollution

The waste generated on cruise ships is categorized into greywater (i.e., the wastewater from sinks, showers, laundry, etc.) and blackwater (i.e., the wastewater from medical facilities aboard, toilets, etc.)

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The Effects of Ocean Pollution on Various Life Forms

Marine species, i.e., the plants, coral reefs, fish, sea turtles, etc., are the ones, who are directly affected by ocean pollution. Seabirds, marine mammals and other terrestrial animals (like the polar bears), which depend on oceans for food, are the ones, who are indirectly affected by it.

Introducing toxic chemicals in the ocean is as good as introducing them in the food chain; once introduced, these chemicals will eventually make their way to the top of the food chain, and even the apex predators won't be spared.

Of the rescued guillemots, around 70 percent died within a span of 2 weeks

The study of global trends of seabirds and animals depending on fish for food shows that there is a drastic decline in their numbers. While overfishing is no doubt a major culprit, ocean water pollution and resultant problems, like habitat loss also have a crucial role to play in the same.

If the fish in oceans are affected, subsequently all the other members of the food chain will also be affected. Chemicals dumped in oceans in the tropics are transported to the polar areas by ocean currents, and invariably the polar species also become vulnerable to these chemicals.

Sea turtles have to surface at regular intervals to breathe. When they get entangled in ghost nets they fail to make it to the surface and eventually die by drowning.

A range of ocean pollutants beside toxic chemicals also threaten marine animals. Leatherback sea turtles, for instance, end up ingesting plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish and eventually die due to intestinal blockage. Similarly, excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in ocean water results in Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs,) which lead to the formation of dead zones in the ocean and affect the marine organisms.

Effects on Humans

Depletion of marine resources is bound to result in shortage of food for humans, but the effects of ocean pollution are not restricted to food shortage alone. Incidentally, we also happen to be a part of the food chain, and it won't be long before the chemicals introduced in this food chain make it to our dining table.

The adverse effects of eating "toxic seafood" may range from food poisoning to something as serious as birth defects. Seafood is an important constituent of diet for people in coastal areas, and that invariably means almost half of the world's population will be vulnerable to ocean pollution indirectly.

A relatively new threat for marine species comes in the form of noise pollution in the deep sea. As opposed to light waves, which can only penetrate to a few meters in ocean water, sound waves travel for hundreds of miles. In deep sea, noise pollution is mainly attributed to large vessels (commercial shipping) and air guns used in oil exploration. Of late, military exercises have also come under the scanner for this nuisance; the sonar blasts in particular.

A subway train produces a noise of 95 decibels, sustained exposure to which can eventually result in hearing loss in humans. At 125 decibels, we experience ear pain, and at 140 decibels, even short-term exposure can lead to hearing loss. An oil tanker plying in these oceans tends to produce a noise of 200 decibels. Imagine the amount of distress it must be causing to marine organisms.

The effects of ocean pollution that we get to see today are just the tip of the iceberg, and many more ill effects of the same are bound to surface with time. To satiate our craving of development, we have failed to take a note of all the damage that we have been causing to the nature. That isn't quite surprising, as it is basic human nature – we don't realize the seriousness of the issue until and unless it knocks down our own door.

It's high time we "dump" the traditional approach of dumping waste in the oceans. Let's accept the fact that this approach is based on the principle, 'solution to pollution is dilution', which in itself is faulty, and come up with some stringent measures to tackle this environmental issue.

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Sep 132017
 

Plastic Ain’t so Fantastic

It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. (1)

Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

This translates to about a million bags every minute across the globe, or 150 bags a year for every person on earth.  And the number is rising.

  • If you joined them end on end they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.
  • 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found.
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic.
  • A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate. An animal that dies from the bag will decompose and the bag will be released, another animal could harmlessly fall victim and once again eat the same bag.
  • The floods in Bangladesh in 1988 & 1998 were made more severe because plastic bags clogged drains. The government has now banned plastic bags.
  • In Ireland they introduced a 15c plastic bag tax and reduced their usage by 90% in one year. It is now 22 cents.
  • The #1 man made thing that sailors see in our ocean are plastic bags.
  • There are believed to be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.
  • There are 5 ocean gyres in the world where plastic gathers due to current circulation. These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic and our wildlife feed in these grounds.
  • It can take anything between 20-1000 years for a plastic bag to break up. I mean break up as they break up into smaller pieces. They don’t break down and those that do, break down into polymers and toxic chemicals.
  • It costs US$4,000 to recycle 1 tonne of plastic bags and you get a product that can be sold on the commodities market for US$32. We must stop them because recycling is not viable.
  • It takes just 4 family shopping trips to accumulate 60 shopping bags.
  • World wide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day.
  • Every year, 6.4 million tonnes are dumped into the ocean. This is the same as 3,200 kilometres of trucks each loaded with garbage.
  • At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion.
  • Ocean acidification is a growing problem
  • Scientists have identified 200 areas declared as ‘dead zones’ where no life organisms can now grow.

In Australia

  • Australia alone uses 6.9 billion plastic bags a year of which 3.6 billion are plastic shopping bags.
  • If you tied 6.9 billion plastic bags together end on end they would travel around the world 42.5 times.
  • Australians dump 36,700 tonnes of plastic bags into our landfill every year. That equates to 4,000 bags a minute or 230,000 per hour
  • Only 10% of Australians take their plastic bags for recycling
  • It costs the Australian government in excess of $4 million to clean up plastic bag litter each year.
  • If each Australian family used 1 less plastic bag each week that would be 253 million bags less a year.
  • Less than 1% of plastic bags in Australia are reused.
  • If you imagine a piece of plastic 1m wide. As a conservative guestimate, a length of this plastic 40km long is produced each day and this is for one brand of toilet paper packaging. For bread you can triple the length (120km long)

Bottled Water Story

More than a billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Most countries that buy bottled water have the luxury of quality tap water, yet despite this:

  • Australians spend more than half a billion dollars a year on bottled water. Australia produced 582.9 million litres of bottled water in 2009-10
  • Producing and delivering a litre of bottled water can emit hundreds of times more greenhouse gases than a litre of tap water.
  • In many cases, a litre of bottled water is more expensive than a litre of petrol.
  • Australia recycles only 36% of PET plastic drink bottles. Assuming the 582.9 million litres of bottled water produced in 2009-10 is in litre bottles, according to these figures, 373 million of those bottles will end up as waste.
  • In South Australia , which has Container Deposit Legislation, the plastic bottle recycling rate is 74%. A 2007 national Newspoll commissioned by Clean Up Australia found that of those polled, 82% support a CDL scheme of 10c on bottles.
  • Australia ’s annual use of bottled water generates more than 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the same amount that 13,000 cars generate over the course of a year.
  • Approximately 15,253.79 tonnes of PET was used in the packaging of bottled water in 2009-10.
  • The manufacture of every tonne of PET produces around 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). In Australia , bottling water has thus created more than 45.7 thousand tonnes of CO2 in 2009-10, excluding the significant amounts of CO2 produced in the transportation and refrigeration of bottled water.
  • Approximately 52.5 million litres of oil was used in 2009-10 to produce the PET used to package bottled water in Australia , excluding the energy used in transportation and refrigeration.
  • More energy is used to fill the bottles, move them by truck, train, ship, or air, refrigerate them and recover, recycle or discard the empty bottles. The Pacific Institute estimates that the total amount of energy embedded in the use of bottled water can be as high as the equivalent of filling a plastic bottle one quarter full with oil. Therefore, more than 145.7 million litres of oil was used in the production, transportation, refrigeration and recycling/disposing of bottled water in Australia in 2009-10.

Prevention is better than a cure.

 
Sources
(1) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150109-oceans-plastic-sea-trash-science-marine-debris
(2) Clean Up Australia provided most of Australian Statistics.
(3) Plastic Pollution Coalition Website and articles provided a lot of the rest.

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Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Sep 102017
 

Dear President Trump: America is in for a Rude Awakening in January

James Rickards

BY 
POSTED 
SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

Dear President Trump: America is in for a Rude Awakening in January

Dear President Trump,

Over the last couple of years I’ve been all over TV… from Fox News to CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg. I’ve been telling our fellow Americans that the financial global elite was planning to issue their own globalist currency called special drawing rights, or SDRs.

And that those elites would use this new currency to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

I’ve even written about this extensively in my best-selling booksThe Road to Ruin and The New Case for Gold.

I’m sure some people in the mainstream media thought I was out of line — but the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both confirmed this plan to replace the U.S. dollar is real. I’ve made this warning many times, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears. That’s why I’m writing directly to you.

Here’s the proof that the U.S. dollar is under attack, right in front of our eyes:

The UN said we need “a new global reserve system… that no longer relies on the United States dollar as the single major reserve currency.”

And the IMF admitted they want to make “the special drawing right (SDR) the principal reserve asset in the [International Monetary System].”

More recently, the IMF advanced their plan by helping private institutions, such as the UK’s Standard Chartered Bank, issue bonds in SDRs.

Although our mainstream media ignored this major event, the UK media reported:

SDR Special Drawing Rights

This is all happening. And on January 1st, 2018, this trend to replace the U.S. dollar will accelerate. That’s when the global elite will implement a major change to the plumbing of our financial system.

It’s a brand-new worldwide banking system called Distributed Ledger Technology. And it will have a huge impact on seniors who are now preparing for retirement.

When this system goes live, many nations will be able to dump the U.S. dollar for SDRs.

For now, the U.S. dollar is still the world’s reserve currency. Other nations have to hold and use the U.S. dollar for international trade, instead of their own currencies.

This creates a virtually unlimited demand for U.S. dollars, which allows us to print trillions of dollars each year to pay for wars, debt and anything we want. It keeps our country operating.

Now, we can see that the global elites are working to unseat the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

Here are the three key pieces of information that prove this will happen.

Fact #1 — The IMF issues a globalist currency called special drawing rights, or SDRs.

Fact #2 — The IMF has confirmed they want to replace the U.S. dollar with SDRs.

Fact #3 — The IMF has confirmed Distributed Ledgers can be used for “currency substitution”… and they’ve even set up a special task force to speed up implementation.

The IMF is using this technology to create an SDR payment system, because that’s the currency they issue.

IMF Lagarde Special Drawing Rights

As you know, Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, is the woman in the middle.

When asked about the task force, she said:

“As I see it, all this amounts to a brave new world for the financial sector.”

Yes, a brave new world where the dollar is no longer the world reserve currency.

Barbara C. Matthews, a former US Treasury Department attaché to the European Union, has reached the same conclusion.

She said the link between the globalists’ currency and Distributed Ledgers “is impossible to avoid.”

And that “the IMF seems to be exploring the possibility of permitting a broader use of [their globalist currency] beyond internal transactions among member central banks.”

Make no mistake, if the IMF is planning to use Distributed Ledgers to replace the U.S. dollar with SDRs. And just to be clear, when SDRs take over, the American people will be left with devalued dollars.

Once other nations start accumulating the globalist currency through Distributed Ledgers, they will no longer need to hold dollars. Once Distributed Ledgers go live, other nations will no longer need to buy Treasury bonds.

And that means our government — your government — will no longer be able to finance its normal operations, including welfare programs like Social Security. For those who have their retirement account parked in stocks, they could watch it evaporate in a matter of days. The weakest companies in the stock market could collapse once this plan goes live.

Just look what happened the last time we had a big change in our global financial system. In 1971, Nixon announced the U.S. would no longer officially trade dollars for gold. That created a lot of uncertainties, turning that decade into a nightmare for stock investors.

Take a look… the Dow Jones, an index of “stable” blue chip stocks (the kind most retirees like to hold), was cut in half. Stock investors bailed out of the market and, for the most part, didn’t come back for a decade.

Dow Jones Historical Chart

I expect something similar once Distributed Ledgers go live.

The transition from a U.S. dollar system to a new system dominated by SDRs will be messy. Stocks will collapse… and will stay down. There will be no recovery this time, because the U.S. government won’t be able to come to the rescue like they did in 2008.

You won’t even have funding for normal operations, let alone enough funds to save stock investors.

I know that governments have been patiently watching Distributed Ledger (often referred to as blockchain) technology develop and grow outside their control for the past eight years. Libertarian supporters of Distributed Ledgers celebrate this lack of government control.

Yet, their celebration is premature, and their belief in the sustainability of powerful systems outside government control is naïve. Governments don’t like competition especially when it comes to money.

You probably know that you, or any government, cannot stop Distributed Ledger technology — in fact you probably don’t want to. Governments and monetary elites want to control it using powers of regulation, taxation, and investigation.

An elite U.S. legal institution called the Uniform Law Commission, which proposes model laws intended for adoption in all fifty states, has released its latest proposal called the “Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act.”

This new law will not only provide a regulatory scheme for state regulators, but will also be a platform for litigation by private plaintiffs and class action lawyers seeking recourse against real or imagined abuses by digital coin exchanges and facilities.

We know the U.S. government will want to use this technology for its benefit. One step toward government control just occurred a few weeks ago.

On August 1, 2017, the SEC announced “Guidance on Regulation of Initial Coin Offerings,” the first step toward requiring fundraising through Distributed Ledger, or blockchain-based tokens to register with the government.

But consider the following additional developments:

  • On August 1, 2017, the World Economic Forum, host body to the Davos conference of global super-elites, published a paper entitled “Four reasons to question the hype around blockchain.”
  • On August 7, 2017, China announced they will begin using Distributed Ledger technology to collect taxes and issue “electronic invoices” to citizens there.

Perhaps most portentously, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has weighed in.

In a special report dated June 2017, the IMF had this to say about Distributed Ledgers: The IMF favors control by a “pre-selected group of participants” or “one organization,” rather than allowing “anyone” to participate.

This paper should be viewed as the first step in the IMF’s plan to migrate its existing form of world money, the SDR, onto a DLT platform controlled by the IMF.

They’re telling you exactly what their plan is. It would be foolish to ignore them, or assume the U.S. dollar will remain the global reserve currency much longer once this plan is implemented, as early as January 1, 2018.

You know the global elites’ aren’t your biggest fan. You know the U.S. dollar has been under attack.

This is the global financial elites’ plan to remove the U.S. dollar from its position of power and to attack your administration all at once.

Who do you think American’s will blame when the stock market crashes, or Social Security runs out? We can hear the talking heads already.

Best,

Rickards Signature

 

 

 

 

Jim Rickards
for The Daily Reckoning

Ed Note: Economist and currency expert Jim Rickards has assembled a Dollar Collapse Preparation plan. Looking to history, the facts show that the global monetary system has collapsed on three different occasions over the past 100 years. Our economist believe that the next collapse is immanent. With this Preparation Plan you can learn how to shield your money and your family from financial devastation. Get the full report for FREE here..

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Sep 102017
 

Please allow me to remind you … (self.Bitcoin)

submitted 10 hours ago by brahim789

Guys, please allow to me remind you that any innovative idea is almost always welcomed with skepticism/hostility by those who have much to lose from its success.

Take the example of cars. In the past, when the first cars were created, the railway and stagecoach industry used all their weight to put pressure on the authorities to prohibit them. You know, using the same well-known sneaky technique of the capitalist: the manipulation of opinion. They tried to convince people that the car was too dangerous for people and frightened the horses. They managed to pass a law in 1865 in England that restricted their use only to a crew composed of : a driver, an engineer and a human horn (a man with a flag that warns people of the arrival of the car .. knowing that the car was limited to a speed of 4 miles per hour.)

And there are many other examples you probably know. So we should be glad to see the authorities try to slow down the bitcoin because this shows that this technology is following the same pattern as all the innovative technologies that improve the daily lives of peoples and here to stay for a long time. So, i want to say thank you to China. Please go further in your bitcoin prohibition.

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Sep 062017
 

By  on September 6, 2017

China Begins Resetting The World's Reserve Currency System

China Begins Resetting The World’s Reserve Currency System

$GLD, $OIL, $CNY

It is a strategic move swapping Crude Oil for Gold, rather than for US Treasuries, which can be printed at will.

A report released by the Nikkei Asian Review indicates that China is prepared to release a RMB Yuan denominated Crude Oil futures contract that is convertible, aka backed by physical Gold.

The contract will enable China’s largest Crude Oil suppliers to settle Crude Oil sales in RMB Yuan, rather than in USDs, and then convert the RMB Yuan into Gold on exchanges in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

This is a significant step in removing the global reserve currency status of USD, and resetting the global economic and geopolitical “landscape.”

Over the past several years, China has quietly established RMB Yuan-based currency exchange facilities, which has set up the ability to implement this new non-USD trade settlement financial instrument.

According to the Brookings Institute, 34 Central Banks around the world have signed bi-lateral local currency swap agreements with the PBOC (Peoples Bank of China) as of the end of September 2016, including the major Crude Oil-producing countries.

With this new contract, China’s largest Crude Oil suppliers will now be able to transact directly with China, and other Crude Oil importing countries, using RMB Yuan which are directly convertible into Gold to settle the trade.

This is a mechanism which is likely to appeal to Crude Oil producers that prefer to avoid using USDs, and are not ready to accept that being paid in RMB Yuan for Crude Oil sales to China is a good idea yet.

Since Y 1973, OPEC Crude Oil has been quoted and traded using USDs, otherwise known as “Petrodollars.”

The “recycling” of petrodollars into US Treasuries has been the life-blood of the US economic and political system. In addition to reducing a major source of funding for the US Government’s enormous deficit spending, the introduction of a Gold-backed RMB Yuan Crude Oil futures contract is an important step toward removing the USD as the world’s reserve currency.

More significantly it re-introduces Gold into the global monetary system.

As the new Gold-backed “Petroyuan” will allow Crude Oil producers to sell Crude Oil for Gold rather than US Treasuries.

Furthermore, it reduces the ability of the US Government to impose its will on the rest of the world. And is a strategic step toward not only ridding the world of its dependence on USDs.

And it also reduced the ability of the US to exert global economic and financially tyranny.

I would also argue that it is 1 of the primary reasons behind the inability of the Western Central Banks to drive the price of Gold lower recently. And they have tried, and tried, and tried.

By Dave Kranzler

 

By Paul Ebeling

 

 

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Aug 292017
 

CULTUREASIAN FILM

Film lays bare ‘toxic’ impact of our dependence on tech gadgets

Undercover footage of factory workers in China from the film Death by Design. Photo: Ambrica Productions

A new documentary from American filmmaker Sue Williams, Death by Design, holds up a mirror to modern consumers, exposing the environmental and health costs of our reliance on devices that have depressingly short lifespans

“I could have made it (the film) about plastic bottles or blue jeans, but I wanted to take something that everybody feels really attached to.” Williams tells Asia Times. “I think it’s a powerful way to make people think about how they consume.”

death by design homepage

A screenshot of the Death by Design website homepage. Photo: Ambrica Productions

Documentaries about the environment and technology are not new. But Williams’ 73-minute production takes things up a notch, tying up multi-faceted concerns with its focus on indispensable gadgets in our modern lives such as smartphones and computers.

The project started off as a profile of Ma Jun, a Chinese environmentalist and one of the main characters in the film. He has done groundbreaking work on electronics companies’ environmental violations in China.

“I actually never even thought about [electronics being unclean],” says Williams, who after some research and trips to Silicon Valley and China realized the subject lent itself to much more than a story about one person or community. “It became very clear that as I learnt more about it that [Ma] is one valuable part of a very big global problem.”

Referring to the industrial transfer from the US to China that began in the late 1970s and 80s, William says: “It’s very important to know what the industry knew before they went to China.”

The film first takes us inside US factories back in the 1980s. A former IBM employee who worked on a US semiconductor production line at the time, while pregnant, later gave birth to a brain-damaged son. She had not been informed about the toxicity of the materials with which she worked every day.

Inside IBM death by design

IBM workers in purportedly ‘protective’ clothing. Photo: Ambrica Productions

Workers were provided with protective clothing, but “that was to protect the products, not the people”, says the woman in the film.

The film uncovers an internal IBM database that shows extremely high incidence of cancer among retirees.

From there, Williams’ lens shifts to the Taiwanese manufacturer, and Apple’s biggest supplier, Foxconn, whose workers have also suffered health problems.

death by design foxcon

Low-paid Chinese workers on a production line. Photo: Ambrica Productions/ Death by Design’s Facebook page

In 2010, more than a dozen Foxconn workers, mostly in their early 20s or younger, chose to end their own lives in desperation. Hundreds of thousands of its workers still work more than 80 hours a week, enduring enormous strain and boredom, and astonishingly low pay.

Best known for her proclaimed trilogy about China for PBS, Williams started Ambrica Productions in 1986, with an objective of looking at issues “with an international scope and interest.” Such a focus, along with her knowledge of both Chinese and American history, is fundamental to this film, as she traces how the industry evolved and traveled across borders.

The tech industry also brought to China, and other developing countries, the problem of electronic waste pollution. The film reveals that when tech companies found out that chemical waste from their products had started contaminating the soil and water around Silicon Valley, they began to look for new dumping grounds to get around their legal and environmental obligations.

“The industry was clear about what they were doing when they moved to China,” says Williams. “I was struck by the fact that the industry really took off after moving to China.”

death by design guizhou e waste site

An electronic-waste site in Guizhou, China. Photo: Ambrica Productions / Death by Design

The film suggests, however, that this “exporting” of the problem is an illusion at the end of the day. In an experiment where a team of University of California, San Diego researchers flew over the US to measure and trace chemicals in the clouds, they claimed to find solid evidence that “exported” toxic pollution eventually finds its way around the globe.

The point Williams forcefully makes is that environmental problems tend to come full circle.

Polluted water death by design

Ma Jun’s Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs discovered severe water pollution caused by electronic companies’ violations. Photo: Ambrica Productions / Death by Design

The film had its international debut at last year’s Seattle International Film Festival, a cinematic jubilee right at the heart of the city that is home to Microsoft, Amazon and countless other tech giants and start-ups. The director felt herself “at the belly of the bees” and worried about how the film would be received.

“We did a Q&A, and asked how many people worked in the electronics industry. Two-thirds of the audience put their hands up but they all responded like people did at other screenings – ‘What can we do?’ ‘We had no idea.’ ‘How can we do better?’ ”

Williams takes a short pause, her eyes widening. “[They were] asking me what to do.”

She says: “They haven’t seen this, haven’t been to Foxconn to see these factories,” said Williams. “They sit in their desks in Seattle with lattes and micro breweries and food delivery services and they just see the good that the tech industry has brought them.”

So, what can one do? Williams offers some ideas in the film.

One of these comes from the story of an Irish startup, IFixit, which sells repair parts and provides online repair guides. Founded by two young creative engineers, the company challenges excessive consumption by helping people to adopt the habit of fixing things as a way to regain autonomy over their products.

iFixit death by design

Kyle Wiens shows how tech companies make today’s devices harder to repair. Photo: Ambrica Productions / Death by Design

“They (the tech companies) give you this (a device) and say don’t worry about it if you break it, get a new one,” says Kyle Wiens, co-founder of IFixit, in the film. “You don’t really own it, in a way.”

“It’s quite a sobering film, not easy to watch for some people. So I tried to be solution-oriented,” says Williams. “We will have to find other ways to make things and we have to do a better job. That’s why I made the film.”

death by design homepage

I invite you all to watch this doicumentary at: http://deathbydesignfilm.com/

At a screening in Hong Kong, one businesswoman in the audience expressed her desire to take the film to mainland to initiate discussions with local governments about the issues raised.

“I so hope that happens,” says Williams. “I hope it goes viral in china. Because we really need to think about the ways we consume.”

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Aug 282017
 

Role of landfill pollution in global warming matrix

August 28, 2017 

When issues of pollution are discussed, reported and presented, it’s normally the discourse of air pollution that supersedes that of landfills. Without undermining the role of air pollution in the global warming matrix, I’m convinced that landfills are equally demonic in nature, scope and content. So many people are engaged in pollution activities, consciously and unconsciously. Issues of pollution are experienced, day in and day out. Why nations tend to give prominence to air pollution without taking into account land pollution is still a mystery.

guest column: Peter Makwanya

Both air and land pollution are strange bad fellows and agents of destruction of high proportions. Landfills are sites designated for dumping rubbish, garbage and other sources of solid waste, while air pollution is a result of burning fossil fuels, bushes and garbage. Normally, when many people don’t see any smoke, to them there is no pollution. They need to see chunks of grey matter caressing the skies for them to actually ascertain the presence of pollution without taking into account activities of landfills comprising solid and liquid waste, garbage, market waste, obsolete electronic products and mine dust.

For quite some time, landfills were the most common means of disposing solid waste, especially in urban areas but currently, due to overpopulation of urban centres and the broken down of service delivery systems and poor governance by municipalities, mainly in the developing countries, landfills have become more of a sore-sight. When one looks at the large amounts of garbage and industrial waste (solid and liquid), deposited into human lifelines and sources of livelihoods like streams, rivers, dams and lakes, one would usually pose a question on whether the municipal correspondences or reporters are still available in developing countries.

Of course, one cannot deny the fact there is accelerating air-pollution as a result of burning bushes, like what is currently obtaining during this time of the year, complemented by fossil fuel mining, thermal power production and burning garbage. But the activities that take place on and under the ground due chemicals and industrial waste as well as decomposition of materials that release toxins, land pollution should not be ignored as well.

As many local authorities struggle with issues of bad governance, increased urbanisation, population growth, urban wetland farming and poor service deliveries, waste disposal systems are poorly managed, leading into the damage of the land, the environment and underground ecosystems balance. According to prevailing research, landfills emit about more than 10 toxic gases which include the dangerous methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes significantly to global warming. Also due to truancy and insolence in the mining industry, where gold-panners and other small-scale miners have been christened as artisanal miners in Zimbabwe, land degradation and dust pollution goes on unabated, especially in the advent of week arresting powers and environmental policies.

From the local perspective, before people can be articulate and be knowledgeable about climate change issues, it is significant that they become proficient on issues of pollution first. It is not helpful to bombard the local people and harass them with confusing climate change vocabulary before they cannot identify even the basic forms of pollution, whether land or air. The environment is the people’s immediate reality hence they need to know how best to manage basic issues of pollution within and around their contexts of situations. Also being conscious about the quality of water they drink and the cleanliness of the air they breathe are other critical considerations to take into account.

It is the environment which is with the confinements of the grassroots, as such, there are issues that they can easily identify with and relate so as to make sense of their worldviews. But the locals, who are indeed the custodians of the environment, are not given a chance to manoeuvre as they are always at the mercy scientific experts as omniscient narrators and politicians as architects of graft and confusion. When the locals see politicians hogging the limelight through grandstanding, they will simply withdraw into the background and as a result they will end up thinking that issues of managing and understanding pollution are not for them, as the common souls but for the elite.

Furthermore, the locals have been managing their environment, ever since, through appropriate implementation of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) without having to worry much about issues of atmospheric physics and GIS.

Carbon dioxide as greenhouse gas remains the widely known and the leading pollutant with high potential for causing global warming. Why pollution is very much prevalent in developing countries is because of the glaring development and technological gaps separating the developing countries from the developed countries. While in Europe it is the norm to cycle to work and travel in solar powered trains that are pollution free, in Africa it is a different thing altogether as they are so obsessed with driving, especially second hand cars that emit lots of carbon, with the potential of doubling pollution.

All in all, it is significant to re-orient each other on all forms of pollution so that people stay well informed and sustainably knowledgeable of these factors.

 Peter Makwanya is a climate change communicator. He writes in his own capacity and can be contacted on: petrovmoyt@gmail.com

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Aug 232017
 

What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is used primarily for the purposes of remote access and protection of confidential data. In particular cases, it can be imperative for a small business to use a VPN to cut costs and save time.

A VPN allows users to send information privately on a public network like the internet and have remote access to other devices. 

How does a VPN Work?

In simple terms, a VPN establishes a point to point connection between two points and allows a user to access another computer from their own, usually using tunnelling protocols.

In order to protect your data and to stop other users from intercepting the data during transmission, the traffic is often encrypted with cryptographic network protocols like SSH or IPsec.

In the past, encryption ciphers were simpler, but as computers have advanced to generate complex ciphers, it is difficult for humans to manually decode them.

Levels of complexity in the encryption vary depending to what level a user wishes to protect their data, but usually a simple SSH tunnel allows remote and protected access from one device to another. 

Why Would a Small Business Want a VPN?

Businesses often use a VPN as an auxiliary tool to support certain aspects of the company:

A VPN can be used to protect private company data, like company records or client information, using traffic encryption, to stop hackers from stealing information like client numbers or identities.

Remote access could be used in many different ways; an employee working from home can remotely access a company computer using a VPN.

If a member of the business is travelling, they could use the VPN to connect to work or home computers while they are travelling, so they don’t have to stop working.

If a business has various sites that all use LAN networks, a VPN allows remote access between these sites, so that a worker in one site can access data from the networks in various sites, which is faster than asking someone to send them data.

Setting up a VPN

There are various ways to establish a VPN connection:

Manually using configuration software like Putty to make a secure point to point connection that can be used repeatedly.
On mobile devices, apps like OpenVPN can be used to keep searches anonymous by encrypting traffic.
Commercial software can be purchased from other companies, which allows you to easily setup a VPN connection with a simple user interface.

When using a VPN, users will often require a sensible amount of bandwidth to allow the passing of network traffic, so it is important to have the right connection.

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Aug 212017
 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

TM, Trash ‘Mafia’ and Lack of Responsibility

 Waste pickers put their lives at risk by diving into unsanitary trash bins.

People all over Iran have long witnessed waste pickers going around cities carrying huge, filthy bags on their backs, diving in bins to salvage whatever they can sell or reuse.

Though dirty, it is a well-paid job for bin divers and a lucrative business for those who run the show behind the scenes.
Urban waste pickers operate legally in the developed world as their activities are monitored and their contribution to urban sanitation and lowering municipal costs cannot be denied. In fact, in 2008, they held the First World Conference on Waste Pickers in Bogota, Colombia, to facilitate global networking. The term “waste picker” was adopted then.

However, waste picking is not at all monitored in Iran, allowing few people to run the business behind the scenes without dirtying their own hands. Officials have often expressed concern and sometimes laid out plans to tackle the problem. All words, no action.

Acknowledging the problem, Mohammad Javad Haqshenas, member of the Tehran City Council, told Ensafnews that “mafias” operating in the shadows employ young children to do their bidding.

Last week, Mozafar Alvandi, secretary of the National Body on the Convention of the Rights of the Child, revealed that waste pickers— 60% of whom  ostensibly are refugee children — have special cards issued by Tehran Municipality which allow them to search the trash bins!

The cards, which surprisingly bear the stamp of TM, cost the holder 3 million rials (about $78.5) per month.
This shocking statement means that city officials are not only aware of the hands behind the scenes, but also their activities, despite touting measures to tackle the problem.

However, whenever the matter is brought up, TM absolves itself of any responsibility and blames contractors. Assuming city officials are right and there are contractors with no direct link to municipalities, another question comes up: Aren’t municipalities and local councils responsible for collecting and segregating waste in the first place? Or, should contractors not be monitored?

Waste pickers, young and old, put their lives at risk by working in unsanitary environments and are deprived of a normal life so that a handful of greedy people line their pockets.

Those who misuse children, whether contractors or municipal officials, must be stopped. For that to happen, legislators must reform a law that allows children to work only in workshops with fewer than 10 employees. This legal loophole must be redressed to prevent the mafias and culprits from justifying their actions and promoting child labor.

Addressing the problem is integral to the prosperity .of the country; failure to do so will not only continue to expose the poor waste pickers to health hazards, but will also impose heavy medical costs on the government.

Share This :

Short URL : https://goo.gl/r1gYJG

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Aug 212017
 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

TM, Trash ‘Mafia’ and Lack of Responsibility

 Waste pickers put their lives at risk by diving into unsanitary trash bins.

People all over Iran have long witnessed waste pickers going around cities carrying huge, filthy bags on their backs, diving in bins to salvage whatever they can sell or reuse.

Though dirty, it is a well-paid job for bin divers and a lucrative business for those who run the show behind the scenes.
Urban waste pickers operate legally in the developed world as their activities are monitored and their contribution to urban sanitation and lowering municipal costs cannot be denied. In fact, in 2008, they held the First World Conference on Waste Pickers in Bogota, Colombia, to facilitate global networking. The term “waste picker” was adopted then.

However, waste picking is not at all monitored in Iran, allowing few people to run the business behind the scenes without dirtying their own hands. Officials have often expressed concern and sometimes laid out plans to tackle the problem. All words, no action.

Acknowledging the problem, Mohammad Javad Haqshenas, member of the Tehran City Council, told Ensafnews that “mafias” operating in the shadows employ young children to do their bidding.

Last week, Mozafar Alvandi, secretary of the National Body on the Convention of the Rights of the Child, revealed that waste pickers— 60% of whom  ostensibly are refugee children — have special cards issued by Tehran Municipality which allow them to search the trash bins!

The cards, which surprisingly bear the stamp of TM, cost the holder 3 million rials (about $78.5) per month.
This shocking statement means that city officials are not only aware of the hands behind the scenes, but also their activities, despite touting measures to tackle the problem.

However, whenever the matter is brought up, TM absolves itself of any responsibility and blames contractors. Assuming city officials are right and there are contractors with no direct link to municipalities, another question comes up: Aren’t municipalities and local councils responsible for collecting and segregating waste in the first place? Or, should contractors not be monitored?

Waste pickers, young and old, put their lives at risk by working in unsanitary environments and are deprived of a normal life so that a handful of greedy people line their pockets.

Those who misuse children, whether contractors or municipal officials, must be stopped. For that to happen, legislators must reform a law that allows children to work only in workshops with fewer than 10 employees. This legal loophole must be redressed to prevent the mafias and culprits from justifying their actions and promoting child labor.

Addressing the problem is integral to the prosperity .of the country; failure to do so will not only continue to expose the poor waste pickers to health hazards, but will also impose heavy medical costs on the government.

Share This :

Short URL : https://goo.gl/r1gYJG

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer, Green Fire Engineered Reclamation, Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com