-Oliver Franklin-Wallis An award-winning investigative journalist takes a deep dive into the global waste crisis, exposing the hidden world that enables our modern economy—and finds out the dirty truth behind a simple question: what really happens to what we throw away? In Wasteland, journalist Oliver Franklin-Wallis takes us on a shocking journey inside the waste industry—the secretive multi-billion dollar world that underpins the modern economy, quietly profiting from what we leave behind. In India, he meets the waste-pickers on the front line of the plastic crisis. In the UK, he journeys down sewers to confront our oldest—and newest—waste crisis, and comes face-to-face with nuclear waste. In Ghana, he follows the after-life of our technology and explores the global export network that results in goodwill donations clogging African landfills. From an incinerator to an Oklahoma ghost-town, Franklin-Wallis travels in search of the people and companies that really handle waste—and on the way, meets the innovators and campaigners pushing for a cleaner and less wasteful future. With this mesmerising, thought-provoking, and occasionally terrifying investigation, Oliver Franklin-Wallis tells a new story of humanity based on what we leave behind, and along the way, he shares a blueprint for building a healthier, more sustainable world—before we’re all buried in trash.
International Woman’s Day/International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February 2023 and to celebrate www.asiamanufacturingnewstoday.com and www.themirrorinspires.com interviewed Lim Xin Lan, senior Power Engineer CHINT, Asia. Why did you choose to become a power engineer? My love for numbers led me into Engineering. When I was pursuing my Honours in Electrical Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, I developed an interest in power engineering. In my twenties, I foresaw how I could empower the world as a power engineer. I wanted to make an impact to society at large by ensuring the safe transmission of reliable electricity – a fundamental human need. It has been about a decade since I graduated from school, and I have never once looked back at my decision. Till today, I’m still motivated by my role as I always find meaning in what I do. There can’t be many female power engineers? My undergraduate cohort consisted of about 100 students, and they were mostly male. While the number of female power engineers in the industry today is still outnumbered by men, gender should not be a qualifying factor for this profession. If anything, the small number of female engineers in the industry as a whole represents an opportunity for more women to break into this field. Power engineers, whether male or female, should be driven by a strong sense of intuition, and importantly, a passion to solve real world problems such as the electrification of underserved areas in the world, and to ensure the safety of the end users. What is it exactly that you do? In a nutshell, critical thinking is what I do on a daily basis. I recommend the right solutions to businesses and governments worldwide to ensure the safe transmission of reliable electricity, and at the same […]
(By Cariola Carabel) We live in a world of pesticide-drenched food, polluted air, water containing all sorts of unnatural chemicals and drug residues, poisonous homes… Pesticides are biocides and will quickly kill you in large doses, and slowly and accumulatively over time. We also live under dubious medical regimes – even untested and coercive gene therapy, some say, that will irredeemably alter our health and perhaps even our genes. But surely no one is actually trying to poison us, are they? Is this a necessary trade-off for having enough food? There is no historical reason to think that small farms cannot produce enough food for the population. In capitalism, scarcity is artificially maintained for economic reasons. In an important 4-decade-long study done on US farming, organic small-scale farming was in fact found to be more profitable that industrial farming, and had similar yields. During times of drought, yields were even 40% higher. Other long-term studies have found similar results. Additional findings are that organic soil has bacteria and fungi that keep plants healthy and able to defend themselves from pests, and that soil becomes progressively healthier, unlike the soil depletion that results from industrial farming. India’s massive famines from the 18th Century onwards occurred at a time when England was importing foods from India, and at times even stockpiling in order to increase prices. The English government at the same time prohibited other regions in India from helping those where hunger was rife, a custom that dated back more than 2000 years (the Kautilya treatise), sustaining in Parliament that aid would in the long term make India weaker and less able to fend for itself. In the mid-19th Century, it was common economic wisdom that government intervention in famines was unnecessary and even harmful. The market would restore a proper […]
#poisoning #fluoride #drinking water Cariola Carabel https://ocultoaplenavista.blogspot.com/ In Vermont, USA, a few days ago, a town employee was found to have reduced fluoride levels in the municipal water for the last 5 years. A mother was reported to be outraged because her children’s dentist had recommended against supplemental fluoride because fluoride was already added to the town’s water. What this shows is that adding fluoride to water is a medical decision that affects everyone, whether someone has had already significant amounts of fluoride or not; whereas taking supplemental fluoride or using fluoridated toothpaste is a personal choice. It has been argued that poorer people cannot afford fluoridated toothpaste and are thus helped by water fluoridation. In fact, as I shall show, poor people are the ones most harmed by the measure. In any case, the solution would seem to be to guarantee that poor people have enough money to buy basic necessities, or to prescribe poor people free toothpaste and fluoride tablets where necessary, and educate everyone on the importance of oral health and good diet for avoiding tooth decay, obesity and diabetes. Does any of this matter? We assume that fluoride added to water must be innocuous and, of course, good for our teeth. But is it? In fact fluoride is a neurotoxin that in 21 out of 23 studies was found to reduce children’s intelligence and should be categorised like lead, mercury, arsenic… It is a component of many insecticides and rodenticides (in these cases generally as sodium fluoroacetate). Excess fluoride causes stains on teeth, hypothyroidism, and possible bone disease (because excess fluoride collects in the body’s calcium, i.e. bones and teeth), including weakened bones. It also collects in the pineal gland (more of that later) and may cause mental impairment, tiredness and gastrointestinal problems. Those with impaired kidneys are unable to process fluoride, resulting […]
(Part I) -Cariola Carabel, Spain There is a point when even the most obtuse might notice that our leaders are not on our side. Many did not have access to the paperwork that allowed for their mortgage or rent to be postponed. Those who continued working in situ, such as healthcare workers, were forced to get the jab, irrespective of their personal wishes. Their health is almost certainly worse as a result. Two days ago (at the time of writing), Pfizer executive Janine Small admitted to the EU Parliament that the Covid vaccine was never tested for transmission. Given that it does not, even officially, stop infection either – but perhaps reduces symptoms -, whatever this is, it is NOT a vaccine! But I am not going over that issue. The lies, contradictory statements, unscientific balderdash, relentless fearmongering and propaganda are an undisputable fact. Additionally, there is a wealth of official statistics that, once we remember that for two weeks after the “vaccine” one was counted as unvaccinated, show an alarmingly high rate of bad health and excess death from all causes among the injected. An enlightening moment might be when one looks carefully at The Economist’s “The World in 2019”, on sale in December 2018 (a full year before the onset of the surprise pandemic that was itself so eerily predicted in Event 201 one month before), and sees how amazingly prescient it was, with its Leonardo da Vinci-type drawings of a panda, a pangolin, the gene helix on an arm, a stork carrying a barcoded baby, facial recognition, a cannabis leaf, “Putin’s pipes”, the Four Horsemen – one masked, Pinocchio’s long nose… (in no particular order). Another moment might be caused by the anomaly of a government encouraging, to the point of compulsion, its population to get the […]
-Paul Cleary A David-and-Goliath story set in the ancient landscape of the Pilbara. In the space of just fifteen years, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group has become a global iron-ore giant worth $70 billion. But in its rush to develop, FMG has damaged and destroyed ancient Aboriginal heritage and brokered patently unfair agreements with the traditional owners of the land. When FMG has met resistance, it has used hard-nosed litigation in pursuit of favourable outcomes. This strategy came unstuck when FMG encountered several hundred Yindjibarndi people and their leader, Michael Woodley, who left school in Grade Six and was from then on immersed in his traditional culture. Woodley has led his community in an epic, thirteen-year battle against FMG, all on a shoestring budget. Clear-eyed and humane, Title Fight reveals the Wild West of iron-ore mining in the Pilbara. It tells the story of how a small group of Indigenous Australians fought tenaciously to defend their spiritual connection to Country. And, at a moment of national reckoning with our colonial and ancient past, with our relationship to the land, it asks some critical questions: Who does the land belong to? Who gets to choose what it’s used for? And whose side are we on?
Sylvia G. Rice, Assistant Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University. In 1938, a British engineer and amateur meteorologist made a discovery that set off a fierce debate about climate change. Scientists had known for decades that carbon dioxide could trap heat and warm the planet. But Guy Callendar was the first to connect human activities to global warming. He showed that land temperatures had increased over the previous half-century, and he theorised that people were unwittingly raising Earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels in furnaces, factories and even his beloved motorcycles. When Callendar published his findings, it set off a firestorm. The scientific establishment saw him as an outsider and a bit of a meddling gentleman scientist. But, he was right. His theory became widely known as “the Callendar Effect.” Today, it’s known as global warming. Callendar defended his theory until his death in 1964, increasingly bewildered that the science met such resistance from those who did not understand it. Building on over a century of climate science A theoretical basis for climate change had been developed over the 114 years leading up to Callendar’s research. Scientists including Joseph Fourier, Eunice Foote, John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius had developed an understanding of how water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere trapped heat, noted that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also absorbed large quantities of heat and speculated about how increasing fossil fuel use could raise Earth’s temperature and change the climate. However, these scientists spoke only of future possibilities. Callendar showed global warming was already happening. An engineer runs his own climate experiments Callendar received a certificate in mechanics and mathematics from City and Guilds College, London, in 1922 and went to work for his father, a well-known British physicist. The two shared interests in physics, motorcycles, racing and meteorology. Callendar would later join the U.K. Ministry of Supply in armament […]
Bashar Al Shawa, PhD Student in Architecture, University of Bath It’s been claimed that technology is the answer to the climate crisis. By eventually separating economic growth from its effects on the environment through improving energy efficiency, the argument runs, better technology promises to prevent catastrophic global warming. But among the many things that this argument fails to consider is the reality that new technology has often encouraged extravagant forms of consumption: from private cars and planes to kitchens full of appliances and air conditioning in countries with mild climates. Technology has also caused what’s called the “rebound effect”: where improving energy efficiency leads to cheaper energy and therefore higher rates of energy consumption. For example, buying a more fuel-efficient car will reduce your average fuel cost per trip and thus is likely to lead to more trips, taking away at least some of your anticipated energy savings. A similar trend appears in architecture, where advances in artificial cooling, heating and computer-aided design have – rather than creating more efficient designs – actually introduced wasteful building styles. In my work, I call this phenomenon the “architectural rebound effect”. This effect becomes especially clear when we look at how building façades (the “skin” that covers buildings) have evolved over the past 100 years. Façade failures The Cité de Refuge residential building in Paris, designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier in 1933, boasts one of the earliest examples of a façade made entirely out of glass. But with no windows or air conditioning, its summer indoor temperatures reached up to 33°C – making it a “notable failure” in architecture. To fix this, the façade was fitted with external shading devices and about a third of its glass was made opaque. This strategy was mostly effective: computer simulations have shown that the upgraded design reduced indoor summer temperatures to below 25°C. From the 1950s, fully glazed façades without shading […]
Ahmet Burak Dağlıoğlu, President, Investment Office of the Presidency of Turkey. Climate change has been on the international agenda for a long time, but recent developments have upped the urgency of taking immediate action for both humanitarian and developmental reasons. World leaders gathered in Glasgow to discuss climate change at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, following the G20 summit in Rome in late October, which also prioritised sustainability. Keeping climate change at bay through mitigation and adaptation is imperative to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were set by the United Nations in 2015 and made social, economic and environmental sustainability central to economic development. Achieving the SDGs will, in turn, require an integrated approach and close cooperation among all stakeholders. Mobilizing financial resources will play an especially important role in reaching the SDGs and addressing the adverse effects of climate change. In this regard, foreign direct investment (FDI) has been a significant source of external finance for many countries, especially developing economies, to help achieve sustainable economic development. Commitment to SDGs can mobilise foreign direct investment Today, all economies vie for greater FDI inflows as it not only brings capital but also generates employment, transfers technology, and helps move up the value chain. Moreover, FDI can be instrumental in a country’s economic transformation towards a greener economy, as multinational corporations (MNCs) have both the financial wherewithal and technical capacity to help transform local operations to greener global best practices. MNCs have been increasingly incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles into their investment strategies, not only to achieve ESG investor score targets but also to save costs and mitigate risks, helping achieve both more sustainable and more profitable operations. The international community is putting more efforts into scaling such investments through establishing effective mechanisms to support cooperation on investment […]
Covid-19 revealed that modern supply chains are a house of cards, collapsing the moment they come under any kind of sustained pressure. Many businesses that were caught flat-footed by global lockdowns have found the speed of the recovery just as treacherous to navigate. Clogged ports and widespread shortages have led to record order backlogs across major supply chain hubs. The crunch on container capacity could last until Q4 2022, according to maritime research firm Drewry. Shortages of key components, including semiconductors, could take even longer to resolve. Is the answer to carry on pushing orders through in the hope that these problems resolve themselves? Two years into the pandemic, there are strong signs global businesses are starting to realise that supply chains actually need root-and-branch reform. Bursting at the seams Recent data from Tradeshift suggests buyers are beginning to question the wisdom of putting fresh orders into a system that is coming apart at the seams. Global order volumes fell by 24 points in Q3 2021 (see figure 1), the biggest quarterly drop since the first lockdowns in early 2020 and 15 points below the pre-pandemic forecast range. Rising invoice volumes provide an indication of how supply chains are reacting to demand signals. Invoice numbers moved five points closer to the expected range in Q3 2021, but the upward trajectory is flatter than anticipated given the significant spike in order volumes during the previous quarter. The data suggests it may be some time before order volumes start to align with invoice flows. The longer this gap persists, the more likely it is that the downward trajectory in Q3 signals the beginning of a more prolonged slowdown. The International Monetary Fund recently cut its forecast for US growth by 1 percentage point to 6%, citing supply chain disruption and weakening consumption. Tradeshift’s data indicates that activity across US supply […]