Posted: Friday, April 25 at 05:00 am CT by Bob Sullivan
Rhonda Payne went to an AT&T Wireless store in Calhoun, Ga., recently to pay her phone bill in cash. She'd been hit by ID theft and was forced to close her checking account, so she was worried she wouldn’t be able to mail a check on time. But when she arrived at the store, she was in for a surprise.
Paying in person, she was told, costs extra -- $2 extra.
Payne objected to the "administrative charge" that was added to her bill but got no sympathy. Instead, she said, she was told she should consider herself lucky because the fee was about to go up to $5.
"I was told that it was a courtesy to take cash,” she said. “I said, ‘Are you kidding me?'”
It’s no joke. Beginning earlier this year, AT&T Wireless began to charge customers who pay their bills in their stores.
"It is a way of saving money ... it helps us keep our costs lower," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. "We want our associates to spend their time helping customers as they are thinking about their wireless plans or looking at phones."
There are multiple ways for consumers to pay their bills for free, he added -- in the mail, by electronic payment and on the Web.(Big Brother is watching ) There are even kiosks in stores where bill payments can be dropped off for free. But having a sales clerk take the payment costs extra.
"If someone really wants to pay using the service of a representative, we think it's appropriate to assess this fee," Siegel said.
The fee might remind some of the "talk-to-a-teller" fee introduced by First National Bank of Chicago in 1995.
Siegel said such fees are routine in other industries, too, citing credit cards as an example.
In fact, most credit card issuers do charge a similar fee, called "pay-to-pay." Consumers who call up banks to pay their credit card bills -- often at the last minute to avoid interest charges or late fees – often are assessed "pay-to-pay" fees ranging from $5 to $15. The practice has recently drawn scrutiny in Congress, and a credit card reform bill introduced by Sen. Carl Levin , D-Mich., would ban the practice.
Hurts the poor most
Consumer advocate Ed Mierzwinski, director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, said he's concerned about AT&T's new fee for another reason: It hits poor people hardest because they are most likely to pay in stores.
"It's targeted at people who don't have bank accounts,” he said. “...It's punitive and largely indefensible.
"It's just unfair to me and I'm shocked by it. People that have less money have to pay more to pay their bills. … It hurts people that really don't have a choice."
Studies show that 10 million to 12 million Americans don't have bank accounts and have to pay their bills in cash, he said. Some are undocumented workers; others are consumers who have bounced too many checks in the past and are ineligible for checking accounts. Sometimes called the "unbanked," consumers who live in this cash economy are finding it harder and harder to maintain basic services, Mierzwinski said.
"I think (AT&T’s fee) is going to lead to more companies charging more to people who want to pay with cash," he said.
Siegel denied that AT&T was targeting cash customers and said his company offers pay-as-you-go pre-paid phones that are better suited for consumers who want to pay in cash.
Payne has complained to state regulators and to the Federal Communications Commission, but hasn't received a refund -- or an explanation that satisfies her.
"This fee charged by AT&T is ripping off poor people," she said. "I've told everybody I know about this."
Man muß das Wahre immer wiederholen, weil auch der Irrtum um uns her immer wieder gepredigt wird und zwar nicht von einzelnen, sondern von der Masse, in Zeitungen und Enzyklopädien, auf Schulen und Universitäten. Überall ist der Irrtum obenauf, und es ist ihm wohl und behaglich im Gefühl der Majorität, die auf seiner Seite ist.
The Great Depression of the 2010s
Economics is not rocket science. Neither is power
Darryl Robert Schoon
May 6, 2008
Depressions are monetary phenomena caused by central bank issuance of excessive credit. In 1913, the newly created US central bank, the Federal Reserve, began issuing credit-based money in the US. Within ten years, the central bank flow of credit ignited the 1920s US stock market bubble; and shortly thereafter, following the collapse of the bubble in 1929, the world entered its first Great Depression in 1933.
Investment banks are the undoing of central banking. While all banks, central, commercial and investment, view credit as the opportunity to exploit society's growth and productivity, investment bank exploitation of growth and productivity exposes society to extreme risks - for investment banks use society's savings to make their volatile and speculative bets.
The speculative risks undertaken by investment banks is done by leveraging the savings of society; and, when investment bank bets are sufficiently large enough and the bets go bad - as they inevitably do as the luck of investment bankers is due more to their proximity to credit than to their ability to foresee the future - it is society that will bear the brunt of the pain in the loss of its savings.
Inevitably, investment bankers cannot resist the temptations of excessive credit and, like the buyers of teaser-rate home mortgages, they will always overreach themselves - an overreaching that will have disastrous consequences for the society whose savings they bet.
The leveraged overreaching by investment banks in the 1920s caused the Great Depression of the 1930s and their more recent overreaching in this decade, the 2000s, is about to cause another Great Depression in the next, the 2010s.
It is the proximity of investment banks to the pools of savings that allows investment banks to profit. By their access to society's savings, investment banks use society's wealth as the foundation of their highly leveraged bets in financial markets; and in so doing, they have now placed all of us in harms way.
GOVERNMENT - THE DEVICE BY WHICH THE FEW CONTROL THE MANY
The collapse of financial markets in the first Great Depression led to the US Congress to enact laws that would hopefully insure that such a collapse would never again happen. To that end, in 1933 the Glass-Steagall Act was passed by Congress and signed into law.
Acknowledging the role that investment banks had played in the Great Depression, the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933 separated investment banking and commercial banking to insure that investment bank speculation would not again destabilize commercial banks as it did during the Great Depression leading to the loss of America's savings.
What bankers hath joined together let no man put asunder
However, in 1999, the US Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and America was once again vulnerable to the highly leveraged shenanigans of Wall Street. This time, however, it was not only the US but the entire world whose futures were to be bet and lost by Wall Street gamblers.
The globalization of financial markets had spread the dangers of US investment banking to banks, insurance companies, and pension funds around the world. Now, the savings of Europe and Asia as well as the US were to be impacted by the wagers of Wall Street who in the 2000s literally bet the house on the possibility that subprime CDOs were actually worth their AAA ratings.
Glass-Steagall, the law enacted in1933 to prevent another Great Depression was repealed at the behest of bankers. While it is true that at certain times the US government will act in the best interest of society, usually (and usually in the guise of so doing) the US government is the pawn of the special interests that benefit from the trough of government largesse and regulation. The repealing of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 was therefore a reversion to the mean.
We are today in the initial stages of another collapse that will lead to another Great Depression. The safeguards put in place to prevent such from happening were not only disassembled in 1999; but, now in 2008, the US government has moved even closer to exposing its citizenry and indeed the world to the speculative carnage and folly of investment banking excess.
THE RULE OF LAW IS A WONDROUS THING - ESPECIALLY IF YOU WRITE THEM.
Bloomberg.com April 8, 2008 "As credit markets seized up, the Fed gave the 20 primary dealers in U.S. government bonds the same access to discount-window loans that had previously been reserved for banks. The central bank now auctions as much as $100 billion to lenders a month, and has cut the cost on direct loans to just a quarter-point above the overnight rate on loans between banks."
The US Federal Reserve is now underwriting, i.e. subsidizing, the commercial activities of global private investment banks. The 20 primary dealers in US government bonds include the world's largest investment banks - BNP Paribas Securities Corp. (French), Barclays Capital Inc (British), Banc of America Securities LLC (USA), UBS Securities LLC (Swiss), Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Securities LLC (German), Daiwa Securities US Inc. (Japan) etc.
In truth, these investment banks are global entities and have no actual nationality no matter what jurisdiction in which they are legally domiciled. As such, they also have no allegiance except to their own self-interests.
Why is the US government allocating public resources for the benefit of private international investment banks?
US resources are subsidizing international investment banks through the Federal Reserve Bank, a quasi private entity which was given governmental powers in 1913 (some allege in violation of the US Constitution). That a quasi private bank is bailing out private banks with public monies does make sense. What doesn't make sense is why the public allows it.
There is much discussion as to the justification and reasons for US, UK, European, and Japanese central banks bailing out private banks with public money. Issues such as moral hazard are now being raised in questioning the right and consequence of so doing.
In truth, such issues are irrelevant. Not that they are in themselves not important, but issues such as moral hazard will have no effect whatsoever on what is going to happen.
Intent is the underlying motive that explains what is about to occur. The intent of private bankers is not public stability, nor growth, nor productivity - it is the pursuit of private profit via the use of public credit and debt.
Today, most governments, especially the US and UK, are controlled by private bankers - which is why government policy continues and will continue to favor the interests of private bankers over the public good.
THE MELTDOWN OF MAMMON
I am sure that in some quarters of the Catholic Church objections were raised (perhaps even on theological grounds) about the torture used by the Church during the Spanish Inquisition; just as today, there have been objections raised by some in the US in regards to the use of torture in its "war on terror".
Objections are always tolerated by those in power as long as the objections do not rise to the level of action. The objection to central bank credit and influence in our monetary affairs is therefore rhetorical. The influence of private bankers and central banking in our monetary affairs will not change until their influence has run its course - which is now about to happen.
The present epoch of central banking will perhaps be known as the period when bankers roamed the earth. Just as during the Jurassic Age, when dinosaurs roamed freely eating whatever and whomever they encountered, bankers did much the same in the present epoch that is now about to end - profiting by the productivity of society and the public and private debts incurred as a result of bankers' induced credit-based spending.
Bankers achieved their immense power during this era by exploiting flaws in human nature and systemic flaws in the economic system they constructed for their own benefit. But as with all flaws, human or economic, the consequences of so doing are exposed over time. That time has now arrived.
Money is not credit, nor is money created de jure by circulating paper coupons imprinted with a government stamp stating the coupons are now legal tender to be used in the settlement of debts.
The idea that central bank coupons/paper money, sic debt, can be used to settle another debt is astounding. That we have been led to accept it is so is even more astounding. Throughout history, every experiment with paper "money" as a settlement of debt has failed. Our experiment with paper money towards that end will be no different.
The recent correction in the price of gold and silver is just that, a correction in an otherwise direct repudiation of the on-going attempt by governments and bankers to substitute paper coupons for real money.
A paper yen, a paper euro, a paper dollar, when no longer backed and convertible to gold or silver is but a paper coupon masquerading as money - a coupon with an expiration date in invisible ink.
In truth, the bankers' real gambit is not their bet that paper money can be substituted for gold and silver or that subprime mortgages can be passed off as AAA securities. Their real gambit is that central bank issuance of debt as money and their control of governments will never be discovered by the public.
HUBRIS FOLLY AND DISASTER
The world of credit and debt and all it has created has been made possible by bankers and their debt based system of money and central banking. Its cost, however, will be born by future generations who were not present when the debts were incurred.
Those who utter in pious simplicity those wonderful words, "our children are our future", have no idea what they have done to those very children and their future by spending today what future generations will have to earn tomorrow.
Here, in the US, an entire generation has grown up on the suspect promises of easy credit and paper money. That generation is now beginning to suspect that something is wrong, that the price of their gas, food and healthcare is rapidly rising and their dream of home ownership is a trap from which bankruptcy is increasingly their only escape.
Still, this generation has no idea of how terribly wrong it actually is and why it has happened; and their ignorance of such will give them little comfort during the Great Depression that lies directly ahead.
The chickens are coming home to roost; and they closer they come, the more they are looking like vultures.
Note: I will be speaking at Professor Antal E. Fekete's Session IV of Gold Standard University Live (GSUL) July 3-6, 2008 in Szombathely, Hungary. If you are interested in monetary matters and gold, the opportunity to hear Professor Fekete should not be missed. A perusal of Professor Fekete's topics may convince you to attend (see http://www.professorfekete.com/gsul.asp).Professor Fekete, in my opinion, is a giant in a time of small men.
Philosophical Significance of Grinding,
From Shri Sai Satcharita,
Apart from the meaning which the people of Shirdi put on this incident of grinding wheat there is we think, a philosophical singnificance too. Baba lived in Shirdi for about 60 years and during this long period , he did the business of grinding almost every day- not however the wheat alone, but the sins, the mental and physical afflictions and the miseries of his his innumerable devotees. The two stons of his mill consisted of karma and bakhti; the former being the lower ane and the latter the upper one. The handle, with which Baba worked the mill consisted of dhyan. It was the firm conviction of Baba that knowledge of self realization is not possible unless there is a prior act of grinding of all our impulses, desires, sins and of three gunas, viz Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and the Ahankar which is so subtle and therefor so difficult to get rid of.
May 17, 2008 Japan's silos key to relieving rice shortage
American farmers supply Japan with large quantities of high-grade rice, much of which languishes in silos or becomes animal feed
Leo Lewis, Asia Business Correspondent
The United States and Japan are poised to strike a deal that will remove one of the most widely reviled distortions in global rice markets and could send prices plummeting in the coming weeks.
The move, which will flood the market with an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of high-grade American rice that is sitting in Japanese silos, comes amid continuing rice export restrictions by some of the world's biggest suppliers and rioting in countries where the population cannot afford the price increases.
Senior government sources in Tokyo told The Times that Japan had received permission from Washington to begin exports from its giant, but largely hidden, mountain of unwanted American rice to countries that need it most. The exposure of the vast Japanese rice surplus has emerged as one of the chief imbalances of world rice markets and an effect of the complex and wasteful lattice of rules, subsidies and pacts that have knocked global agriculture markets so badly out of kilter.
Rice experts say that the move could defuse temporarily one of the principal catalysts of the food-price crisis - the perception that the world is running out of rice - and the panic and hoarding that has accompanied it. With commodities traders sniffing that a US-Japan deal was imminent, rice futures ended the Asian trading week in a dramatic nosedive as the prospect of a sudden supply surge and bullish harvest forecasts routed speculative money from the market.
The collapse came as think-tanks and food experts called on Japan and the US to urgently unwind one of the biggest “invisible” distortions in global rice markets: a quirk of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules that obliges Tokyo to buy rice it does not need and that eventually rots in storage. The WTO rule, its many critics say, effectively turns millions of tonnes of high-grade American produce into feed for Japanese hogs and chickens.
Did you guys listen to Tim Wood on Puplava this week end ??
He's usually kool calm and collected and this weeks basicly sees the horrible truth of the economy. listen from the 15 min mark to 20 min.
Brasiliens Umweltministerin Marina Silva tritt zurück / Bis zu 40 Prozent des Regenwalds vor Abholzung
Von Karl Weiss, Belo Horizonte
Am vergangenen Dienstag hat die brasilianische Umweltministerin Marina Silva endgültig das Handtuch geworfen und ist zurückgetreten. Jetzt ist der Weg frei, auch noch die letzten Hemmungen abzulegen im Abbrennen und Abholzen des weltgrößen Regenwaldes im Amazonasbecken(„die Lunge der Menschheit“). Der parlamentarische Führer der brasilianischen Grossagrarier hat dies - wenn auch in verschleierter Form – bereits angekündigt.
Die "Lunge der Welt" - bald könnte sie so aussehen
Die Umwelt-Ministerin Marina Silva war eine der Ikonen der Regierung Lula in Brasilien. Sie kam aus Amazonien, sie war Begleiterin von Chico Mendez in seinem Kampf gegen die Grossagrarier und Holzkonzerne und für die Rechte der Kleinbauern und den Schutz des regenwaldes, bevor er im Auftrag von einem von ihnen ermordet wurde. Sie hat es von einer Analphabetin zu einer gebildeten Ministerin geschafft. Sie schien für die international Umwelt-Bewegten die Garantie zu sein, die Vernichtung des Regenwaldes würde gebremst werden.
Wenn man also später einmal im Rückblick ein Datum festlegen will, wann es endgültig klar wurde, das Ende der Menschheit, wie wir sie kennen, wird nicht mehr aufzuhalten sein, dann könnten einige der wenigen Überlebenden auf die Idee kommen, es könnte der 13. Mai 2008 gewesen sein......
.....Er sagte in bemerkenswerter Offenheit zum Rücktritt, „die Ministerin erlitt die Konsequenzen der Reaktion des ‚produktiven Sektors‘“. Er bezeichnet als ‚produktiver Sektor‘ die Grossgrundbesitzer, die intensive Raubbau-Landwirtschaft betreiben......
-> Posted by GoldenMaples @ 13:25 pm on May 18, 2008 TheStar.com - News & Features - The tiny, useful particle that could also be a health problem
May 18, 2008
Andrew Chung Staff Reporter
For as long as there have been socks, there have been smelly socks, and attempts to try to solve that eternal, noxious problem.
For the last few years, a type of sock has become very popular because it has the solution built right in: infinitesimal particles of silver, naturally anti-bacterial and, thus, anti-odiferous.
The silver, known since ancient times to have disinfectant properties, works so well because particles so small can be vastly more powerful than the same substance at normal size.
It’s hard to overstate just how small. “Nano” means one-billionth of a metre. In many cases, this refers to the scale of atoms, which are the smallest units of all matter.
A human hair, by comparison, is 80,000 nanometres wide.
But what happens to the particles in the socks? In an experiment reported at the American Chemical Society meeting last month, two Arizona State University scientists, Troy Benn and Paul Westerhoff, washed seven brands of nanosilver socks and then tested the wastewater. All but one pair leaked silver.
That silver, of course, ends up in our sewers, rivers and lakes.
Results like this have strengthened the calls among scientists and environmentalists for a closer examination of nanoparticles and their effects on humans and the environment.
A number of consumer-protection groups have filed a legal petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the agency to halt the sale of consumer products containing nanosilver.
The groups include the Washington-based International Center for Technology Assessment, as well as Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth.
The interest in nanomaterials is coming at a time of growing awareness of how chemicals – many of which we don’t know are manufactured into the products we use on a daily basis – may be causing us harm.
Last month, the Canadian government said that it would declare bisphenol-A – a chemical commonly found in hard, clear, plastic water and baby bottles, and the linings of tin cans – a toxic substance. Retailers around the world pulled products containing the chemical from their shelves.
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), also Washington-based, says it has inventoried more than 600 consumer products in 20 countries with nano-scale materials, and “new nanotech products are hitting the market at the rate of three to four per week.”
The most prevalent nanoparticle product contains nanosilver. Over 60 per cent are “health and fitness” products, according to the project, an initiative of Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
You can find nanosilver in products from clothing and shoes to mattresses and pillows to appliances like Samsung’s SilverCare washers, and Conair’s Infiniti Nano Silver hair straighteners. The TTC also intends to paint the stanchions in its new subway cars with antimicrobial silver.
Friends of the Earth found more than 100 nanomaterials in food and food packaging, including Miller beer bottles that have nano clay, making them less likely to shatter.
Titanium dioxide is found in sunscreens. Fullerenes and alumina nanopowders in cosmetics. Zinc oxide in food additives.
These new uses for nanomaterials have some scientists worried.
“The new controversy is, should it be incorporated into sweatshirts and shoes?” wonders Kevin Robbie, a physics professor at Queen’s University in Kingston and the Canada Research Chair in Nanostructured Materials. “Generally it’s not a very good idea.”
Last December, in the journal Biointerphases , Robbie and two researchers published a comprehensive review of nanoparticle toxicity, mostly to ensure they understood the risks of the materials they work with every day. As a result, they have tightened their cleaning procedures and now store their nanoparticles in fluid, to prevent them from becoming airborne.
The problem is that little is known about how nano-sized elements will act in living organisms and the environment.
When something gets that small, it begins to take on unexpected properties. It can dissolve where the bulk size could not. Or it can begin to conduct electricity. “Even though we know that gold has certain characteristics as a chunk of gold,” Robbie explains, “when you make it into nano gold, it’s hard to predict what it’s going to do.”
Research on nanoparticles has raised some concern among scientists.
Nano-scale titanium dioxide, used in some sunscreens, has been found to cause inflammation in rat lungs. “If rats breathe them in, you find that the smaller you make them, the more harmful they are,” says Andrew Maynard, PEN’s chief science advisor and a nanotechnology expert.
Studies have so far been inconclusive, however, as to whether nanoparticles can penetrate healthy skin.
Nano-sized carbon and manganese-oxide have been found, when inhaled, to make its way up to the brain.
As for nanosilver, its ability to kill cells is well known, hence its use as a germicide.
However, the concern is that it doesn’t discriminate between good cells and bad cells.
A recent study found that nanosilver inhibits the growth of beneficial bacteria in wastewater-treatment plants, which remove harmful ammonia from the effluent. Meanwhile, silver is highly toxic to fish, sparking worry about the element at the nano scale.
Also, new research is looking at how nanosilver and other nanoparticles might disrupt cellular metabolism. After all, DNA and the essential proteins they encode are nano-sized.
“If you put a nanoparticle into a nucleus of cell, is it like throwing a wrench into it?” Maynard asks. “Early indications are that nanoparticles can interfere with biological processes at that level.”
Why are manufacturers embracing nanomaterials with such vigour? Couldn’t they just use larger sized versions of the same chemicals and avoid all this worry?
The fact is that nano-scale materials can be much more effective and, because less material is used, cost-effective too.
For instance, the sun blocker titanium dioxide can paint the skin white. That’s okay if you’re a beach lifeguard. For the rest of us, manufacturers know that the tinier the particle, the more transparent the sunscreen will be. Similarly, it’d be hard to impregnate the fabric with silver and keep it soft. But with nanosilver, you can give the wool or cotton antimicrobial properties and have it feel like wool or cotton.
Of course, we need to remember that humans have been exposed to nano-scale elements in nature throughout evolution. Think of fine carbon particles from fires, or superfine dust, or even salt particles in sea spray.
“There’s a distinction between those and the ones we’re fabricating,” says Dr. Ivan Pacheco, co-author of the Queen’s review, and an expert in gastrointestinal physiology. “Now we’re engineering them, so the nanoparticles we’re making are quite different in morphology, and we still don’t know what properties they have and what they’re doing to our health.
“Most,” he says, “are not being screened properly.”
Our bodies have adapted over millions of years to many natural elements. The worry is how they’ll react to these new ones.
“That’s the obvious question: If we’re putting these things into consumer products that we’ve not been exposed to before, are there any serious problems there?” says Maynard.
Is banning them from products the answer? Robbie says probably not. Take the use of nanosilver in bandages used on burn victims. They’ve become essential to medicine, he argues.
“So banning something like nanosilver would be a bad idea.”
The scientists say that regulation and research are what’s needed.
Canada deals with nanomaterials under current legislation. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act requires any new chemical to undergo a human health and environmental risk assessment.
Since last year, new nanomaterials – including the nano-scale form of a substance already in use “if it has unique structures or molecular arrangements” – must be registered.
In the U.S. the picture is similar. Any substance or device that claims to kill germs is to be registered as a pesticide. Nanosilver is theoretically captured here, and the government last year forced Samsung’s washers to register in this way.
But considering how quickly the market is expanding worldwide, the scientists doubt that current regulations are sufficient. They also point out the lack of regulations that specifically address nanoparticles and say that not enough is being spent on their health effects.
Companies are reacting to the growing concern. Last January Dupont was the first firm to provide its nanomaterial product information to the EPA. In a position statement, it says it believes in the “development of responsible safety standards and test methods; the coordination of research to generate reliable, peer reviewed data based on good science; and the adoption of appropriate regulations as needed.”
Not all companies are as forthcoming on their intentions. “The worry about new nanomaterials is completely justified,” Robbie says, “because manufacturers have been producing more and more, and a broader range, of constituents than ever known before, and launching them into the marketplace with minimal tests.”
Zur Begründung für den aktuellen Bullenmarkt muss ich gar keine komplizierten Begründungen anführen. Denn im Prinzip ist es eine Binsenweisheit:
Die Weltbevölkerung wächst und wächst, gleichzeitig gehen die Ackerflächen zurück. Da ist es doch ganz klar, dass die Preise für Rohwaren tendenziell steigen.
Konkrete Zahlen für China (Quelle: National Geographic):
Die Ackerfläche Chinas hat sich seit 1949 um rund 20% verringert. Gründe dafür sind neben den wachsenden Städten auch die Umweltverschmutzung sowie Versteppung von Ackerflächen. Und jedes Jahr verliert China weitere Ackerflächen, dafür sorgen z.B. Sandstürme.
Millionen Chinesen ziehen zudem vom Land in die Städte. Die Städte weiten sich aus, der Wohlstand wächst (wenn auch von niedrigem Niveau aus, aber er wächst).
Die Nachfrage nach Waschmaschinen, Computern, Autos etc. steigt. Die knappen Ressourcen der Welt verteilen sich auf immer mehr Menschen…und es gibt immer weniger Ackerland. Und die „Lösung“, den Regenwald Brasiliens abzuholzen, um mehr Ackerland zu gewinnen, ist keine Lösung.
Ein US-Kollege (Christopher Hancock) hat dazu Folgendes recherchiert:
In China sollen alleine in Shanghai bis 2011 rund 1.000 neue Wolkenkratzer gebaut werden.
1.000 neue Wolkenkratzer! Das sind Dimensionen, da wird zumindest mir (bildlich gesprochen) ganz schwindelig. Lächerlich klein kommt dagegen unser „Mainhattan“ vor.
Nunja, jedenfalls soll sich laut dieser Prognose der Stahlbedarf Chinas bis 2031 verdoppeln. Das würde bedeuten: Im Jahr 2031 würde China mehr Stahl verbrauchen, als die gesamte westliche Welt heute.
Na, ob das mal so stimmt? Doch auch wenn nur ein Viertel davon so eintreffen wird, hätte das spürbare Konsequenzen für die Preise der „beteiligten“ Güter wie Zink, Eisenerz...
Eine entsprechende Positionierung sollte sich langfristig auszahlen.
Die Betonwelt der Menschen rückt bedrohlich immer näher an den Lebensraum der Tierwelt. (Zebra im Nairobi National Park, Kenia)
Die zitierten Wissenschaftler lassen keinen Zweifel daran, dass wir nicht noch einmal zwanzig Jahre Zeit haben nachzudenken. Der Film ist ein Weckruf mit einer klaren Botschaft: "Wir haben nur einen Planeten und seine Ressourcen sind begrenzt".
Der aktuelle Bericht der Umweltbehörde der Vereinten Nationen (UNEP) zieht eine dramatische Bilanz zum Zustand des Planeten: "Die Menschheit lebt über ihre Verhältnisse" - so der Bericht. Die "großen Mengen an Ressourcen, die zum Überleben benötigt werden, übersteigen das Angebot der Erde". Es ist dies nicht nur eine Diskussion um einen abstrakten Klimawandel und die Emission von Treibhausgasen. "Ohne die Art, wie wir Wirtschaft betreiben, zu reformieren, werden wir in Kürze Schwierigkeiten bekommen", so der Generaldirektor der UNEP Achim Steiner bei der Vorstellung des Berichts.
Australien will von 2010 an nur noch Energiesparlampen einsetzen. Ein richtiger Schritt, aber solche und andere Einzelmaßnahmen werden wohl nicht reichen. Denn das Nachdenken über den globalen Klimawandel und den Raubbau globaler Ressourcen führt zu Erkenntnissen, die eine fatale Kette von Folgen aufzeigen: schrumpfende (Regen-) Wälder, sich ausbreitende Wüsten, Anstieg der Erderwärmung, schmelzende Gletscher und Eisberge, immer stärkere und immer zerstörerische Stürme, ansteigender Meeresspiegel, verschwindende Spezies, erodierende Böden...
Ähnlich wie der Bericht des IPCC (Weltklimarat der Vereinten Nationen) wird auch der UNEP- Bericht von etwa 1000 Fachleuten geprüft und mit den Regierungen der UN-Mitgliedsstaaten abgestimmt. Er macht deutlich, dass der Zustand der Umwelt das Überleben vieler Menschen bedroht: Allein 1,8 Milliarden Menschen werden in den nächsten 20 Jahren unter Wasserknappheit leiden. 60 Prozent aller Ökosysteme der Welt sind bereits jetzt zerstört oder überstrapaziert. Jeder Erdbewohner verbraucht heute im Schnitt so viele Ressourcen, wie 22 Hektar Erdboden liefern können.Der Planet kann aber nur 15 bis 16 Hektar "liefern".
Die Dokumentation "Unser Planet" versucht eine Bestandsaufnahme und versucht Antworten zu finden auf die Herausforderungen, die uns der globale Klimawandel und der Raubbau der globalen Ressourcen stellt. "Unser Planet" ist das aufwändigste Dokumentarprojekt, das je in Skandinavien produziert wurde (Kosten: rund 3 Millionen Euro). Mehr als zwei Jahre hat sich die Filmcrew in über 25 Ländern ein Bild vom Zustand unseres Planeten gemacht.
Herausgekommen ist eine in doppeltem Sinne "atemberaubende" Dokumentation. Zum einen, weil sie mit immer wieder überraschenden und cineastischen Bildern den Blick schärft für die Schönheit dieser Welt - zum anderen, weil der Film die trockenen Zahlen eines UNEP- oder IPCC-Berichts in beängstigender Form Wirklichkeit werden lässt.
Am 16. Mai forderten die Coordination und der Berufsimkerbund ein Verbot der Pestizide Gaucho (Imidacloprid) und Poncho (Clothianin), um weitere Bienensterben zu verhindern. Nur wenige Stunden später zog das Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz die Notbremse und verbot die beiden Wirkstoffe zur Saatgutbehandlung.Die Coordination fordert ein Verbot von Gaucho seit 1999.