Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

Idiotic Greenpeace barred from bidding zero for Vattenfall’s brown coal

November 3, 2015

It’s no secret that I find Greenpeace to have deteriorated into an organisation that is lacking both in intelligence and ethics. So it is a bit of a relief to find their planned bid of zero to buy and shut down Vattenfalls brown coal assets has been barred.

TheLocalGreenpeace said on Monday that it has been barred from bidding for the German coal operations of Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, which the environmental activists intended to shut down. …..

Citigroup, which had been in charge of the sale, had informed Greenpeace of its decision on Friday, arguing that the environmental protection group had no intention of standing as a bidder. Neither Citigroup nor Vattenfall were willing to comment.

“We treat all potential bidders equally,” said a Vattenfall spokesman.

Vattenfall is hoping to find a buyer for the open-cast coal mines and two power plants close to the German-Polish border amid growing resistance to fossil fuels in Germany, while public subsidies of renewable sources of energy makes coal-fired energy less profitable.

Greenpeace offered no money to purchase the activities, arguing that the lignite mines and power plants in eastern Germany were in fact a liability. It hoped to transfer the operations into a charitable foundation, paid for by Vattenfall and the German and Swedish governments, in order to phase them out by 2030.

Greenpeace started with good intentions but since the fall of communism has just become a haven for the homeless hard left. They know best what is good for others and look to impose their truths. Unfortunately they have done more to keep people in poverty than most others. It is not just that they are misguided, they have become malicious under the cloak of do-gooding.

Related:

A feudal culture of sexual harassment at Greenpeace India

“Greenpeace’s crime against humanity” – Patrick Moore

Science and advocacy do not mix (the “Greenpeace syndrome”?)

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Birth and the 116 other things which increase cancer risk

October 29, 2015

The good old WHO.

I suppose they do do some good, but they also make some horrible blunders as with the UN introduced cholera epidemic in Haiti, or with the initial downplaying of the Ebola outbreak in some African countries, or when their panel members take money from vaccine manufacturers to recommend mass flu vaccination programs. As with all UN organisations the staff are a mixture of professionals, surrounded by bureaucrats with political agendas from their home countries, and with some members from partisan lobby groups who promote their own causes and self-interests. WHO panels which recommend certain drugs or mass vaccination programs always seem to contain members with commercial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Many in the WHO justify their alarmist tactics as a means to stimulate or trigger actions and – inevitably – many of these actions are totally unnecessary (but they are often very lucrative for some members of the WHO and their sponsors).

Now the WHO are going after processed and even red meat as causing cancer. But they have had to torture their data to calculate the risk. They forget that living is risk. Not being born, however, carries no risk of dying of anything. Therefore, the risk of cancer due to being born is far, far greater than that introduced by any other parameter or substance.  I won’t be changing my meat eating habits just yet.

Their list of 116 other things – besides birth – that increase the risk of cancer are taken from the Daily Mail.

1. Tobacco smoking

2. Sunlamps and sunbeds

3. Aluminium production

4. Arsenic in drinking water

5. Auramine production

6. Boot and shoe manufacture and repair

7. Chimney sweeping

8. Coal gasification

9. Coal tar distillation

10. Coke (fuel) production

11. Furniture and cabinet making

12. Haematite mining (underground) with exposure to radon

13. Secondhand smoke

14. Iron and steel founding

15. Isopropanol manufacture (strong-acid process)

16. Magenta dye manufacturing

17. Occupational exposure as a painter

18. Paving and roofing with coal-tar pitch

19. Rubber industry

20. Occupational exposure of strong inorganic acid mists containing sulphuric acid

21. Naturally occurring mixtures of aflatoxins (produced by funghi)

22. Alcoholic beverages

23. Areca nut – often chewed with betel leaf

24. Betel quid without tobacco

25. Betel quid with tobacco

26. Coal tar pitches

27. Coal tars

28. Indoor emissions from household combustion of coal

29. Diesel exhaust

30. Mineral oils, untreated and mildly treated

31. Phenacetin, a pain and fever reducing drug

32. Plants containing aristolochic acid (used in Chinese herbal medicine)

33. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – widely used in electrical equipment in the past, banned in many countries in the 1970s

34. Chinese-style salted fish

35. Shale oils

36. Soots

37. Smokeless tobacco products

38. Wood dust

39. Processed meat

40. Acetaldehyde

41. 4-Aminobiphenyl

42. Aristolochic acids and plants containing them

43. Asbestos

44. Arsenic and arsenic compounds

45. Azathioprine

46. Benzene

47. Benzidine

48. Benzo[a]pyrene

49. Beryllium and beryllium compounds

50. Chlornapazine (N,N-Bis(2-chloroethyl)-2-naphthylamine)

51. Bis(chloromethyl)ether

52. Chloromethyl methyl ether

53. 1,3-Butadiene

54. 1,4-Butanediol dimethanesulfonate (Busulphan, Myleran)

55. Cadmium and cadmium compounds

56. Chlorambucil

57. Methyl-CCNU (1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea; Semustine)

58. Chromium(VI) compounds

 59. Ciclosporin

60. Contraceptives, hormonal, combined forms (those containing both oestrogen and a progestogen)

61. Contraceptives, oral, sequential forms of hormonal contraception (a period of oestrogen-only followed by a period of both oestrogen and a progestogen)

62. Cyclophosphamide

63. Diethylstilboestrol

64. Dyes metabolized to benzidine

65. Epstein-Barr virus

66. Oestrogens, nonsteroidal

67. Oestrogens, steroidal

68. Oestrogen therapy, postmenopausal

69. Ethanol in alcoholic beverages

70. Erionite

71. Ethylene oxide

72. Etoposide alone and in combination with cisplatin and bleomycin

73. Formaldehyde

74. Gallium arsenide

75. Helicobacter pylori (infection with)

76. Hepatitis B virus (chronic infection with)

77. Hepatitis C virus (chronic infection with)

78. Herbal remedies containing plant species of the genus Aristolochia

79. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (infection with)

80. Human papillomavirus type 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 and 66

81. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-I

82. Melphalan

83. Methoxsalen (8-Methoxypsoralen) plus ultraviolet A-radiation

84. 4,4′-methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA)

85. MOPP and other combined chemotherapy including alkylating agents

86. Mustard gas (sulphur mustard)

87. 2-Naphthylamine

88. Neutron radiation

89. Nickel compounds

90. 4-(N-Nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)

91. N-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN)

92. Opisthorchis viverrini (infection with)

93. Outdoor air pollution

94. Particulate matter in outdoor air pollution

95. Phosphorus-32, as phosphate

96. Plutonium-239 and its decay products (may contain plutonium-240 and other isotopes), as aerosols

97. Radioiodines, short-lived isotopes, including iodine-131, from atomic reactor accidents and nuclear weapons detonation (exposure during childhood)

98. Radionuclides, α-particle-emitting, internally deposited

99. Radionuclides, β-particle-emitting, internally deposited

100. Radium-224 and its decay products

101. Radium-226 and its decay products

102. Radium-228 and its decay products

103. Radon-222 and its decay products

104. Schistosoma haematobium (infection with)

105. Silica, crystalline (inhaled in the form of quartz or cristobalite from occupational sources)

106. Solar radiation

107. Talc containing asbestiform fibres

108. Tamoxifen

109. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin

110. Thiotepa (1,1′,1′-phosphinothioylidynetrisaziridine)

111. Thorium-232 and its decay products, administered intravenously as a colloidal dispersion of thorium-232 dioxide

112. Treosulfan

113. Ortho-toluidine

114. Vinyl chloride

115. Ultraviolet radiation

116. X-radiation and gamma radiation

From the Daily Mail.

 

No surprise: US diplomats acted as Boeing salesmen

January 3, 2011

It comes as no surprise that diplomats and government officials are heavily involved in lobbying and “advocacy” in favour of major corporations in international trade. This applies for sales of all defence equipment, commercial aircraft, major rail transport projects, nuclear and conventional power plant and -in short – virtually all large projects where jobs at the seller’s establishment are involved.

Virtually every visit of a head of government to another country reserves a great deal of time for commercial lobbying activities. Large companies look to such visits to bring purchasing decisions to a head and the months preceding such visits are periods of intense co-operation between commercial sales people, diplomats, bureaucrats and politicians in both countries. So called “agents” (essentially middle-men with “sticky” fingers) thrive on such activity.  During such periods I have seen how diplomats take directions from sales people at private companies or from the “agents”. The ability to access and trigger such “advocacy” is of huge competitive advantage for the companies involved. It is here that large international companies can bring factors outside the conventional sales criteria into play.

It is not just the US or just Boeing involved in such advocacy. Nearly every country indulges in this. The UK (British Aerospace for example), France (Areva and nuclear power or Alstom and High speed trains) or Germany (Siemens for power plants or trains or VW at car factories) are all engaged in similar advocacy. But the particular case of US diplomats acting as salesmen for Boeing is reported by the New York Times from the Wikileaks release of diplomatic cables and these reveal some of the “perks” and extra factors that are brought into play. Such as

The king of Saudi Arabia wanted the United States to outfit his personal jet with the same high-tech devices as Air Force One. The president of Turkey wanted the Obama administration to let a Turkish astronaut sit in on a NASA space flight. And in Bangladesh, the prime minister pressed the State Department to re-establish landing rights at Kennedy International Airport in New York. Each of these government leaders had one thing in common: they were trying to decide whether to buy billions of dollars’ worth of commercial jets from Boeing or its European competitor, Airbus. And United States diplomats were acting like marketing agents, offering deals to heads of state and airline executives whose decisions could be influenced by price, performance and, as with all finicky customers with plenty to spend, perks.

To get the interest of their own politicians and governments every large corporation knows that the magic key is being able to link the sale being pursued to jobs in the home-country and especially in the constituency of the home-politician. “Job creation” is the magic mantra that no politician can resist or can afford to ignore. The use of dubious agents or the use of “undue” influence or the flow of a few percent of the contract value  through some side-channels or the provision of some “perks” to politicians and bureaucrats through the entire chain from supplier to purchaser become critical and pervasive.

When the potential of job creation is involved, questions of ethics are rarely raised and the system of high level corruption is perpetuated.

NYT report


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