Joseph Mariathasan: Alternative energy

first_imgThe focus on alternative energy varies dramatically by country as well. The UK and Germany have seen the largest increases in the production of energy by alternative means, both tripling their totals during the period. In contrast, Scandinavian countries, traditionally thought of as being the most receptive, have not seen much increase, with Denmark seeing just a 60% increase in total production over the period, whilst Norway saw virtually none at all.Photovoltaics have captured headlines a lot, but it is wind power that has increased the most, going from just 3% in 2002 to more than 10% in 2013. The Netherlands may still be the land of windmills, but, when it comes to utilising wind power, the figures tell a different story. Whilst its production of energy from wind has gone up by a factor of six from 2002 to 2013, that pales into insignificance when compared with France, whose production of wind energy increased by a factor of 60 during the same period. France started in 2002 by producing just one-quarter of the amount of wind energy produced by the Netherlands, but it ended 2013 by producing almost three times as much.It does need a dramatic breakthrough in battery technology that would enable photovoltaics and wind to be able to supply power as and when needed, rather than only when the sun shines and the wind blows. Both power sources also suffer from a low value for energy density – you need to have a lot of land tied up in windfarms and solar cells to produce significant amounts of energy.There are other sources of energy that may be more practical that do not require the burning of fossil fuels – what has been getting bad press, of course, is nuclear. Yet, despite the headlines and even the well-publicised disasters, it may still represent the best compromise if global warming is to be averted. Oxford University’s professor Wade Allison argues in his recent book – Nuclear is for Life: A Cultural Revolution – that current radiation regulations are based not on science but on 70 years of social and political reaction to fear. By freeing nuclear power from such science-blind restrictions, it could provide the plentiful cheap power needed to mitigate the effects of carbon. Whether you agree with his argument or not, the existential threat potentially posed by global warming means it does deserve a hearing.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE There may be exciting developments in alternative energy, but they are not enough without nuclear power, Joseph Mariathasan arguesDecember will see the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 in Paris. The EU has set itself a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2050, and they see the power sector as having the biggest potential for cutting emissions. Indeed, they believe it can almost totally eliminate CO2 emissions by 2050. The key to this is generating electricity through alternative energy sources, and electricity can also partially replace fossil fuels in transport and heating.Increasing the use of alternative energy is seen as a critical route to take, whilst nuclear energy is still beset by worries over safety. Much of the attention has been given to solar photovoltaics and wind energy. Certainly, the generation of energy by photovoltaic solar cells has seen a massive increase of a factor of almost 300 between 2002 and 2013, according to Eurostat numbers. Current figures will be much higher still, driven by a reduced cost of production and heavy – albeit falling – government subsidies.But a sense of reality may need to come into play now. The massive increase started off from a low base, when, in 2002, solar had almost a negligible amount of the total share of alternative energy production, whilst even in 2013 it still accounted for less than 4%. In fact, the majority of alternative energy in 2002 (55%) was produced by solid biofuels (excluding charcoal), and this percentage had only gone down to 46% by 2013, although total production of alternative energy virtually doubled.last_img read more

Man City look to Spurs to slow Liverpool Premier League charge

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Premier League leaders LiverpoolLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester City have the chance to exert some short-term pressure on runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool this weekend as Manchester United look to end their away day blues.Jurgen Klopp’s side saw their long winning streak ended by a hungry United in a draw at Old Trafford last week but still have a comfortable six-point lead over second-placed City.Guardiola’s defending champions can cut that gap to just three points, at least temporarily, if they beat Aston Villa at home on Saturday, while Liverpool have a trickier-looking tie against Spurs the following day.Frank Lampard’s young Chelsea side travel to Burnley on the back of a six-match winning run in all competitions while third-placed Leicester visit Southampton on Friday.Manchester United will be desperate to put more distance between themselves and the relegation zone but travel to Norwich without an away win in the Premier League since February.AFP Sport picks out some of the talking points ahead of the weekend’s matches.Fortress AnfieldLiverpool go into their home match against Tottenham after falling one game short of matching Manchester City’s record 18-match winning run in the Premier League.The European champions, on a 44-match unbeaten run at home in the league, have forgotten how to lose at Anfield but will be facing a Spurs team buoyed by a 5-0 victory at home to Red Star Belgrade in midweek.Erik Lamela, who scored against Red Star on his 200th appearance for Spurs, said the size of the victory had given the struggling team an injection of confidence.“Our confidence is better after winning the game 5-0,” said the Argentine. “We need to take this game, keep going, try to get better and better and now focus on Liverpool.”Spurs are seeking revenge for defeat in last season’s Champions League final, but the odds are stacked against them.Tottenham have won just once in 15 matches against Liverpool and have not won away in the Premier League since January.Sterling soarsPep Guardiola urged his team to be more clinical after their 2-0 victory last week against Crystal Palace and his team responded by thumping Atalanta 5-1 in the Champions League.Despite Guardiola’s exhortations, City have not been shy in front of goal this season, hitting 29 in just nine Premier League matches.Their top-scorer in all competitions is Raheem Sterling, whose hat-trick in midweek led to gushing praise from his boss, who called him an “extraordinary player”. Sterling has 16 goals already this season for club and country — already more than half of his tally of 31 during the previous campaign.Despite his comments about his attackers, Guardiola’s more pressing concern will be sorting out his defence, which has looked vulnerable this season in the absence of Aymeric Laporte.Rodri’s hamstring injury against Atalanta has restricted the manager’s defensive options even further but John Stones will be hoping to put a frustrating spell behind him and re-establish himself in the starting XI.United’s away-day woeManchester United came within minutes of beating Liverpool at Old Trafford last week but Sunday’s visit to Norwich will likely be a truer test of the team’s current form.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, just two points above the relegation zone, have not won away in the league since the Norwegian was appointed as the permanent boss.The match at Carrow Road will be the second of four successive away games in all competitions.United did at least secure their first win on the road since March at Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday.“It’s an issue that we have to deal with and sort out as soon as possible,” said Solskjaer on his side’s away form.Fixtures (1500 GMT unless stated)FridaySouthampton v Leicester (1900)SaturdayManchester City v Aston Villa (1130), Brighton v Everton, Watford v Bournemouth, West Ham v Sheffield United, Burnley v Chelsea (1630)SundayNewcastle v Wolves (1400), Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Liverpool v Tottenham, Norwich v Manchester United (all 1630)Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Olympia Community Members Advocate for Compassionate Immigration Reform

first_imgFacebook21Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Sitara Nath“And what makes this country great for me, as an immigrant and now, a United States citizen, is really that America is a place I can finally call home,” said Meenu Nath, a local Olympia constituent and one of the 12 community members who lobbied Congressmen Denny Heck’s Lacey office for compassionate immigration reform on Thursday, May 18. The combination of leaders, local activists and faith-based organizations came together to ask Representative Heck to cosponsor the BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill which will protect young, undocumented immigrants if their protected status is revoked.Along with Charo Portaro, CIELO’s Director of Educational Programs, a team from the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, and local activists, Representative Heck’s conference room was entirely filled by the Olympia advocacy network. Photo courtesy: Sitara NathThe visit was organized by Sitara Nath, a local community organizer who takes part in the Advocacy Corps Intern Program with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a DC – based Quaker lobbyist group in the public interest. Last year, after attending a conference in Washington D.C. just days after the presidential election, Nath’s interest in compassionate immigration reform grew stronger as anti-immigrant rhetoric continued emanating from the White House. Now back in Olympia, Nath has teamed up with the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, a local coalition of faith activists who seek to support immigrant communities in the area. Dallas Roberts, the congressman’s district representative, met with the constituents and reiterated the power of stories in immigration advocacy.“What we really need is people like all of you out there and sharing these stories with other members of Congress as well – it would really support the Representative if other Washington leaders were united on this issue,” said Roberts, who also noted that the Representative is supportive of the BRIDGE Act but, due to the bipartisan nature of the bill, needs a Republican congressional member to sign on alongside him.At the visit, the constituents discussed their personal stories in relation to the BRIDGE Act in an effort to bring politics back to personal roots. Beth Halpern, a member of Strengthening Sanctuary and an ally through the Temple Beth Hatfiloh, shared a moving story of a young woman she is acquainted with who has excelled in her education but is restricted from further pursuing her dreams due to her undocumented status.Charo Portaro, the Director of Educational Programs at CIELO (Central Integral Educativo de Olympia) also joined the visit to discuss how the Congressman’s legislative decisions impact the immigrant communities she works with.“We are working to change lives through education,” said Portaro of the programs which CIELO offers, including English classes, GED preparation courses and sewing classes, to build support for immigrant families in Olympia. Portaro concluded firmly that, “This is an issue which comes down to our basic humanity and that’s why I am here – that’s why we want the Representative to support this issue.”You can learn more about CIELO and their volunteer-based programs by visiting the CIELO website or by emailing cieloproject@comcast.net. You can also find information regarding the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, which provides ‘Know Your Rights’ training and Family Safety Planning, through the local Interfaith Works newsletter. To contact Sitara Nath about local lobbying opportunities for compassionate immigration reform, you can email her at sitaranath@gmail.com.last_img read more

Lacey Appoints New Administrative Services Director

first_imgFacebook76Tweet0Pin0Submitted by City of LaceyCity Manager Scott Spence announced today the appointment of Candice Bock as the new Administrative Services Director for the City of Lacey. Her first day with the city will be October 3.Candice Bock is the new Administrative Service Director for the City of Lacey. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey“Candice comes to the City of Lacey with a broad background in public service,” said Spence. “Her tenure at the Association of Washington Cities, as well as local government executive experience, makes her uniquely qualified to assume the duties of the Director of Administrative Services.”Bock served as Government Relations Advocate for the Association of Washington Cities and was responsible for guiding development of policy encompassing a wide range of fields, including personnel and labor relations, criminal justice, public safety, and emergency management. In addition, she served as the City Manager of the City of Carnation, and as the Assistant City Manager and Government Relations Director of the City of Lakewood.Bock earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. She is a member of the Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA), the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and a member of Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL).The Administrative Services Director is responsible for managing the city’s public affairs, human resources, and city clerk functions. The position serves as a member of the executive team and reports directly to the City Manager. Twelve full-time employees assist the director in carrying out responsibilities of the city’s employee recruitment, training, and compensation programs; risk management and safety initiatives; public information and outreach programs; citizen assistance efforts; public records management; and intergovernmental and legislative relations activities.last_img read more

Olympia Named a Top 100 Best Place to Live

first_imgFacebook195Tweet0Pin0Submitted by LiveabilityOlympia has been named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2018 by Livability.com, outpacing more than 2,100 cities (with populations between 20,000 and 350,000) in this data-driven ranking.The list is an exclusive, independent, editorial ranking by Livability.com. The 2018 ranking builds on a process initially developed with one of the world’s leading urban theorists, Richard Florida. Livability.com’s research team worked with the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute and later with The Initiative for Creativity and Innovation in Cities at New York University’s Schools of Professional Studies a program he directed along with Steven Pedigo.“The 2018 Best Place to Live list includes a fascinating mix of familiar cities and first-timers that are starting to carve out a reputation as wonderful places to live,” says Winona Dimeo-Ediger, Livability.com’s managing editor.“It’s great to see these under-the-radar cities getting more attention on a national scale — and the accolades are certainly well-deserved.”The capital of Washington, this modest-sized city offers vibrant culture, a charming downtown and a range of outdoor activities for residents. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Tumwater Falls Park and Wolf Haven International are just three of many natural attractions, and Puget Sound provides fantastic views, boating opportunities and great seafood. The economy of Olympia is strong in education, government, healthcare and manufacturing, and abundant neighborhoods offer a variety of housing options and architectural styles. Olympia also earns high livability marks for its abundance of parks as well as Evergreen State College with more than 60 fields of study. In addition, much of the local population is tuned-in to social causes.last_img read more