Going Green for Life

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

The birth rate in Britain is now at its highest for 30 years
Couples who have more than two children are putting an 'irresponsible' burden on the environment, the Government's leading green advisor has warned.

Jonathon Porritt called on ministers to divert money away from curing illnesses towards contraception and abortion services to limit the country's population and help in the fight against global warming.

And he criticised fellow green campaigners for dodging the issue of population growth and its effect on the environment because it is too 'controversial'.

It came as Catholic bishops in England and Wales lambasted environmentalism as an ideology every bit as dangerous as communism.

In a booklet, they say worshippers should be deeply sceptical of claims the green movement makes on global warming.

Mr Porritt, chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises the Government on green matters, said he was due to publish a report in March calling on ministers to reduce population growth through better family planning.

'We still have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe and we still have relatively high levels of pregnancies going to birth, often among women who are not convinced they want to become mothers,' he said.

Britain's population of 61 million is forecast to exceed 70 million by 2028. The birth rate is now at its highest for almost 30 years, largely because immigrant mothers have higher birth rates, and because teenage pregnancy rates are among the highest in Europe.

The UK's abortion rate is already one of the highest in the western world - second only to the United States.

The Optimum Population Trust, a campaign group of which Mr Porritt is a patron, says each baby born in Britain will, during his lifetime, burn the amount of carbon equivalent to two and a half acres of oak woodland - around the size of Trafalgar Square.

Mr Porritt, who has two children himself, added: 'I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate.

'I think we will work our way towards a position that says having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don't really hear anyone say the P-word.

'Many organisations think it is not part of their business. My mission with the Friends of the Earths and the Greenpeaces of this world is to say: "You are betraying the interests of your members by refusing to address population issues and you are doing it for the wrong reasons because you think it is too controversial".'

A spokeswoman for the Pro-life Alliance said: 'Yet again we hear an expert calling for more contraception and abortion: but our high abortion figures are the fruit of that kind of approach.

'The unpleasant aspect of this statement is the idea that how many children you have should be down to the state. Wherever we have seen such policies being imposed, such as in China, we have seen a preference for male children and a rise in infanticide.'

The views expressed by Mr Porritt came under attack from the Catholic Church, which views contraception as 'intrinsically evil'.

A booklet by the London-based Catholic Truth Society, a charity under the patronage of Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Cardiff, said there was a proven tendency among the environmental lobby to exaggerate the threat of global warming to exaggerate the threat of global warming to vindicate their calls for radical Government measures to 'forcibly' move the world down a 'sustainable' path.

The book, Global Warming: How Should we Respond, says: 'Just as Marxism advocated Communism as the only solution to the world's ills, so Greens warn us of major catastrophe if we do not adopt their calls for radical change.'

It says the ideology of the Green movement ran counter to Christian beliefs, because it saw 'mankind as just one species among many'.

The book says that population programmes targeting the 'supposedly feckless breeding' of the poor, especially in developing countries, were the result of racist and unfounded prejudices.

'Environmental campaigns which demand that the natural world should be treated with greater respect imply that this is the only issue that matters, ignoring the plight of humanity or any spiritual values,' it said.


[roeoz] Violent clashes in Russia

Posted by AccGURU

Violent clashes in Russia as angry protesters call for Putin to resign
over economy


Russia was rocked today by some of its strongest protests yet as
thousands rallied across the vast country to attack the Kremlin's
response to the global economic crisis.

The marches, complete with Soviet-style red flags and banners,
pose a challenge to a government which has faced little threat from
the fragmented opposition and politically apathetic population during
the boom years fueled by oil.

Pro-government thugs beat up some of the protesters.


[roeoz] Roubini Sees Global Gloom After Davos Vindication

Posted by AccGURU

Roubini Sees Global Gloom After Davos Vindication


Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- At the World Economic Forum two years ago,
Nouriel Roubini warned that record profits and bonuses were obscuring
a "hard landing" to come. "I really disagree," countered Jacob
Frenkel, the American International Group Inc. vice chairman and
former Israeli central banker.

No more. "Roubini was intellectually courageous, and he called the
shots correctly," says Frenkel, whose AIG survives only on the basis
of more than $100 billion of government loans. "He gained credibility,
and he deserves it."

Even as he wins plaudits for his prescience, Roubini, 50, says
worse lies ahead. Banks face bigger credit losses than they realize,
more financial companies will require state takeovers and the world
economy will keep shrinking throughout 2009, he says.

"The consensus is catching up with me, but it's still behind,"
Roubini said in an interview in Davos. "I don't know what some people
are smoking."


As long ago as February 2007, Roubini was writing on his blog that
"the party will soon be over," and warning of "painful consequences
for the U.S. and the global economy." By last February, his tone had
become apocalyptic, raising the specter of a "catastrophic" meltdown
that central banks would fail to prevent, triggering the bankruptcy of
large banks with mortgage holdings and a "sharp drop" in equities.

The next month, Bear Stearns Cos. failed, to be taken over by
JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a government-backed deal. Then, in September,
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bankrupt, prompting banks to hoard
cash and depriving businesses and households of access to capital. The
U.S. took over AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Standard &
Poor's 500 Index suffered its worst year since 1937.

"I was intellectually vindicated," Roubini says. "But I was
vindicated by having an economic disaster which has political and
social consequences."


Roubini's predecessors in the role of economic nay-sayer include
some well-known names: Joseph Granville, publisher of the Granville
Market Letter, who forecast the stock-market declines of 1976 and
2000; Henry Kaufman, who as a managing director at Salomon Brothers
projected rising interest rates that led to a U.S. recession in the
early 1980s; Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report,
who predicted the 1987 stock crash; and Yale University's Robert
Shiller, a former colleague of Roubini's, who forecast the end of the
dot-com bubble in his 2000 book "Irrational Exuberance" and said in a
second edition in 2005 that the U.S. housing market had undergone the
biggest speculative boom in U.S. history.

Granville, 85, says the key to being an outlier is not to doubt
your analysis.

"I don't have anything to do with emotion," says Granville, who's
based in Kansas City. "Keep your head, follow the numbers and ignore
the rest."

Roubini was born in Istanbul, the son of an importer- exporter of
carpets, and spent his childhood in Israel, Iran and Italy. It was
while living in Milan from 1962 to 1982, he says, that he became
attracted to economics: "Economics had the tools to understand the
world, and not just understand it but also change it for the better."

Roubini, who's now working on a book about the crisis, says he
takes no particular pleasure in his role as Dr. Doom or the attention
it brings him.

"I'm not a permanent bear," he says. "I'll be the first to call a
recovery, but I just don't see it yet, and it's getting uglier."


[roeoz] the sun is setting on a previous era

Posted by AccGURU

We are at the dawn of a new era and more importantly the sun is setting on a previous era. This previous era was a time of exponential growth in energy, population, and material resources.

The conversion of resources and labor into commodities kept up with the demands of a monetary system predicated on compound interest and fractional reserve lending. Admittedly there were some rough spots along the way, but all in all it looked like a pretty good deal.

Then something happened. The system that cranked out all those goods started to run out of markets for those goods. The solution was to buy cheaper labor to make those goods more attractive to buyers. Also, as the resource base started to degrade into lower quality ores and energy, those costs further drove the system to look for more markets and even cheaper labor. As few people had the wages to buy these goods, the system also devised a way to lend people enough money to buy all the neat stuff.

This flooded the system with a lot of new money conjured out of nowhere. Now, as the sellers and financiers of all this neat stuff ran to invest their profits in the making of more neat stuff, they found that there was no way to expand the market for neat stuff. People had about as much neat stuff as they could afford, and arguably a bit more.

But, one of the rules of the system is that money must be put to work and earn more money because of a thing called The Discount Rate. This is when the new conjured up money causes existing money to lose value by inflation. Having nothing tangible to invest in, the brokers and bankers started to invest in instruments that were based on the performance of yet more instruments. This violated the notion that money must confront commodities in a market.

Under this new scheme, money confronted other money or even just the promise of money. What happened? What happened is what happens whenever people make bad promises. Bad things happen. The chain of payments that keeps money and commodities circulating began to break down.

One of the assumptions under the system is that the quantity of money and commodities should always grow. That's what all of the contracts are based on. The system cannot cope with a decline in money or commodities. The system breaks down. The system is like a man driving a tired horse. The horse needs to have it's workload reevaluated. It needs some hay and oats and a long drink, It needs a good rest. But the system cannot stand still. It whips the horse for more work without any concern for the health of the horse. Now we see the horse stagger and fall. It may be too late for the poor horse. Will the horse get up?

If it does, will the system let the horse recover and stop trying to get more from the horse than it can deliver? If the past behavior of the system is any indication, I don't hold out much hope for the horse.

I would have more confidence in optimism if the optimists lived wisely!
A pessimist is a well informed optimist!