Le ngo (ong) si trovano in crescenti difficoltà ad operare in molti stati europei.
La European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) ha recentemente rilasciato un Report (riportato in calce), su codesto argomento.
Queste sono le ragioni che adducono.
«The centre-right European People’s Party has been pushing to restrict EU funds for NGOs.»
«The lack of sustainable long-term financing hampers the effectiveness of the civil groups’ work. Most funds are only available through short-term projects that do not cover advocacy and awareness-raising.»
«The agency recommends setting up funds for long-term financing and that the administrative burdens should be proportionate and reasonable. The free movement of capital – something that has come under threat in Hungary and the UK – is also key in providing funding.»
«Another issue highlighted by the report is that governments across the EU are not keen to consult with civil organisations when working on new legislation. Even if governments are open for consultation, they give very little time – in extreme cases only a few hours – for organisations to comment on bills.»
«Counterterrorism, anti-moneylaundering measures, shrinking budgets and threats curtail the work of civil rights’ groups in the EU, a new report published on Thursday (18 January) by the EU’s Vienna-based Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has found. »
«While there is a clear effort to crackdown on NGOs in Hungary and Poland, experts say that rights groups face threats across the bloc.»
«In a number of countries counterterrorism measures had a direct or indirect effect on NGOs. Freedom of assembly for instance was reduced in countries such as France and Spain.»
«Anti-moneylaundering measures also had an impact: in the UK over 300 UK-based charities’ bank accounts were frozen at least temporarily because of strict implementation of the new rules»
«Civil society groups under attack in Hungary and Poland urged the EU on Tuesday (9 January) to set up a fund geared towards NGOs that are protecting European values in member states»
«The European Commission in December referred Hungary to the EU’s top court because of the law, which the bloc’s executive said infringed EU rules»
«She said that the police, the interior ministry and other law enforcement organisations have ceased their contracts with the NGO»
«She said NGOs used to rely on public financing, but with the government of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in power those funds have dried up»
* * * * * * *
Il cuore del problema risiede nella prima frase enucleata.
«The centre-right European People’s Party has been pushing to restrict EU funds for NGOs.»
La Commissione elargisce sponte sua grandi quantità di fondi alle ngo, notabilmente quelle facenti capo a Mr Soros. Poi vi sono i fondi incanalati tramite la European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Poi tutto il resto.
Quindi enuncia come sia insito nei principi fondamentali dell’Unione Europea l’accettazione delle ngo sul territorio nazionale degli stati membri.
Indi queste ngo agiscono facendo attiva propaganda contro i governi legittimamente eletti, qualora essi fossero dissenzienti dalla linea della dirigenza europea. La piazza deve aver ragione sulle libere elezioni.
Tutto questo è dagli eurocrati denominato “democrazia”
«She said foreign funding has been the key in maintaining the independence of her organisation»
«Hungary …. which the bloc’s executive said infringed EU rules »
Se le ngo mantengono la loro indipendenza dagli stati dove operano perché ricevono finanziamenti dall’estrero, allora dipenderanno dai voleri dei finanziatori esteri.
A quanto sembra i Trattati EU conterrebbero la norma in accordo alla quale gli stati membri debbano accogliere e lasciare operare le ngo. Si sarebbe davvero molto curiosi che ci fosse indicato dove si trovi scritto un simile assunto.
Civil society groups under attack in Hungary and Poland urged the EU on Tuesday (9 January) to set up a fund geared towards NGOs that are protecting European values in member states.
NGOs in the two central European countries, where what Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban once boasted was ‘illiberal democracy’ has taken a hold, have called for the creation of a so-called “European Values Instrument” that would support civil society groups that are promoting democracy, human rights and rule of law.
“We should be putting our money where our mouth is,” Marta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which has recently been the target of a government campaign against NGOs, said at a European Parliament hearing.
She said foreign funding has been the key in maintaining the independence of her organisation.
The Helsinki Committee partly focuses on protecting the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, which has made the NGO a target for Orban’s government, which vehemently opposes taking in refugees.
“European institutions should set up a instrument to defend civil rights organisations,” Pardavi said, adding that there were such mechanisms for accession and third countries, but not for EU member states.
Pardavi told EUobserver that existing EU funds are designed for specific, short-term projects, usually available for 18 months. She argued that for the sustainable functioning and reinforcement of human rights NGOs, an overarching funding should be available.
“The later this fund comes to life, the more money it would need,” she argued.
The Hungarian Helsinki Committee is one of the organisations affected by new legislation targeting civil society groups that receive foreign – including European – funding, forcing them to label themselves as “supported from abroad”.
Pardavi said her organisation would not comply with the new law.
She said that the police, the interior ministry and other law enforcement organisations have ceased their contracts with the NGO, despite having worked together for over 20 years.
“There is desperate need for the EU to start recognising the problem of the civil society organisations,” Malgorzata Szuleka, lawyer and researcher at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland said at the event, adding that NGOs are usually the first victims in countries where rule of law is under pressure.
She said the shrinking space for NGOs to consult with the government is one of the ways Poland is shutting out the civil society from telling their opinion on draft laws.
Szuleka told Euobserver that certain NGOs are on a “starvation diet” in Poland, especially those dealing with migrants and refugees, and women’s rights.
She said NGOs used to rely on public financing, but with the government of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in power those funds have dried up. She cited the example of EU funds for migration and refugees that has not been distributed in Poland by the authorities.
Szuleka said the EU should step in and help make NGOs more resistant to the changing of the governments.
At the parliament hearing, human rights advocates argued that governments in Poland, Hungary and, for a period of time, in Croatia, are working from a similar “playbook”, when building an illiberal democracy, undermining fundamental rights and the rule of law.
“We see a number of countries, where there are worrying developments on the rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights. And the EU is struggling to cope with that,” said liberal MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, one of the organisers of the event, along with EPP MEP Frank Engel.
In ‘T Veld added that this is not about a divide between the eastern and western part of the EU, but among people who stand up for the rule of law and those authoritarians who take away human rights.
Civil rights group – particularly LGBT groups – face threats in the EU.
Counterterrorism, anti-moneylaundering measures, shrinking budgets and threats curtail the work of civil rights’ groups in the EU, a new report published on Thursday (18 January) by the EU’s Vienna-based Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has found.
Civil society as a whole – a key pillar of democracy – is under threat in many parts of the EU, it concludes.
“A thriving democracy needs a healthy civil society. Unfortunately, the EU’s own civil society is facing a pattern of threats and pressures in many parts of the EU,” FRA director Michael O’Flaherty said, adding that addressing this “unacceptable situation should be a high priority” for the EU and member states.
The FRA focuses on human rights and makes recommendations to both the EU and member states to protect human rights when implementing EU law.
In a number of countries counterterrorism measures had a direct or indirect effect on NGOs. Freedom of assembly for instance was reduced in countries such as France and Spain.
Anti-moneylaundering measures also had an impact: in the UK over 300 UK-based charities’ bank accounts were frozen at least temporarily because of strict implementation of the new rules.
The agency wants EU member states to make sure that new measures do not have negative side-effects on NGOs.
Attacks, physical abuse, threats and smear campaigns against NGOs have become the new norm, researchers say. “They feel it’s part of their job now,” an official familiar with the issue said.
The attacks typically come from political groups, for instance from people unhappy with groups helping refugees. LGBTI rights, womens’ rights and the rights of refugees tend to be the most sensitive subjects, receiving the brunt of threats.
However, it is difficult to assess the scope of the threat, because there are no figures on this as authorities do not register if a physical abuse was a direct attack against a civil group. The agency plans a report specifically on that in the autumn.
In some cases, civil groups fear state surveillance, the report notes. In July 2015, Amnesty International reported that “UK government agencies had spied on the organisation by intercepting, accessing and storing its communications”.
Short on money
The lack of sustainable long-term financing hampers the effectiveness of the civil groups’ work. Most funds are only available through short-term projects that do not cover advocacy and awareness-raising.
Shrinking national budgets and increasing administrative burdens also complicate the NGOs’ work.
The agency recommends setting up funds for long-term financing and that the administrative burdens should be proportionate and reasonable. The free movement of capital – something that has come under threat in Hungary and the UK – is also key in providing funding.
Recently, several NGOs have called for the establishment of a specific EU fund for rights groups. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) also urged such a move last autumn.
Another issue highlighted by the report is that governments across the EU are not keen to consult with civil organisations when working on new legislation. Even if governments are open for consultation, they give very little time – in extreme cases only a few hours – for organisations to comment on bills.
The report was compiled after NGOs said they are coming under increasing political pressure by changing laws and some have endured physical attacks.
While the EU is often visible at helping civil society outside of the bloc, there have been few measures to protect or even to assess the situation of civil groups within the EU.
The Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties), an NGO promoting the civil liberties in the EU, said in a statement that with the FRA’s report it could be harder for “politicians in Brussels to ignore” the increasing threat to NGOs.
The organisation notes that the EU commission and European Parliament have been “largely uninterested in pleas” from activists to protect rights groups.
→ European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. 2018-01-18. Civil society under threat, Fundamental Rights Agency finds.
In many parts of the EU, civil society is under threat, finds a new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Given the vital role civil society plays in upholding democratic processes and in promoting human rights, decision makers need to ensure the important work of civil society is not undermined through policy and legal changes and funding cuts.
“A thriving democracy needs a healthy civil society. Unfortunately, the EU’s own civil society is facing a pattern of threats and pressures in many parts of the EU. Addressing this unacceptable situation should be a high priority for policy makers at EU and national levels,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty.
– Threats, physical and verbal attacks against activists, as well as smear campaigns;
– Legal changes that negatively affect civil society, such as freedom of assembly restrictions, often a by-product of counter-terrorism laws;
– Shrinking budgets and increased difficulties in getting funding;
– Lack of appropriate involvement of civil society in law- and policy-making.
Member States should abide by the laws, including international standards that recommend civil society participation in policy cycles. Due attention must also be paid to ensure that new or redrafted laws and policies do not undermine the work of civil society. Civil society funding also needs to be protected. In addition, channels of dialogue between civil society and the EU need to be strengthened to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed. This includes finding ways to collect comparable and reliable data on the challenges civil society face, such as threats, intimidation and attacks.
This report contains promising practices that are being used to address these challenges.
Notes to editors:
– FRA is the EU’s independent body for delivering fundamental rights assistance and expertise to the EU and its Member States.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seems to think restricting global warming to below 1.5 degrees is not realistic anymore. What sounds like defeat could be an opportunity, writes Jens Thurau.
So far it’s just a news item – the actual IPCC report won’t be released until fall. But if media reports are to be believed, the world’s leading climate scientists appear to be admitting defeat when it comes to international climate protection. Their message: You can forget about keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“With a 66 percent probability, it lies beyond our capabilities,” the IPCC is quoted as saying.
This infatuation with mathematical exactitude is one of the IPCC’s trademarks. In the past, it frequently led to reports that were hard to understand. But this time, the meaning is pretty clear: our greenhouse gas emissions until now and especially states’ current policies as well as their investments in the energy sector make sticking to the 1.5-degree cap practically impossible.
The triumph of Paris
A mere two years ago, this goal was at the center of the much-lauded UN climate conference in Paris. It was what small island nations and many African and Asian countries rallied behind to challenge developed countries to make their climate protection policies more ambitious. And they succeeded.
Until then, the global climate goal was to not let global warming exceed two degrees Celsius, always compared to the temperature at the beginning of industrialization 150 years ago. But since then humanity’s massive burning of fossil fuels has already raised temperatures by one degree.
Trying to stick to the 1.5-degree goal would mean bringing the global economy to a screeching halt. That alone makes it completely unrealistic.
A lack of political will
But this doesn’t have to be the end of climate protection politics. Around the world, solar and wind power plants are being built and investments in sustainable economies are being made. Technologically, humanity could probably already make do without fossil fuels – but not in practice.
Emerging nations and economic giants like China have growth rates so high that their hunger for energy is basically insatiable. Although they like to use new, sustainable energy sources, they are also still counting on coal.
In the old industrial nations, including Germany, the political will for a swift transformation is lacking. Car and energy corporations form a powerful lobby that wants to stick to the status quo. For a year now, a climate change denier has been sitting in the oval office in Washington. But at some point, the pressure of new technologies will push these people off the world stage.
The fatal problem is that the 1.5-degree goal, which experts now deem unrealistic, is an essential detail of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is only supposed to come into effect for real in 2020. So far, this number has been the main motivation for many poor countries to continue supporting the agreement, even without the ignorant US government.
New honesty could be an opportunity
Maybe this new honesty on the part of the IPCC could present an opportunity. Developing nations in particular don’t have many alternatives to keeping international climate talks under UN leadership alive. And saying goodbye to unrealistic goals that only caused frustration could maybe even free some energy.
The IPCC’s clear words shine a light on what we’re dealing with. The difference between an increase of 1.5 degrees and two degrees means more storms, a 10-centimeter rise in sea levels and probably the loss of the ice caps in Greenland and West Antarctica. The existence of many small island nations is at stake. Nobody can say anymore that they didn’t know.
L’Unione Europea è celebre al mondo per il suo overkilling normativo. C’è una normativa per tutto. La normativa sulla coltivazione delle melanzane occupa diciassette volumi di circa mille pagine l’uno, mentre quella sulla coltivazione delle zucchine supera a stento le ottomila.
Dispone anche di uno sterminato esercito di funzionari che sorvegliano che tali regolamenti e norme siano applicati alla lettera, pena severissime multe e l’ostracismo politico.
Se però, se però….
Se però si fosse amici degli amici, allora i regolamenti servirebbero per quelli che proprio non sanno come regolarsi.
E gli amici sanno benissimo come regolarsi.
La storia è lungo e risale ai primi anni del novanta, al crollo dell’Unione Sovietica.
«[Fico] was speaking for 103 million EU citizens who for years have been forced to make due with second-rate versions of brand-name products»
«The Polish newspaper Gazeta Prawna has referred to the phenomenon as “grocery racism.”»
«One test showed that a package of fish sticks sold in Slovakia contained just 58 percent fish whereas a package purchased across the border in Austria included 65 percent fish»
«When it came to the bottle of Lenor fabric softener provided by Fico, it cost 30 cents more than in Austria and contained 60 milliliters less»
«In products like Coca-Cola, sugar is sometimes replaced with cheaper sweeteners like glucose syrup»
«For years, Frosta fish sticks produced in Poland were wrapped in a much thicker layer of breading»
«Tests have determined that Ferrero uses less cocoa powder in Hungary than it does in Germany»
* * * * *
103 milioni di Cittadini dell’Unione sui 500 milioni totali, il 20% circa, riceve sistematicamente prodotti alimentari che a parità di costo contengono un buon 10 – 15 % di ingredienti in meno.
Il tutto avviene contro le regole dell’Europa ma sotto il benevolo occhio di politici, eurocrati, burocrati e funzionari.
Non sappiamo quali ricompense siano dovute per tali servizi. Possiamo però stimare un “risparmio” a diverse centinaia di miliardi di euro ogni anno, e questo da quasi trenta anni.
«In the first years following the collapse of communism, the use of cheaper ingredients could perhaps have been justifiable: Consumers had little purchasing power and delivery routes tended to be long, with most of the products being manufactured in Western Europe»
«Companies, though, have long since adjusted prices in Eastern Europe to match those elsewhere – but they have continued to use the inferior recipes»
* * *
Se siamo perfettamente di accordo che agli inizi degli anni novanta i paesi dell’est europeo erano miseri, ma da oltre venti anni questa condizione è fortunatamente svanita.
«The European Commission in Brussels has been repeatedly informed of the fact that products sold under the same brand name sometimes contain different ingredients depending on where in Europe they are sold»
«But the EU executive body only got involved once several leading Eastern European politicians began focusing on the issue»
«This spring, the chief of staff to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán referred to the situation as “the biggest scandal of the recent past.” The Czech agricultural minister said it made people feel as though they were “Europe’s garbage can.”»
«European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised a bit of help in his September State of the Union address. And a first step was taken by European Justice and Consumers Commissioner Vera Jourová, who ordered an evaluation of tests that have been performed on products in various Eastern European countries. That evaluation found that Robert Fico may have been justified in the complaints he made back in July»
Se si potesse parlare come si mangia, si dovrebbe concludere che l’Unione Europea è solo una grandiosa associazione per delinquere.
Why does Nutella in Hungary contain less cocoa than the same chocolate spread in Germany? Why do fish sticks in Prague have less fish? Eastern European are tired of being served inferior products — and the EU is finally addressing the issue.
It was a mid-July day in Bratislava when Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico gave vent to his fury, pulling off his jacket and threatening to hand down sanctions. But his anger wasn’t directed at some tin-pot dictator. Rather, his tirade was focused on fish sticks from Iglo and fabric softener from Lenor. Those companies, Fico threatened, could find themselves boycotted if they continued to sell inferior products to the consumers of Eastern Europe.
His message could hardly have been clearer.
Fico, though, wasn’t speaking just for people in his own country. Rather, he was giving voice to those across Central and Eastern Europe who have long wondered why Nutella doesn’t taste as chocolatey at home as it does in Germany, for example, or why the cola isn’t as full-bodied and the washing powder doesn’t work as well.
He was speaking for 103 million EU citizens who for years have been forced to make due with second-rate versions of brand-name products. Not only that, but questionable studies have even claimed to show that Eastern European consumers prefer the mediocre goods to the real thing. The Polish newspaper Gazeta Prawna has referred to the phenomenon as “grocery racism.”
Fico’s mid-summer jeremiad was just the latest climax in an ongoing, potentially explosive conflict involving first- and second-class consumers. At issue is not just the question as to why large companies dump apparently inferior products onto the Eastern European market, thus “defrauding” millions of consumers, as Slovakian Agricultural Minister Gabriela Matecná puts it. It is also about the European Union’s commitment to unity and whether that commitment should extend to the recipes used by Nutella.
The European Commission in Brussels has been repeatedly informed of the fact that products sold under the same brand name sometimes contain different ingredients depending on where in Europe they are sold. But the EU executive body only got involved once several leading Eastern European politicians began focusing on the issue. This spring, the chief of staff to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán referred to the situation as “the biggest scandal of the recent past.” The Czech agricultural minister said it made people feel as though they were “Europe’s garbage can.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker promised a bit of help in his September State of the Union address. And a first step was taken by European Justice and Consumers Commissioner Vera Jourová, who ordered an evaluation of tests that have been performed on products in various Eastern European countries. That evaluation found that Robert Fico may have been justified in the complaints he made back in July.
One test showed that a package of fish sticks sold in Slovakia contained just 58 percent fish whereas a package purchased across the border in Austria included 65 percent fish. When it came to the bottle of Lenor fabric softener provided by Fico, it cost 30 cents more than in Austria and contained 60 milliliters less. In other products, more expensive ingredients like butter have been replaced by cheaper palm oil for the Eastern European market while fruit flavors are augmented by aromas. In products like Coca-Cola, sugar is sometimes replaced with cheaper sweeteners like glucose syrup.
In the first years following the collapse of communism, the use of cheaper ingredients could perhaps have been justifiable: Consumers had little purchasing power and delivery routes tended to be long, with most of the products being manufactured in Western Europe. Companies, though, have long since adjusted prices in Eastern Europe to match those elsewhere – but they have continued to use the inferior recipes. Armin Valet, an expert on grocery products for the consumer protection agency in Hamburg, estimates that selling inferior products saves companies millions.
Commissioner Jourová has now assembled an investigative committee which is to develop guidelines together with consumer protection groups and food manufacturers to address the issue. It’s not a particularly powerful lever, but the companies do seem concerned about more radical steps. A steady stream of companies and lobbying groups have been approaching Jourová and her team.
Unfair Commercial Practice
Whether their solicitation efforts are successful will be seen in how willing the Commission ultimately proves to be in granting concessions. One specific area to watch is the EU’s evaluation of industry studies pertaining to alleged regional preferences. In the future, companies that are unable to adequately explain why they use differing recipes could face proceedings for unfair commercial practices.
Past attempts by companies to explain the discrepancies have been prime examples of PR balderdash, including claims that they were simply trying to use local products or account for local tastes and preferences. In other words, skimping on premium ingredients was merely an expression of intercultural understanding. In the future, the Commission will demand convincing proof of the differences in taste between Eastern and Western Europe. To date, none has been provided.
Instead, many companies prefer to hide behind formulaic statements and continue to reject all accusations of any wrongdoing. Industry lobbying groups have likewise sought to cast doubt on the studies that have found recipe discrepancies.
But Bahlsen, the manufacturer of the popular sweet biscuits under the Leibniz brand, has taken a different tack. Recently, the company fixed a discrepancy between the recipe it was using in Germany and the recipe it was using in Poland. Company spokesman Christian Bahlmann says that he began suspecting an approaching PR disaster for the company in summer 2016. “It began relatively quietly on social media channels,” he says. Customers were asking why Leibniz biscuits baked in the company’s Polish factory contained less butter and more palm oil than those produced in Germany. And the company did not have a satisfactory answer.
Bahlmann realized that it could become a problem for the brand. After all, the recipe for the sweet biscuits had been around since 1891. Suddenly diluting it with palm oil looked extremely suspicious. But in July, Bahlsen reversed course and has been using exclusively butter since then — in its Polish factory as well.
Another company that has elected to buck the industry-wide trend of denial is Frosta, a Hamburg-based frozen food company. Felix Ahlers, whose family runs the company, has chosen not to try to use the “national preferences” excuse cited by Iglo, its main competitor. “There is only one reason to use less fish,” Ahlers says. “To make production cheaper.”
For years, Frosta fish sticks produced in Poland were wrapped in a much thicker layer of breading. But the company fixed the inconsistency a year and a half ago. In contrast to Germany and Austria, there are no laws in Poland that required Frosta to make the change, but Ahlers says it was an issue of credibility. “The argument about regional tastes is nonsense,” he says. It isn’t difficult, he says, to condition children to prefer more breading. “But really, everybody wants more fish in their product,” he says. And tests undertaken by Frosta, he says, have shown that Polish consumers prefer the new recipe.
Still, many companies continue to insist that it makes sense to have different recipes for different countries. A spokeswoman for the SPAR supermarket chain in Austria made clear that the company doesn’t believe products should contain exactly the same ingredients across Europe. The yoghurt sold by SPAR in Eastern Europe, for example, has less fruit in it than the same yoghurt — packaged under a virtually identical label – sold in Austria, according to a test performed by the Slovenian consumer protection organization ZPS. Furthermore, the fish sticks sold under SPAR’s own brand name are fattier and more expensive in Eastern Europe.
The spokeswoman justified the discrepancies by citing alleged differences in taste – and by reviving a few outmoded, postwar clichés. Hungarians, she claimed, demand “rather fatty meat.” That, she continued, is something known by all industry experts. “It’s not something you need a study for.”
The company also seems rather flexible on other issues as well. In 2011, the company set a goal for itself of only using fish from sustainable sources and catch methods starting in 2013. But that doesn’t seem to apply to Eastern Europe. Indeed, the Marine Stewardship Council certification seal is missing from many of the company’s fish products in the region. In Slovenia, the spokeswoman said, most consumers aren’t particularly concerned about sustainability.
Ripping Them Off?
The American consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble — which owns the brands Gillette, Lenor and Pampers, among many others — is much more rigorous when it comes to determining the predilections of its customers, with a company spokeswoman claiming that it performs 20,000 studies each year. One finding she mentioned as an example is that Poles prefer squirting dishwashing liquid directly onto the sponge rather than using a sink filled with soapy water, as the Germans prefer.
So is the company giving Poles what they want by using a more diluted mixture than that sold in Germany? Or is it simply ripping them off?
Tests that are pointed to as proof of alleged national differences are often commissioned from the Appliance Technology department at the University of Bonn. One of the studies undertaken by the department is called “Washing-up Behaviour and Techniques in Europe,” and as part of the study, 11 test subjects from Poland and the Czech Republic were questioned, apparently by telephone. Hardly a representative study.
Chocolate multinational Ferrero likewise serves up some rather strange answers when questioned about the different recipes for its famous hazelnut-chocolate spread Nutella. Tests have determined that Ferrero uses less cocoa powder in Hungary than it does in Germany and the company has sought to justify the discrepancy with “the availability of resources.” The explanation makes it sound like cocoa is first delivered to Germany and then Hungary has to make due with whatever is left over. But Ferrero also points to “national regulations,” even though there is no regulation anywhere in Eastern Europe that requires the company to use less cocoa in Nutella sold there.
Ferrero executives have presented an additional curious explanation to European commissioner Jourová. The amount of cocoa used in Germany, they said, is slightly higher to make the consistency of the Nutella sold there thicker because Germans tend to use denser, whole-grain breads. Ferrero has yet to submit a study to back up the claim.
It is enough to make one wonder what such companies are thinking. They are, it would seem, putting the reputation of their most important brand names at stake.
“It is astounding how amateurishly these multinationals are acting,” says Achim Feige from BrandTrust, a brand consultancy. At a time when brand loyalty is eroding and store brands are on the rise, Feige says, a product must be extremely reliable, like a good friend, and guarantee transparency and verifiable sustainability. “These executives are doing the opposite: They are destroying a brand from the inside out by using inferior, cheaper versions for other countries and by relying on even less convincing excuses. They are allowing for fraud. And they are sacrificing the idea of a united Europe to the greed for profits.”
Nowhere is the problem more visible than at Danone, the Paris-based food-products corporation (sold as Dannon in the United States). For years, the company has been severely criticized for high sugar content in its products, among other shortcomings. Recently though, the company has sought to demonstrate responsiveness to such concerns and in June, CEO Emmanuel Faber called for a “food revolution” at an industry conference.
Faber failed to clarify exactly what role his company planned to play in this revolution. He did, however, mention “social responsibility” and unveiled the company’s new logo: “One Planet. One Health.”
But his company’s commitment to social responsibility doesn’t seem to extend into Eastern Europe. Danone’s bestselling Activia brand, sold in the same packaging worldwide since 2016, tastes quite a bit different in the region when compared to the same product sold further to the west. And a test conducted in Lithuania shows why that is: The amount of fruit used in the product was quite a bit lower than in Western Europe. And the strawberry yogurt also contained a thickener.
Se rinascessero, Al Capone ed Albert Anastasia si affilierebbero ai liberal democratici e si intrufolerebbero nell’apparato burocratico federale, come ripiego anche in quello di un qualche stato.
Infatti, pubblico è bello se si fa il burocrate in uno stato liberal.
Prendiamo in esempio la Pennsylvania: lì il pil ppa procapite ammonta a 39,830 dollari l’anno. Non è certo un’entrata particolarmente brillante, ed hanno infatti un Governatore liberal democratico, Mr. Tom Wolf.
Fanno compassione i poveri che si illudono che le sinistre curino i loro interessi. Eppure il motto della Pennsylvania sarebbe «Virtù, Libertà ed Indipendenza».
Diamo un po’ un’occhiata ai conti. Di questi tempi frugare nella contabilità è come un sexual harassment: usualmente ti linciano, ma corriamo questo pericolo.
«Liberal politicians in Washington D.C. often complain about the federal tax code being too regressive and thus placing too large a burden on low-income families while allowing “millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners” to get a free pass»
«Of course, if these same politicians are truly concerned about massive wealth transfers from low-income taxpayers to the rich»
«these same politicians are truly concerned about massive wealth transfers from low-income taxpayers to the rich»
«Three years after retiring as president of Pennsylvania State University, Rodney Erickson is netting $477,590 a year — from a state pension.»
«Gary Schultz, the former Penn State vice president who pleaded guilty in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, takes home $330,699 in pension benefits. Former state lawmaker Frank Oliver, a Democrat who represented North Philadelphia, gets $286,117 her Education»
«20 state retirees collect more than $215,000 a year — a payout so big it exceeds an IRS mandated pension cap and must be paid from two plans. More than 500 retirees collect $100,000 or more.»
«then Pennsylvania taxpayers, including those at the lowest end of the income spectrum, will be on the hook to provide him with $11.5 million to fund his “glory years.”»
«these ridiculous payouts to public “servants” come despite the fact that Pennsylvania has one of the worst funded pension plans in the country»
«Pennsylvania confronts a $70 billion shortfall in its retirement obligations.»
«Many of the best-paid retirees worked in the court system, the legislature, or academia, the records show. Of the top 500, 124 worked at Penn State, and 143 at schools within the State System of Higher Education»
* * * * * * *
Ripetiamo solo per chiarezza.
In Pennsylvania il pil ppa procapite ammonta a 39,830 dollari l’anno. Lordo su cui pagare tasse ed assicurazione per malattia e vecchiaia.
Ma uno stato con 70 miliardi di debiti sul sistema pensionistico, concede pensioni di 477,590$ a Mr Erickson, 330,699$ a Mr Schultz, 286,117 a Mr Oliver, e così via.
Ma chi paga tutto questo ben di Dio?
I poveracci, naturalmente: i liberal democratici rubano ai poveri per dare ai ricchi, ossia a loro stessi.
Poi ci si stupisce che vengano le rivolte e le rivoluzioni. E si capisce anche perchè il potere dei liberal democratici sia così profondamente radicato: ci si mangia sopra a ventriquattro palmenti.
«Many of the best-paid retirees worked in the court system, the legislature, or academia, the records show. Of the top 500, 124 worked at Penn State, and 143 at schools within the State System of Higher Education»
Liberal politicians in Washington D.C. often complain about the federal tax code being too regressive and thus placing too large a burden on low-income families while allowing “millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners” to get a free pass (one must to be willing to ignore actual statistics to reach this conclusion but lets just take the word of Bernie Sanders at face value for the moment).
Three years after retiring as president of Pennsylvania State University, Rodney Erickson is netting $477,590 a year — from a state pension.
Gary Schultz, the former Penn State vice president who pleaded guilty in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, takes home $330,699 in pension benefits. Former state lawmaker Frank Oliver, a Democrat who represented North Philadelphia, gets $286,117.
But despite reforms in the system — which mostly affect future retirees — and a move by some states to cap retirement payments, a separate class of Keystone State pensioners will continue to receive checks that alone put them among the top tier of all income earners in the United States.
As the costs of public pensions continue to be a point of debate for struggling state and municipal governments, the Inquirer and Daily News reviewed data for hundreds of Pennsylvania’s highest-paid beneficiaries, all current through August.
They showed that 20 state retirees collect more than $215,000 a year — a payout so big it exceeds an IRS mandated pension cap and must be paid from two plans. More than 500 retirees collect $100,000 or more.
To put this farce into perspective, if Erickson manages to collect his ~$475,000 annual paycheck for a period of 20 years, with a 2% annual COLA, then Pennsylvania taxpayers, including those at the lowest end of the income spectrum, will be on the hook to provide him with $11.5 million to fund his “glory years.”
Meanwhile, these ridiculous payouts to public “servants” come despite the fact that Pennsylvania has one of the worst funded pension plans in the country. All of which means that contributions from taxpayers will only get worse the closer the ponzi scheme gets to running out of cash.
Of course, while these same public servants will undoubtedly defend their taxpayer-funded handouts by citing their contributions into the pension fund we all know those contributions are minimal compared to the burden placed on John Q. Taxpayer.
Officials in the system say such retirees earned their benefits — contributing a percentage of their pay to the state’s defined-benefit plan, along with their employers. Critics say the six-figure payouts reflect a policy that isn’t grounded in fiscal reality.
“Professional state employees should make a good living, but they are not entitled to make a killing,” said Eric Epstein, coordinator with the Rock the Capital reform group in Harrisburg and an advocate for pension changes. Some of the payouts, he said, “are excessive pockets of gluttony that are deeply disturbing” as Pennsylvania confronts a $70 billion shortfall in its retirement obligations.
Many of the best-paid retirees worked in the court system, the legislature, or academia, the records show. Of the top 500, 124 worked at Penn State, and 143 at schools within the State System of Higher Education.
The pensions traditionally are calculated using a formula that includes an employee’s highest average salary over a three-year span and years of service.
But don’t hold your breath waiting for Elizabeth Warren and/or Bernie Sanders to comment on this massive wealth transfer from Pennsylvania’s low-income families to it’s wealthiest…to do so might suggest they somehow take issue with the many public pension ponzi schemes around the country that support the millions of voters on which they depend for votes.
Nessuna paura. Mr Matt Lauer, anchorman della Nbc, venti milioni di dollari all’anno di emolumento, non è stato licenziato dal truce Mr Trump.
Lo ha licenziato il boss della Nbc, santo patrono argentiere dei liberal democratici. Socio sostenitore, si potrebbe dire.
Per non parlare poi dei loro servizi. Mrs Clinton santa e subito era il minimo che potessero dire.
La Tass di Stalin era sobria ed imparziale al confronto dell’Nbc.
Bene: che ha mai fatto di male questo uomo?
Sexual harassment: ci mancherebbe.
«NBC has fired longtime NBC News anchor Matt Lauder after a “detailed complaint” of inappropriate sexual behavior.”»
«we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident»
«We are deeply saddened by this turn of events»
* * * * * * * *
Tanto per ricordare, due settimane fa la Cbs aveva licenziato Mr Charlie Rose “after 8 women came forward accusing him of sexual harassment“
Qui abbiamo il sunto dell’ideologia liberal.
Le confidenze di una femmina ad un giornale sono assunte come se fossero sentenze cassate. Sentenze di condanna, ovviamente.
Processi? Ma a cosa mai servirebbero i processi davanti ad una simile accusa?
Ventisette anni fa mi aveva guardato nella scollatura. Che diamine.
I liberal democratici si stanno falcidiando l’un l’altro con l’accusa di sexual harassment.
Sarebbe stato comprensibile se avessero cercato di utilizzare questo mezzo per far fuori dei repubblicani: invece si suicidano ed ammazzano, soprattutto, i loro benefattori.
«In past years, the public has heard tell of news anchors like NBC’s Matt Lauer who earns $20 million a year, and Katie Couric, now pulling in $10 million from Yahoo News. The multi-million salaries of big name anchors is not the norm, according to an annual survey of current salaries released by the Radio Television Digital News Association, an industry group.
The average salary for a news anchor is $83,300, though this can range from a minimum of $14,000 to a maximum of $875,000, depending on market size and other circumstances.
Sports anchors weigh in with an average $56,500 annually, with a range of $18,000-$275,000. Weathercasters make $69,800, with a range of $12,000-$595,000.
“Certainly not a great year for TV news salaries, but it’s better than last year,” says Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper, who did the research. “On the anchor desk, news anchors and weathercasters went up, but sports anchors dropped.”» [Fonte]
NBC has fired longtime NBC News anchor Matt Lauder after a “detailed complaint” of inappropriate sexual behavior.”
“It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards,” wrote NBC News chairman Andy Lack in a note to staff this morning.
Lack says while it is the first complaint about his behavior “we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events,” Lack writes, “But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”
Lauer has been with NBC since 1992 as an anchor for WNBC. He began filling in on the Today show as newsreader before being named co-anchor in 1997 taking over for Bryant Gumbel.
Lauer is the second high-profile morning show anchor to lose his job in a matter of weeks. CBS fired Charlie Rose, co-ahchor of CBS This Morning, two weeks ago after 8 women came forward accusing him of sexual harassment.
Soros il filantropo aveva fatto all’Ungheria la carità di impiantare sul suo territorio tutta una serie di organizzazione non governative da lui finanziate, che svolgevano un’intensa attività antigovernativa. Non si proponevano nulla di male, ovviamente: volevano solo rovesciare il governo democraticamente eletto e sostituirsi allo stesso alla guida della nazione. Essendo quelle ong (ngo) tutte formate da persone illuminate, le elezioni sarebbero state del tutto inutili, anzi, dannose: non sempre il popolo comprende quale sia il suo bene, e potrebbe anche votare male. I pochi illuminati sono così buoni da essersi assunti l’onere di guidare i popoli.
Orbene, quel misconoscente di Mr Orban e gran parte del popolo ungherese hanno declinato cortesemente l’offerta fatta da Mr Soros, ed è stata varata una legge in ossequio alla quale le ogn a capitale straniero debbano essere registrate in Ungheria, allegando una regolare denuncia delle entrate. Nelle prospezioni ad oggi mr Orban raccoglierebbe il 48% dei voti, ma si sa che il popolo bue si fa facilmente ingannare: per fortuna Mr Soros vede e provvede.
È comprensibile il risentimento che ha provato Mr Soros di fronte a simile ingratitudine. Se Mr Orban e gli ungheresi non accettavano le offerte caritative e filantropiche con le buone, le avrebbero allora dovute accettare con le cattive.
In fondo Mr Soros ha ancora qualche buon amico, persone del suo stampo, di quelle con il cuore in mano e, talora, ma lo dicono i malpensanti, anche un bicchiere di buon vino. Ci correggiamo subito: una bottiglia di buon vino.
«HUNGARY today defiantly vowed to “fight” the European Union after it was slapped with fresh infringement proceedings over Viktor Orban’s crackdown on charities and NGOs.
Budapest reacted furiously to news that Brussels is stepping up its case against new rules targeting foreign-funded organisations which eurocrats say contravene European law.
A government spokesman fumed “if we have to fight it, we’re going to go for it” and warned the EU that Brexit “should be a lesson” for what happens if it meddles too far in nations’ sovereignty.»
Quanti siano così scriteriati da rifiutare l’aiuto fraterno delle ngo di Mr Soros, saranno trascinati davanti alle corti di giustizia europee, che ovviamente li condanneranno. Se non bastasse, allora sarebbero invasi: centinaia, migliaia, decine di migliaia, centinaia di migliaia di migranti in cerca di calore umano, comprensione. Le ogn di Mr Soros li accudirebbe con amore, previo finanziamento dello sttao che avesse l’onore di ospitarli.
Non è pensabile appartenere all’Unione Europea senza accettare le attività del santo patrono: sarebbe un comportamento evidentemente antidemocratico, xenofobo, razzista e financo omofobo, il ché è tutto dire.
Di oggi quel Venerabile Maestro che è Mr George Soros ha fatto un lungo sfogo con il Venerabile Confratello del Financial Times, che qui riportiamo in allegato. Si piange meglio in loggia che nei suburbi di Washington.
Quel bravo uomo risponde con il cuore in mano, e ci commuove al punto tale che vorremmo che non si incomodasse e se ne restassero negli Stati Uniti, lui e le sue iniziative caritative e filantropiche.
Can che abbaia, non morde. Difficilmente si avvisa in modo così chiaro l’avversario nell’imminenza di una azione legale.
Over the past several months we’ve frequently noted the devolving relationship between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and billionaire financier George Soros. Tensions escalated last month when Orban took it upon himself to mail a Soros-related questionnaire to all 8 million Hungarian voters (see: Hungary Launches Anti-Soros Political Campaign) and then followed that up with an announcement that Hungary’s intelligence services had been instructed to “map” Soros’ network of influence.
As Orban’s ruling party gears up for parliamentary elections in April – where it is the prohibitive favorite to win largely thanks to its refusal to accept refugees under a plan devised by the European Commission – the prime minister has instructed his intelligence services to map what he described as the networks run by the billionaire financier’s “empire” targeting his country, Bloomberg reported.
Intelligence agencies will help evaluate what he sees as efforts by Soros to get Hungary punished by EU institutions pursuing a “mixed-population” continent, Orban said in an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday.
The Associated Pressadded that the investigation will also focus on alleged Hungarian members of the network.
Intelligence agencies will help evaluate what Orban sees as efforts by Soros to get Hungary punished by EU institutions pursuing a “mixed-population” continent, Orban said in an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday.
Today, Soros has decided to strike back with a scathing “rebuttal” posted to his website blasting Orban for his “anti-Soros, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic propaganda effort.”
On October 9, 2017, the Hungarian government mailed a national consultation to all eight million eligible Hungarian voters purporting to solicit their opinions about a so-called “Soros Plan.” The statements in the national consultation contain distortions and outright lies that deliberately mislead Hungarians about George Soros’s views on migrants and refugees. Hungarian government officials also falsely claim that George Soros is somehow controlling the European Union decision-making process. In fact, decisions on how to address the migration crisis are made by EU member states and institutions, including the Hungarian government.
With Hungary’s health care and education systems in distress and corruption rife, the current government has sought to create an outside enemy to distract citizens. The government selected George Soros for this purpose, launching a massive anti-Soros media campaign costing tens of millions of euros in taxpayer money, stoking anti-Muslim sentiment, and employing anti-Semitic tropes reminiscent of the 1930s. The national consultation is part of an ongoing propaganda effort that has been underway since May 2015 that included the “Stop Brussels” consultation in the spring of 2017 and the referendum that vilified migrants and refugees in 2016.
National Consultation Statement 1: George Soros wants Brussels to resettle at least one million immigrants per year onto European Union territory, including in Hungary.
Soros Response: FALSE. In a 2015 opinion piece, George Soros said that because of the war in Syria, the European Union would have to “accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future. And, to do that, it must share the burden fairly” (“Rebuilding the Asylum System,” Project Syndicate, September 26, 2015). A year later, when circumstances had changed, he suggested that the EU should make a “commitment to admit even a mere 300,000 refugees annually” (“Saving Refugees to Save Europe,” Project Syndicate, September 12, 2016).
National Consultation Statement 2: Together with officials in Brussels, George Soros is planning to dismantle border fences in EU member states, including in Hungary, to open the borders for immigrants.
Soros Response: FALSE. George Soros has clearly stated his belief that “the EU must regain control of its borders.” He believes that “the EU must build common mechanisms for protecting borders, determining asylum claims, and relocating refugees.” (“Saving Refugees to Save Europe,” Project Syndicate, September 12, 2016).
National Consultation Statement 3: One part of the Soros Plan is to use Brussels to force the EU-wide distribution of immigrants that have accumulated in Western Europe, with special focus on Eastern European countries. Hungary must also take part in this.
Soros Response: FALSE. In his most recent commentary on the refugee crisis, George Soros endorsed “a voluntary matching mechanism for relocating refugees.” He made clear that “the EU cannot coerce member states to accept refugees they do not want, or refugees to go where they are not wanted.” (“Saving Refugees to Save Europe,” Project Syndicate, September 12, 2016).
National Consultation Statement 4: Based on the Soros Plan, Brussels should force all EU member states, including Hungary, to pay immigrants HUF 9 million (€28,000) in welfare.
Soros Response: FALSE. George Soros did not say that Hungary should be forced to pay HUF 9 million in welfare to immigrants. He did say, “Adequate financing is critical. The EU should provide €15,000 per asylum-seeker for each of the first two years to help cover housing, health care, and education costs—and to make accepting refugees more appealing to member states.” (“Rebuilding the Asylum System,” Project Syndicate, September 26, 2015). This would clearly be a subsidy from the EU to the Hungarian government. Last year George Soros announced that he would contribute to the financial effort by earmarking €430 million of his personal fortune “for investments that specifically address the needs of migrants, refugees and host communities.” (“Why I’m Investing $500 Million in Migrants,” The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2016).
National Consultation Statement 5: Another goal of George Soros is to make sure that migrants receive milder criminal sentences for the crimes they commit.
Soros Response: FALSE. Nowhere has Soros made any such statement. This is a lie.
National Consultation Statement 6: The goal of the Soros Plan is to push the languages and cultures of Europe into the background so that integration of illegal immigrants happens much more quickly.
Soros Response: FALSE. Nowhere has Soros made any such statement. This is a lie.
National Consultation Statement 7: It is also part of the Soros Plan to initiate political attacks against those countries which oppose immigration, and to severely punish them.
Soros Response: FALSE. Nowhere has Soros made any such statement. This is a lie.
Of course, as we’ve noted before, three decades ago, billionaire financier George Soros paid for a young Viktor Orbán to study in Britain. And as recently as 2010, Soros donated $1 million to Orbán’s government to help the cleanup effort following the infamous “red sludge” disaster.
But the once-warm relationship between the two men has deteriorated substantially over the past seven years, as Orban has drifted further to the right. In 2014, the leader of Hungary’s Fidesz party declared he would seek to model Hungary’s government after “illiberal” democracies like the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In response, Soros this summer denounced his former protege and accused him of creating a “mafia state” in Hungary.
Orban responded by accusing Soros’s network of using the European Union to achieve its own aims, including the promotion of mass migration into Europe.
Orban was no doubt provoked to launch the probe by reports Soros has donated $18 billion from his family office to his “Open Society” foundation, his primary tool for influence policy throughout the west. The group funds a network of dozens of organizations that fund liberal, globalist causes throughout Europe and the US. At times, recipients of funding have included Black Lives Matter groups, and even Antifa.
But will Orban’s investigation morph into a full-on, Turkey-style purge of anyone with ties to Soros’ linked organizations, regardless of their actual complicity? That, of course, remains to be seen.
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary is facing a frontal assault from U.S. financier George Soros who is attacking the country via his non-government organizations and European Union bureaucrats, a top ruling party politician said on Monday.
Fidesz Vice Chairman Gergely Gulyas said Soros’ claims that the Hungarian government lied in its campaign against him were “not substantial”, adding the billionaire and the European Union pushed the same pro-migrant agenda.
He rejected charges by Soros that the government’s campaign stoked anti-Muslim sentiment and employed anti-Semitic tropes.
Der Präsident der Europäischen Kommission Jean-Claude Juncker (63) ist dafür bekannt, dass er seinen Kollegen auf der europäischen Bühne penetrant auf die Pelle rückt und feuchte Schmatzer verteilt. Für seine Tätigkeiten als EU-Kommissionschef (Was macht er eigentlich?!?) lässt sich der trinkfreudige Luxemburger fürstlich entlohnen: Insgesamt erhält Juncker jährlich – mitfinanziert vom deutschen Steuerzahler – rund 350.000 Euro. Da kann man schon mal fröhlich Küsschen verteilen!
Il Presidente della Commissione europea Jean-Claude Juncker (63) è noto sulla scena europea per il suo approccio penetrante nei confronti dei suoi colleghi e per la sua capacità di diffondere le ‘macchie bagnate’. Per le sue attività di capo della Commissione europea (cosa fa effettivamente?), questo cittadino lussemburghese che beve si di ricompense principesche. Juncker riceve un totale di circa 350,000 euro all’ anno – cofinanziati dal contribuente tedesco. Baci possono essere distribuiti allegramente!
Dieci anni or sono augusti, strapagati ed encomiati scienziati del calibro di Mark Serreze e di Jay Zwally, considerati le massime autorità sul ‘clima’, avevano fatto una importante profezia, che puntualmente andiamo a verificare se mai si fosse avverata. Ecco cosa avevano profetato.
«The Arctic is screaming»
«The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming»
«Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died»
«At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012»
* * * * * * * *
Adesso andiamo a verificare quanto si sia avverato di simile previsione.
«Over the past ten years since they made that forecast, there has been a huge increase in Arctic ice.»
«End of September Arctic sea ice extent is up 20% over the past decade.»
«NASA also says that the last decade has been very hot in the Arctic»
* * * * * * * *
«The scientists behind the global warming scam are completely incompetent. They have no idea what they are talking about and don’t follow any scientific method. They don’t understand climate. They don’t understand physics. They don’t understand statistics. They don’t understand integrity.
It is a pathetic clown show – not science.»
* * * * * * * *
Volendo usare una terminologia forbitamente politicamente corretta, codesti sedicenti ‘scienziati’ sono solo una associazione per delinquere a fine di estorcere stipendi e finanziamenti dalle tasche dei Contribuenti.
In dieci anni negli soli Stati Uniti, il ‘clima’ ha chiesto ed ottenuto più di 1,400 miliardi di dollari americani per poter proseguire i propri ‘studi‘.
L’unico posto consono per simile genia è dapprima un’aula di tribunale, quindi un campo di lavoro forzato a vita.
Criminali perversi loro, criminaletti creduli tutti coloro che li sostengono ed osannano.
Sono debitore dello spunto al dr. Massimo Cesare Pernigotti.
An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer—a sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point.
One scientist even speculated that summer sea ice could be gone in five years.
Greenland’s ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer’s end was half what it was just four years ago, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by the Associated Press (AP).
“The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado.
Just last year two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.
This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”
So scientists in recent days have been asking themselves these questions: Was the record melt seen all over the Arctic in 2007 a blip amid relentless and steady warming? Or has everything sped up to a new climate cycle that goes beyond the worst case scenarios presented by computer models?
“The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming,” said Zwally, who as a teenager hauled coal. “Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines.”
The burning of coal, oil, and other fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are responsible for man-made global warming. For the past several days, government diplomats have been debating in Bali, Indonesia, the outlines of a new climate treaty calling for tougher limits on these gases.
What happens in the Arctic has implications for the rest of the world. Faster melting there means eventual sea level rise and more immediate changes in winter weather because of less sea ice.
In the United States, a weakened Arctic blast moving south to collide with moist air from the Gulf of Mexico can mean less rain and snow in some areas, including the drought-stricken Southeast, said Michael MacCracken, a former federal climate scientist who now heads the nonprofit Climate Institute.
“I don’t pay much attention to one year … but this year the change is so big, particularly in the Arctic sea ice, that you’ve got to stop and say, ‘What is going on here?’ You can’t look away from what’s happening here,” said Waleed Abdalati, NASA’s chief of cyrospheric sciences. “This is going to be a watershed year.”
2007 shattered records for Arctic melt in the following ways:
—About 552 billion tons of ice melted this summer from the Greenland ice sheet, according to preliminary satellite data to be released by NASA Wednesday. That’s 15 percent more than the annual average summer melt, beating 2005’s record.
—A record amount of surface ice was lost over Greenland this year, 12 percent more than the previous worst year, 2005, according to data the University of Colorado released Monday. That’s nearly quadruple the amount that melted just 15 years ago. It’s an amount of water that could cover Washington, D.C., a half-mile deep, researchers calculated.
—The surface area of summer sea ice floating in the Arctic Ocean this summer was nearly 23 percent below the previous record. The dwindling sea ice already has affected wildlife, with 6,000 walruses coming ashore in northwest Alaska in October for the first time in recorded history. Another first: the Northwest Passage was open to navigation.
—Still to be released is NASA data showing the remaining Arctic sea ice to be unusually thin—another record. That makes it more likely to melt in future summers. Combining the shrinking area covered by sea ice with the new thinness of the remaining ice, scientists calculate that the overall volume of ice is half of 2004’s total.
—Alaska’s frozen permafrost (see magazine article) is warming, although it’s not quite thawing yet. But temperature measurements 66 feet deep in the frozen soil rose nearly four-tenths of a degree from 2006 to 2007, according to measurements from the University of Alaska. While that may not sound like much, “it’s very significant,” said University of Alaska professor Vladimir Romanovsky.
—Surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean this summer were the highest in 77 years of record-keeping, with some places eight degrees Fahrenheit above normal, according to research to be released Wednesday by University of Washington’s Michael Steele.
Greenland, in particular, is a significant bellwether. Most of its surface is covered by ice. If it completely melted—something key scientists think would likely take centuries, not decades—it could add more than 22 feet to the world’s sea level.
However, for nearly the past 30 years, the data pattern of its ice sheet melt has zigzagged. A bad year, like 2005, would be followed by a couple of lesser years.
According to that pattern, 2007 shouldn’t have been a major melt year, but it was, said Konrad Steffen, of the University of Colorado, which gathered the latest data.
“I’m quite concerned,” he said. “Now I look at 2008. Will it be even warmer than the past year?”
Other new data, from a NASA satellite, measure ice volume. NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke, reviewing it and other Greenland numbers, concluded: “We are quite likely entering a new regime.”
Melting of sea ice and Greenland’s ice sheets also alarms scientists because they become part of a troubling spiral.
White sea ice reflects about 80 percent of the sun’s heat off Earth, NASA’s Zwally said. When there is no sea ice, about 90 percent of the heat goes into the ocean which then warms everything else up. Warmer oceans then lead to more melting.
“That feedback is the key to why the models predict that the Arctic warming is going to be faster,” Zwally said. “It’s getting even worse than the models predicted.”
NASA scientist James Hansen, the lone-wolf researcher often called the godfather of global warming, on Thursday was to tell scientists and others at the American Geophysical Union scientific in San Francisco that in some ways Earth has hit one of his so-called tipping points, based on Greenland melt data.
“We have passed that and some other tipping points in the way that I will define them,” Hansen said in an email. “We have not passed a point of no return. We can still roll things back in time — but it is going to require a quick turn in direction.”
Last year, Cecilia Bitz at the University of Washington and Marika Holland at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado startled their colleagues when they predicted an Arctic free of sea ice in just a few decades. Both say they are surprised by the dramatic melt of 2007.
Bitz, unlike others at NASA, believes that “next year we’ll be back to normal, but we’ll be seeing big anomalies again, occurring more frequently in the future.”
And that normal, she said, is still a “relentless decline” in ice.
Ten years ago, NASA’s top expert predicted an ice-free Arctic by 2012. NSIDC’s top expert said the Arctic was “screaming.”
Over the past ten years since they made that forecast, there has been a huge increase in Arctic ice.
End of September Arctic sea ice extent is up 20% over the past decade.
The scientists behind the global warming scam are completely incompetent. They have no idea what they are talking about and don’t follow any scientific method. They don’t understand climate. They don’t understand physics. They don’t understand statistics. They don’t understand integrity.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Tesla company keeps facing a crucial test in its growth strategy as it ramps up its e-car production. But bottlenecks at its battery factory have caused a record loss.
Tesla reported its largest quarterly loss ever of $619 million (€530 million), sending shares down by 5 percent after trading hours as analysts looked gravely disappointed.
The company noted the main constraint was its battery module assembly line at its Nevada Gigafactory where Tesla had to redesign part of the production process.
Tesla now expects to build 5,000 Model 3s per week by late in the first quarter of next year, away from the original target date of December 2017.
“I was really depressed about three or four weeks ago,” CEO Elon Musk told reporters, adding that he was now optimistic as there was clarity what needed to be done. “We’re on it, we’ve got it covered.”
«Just ahead of the German election, CDU MP Karin Strenz has been accused of doing paid lobbying work for the Azerbaijani dictatorship. Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to support Strenz on the campaign trail this week.
A German conservative parliamentarian has been caught up in a European-wide lobbying scandal involving the Azerbaijani regime ….
Karin Strenz, who represents Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the chancellor’s home state of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, worked for Nuremberg-based consultancy Line M-Trade in 2014 and 2015, receiving between 7,500 euros and 15,000 euros ($9,000 – $18,000) in both years.
Line M-Trade is owned by Eduard Lintner, a former parliamentarian for the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU’s Bavarian sister-party, who has been a lobbyist for Azerbaijan since his retirement as an MP in 2009.
As the SZ noted, Strenz has shown a noticeably friendly attitude to Azerbaijan in her political career.
Her personal website features a photograph of her standing alongside President Ilham Alyev, and in 2015 she was the only German delegate on the European Council to vote against a resolution calling on the country to release political prisoners. ….
An investigation published in a number of European newspapers on September 4 showed that another Lintner-owned concern, the Berlin-based lobby group Society for Promoting German-Azerbaijani Relations (GEFDAB), received a total of 819,500 euros between 2012 to 2014 from offshore companies run by Azerbaijan’s ruling Aliyev family» [Deutsche Welle]
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«The affair had caused a four-year-long legal dispute with the parliamentary administration authority behind the scenes, the report said, since German law prohibits parties from receiving donations from non-EU countries.»
«Although the district CDU branch accepted the donation without question, auditors at party headquarters in Berlin notified the Administration of the German Bundestag, which decided as early as autumn 2013 that the gift was not allowable under the law. The CDU then gave up the donation to be immediately impounded»
«The affair has raised several questions about links between the conservative CDU/CSU bloc and Azerbaijan, and what objectives the country could be pursuing with its donations.»
«in June 2015 Strenz voted against a resolution by the Council of Europe to call on Azerbaijan to release its political prisoners — the only German MP to do so, according to an earlier report in the paper.»
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La Germania riguarda l’Azerbaijan come uno stato dittatoriale, che calpesta anche i più elementari diritti umani.
Per essere chiari: proprio non ne vuole sapere di avere a che fare con quella gente.
Però. C’è sempre un però.
Se dall’Azerbaijan arriva denaro sonante, allora è tutto un altro paio di maniche.
Le donazioni fatte ai parlamentari della Cdu santificano il denaro indipendentemente dalla sozzura delle fonti.
Brava Frau Merkel, brava Frau Strenz.
Poi questa gente vota contro Herr Albrecht Glaser.
Germany’s CDU party has received donations from a state-run Azerbaijani company, a German media consortium reported. The affair again highlights links between conservative politicians and the Central Asian dictatorship.
A district chapter of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) received €28,000 ($33,114) from the state-run Azerbaijani oil and gas company Socar in contravention of German rules on party donations, a consortium of public broadcasters NDR, WDR and daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The case again calls into question connections between certain conservative politicians and the South Caucasian republic, whose leader, President Ilham Aliyev, has by human rights organizations.
According to the report, two payments, one of €3,000 and one of €25,000, were deposited by Socar’s Germany-based branch on the account of the CDU’s district association in Frankfurt at the end of February 2012.
No fine for the CDU
The affair had caused a four-year-long legal dispute with the parliamentary administration authority behind the scenes, the report said, since German law prohibits parties from receiving donations from non-EU countries.
Although the district CDU branch accepted the donation without question, auditors at party headquarters in Berlin notified the Administration of the German Bundestag, which decided as early as autumn 2013 that the gift was not allowable under the law. The CDU then gave up the donation to be immediately impounded, the report said.
However, despite having broken the law, the party will not have to pay a fine, largely owing to a ruling made by an administrative court in April that self-denunciation in such cases can not only mitigate penalties, but even avert them altogether.
The affair has raised several questions about links between the conservative CDU/CSU bloc and Azerbaijan, and what objectives the country could be pursuing with its donations.
The German CEO of Socar, Anders Egen Mamedov, was quoted by the paper as saying that the company’s contacts with political officials was taking place “against the backbround of the geopolitical importance of Azerbaijan and Socar,” including with regard to the pipeline network through seven countries that is currently under construction.
The massive gas pipeline project was chosen over the Nabucco-West pipeline in 2013 with the support of the then EU commissioner for energy, the German CDU politician Günther Oettinger.
Mamedov said Socar also made donations to sports and cultural associations in Germany. He declined to give details or speak about possible donations to other German of European parties to the paper.
The Süddeutsche also pointed to CDU parliamentarian Karin Strenz, who according to the paper did not disclose her work for an Azerbaijan-financed lobbying firm within three months as asked. The company is owned by former CSU politician Eduard Lintner, who has been doing lobbying work for Azerbaijan since 2009.
In another possible indication of her sympathies with the authoritarian country, in June 2015 Strenz voted against a resolution by the Council of Europe to call on Azerbaijan to release its political prisoners — the only German MP to do so, according to an earlier report in the paper.
Azerbaijan was described in a resolution by the European Parliament in September 2015 as “having suffered the greatest decline in democratic governance in all of Eurasia over the past 10 years.”