Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Developed world, after stealing for years, now wants all forgiven.

Imagine that you live in a small town on a river downstream from an affluent, yet polluting, city. For decades, the city grows richer and richer while it continues to spew out pollutants into your drinking water.

You're not happy about this and demand the city stop polluting and pay you compensation. After years of dragging their feet, city officials finally acknowledge a problem but say everyone along the river should be responsible for cleaning it up, whether they contributed to the pollution or not.

Not very fair, is it?
Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Africa+climate+change+costs/4032135/story.html#ixzz19PoqZgme

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WikiLeaks reveals how Shell infiltrated Nigeria

WikiLeaks reveals how Shell infiltrated Nigeria: "The petrol giant Shell has thoroughly infiltrated the Nigerian government, newly leaked WikiLeaks documents show. The multinational corporation inserted its employees into every key government ministry to gain unparalleled influence in policy-making in the oil rich Niger Delta. Al Jazeera's Jesse Mesner-Hage reports on how the revelation fits into the decades-long troubled relationship between Royal Dutch Shell and Nigeria."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Railway Gazette: ONCF to buy 14 Duplex high speed trains

Railway Gazette: ONCF to buy 14 Duplex high speed trains: "MOROCCO: Alstom Transport is to supply national railway ONCF with 14 Duplex high speed trainsets for Tanger – Casablanca services under a contract worth ‘nearly €400m’.

The contract, signed in Tanger on December 10, foreshadows the opening of Morocco’s first high speed line between Tanger and Kénitra in December 2015. This 200 route-km section is the first phase of the planned Tanger – Casablanca high speed line. From 2015, the double-deck dual-system Duplex trainsets will operate at 25 kV AC on the high speed line at a maximum speed of 320 km/h and between 160 km/h and 220 km/h on ONCF’s existing 3 kV DC main line between Kénitra and Casablanca."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Climate disruption harder on girls

Climate change poses the greatest risk to the most vulnerable members of society. For this reason, children pay a high price for climate change, often bearing the brunt of increases in hunger, disease, population displacements and resource conflicts. And recent research by Plan International in Bangladesh and Ethiopia shows that girls are worse affected than boys. Plan-International

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reuters AlertNet - Sea level rise threatens Alexandria, Nile Delta

Reuters AlertNet - Sea level rise threatens Alexandria, Nile Delta: "ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Twenty years ago, Taher Ibrahim raced his friends across Alexandria's beaches, now rising seas have swept over his favourite childhood playground.
Alexandria, with 4 million people, is Egypt's second-largest city, an industrial centre and a port that handles four-fifths of national trade. It is also one of the Middle East's cities most at risk from rising sea levels due to global warming.
'There were beaches I used to go to in my lifetime, now those beaches are gone. Is that not proof enough?' asked Ibrahim, a manager at a supermarket chain who is in his 40s."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Free trip on Car Free Day - Times LIVE

Free trip on Car Free Day - Times LIVE: "'This [free trips] will give car users an opportunity to learn more about public transport and save on petrol costs, while at the same time contributing to the reduction of emissions,' city spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Rea Vaya C3 Inner City Cycle Route would be offering free services from October 20 to October 23. Gautrain bus trips would also be free on October 20.

'Residents of Johannesburg are urged to take part in the celebration by using public transport such as buses, trains, taxis or joining lift clubs.'

Doing so would ease traffic congestion on the roads."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Private auto will destroy Africa

There’s an environmental disaster in the making that has scientists issuing warnings about the collapse of an entire ecosystem.

If you’ve already leapt to the conclusion that I’m talking about the Gulf of Mexico and the fate of its fish, shrimp and birds, you’d be forgiven. We certainly have plenty to worry about here at home.

But the story I’m referencing — a proposed highway through Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, the last great wildlife sanctuary on our planet, home to wildebeests, zebras, lions, cheetahs, and too many more species to name — is no less urgent and every bit as heartbreaking. The difference here is that this is a disaster of choice. It can still be stopped.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bicycle Portraits - everyday South Africans and their bicycles. A photographic book. by Stan Engelbrecht / Nic Grobler — Kickstarter

Bicycle Portraits - everyday South Africans and their bicycles. A photographic book. by Stan Engelbrecht / Nic Grobler — Kickstarter: "We've noticed that as our major centers develop there still seems to be a trend to make cities more friendly for cars, not people. While this might be happening in many places around the world the effect on individuals seems to be very dramatic in a country like South Africa, where there is a growing divide between those who can afford motorised transport and those who struggle to. Owning a bicycle in this social climate can be very empowering, if the correct infrastructure exists."

Monday, September 6, 2010

free public transport | Africa Streets

free public transport | Africa Streets: "World Streets is pleased to announce publication in the weeks ahead of� a series of articles and other media to investigate this idea in-depth in these pages.� We would ask our readers to bear in mind that there is a … Continue reading →"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Flood and drought cost of cars and sprawl

Floods Heighten Food Crisis in Niger | Africa | English: "Floods in Niger are compounding an already urgent food crisis in the region, as the Niger River reaches its highest level in more than 80 years.

Floods in Niger are worsening the West African country's food crisis, says the communications director for the Red Cross Society of Niger, Amadou Tidjani Adamou.

Adamou says that homes, latrines and rice fields have been destroyed in the recent flooding.

He added that the people living the area rely heavily on the rice fields that have been destroyed, and there will be consequences for the surrounding populations."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

World Environment News - Rising Temperatures Threaten Rice Yield Growth: Study - Planet Ark

World Environment News - Rising Temperatures Threaten Rice Yield Growth: Study - Planet Ark: "Rising temperatures could slow the growth of rice production unless farmers adapt by changing management practices and switch to more heat-tolerant varieties, scientists say.

Rice is among the world's most important crops and a staple for people in Asia and Africa, with Asia producing and consuming more than 90 percent of the world's output.

A drop in production could lead to higher prices, fears over food security and more hunger in a world with a rising human population."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No socially redeeming qualities -- the private auto

The automobile is very likely the most influential and most harmful invention in the history of the world. If guns had never been invented, the world’s worst genocides could still have taken place under cudgels and swords. It is true that the atomic bomb has made possible the earth’s complete annihilation, but for the most part this remains only an unrealised possibility. The automobile, on the other hand, has already left hecatombs beneath its wheels and has helped unleash an ecological holocaust that is slower but not necessarily less destructive than any nuclear cataclysm. Nonetheless, the greatest danger of the automobile goes far beyond its tendency to crash and to pollute. Progressive movements for safety regulations and clean fuel, while admirable, do not address the most fundamental problem of the automobile: the deeper danger of cars is that even if they are some day made safe and clean, they will still have restructured nearly every aspect of human society according to their antisocial laws of motion. CarbustersMagazine

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Climate change could destroy 80 per cent of rainforest by next century - Telegraph

Climate change could destroy 80 per cent of rainforest by next century - Telegraph: "Rainforests currently hold more than half of all the plant and animal species on Earth.
However, scientists say the combined effects of climate change and deforestation may force them to adapt, move, or die.
By 2100, this could have altered two-thirds of the rainforests in Central and South America, about 70 per cent in Africa."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gridlock hurting Mauritius economy

Article: Gridlock snags island economy: traffic congestion is costing Mauritius around $100m as workers find themselves trapped for hours at a time in traffic. The problem is so bad that solutions proposed include a free public transport system. Nasseem Ackbarally reports from Port Louis.(MAURITIUS) African Business

Good idea. Why not make the whole island a car-free paradise?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zéro franc, zéro fraude

A quoi servent les achats des tickets ?
A la RATP, la billetterie ne représente que 28 % des recettes, ce qui rembourse à peine la fabrication des billets, l’entretien des machines à composter, les contrôles... En somme, on paie un ticket pour que quelqu’un vérifie qu’on en a bien un ?

Qui paye les transports aujourd’hui ?

Ce sont les personnes les plus précaires économiquement qui payent le plus le droit à se déplacer : tandis que les patrons ont des voitures de fonction, les salariés ont leur carte orange remboursée pour moitié par leur employeur. Qui plus est, l’usager-contribuable paye deux fois sa place : une fois au travers de son titre de transport, et une autre par le biais de l’impôt (le ministère des transports et les collectivités locales financent la RATP à hauteur de 25%).

A quoi servent les transports en commun aujourd’hui ?

D’abord à aller travailler et à faire des achats. Ce sont donc encore une fois les employeurs, les grandes surfaces qui profitent le plus des transports. Il serait donc plus logique que ça soit eux qui payent.

Qu’apportent les contrôles ?

60 % des conflits entre agents de la RATP et usagers : en effet, la majorité des agressions a lieu lors de la perception du titre de transport. Ainsi, plus il y a de contrôles, plus il faut d’agents de sécurité, de caméras de vidéosurveillance... Faire payer les transports, c’est ouvrir la voie au tout-répressif.

Liberté - égalité - gratuité ?

Revendiquer les transports gratuits, c’est refuser que seuls les riches puissent se déplacer selon leurs envies et aussi revendiquer la liberté de circuler pour toutes et tous.

Les transports en commun, source de profits ou service collectif ?

La gratuité est la seule garantie d’égalité sociale. Comme l’éducation, la santé, ou la culture, les transports doivent être gratuits pour assurer leur libre accès à toutes et tous. Exiger la gratuité, c’est lutter contre la marchandisation de nos vies.

Et l’environnement ?

La gratuité des transports collectifs, c’est plus de gens qui les empruntent, donc moins de voitures, moins de pollution, moins de maladies respiratoires...

Comment gérer la gratuité ?

Seule une gestion directe des services collectifs, dégagée de toutes pressions politiciennes et rentabilité financière, permettra de voyager selon nos besoins et nos envies. La gestion de ce service devra s’effectuer au travers de représentants mandatés et révocables par les salariés de la RATP et les usagers.

La gratuité des transports, un rêve ?

Hasselt, en Belgique, 70000 hab., Compiègne, 30000 hab., Issoudun 18000 hab., l’appliquent déjà. D’autres l’ont mis en place pour les chômeurs et précaires : la région Midi- Pyrénées, Caen...

La gratuité aujourd’hui ?

Dès maintenant, il nous faut exiger des transports gratuits pour tou-te-s, demander l’arrêt immédiat des contrôles, des amendes et des poursuites, et de manière plus générale, nous occuper directement de nos affaires pour que personne ne décide plus à notre place.

C’est maintenant qu’on veut vivre, alors prenons nos affaires en main !!!

Réseau pour l’Abolition desTransports Payants
c/o 145 rue Amelot 75011 Paris
email : gratuit@samizdat.net

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pipeline protection requires the crushing of human rights

The oil and gas industry cannot force governments to station a soldier at every 100 metres of pipeline. So they have to terrorize people into submission. As long as the autosprawl system continues, it will drive fossil-fuel demand and empower this industry. There will be no human rights or justice.

An attack on a crude-oil pipeline operated by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. is the latest in a series of political and security setbacks for this embattled West African nation.
...The attack could threaten an amnesty deal for militants that bound the government and Nigerian militants in a shaky four-month cease-fire. In October, thousands of suspected militants turned in their weapons to avoid arrest. During that time, Western oil companies, including Chevron, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, were able to increase Nigeria's oil production to almost two million barrels a day from about 1.6 million barrels. Rigzone