World’s mountain of electrical waste reaches new peak of 42m tonnes

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/19/worlds-mountain-of-electrical-waste-reaches-new-peak-of-42m-tonnes

The biggest per-capita tallies were in countries known for green awareness, such as Norway and Denmark, with Britain fifth and US ninth on the UN report’s list

A record amount of electrical and electronic waste was discarded around the world in 2014, with the biggest per-capita tallies in countries that pride themselves on environmental consciousness, a report said.

Last year, 41.8m tonnes of so-called e-waste – mostly fridges, washing machines and other domestic appliances at the end of their life – was dumped, the UN report said.

That’s the equivalent of 1.15m heavy trucks, forming a line 23,000km (14,300 miles) long, according to the report, compiled by the United Nations University, the UN’s educational and research branch.

Less than one-sixth of all e-waste was properly recycled, it said.

In 2013, the e-waste total was 39.8m tonnes – and on present trends, the 50-million-tonne mark could be reached in 2018.

Topping the list for per-capita waste last year was Norway, with 28.4kg (62.5lbs) per inhabitant.

It was followed by Switzerland (26.3kg), Iceland (26.1kg), Denmark (24.0kg), Britain (23.5kg), the Netherlands (23.4kg), Sweden (22.3kg), France (22.2kg) and the United States and Austria (22.1kg).

The region with the lowest amount of e-waste per inhabitant was Africa, with 1.7kg per person. It generated a total of 1.9m tonnes of waste.

In volume terms, the most waste was generated in the United States and China, which together accounted for 32% of the world’s total, followed by Japan, Germany and India.

Waste that could have been recovered and recycled was worth $52bn, including 300 tonnes of gold – equal to 11% of the world’s gold production in 2013.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/19/worlds-mountain-of-electrical-waste-reaches-new-peak-of-42m-tonnes

Grayson on Money & Politics: “If We Do Nothing, We Can Kiss This Country Goodbye. Well, Pucker Up”

Why Gay Rights Trumps Women’s Rights

From In These Times:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/17864/why-gay-rights-trumps-womens-rights

Why aren’t we standing up against the assault on women’s rights?

BY Marilyn Katz
April 17, 2015

Well, finally someone’s finally pointed out what I (and I imagine many others) have been thinking about but have been hesitant to point out, while gay rights are doing great, women’s rights have gone down the tube. And, as bad, men don’t seem to care.

Bringing these nasty inverse trends to light was Gail Collins who in her April 3 New York Times column contrasted the uproar over potential discrimination against same-sex couples with the silence that met the passage of new anti-abortion laws in Texas and Arizona.

While the Indiana law created an instant call for boycotts and mobilized a broad swath of opposition—including from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, so great that Governor Pence and the legislature mounted a hasty retreat, as did those in Arkansas—not a word of ire was spoken about the egregious acts in Texas.

Back home in Indiana at the same time the wrath of entertainers, business leaders and politicians was focused on the potential harm to gays, Purvi Patel, a 33-year-old Indiana resident, became the first person in the history of the United States to be prosecuted, tried and convicted of feticide—for what she says was a miscarriage and the State argued was an illegal abortion.

Yet for this actual, not theoretical, harm to a woman, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, there was no outcry, no threat of boycott and very little news coverage.

While I and most other feminists applaud the successful protests against Indiana’s retrograde actions and have been among the most staunch defenders of gay rights—and in fact I would argue that we are the birth mothers of the movement through our insistence on decoupling sex from procreation—I find the disparate trajectories of our movements and society’s disparate response to our injuries more than a little disturbing.

While same sex marriage laws have been approved in 37 states and the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the laws of the 13 states where such marriages were banned, nearly 100 years after its introduction, the Equal Rights Amendment for women still languishes.

While I laud the fact that gay men have fought for and won the $24.1 billion that the federal government allocates each year to fight HIV and the 56,000 new cases that arise each year, I cannot help but compare this amount to the less than $600 million the our government spends on breast cancer for which there are 231,840 new cases and 40,290 deaths each year.

Continue reading at:  http://inthesetimes.com/article/17864/why-gay-rights-trumps-womens-rights

And Now, Political Virgins

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/opinion/gail-collins-and-now-political-virgins.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fgail-collins&_r=0


April 3, 2015

On Tuesday in Texas, the House of Representatives voted to take $3 million earmarked for prevention of H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases, and spend it instead on abstinence-only sex education. It was a fascinating moment — particularly when the sponsor of the motion, a Republican named Stuart Spitzer, told the House that he had been a virgin until he got married at age 29.

“What’s good for me is good for a lot of people,” he said.

This had historic reverberations. Several years ago, then-Gov. Rick Perry conducted a fabled interview with The Texas Tribune in which Perry defended the state’s stress on abstinence-only sex education while his interviewer pointed out that Texas had one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.

“I’m just going to tell you from my own personal life. Abstinence works,” Perry retorted.

Does Texas traditionally decide state policy based on politicians’ sexual history? If so, that’s terrifying.

The debate in Austin degenerated when a Democrat demanded to know whether Representative Spitzer — who, I have to point out, is a doctor — had ever tried to proposition other women before his wife accepted.

That was going overboard. The Democrats should have stuck with their earlier lines of argument, which included pointing out that Texas gets more federal money for abstinence-only sex education than any other state, and that Texas has a teen birthrate that is almost twice as high as California’s, which has completely barred schools from limiting their courses on sex to the advisability of not having any.

All that was news to Dr. Spitzer, who did admit that abstinence-only education “may not be working well.” This had no effect whatsoever on his insistence that Texas needed to do more of it. His proposal passed and went to the State Senate.

So that was lawmaking on sex in Texas. Meanwhile, over in Arizona, the State Legislature was passing a bill that requires doctors who perform drug-induced abortions to tell their patients that the procedure may be reversible, even though most scientists say it isn’t.

This business of legislating fiction is rather widespread. The Guttmacher Institute, which keeps track of these things, has counted 12 states where women seeking abortions have to be informed that a 20-week-old fetus can feel pain, research to the contrary notwithstanding. Four states require that women be given inaccurate portrayals of the effects of an abortion on future fertility. In five states, a woman who wants an abortion has to be informed that abortions are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/opinion/gail-collins-and-now-political-virgins.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fgail-collins&_r=0

Gay USA 4/15/15

Bill Maher Creates Petition to Make 4/20 a National Holiday – 4-17-15

China’s gruesome live organ harvest exposed in documentary

Think about this one and maybe ask why our Democans and Republicrats are so eager to shove the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement down our throats.  Yet another case of fucking the American people over while shipping our manufacturing to places with no respect for human rights.  At the same time one has to ask: Cui bono? Who benefits?

The answer the rich assholes on Wall Street, who get ever richer while the middle class gets foreclosed on and sink into the working and poverty classes.

From The Brisbane Times:  http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/chinas-gruesome-live-organ-harvest-exposed-in-documentary-20150407-1mgabb.html

Kate Aubusson
April 8, 2015

China’s hospitals are harvesting the body parts of thousands of political prisoners and removing their vital organs while they are still alive, according to a harrowing documentary exposing the horrific state-sanctioned practice.

Doctors and medical students working in state-run civilian and military hospitals take up to 11,000 organs a year from donors under no anaesthetic to supply China’s lucrative “organs on-demand” transplant program, say a network of invesitgators comprised of international researchers, doctors and human rights lawyers attempting to end the macabre abuses.

The documentary, Human Harvest: China’s Organ Trafficking, by Canadian filmmaker Leon Lee, followed these investigators for eight years as they worked to mobilise international condemnation of what they say is a booming billion-dollar organ harvesting industry for the benefit of wealthy paying organ recipients.

“When I cut through [the body] blood was still running … this person was not dead,” said one doctor of his first encounter with live organ harvesting as a medical student filmed by Lee.

“I took the liver and two kidneys. It took me 30 minutes,” he said.

A former Chinese hospital worker and doctor’s wife, whose identity was withheld, told Lee that her husband had removed the corneas of 2000 people while they were still alive. Afterwards the bodies were secretly incinerated.

China has the second highest rate of transplants in the world, with startlingly short wait times for transplant recipients of just two to three weeks.

But a recent Red Cross report found only 37 people nationwide were registered organ donors and harvesting organs from executed prisoners did not come close to accounting for the more than 10,000 transplant procedures performed every year.

Human Rights Lawyer and Nobel peace prize nominee David Matas told Lee that living political prisoners make up for the shortfall, with the long-persecuted and banned religious group, the Falun Gong, key targets.

“Somebody’s being killed for the organs,” human rights lawyer David Matas says.

“There’s no other way to explain what’s happening.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/chinas-gruesome-live-organ-harvest-exposed-in-documentary-20150407-1mgabb.html

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