Open Payments Data Say No To Palm Oil | Whats The Issue Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) CSPO represents the certification process where palm oil growers must commit to real credible sustainability standards through time-bound plans. There is an increasing demand for palm oil that is sustainably certified in Europe and North America, including big names such as Walmart, Unilever and Nestle. As of 2011, CSPO represented over 10% of the global palm oil market but this has increased in recent years and is projected to increase in coming years. The certification process consists of reviewing existing production operations and identifying areas that must be improved to reach the CSPO standards to then be approved by a certification body. The standards are based on eight principles which have been retrieved from the RSPO website: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) The Good: The RSPO is currently the best sustainability and social impact standard that exists around the palm oil industry.
Risk perception Early theories The study of risk perception arose out of the observation that experts and lay people often disagreed about how risky various technologies and natural hazards were. The mid 1960s saw the rapid rise of nuclear technologies and the promise for clean and safe energy. A key early paper was written in 1969 by Chauncey Starr. Starr used a revealed preference approach to find out what risks are considered acceptable by society. This early approach assumed that individuals behave in a rational manner, weighing information before making a decision. Psychology approach The psychology approach began with research in trying to understand how people process information. Another belief arising from earlier research is the valence theory approach where it is said that emotions are grouped as either positive, such as happy and hopeful, or negative, such as fear and anger. Heuristics and biases Cognitive Psychology Psychometric paradigm Cultural theory
Global warming controversy Global mean land-ocean temperature change from 1880–2012, relative to the 1951–1980 mean. The black line is the annual mean and the red line is the 5-year running mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. Source: NASA GISS. The map shows the 10-year average (2000–2009) global mean temperature anomaly relative to the 1951–1980 mean. Fossil fuel related CO2 emissions compared to five of the IPCC's "SRES" emissions scenarios. The global warming controversy concerns the public debate over whether global warming is occurring, how much has occurred in modern times, what has caused it, what its effects will be, whether any action should be taken to curb it, and if so what that action should be. Primary issues concerning the existence and cause of climate change include the reasons for the increase seen in the instrumental temperature record, whether the warming trend exceeds normal climatic variations, and whether human activities have contributed significantly to it. History
Bermuda Triangle The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean, where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. According to the US Navy, the triangle does not exist, and the name is not recognized by the US Board on Geographic Names. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were spurious, inaccurately reported, or embellished by later authors. In a 2013 study, the World Wide Fund for Nature identified the world’s 10 most dangerous waters for shipping, but the Bermuda Triangle was not among them. Triangle area The area is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, with ships crossing through it daily for ports in the Americas, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. Origins Criticism of the concept
Willie Soon Soon is a critic of the scientific consensus on climate change, who gained prominence in the Soon and Baliunas controversy over the methodology of a paper he co-wrote. He disputes the consensus view that human activity is a significant contributor to climate change, and has argued that most global warming is caused by solar variation. Climate scientists have rebutted Soon's arguments, and the Smithsonian does not support his conclusions, but he is frequently cited by politicians opposed to climate-change legislation. Soon's research has been largely funded by the fossil-fuel industry, which provided over $1.2 million in funding, including $409,000 from The Southern Company, $230,000 from Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from Donors Trust. This fact was not disclosed in at least 11 papers published since 2008, which may have violated the ethical guidelines of most of the journals where they were published. Career
Animals and Trapping | Fur-Bearer Defenders What is wrong with trapping animals? Trapping is an inherently violent practice that is as unnecessary as it is cruel. APFA is committed to showing the public that there is no need to wear an animal's fur, and that educational coexistence approaches to managing human-wildlife interactions are not only compassionate, they are the most effective for dealing with so-called 'nuisance' wildlife. Don’t fur farms use humane husbandry practices? Mink have a natural territory of up to 2,500 acres; foxes can require even more space. Some of the common physical consequences of these unnatural living conditions include frostbite, deformed limbs, infectious diseases, and ulcers. The fur industry routinely claims that it is in the best interest of the farmers to treat their animals humanely, as it is integral to the “quality” of the fur. What animals are killed for their fur? Don't trappers use humane traps? Animals die in nature. Traps are designed to catch specific animals, aren't they?
Denial Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. The same word, and also abnegation, is used for a psychological defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may use: Many contemporary psychoanalysts treat denial as the first stage of a coping cycle. When an unwelcome change occurs, a trauma of some sort, the first impulse to disbelieve begins the process of coping. That denial, in a healthy mind, slowly rises to greater consciousness. The concept of denial is important in twelve-step programs, where the abandonment or reversal of denial forms the basis of the first, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth steps. Understanding and avoiding denial is also important in the treatment of various diseases. Types Denial of fact Denial of responsibility
Attribution of recent climate change Attribution of recent climate change is the effort to scientifically ascertain mechanisms responsible for recent changes observed in the Earth's climate. The effort has focused on changes observed during the period of instrumental temperature record, when records are most reliable; particularly on the last 50 years, when human activity has grown fastest and observations of the troposphere have become available. The dominant mechanisms (to which recent climate change has been attributed) are anthropogenic, i.e., the result of human activity. increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasesglobal changes to land surface, such as deforestationincreasing atmospheric concentrations of aerosols. There are also natural mechanisms for variation including climate oscillations, changes in solar activity, and volcanic activity. Multiple lines of evidence support attribution of recent climate change to human activities: Background Detection vs. attribution Key attributions Greenhouse gases
Pseudoscientific metrology Some approaches in the branch of historic metrology are highly speculative and can be qualified as pseudoscience. Origins In 1637 John Greaves, professor of geometry at Gresham College, made his first of several studies in Egypt and Italy, making numerous measurements of buildings and monuments, including the Great Pyramid. These activities fuelled many centuries of interest in metrology of the ancient cultures by the likes of Isaac Newton and the French Academy. The pendulum If we take the natural standard of one day divided by 105, the pendulum would be 29.157 inches at lat 30 degrees. While sandstone pendulums have been found in various Egyptian sarcophagi (e.g. the Karnak pendulum among others), no explanation is offered, at least in the texts mentioned here, as to why a divisor of 105 would have been chosen or measured. Charles Piazzi Smyth built to make a record of the measure of the Earth. The grand scheme Robin Heath 366 geometry
Constantine the Great The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and named it New Rome. However, in Constantine's honor, the Romans called it Constantinople, which would later be the capital of what is now known as the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years. Because of this, he is thought of as the founder of the Byzantine Empire. His more immediate political legacy was that, in leaving the empire to his sons, he replaced Diocletian's tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession. Sources Constantine was a ruler of major historical importance, and he has always been a controversial figure. The fluctuations in Constantine's reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. Early life Remains of the luxurious residence palace of Mediana, erected by Constantine I near his birth town of Naissus In the East Head from a statue of Diocletian, Augustus of the East In the West
Chinese Labor Strike: 5,000 Workers Strike At Factory Making Shoes For Nike, Timberland, Kenneth Cole; Police Dogs Deployed A strike at a Chinese factory that makes shoes for Nike, Timberland, Kenneth Cole and other popular brands grew on Tuesday to about 5,000 workers who are demanding their employer pay its government-mandated monthly housing allowance. Workers for Stella Shoe Co., based in the southern industrial city of Dongguan, began the strike on Sunday and were joined Tuesday by hundreds more Stella employees from another facility. Stella’s website says it makes shoes for the European market and has “sound employees” that “enjoy holiday labor law provisions.” Images posted on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site, show hundreds of workers wearing orange and blue company uniforms gathered around the factory. Some images depict police forces and K-9 units milling around the striking workers. Images taken by striking workers and posted on the Weibo microblogging site show a heavy police presence at a strike by about 5,000 shoemakers in Dongguan city on Tuesday. K-9 units were dispatched to the strike.