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Member since: Sat Nov 12, 2011, 02:37 PM
Number of posts: 1,684

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Daniel Gauntlett 35 froze to death all alone last Saturday

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sat Mar 2, 2013, 07:55 AM (15 replies)

The Norwegian prison where inmates are treated like people

On Bastoy prison island in Norway, the prisoners, some of whom are murderers and rapists, live in conditions that critics brand 'cushy' and 'luxurious'. Yet it has by far the lowest reoffending rate in Europe

The first clue that things are done very differently on Bastoy prison island, which lies a couple of miles off the coast in the Oslo fjord, 46 miles south-east of Norway's capital, comes shortly after I board the prison ferry. I'm taken aback slightly when the ferry operative who welcomed me aboard just minutes earlier, and with whom I'm exchanging small talk about the weather, suddenly reveals he is a serving prisoner – doing 14 years for drug smuggling. He notes my surprise, smiles, and takes off a thick glove before offering me his hand. "I'm Petter," he says.

Before he transferred to Bastoy, Petter was in a high-security prison for nearly eight years. "Here, they give us trust and responsibility," he says. "They treat us like grownups." I haven't come here particularly to draw comparisons, but it's impossible not to consider how politicians and the popular media would react to a similar scenario in Britain.

There are big differences between the two countries, of course. Norway has a population of slightly less than five million, a 12th of the UK's. It has fewer than 4,000 prisoners; there are around 84,000 in the UK. But what really sets us apart is the Norwegian attitude towards prisoners. Four years ago I was invited into Skien maximum security prison, 20 miles north of Oslo. I had heard stories about Norway's liberal attitude. In fact, Skien is a concrete fortress as daunting as any prison I have ever experienced and houses some of the most serious law-breakers in the country. Recently it was the temporary residence of Anders Breivik, the man who massacred 77 people in July 2011.

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:46 AM (6 replies)

The ghetto kids earning just 10p an hour making gifts for the Middletons' £30m business empire

By Mirror.co.uk
The ghetto kids earning just 10p an hour making gifts for the Middletons' £30m business empire

24 Feb 2013 00:00
An investigation has ­revealed that the firm's popular party toys were made in Mexican ghettos by children as young as FOUR and their parents

Maria Villegas is helped by her son Omar, four, and other relatives as she makes pinatas
James Breeden/Splash News
The party firm run by Kate Middleton's parents is ­accused of selling goods made by child labourers on just 10p an hour.

Carole and Michael Middleton’s Party Pieces offers pinatas – ­colourful cardboard figures filled with sweets – on its website for around £12.99 a time.

But an investigation has ­revealed that the £30million company’s popular party toys were made in Mexican ghettos by children as young as FOUR and their parents.

Last night Party Pieces responded to the claims on Twitter, saying: “As a responsible retailer we take the allegations seriously. We will work with our suppliers to investigate these claims.”

The firm sells 40 types of pinatas, which are popular for children’s parties. Created in a range of designs, from lions and castles to Minnie Mouse, the toys break open spilling out sweets when hit with a stick.

But life is far from fun for the families who put them together in shanty towns surrounding the Mexican border city of Tijuana.

They work in their own homes which means they are not subject to Mexico’s minimum wage of around 49p an hour, according to newspaper investigators.

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:45 AM (1 replies)

Is gaming addictive? With OMFGcata aka Jesse Cox, Dave Chaos, Dan Maher and more - Truthloader LIVE

I'm currently watching, very interesting topic.

(BTW I'm a gamer)
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:00 PM (0 replies)

Hungover Energy Secretary Wakes Up Next To Solar Panel


WASHINGTON—Sources have reported that following a long night of carousing at a series of D.C. watering holes, Energy Secretary Steven Chu awoke Thursday morning to find himself sleeping next to a giant solar panel he had met the previous evening. “Oh, Christ, what the hell did I do last night?” Chu is said to have muttered to himself while clutching his aching head and grimacing at the partially blanketed 18-square-foot photovoltaic solar module whose manufacturer he was reportedly unable to recall. “This is bad. I really need to stop doing this. I’ve got to get this thing out of here before my wife gets home.” According to sources, Chu’s encounter with the crystalline-silicon solar receptor was his most regrettable dalliance since 2009, when an extended fling with a 90-foot wind turbine nearly ended his marriage.

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:13 AM (5 replies)

Renewables now cheaper than coal and gas in Australia

A new analysis from research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance has concluded that electricity from unsubsidised renewable energy is already cheaper than electricity from new-build coal and gas-fired power stations in Australia.

The modeling from the BNEF team in Sydney found that new wind farms could supply electricity at a cost of $80/MWh –compared with $143/MWh for new build coal, and $116/MWh for new build gas-fired generation.

These figures include the cost of carbon emissions, but BNEF said even without a carbon price, wind energy remained 14 per cent cheaper than new coal and 18 per cent cheaper than new gas.

“The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date”, said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world’s best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer which promises to turn the economics of power systems on its head,” he said.

But before people, such as the conservative parties, reach for the smelling salts and wonder why renewables need support mechanisms such as the renewable energy target, BNEF said this was because new build renewables had to compete with existing plant, and the large-scale RET was essential to enable the construction of new wind and solar farms.

The study also found that Australia’s largest banks and found that lenders are unlikely to finance new coal without a substantial risk premium due to the reputational damage of emissions-intensive investments – if they are to finance coal at all.

It also said new gas-fired generation is expensive as the massive expansion of Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market forces local prices upwards. The carbon price adds further costs to new coal- and gas-fired plant and is forecast to increase substantially over the lifetime of a new facility.

BNEF’s analysts also conclude that by 2020, large-scale solar PV will also be cheaper than coal and gas, when carbon prices are factored in.

In fact, it could be sooner than that, as we reported yesterday, companies such as Ratch Australia, which owns coal, gas and wind projects, said the cost of new build solar PV was already around $120-$150/MWh and falling. So much so that it is considering replacing its ageing coal-fired Collinsville power station with solar PV. The solar thermal industry predicts their technologies to fall to $120/MWh by 2020 at the latest.

Continue reading here: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/renewables-now-cheaper-than-coal-and-gas-in-australia-62268
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Fri Feb 8, 2013, 07:11 AM (5 replies)

Scotland's first satellite

Were catching up!!
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:36 AM (12 replies)
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