Siemens (www.Siemens.com) today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to support the government’s objective of becoming a low middle-income country by 2025. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) addresses the country’s energy and infrastructure sectors. Other key aspects of the agreement include financing concepts that will… […]
Seeking to End Suffering by Ending Energy Poverty
By Matthew Vadum March 19, 2019 Updated: March 20, 2019
A former Texas state lawmaker is spearheading a campaign against radical environmentalists and powerful international organizations, whose policies keep people in developing nations in desperate poverty and misery by discouraging the development of electricity-based networks worldwide. Jason Isaac is taking aim at those promoting the scourge of “energy poverty,” which keeps people in underdeveloped countries poor and sick, shaving decades off life expectancies on the African continent and elsewhere by making it difficult for consumers to access electric power for their daily needs. Isaac represented District 45 in the Texas House of Representatives from January 2011 to January 2019 as a Republican. While there, he was a member of the Energy Resources Committee. Isaac recently joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan research institute in Austin. At TPPF, he is senior manager and distinguished fellow of the “Life: Powered” initiative, whose mission “is to ensure that Americans understand the connections between energy, prosperity, and freedom.”
To see more, click here to visit The Epoch Times
Migration, Remittances and Foreign Aid Keep Corrupt Leaders in Power
The migration game
Many people are encouraged and sometimes paid and helped to leave their countries by their governments. Removal of unemployed potential trouble makers is beneficial to the government in power. It is a kind of safety valve, ensuring continuation of corrupt government power that might otherwise be challenged.
Developing countries profit from emigration in two ways. First, unemployed citizens that leave the country lift the burden of providing for them and eliminate a source of civil unrest or political challenges. Secondly, the economies of poor countries benefit from remittances, i.e. money sent back to families in their home countries. Some countries depend on these remittances to prop up their economies. For example, in 2016 Mexico officially received $26.1 billion in remittances sent back to families by Mexican immigrants, mostly from the United States. That’s roughly 2.5 percent of Mexico’s GDP, which is a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Because this is an estimate with no way of knowing the exact amount, it may be much higher.
Remittances account for a significant part of the GDP of some developing countries in Africa. See values from World Bank/IMF, in the table below. As expected, the neediest countries receive the most remittances as a % of GDP. Although Nigeria is on the low side as a % of GDP, it is the most populous with comparably higher GDP, so that the actual amount is quite high.
|Country||Remittances as % of GDP|
|Cape Verde||> 10%|
Source: “Where to Invest 2018,” Rand Merchant Bank, from World Bank/ IMF data
The Foreign Aid Trap
Government to government foreign aid with little or no accountability is also a part of this picture. Very little of the foreign aid actually gets to the people who need it, much less to infrastructure building that can encourage investment and raise standards of living and health. Leaders get rich while their people remain in poverty, sickness, ignorance and isolation. Corrupt dictators and their regimes benefit from keeping their countries poor. As long as the people are needy, the aid keeps coming. Raising the economy and standard of living has the opposite effect. Corrupt governments are only accountable to their international donors, not the people. Any foreign aid should be temporary emergency relief with strict accountability for its use. Without unaccountable foreign aid, governments would be dependent on their tax base. They would be forced to encourage investment, develop infrastructure and contribute to economic development.
Additionally, poor countries have been prevented from developing by UN, advocacy groups and their own corrupt leaders. What these countries need are Infrastructure, (roads, reliable electricity, etc.), Investment (foreign and domestic), Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Natural and Artificial Migration
What is the reason for much of the new waves of migration flooding Europe and the United States? Are conditions getting that much worse in their home countries than previously, or is there another answer? According to open borders believers, it is because overpopulation is getting so bad. I have heard the refrain, “they are escaping from overpopulated countries because they have no place else to go.” That is pure rubbish aka propaganda. This myth is pushed by the United Nations and advocacy groups promoting a worldwide campaign for population control and open borders. The world is far from overpopulated by any definition, whether it is food scarcity or room for the people. Hunger usually has more to do with politics than anything else.
It is important to point out that there are two types of immigration, Illegal or unauthorized and legal or sanctioned by receiving countries. Sending countries have historically been allowed by receiving countries to send people at a reasonable rate that allows for absorption with minimal cultural disruption. Strict guidelines have always required good health, no criminal record and evidence of self-support or a sponsor.
While a trickle of unauthorized migration with no supporting documentation has always happened, the current flood of unauthorized immigrants is a fairly new phenomenon. In many cases it is more like an invasion, complete with militant behavior, than simple migration. The flood is composed mostly of young, able bodied men, with only a few women and children. Poverty, overpopulation and violence, in the form of wars and civil unrest, are three of the “reasons,” aka excuses, given for the flood. However, these causes cannot explain the huge increase in numbers because there has been little or no change in the amount of distress in the world. What could have caused this sudden onslaught?
While some migrants are fleeing from violence in war torn areas, most are not, and they certainly are not displaced by the supposed struggling hordes of overpopulation. The image projected by pictures of overcrowded city slums is of wallowing masses of destitute people. That is certainly not the case for most of the world. Most of the people in poor countries are concentrated in cities for job opportunities, not because there is nowhere else to go. The remainder of each country is, if anything, under populated. So, if not overpopulation, why do they leave their homes for a strange land?
This is being encouraged by advocacy groups for various reasons, including those who want to bring down Western civilization such as Islamists, Communists and their sympathizers. The new flood of migrants originated, largely as a way to disrupt Western civilization and impose socialism, Communism or Islamic Sharia Law and is supported by money and propaganda from advocacy groups. People are paid, promised jobs, given new clothing, supported on their journey with food, water and shelter, and often given ship or rail passage. Where does all this money come from? It comes from wealthy donors and other backers that seek to change the world to fit their ideologies.
My new book, Saving Africa From Lies That Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is now available in print and eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million. Learn how you can help.
Wildlife reserves have evicted and harassed native peoples from their home territories
Tourists who eschew vaccination are reintroducing disease to less affluent countries.
Bill Gates Thinks There are Too Many Africans/Calls for Population Control
WASHINGTON, D.C., Octobert 12 (C-Fam) The goal of eliminating extreme poverty is among the top priorities of the global community and is the first of the UN’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, progress toward reducing poverty is threatened by the presence of too many poor people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some global leaders have drawn criticism for their patronizing comments about African fertility, including French president Emmanuel Macron. At a launch event for the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers Report, held alongside the UN’s General Assembly, Macron said that Africa’s high birth rate is “not chosen fertility,” and reflects a lack of education. “I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.’”
Because of the history of coercive population control programs, “population was removed from the development vocabulary altogether,” writes Alex Ezeh in the Goalkeepers Report. “For the sake of Africa’s future, we should bring it back.”
To read more follow this link to the original article at C-Fam.org
UN committee rejects educational progress, refuses to respect the choices of the poor.
Uber-organic campaign enshrines primitive agriculture and malnutrition as human rights
Paul Driessen and David Wojick
Friday, July 20, 2018, 11:11:47 PM
Not every poor person in impoverished places around the world aspires to the modern living standards they see and hear about: indoor plumbing, electricity for lights, a refrigerator and stove, a paucity of disease-carrying insects, top-notch schools and hospitals, their children living past age five. But many do.
Not every poor African, Asian or Latin American farmer wants to give up his backbreaking, dawn to dusk traditional agricultural practices, guiding his ox and plow, laying down meager supplies of manure to fertilize crops, surviving droughts, repeatedly hand spraying pesticides to battle ravenous insects – to reap harvests that often barely feed his family, much less leave produce to sell locally. But many do.
Unfortunately, they often face formidable foes. An absence of electricity, roads and other infrastructure. Corrupt, kleptocratic governments. Nonexistent property rights and other collateral to secure loans. Powerful, well-financed eco-imperialists whose policies perpetuate poverty, malnutrition and disease.
Banks and other carbon colonialists glorify limited wind and solar energy for poor villages, while denying financial support for fossil fuel electricity generation. Anti-chemical fanatics promote bed nets and narrowly defined “integrated pest management,” but bitterly oppose chemical pesticides and the spatial repellant DDT to kill mosquitoes, keep them out of homes and prevent deadly malaria.
Radical organic food groups battle any use of genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide spraying by 75% or more. They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death.
Now poor country families face even harder struggles, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups once again proves the adage that power politics makes strange bedfellows. Coalition members share a deep distaste for fossil fuels, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, corporations, capitalism, biotechnology, and virtually all aspects of modern agriculture.
Their growing social-political movement is called “AgroEcology.” While the concept is studiously vague, it essentially asserts that indigenous, traditional farmers must be shielded from market forces and modern technologies, so that they can continue using ancient, primitive, “culturally appropriate” methods.
AgroEcology is anti-GMO organic food activism on steroids. It rejects virtually everything that has enabled modern agriculture to feed billions more people from less and less acreage and, given the chance, could eliminate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. It is rabidly opposed to biotechnology, monoculture farming, non-organic fertilizers and chemical insecticides – and even despises mechanized equipment like tractors, and the hybrid seeds and other advances developed by Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution.
AgroEcology advocates tortured but clever concepts like “food sovereignty” and the “right to subsistence farming by indigenous people.” It promotes “indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices,” thus excluding the vast storehouse of non-indigenous learning, practices and technologies that were developed in recent centuries – and are readily available to anyone with access to a library or internet connection.
Or as they put it: “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies, rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” Food sovereignty also “focuses on production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems, avoid costly and toxic inputs, and improve the resiliency of local food systems in the face of climate change.” (The 2007 Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty. In Mali!)
Some adherents even seek the “re-peasantization” of Latin American society!
AgroEcology has the financial backing of far-left foundations like the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which collectively have committed more than $500 million to a raft of like-minded NGOs.
Its precepts and policies are approved and actively promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank and other UN agencies at their taxpayer-funded international conferences. These agencies are even beginning to demand adherence to über-organic practices as a condition for receiving taxpayer funding for agricultural development programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (But taxpayers and legislators who provide the funding have been permitted little substantive input on any of this.)
It’s all justified – and often accepted without question in government agencies and universities – by reference to the politically correct, virtue-signaling terminology of our era: sustainability, sustainable farming, dangerous manmade climate change, social justice, indigenous rights, self-determination.
Also typical, anyone opposing these ideologies, policies and demands is vilified as a “willful supporter” of violence against women, “land-grabbing” by multinational corporations, peasant farmer suicides, “mass expropriation and genocide” of indigenous people, and crimes against humanity.
Imagine how intolerant AgroEcology ideologues would react if a farmer wanted to assert his or her food sovereignty and self-determination – by planting hybrid corn, using modern synthetic fertilizers or (heaven forbid) planting Bt corn (maize), to get higher yields, spend less time in the field, spray fewer pesticides, or improve the family’s living standards by selling surplus crops. And yet many want to do exactly that.
“By planting the new Bt cotton on my six hectares [15 acres], I was able to build a house and give it a solar panel,” Bethuel Gumede told the late Roy Innis, then chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, during a trip to South Africa. “I also bought a TV and fridge. My wife can buy healthy food, and we can afford to send the kids to school. My life has changed completely.”
“I grow maize on a half hectare,” Elizabeth Ajele told him. “The old plants would be destroyed by insects, but not the new biotech plants. With the profits I get from the new Bt maize, I can grow onions, spinach and tomatoes, and sell them for extra money to buy fertilizer. We were struggling to keep hunger out of our house. Now the future looks good.”
Equally relevant, how can agricultural practices that barely sustained families and villages before the advent of modern agriculture possibly feed the world? As Dr. Borlaug said in 2006: “Our planet has 6.5 billion people. If we use only organic fertilizers and methods on existing farmland, we can only feed 4 billion. I don’t see 2.5 billion people volunteering to disappear.”
AgroEcology promoters like Greenpeace, Food & Water Watch, Pesticide Action Network, Union of Concerned scientists and La Via Campesina (The Peasant Way) pay little attention to any of this. They’re too busy “saving people” from “dangerous” hybrid seeds, GMOs, agribusiness, farm machinery and chemicals. Not that any of them would ever want to toil on any of the primitive farms they extol.
Greenpeace frightens Africans by claiming “some researchers think DDT and DDE could be inhibiting lactation” in nursing mothers. So families are afraid to use DDT, and millions die from preventable malaria, while still more millions suffer permanent brain or liver damage from the disease. Would it also oppose cancer-curing chemotherapy because it causes hair loss and reduced resistance to infections?
Modern instruments can detect chemicals in mere parts per billion (the equivalent of a few seconds in 32 years) or even parts per trillion (a few seconds in 32,000 years). That’s hardly a threat to human health.
But Luddite eco-imperialists and über-organic food activists stridently oppose any manmade fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, while saying “natural” pesticides commonly used by organic farmers are safe. In reality, copper sulfate can kill humans in lower doses per kilogram of body weight than aspirin, and exposure to rotenone causes Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats and can also kill humans.
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, US and EU government agencies, and real human rights advocates should challenge and denounce AgroEcology agitators and their financial enablers for advancing fraudulent claims that perpetuate malnutrition, poverty and human rights abuses in the world’s poorest countries. They should also cut off funding to any government agencies that support AgroEcology nonsense.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and economic development. David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science and logic in public policy.
For original article go to Luddite eco-imperialists claim to be virtuous
Plagued by pest, African farmers may soon have access to insect-resistant GMO cowpeas—for free
A project begun nearly 15 years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.
“The cowpea growers have been very supportive. They like the GM crop. They have seen it perform and they are ready to grow it,” Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the project’s manager at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), told me.
Cowpeas, known as black-eyed peas in the United States, are a key source of protein for over 200 million people, mostly in West Africa. However, the destructive pod borer insect can cause yield losses of up to 80 percent, and conventional breeding methods have been unable to help.
The GMO crop has shown strong resistance to the pest in field trials so far. Scientists used genetic engineering to insert a single gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a soil bacterium commonly used as an approved natural insecticide and sprayed on crops by organic farmers.
Several crops now utilize the Bt technology to protect against insects, including corn and soybeans in the US, cotton in the US and India, and eggplant in Bangladesh. Monsanto developed the first Bt crop, corn, in 1996. Today, over 75 percent of the corn grown in the US is Bt.
The intellectual property for the Bt gene was provided by Monsanto to the project royalty-free. This, along with initial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and sustained funding for the past decade from the US government’s Agency for International Development (USAID), will allow the seeds to be distributed to farmers at no cost. Monsanto has also provided Bt traits royalty-free for other development projects, such as eggplant in Bangladesh and corn in Africa.
Do 80% of Nigerians lack safe drinking water? It’s worse than that
Close to 80% of Nigerians lack potable water.
Source: Journalist Dele Sobowale (May 2018)
90.8% of Nigerians’ household drinking water contaminated by E coli bacteria.
- A journalist recently claimed that over 80% of Nigerians lack water that is suitable for drinking.
- A large survey of households published in 2017 found that 90.8% of Nigerians’ drinking water contained some level of E coli bacteria.
- Only 3.7% of Nigerians had good access to clean water that was completely safe to drink.
To continue reading and for more details, see the original article at Africa Check
The Table in the article is from “Nigeria Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2016-17Survey Finding Report October, 2017″
The global MICS programme was developed by UNICEF in the 1990s as an international household survey programme to support countries in the collection of internationally comparable data on a wide range of indicators on the situation of children and women.
Slow Sand Filters for water purification
Slow sand filters are one of the easiest ways to clean water of pathogens and colloidal particles. Building a slow sand filter for home use requires little beyond local materials. A good manual I found that explains the finer points of operation and construction is “Biosand Filter Construction Manual” through CAWST Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology that can be downloaded as a pdf file at https://resources.cawst.org/construction-manual/a90b9f50/biosand-filter-construction-manual
UV purification of drinking water
UV from sunlight will kill most bacteria and parasites in six to ten hours in clear plastic one to two liter soda or water bottles if the water is clear. Prefiltering is recommended. Laying bottles on a reflective surface will enhance purification. Larger bottles are not recommended because UV from sunlight is reduced by traveling through a greater depth of water. The larger the bottle, the longer it takes to purify. Source of the image is UNICEF
Additional water filtration and purification information is available in my book Saving Africa from Lies That Kill on Amazon and on this blog site.