As of January 1, China effectively banned imports of plastic recyclables from other countries. The change represents a major policy shift: In 2016, China took 51 percent of the 15 million tons of plastic recyclables in trade globally, including a whopping 40 percent of US citizens’ plastic recycling. So when China announced that it was shutting its doors to our plastic, it was a wake up call for the US recycling industry.
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Less of What We Don't Need
Stories about Less of What We Don't Need.
Oil flows through the veins of Venezuela, accounting for 95% of exports. It dominates national politics and influences foreign representations of the country, as it has since its first discovery. Extensive studies on oil in Venezuela deal with either the scientific and technical aspects of production or the political, economic, and—more recently—the cultural and social conditions generated by the industry. Yet despite the oil industry's prominence in the national political discourse, its environmental consequences have received limited attention.
A few months ago, Google announced that they will achieve their goal of being 100% powered by renewable energy in 2017 . They are not the only corporation with such lofty goals. Google is joined by GM, Apple, Coca Cola, and more than one hundred companies who have also pledged to go “100% renewable” .
Robots will take over the world, maybe soon. This is a view held by eminent scientists like Stephen Hawking and James Lovelock.
Physicists and engineers are building artificial intelligences (AIs) that are smarter than we are, but they’re still computers. Will they be able to develop consciousness and a sense of their own self-interest? If our AI scientists are going to stave off robot rebellion, they’ll need to use whatever edge they still have over their creatures to program them with goals that are reliably, permanently aligned with human goals.
Fifteen thousand scientists have issued a dire warning to humanity about impending collapse but virtually no-one takes notice. Ultimately, our global systems, which are designed for perpetual growth, need to be fundamentally restructured to avoid the worst-case outcome.
As the plagued Keystone Pipeline spilled 200,000 gallons of oil near the Sisseton Dakota reservation, on November 20, the Nebraska Public Service Commission issued a convoluted permit approval, allowing TransCanada to route the line through part of the state. In the meantime, the Dakota, Lakota and their allies stand strong.
Leaders from the frontlines of mining struggles in the Philippines, Colombia and Uganda travelled to the UK this November to expose the true costs of the UK’s extensive ties to the global mining industry and oppose the Mines and Money Conference in London- a global hub of mining finance and power.
The economist Branko Milanovic recently wrote a blog post titled “The illusion of degrowth in a poor and unequal world.” He penned it, he says, following a conversation he had with a proponent of degrowth.