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Greenpeace exposes recently burnt Indonesian forest replaced with palm oil

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New photos and video released today by Greenpeace Southeast Asia show freshly planted palm oil saplings on deforested peatland where several fires have recently broken out at the edges of an orangutan sanctuary. Greenpeace has called on the Indonesian government to ensure that no one profits from the forest destruction caused by the haze crisis by requiring all forest and peatlands that have been burnt in the fires to be restored.

The best available maps, now several years old, do not indicate any oil palm concession has been granted in the area investigated by Greenpeace Southeast Asia. The government refuses to release newer maps for analysis, while the anti corruption commission last month reported that unreported forest clearing cost up to US$9 billion over the past decade in lost timber royalties. Last week, a suspicious fire destroyed paper-based records at the Central Kalimantan government’s finance department. Police have launched a criminal investigation.

“These fires are one of the worst disasters ever to hit this country. It is unthinkable that anyone should be allowed to profit from such a crisis. President Jokowi has called for restoration after the fires – and that must mean restoring forests and peatlands, not planting with oil palm,” said Annisa Rahmawati, Indonesia Forests campaigner at Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

As fires raged on the edges of the Nyaru Menteng orangutan sanctuary in Central Kalimantan late last month, National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Chief of Data and Information, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted a photo to his Twitter account which quickly went viral. Paired with the caption “After the fire, comes the oil palm”, the photo showed a landscape of burned tree stumps with oil palm seedlings freshly planted in rows.

A spokesperson for the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) responded by claiming the industry was the victim of a smear campaign, suggesting that the planting was orchestrated to damage the image of Indonesia’s palm oil industry. However, when Greenpeace visited the area on 27 October local people told investigators that the area had been burnt twice, around a month earlier, apparently as a prelude to planting with oil palm.

“The police are still investigating this area to find out if a crime took place. Yet someone is already trying to exploit this fire by establishing an oil palm plantation. Who owns this land? Were these fires started on purpose? We won’t know until the government makes good on its promise to publish concession maps and hold those responsible for these fires to account,” Annisa said.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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