UK’s £6bn climate finance pledge is welcome – but not its fair share

David Cameron, secretary of state Justine Greening and climate change minister Amber Rudd at a UN eventThe UK’s £5.8bn ($8.8bn) pledge to help poor nations cope with climate change falls short of the country’s fair share of the burden and the efforts of other European leaders, campaigners have said.

The announcement increases the UK’s climate aid by 50% over the five years between 2016 and 2021. Significantly, it will also be scaled up, so that by 2020 the annual finance is £1.76bn ($2.68bn), or close to double the current annual funding.

The rich world has promised to contribute $100bn each year by 2020 to help developing countries cope with climate change. The new tranche of UK funding was “compatible with our fair share of the $100bn”, said the energy and climate change secretary Amber Rudd. “The UK is playing its part.”

The news was widely welcomed by the NGO community, including Oxfam’s lead advisor on climate change policy, Tim Gore, who said it was a “credible pledge”. But he said that all countries would need to do more.

“We want to see the majority of the $100bn to come from public funds,” he said. “If everyone doubles their current commitment that will put us at about $40-50bn per year in 2020 from public finance specifically for climate purposes. The rest would then have to be made up of assumptions about how much private finance countries have successfully ‘mobilised’. The accounting for this is much less clear.”

Oxfam estimates public climate finance today runs somewhere between $17bn and $20bn each year. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) sets the number higher, at $37bn, but Gore said this included projects in which adapting to, or staving off, climate change was not the principal objective.

The UK’s increase follows moves by Germany – which doubled its 2020 finance in May, which Oxfam said would reach $4.47bn – and the Asian Development Bank – which has doubled its commitment to an annual $6bn. Last week, China pledged $3.1bn over a non-specific timeframe. France is reportedly also set to increase their commitment to $4bn annually at the UN general assembly in New York on Monday. Other announcements from Sweden and Luxembourg are expected in the coming days.

But while the UK joins its European peers in doubling its contribution, Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, director of the World Resources Institute sustainable finance programme, noted that it came from a much smaller base. In 2020, France and Germany will be giving approximately twice the UK’s intended contribution.

“This is close but definitely not 100% of the UK’s fair share. The UK needs to do more together with other donor countries but this is a significant gesture to raise ambition, and especially during a time of austerity,” she said.

“Comparing countries is really difficult,” said Gore’s German colleague Jan Kowalzig. “There is no definition what is climate finance and what isn’t.”

He said German climate finance included “a lot of rather traditional development assistance that is now increasingly made climate-proof” and France’s accounting included a lot of subsidised loans.

“If one looks at what the French budget provides (some of it to make loans concessional) then the French amount is much smaller,” he said.

Renewable energy outstrips coal for first time in UK electricity mix

Wind farm in ScotlandRenewable energy has for the first time surpassed coal in supplying the UK’s electricity for a whole quarter, according to government statistics released on Thursday.

The revelation of the surge in wind, solar and bioenergy to a record 25% comes in a week when the government has been heavily criticised by business leaders andAl Gore for cutting support for clean energy.

The high performance of renewable electricity between April and June, the latest period data is available for, was due to both more wind and sun and more turbines and solar panels having been installed, compared to the same period the year before, when renewables contributed 16.4% of electricity.

Gas-fired power stations provided the most electricity – 30% – with renewables second. Nuclear power was third with 21.5% and coal – the most polluting fuel – fell back to fourth, with 20.5%. Ageing coal and nuclear plants have been closing in recent years, while renewable energy has been rapidly rolling out.

Since May’s general election, Conservative ministers have argued that the subsidies given to renewable energy were rising too fast and announced plans to cut them, including an 87% reduction for solar power and an end to support for onshore wind farms. Industry figures said the government was slashing supporttoo heavily and would strangle renewable energy just as it was taking off.

“The new statistics show that the UK is relying increasingly on dependable renewable sources to keep the country powered up, with onshore and offshore wind playing the leading roles in our clean energy mix,” said RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery.

“We’ve had a series of disappointing announcements from ministers since May which unfortunately betray a lack of positive ambition at the heart of government. If ministers want to see good statistics like we’ve had today continuing into the years ahead, they have to knuckle down, listen to the high level of public support we enjoy, and start making positive announcements.”

The renewable surge was led by solar energy, which more than doubled between the second quarters of 2014 and 2015. Electricity from wind rose by 65%, helped by the expansion of several large-scale offshore wind farms, while electricity from biomass rose 26%, mainly due to a switch from coal to wood chips at a unit of Drax power station.

“Government support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly and these statistics show that has successfully enabled renewables to compete with other technologies,” said a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. “Our priority is now to move towards a low-carbon economy whilst ensuring subsidies are used where they are needed most, which provides the best value for money for hardworking bill payers.”

However, John Cridland, director general of the CBI, the UK’s leading business organisation delivered a scathing attack on Tuesday on the government moves that have weakened green policies. “These changes send a worrying signal about the UK as a place for low-carbon investment,” he said. “Over many years, the UK has built up real credibility on climate leadership and low-carbon investment. This is hard won, but easily lost.”

Former US vice president Al Gore also attacked the UK government, listing a long series of reversals on green policies and saying he could not understand the rationale, with climate change presenting a clear danger to the UK and the rest of the world.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd, visiting China with George Osborne this week,announced a £2bn loan guarantee for the proposed new Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset, saying the plant was “value for money” for low-carbon, baseload electricity. But critics attacked the £24.5bn price tag and history of nuclear cost overruns and delays, with a former Tory energy minister calling it “one of the worst deals ever” for British consumers and industry.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom spoke out in favour of shale gas exploration on Wednesday, which ministers have pledged to fast-track, saying it was “an inconvenient truth” for the anti-fracking lobby that shale gas could have economic and environmental benefits.

“We need to meet the UK’s rising demand for energy, using clean and low carbon energy sources if we are to continue to combat climate change and grow the economy,” she said. However, the government’s energy statistics released on Thursday said demand “fell by 2% continuing the recent downward trend”.

New season of Radio 4 plays explores the history of oil

Oil rig in ScotlandIn the 150 years since the emergence of the modern petroleum industry, oil has saturated cultures and shaped how billions of people live. It’s driven dreams of power and wealth, transformed economies, fuelled our transport, made our plastics, sent us to war, polluted our planet and could end all our days with climate change. It’s remarkable then, in this Age of Oil, that it’s been so little represented in fiction, and especially theatre.

“Oil is so woven into our lives,” says Nicolas Kent, the former director of the Tricycle theatre in north London, who has struck a gusher with a series – devised with others – of seven separate radio plays to run every day for a week on BBCRadio 4. “Oil has made so many people rich – the Nobels, the Gulbenkians, the Rockefellers. It has made our age,” he says.

The seven – a nod possibly to the seven oil companies which formed the infamous “Consortium for Iran” cartel which dominated the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s to the 1970s – switch from Alaska to Iran by way of Nigeria, Kuwait, Iraq and Britain. They are linked by corruption, politics and history.

The season opens with Stand Firm, You Cads! one of three dramas written by Jonathan Myerson, based on the fateful day in 1951 when new Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh nationalised the Anglo-Persian Oil Company [later to become BP] cancelling the 60-year concession which had been signed in 1901 by the then Shah. From that significant moment on, developing countries understood they could nationalise their oil and force the major Western oil companies out.

“I think so few people know of Mossadegh, the genesis of BP and our whole relationship with Iran,” says Kent. “Tony Blair famously did not know who he was and that tells the whole story of oil in the post-war era. After mass demonstrations and a CIA-backed coup, Mossadegh was unseated and the West got its oil back. But the genie was out of the bottle.”

Kent devises unashamedly factual and political theatre. His reconstruction of the Scott inquiry into the arms to Iraq affair, and his staging of verbatim extracts from the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly as well as Srebrenica and extracts from the Nuremberg war crime trials were all remarkable stage hits in the 1990s.

The seven plays mostly centre on real events. Nigerian writer Rex Obano bases his drama on Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian author judicially murdered by his government in 1994 for standing up against Shell’s oil pollution in the Niger delta. “The Ogoni people’s campaign against the environmental degradation of their land by the oil industry begins to crystallise into a mass movement,” says Obano.

Equally, Looking For Billy by Nigel Williams takes listeners up Alaska’s Haul Road to the Arctic Sea at the time when the US was trying to wean itself off Middle East oil. As a private detective sets out to investigate protests against the pipeline, the effect that oil discovery has had on the indigenous Inupiat people begins to emerge.

“The idea of a series of plays has taken four years to fruition. I wanted to do it in a theatre and to go right back to the barons in 14th-century England when the price of oil rocketed for the first time. The BBC wanted them all to be set post world war two,” he says.

“I think oil was seen as a blessing until the 1960s and 70s. It was wondrous. It gave people freedom, created city states like Dubai and gave power. It’s dictated our politics to a great extent. It won us world war two, it’s been of strategic importance. But now it is a total curse,” he says

The last play is a comedy by Tamsin Ogleby. Set in 2045 it imagines a father-and-son energy company struggling with the new economics of the oil market. The wells are running dry in Turkmenistan, the Chinese are fighting to frack under Lytham St Annes, and the young man is urging his father to get out of oil for good.

With the world’s largest car company in meltdown this week, oil bumping along at some of its lowest prices for years and all the world’s countries preparing to agree to cut back on fossil fuel emissions, seven plays about the history of oil seem barely enough.

North Sea cod could be back on menu as numbers improve

North Sea codThe eco-conscious fish and chips lover may soon be able to enjoy guilt-free battered cod caught in the North Sea after the Marine Conservation Society (MCS)removed it from their red list of fish to avoid eating.

Stringent catch controls were imposed on the species in 2006 after two decades of overfishing pushed cod populations to the brink of collapse. But a recovery of North Atlantic stocks has led the MCS to nudge cod into their amber category for fish that can be occasionally eaten.

This month, the Marine Stewardship Council, which sets standards for sustainable fishing, began an assessment of the health of North Sea populations. This could lead to the cod gaining certification for sale in British high streets, as has happened with Scottish haddock and Cornish hake.

Almost all cod sold in the UK’s fish and chip shops – 50,000 tonnes-worth – comes from the Arctic Sea. “It is encouraging to see this change in scoring from the MCS,” the council’s North Atlantic director, Toby Middleton, said. “The signs of improvement are there.”

“It’s fantastic to see this fishery finally off the red list,” said Samuel Stone, an MCS fisheries officer. “While this is certainly a milestone for North Sea cod, the job is not done yet. Efforts of recent years need to continue in order for the fishery to head towards the green end of the spectrum.”

North Atlantic cod are large predatory fish with three distinct dorsal fins on their backs. Famed for their white flaky meat, they can grow to at least two metres and weight up to 91kg.

Between 1996 and 2006, annual cod catches in the North Sea plummeted from 80,000 to 20,000 tonnes. But after the imposition of strict catch controls, cod stocks made a parallel recovery over the next eight years – from an estimated 20,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes.

The worst culprits in the cod population collapse were fishermen from Denmark, Norway and the UK, according to Oceana, an ocean advocacy group.

“Cod lives close to the ocean floor and so it was particularly affected by bottom trawling, which is the most destructive type of fishing,” said Lasse Gustavsson, Oceana’s executive director. “When you drag a huge net along the sea floor, you plough it up and catch everything there. Selective fishing is not an option in those circumstances.”

Almost all cod sold in the UK’s fish and chip shops – 50,000 tonnes-worth – comes from the Arctic Sea
Almost all cod sold in the UK’s fish and chip shops – 50,000 tonnes-worth – comes from the Arctic Sea. Photograph: Alamy

Rukayah Sarumi, Oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The government needs to start rewarding those who fish in a sustainable way by putting them at the front of the queue for fishing quota, instead of continuing to let the industry’s biggest players plunder our seas.”

As well as overfishing, the decline of North Atlantic cod was exacerbated by warming oceans in western shelf areas of the North Sea basin, which reduced the fishes reproductive success.

“This is one of the key reasons why we want stocks in a healthy position as soon as possible, so they are as resilient as they can be, going into threats like climate change,” Stone said.

The MCS cautions that cod numbers may never again reach the peak levels of the 1970s and 80s, and Stone recommended against a mass rush to the chippie just yet. “We are not saying you should avoid it but equally we are not saying it is the best option,” he said. “It has been toted as a very occasional eat.”

Even so, the conservation body is switching its focus to species such as wild salmon and sea bass, as well as cod caught in the Irish Sea, Norwegian coast and western Baltic.

George Monbiot is wrong to suggest small farms are best for humans and nature

Combine harvesters crop soybeansYesterday we launched in London what we hope will be a new direction for the environmental movement, one which takes green thinking in a more progressive and pragmatic direction. We call it ‘ecomodernism’.

The idea is to build a new cross-political movement of people who believe that humans are capable of using technological innovation to solve critical environmental problems, such as climate change, at the same time as allowing economic growth to eradicate poverty in developing countries. Traditional environmentalism has tended to insist that human prosperity and our environment are on a collision course: as we make clear in our manifesto, we don’t think this has to be the case.

We would have hoped that we would find an ally in George Monbiot. George is no friend of poverty, and his newly-launched movement for rewilding absolutely necessitates the kind of agricultural modernisation we are calling for in our manifesto. Only with more productive farms to feed the majority of humans who now live in cities, can enough free land be spared for nature and rewilding.

However, in his column yesterday, he rejects ecomodernism by making a sweeping claim. There is, he writes, “an inverse relationship between the size of farms and the crops they produce. The smaller they are, on average, the greater the yield per hectare.” The implication is that agricultural modernisation is neither land-sparing nor beneficial to the poor.Nothing could be further from the truth. There are, it is true, many studies showing an inverse relationship between yields and farm size in developing regions. But the relevant comparison is not between small farms and slightly larger ones in poor countries. It is between smallholder farms in developing nations and farms of any size in developed nations (which are almost always larger than farms in poor countries).

One widely cited study found that the smallest African farms produced about 25% more yield per hectare than the largest African farms. But the average American farm produced about 10 times more yield per hectare than either. Yield gaps between farmers in rich nations and those in poor countries are profound. US farmers harvest five times more per hectare than African farmers in maize and more than three times in rice. To suggest that smallholder farmers, particularly those in subsistence rain-fed agriculture, are more productive per unit of land than large-scale modern farmers is simply wrong.

Monbiot acknowledges that the reason that small farms in poor countries have higher yields than larger ones is because they have higher labor inputs, but fails to consider the implications of this fact. In poor nations, the lack of access to alternative livelihoods for large rural populations is the reason that labor is cheap and relatively high yields can be achieved on very small farms. Awash in cheap labor and lacking access to capital, markets, and infrastructure, farmers raise yields by applying more labor.

But any nature and land-sparing vision predicated on this model of agriculture would require maintaining large rural populations throughout the developing world in a state a of deep agrarian poverty, with no alternative livelihoods to speak of. Could you, in theory, raise yields dramatically through high inputs of labor (albeit also with healthy inputs of synthetic fertiliser, irrigation, and pesticides as well)? Perhaps. But doing so would only be possible given a very large pool of cheap or free (eg family) labor.

This seems to us to be neither a particularly plausible way to reduce human impacts on the environment nor an acceptable future for the billion people today living on less than a dollar a day. To suggest, as Monbiot does, that poor farmers are better off remaining on the farm is to suggest that they are better off remaining poor.

Without question, the journey from subsistence economies to modern livelihoods is not an easy one and moving from the farm to the city does not guarantee a better life, at least in the short term. But the last two centuries offer ample evidence that by just about every metric of human health, freedom, and material well-being, urbanisation, industrialisation, and agricultural modernisation are processes that have been overwhelmingly positive for humans.

Moreover, as a leading proponent of rewilding, we hope that Monbiot will think a bit harder about where all those rewilded landscapes in which, he hopes “nature is allowed to do its own thing, in which it can be to some extent self-willed, driven by its own dynamic processes” are likely to come from. On a planet of 7, going on 9 billion people, agricultural modernisation and intensification are clearly the most plausible path to leaving more of the Earth to nature.

EU clamps down on grey squirrels and other invasive wildlife

Grey squirrelAnyone caught exporting or possessing invasive species such as grey squirrels, ruddy ducks and water hyacinth in the EU will soon face heavy fines and confiscations, under a new blacklist filed at the WTO, which the Guardian has seen.

Raccoons, Javan mongooses, and South American coypus are among the 37 types of flora and fauna that will soon face eradication or strict controls in a bid to haltthreats to native wildlife and economic losses, estimated at €12bn (£8.8bn) per year by the EU.

Initially, the new EU regulation will ban a wide range of activities linked with invasive species including trade, transport, possession, breeding and putting on the market.

It also obliges countries including the UK to eradicate invading populations within two months of a new appearance where possible, and to draw up blueprints for containing existing colonies.

The advance of grey squirrels imported from North America by Victorian landowners has already shrunk the territory of the UK’s once endemic red squirrels to a few cantons in Scotland and the Isle of Wight.

The embargo is still being discussed with other WTO nations, and could be shortened before its expected publication in January. But up to 350 other species on two “early warning” lists could rapidly be added to the blacklist, if risk assessments by EU scientists are heeded.

“It is the first step in a very positive direction,” said Piero Genovesi, an EU scientific adviser, and chair of the IUCN’s invasive species specialist group. “This is a highly innovative approach, with well-designed legislation but the real challenge will be enforcement and implementation by the EU bodies, and the countries themselves.”

Several species of crayfish will also be blackballed by the EU, although the American lobster was the subject of intense lobbying by Canada and is omitted from the list.

Conservation groups were outraged that some of Europe’s most destructive predatory imports – such as the American mink – had been removed from the EU’s crosshairs, after intense pressure from mink farming states such as Finland and Denmark, which produces over 14m American mink furs a year.

The American mink is regarded as one of Europe’s most destructive predatory imports

“The commission’s minimalistic proposal suggests science is being trampled by narrow economic interests,” said Ariel Brunner the head of policy for Birdlife International. “The risk is that Europe is opening up to further biological invasions which will wipe out native biodiversity and impose staggering economic costs.”

American minks have been responsible for a collapse in Europe’s water vole populations, as well as destroying many nesting birds, amphibians and lizards. They are also a major threat to the European mink, which they out-compete in mating, although inter-species offspring is rare.

The RSPB said it was also concerned at the potential release of American minks and ring-necked parakeets into the wild. “The length of the species list is a measure of the political will to tackle a growing pressure on our biodiversity,” said Carles Carboneras, an RSPB species policy officer.

A European commission spokesman declined to comment.

While sharing some of the conservationists’ concerns, Genovesi said that the blacklist could be updated rapidly, with a first round of additions possible next April.

Grey squirrels are also a problem in Italy, where the species was introduced by a returning diplomat in 1948. A war plan has been drafted to prevent hundreds of thousands of the bushy-tailed marauders from overwhelming the region.

“We did several models showing that even if we just removed the squirrel population in the Milan area, it would delay an invasion of the central Alps for at least 100 years,” said Genovesi, who also heads Italy’s Institute for Environmental Protection and Research. “We are still facing a lot of opposition to controlling grey squirrels but implementing the new regulation could really make a difference.”

The Italian wildlife services are expected to announce an enforcement order soon after the list is published.

More drastic measures such as eradication are expected for animals such as raccoons and Siberian chipmunks, to protect competitor species and stymie outbreaks of diseases such as rabies. A similar fate awaits the Sacred African ibis, which established colonies in France after escaping from zoos.

The days of the South American coypu in Italy and northern Spain could also be numbered. Originally imported as part of the fur trade, the species was often released into the wild when commercial fur prices dropped. There, its seaweed and reed diet, combined with a habit of making burrows in river banks, was linked to a number of floods.

A cull of the Javan mongoose is also likely. The animal was introduced on Croatian islands to kill vipers but quickly turned its attentions to lizards, birds and small mammals instead.

Going Green Tips For Apartment Living

There are ways to make changes and live green in your apartment, even though it technically doesn’t belong to you. “Going green” does not necessarily have to include an addition of permanent installations to your building. Changing lifestyle instead of a structure can still affect the environment positively.

You can avoid adding to the problem with plastic water bottles by installing a water filter. Using stainless steel bottles when you are on the move also helps. If your faucet is older and can’t accept a new modern filter you should try with a filter pitcher. It gives the same results.

Devices that are plugged in continue draining power even if they’re turned off. If you unplug coffee makers, cell phone charges and other appliances that you use only for a part of the day you will save a portion of the electric bill. This could result in savings 40% and make a significant reduction on the electricity usage.

Going Green Tips For Apartment Living

Turn your thermostat down during the winter and back up in the summer. If you lower your room temperature even by 2 degrees it can save you a nice bonus in your utility bill. Wearing a sweater when it’s cold won’t cost you a thing, but it can also help you save money.

Going green doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding modern appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. You just shouldn’t use them carelessly. Simply wait until you have a full load for the machine before you turn it on. You don’t need to do the dishes every day if there are only a few of them. You should wait a few days until the machine is full and then run it as usual. If you switch your washing machine to cold-water washing you can save up to 80 per cent on laundry energy.

You shouldn’t think you won’t make a difference if you start recycling. It’s important. Use less when it’s possible. If you recycle 1 aluminum can it saves energy with the amount required to run a TV for 3 hours.

Computers, cell phones, monitors and other electronics often include materials which shouldn’t be in landfills. Many retailers and companies will be glad to take your gadgets and recycle them.

Use environmentally safe, non toxic cleaning products. You can find them at any grocery or even mainstream stores. Read labels carefully.

Try to buy a high-efficiency car if you can. One or two days a week you should try other ways to go to work, rather than driving your car. You can ride your bike, take the bus, train or even walk. This will help cutting down oil consumption, air pollution, gas emissions and the costs of maintaining your vehicle. For more interesting tips about cleaning, restoration or furniture repair.

Cleaning Your Oven The Eco-friendly Way

There is one place in the kitchen no one looks into. A kind of “sanctuary” for dirt, grime, filth and food leftovers at the heart of your kitchen. Probably you don’t think about it, too. But it can be a real health hazard if left unattended. This dark hollow is the inside of your oven. It might not come to mind a lot but just consider how often you actually use your oven and at the same time how often you take a peek inside. If this wasn’t the oven but rather the back of your windows or the plot would you pay it less attention? Think about for a second how much you care for what is not in front of your eyes compared with what is? And if you don’t like the answer take that peek and consider the oven as important as the fridge, the plot or even the window. It’s one of the places getting the most dirt and grease when you prepare food and if you really think about it you use it all the time. That’s why you should take the care it deserves and figure out the best way to clean it.

There are two possible solutions for this problem. The first is to use a commercial cleaning product you picked up from the local store. There are some special oven cleaners, too. The other is the do-it-yourself approach. Check out your shelves and groceries and you might just find enough to come up with a nice trustworthy cleaning solution to solve your problems. If you choose the first approach commercial products can be quite effective but do you know what’s inside them? Or can you tell they are completely safe? Unless you are a chemistry professor can you be sure all those chemicals inside are perfectly ok and will do the job with no risks for you or the environment? We all know cleaning products producers use shiny advertisements and “best advice” but do you know what you have on your hands? To be sure you know what you are doing to yourself and the environment the best way is to do your cleaner yourself. For example, baking soda and vinegar can come to be very handy when it comes to cleaning and removing stains and odors. They can even eat though thick layers of filth and heavy grease and give a shine to metal and glass. They are a good choice for your oven, too.

Cleaning Your Oven The Eco-friendly Way

Just take into account the fact that only scraping with a steel wool and wet cloth will not be of a great service. You will probably remove the big pieces of dirt and the grease but the really dangerous small crevices and little holes where grit, dust and possibly dangerous microbes can take refuge will be safe to spread around your food. This is the real health hazard. Only a nice treatment with an antibacterial agent or a cup of vinegar can make sure you’ve taken care of it. There are dangerous bacteria and viruses that can hide almost everywhere and a nice nook covered by filth could be ideal cover against the intense heat inside. The cloth will get dirty and your oven cleaner but that is no guarantee you are safe.

Wiping and scraping only remove the upper layers but often leave the dangerous surface layers intact. That’s why you shouldn’t be tricked by the appearance of clean surface but take the insides of the oven and treat them well in a bath of hot water with a cup of vinegar and half teaspoon of dishwashing liquid for every liter of water. For internal disinfection use a paste of equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar mixed with water until you have a creamlike substance that could spread easy but is not too liquid. The perfect consistence is something between honey and jelly. Spread it well all around the insides of the oven and wait for an hour or two. Then scrape it off and clean with a solution of 1 cup of vinegar for every liter of water. Then dismount the insides of the oven and bathe them as described above. You can use the same solution to clean the window and any glass at top. It’s efficient in cleaning the stove, too. For heavy stains and the supporting frame of your oven you could use the soda paste to clean almost any stains and remove nasty odors. Baking soda is enormously effective for this. But if you can’t handle the stains, the odor or the filth in your oven you can always count on professional cleaners. There are numbers of cleaning companies offering oven cleaning services you can rely on. Contact them if you think the situation is so dare you can’t survive on your own. They will manage to solve your problems for sure!

Everything You Needed To Know About Aerosol Can Disposal

Aerosol cans are a part of our daily lives but not everyone is aware of the proper ways to dispose them. It is very important to remember that aerosol cans are often considered to be hazardous wastes since the remnants of the propellants might end up hurting individuals. Here is more about them.

Used Aerosol cans: They might not be as “empty” as you think

The aerosol cans contain both the product and the propellant. The product of course refers to the main product used by you (for example, mousse, hair gel, cream etc) while the propellant is the gaseous substance which forces the product out of the can once the nozzle of the container is pressed.

Now even after the entire product is used up, the propellant is still inside the container and you have to ensure that the propellant is being drained out of the can before it is dispensed in the recycling can or empty landfills. When the propellant gets exposed to heat, it might even lead the can to burst thereby hurting the landfill workers. So, aerosol cans are often treated as hazardous waste in certain states.

You can drain out the propellant before disposing the spray cans. Spread out some newspapers on the floor and keep on spraying the cans until they stop making the hissing noise. Once that stops you can be rest assured that the container is empty.
In order to be doubly sure you can take the container to a licensed puncturer. However, do not try to flatten or puncture the can yourself since there is possibility of the remnants of the propellants hurting you.

Everything You Needed To Know About Aerosol Can Disposal

Aerosol Can Disposal: Different States are Governed by different Regulations

Owing to the factors mentioned above, aerosol cans are treated as hazardous waste and Aerosol can disposal is approached with special care. Please ensure that you are following the regulations of your state when it comes to dispensing these cans. If partially empty aerosol containers are treated as hazardous wastes in your area then make sure you are taking your cans to the hazardous waste facility instead of putting them in the recycling bins or relegating them to the empty landfills arbitrarily.

Recyclability of Aerosol Cans

Aerosol cans are highly recyclable since they are made up of steel and aluminum – both of which can be recycled. They are often recycled in the curb along with other materials such as paper, cans and bottles. However, this can only be done when they are fully empty. Partially filled cans cannot be dispensed in this fashion owing to reasons already mentioned above. You can get in touch with your local solid waste service provider in a bid to find out more about this.

It is very important to ensure that you are educating yourself properly about the ways in which you should dispose the aerosol containers. Posts like these will be of help – hopefully

So we would suggest that you keep on reading more such stuff and keep expanding your horizons in this regard.

Deadliest Infrastructure Tragedies Of All Time

Infrastructures are valuable elements that keep a country functional and operational. Because of their importance, the government of every country should take concrete steps to make sure that their infrastructures are well maintained. This is to avoid accidents that would not only affect the country’s economy, but possibly take many lives as well.

Below are seven of the most deadliest infrastructure tragedies of all time, based on their death tolls:

Haiti Earthquake

Although the earthquake that caused havoc in this little island was more natural rather than man made,what made the Haiti incident so tragic were the poor measures its government took to prepare for such an incident. For years geologists had warned about the possibility of a great earthquake happening because of the island’s location. Still, poor infrastructure coupled with gross neglect led to an estimate death toll of 316,000 in the January 2010 tragedy.

Deadliest Infrastructure Tragedies Of All Time

Quebec Bridge Collapse

One of Canada’s major bridges collapsed twice in history—claiming a total of 95 lives. Both collapses, which happened in 1907 and 1916, were caused by an error in the construction design, making the carrying capacity of the bridge less than the weight of the bridge itself.

Silver Bridge Collapse

Silver Bridge connected West Virginia and Ohio for thirty-nine years before it collapsed in 1967, due to stress corrosion cracking on one of the major links near the Ohio tower. The tragedy claimed a total of 46 lives.

Chernobyl Disaster

In what is considered a catastrophic nuclear accident, the Chernobyl Disaster occurred on April 26, 1986, when an explosion and a succeeding fire released huge quantities of radioactive particles in the air, affecting most of Europe. Thirty-one people died because of the explosion, not counting the casualties that the radiation will cause in upcoming years.

I-75 Car Pile-up

A dense fog on the morning of December 11, 1990 covered a section of I-75 in Tennessee and caused a seventy-car pile-up that stretched for half a mile. Motorists were unable to see road markingsand warning posts supplied along the highway because of the low visibility. Thirteen lives were lost in the incident, and a lot more people were injured.

I-5 Thanksgiving Tragedy

On November 29, 1991, strong winds swept across I-5 in California amid the mad inflow of traffic caused by people going home after Thanksgiving weekend. The wind blew over an unplanted farmland and whipped up a dust storm, causing low visibility and a disastrous 104-car pileup. By the time rescuers managed to get to the scene, 17 people have already died and 150 more were severely injured.

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster

On March 11, 2012, a tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan and caused the meltdown of three of its six nuclear reactors. March 12 saw the release of a substantial amount of radioactive materials which spilled both in the water in the plant and the sea. Although the total death toll is unconfirmed, the possible radiation effects in succeeding years are a cause of more concern.

Infrastructure tragedies caused by natural disasters are unavoidable, but men should take initiative and prepare against them as best as they can. On the other hand, man made tragedies can be minimized, if not completely avoided, by careful planning and proper maintenance of said infrastructures.