About Peter Kraneveld
During the Austro-Prussian war of 1866, both sides promoted the use of potatoes as alternative food. The Austrians met with heavy resistance from their population and military and largely failed. The Prussians planted potatoes on government-owned land and had them guarded by armed soldiers, but in daytime only. The potatoes were stolen at night, considered valuable, farmers planted them, people considered them a luxury food since the king had posted guards in the fields. Prussia won the war.
The lesson: work also on consumer appreciation and disrupt habits to change consumption habits. Examples: separate license plates for low and non-petrol cars, preferably with silver and gold coloured lettering. Diplomas for long distance train travel.
I do not understand the sentence "At the same time, the financial conditions for farmers to pay the full cost of producing biochar is often not possible." What does it mean? What is the problem?
In general, is financing a bottleneck for biochar use?
I would suggest that to make the project more collaborative, a portal should be created where trusted companies and site owners can dump fact checked data for analysis and find tools to collect such data.
What I sorely miss in Marion Jansen's report is what actions are to be envisaged (as opposed to in what fields action might be taken). One simple example. Cultivated meat is a reality. The only country in the WORLD where it is not blocked by legislation is Singapore. Go taste cultivated chicken there. It is juicier and guaranteed to be boneless. Or go to Maastricht to taste cultivated beef in the laboratories of Mosa Meat, a gleam in the eye of a university professor with a turnover of zero and no prospects of sales any time soon due to archaic legislation. Good intentions are fine, but if nothing happens afterwards, they remain empty promises.
La propagande pour parler une langue étrangère a des côtés positives et négatives. Comme yin et yang, ils sont inséparables.
Du côté positif sont les aspects de diversité: les cultures, donc les langues sont valables en soi. Néanmoins, peu de langues sont protégés avec autant de force que le français - il est même interdit d'utiliser une autre langue dans les publicités commerciales sans inclure une traduction en français - tandis qu'il y a pas mal de langues, souvent minoritaire, qui sont beaucoup plus menacé que le français (voir les graphiques montrés par l'auteur.)
Du côté négatif, il y a le nationalisme, courant politique qui est à la source de guerre, discrimination, colonialisme et une esprit fermé en général. Propager une langue peut facilement descendre dans une manque de flexibilité politique et par extension économique. Pourquoi est-il encore interdit au diplomats français de s'exprimer en écrit dans une langue étrangère? Dans le même sens, la propagande facilite une paresse linguistique. Il faut reconnaître l'état lamentable de l'enseignement de langues étrangères en France. Fallait-il remédier ce problème en espérant que son interlocuteur parle français ou en améliorant l'éducation en France ? Je suggère qu'on peut améliorer la situation simplement en réalisant que l'objectif de parler une autre langue est de communiquer et non pas de maîtriser cette langue à la perfection.
Great journalism, Ms. Clarke. It is absolutely necessary that lessons are formulated and learned and that goes wider even than the deeply moving efforts of hospital staff and their families. In a minimum of words: where each consecutive wave of contaminations is higher than the last one, government has failed. Not only technically, but also in their first duty towards the population: to protect them. The greatest fallacy: lockdowns harm the economy. They do, but letting the pandemic run is very much more harmful.
Now, I challenge you to do a follow-up on the vaccination campaign. Explore how contamination failure and vaccination success by risk taking are correlated. Look at big medicine as well as the lab technicians developing new techniques. Above all, get deep into vaccine distribution, what worked, what didn't, who decided on risk and who actually took it. My bet is that you will find that the structure of your beloved NHS - national, with a fine and well calibrated grid across cities and agricultural areas, was a great advantage. When a virus knows no boundaries, the virus fighters should not recognise them either.
At least since David Ricardo, there can be no question that trade and investment are an important, even vital wealth generator. At least since Adam Smith, it is clear that, where the financial effects are more important than the external effects, it is more efficiently conducted by private enterprise than by governments. The exception of external effects is important and goes for other sectors of the economy also.
The upshot of the above is that transactions with large externalities are best regulated, executed and financially supported (including development aid) by governments, while the rest (including mainstream trade) needs a looser set of regulations for smooth operations only. Government's financial support will often be needed to finance the value of the externalities, since classical, transaction-based economic and financial measuring and statistics are unable to measure them, let alone well-being.
ODA is the prime tool to apply a correction for externalities, even if they are negative, such as arms, privacy infringement or tourism. OECD could work on that. There is low-hanging fruit in this area. Trade is a tool for development, but development is not a goal of private companies. Their overwhelming goal is profit or return on investment. Their prime restriction is risk. They do not need much support beyond the incidental education effort to find profit or return on investment. OECD should concentrate on risk.
The poorer the country, the higher the risk. Traders should be able to rely on a system of rule of law, with clear property rules. They need a reliable and fair payment system. They rightly consider corruption as a considerable risk. They consider weak or no consideration of ESG as risk.
More and more, they see non-activity (including no net zero targets, net zero targets after 2050, targets without credibility and targets linked to impossible demands) on climate change as very risky indeed in particular as it is clear already that laggard countries will eventually face prohibitive border controls for their goods and services. These risks, in particular climate change risks, are more important as the trade or investment project is longer term. Yet, longer term trade relations and long-term investments are exactly what most effectively drives development.
Taking risk mitigation as the central factor to stimulate trade and investment in the poorer countries would make OECD action significantly more effective. Such a policy would be an important argument towards the private actors in trade and investment and an impetus for co-operation between private and public parties.
I am disappointed at how this approach focusses on "educating" the public. While all the relevant points are made, this allows minimisation of the role of the vaccine producers.
In particular Astra Zeneca (AZ) has from the beginning shown a disastrous lack of understanding on how good communications build trust. Its testing programme was considered incomplete. It announced higher efficiency for 1½ doses than for 2 doses, only to retract that later, it made delivery promises it could not keep by a long shot, it was found out too late that the vaccine was not tested on the elderly who were to be injected in the first wave, it did not became clear on how efficient the medication was against new strains - causing large lots to slosh from India to South Africa to ... where, in the end? The garbage can?
Its crude communication on what amounts to re-directing vaccines produced in the EU to the UK showed an unbelievable political ineptness that threatens free trade between what should be natural trading partners. It reacted to the current flap on blood clots by a curt denial that by this time had zero credibility. There is no evidence that AZ learns or improves. This is no way to build trust. On the contrary, it is an explanation of why there are now reports coming out of Germany in particular that people opt out of vaccination altogether, rather than get an AZ shot.