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Month: January 2022

Die VAE führen die globale Covid-19-Resilienz-Rangliste an

Die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate haben in der neuesten Rangliste der globalen Resilienz von Covid-19 den ersten Platz belegt, gefolgt von Zypern, Bahrain und Israel, die ganz oben auf der Liste stehen.

Die Emirate belegten den ersten Platz in der Pandemie-Resilienz-Index 2022, die vom Consumer Choice Center, einer in den USA ansässigen Interessenvertretung, zusammengestellt wurde.

Massentests, Impfzulassung und Vertrieb von Booster Schüsse gehörten zu den Schlüsselfaktoren, die den VAE halfen, sich den Spitzenplatz zu sichern.

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Emiratos Arabes encabeza la clasificación mundial de residencia frente a Covid-19

Emiratos Árabes Unidos ocupó el primer lugar en las últimas clasificaciones de resiliencia global ante Covid-19, seguido de Chipre, Bahréin e Israel en lo alto de la lista.

EAU se situó en primer lugar en el Índice de Resiliencia Pandémica 2022, que fue realizado por Consumer Choice Center, un grupo de defensa con sede en Estados Unidos.

Las pruebas masivas, la aprobación y distribución de vacunas y de refuerzo fueron algunos de los factores clave que ayudaron a Emiratos a asegurar el primer puesto.

El índice original, que recopiló datos hasta marzo del año pasado, clasificó a Emiratos Árabes Unidos en el segundo lugar del mundo en lo que respecta a la resiliencia ante Covid-19.

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UAE ranked most pandemic-resilient country in the world

The emirates ranked first globally for its Covid-19 response and resilience, according to the Pandemic Resilience Index 2022

The UAE ranked first globally for its Covid-19 response and resilience, according to the Pandemic Resilience Index 2022 by US-based advocacy group Consumer Choice Centre. The emirates was followed by Cyprus, Bahrain and Israel.

The country’s mass testing initiative, vaccination drive, booster shot distribution programme, and critical care bed capacity were among the key factors considered.

“The UAE was the pioneer of the booster rollout. Countries such as New Zealand, Ukraine, Australia, Spain and Canada took 5 months longer to get it up and running,” said Maria Chaplia, research manager at the Consumer Choice Centre.

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UAE tops global Covid-19 resilience rankings

The Emirates, Cyprus, Bahrain and Israel are the leading nations with fast and effective booster shot campaigns

The UAE has come first in the latest Covid-19 global resilience rankings, followed by Cyprus, Bahrain and Israel.

The Emirates was placed first in the Pandemic Resilience Index 2022, which was compiled by the Consumer Choice Centre, an advocacy group based in the US.

Mass testing, vaccination approval and distribution of booster shots were among the key factors that helped the UAE to secure the top spot.

The original index, which collated data up until March last year, ranked the UAE second in the world when it came to Covid-19 resilience.

However, the updated index incorporates new data between the end of March and late November last year, taking into consideration each country’s booster programme.

“The UAE was the pioneer of the booster rollout,” said Maria Chaplia, research manager at the Consumer Choice Centre.

“Countries such as New Zealand, Ukraine, Australia, Spain and Canada took five months longer to get it up and running.

Read the full article here

Our eco-harmful plastics ban

Rather than endorsing costly and ineffective plastic bans, we should look to innovators who are offering a third way on plastics

While Canadians were busy unwrapping presents on Christmas Day, their federal government was busy releasing draft regulations for its single use plastic ban. Friday afternoons, the start of holiday weekends, Christmas: Ottawa often releases regulatory information at inopportune times, usually to avoid scrutiny, and that’s likely the story for the plastics ban. Despite their unimpeachably green origins and objectives, the draft regulations on single-use plastics would be a huge net negative for the environment, mostly because of the arbitrary nature of what is, and isn’t, considered “single use.”

The draft regulations have four exemptions for when a single-use plastic product is not prohibited. The first is the “hot water test.” Any plastic cutlery or straw that can withstand being submerged at a temperature between 82 and 86 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes is exempt from the ban. So, according to the “spin-cycle test,” is any plastic bag that can withstand being washed in a laundry spin cycle designed for cottons.

The third and most arbitrary of the exemptions is the “heavy bag test,” which exempts any plastic bag if it can carry 10kg of weight over a distance of 53 metres, 100 times. This exemption leaves us with more questions than answers: How quickly does one have to walk, or run, the 53 metres? Are the 100 53-metre trips consecutive? And how was that number picked anyway? Does one of the drafters live 53 metres from his or her favourite bakery or corner store?

The last and most hilarious exemption is what I call the “black market exemption.” A retailer may offer plastic straws for sale but they are to be stored so customers cannot see them and must be asked for explicitly. But customers must buy them in packs of 20 or more. That’s right, whether you need only one straw or just a few you will have to buy at least 20. So much for curbing waste.

Yes, these are actual regulations drafted by the actual government of Canada. And in addition to reading like a Monty Python skit they very likely would be a net negative for the environment.

Because sturdier plastic products can earn exemption from the ban, all that manufacturers need do to comply with the law is produce products using heavier woven plastics. The overall effect may well be to increase the net amount of plastic being produced. Consumers will be faced with a choice between these heavier single-use plastic products that meet the exemption or non-plastic substitutes that are even worse for the environment.

These substitutes include paper bags whose production is energy- and resource-intensive — so much so that according to Denmark’s environment ministry , paper bags would each need to be re-used 43 times to bring their per-use impact on the environment down to the per-use impact of the single-use plastic bags currently available at Canadian grocery stores. For most people, re-using a paper bag 43 times is virtually impossible.

Even worse: when the alternative option is a cotton bag, that number skyrockets to 7,100 uses. A consumer substituting a cotton bag for plastic would need 136 years of weekly grocery store trips to be as environmentally friendly as single-use plastic is.

In addition, Ottawa’s own analysis shows that alternatives to single-use plastics currently in use are significantly more expensive. Paper bags, on top of being worse for the environment, are 2.6 times more expensive than single-use plastic bags. Single-use cutlery made of wood is 2.25 times more expensive than single-use plastic cutlery, while paper straw alternatives are three times more expensive.

The real problem with our national plastics strategy is that we aren’t pushing for expanding “chemical depolymerization,” otherwise known as advanced recycling. According to the government’s most recent analysis, which dates from 2016, only one per cent of plastic waste is chemically recycled. This is the process where plastic is broken down and repurposed into new products. Innovative projects underway across Canada are taking simple plastics, altering their chemical bonds, and repurposing them into resin pellets , tiles for your home , and even road asphalt . This approach to solving the problem of plastic waste would be in line with Ottawa’s approach of mandating producer responsibility for plastic waste, and is something that plastic producers have already expressed interest in expanding. This is especially true for companieswho have already made pledges regarding recycled plastic.

The Trudeau government could embrace the science that makes these technologies both scalable and sustainable. Rather than endorsing costly and ineffective plastic bans, riddled with exemptions that may only increase plastic waste, we should look to innovators who are offering a third way on plastics. That would be an approach that expands consumer choice while limiting mismanaged waste and protecting the environment.

Originally published here

Boulder County needs to allow for choice in pesticides for farmers

In 2014, after Broomfield County had just approved licenses to keep honeybees, I bought my first two hives off of a beekeeper in Evergreen who was tired of the bears getting into them every winter. Then I attended my first meeting of the Boulder County beekeepers and learned about colony collapse disorder and the environmental stresses that lead to honeybee colonies failing.

Now, in 2021, these sentiments are being echoed to justify a ban on neonics in Boulder County, which we believe would be counterproductive to Colorado and demonstrates that one size fits all is never a good policy.

It is commonly cited within the beekeeping community that pesticides called neonics can negatively impact honeybees. An oft-invoked visualization shows a bee landing on a sunflower grown from seeds coated in neonics, triggering its neuroreceptors and leading it to collect nectar in an inefficient and bizarre pattern. While this is harmful to the foraging bees that are at the end of their lifecycle, this doesn’t mean that this is leading to colony collapse disorder or massive deaths of bees.

What’s more, recent evidence has proven that pesticides such as neonics (short for neonicotinoids) and sulfoxaflor haven’t been as responsible for declines in bee populations after all.

All beekeepers are aware of varroa mites, now present in all American honeybee colonies since first detected in the U.S. in 1987. The original research on these parasites in the 1960s hypothesized that they lived off the blood of honeybees, but a groundbreaking study published in 2019 found that this theory was false. These mites have a “voracious appetite for a honeybee organ called the fat body, which serves many of the same vital functions carried out by the human liver.”

These mites put a lot of stress on honeybee colonies and make it very hard for them to survive over the winter. While there is debate amongst the beekeeping community on whether it is right to treat honeybees for mites, most beekeepers treat their colonies at least once a year with some sort of pesticide that is safe for the bees but kills off a lot of mites. A popular method is to vaporize oxalic acid inside the hive. In this instance, pesticides assist beekeepers with preventing colony collapse disorder, further debunking the claim.

While we understand the urge to protect and promote pollinators such as honeybees in Colorado, Boulder County needs to allow farmers the choice of pesticides. Sugar beets have been grown in Colorado since 1869, as it is an ideal climate and soil for growing them. Sugar was processed in mills across our state for over a hundred years. Banning neonics means that sugar beet farmers must use the pesticide Counter, which is applied at 9.8 pounds per acre compared to 24 grams per acre for neonics.

This puts them at greater risk of exposure to pesticides and the kicker to all this is that sugar beets don’t even have a flower. This one size fits all policy isn’t about saving the bees but rather harms the local small business owners that grow Colorado sugar beets and a host of other crops.

That’s why, whether at the local level or state level, lawmakers must keep in mind that pesticides are vital for farmers and turn to science, not politics, when it comes to crafting smart policy.

Originally published here

Politicizing vax mandates will only hurt consumers and retailers, say experts

Politicization of vaccine mandates at the Canada-U.S. border will likely only cause further injury to consumers and retailers instead of resolving key issues related to fragile supply chains, say experts.

“Right now, we have a completely toxic situation happening from both the Liberals and Conservatives,” said David Clement, North American affairs manager at the Consumer Choice Center, in an interview on Tuesday.

“You have one side with the Conservatives making people panic with fake photos of empty shelves, and another side with the Liberals acting like there is nothing wrong and there is no reason to be concerned whatsoever. Both of those approaches are callous and unreasonable for the people they claim to be helping.”

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Canadian Justice | A Dispute in the New NAFTA Agreement

Christine welcomes a panel of legal and policy experts for a discussion on the new NAFTA agreement, whether or not Canada breached its dairy obligations, and what it could mean for future trade.

Is Now the Time to Improve Canada’s Healthcare System?

Guest Host David Clement welcomes economist Ash Navabi and secondstreet.org President Colin Craig for an honest assessment of Canada’s fragile front line healthcare system and whether a private healthcare option might actually help.

Олександр Квіташвілі став радником з питань охорони здоров’я Consumer Choice Center

Міжнародна організація з захисту права споживачів на вибір оголосила про призначення Олександра Квіташвілі радником з питань охорони здоров’я. Про це повідомила прес-служба Consumer Choice Center.

Коментуючи своє призначення, Олександр Квіташвілі зазначив:«Я надзвичайно радий приєднатися до CCC як радник з питань охорони здоров’я. Я слідкую за роботою CCC з моменту їх створення, і я вражений їхніми досягненнями. Дискурс у сфері громадського здоров’я часто переповнений догмами та односторонніми поглядами, а тому CCC є справді єдиною у своєму роді організацією. У ССС блискучий досвід, глобальна перспектива та відданість захисту права споживачів на вибір. Я з нетерпінням чекаю активної співпраці з CCC у сфері охорони здоров’я».

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