I had a contractor start on making my own house. They’re the best in town and they’ve developed the house where my grandparents and parents have lived. Their quality is superb and they get the job done on schedule. This is probably the best contractor you’ve heard of, but still, there are imperfections even with the best.
At one point midway before they completed my home, I asked a worker to do some manual lifting for me. His foreman and supervisor approved because the objects he was to carry were supplies I ordered for the creation of my home. Unfortunately, upon the first lift of the worker, he broke his arm.
The contractor and I disputed that because the supervisors were working the employee in overtime for at least a week in different projects, his body weekend and he had not enough rest. However, the contractor said that the employee signed a waiver for his voluntary overtime, which removes them of any responsibility of the dangers he could encounter except for his insurance. This tricky situation was complicated because technically, the work environment was my home and it was my order that had him carry the supplies in the first place.
I consulted a no win no fee solicitor to help me out with this situation. It got straightened out that it is still the contractor’s responsibility to give the worker insurance that includes medical bills, loss of wages and possible loss of consortium. However, I also had due diligence for emotional damages because it was not his responsibility to lift the objects for me.
I paid my dues properly because the person deserves the proper compensation. I still have no doubts about the contractor and they will have my house finished by next year.
With the Help to Buy scheme allowing many UK nationals the easier opportunity to own their own homes, depreciating the housing bubble needs a good supply of homes. However, developing new properties not only costs contractual fees, but can also damage the environment. Our government actually thinks that it could be done, signifying the need for a good biodiversity offsetting.
However, it can become a method to use every remaining forests in the country to get the needed supplies to create new homes. Biodiversity offsetting can leave urban areas out of green spaces to satisfy an economic need. In this case, the UK’s lust for new properties to quell the prices of properties as the value of many homes appreciates elsewhere.
The irony of our economy and the entire world is that activity must flourish at the expense of the environment. Economy only improves if there is activity, and sometimes, destructive and unsustainable business and industry activities leave many of our natural heritages left to dust.
How many oil spills had happened for the sake of quenching the thirst of millions of vehicles nationwide? Most of them are only media-released information that we wouldn’t really know the specifics of the destruction. But one thing’s for sure, there won’t be time to replace the natural life we’ve taken from our environment in a few decades, or even thousands of years.
Maybe it’s just that I’m cynical or because I’m seeing some pretentiousness in people who highly value the environment. It is nice to know some people who are motivated to help preserve the environment, but sometimes, you can find some rotten eggs here and there. There are people who are just saying the world needs saving to advance their particular influence, or widen their social scope.
It is true that the planet needs saving. We are in a time of developing global warming and no sustainable and renewable energy sources and technology had been developed yet. The ocean levels are increasing and seasons are becoming more unpredictable, making it much more difficult to produce local consumables.
I know all these things, but only a drastic solution is the key to saving the world. It is inevitable to just re-plant trees after foresting, or limiting carbon emissions. Technology is not a bad thing, but if it could provide a drastic solution instead of just increasing business capital and personal productivity, there is never a solution for the earth except to abandon the technology in itself.
But if the world focused on sustaining the environment with technology instead of using it to cultivate business and profits (thus empowering the pursuit of power as many past philosophers and observers had seen, the world wouldn’t need saving.
Hey, maybe even the world won’t have political troubles too.
British Prime Minister David Cameron dismisses fears of a housing bubble grown buy the Help to Buy scheme and instead hails the policy as a success having sold 750 homes and 6,000 offers made in the previous year. Cameron argued that the house prices were only up 3% and he was only concerned about the growth concentrating only in London.
The Help to Buy scheme enables any homebuyers to only provide a 5% downpayment for a £600,000 property, which enabled many starting families to purchase a home for their own.
Cameron also argued that increased property prices would simply be impossible because the housing prices from 2007 the policy could not even reach even after 2019. He also said that house prices have gone up only 3% excluding London, whose property prices have grown to more than 5-7% in the past few years.
Lloyds, RBS, HSBC, Virgin Money, Aldermore, Barclays and Santander are respective banks who are now complying with the Help to Buy scheme of the government.
However, UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the housing scheme could introduce a “raging house boom” in London and the South East and he warns of the prices going out of control unless interest rates get raised again. However, the solution to the inflation would mean hitting parts of the country that haven’t recovered from the property fall.
University of Oregon Law professor Mary Christina Wood said that the state laws protecting the environment are not actually working. Laws to preserve the environment, from illegal mining, the limitation of fracking and climate change, are failing because federal and state governments are failing to implement the laws.
According to the Oregon Law professor, “the political branches of government are doing next to nothing to address this crisis, which is threatening the future survival and welfare of the youth of this nation and future generations.” Wood also said that across the board on all levels of government the agencies are not using the laws to protect nature but instead justify damage to the environment.
Laws, such as the “atmospheric trust” is to only apply the public trust doctrine to the atmosphere, which is not a big step in protecting the environment. The trust states that it protects critical resources that the public relies on for its survival, including the atmosphere.
She cited the Philippine government as an example. The pollution of Manila Bay had the Supreme Court of the Philippines force a dozen agencies to clean it up. However the agencies failed in fulfilling their obligations.
Wood said that if environmental laws do work, there is no need for judicial intervention. Environmental changes and hazards are clear evidences that the laws are not working, yet the public is kept in the dark.
As the world celebrates the arrival of 2014, scientists’ new climate model takes account of cloud changes, bringing the world 4 degrees Celsius hotter in 2100.
Professor Steven Sherwood from the University of New South Wales in Australia said their new study breaks new ground by identifying the factors that control cloud change and by discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming to get the specific damages the current unchecked climate change could bring.
A change of 4 degrees Celsius, while small, has catastrophic consequences, according to Sherwood. According to him, it can guarantee the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet, which can increase the world’s sea levels to disastrous heights. Weather disasters will elevate higher as weather polarity from cold and hot temperatures get a greater margin.
Fewer clouds, according to Sherwood’s study, mean a hotter temperature in the world. According to Hideo Shiogama and Tomoo Ogura from Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, the study was convincing and the future climate projected by Sherwood and his team were realistic.
The study and the discovery comes timely as progress on developed and developing countries’ carbon emissions remain unchecked with many governments still unable to provide an exact amount of curbing needed in congress.
Environmental groups, along with young activists and other political groups walked out of the UN climate talks after seeing what appears to be a slow-paced, unambitious talk in the Warsaw negotiations regarding a sustainable future enterprise for the world’s environment.
Organisations that walked out included Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, the Confederation and ActionAid. Their members had handed back their registration badges to the UN and had left Warsaw’s national stadium holding the talks between the different groups.
Some representatives said that the best way to spend their time would be not to attend the talks. Many felt that world governments had given up on the idea of a sustainable future enterprise for the world.
Groups were angered about governments being close to industrial lobbyists and lobbies and having several developed countries decline their commitments to cut their own emissions on pollution.
According to 350.org Global Communications Director Hoda Baraka, it was obvious that fossil fuel companies were lobbying to stop any impediment on their industry. The group had observed their strong presence before and during the talks.
Other groups said that they were walking out on the talks because they want to send a message that the people had taken enough and that the environmental changes are obvious, yet those responsible for climate changes are refusing to do anything about the dangers it can bring.
The Royal Bank of Scotland recently published its third quarter financial results and they had announced adding £250 million to their PPI refund allocation to a total of £2.6 million. Ahead of RBS is Lloyds Banking Group with £8 billion, more than half the total PPI bill in the United Kingdom.
The recent increase in the number of PPI claims are due to rumours of a PPI claims deadline, which the Financial Conduct Authority denied. The FCA recently published a statement stating that PPI complaints have dwindled in the last two quarters of 2013. The Financial Ombudsman contradicts this information.
The FOS reported its receipt of more than 265,000 PPI complaints in the last two quarters. Most of the complaints were unsatisfactory decisions from banks, guaranteeing an 80% chance for consumers getting upheld in the decision.
PPI or payment protection insurance is a policy designed to repay loans, mortgages and credit cards. But because of the manner banks sold the insurance policy, millions of UK citizens were sold an insurance policy they did not need. Anybody with a mis sold PPI could seek help from www.ppiclaimbackco.com or other claims management companies to receive their full compensation.
Aside from PPI, the UK financial industry is also dealing with Libor and Euribor manipulation scandals.
The United Nations had said that the continuous use of coal by energy-producing companies could leave dire consequences in the form of global warming. In a gathering of energy company executives in Warsaw, Poland, UN’s Climate Chief Christina Figueres said that only internal transformation and rapid change would help save the environment.
Figueres urged industries to switch of old coal power plants, carbon production from new plants and leave all coal resources in the world in the ground. She admits that it is a radical change and that developing nations will need coal power as a means to support their respective economies, but industries must soon transform to preserve the world’s environment.
According to UN Energy Minister Greg Barker, coal represented the biggest threat to climate stability. He said that reinvention of the industry is essential and a major rethink and shift in capital deployment is very required.
In the meeting, the Climate Chief’s statements had taken the industries and environmentalist groups by surprise.
However, the energy company executives refused to give any statement about the chief’s statement. Instead, they said that significant emissions could only be reduced if they improve the efficiency of coal-fired plants using higher grade and effective coal.
Scientists from all over the world rebutted the claims of high efficiency coal being a low emissions technology.