Former eMoov boss admits he failed and claims online agents have limited appeal

first_imgHome » News » Former eMoov boss admits he failed and claims online agents have limited appeal previous nextProptechFormer eMoov boss admits he failed and claims online agents have limited appealRussell Quirk says online sector will only ever reach 10% of property market and that there are too many operators in the sector, one of the key reasons he blames for eMoov’s failure.Nigel Lewis15th May 201901,513 Views Former Emoov CEO Russell Quirk has made an astonishing attack on the online agency sector criticising it for grabbing just 7% of the property market despite having spent £150 million on acquiring market share.Quirk made the comments based on Rightmove figures and his own marketing spend calculations and went on to predict that online agents would only take 10% of the market.He also pointed out that not a single founding CEO survives from among those who started up the UK’s original online estate agents following the departure of Michael Bruce from Purplebricks last week.During the short presentation at the Future Proptech show at the Business Design Centre in London yesterday, he also admitted that he had failed during his time as boss of eMoov, describing the speech as a ‘cathartic’ process following the multi-million pound collapse of his hybrid agency.Quirk said eMoov failed because too many online agents have entered the market and that the cost of acquiring instructions increased dramatically during the later years of its existence.Too cheapHe also claimed that – most seriously for the surviving online agencies – consumers just don’t trust a service that appears ‘too cheap’ compared to traditional agencies.“When eMoov started our only competitors were Hatched and HouseNetwork but there are now 55 online and hybrid agencies operating in the market,” he said.All of these companies have been fighting to dominate paid Google results from searches and have pushed up the cost of ‘clicks’ from £2 when eMoov was launched to £50 a click.“I don’t want to make light of eMoov’s failure, but we likened our weekly marketing meetings to burning bundles of £10 notes, such were the spiralling costs.”proptech Russell Quirk Future Proptech 2019 May 15, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

See More

Thurston County 2018 Profile is Ready

first_imgFacebook2Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Thurston Regional Planning CouncilLooking to start a business in Thurston County? Need local data for a grant application? Have a friend who is thinking of moving to the area? The Profile can help. The 2018 edition serves as a comprehensive source of accurate and timely data about Thurston County and its cities, towns, tribes, and other jurisdictions.The Profile includes information about employment, population, housing and real estate, economics and business, local government and education, transportation, the environment and quality of life. Data are available in a variety of formats to meet a range of users’ needs including downloadable tables, interactive charts, and maps. Additionally, users can print one-page “Statistical Profiles” summarizing the latest data available for each city, town, or tribe in Thurston CountyThe Thurston Regional Planning Council has published The Profile annually since 1982. The 2018 edition marks the fifth year The Profile is available exclusively online at www.trpc.org/TheProfile. The web-only format is designed to give desktop and mobile users easy access to information.Reaching a wide audience, The Profile is used regularly by non-profit organizations to complete grant applications, by new and expanding businesses for marketing and demographic research, and is popular among financial institutions, schools, consulting firms, and local government agencies.The Thurston Regional Planning Council is a 22-member intergovernmental board comprised of representatives of municipalities, tribes, educational institutions and other entities. The Council’s mission is to provide visionary leadership on regional plans, policies, and issues in Thurston County.last_img read more

See More

Cats take Bombers to the limit

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsOn paper, the L.V. Rogers Bombers should have no trouble dealing with the Mount Sentinel Wildcats.But that’s only on paper.Tuesday, at the South Slocan-based school gymnasium, the Cats gave the Bombers everything they could handle during a 75-62 loss to LVR in West Kootenay High School Boy’s Basketball action.LVR, coming off a lacklustre performance during the final game of the Fulton Maroons tournament Saturday in Vernon, continued to struggle early against the Wildcats.Paced by the all-around play from senior Steven Hernandez and Grade 11 forward Zach Grigg, the Wildcats took the early lead in the game.John Zak keyed the Bomber comeback to help the visitors to a 14-13 first quarter advantage.LVR increased the margin to 32-25 at recess.The Cats kept pace with the Bombers in the second half and trailed by only six points with 150 seconds left in the game.However, the hosts could not overcome the deficit before falling to the Bombers.Zak led the Bombers with 26 points while Clay Rickaby added 16.Replying for Mount Sentinel was Grigg with 22 points and Hernandez with 17.The Bombers return to action Thursday when the club hosts rival J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail at the Hangar.The Senior Girl’s tip off the two-game night at 5 p.m. with the boy’s tilt to follow at 6:30 [email protected]last_img read more

See More

FAVORED CYRUS ALEXANDER TAKES $58,000 ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY 2 ½ LENGTHS UNDER BEJARANO; HOLLENDORFER SOPH GETS MILE IN 1:36.42

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (April 16, 2015)–Cyrus Alexander, a $1.7 million Keeneland September yearling purchase, was an impressive 2 ½ length winner of Thursday’s $58,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita, as he covered a flat mile under Rafael Bejarano in 1:36.42. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, “Cy” sat a close third at the rail into the far turn, angled two-wide turning for home and overtook pacesetter Commute approaching the sixteenth pole and won in hand while racing a bit greenly late.“He doesn’t like the inside, but he’s learning,” said Hollendorfer assistant Dan Ward. “He still doesn’t know everything–He got the lead, he ducked in, he changed leads again…It’s just taken him awhile. That’s why we give him time in between races.”Off as the 3-2 favorite in a field of six 3-year-olds, Cyrus Alexander, who is owned by Spendthrift Farm, LLC and Stonestreet Stables, LLC, he paid $5.00, $2.80 and $2.10. A Kentucky-bred colt by Medaglia d’Oro, Cyrus Alexander broke his maiden two starts back on Feb. 7 and improved his overall mark to 7-2-3-2. With the winner’s share of $34,800, he ran his earnings to $115,840.“He’s broken slow and been farther back the last few times but he always came running,” said Bejarano. “Today, I wanted to put him in the race earlier. I wanted to make sure he was in the race and that would make it easier to get a position. I think he’ll move up off of this race.”Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Commute broke running from post four and was second, one length in front of Rock Shandy. Off at 7-2, Commute paid $3.60 and $2.80.Rock Shandy settled nicely at the rail with Victor Espinoza and was fifth, about 7 ¾ lengths off the lead as the field turned down the backside but couldn’t muster the necessary rally. The second choice at 2-1, he paid $2.40 to show.Ward indicated the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Affirmed Stakes on June 7 could be next for the winner.First post time on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m. –30–last_img read more

See More

Can camera traps diagnose the severity of a mystery giraffe skin disease?

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Diseases, Endangered Species, Environment, Giraffes, Green, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Mammals, Protected Areas, Research, Technology, Wildlife center_img Giraffe skin disease, a mystery condition that inflicts crusty lesions on the world’s tallest animal, has been recorded in 13 giraffe populations in seven African countries. It is particularly widespread in Tanzania.Researchers used camera trap images to quantify how severe the disease was among giraffe populations in Tanzania’s Serengeti and Ruaha national parks.They found that most cases of the infections that the camera traps detected were “mild” or “moderate” according to a scale they devised, suggesting that the disease, although widespread, is likely not life-threatening at the moment.The researchers have, however, observed that giraffes with more severe infections tend to move with difficulty, which could make them more vulnerable to lion predation — a hypothesis they are now investigating with data from Ruaha National Park. Giraffes have many problems to deal with. There’s habitat loss and poaching. Then there’s a mysterious skin disease that’s been recorded in 13 giraffe populations in seven African countries.The condition, termed simply the giraffe skin disease, starts off as small nodules on the animal’s skin. The nodules can develop into dry, scaly patches, which then turn into large crusty, grayish-brown lesions filled with blood or pus. Researchers are only beginning to wrap their heads around the little-understood disease. Arthur Muneza, a doctoral student at Michigan State University and East Africa coordinator of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, is one of them.Giraffe skin disease can start off as small nodules on the skin that turn into large crusty lesions. Images by Michael Brown, courtesy of Arthur Muneza.Muneza has been studying the disease in Tanzania, where it’s widespread, affecting the giraffe’s long limbs. About a quarter of the giraffes in Serengeti National Park show signs of the disease. In Tarangire National Park, some 63 percent of giraffes suffer from it, while in Ruaha National Park, around 86 percent of the giraffe population sport the characteristic skin lesions.“To go to an area and see almost all the animals with signs of this disease is quite surprising,” Muneza told Mongabay.The high prevalence of the disease in Tanzania sparked a question in Muneza’s mind. How severe is the infection among Tanzania’s giraffes?A few studies have tried to answer this question in the past, but their classifications of giraffe skin disease severity were very subjective, Muneza said. “There is no standard way of defining what a mild giraffe skin disease is, what moderate giraffe skin disease is, and what constitutes severe giraffe skin disease.”To develop a classification that’s less arbitrary, Muneza and his colleagues turned to camera traps in a new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.The researchers selected all giraffe photos that had been captured during extensive camera trap surveys in Ruaha and Serengeti, then whittled down the list to those that showed the full extent of all four legs of the giraffes, from shoulder joints to hooves.The team then used photogrammetry techniques on the final 405 photos to quantify giraffe skin disease in the animals. They measured the vertical length of both the lesions and the legs visible in the photos, determined the proportion of the leg that was affected by the lesions, then statistically grouped these numbers to get three different categories of lesion severity.Giraffes with less than 16 percent of their legs covered by lesions were classified as having mild giraffe skin disease, those with 16 to 25 percent of the legs covered had a moderate form of the disease, and individuals with more than a quarter of their leg covered by lesions had severe skin disease, according to the study.“At the moment, we know very little about the disease, so our assumption is that the external and physical manifestation of the disease is the indicator we can use to categorise the severity of the disease,” Muneza told Mongabay.While the cameras usually captured photos of giraffe limbs, it’s the animals’ upper bodies that have unique coat patterns. This meant that the researchers couldn’t identify individual animals from the camera trap photos alone. This could potentially bring in bias if the disease severity classifications had been estimated from multiple photos of just a few giraffes. To see if this was the case, the researchers compared the severity rates estimated by the camera trap images with those obtained from another technique: photographs of 305 individually recognized giraffes that the researchers had taken using digital cameras during vehicle-based surveys in both parks. Both techniques produced similar results.Giraffe with skin disease in Ruaha National Park. Image courtesy of Arthur Muneza.The photos revealed that lesions of giraffe skin disease were, in general, more common on the front legs of the animals than the back legs. Moreover, most cases of the disease that the camera traps in Ruaha and Serengeti detected were considered “mild,” followed by “moderate” forms.“What this means is that there’s no need to overreact at the moment, and that the disease is not as severe as we would like to think,” Muneza said. “Externally it looks uncomfortable, it looks bad. But it’s still the mild and moderate forms of the disease.”Previously, researchers relied on close observations of the animals to describe the severity of giraffe skin disease. But such a technique is not only laborious, it also limits the spatial extent one can cover, Muneza and his colleagues write in the paper. Camera traps, on the other hand, are “noninvasive, can be rapidly deployable, and are applicable to a variety of species,” they add.Miranda Sadar, an assistant professor at Colorado State University, who’s been investigating the cause of giraffe skin disease and was not involved in the study, said that photogrammetry is indeed becoming a more widely used tool “to monitor the size of injuries in animals in a non-invasive way.”Not everyone is convinced, however.“This was a laudable attempt to use camera trap images to quantify giraffe skin disease, but the method is significantly less useful than active observations,” Monica Bond, a wildlife biologist at the U.S.-based Wild Nature Institute who studies giraffes in Tanzania and was not involved in the study, told Mongabay.Observing giraffes directly is easy, she said, because the animals are calm and vehicles can drive up close to them, allowing easy examination using binoculars. This way, researchers can also identify giraffes individually, and inspect the animals’ bodies from multiple angles to understand how and where the disease has spread, Bond added. The camera trap images at the moment don’t allow for both individual identification and a thorough whole-body examination of the giraffes, she said.Muneza agreed that camera trap images have some challenges. For example, the data set would be more useful had the cameras been placed higher. “We could have used the camera trap data to identify individual giraffes, and that could have given us a more robust dataset to quantify the categories of giraffe skin disease,” he said. “We were able to use only use photos of the legs.”The lesions also don’t always appear on the legs. In Uganda, for example, giraffes more commonly get infections on their neck and shoulders.In Uganda, giraffe skin disease lesions more commonly appear on neck and shoulder, while in Tanzania, the disease mostly affects the animals’ legs. Image courtesy of Arthur Muneza.Muneza’s study, however, adds to the growing evidence that giraffe skin disease is probably not life-threatening for the animals in the studied parks — at least for now. Bond, too, in a study published in 2016, found that giraffes with lesions in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park had similar survival rates as those without lesions.That doesn’t mean that researchers should stop studying the disease, Muneza said.His team has observed, for instance, that giraffes with more severe infections tend to move with difficulty, which could make them more vulnerable to lion predation. The researchers are now investigating this hypothesis with data from Ruaha National Park.Muneza’s team is also working with Tanzanian authorities to figure out what exactly causes giraffe skin disease. Some preliminary studies suggest that a filarial worm could be transmitting the disease, with secondary fungal infections worsening it. But researchers are yet to pin down the actual causative agent and how the disease spreads.“One of the biggest concerns is that if it is a filarial worm, then we need to see if it crosses over to cattle,” Muneza said. “Given that you have communities that live near parks, and some of them graze their cattle near and around the giraffe areas, there is potential for the disease to cross over to livestock. And if it does, that will then affect the perceptions that people have towards sharing landscapes with wildlife, which is a big challenge in East Africa.”Citation:Muneza, A. B., Ortiz-Calo, W., Packer, C., Cusack, J. J., Jones, T., Palmer, M. S., … Montgomery, R. A. (2019). Quantifying the severity of giraffe skin disease via photogrammetry analysis of camera trap data. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 55(4), 770-781. doi:10.7589/2018-06-149last_img read more

See More

Hopes dim as COP25 delegates dicker over Article 6 and world burns: critics

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherer Even as half a million protesters demonstrate outside, UN climate summit negotiators inside Madrid’s COP25 seem blind to the urgency of the climate crisis. In fact, instead of making effective progress, the rules they’re shaping to carry out the Paris Agreement’s Article 6 could worsen carbon emissions, not staunch them.For example, Article 6 doesn’t include rules to protect native forests. Instead it could promote turning forests into monoculture tree plantations — providing minimal carbon sequestration and no ecosystem services, while devastating biodiversity. Some critics think the policy may have been shaped by logging interests.The so-called biomass carbon accounting loophole is also not up for discussion. Its continuance will allow the burning of biomass wood pellets at power plants, energy production classified by the UN as carbon neutral. However, establised science has found that industrial biomass burning will add significantly to carbon emissions.According to activists at COP25, delegates are working to hide emissions and allow UN carbon accounting loopholes. One key aspect of Article 6 found in the original Paris Agreement which guaranteed “the protection of human rights” was deleted from a revised draft Saturday night, as was verbiage assuring civil society and indigenous consultations. Delegates have set a low bar at the COP25 climate summit, putting the world’s future at risk, according to critics. Image by Justin Catanoso.MADRID, Spain – Climate sensation Greta Thunberg drew 500,000 people to a boisterous rally in central Madrid on Friday evening, near the end of the first week of negotiations at the 25th United Nations climate summit (COP25).“We are getting bigger and bigger, and our voices are being heard more and more,” Thunberg told the crowd. “But of course that does not translate into political action. I sincerely hope that world leaders, the people in power, grasp the urgency of the climate crisis because right now, it doesn’t seem like they are.”Inside the cavernous halls of COP25, the Conference of the Parties, delegates from UN member nations large and small appeared deaf to the rising global clamor for action — thus far shirking their responsibilities to lead in the kind of transformational change in energy production and land use that scientists warn is required immediately to slow the calamitous pace of global warming.Instead, many delegates appear to be clinging to vested interests and outdated policy positions and definitions that haven’t kept pace with the science, while ignoring the urgency of a slew of alarming studies and reports — including one warning of a potentially catastrophic cascade of looming climate tipping points that could shatter ecosystem balance around the globe. In fact, evidence indicates that many delegations are promoting policy choices that actually undermine climate ambition.“Over the last week at COP25 we have heard about the emissions gap, the funding gap, and the consumption gap. But I have never before seen an action gap so large between people all over the world as those sitting in the negotiations room,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of the World Wildlife Fund’s global climate and energy practice and Peru’s former minister of the environment. “Outside the COP, people are taking the climate crisis seriously, taking action, and taking to the streets. As we move to the Ministerial level in Madrid this week, we expect leaders to match our levels of ambition and close the action gap.”Mongabay has seen little evidence so far that this “action gap” will close. Requests to speak with delegates representing developed and developing nations came up empty. No response. No comment. Meanwhile, hopes among NGOs and activists for the final week of COP negotiations — when table-setting policy technicians are displaced by decision-making politicians — have dimmed.“I’m afraid I have low expectations for what’s going to come out of the end of this summit,” Bill Moomaw, professor emeritus of international environmental policy at Tufts University, told Mongabay. “It’s not going to move us far toward limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] or even 2 oC [3.6 oF], which we desperately need. Article 6 could undermine half of it, and lack of will the other half.”Virginia Young (right) meets with Climate Action Network members to discuss Article 6 outside the media center at COP25. Image by Justin Catanoso.Forlorn hopeArticle 6 is the star of this show — the last rule in the Paris rulebook requiring negotiation. The Paris Agreement’s Article 6 and its rule book will establish complex policy mechanisms that establish carbon markets to provide financial incentives to encourage the world’s nations to voluntarily up their emissions-reduction ambitions.At present, none of the world’s 20 largest economies, responsible for 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have increased their modest and inadequate carbon-reduction pledges since the Paris Agreement of 2015. None is expected to do so in Madrid, even as global emissions hit record highs in 2018, and after setting records the two previous years.There is especially great concern among forest and land use experts interviewed here in Madrid by Mongabay. All had regular access to negotiators during the first week of COP25, and all these experts came away more worried than encouraged. They say that Article 6, if actually completed this week, would imperil old-growth forests and their biodiversity, while promoting the planting of monoculture tree plantations that provide minimal carbon sequestration or ecosystem services.According to Virginia Young, director of climate and forests with the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society, the problem starts with the official definition of a forest, which the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) established more than two decades ago.“My concern is that this convention has failed forests all along the line,” Young told Mongabay. “They failed in Kyoto in 1997. When they defined forests, they did not distinguish between primary, old-growth forests and monoculture tree plantations. Yet there is a fundamental difference between the carbon stock (sequestration capacity) and the stability of that stock in each. Treating them as identical from a carbon perspective is just nonsense.”Deforestation for an oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysia. Plantations rarely sequester as much carbon as native forests and they devastate biodiversity. Despite those facts, plantations have long been included under the UN’s definition of the word “forest.” Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Troubling forest definitionYoung suspects that the logging industry may have had a hand in the FAO forest definition. And reading that definition, it does not sound like any forest you may have ever hiked through.According to the FAO: “Forest includes natural forests and forest plantations,” and one acre with just 10% tree cover with trees just 6-feet tall constitutes an official forest. FAO also states that a primary forest is still technically a forest for five years after it’s been clear cut.“By those definitions, the Simpson Desert [in Australia] could qualify as a forest,” Young said. “Here’s the danger: emissions reduction goals are not based on protecting primary forests or reducing deforestation. They are based on planting more monocultures of trees. The way the [emissions] accounting system works, you can offset the carbon loss in a natural forest if you plant a monoculture of trees, and plant enough of them.”This environmentally dangerous definition has been kept in place despite the repeated demands of environmentalists like Young to revisit the policy and honestly address ecological risk. Revising that definition under Article 6 is not on the COP25 agenda. So it is that Article 6, without safeguards, will likely incentivize deforestation as countries seek to sell or buy carbon offsets to technically reduce their own emissions.What’s more, Young worries biodiversity, already under assault from warming temperatures and extreme weather events such as drought, will be further threatened.“Biodiversity is not just about nice critters we’re trying to save,” Young said. “It’s about the functional role of every organism in the ecosystem. From a carbon perspective, biodiversity keeps forests stable and as resilient as possible. What we need is 100% natural forest protection and a focus on restoration to maximize ecosystem stability and resiliency.”Bill Moomaw, a leading expert on international climate policy and a former author of United Nations climate change reports. Image by Justin Catanoso / Mongabay.Cutting corners and cheating the baselineMoomaw sees trouble everywhere: in how delegates, under Article 6, are trying to hide emissions, slip through loopholes, and get credit for emission reductions where none currently exist.“Governments are saying, ‘It’s going to be hard to grow my forests so let me find a way to cheat my baseline,’” said Moomaw, an author of previous UN climate change reports and a respected expert among national leaders. “So they want to carry over reductions from the Kyoto Protocol. These will not be additional reductions from their forests; they’ve already been counted.“The second thing many countries want to do is sell indulgences to other countries that ‘if we let our forests grow, you can count the reductions if you pay us. But we also want to count those reductions as ours, too,’” explained Moomaw. That’s a carbon accounting gambit known as “double counting.” And it’s the basis of a huge debate right now at COP.“How much are they going to be able to get away with? One or the other, but probably some combination of both,” concluded Moomaw. Of course, the trouble with double counting is that nature won’t be fooled, and emissions will rise to everyone’s detriment.Experts with the World Resources Institute (WRI), who typically aim for neutral to glass-half-full evaluations of COP negotiations, have been extra cautious when it comes to Article 6: “Strong rules are needed to ensure that double counting is avoided and that environmental integrity is preserved,” wrote WRI senior associate Kelly Levin in a briefing document. “With strong rules, Article 6 could also support higher ambition in mitigation and adaptation action.”But, WRI warned: “A failure to agree on effective Article 6 rules, in light of the number of countries that signaled the use of carbon markets in their [carbon reduction pledges], will certainly weaken the achievement of the Paris Agreement’s goals and compromise its ambition.”Importantly, one specific aspect of Article 6 enshrined in the original Paris Agreement calls for guaranteeing “the protection of human rights” in all aspects of carbon trading. But as Levin noted after a revised draft of Article 6 was released late Saturday night, December 7, language “safeguarding human rights has disappeared from the text.”Other sources said delegates from Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia — tossing the most hand grenades into the drafting process — pushed for the stripping out of the human rights guarantee on the basis of “infringing on national sovereignty issues.” Language on consultations with civil society and indigenous people was also deleted, according to another Mongabay source. Neither the European Union nor the United States reportedly came to the defense of human rights or safeguards.At the start of the second and final week of COP25 negotiations, high-level ministers gather for decision-making on agenda items. Here, former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos meets with Latin American media to discuss his expectations. Image by Justin Catanoso. “We are past offsets”Jannes Stoppel, a forests, land use, and climate expert with Greenpeace-Germany, has thought long and hard about the underlying premise of Article 6 — market-driven mechanisms to encourage what countries should be doing to cool the planet. He sees it as the wrong policy at the wrong time.“If you create incentives through markets, it can easily help nations sell themselves out of the responsibility to act,” Stoppel told Mongabay. “That’s where we see the grave danger for ecosystems, land, biodiversity, indigenous peoples.”Stoppel nearly despairs when he considers that delegates are spending so much effort on shaping Article 6 rules that would essentially allow one country that’s polluting too much, to pay another country that isn’t polluting much, in order for all to continue burning fossil fuels.“We are past offsets; it’s about reducing all emissions now,” Stoppel said. “This offsetting market mechanism is potentially undermining the whole ambition of climate action.”A year from now, at COP26 in Scotland, the entirety of the Paris Agreement goes into effect with rules and policies that will be difficult to revise or reverse no matter how scientifically invalid or harmful.The experts quoted here are all fearful that COP25 organizers — Chile and Spain — will be desperate to claim some success, thus pushing through a dangerous version of Article 6 rather than leave it in limbo until the political will arises to make it meaningful for climate mitigation.One such glaring example of bad UN policy re-entrenchment concerns a scientifically outdated Kyoto-era policy that negotiators refuse to acknowledge: the declaration that burning biomass in the form of wood pellets at power plants is carbon neutral (with nations not required to report emissions) when, in fact, a decade of scientific research has concluded that biomass is more carbon-intensive than the coal it’s replacing.“Too many nations are wedded to business as usual,” Young said. “They don’t think creatively or even have a real sense of urgency despite all the awful storms and wildfires and climate refugees. Scientists talk about the need for transformational change, yet all we’re seeing in policies for land use and forest preservation are scaled-up business as usual. And that’s dooming us to failure.”Justin Catanoso, a professor of journalism at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, covers climate change and climate policy for Mongabay; this is his sixth UN climate summit. Follow him on Twitter @jcatanosoBanner image caption: Costa Rican rainforest. COP25 negotiators presently have no plans to protect native forests under Article 6 rulemaking, potentially a disaster for tropical forests and for the world. Image by Reht A. Butler / Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Ambitious rhetoric is rife at the COP25 summit, but climate action commensurate with the seriousness of the world’s climate crisis seems unlikely. Image by Justin Catanoso / Mongabay.center_img Adaptation To Climate Change, carbon, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Carbon Market, Carbon Offsets, Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Trading, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Negotiations, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, climate policy, Climate Politics, Climate Science, Controversial, Emission Reduction, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forest Carbon, Forests, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Law, Monitoring, Pollution, Research, United Nations last_img read more

See More

Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Episode 63 | Quick progress with crops and the Farm Bill

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Forget corn getting knee-high by the 4th of July. Many Ohio fields are tasseling this week. Joel Penhorwood checks in with Farm Science Review’s Nate Douridas, Dale Minyo visits with Wyandot County farmer Joe Shaeffer and Matt talks dairy goats with Mark Baden, who recently judged at the National Dairy Goat Show in Columbus. Ty Higgins hosts this week’s podcast, brought to you by AgriGold.last_img

See More

Don’t Feed These Daisies

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pamela SmithDTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology EditorDECATUR, Ill. (DTN) — Those yellow flowers filling fields across the Midwest aren’t buttercups, baby. They are weeds and consumed in enough quantities, cressleaf groundsel, also called butterweed, can be toxic to livestock.Ohio State University weed specialist Mark Loux said the winter annual weed is being found in fairly high numbers because the weather has held back herbicide treatments this spring.Butterweed is common in no-till corn and soybean fields, and burndown herbicides are typically used to control it early in the spring when the plants are smaller and more susceptible. However, that didn’t happen in many areas this year due to wet weather. It’s also not an option in forage and wheat crops.Native to the United States, butterweed can be found from Texas east to Florida, northward along the Atlantic Coast to Virginia, and west to Nebraska. The plant is poisonous to grazing animals such as cattle, horses, goats, sheep and to humans, Loux said.There are several other weeds that send out yellow flowers this time of year, noted Aaron Hager, University of Illinois weed scientist. “Growers should take the time to look because wild mustard and yellow rocket can sometimes be mistaken for butterweed,” he told DTN.Butterweed is easy to distinguish because it has daisy-like petals with a pincushion-like center. It is a member of the aster family. Leaves alternate on the stem, are deeply divided and lobed. Lobes have round, serrated margins. Stems are hollow and grooved with purplish streaks. Most plants have one stem, but there may be more.Loux said applying herbicides to hay fields isn’t likely to reduce the risk of toxicity in animals. It’s also too late for wheat growers to apply any herbicide to their wheat crops.How much of the weed it takes to harm livestock has not been well documented, Hager said. The plants contain compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). The PAs are found in the plant throughout the growing season but appear to be at their highest levels when the plant is in the bud to flower stage.“Drying or ensiling the plants during the hay- or straw-making process doesn’t reduce the toxicity of cressleaf groundsel,” Loux said.Loux recommended producers avoid harvesting areas of the field that have high concentrations of cressleaf groundsel (butterweed).Mowing before the weed is in the bud to flower stage will most effectively prevent seed production, but that doesn’t minimize the risk of poisoning. Loux stressed that it is important to prevent including those mowed plants in hay or straw — or to discard bales that contain it. The groundsel is not likely to regrow after the first cutting of hay in the spring. The goal of control strategies should be to prevent it from contaminating the first cutting.It was also noted that using unplanted acres for grazing could be risky if butterweed populations are high.Hager said his research has shown that up to 98% of cressleaf groundsel plants emerge in the fall. “Most of those you see in the field today are already going to seed. If you had a big problem with them or other winter annuals this spring, fall controls are something to consider,” he said.“Butterweed is easy to control with fall or early spring burndown in crop field settings and you’ll be taking care of marestail problems at the same time,” he noted. “We haven’t seen big problems in hayfields, but it’s certainly something to be watching for.”More information on cressleaf groundsel, including how to identify it and manage it, can be found on Ohio State’s weed science website at http://bit.ly/….Find a video about butterweed from Aaron Hager here: http://bit.ly/….Pamela Smith can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

See More

Boxee Secures $6 Million Funding Round – Gets Ready to Take Over the Living Room

first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market frederic lardinois A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Boxee just announced that the company has closed a $6 million Series B financing round led by Boston-based General Catalyst with participation by prior investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. Neil Sequeira from General Catalyst will join the Boxee board. Boxee will use this money to hire more developers as it gets ready to expand beyond the desktop and work on embedded versions for connected TVs, game consoles, and set-top boxes. In addition, Boxee plans to attract more content from independent producers and big media companies to its platform by offering ad-based and subscription-based services to them.Getting Into the Living RoomThe company just raised its first round of venture capital funding last November, but when we talked to Boxee’s CEO Avner Ronen yesterday, he stressed that the company thinks this is the right time to expand. Ronen noted that Boxee will use the money to grow its development team to about 20 people, as it sees a chance to become a major player on connected TVs and set-top boxes. These devices are only now starting to gain a foothold in people’s living rooms and will give Boxee a chance to go mainstream.Currently, the software runs on Macs, Windows, Linux, and Apple TV, but while it is getting easier to connect a PC to a large TV set in the living room, this is definitely still a niche market. In order to reach a larger audience, Boxee will have to get its software onto TVs, game consoles, and set-top boxes directly. The company is already talking to a number of manufacturers, though Ronen wasn’t ready to announce any partnerships yet.Ronen also told us that the company plans to offer a platform for content producers and doesn’t want to get into the content business itself. Instead, Boxee will give media companies and independent producers options to sell subscriptions to their content or give users access to content on an a la carte basis. Major League Baseball started to offer access to its content to its Premium subscribers on Boxee last month. Tags:#news#Video Services#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

See More