Worldlog Week 07 – 2013

11 February 2013

Opposition in the Netherlands against consumer fireworks in growing steadily. Consequently, this week we asked Minister Opstelten and State Secretary Mansveld to reconsider the preparation a ban on consumer fireworks. A previous request for a ban was rejected owing to an alleged lack of support. However, new research has shown that not only a large portion of the population is for a ban on fireworks, but so is a large majority of local administrators and politicians. Good development!

There are also many supporters of a ban among Dutch citizens. The risk of being injured keeps many people indoors in the days around New Year. Furthermore, the terrific racket causes enormous fear and stress to millions of animals. Fireworks also contain heavy metals and other extremely poisonous substances that seriously pollute the ground, air and water. After each New Year’s celebration, an additional three million kilos of waste has to be cleared. Owing to the serious danger of physical injury, most countries do not allow private citizens to set off fireworks themselves, opting instead for professionally organized firework shows. That’s the direction we want the Netherlands to go as well.

The discussion on the return of the wolf is not limited to the Netherlands. It has also erupted in Sweden. In mid-November we were successful in getting the wolf onto the list of native protected animals. The question is not whether the wolf will come to the Netherlands, but when. German packs are living ever closer to the Dutch border. When the wolf eventually arrives in the Netherlands, it is important that this species be protected from the moment it crosses our borders.

I strongly recommend these two videos on climate change. Watch ´How Climate Change Became a 'Liberal Hoax' and ´The impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet´.

Wonderful story from Tanzania. Four years ago in a Tanzanian national park a young male lion was spotted caught in a wire snare. Several attempts to release the animal from the snare failed, and the older the lion grew the tighter the snare became. An excellent initiative of the Daily Mail newspaper last summer brought about his rescue. It was finally possible to capture the lion, anaesthetize him and remove the snare. The lion is now back with his pride!

This week my colleague Esther Ouwehand has been busy trying to put an end to unsolicited advertising and municipal newsletters being put through your letterbox. In the Netherlands, most free local papers and leaflets end up unread in the wastebasket or rubbish bin, resulting in tons of needless waste each year. Furthermore, the practice simply annoys many people. We want to see an end to this and therefore propose that people should explicitly ask to receive free local papers and leaflets instead of having them stuffed through their mailboxes unasked for. We’ll be following this!

Until next week, Marianne