Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
22May/210

‘The sky’s the limit’: How ‘cheap, abundant’ renewables could boot fossil fuels from the electricity sector by mid-2030s

'The sky's the limit': How 'cheap, abundant' renewables could boot fossil fuels from the electricity sector by mid-2030s

Carbon Tracker study detects solar and wind power potential is 100 seasons as much as world vitality necessitate

Solar and wind power could propagandize fossil fuels out of the electricity sector by the mid-2 030 s and out of the energy supply system altogether by 2050, as clean-living energy costs continue to plummet and governments pursue programs designed to ditch fossil fuels for inexpensive, home-grown renewables.

That is the compelling conclusion of a new analysis from the Carbon Tracker think tank, which today argues that startling decline in the cost of solar and wind power over the last three years has unlocked a huge energy reserve that could encounter global exertion request 100 seasons over.

The report, entitled The Sky's The Limit, bickers the present renewables grocery has only scratched the surface of total renewable funds, with merely 0.01 per cent of cases of solar and 0.16 per cent of cases of breath possible tapped thus far. It calculates the world's attainable reserves of solar and wind power stand at 5,800 petawatt hours( PWh) and 900 PWh yearly, using current scavenge intensity engineerings, figures that dwarf the 65 PWh used by the world-wide power arrangement in 2019.

As such, the specialists predict exponential expansion for the solar and wind power areas , noting that "humans specialise in extracting cheap energy, and fast".

The business and energy opportunity presented by clean energy development is significantly larger than that of fossil fuels distillation and yield, the analysis calculates, including there is potential to generate more solar power in one year than could be generated from burning all known fossil fuel reserves.

Harry Benham, report co-author and chairman of think tank Ember-Climate, highlighted the fact that merely a fraction of the world's substantial renewable resources required to be sounded to oust fossil fuel power. "The world does not need to exploit its part renewable resource -- really one per cent is enough to replace all fossil fuel usage, " he said. "Each year we are fuelling the climate crisis by burning three million years of fossilised sunshine in coal, oil and gas while we use simply 0.01 per cent of cases of daily sunshine."

The proportion of the world's solar and wind resources that are more economically competitive than fossil fuels is growing as renewable rates continue to decline, review reports indicates. Roughly 60 per cent of the world's solar resource and 15 per cent of the members of its jazz source is currently economically competitive compared to fossil fuels, and the report projects that by 2030 100 per cent of solar asset and 50 per cent of gust source could weaken fossil fuels.

"The fossil fuel era is over, " the report states. "The fossil fuel industry cannot compete with the technology learning arcs of renewables, so necessitate will surely precipitate as solar and gale continue to grow. At the present 15 to 20 per cent growth rates of solar and breeze, fossil fuels will be propagandized out of the electricity area by the mid-2 030 s and out of total energy supply by 2050. "

The report categorises countries into four key groups based on their potential to harness solar and wind sources relative to their domestic consumption and concludes that Africa is a "renewables superpower" due to its vast solar possible and relatively low energy demand.

However, while most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have renewable energy potential 1,000 times greater than energy demand, Japan, South Korea, and many countries in Europe have possible that is lower than 10 eras current requirement, review reports determines. As such, it advises these nations face "touch political choices" about how to sounds their renewable resource more effectively over the years ahead.

The UK is placed in the "replete" category, with the researchers calculating it has technological renewables possible this is only over 10 hours demand.

"We are entering a new date, comparable to the industrial revolt, " Carbon Tracker energy strategist and contribute generator Kingsmill Bond said. "Energy will collapse in price and become available to millions more, particularly in low-income countries. Geopolitics will be changed as societies are freed from expensive imports of coal, oil and gas. Clean renewables will crusade catastrophic climate change impacts and free the planet from deadly pollution."

Any analysis about the planet's immense potential renewables ability surely invites cautions about the reliability of a grid that is reliant on 100 per cent renewables and the land use impact of increasing solar and wind capacity by an order of magnitude. But the report argues that the rise of the offshore wind industry and rapid improvements in solar efficiency mean that "land is no constraint" to the development of renewables. The moor for solar power alone to satisfy world-wide exertion request - nearly 450,000 kilometres squared, or 0.3 per cent of all territory - is smaller than the footprint of fossil fuels today, it calculates. Meanwhile, there is growing confidence across much of the vigor manufacture that a combination of fast-maturing energy storage technologies, light-green hydrogen, and adaptable grid organisations could enable renewables-dominated grids.

The challenge of retiring the fossil fuel industry in the room of a few cases decades remains daunting in the extreme, but as Carbon Tracker's latest report highlights the energy industry's fundamental economics are only moving in one direction.

Read more: businessgreen.com

3May/210

Amazon reportedly tried to force Ecobee into sharing user data

Ecobee has been asked to share "proactive state" data, even when users aren't using the Alexa command.

What you need to know

A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims Amazon tried to use its power to put pressure on Ecobee to collect private user data.
Ecobee decided against complying with the demand as doing so would violate customer privacy.
The Canadian company also worried that Amazon could use the data from its users to create competing products.

Amazon leveraged its dominance to put pressure on Canadian smart thermostat maker Ecobee to share data from its devices, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The report claims Amazon asked Ecobee to serve data from its Alexa-enabled devices even when customers weren't using them.

Ecobee apparently refused to share data with the tech giant, fearing that complying with the demand would violate the privacy of its customers. The company also worried that Amazon might use the data to build products to rival its best smart thermostats. It was revealed last year that Amazon used third-party seller data to develop rival products using its Amazon Basics brand.

Apart from Ecobee, Amazon is said to have asked a few other Alexa-enabled-device sellers to provide "proactive state" data, which would give the tech giant access to information such as the temperature of a user's home and which doors were locked or unlocked.

An Amazon spokesman, Jack Evans, told the WSJ that the company uses the proactive-state data only to "improve the customer experience and make better recommendations." He added that customers are informed that their data will be shared with Amazon when they link their accounts.

While the report says the two companies are still negotiating, Amazon had told Ecobee that it might not be able to continue selling its products on Amazon's retail platform if it refused to provide the data. The retail giant also threatened to not retain Alexa certification on future Ecobee models.

Read more: androidcentral.com

16Apr/210

“What’s a Good Conversion Rate for My Landing Page?” [Conversion Benchmark Report 2021]

You might’ve noticed that 2020 was an interesting year for sell.( Yeah, that’s the word for it. Interesting .)

For some purveyors, the effects of a global state crisis felt( and continue to feel) insurmountable.

For others, the pandemic encouraged creative thinking to take advantage of new opportunities. There are even a lucky few marketers who just noticed it--at least in terms of their shifts. And an even luckier few benefited instantly.( That elusive product-market fit time kinda slogs itself out when you’re peddling business informal pajamas .)

The truth, though, is that the gulf between top-performing digital marketing campaigns and the rest of the pack has never been wider. Wherever you land on this spectrum, the pandemic shake-up means that the race you face is fiercer than ever before. The more successful businesses in your industry aren’t sitting on their hands in 2021 -- they’re looking for ways to give themselves an advantage in the post-COVID world and edge out their entrants.

And that’s why it’s never been more important to ask yourself this question 😛 TAGEND

“What’s a good, bad, or average changeover proportion for my arrival pages? ”

How do your pages stack up against the competitor? How do "youre staying" the captain, or reducing disparities between yourselves and the best performers? And how has the digital sell terrain changed between the simpler daytimes of 2019 and today?

That’s where industry standards come in--and that’s why we’re thrilled to bring you a fresh( and free) Conversion Benchmark Report for 2021. It facilitates answer all these questions and more.

Introducing the 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report

This year’s Conversion Benchmark Report utilizes machine learning to analyze more than 33 million alterations across 44 thousand Unbounce-built landing pages. In words of sample size, we analyzed more visits to these bring sheets than the populations of Canada, Hong kong residents, France, Mexico, Laos, and Ireland compounded.

You’ll find median conversion proportions broken down to 16 key industries.

In many cases, we’ve got wide enough sample sizes to sort them into subcategories more, so you can see how your brother’s pest control service meters up against your sister’s HVAC company.( Or how your uncle’s cybersecurity software proselytizes against your huge aunt’s cloud statement platform. Quite their own families you have .)

Why do we report on median instead of average( planned )? Our goal is to provide you with a realistic picture of where you stand, so this year’s report rosters median conversion rates as our measure of central predisposition instead of the planned. We concluded this reduces the impact of outliers( like sheets that alter five times better than the rest) on the final benchmarks.

Benchmarks can energize your post-pandemic rebound strategy in four large-scale styles 😛 TAGEND

They’re a kind of competitive knowledge. They help you determine gaps between your performance and what the rest of your industry considers to be a good conversion rate. Paired with AI, they let us deliver actionable insights you can apply today. The data doesn’t time show how you’re accomplishing, it can be the starting point of finding out why--and then realizing smart-alecky changes.They discover data-supported best practices, and you’ll waste little hour and traffic testing unproven optimizations that our machine learning analysis shows don’t undoubtedly operate. They help you build a culture of endless improvement in your organization. It’s harder for your team to be happy with “just okay” if they’re seeing something to strive for.

Let’s rundown some of the deeper insights, how we got' em, and how you can apply them.( If you’ve got an itchy mouse-finger, you are eligible to rush right into the Conversion Benchmark Report now. It’ll open in a new invoice .)

Conversion Intelligence Insights: Beyond the Benchmarks

Benchmarks are tremendously helpful, for all the reasons we just talked about.( If you work for an agency, you already know this. They’re a baller method of demonstrate the value of what you do--and facilitating consumers determine their genuine alteration capability .)

Beyond industry averages, though, the Conversion Benchmark Report contains dozens of data-backed insights that you can use to build variants and improve your alteration charges. Using A/ B testing or--much easier, if you’re short on time or traffic--Unbounce’s Smart Traffic, you are eligible to have variances operating today based upon understands in the report.

Start by exploring review reports, improved some variants, automatically optimize' em exploiting AI-powered implements like Smart Traffic, learn brand-new things about what’s working, then rinse and repeat. That’s the formula for an approach to commerce we’re calling conversion intelligence. You’ll save day, elevate changeovers, and increase revenue and ROI.

Traffic Insights: What Channels Deliver the Highest-Converting Visitors in My Industry?

You asked for it! New for the 2021 report, we’ve layered in some data-backed penetrations about what traffic paths are most popular( and act best) in many industries. Is paid probe truly all it’s cracked up to be? Or are email and social unsung heroes you should be exploiting more often? And should you spend your time optimizing for mobile or desktop?( The refute ... will surprise you .)

Of course, in many of the industries we analyzed, paid inquiry ads are by far the dominant way of driving brand-new traffic. That may not be surprising--PPC has historically been the primary squander instance for bring pages--but take a look at the diagram from business services below 😛 TAGEND

Not only is the median conversion rate for pilgrims that collected from social media( 6.0%) twice that of paid traffic( 3.0% ), but top musicians achieve shift proportions well into the double toes. Our best guess why? These business services sheets are built solely to target and convert social guests, parallelling channel and property sheet to deliver maximum relevance.

This is just one industry, but the Conversion Benchmark Report handles many others to give you the best sense of what directs deserve your time( and coin) and which ones you can safely reject. Jump into the report if you’d like some suggestions on how to apply these learnings.

Reading Ease Insights: How Do I Best Communicate with My Target Audience?

In copywriting roundabouts, the received profundity is that clarity comes above all else. If you’re looking to put up the fewest snags possible between gathering and volunteer, it frequently stirs smell to keep things basic.

Our data, nonetheless, complicates this equation. Is simple ever better? Nope. It turns out that different industries tend to convert more often at different reading levels( and some see weaker relationships between conversion paces and readability than others ).

In other paroles, ensuring the readability of your sheets is key for some purveyors, and relatively irrelevant for others. Cybersecurity companies, for instance, don’t appear to benefit from simpler language, while arrival pages promoting mobile apps do.

How’d we get these numbers? Our machine learning analysis enabled us to look at photocopy from 34 thousand sheets. Each sheet is ascribed a Flesch reading ease score based on the average number of syllables per words and texts per sentence. More syllables and more terms imply more ... harder.

Here’s roughly how the scoring breaks down 😛 TAGEND

Word Count Insights: What’s the Best Length for My Landing Pages?

While the data shows the best practice that shorter pages tend to convert better, many manufactures have sweet discerns in which they can break the rule--if you’re going to create a long-form landing page, you should go this long.

At what length do territory sheets for family services convert best? The graph provides answers.Depending on your furnish and manufacture, you may find that you need to use more commands to get your point across, but graphs like the one above can let you know what’s ideal. For family services, that’s 300 -5 00 messages( if you can’t get it shorter than 150 names ). For other industries, it can be more or less. Whatever the instance, procreating variances based on our obtains can definitely be a good candidate for A/ B testing or Smart Traffic.

Conversion Type Insights: How Do I Choose Which Types of Landing Pages Convert Best?

It may seem obvious that a click-through page is gonna outperform one that asks your visitors to fill out a constitute. Clicking a button feels a heck of a lot less like commitment than sharing swathes of personal info, after all.( People have been objecting this out since, uh, forever .)

But there’s actually a lot of nuance when it comes to conversion types that can be effectively applied to your campaigns to improve campaign performance. For instance, did you know that in the finance and insurance industry, organizes proselytize best when "youre using" two lands?

Or that desegregating severals shift types--as in, “I’ll precisely throw in this phone number to be safe”--tends to produce weaker develops?

What if your industry doesn’t appear in the report? With machine learning helping us to sort thousands of landing pages in a logical behavior, we’ve increased the number of members of manufactures handled from 10 to 16, and including subcategories( verticals) whenever sample sizes allow.

If you don’t see yourself represented, compare your conversion charges to industries with similar publics and conversion objectives. While we don’t actually recommend likeness between unusually unrelated manufactures( except for fun ), let your judgment be your usher.

Sentiment Insights: What Sentiments Might Refer to Better Conversion Proportion?

You likely know in your intestine that people’s feelings can impact their decision to buy, but which ones actually drive transitions on your land pages? To find out, we extended an ML-powered sentiment analysis that looked at emotion-associated messages that might relate to healthful transition rates--and which might even be slackening you down.

( Spoiler: Using trust texts isn’t always advisable. “Trust us.”)

If you’re lead an ecommerce business( especially in the midst of a pandemic ), you might be allured to press down hard-bitten on those hurting stages your visitors may be feeling. Why not hammer home all their upsets before promising aid? Isn’t that B2C Marketing 101?

Turns out , not so much. Look at the graph below.

When it comes to ecommerce alterations, it is about to change that conversation that shows negative feelings( like texts associated with sadness and fright) can correlate with lowered conversion rates. Our advice: Stay positive, stick to benefits, and restrain' em clicking that “Add to Cart” button.

You can explore this instance, and many others, in the report.

A Conversion Intelligence Approach to Your Next Campaign

When it comes down to brass tacks, all this benchmarking is valuable merely so you can use it to build a better changeover machine from what you learn. How do you do it?

Learn. Explore the revelations from the 16 industries in the report. How are your landing pages stacking up against the baseline? Are you way out ahead? Are you falling behind? Start with your industry, sure, but take a look at others too. There may be insights that are worth exploring outside your own arena.Build. Apply the data sees to your own expeditions. Create a variant( or more than one variant) of your page that they are applicable some of the insights we’ve plied. For example, you might dial down the language until you punched the optimal Flesch reading score.( You can use the free readability formula implement here to test it for yourself .) Optimize. Keep in imagination that our data analysis divulges the progress and predispositions rather than absolutes. You’re starting informed choice when you apply these discovers, but testing is still your best way to confirm. If you’re using the Unbounce Builder, precisely publish your discrepancies and turn on Smart Traffic. It’ll use machine learning to automatically decide which variant is right for which visitors.Learn( Again ). Keep it up! The report is based on aggregate data, but your optimization exertions produce fresh discovers that are now specific to your expedition. Use them to deploy variants relevant to your presents and customers and further increase the conversion filch you’ve already achieved with Smart Traffic.

In short-lived, this year’s report use AI to identify opportunities you simply couldn’t spot without the processing power of a machine. But you’re the special ingredient here: by pairing your knowhow and insight with AI-based technologies, your market stretches smarter.

Whether you sell "bizcaz" PJs, software that makes people perform awake on Zoom when they’re actually sleeping, or something absolutely more practical--are you confident enough to swagger into your next gather, grab your suspenders, fuel those finger-guns in your boss’s direction, and make everyone know about your team’s big win?

Take a nincompoop at the 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report, and let us know what you think in specific comments below.

Read more: unbounce.com

19Mar/210

‘Opportunity to reset’: How MPs are urging the Treasury to use tax policy to drive green recovery

'Opportunity to reset': How MPs are urging the Treasury to use tax policy to drive green recovery

Environmental Audit Committee Chair Philip Dunne talks to BusinessGreen about the need for 'a tax system fit for net zero Britain' and the right time to judge whether the government has delivered on its light-green retrieval predicts

MPs are urging the government to use the upcoming Budget to usher in a major alteration of the tax system to align the UK's spending plans with its net zero and biological diversity commitments, alerting experience is running short to deliver on its promise of a dark-green economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee( EAC) today launched a wide-ranging report on the government's lettuce recuperation agenda which says major reforms to UK taxation and the speedy release of long-awaited policy approaches will be central to laying the foundations of a greener, job-rich economy that protects nature.

Among a long list of proposed actions, it calls for cuts in VAT for light-green produces, the creation of a new National Nature Service to help protect wildlife, and scoping work to explore the potential for implementing an economy-wide carbon tax and carbon territory adjustments to drive investment in low-toned carbon infrastructure and action 'carbon leakage' from the UK economy.

Other recommendations include urgently delivering clear strategies to deliver new carbon capture and storage( CCS) and hydrogen projects, specifying clear and ambitious targets in the delayed Environment Bill, lay the foundations of domestic EV battery manufacturing at magnitude, and aligning the UK's net zero and sort agendas.

It likewise calls on the government to "rigorously" assess its PS27bn road building programme against the UK's air quality, atmosphere, and biodiversity objectives before individual programmes continue - a recommendation that follows disclosures arising from an on-going law challenge that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps overrode official advice that the controversial program should be reviewed on environmental grounds.

Philip Dunne MP, chair of the EAC, said the Covid-1 9 pandemic was a symptom of the wider environmental crisis the world currently faces, and should be treated as a "wake-up call" for Ministers to set the UK on a far more ambitious pathway to a net zero release, biodiverse future.

"The economic recovery will mold our national economy for decades to come, and it necessary that tackling climate change and rebuilding nature is at its core, " said the Conservative MP for Ludlow. "There will be no inoculation against runaway climate change, and it is our responsibility now, abusing the opportunity of the economic recovery, to set the UK on track for net zero."

The Chancellor is set to deliver the Budget on 3 March, and the EAC implored Rishi Sunak to grasp the opportunity to bring forward a raft of proposals to encourage green behaviour change and drive investment in low carbon engineerings and nature-recovery efforts.

One of the main recommendations in the report centres on slashing VAT on green concoctions for house energy efficiency upgrades and low-spirited carbon construction measures, as well as for repair services and products containing reused or recycled fabrics to boost uptake and investment in circular economy endeavors - a suggestion that was propagandized up the agenda earlier this month with the launch of a brand-new safarus by the Daily Express similarly calling for VAT to be axed on dark-green products.

The EAC also repetition calls for an overhaul and increase for the troubled Green Homes Grant programme, following weeks of negative headlines arising from administrative problems with the arrangement and approval from the government last week that it is withdrawing over PS1bn from the initial budget of the stimulus package.

Further tax motivations is appropriate to be given to ultra-low emission vehicles to boost uptake, while other current environmental taxes - such as Air Passenger Duty - should be reformed in order to better reward and drive efforts to develop greener aircraft technology, the EAC argued.

And, the Committee urged the government to begin scoping work on an economy-wide carbon tax - which it said would be "one of the most economically efficient ways to incentivise low-toned carbon choices" - in addition to looking at the potential merits of carbon territory adjustments.

"A tax system fit for net zero Britain is key, " said Dunne. "It will encourage innovation, give confidence to the sector and patronage a corporation to fix the low-carbon transition. There are endless initiatives that can lead to a greener future and the Chancellor should use his upcoming Budget statement to start this process."

Whether or not the Chancellor will take up the recommendations remains an open question. The report follows criticism from the government's spending watchdog, the National Audit Office( NAO ), last week which accused the Treasury and HRMC of having exclusively a "limited understanding" of how the UK's tax regime patronizes atmosphere and environmental objectives. Meanwhile, political opponents have thrown the authorities concerned for failing to deliver a multi-billion pound lettuce stimulus program similar to those adopted by Germany and France.

As such, calls are growing for the government to deliver on its promised 'build back better' agenda on variou figureheads. The EAC's calls for VAT reform resemble those which have frequently come from a range of business and environmental groups over the past year, such as Green Alliance, the REA, and even the Sustainable Restaurant Association( SRA ), while proposals for an overhaul of carbon pricing program and the urgent verification of a raft of decarbonisation policies have widespread backing from business leaders.

Dunne told BusinessGreen he was looking to the upcoming Budget for the government to set a more ambitious course for a light-green retrieval, as he said there was a need for a "wider debate" about how taxation could be used to support the UK's net zero transition.

"What it is essential to do as we pate towards net zero Britain is to open up a debate across the country about how should tax policy and concedes - incentives as well as retributions - be directed to help people change behaviour, " he said.

Green asset

The report also takes aim at the Bank of England's money programmes, following criticism from green campaigners that in the wake of the first Covid-1 9 lockdown last year the central bank did not place enough 'green strings' to the financial and lend supporter it offered to struggling high carbon companionships, such as airlines.

Going forward, the Bank should therefore ensure it includes climate and nature objectives in future pandemic-support programmes, such as requiring that recipients publicly disclose the climate threats facing their business in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure specifications, according to the report. It should also be given a specific mandate to help drive the net zero transition, and reduce the carbon intensity of its corporate ligament portfolio, the report added.

Meanwhile, the report says the government should ensure its proposed National Infrastructure Bank( NIB) escapes a same fate to its effective predecessor - the Green Investment Bank - which was sold off to the private sector in 2017. It calls for an "unequivocal guarantee", potentially in law, that the NIB will remain a populace academy for the long term, adding that it should be given a mandate to promote projects focused on nature recovery, in addition to its proposed net zero mandate.

'Opportunity to reset'

The government has repeatedly sought to position its pandemic recovery plans as an opportunity to build a greener economy, particularly given the UK is set to co-host the critical COP2 6 UN climate change summit in Glasgow later this year. Last-place time, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to "build back better" from the crisis, before unveiling his 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution in the autumn.

But amid several adjournments to crucial cyberspace zero programs - such as the Transport Decarbonisation Plan - as well as the contentious withdrawal of funding from the government's flagship Green Homes Grant scheme last week, environmental groups have questioned the Treasury's commitment to delivering a genuinely dark-green recovery.

"What such reports to consider ways to point towards is that some things[ the authorities concerned] have doing well, and some things they may have been disconcerted and haven't gone to plan, " reasoned Dunne. "So there's an opportunity to reset and get back on board."

Caterina Brandmayr, head of climate policy at Green Alliance, said the EAC's report "rightly articulates the spotlight on what the government still needs to do to deliver a light-green recovery".

Harnessing the Budget and forthcoming net zero strategies to deliver an environmentally responsible stimulus would "benefit businesses and communities across the country, and ensure the UK is seen as an environmental world leader as it prepares to host firstly the G7 and then COP26", she said.

Responding to today's EAC report, nonetheless, the authorities concerned vowed it was committed to a light-green retrieval, and foreground its plans to launch the UK's firstly sovereign light-green attachment this year and acquaint mandatory climate danger revealings across the economy by 2025.

"We're committed to building back better and greener from the pandemic, which is why the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan will employ the UK at the forefront of the world-wide lettuce industrial coup and make hundreds of thousands of green occupations, while the Treasury's Net Zero Review is examining how the transition to net zero should be funded, " the government said in a statement.

Green homes award fiasco

But concerns and confusion continue to surround the government's flagship programme that was meant to be at the heart of its much-trumpeted 'green recovery' agenda.

The PS1. 5bn Green Homes Grant scheme was launched last-place summertime in a bid to provide discount vouchers that would reduce the cost of energy efficiency modernizes on homes. However, the arrangement has suffered from a multitude of difficulties from the beginning, with entrants facing administrative hurdles in accessing the programme and procure accredited tradespeople to carried out under the residence refurbishes, while there have been reports of installers themselves losing money, faculty, and business due to late pays through the scheme.

And in a surprise move last week the government sanctioned plans to remove potentially over PS1bn from the scheme's budget that remains unspent by the end of March. The authority blamed householders' reluctance to have tradespeople enter their homes as the primary motive of the Green Home Grant Scheme's travails, but this explanation was roundly disagreed by business groups and political opponents.

The EAC has kept a close gaze on the scheme, earlier this month revealing simply over 21,000 vouchers towards the cost of home improves have been issued to date, a fraction of the government's ambition to hand out 600,000 lettuce improvement vouchers.

Dunne too told BusinessGreen that in the evidence he had seen from applicants to the scheme nobody had cited Covid-1 9 frights related to installers participating their residences as a core problem. "The fact that merely a third of those applying for vouchers have had them approved tells a slightly different story, " he said.

For its part, the government said it would "continue to bring forward bold measures to cut emissions, with plans to invest PS9bn in improving the energy efficiency of buildings forming part of our wider commitment to end our contribution to climate change by 2050 ".

However, while BusinessGreen has repeatedly sought to confirm whether or not the government's goal of improving 600,000 residences through the Green Homes Grant scheme remains in place given its drastically reduced budget, BEIS has yet to provide clarification.

The EAC today therefore reiterated its demand for the authorities concerned renovation the anxious arrangement, and give it beyond its current March 2022 cut-off date in order to provide businesses and householders the long-term certainty they need to hire and train additional installers and submit applications for vouchers.

Fund evaluation

Whether the UK government can deliver a truly light-green convalescence from the current economic crisis remains to be seen, but with its leadership on climate change under the spotlight in the run up to COP2 6, it will be under significant influence to back up its encouraging 'build back better' rhetoric with discernible activity. The latest controversy over the Green Homes Grant, recent failures scrutinizing this reputational impairment incurred by allowing the progress brand-new coal mines, and the huge pipeline of long-awaited light-green policy decisions, have all served to undermine confidence that Minister have the key priorities straight-out, with the Treasury widely considered to be one of the key barriers to the development of a believable light-green recovery strategy.

For Dunne, however, the window for action is still open, and the coming weeks and months now offer a critical opportunity to set the government's recovery efforts on an daring lettuce track. The upcoming Budget and following few months therefore look set to provide the clearest exam hitherto of whether the government's light-green recovery predicts will be met.

"That will be the time to assess how effective[ the government's endeavours] ought to have, " said Dunne.

Read more: businessgreen.com

8Mar/210

Vaccination and Censorship: The Truth Will Set Us Free

On December 22, 2020, a nonprofit limited company based in Great Britain that calls itself the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH)1,2,3 published a report titled "The Anti-Vaxx Playbook."4

It contains false and misleading information about the Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination, which was sponsored by the 39-year-old U.S. nonprofit educational charity the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), and held online in October 2020. Promotion of the CCDH report resulted in the spreading of fake news and misinformation by mainline media outlets in Great Britain and the U.S.5,6,7,8,9

NVIC's pay-for-view digital conference10 was transparently open to the public and featured presentations by 51 speakers from the U.S. and other countries discussing vaccine science, public health policy and law, informed consent and civil liberties.

Dedicated to "Protecting Health and Autonomy in the 21st Century," the conference was made available on February 2, 2021 for free viewing online. Go to NVIC.org11 to access the conference website and watch all of the presentations.

CCDH Misinformation Campaign Designed to Discredit, Destroy NVIC

Influence Watch, which monitors individuals and groups that influence12 public policy, describes CCDH as a "London-based advocacy group that targets accused 'hate groups' and individuals for de-platforming campaigns to remove them from major social media outlets" and "has ties to the left-wing British Labour Party and British left-progressivism."13

The anonymously funded CCDH also has an office in Washington, D.C. and the defamatory publicity campaign created in December 2020 was designed to not only discredit NVIC's four-decade public record of working within the U.S. democratic system to secure vaccine safety and informed consent protections in public health policies and laws, but to destroy our small charity.

The misinformation campaign was spearheaded by the CEO of CCDH, who is a political operative14 personally affiliated with Great Britain's socialist Labour Party.15,16,17

The report deceived readers by describing NVIC's 2020 conference as a meeting "recently held in private over three days," which implied secrecy,18 even though the event was transparently open to the public just like the four previous vaccination conferences NVIC hosted in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2009.19

One British tabloid read the report and described NVIC's public conference as a "private conference call" where "secret plans" were plotted to "launch the largest ever misinformation campaign about vaccines."20

Last summer, CCDH published their first report alleging that Big Tech companies operating social media platforms make big profits by allowing individuals and organizations criticizing vaccine science, policy and law to message on their platforms,21 and should take stronger action to censor online public conversations about vaccination that do not conform with the "scientific consensus that vaccines are safe."22,23

That July 2020 report was promoted by mainline media outlets in Britain24,25,26,27 and the U.S.28 However, CCDH's report published five months later in December 2020, which created fake news and misinformation about NVIC's conference, contained even more inflammatory rhetoric.

It demonized those who criticize vaccine safety as "malignant actors,"29 and CCDH demanded that companies and governments virtually eliminate individuals or groups publishing information online that fails to align with government and industry narratives about vaccination and public health policy.

In that report, CCDH ordered Big Tech companies and governments to censor and punish dissenters, charging that "anything less than the dismantling of these individuals' profiles, pages and groups and permanent denial of service, now they know what is happening, is willing acquiescence."30

On January 18, 2021, the anonymously funded CCDH once again publicly attacked the National Vaccine Information Center, this time for applying for a U.S. Paycheck Protection Program loan to secure the continued employment of NVIC's 21 workers during massive nationwide unemployment caused by lockdowns.

The British nonprofit company appeared to suggest that the U.S. government should not have been viewpoint-neutral in granting relief loans, but should have applied an ideological litmus test to NVIC's loan request that was made to retain employees during catastrophic economic hardship caused by lockdowns that have affected donations to charities.31

CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed said, "Lending money to these organizations so they can prosper is a sickening use of taxpayer money."32 Once again, mainline media outlets in Britain and the U.S. widely promoted CCDH's allegations.33,34,35,36,37

Six months of orchestrated public attacks on NVIC by CCDH have generated hate mail to our small charity, which was founded and has been led by parents of vaccine-injured children for four decades.38

Strong Freedom of Dissent History in US

I was born into a post-World War II generation in the U.S., a generation known for challenging the status quo and exercising the right to dissent, which is protected under the U.S. Constitution.39

Whether it was advocating for the right to listen to rock 'n' roll and joining antinuclear protests in the 1950s,40,41 or marching in support of civil rights and opposing an undeclared war in Asia in the 1960s,42,43 or women fighting for equal opportunity and pay and consumer activists working for environmental protection and car safety laws in the 1970s,44,45,46,47 or mothers protesting against drunk drivers48 and choosing a drug-free birth and breastfeeding for their babies in the 1980s,49,50 the baby boomer generation has been known for exercising freedom of thought and speech. 

Contentious social, political and health issues of the 20th century sparked heated debates on college campuses,51 where students could still explore, critique and openly search for truth, and in mainline newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations, where point/counterpoint examination of controversial topics was the hallmark of good journalism because public debate is the hallmark of free speech.

The America where I grew up in the mid-20th century was a beacon of hope for people living behind the Iron Curtain52 and in other totalitarian or authoritarian societies,53 where exercise of freedom of thought, speech and conscience and the right to dissent and peacefully assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances had been eliminated, where people had been turned into silent indentured servants working to serve a small ruling class in control of the state.54

Statists, who believe that economic control and planning must be in the hands of a highly centralized government,55 are always afraid of the truth, afraid that people armed with knowledge will act together to challenge control of the state by a powerful and privileged few.

Without Debate, Without Criticism 'No Republic Can Survive'

I was in junior high school when President John F. Kennedy addressed the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1961. He said:56

"Without debate, without criticism no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply 'give the public what it wants' — but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion."

He closed with these words:

"So it is to the printing press — to the recorder of man's deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news — that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help, man will be what he was born to be: free and independent."

That speech given 60 years ago was a ringing endorsement for freedom of the press. Yet, in the 21st century, it is becoming clear that there are political operatives and corporations seeking to censor freedom of thought and speech by citizen journalists publishing analysis and perspective on the worldwide web, an electronic communications network that has been the world's biggest forum for free speech over the past quarter century.57,58

Right to Dissent, Freedom of Speech Under Assault in America

The right to dissent59 and exercise freedom of thought, speech and conscience60 is under assault in America,61 even though these cherished civil liberties are codified into the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. And civil liberties are under assault internationally in other nations with representative democracies, as well.62

Today, political operatives are pressuring government, media corporations and other institutions to eliminate freedom of speech, especially public conversations about vaccine science, policy and law.63,64,65

Spirited public debate about vaccine safety and mandatory vaccination laws has been going on for more than two centuries.66,67 What is the justification for censoring that public conversation now and punishing those who engage in it with economic and social sanctions?68,69

And if the public conversation about vaccination and health can be censored, what topic will be the next one put on the "no fly" list?70,71

NVIC: Working to Reform Vaccine Policy and Law for Decades

I am a co-founder and president of the highly rated nonprofit educational charity established in 1982 and known today as the National Vaccine Information Center.72,73 Our mission is to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. NVIC does not make vaccine use recommendations. We advocate for the human and legal right to make informed and voluntary decisions about vaccination without being coerced or punished for the decision made.74

Our not-for-profit charitable organization was established for one reason: We were mothers and fathers of children brain injured by the highly reactive pertussis vaccine in the DPT shot and we wanted a safer pertussis vaccine to replace the one that had hurt our children. That goal was accomplished after 14 years of consumer advocacy when a less reactive acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine was licensed for babies in the U.S. in 1996.75

We also wanted parents to have access to accurate and full information about the risks and complications of both diseases and vaccines before children are vaccinated, so parents and pediatricians could work together to identify those children who are more susceptible to vaccine reactions and protect their health.

That is why we worked with Congress to secure vaccine safety informing, recording, reporting and research provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, a law in which the U.S. government officially acknowledged for the first time that vaccine safety should be made a national priority because federally licensed and recommended and state mandated childhood vaccines can and do cause permanent injuries and even death for some children.76,77,78

We are not all the same. We do not all react the same way to pharmaceutical products,79,80,81 which is why our organization has strongly supported research into genetic, epigenetic, environmental and other risk factors that make some individuals more susceptible to adverse responses to vaccination.82,83

We believe every life is important, and that the lives of those harmed by vaccines and infectious diseases should be equally valued and protected.

We believe that consumer advocacy has and should continue to play an active role in holding pharmaceutical companies and government agencies accountable for vaccine product safety, and we are dedicated to working responsibly within the democratic system of this Constitutional Republic to make health policy and law safer and more effective for everyone.84,85,86

Since 1988, I and other NVIC representatives have served as consumer members of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee, FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative and other federal and state public engagement projects discussing vaccine science, policy and law issues with vaccine developers, federal and state health officials, medical trade and pharmaceutical industry representatives, and members of other nonprofit organizations.87,88,89

My 22 years of service as a consumer member on federal advisory committees and public engagement projects includes four years as a member of the Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum at the National Academy of Science, where I helped to coordinate public workshops on vaccine science, policy and law issues90 and was an editor for the report on Risk Communication and Vaccination published by the National Academy Press. That report importantly stated:91

"The goal that all parties share regarding vaccine risk communication should be informed decision making. Consent for vaccination is truly 'informed' when the members of the public know the risks and benefits and make voluntary decisions.

The discussion of mandatory vaccination at the workshop suggested that it may interfere with informed consent and may damage trust and deter effective communication, and thus needs to be carefully weighed against its benefits."

We believe the human right to freedom of thought, speech and conscience should be respected, not devalued. As public health regulations and laws are being created during the coronavirus pandemic to restrict or eliminate civil liberties,92 we should be encouraging people to have civil conversations about vaccination, health and autonomy. Americans should be welcomed by legislators to participate in — not be shut out of — the democratic law making process.93

When people feel disenfranchised and believe that those in power do not care about their lives or the lives of their children, that is when trust in government is lost and people let fear, anger and despair control their actions. Empowering people with knowledge and the hope they can help effect meaningful change if they do it in a rational and constructive way has always been one of NVIC's guiding principles.94

Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination Features Principled, Courageous Speakers

I want to thank the generous sponsors and attendees of the Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination: Protecting Health and Autonomy in the 21st Century, who helped to make it financially possible for NVIC to host a virtual conference last fall.95

The conference had been scheduled for two years to be held in October 2020 in a hotel in the Washington, D.C. area. When travel and social distancing restrictions were enacted in the spring of 2020, we had to make a choice between canceling the conference or pivoting to a pay-for-view online public conference.

We chose to hold the conference online because we knew that the controversial issues being debated in the public square this year needed a public forum where well-anchored information and perspective could be presented.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the more than two dozen principled and courageous scientists, physicians, holistic health professionals, authors, attorneys, faith leaders, parents of vaccine injured children and civil and human rights activists, who represent diverse areas of expertise and participated in our conference.96

NVIC Will Not Abandon Our Mission

No matter how many political operatives, corporations and institutions threaten and try to discredit NVIC and our work in order to silence us, we will not abandon our 40-year mission dedicated to preventing vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending the ethical principle of informed consent. We are moving forward with faith and resolve that we can secure a future for America that protects health and autonomy in the 21st century.

Because we know that if the state can tag, track down and force individuals against their will to be injected with biologicals of known and unknown toxicity today, then there will be no limit on which individuals' freedoms the state can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow.

Be the one who never has to say you did not do today what you could have done to change tomorrow. It's your health. Your family. Your choice. And our mission continues. No forced vaccination. Not in America.

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