United Nations Uses Smart Contracts (Blockchain Technology)

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United Nations World Food Programme transfers vouchers to a total of 10.000 refugees in Syria using the Ethereum Blockchain technology (smart contracts, cryptocurrencies). The World Food Programme (WFP) plans to extend the project even further to cover 100,000 people in Jordan by late 2018. The UN is planning more Blockchain technology-related projects to move the aid to disaster-stricken countries faster. 

 

Roland Leithenmayr, VfV 

 

Sustainable Legislation and Climate Change

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The environmental law is a success story of the regulatory law. The Austrian law § 16 WEG 2002 (Wohnungseigentumsgesetz, Condominium law) is not. To increase the energy efficiency, I wanted to install (as a landlord of a shop), a heat exchanger in the ventilation of the air conditioning. One of the owners in the house was against. I wanted to buy an electric car and install a wall box to charge the car. All 100 owners must agree to these projects, – it’s hopeless. Many of the judges do not take into account in their judgment the problem of climate change, even if the home-owners are not disadvantaged by the measures to increase efficiency.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Youth -make it better!

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Our youth skips school and demonstrates instead. They complain that the Austrian government is doing too little delaying climate change. Politics is not easy, but undoubtedly they could do more. Today’s Youth in Austria, for the most part, is materialistic and demanding: they should limit their needs under the motto – Make It Better!

Roland Leithenmayr VFV

Migration Paradox

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Professor Hein de Haas points out the misunderstanding that development aid in countries prevents migration. Indeed, the development in the poorest countries, for instance in Sub-Sahara Africa, will almost inevitably lead to more migration, because it increases capacity and aspiration to migrate. “…therefore, future immigrants in Europe might increasingly come from sub-Saharan Africa instead of Turkey and North Africa.” (1)

Klaus Woltron doubt that migration of needy refugees in wealthy countries does diminish poverty in the world. The population continues to grow dramatically without contraception. The growth of population in developing countries is greater than the number of migrants. Woltron complains that the Catholic Church does not support contraception and fears that the high birth rates of Muslims in Europe strengthen political Islam. The most effective measure is to raise the standard of education enabling to increase the standard of living considerably; however, the higher standard of living will cause higher energy consumption, higher emissions, and waste – a vicious circle. (2)

Judith Kohlenberger examined that population growth in Africa is based less on increasing fertility but on falling child mortality. She endorses that Europe enters into a partnership with Africa to promote education and circular migration. Kohlberger says that a complete stop of the African migration to Europe would be neither realistic nor sensible, so she rejects the closure of escape routes. Both sides, Europe and Africa, would benefit from circular migration. That is legal work, study and (dual) education in Europe employing work-, or student-card coupled with a voluntary return after a few years. (3)

Experts like Jeffrey Sachs and Juliette Lyons debate the negative consequences of aid. It has left developing countries in a worse place than before. Africa as a whole receives around $50 billion of international assistance annually. Instead of improving the living conditions of the 600 million people, the aid makes the rich richer, the poor poorer. It hinders economic growth in the region. Unfortunately, foreign aid strengthens corruption in countries where it is already widespread. Another consequence is aid dependence, – vast sums of money collected on foreign aid are not applied to promote local business, but used as “free” money at their disposal (4).

The international community is devoted to assisting developing countries such as Africa in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through significant increases in foreign aid spending.  However, experts maintain different opinions about additional aid in meeting the SDGs. To moderate the different opinions is the application of tools used in Project-Management: Payments for Progress linked to additional aid to clear evidence of progress achieved ensuring that aid pays only for real, measurable achievements (5).

Sanjay G. Reddy R. warns that the foreign debt of Sub-Saharan-Africa has doubled between 2008-2016 to more than $ 450 billion. This high debt threatens the UN Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDGs) in this region seriously. So far, there is no mechanism to combat this debt crisis effectively. “… it is time to legislate and implement principles …”. Klaus Woltron doubts that the industrialized countries are in a position – given their massive debts – to eliminate the misery in developing countries (5).

 (1)“Development aid does not prevent migration,” Making It, Number 25, page 13. Hein de Haas, Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and founding member of the International Migration Institute (IMI) of the University of Oxford.

(2) Klaus Woltron, Wie viele Menschen trägt die Welt? Krone Bunt, Sonntag 3. März 2019. Woltron was former leader of multinational companies, industrialist, business philosopher and author.

 (3) Judith Kohlenberger, Ein kompletter Stopp der Migration aus Afrika ist nicht sinnvoll, gastkommentar@wienerzeitung.at. Kohlenberger is Research Assistant at the Institute for Social Policy of WU Vienna and member of the Querdenkerplattform Wien-Europe – www.querdenkereurope.at

(4) Juliette Lyons, Foreign aid is hurting, not helping Sub-Saharan Africa, Le Journal International, 13. October 2014. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyonsjuliette/

(5) Owen Matthew Barder, Payments for Progress: A Hands-Off Approach to Foreign Aid, Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 102, 24 Pages Posted: 2 May 2007, Center for Global Development, Date Written: December 2006

(6) Sanjay G. Reddy, Warnsignale in Subsahara-Afrika, Südwind Magazin, Nr.11-12/November 2018. Sanjay G. Reddy is a lecturer in economics at the New School for Social Research, New York.

Digital Violence against Women

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International Women’s Day (IWD)

In Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Emirates, their governments let men legally track and restrict the movements of women just by using smartphones. It is easy to download the app whether from the Google Play store or Apple’s app store. In democratic countries the tracking of persons without their permission is illegal. Nevertheless, women should check their smartphone by experts or in a women’s counseling center to see if such an app is on their smartphone.

Roland Leithenmayr VFV

 

 

Air resistance increases with the speed of the car!

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The market share of SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) is growing. SUV drivers are looking down on others demonstrating their social status. One’s safety is certainly highly motivating for a person to acquire an SUV, even though the fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions are high and do not relieve the climate change.  The SUV is technically efficient but usually bulkier and consumes more energy and resources. The big front of SUVs dramatically increases the air resistance of the vehicle compared to streamlined cars. From physics lessons, we know that air resistance increases quadratically with speed. Accelerating, the speed of the SUV from 130 to 140 km / h, increases the air resistance over 20%.

Source: Christoph E. Mandl, Lernen S‘ in bißschen Physik, Herr Minister! Der Standard Sa/Do., 16/17 February 2019.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient

http://rc.opelgt.org/indexcw.php

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Str%C3%B6mungswiderstandskoeffizient

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Mental Accounting

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, known as an environmental activist, loves his old-fashioned Hummer (Weight 3 tons, 6 Liter volume, 330 hp, 23 liters /100 km, price about 70,000 Euro) – the original type of the Sports Utility Vehicle – SUV. To calm his conscience, Arnold equipped his new Mercedes G-car with an electric drive. Many people use mental accounts to offset the consumption in different areas: e.g., consumption of ecologically produced food and less meat charging it against polluting consumption in another area, such as a plane trip. The behavioral economist Richard Thaler speaks in this context of “mental accounting”; however, it regularly overestimates the effects of environmentally conscious behavior and underestimates the effects of its own environmentally harmful behavior.

Sources:

Bernd Sommer, Forum der Verantwortung, Wege aus der Wachstumsgesellschaft, Herausgegeben von Harald Welzer und Klaus Wiegandt.

Thaler, Richard H.: Mental Accounting Matters, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12, 1999, Page 183-206.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Direct Rebound Effect

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Recently I took the D-tram to Nußdorf/Vienna when suddenly the passengers looked out the window and admired a delightful little red car enthusiastically. It was a Fiat 500 Cinquecento the first series from 1957 to 1972. I searched the Internet discovering that the Cinquecento weighed between 450 – 550 kg and guzzled an average of 5 liters gasoline per 100 km. The model of the second series (1991 to 1998) already weighed 670 – 780 kg and the consumption increased to 6 liters per 100km. The current Fiat 500 weighs about one ton and burns up between 4 and 5 liters per 100 km. Producing a small car of the same type requires more material today, and despite enormous advances in engine development, the fuel consumption did not decrease considerably. Technical devices such as a refrigerator, TV or cars are becoming more efficient, but also larger. They require as much or even more energy and resources than their less efficient predecessors. Its called a direct rebound. If I were rich, I would buy a Rolls Royce Cullinan, an SUV: Weight 2.6 tons, 6.75 liters petrol engine, 15 liters per 100km, price over 400,000 Euro. Better for me is to acquire a pick-up for my farm.

Literature: Bernd Sommer, Entkoppelung, Wege aus der Wachstumsgesellschaft, Herausgegeben von Harald Welzer und Klaus Wiegand, Frankfurt am Main, Juni 2013.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – > Caroline Krismer, a Tyrolean, is responsible project developer of the first SUV of Rolls Royce,  www.oeamtc.at/autotouring

Autosalon Genf: The SUV boom continues – E-mobility is increasing!

Roland Leithenmayr   VfV