Now that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is in effect companies are reacting. You may have noticed new messages on websites outlining that they are collecting information on you, or maybe you’ve received emails updating you on new privacy policies. Those notices are a result of the GDPR’s rules around how companies spy on you and use your data for profit. What GDPR is doing in practice is eliminating the business models of some corporations and we might all benefit from these sketchy companies going kaput.
For companies whose entire business model was users not really understanding the entire business model, the cost of direct sunlight may just be too high. Unroll.me, a company that offers to automatically declutter your in-box (while, uh, selling the insight it gleans from your data to companies like Uber), announced that it will no longer serve E.U. customers.
If enough companies follow this lead, one practical effect might be a split internet, with one set of GDPR-compliant websites and services for the E.U. and another set with a somewhat more, let’s say, relaxed attitude toward data for the rest of the world. But even a loosely enforced GDPR creates conditions for improving privacy protections beyond Europe. Facebook, for example, has already said it will extend GDPR-level protections to all of its users — if they opt in to them.
Germans have reputation of loving to drive so it might seem a little shocking to see the nation explore free public transit. The push for free travel comes from the need to reduce the country’s emissions – and soon. EU countries that don’t meet emissions targets in the next few years can be taken to court to answer for the inability to provide clean air for their citizens. Germany is a large country and if they figure out a way to make public transit free then it’s likely that other nations can follow.
“Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany,” the ministers added.
The proposal will be tested by “the end of this year at the latest” in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.
On top of ticketless travel, other steps proposed Tuesday include further restrictions on emissions from vehicle fleets like buses and taxis, low-emissions zones or support for car-sharing schemes.
Europe has already beat its 2020 gas emissions target and it’s only 2015! This is good news because we need to reduce our energy consumption and our global output of greenhouse gas emissions. This demonstrates to the rest of the world that not only is it economically feasible to reduce emissions it proves that it can be done quicker than climate change deniers claim.
A report by the EU’s environment agency on Tuesday said 2014 emissions were 23 percent lower than in 1990. The EU’s goal is to achieve 20 percent reductions by 2020, but the report said the bloc is headed for 24-25 percent cuts with current measures to fight climate change.
Tidal wave energy installations are nothing new, but installing it on a scale that can power 42,000 homes is. The other day, the Scottish government gave the go ahead for starting a wave-powered energy installation.
“This is a major step forward for Scotland’s marine renewable energy industry. When fully operational, the 86 megawatt array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes – around 40% of homes in the Highlands. This … is just the first phase for a site that could eventually yield up to 398 megawatts.”
Speaking at the Scottish renewables marine conference, Ewing also announced that developers Aquamarine Power Limited and Pelamis Wave Power are to share a slice of a £13m wave “first array” support programme, part of the Scottish government’s marine renewables commercialisation fund.
Ewing said the tide is turning for the wave sector.
Modern economies indirectly subsidize environmentally damaging corporate practices by ignoring the environmental costs ( younger generations have to deal with the environmental damage), this can be seen in everything from the tar sands in Alberta to ewaste in electronics. In Ireland they have started a carbon tax to deal with this environmental problem while raising a lot more revenue for the country.
The results in Ireland prove promising and may encourage other countries in Europe to take the European Commission’s suggestions that a carbon tax can help other debt-ridden economies.
Household trash is weighed at the curb, and residents are billed for anything that is not being recycled.The Irish now pay purchase taxes on new cars and yearly registration fees that rise steeply in proportion to the vehicle’s emissions. Environmentally and economically, the new taxes have delivered results. Long one of Europe’s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15 per cent since 2008.
The three-year-old carbon tax has raised nearly 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) overall, including 400 million euros in 2012. That provided the Irish government with 25 per cent of the 1.6 billion euros in new tax revenue it needed to narrow its budget gap this year and avert a rise in income tax rates.