Coal shipments at two Wisconsin, Minnesota ports dropped sharply in 2019, wind cargoes set record

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wisconsin Public Radio:A record amount of cargo containing components used for generating wind power moved through the Twin Ports during the 2019 shipping season. The surge in wind traffic comes as Duluth-Superior handled the lowest amount of coal in more than three decades.Around 8 million tons of coal moved through the Twin Ports last year, marking the lowest volume Duluth-Superior has seen since 1985. Jayson Hron, spokesperson for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said the decline comes as demand for renewable energy sent a record 306,000 freight tons of wind turbines and other components through the port.“It’s becoming more competitive in the power generation price spectrum, and so it’s just making it a more viable, higher demand way of producing energy and power for our country,” said Hron.The cost of renewables like wind and solar have declined in recent years. In addition, natural gas prices are lower than coal as production has reached near record levels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency found utility providers have announced retirement of more than 546 coal-fired plants in the last decade that produce around 102,000 megawatts of power.The transition is something people would not have thought possible until recently, said Greg Nemet, a public affairs professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who researches energy and policy. “We’re seeing plants that were built in the ’80s — some even in later — that are being prematurely shut down just because it’s much cheaper to make electricity with natural gas and with solar, even when you have to build new plants,” said Nemet.“It’s really a competition between coal, natural gas, and renewables. Over the last 10 years, natural gas especially has been the winner. In the last five years, renewables have really been the winner,” said Nemet. “Coal really can’t compete with either of those.”[Danielle Kaeding]More: Coal shipping in Twin Ports drops to lowest level in decades while wind cargo surges Coal shipments at two Wisconsin, Minnesota ports dropped sharply in 2019, wind cargoes set recordlast_img read more

War or peace? A threatened Brazilian indigenous tribe weighs its options

first_img“We do not steal their cattle to eat, so why do they steal our land for themselves? Our law works better than theirs,” said Purui, another older tribe member.The Thomson Reuters Foundation got rare permission to attend the meeting, held at Aldeia Nova, one of the tribe’s nine villages in their 1.8 million-acre reservation in Rondonia state, as the indigenous group made plans for the future.The state was among the hardest hit by last year’s Amazon fires, according to INPE, Brazil’s government agency tasked with monitoring deforestation in the region.Living in small isolated villages made up of wood and straw huts, the indigenous community of about 300 people is surrounded by farmland that used to be part of their reservation. The old men want war, but the younger ones are holding them back. That generation divide was clear among the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe, who live deep in the Brazilian Amazon.Endangered by land-grabbers and illegal loggers, the tribe called a meeting to discuss how to fight back and plan for the year ahead, Brazil’s second under Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency.”You say we cannot kill, but the white man does not respect us,” said Uaka, one of the village elders, standing up to speak in broken Portuguese. Bolsonaro came into office pushing for the development of agriculture and mining on indigenous lands. Last month, he presented a bill to Congress that would open up indigenous reserves for mining and commercial farming.Among the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, the consensus is that the government supports the farmers and that this year the fires – often set to clear land for farming – will be as bad or worse than in 2019.A mention of the president’s name evoked ire among the elders during the meeting. Reverting back to their native language, Tupi Kawahib, they had a heated discussion.”(Bolsonaro) called us children, so you can see how angry we get,” Purui noted.The Amazon rainforest, the largest in the world, plays a key role in slowing climate change, as its trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas.Members of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau regularly venture into the forest to inspect their land. When they find invaders, they alert federal police and FUNAI – the country’s indigenous affairs agency.In some cases, they arrest loggers and hold them in a village until authorities come to get them. They may also confiscate loggers’ equipment or the trees they cut down.But using violence – or “just an arrow to the leg”, as one older tribal member suggested during the argument in Tupi Kawahib – would be a step beyond.Increasingly, young community members rely on technology to document invasions and alert authorities, taking pictures from afar with drones.They say violence is not the answer.”Since before I was born there were invaders on our land,” said Bitate, a 19-year-old tribal leader. “I fear that if (violence) happens, it would lead to even more conflict.”Ivaneide Bandeira holds a machete during a meeting held at Aldeia Nova, a Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau village deep in the Amazon, Brazil, February 18, 2020. (Thomson Reuters Foundation/Fabio Teixeira)POLITICAL ACTIONThe meeting began in the morning, with most of the 32 attendees having arrived the night before, after hours traversing dirt roads by motorcycle, or cramped inside a car borrowed from the Association of Ethno-Environmental Protection Kaninde, a non-profit that assists them.At a “maloca” – a large hut with a straw roof supported by wooden beams – in the middle of Aldeia Nova, hammocks had been hung and benches set up to accommodate the arrivals.Duct tape held a map of the indigenous reservation on the maloca’s supports. By the end of the meeting, it would be covered with pieces of paper indicating decisions made and votes undertaken.Such formal meetings are a rarity, those attending said, as transporting people distances over rough terrain requires planning, time and cash.When someone suggested a trip to Brazil’s capital to talk with congressmen and government officials about the issues the community faces, Ivaneide Bandeira, of the Kaninde non-profit, seized on it as a peaceful idea to come from the meeting.It was then quickly decided that six people, one from each village present, would go – four men and two women.”I’ll say this up front: we can’t send just men,” she warned.The group also decided to form groups to lobby local politicians that support Bolsonaro’s proposed bill to open up indigenous lands.Still, there was skepticism about what the talks with politicians can bring.”We worry because these people are not sleeping. They are working the law to end us,” warned Cleber Tenharim, an indigenous man who married into the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe.After a lunch of large plates of rice, served with fish or chunks of wild pig raised in the village, the tribe discussed logistics.They depend on rivers for transportation, so they must match their inspections of their territory to the rainy season when travel is easiest – but in a way that does not interfere too much with planting their crops.Bitate, a member of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe, plans land inspections during a meeting held at Aldeia Nova, a village deep in the Amazon, Brazil, February 18, 2020. (Thomson Reuters Foundation/Fabio Teixeira)A ‘SCARRED’ PEOPLEThe Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau villages are separated by kilometers of precarious dirt roads. Near one village, Alto Jamari, Brazilian farmers are building fresh settlements.They are not in the indigenous reserves, but tensions have risen since the settlers moved in last August, tribal members said. The tribe estimates 54 families are building houses on the land surrounding the reservation.The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau have taken a “wait and see” approach, but are wary of recent offers by the newcomers to fix the road leading to the village, and to give cattle to the tribe if tribal members don’t make a fuss about the settlements.The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe first came into contact with outsiders around 1981, Bandeira said. Soon after, a violent conflict between the indigenous community and farmers started.Many older tribal members lost relatives during it, she said.”The pressure they are under is making the older ones remember the past, the massacres,” Bandeira said. “Many are scarred by bullets” – literally in some cases, she said.She has worked with the tribe for over 25 years and supports the younger generation’s push for a non-violent approach.”You cannot kill the white man, because the white man has the government’s support,” she told Uaka during a discussion.In other areas of Brazil, invasions of protected land have led to violent clashes. Last year alone, eight indigenous leaders were killed in circumstances that have not yet been clarified.In the state of Maranhao, a group of indigenous people, calling themselves “guardians of the forest” have donned masks and arms to carry out operations where they intimidate and expel illegal loggers from their land.Juwi, a 22-year-old Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau woman, worries that escalating violence could result in her husband’s death. She is married to Awapu, who leads a group of a dozen people responsible for surveillance of the tribe’s territory.He has received death threats in the past and, last December, men in motorcycles showed up at the couple’s village, asking questions about him. That day, both he and Juwi were far away in Porto Velho, Rondonia’s capital.”I worry every day,” said Juwi, who took notes on the meeting, using the tribe’s laptop. “But his surveillance is not to attack anyone. It’s to protect (the forest).” Topics :last_img read more

Airtel Rising Stars 2015 kicks off in Takoradi on Saturday

first_imgGhana’s most authentic and credible football talent competition, Airtel Rising Stars is set to begin in Takoradi on the this weekend, Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th July, 2015.The award winning competition will see the Regional Under-15 select teams of the Western and Central regions go head to head in a feisty competition for a slot at the national finals of the tournament hailed by the bigwigs of Ghana football.Anchored on Airtel’s thematic campaign dubbed “Its Now,” Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kwesi Nyantakyi wished all teams the best of competition and talent showcasing during this year’s Airtel Rising Stars.“This is the most important competition in Ghana football. There is so much talent at this Under 15 level. Being identified early means being developed early. Very soon, only players from competitions such as the Airtel Rising Stars which combines football with education will be the ones playing for the national teams. I wish every region well,” the GFA boss concluded.The Takoradi event will feature two male teams from both Western and Central Regions as well as a female team each.  The female teams will face off in one single match while the male teams will be locked in a knockout fight for honors. “Airtel Rising Stars is the most potent competition we have in Ghana at the Under-15 level. It is the competition for the year. All the Under 15 players want to be part of it and it means a lot to the players,” said National Juvenile Football competition Chairman, Nii Doku.”In Takoradi, we expect some youngster’s national dream to begin. Both Central and Western Region have strong football traditions. So I tell you my brothers, we know it’s going to be extremely tough,” he continued.”The beauty of Airtel Rising Stars is that the players are so talented and they want to make their families and friends proud of them. So it is the most beautiful spectacle of football you can find,” Nii Doku affirmed.The Gyandu Park will host the Takoradi event, which is one of five zonal competitions preceding the national finals in Sunyani later in the year. Other venues this year for the zonal games of Airtel Rising Stars are Konongo for the Ashanti Region, Tamale for the Northern Region, Wa for the Upper West Region and Denu in the Volta Region.”We want to increase the footprints of Airtel Rising Stars across the country,” said Kwame Gyan, the Brands and Assets Manager of Airtel Ghana. “Very few celebrated or award winning national competitions happen in Wa, Denu or in Konongo and there is certainly no national finals that chooses Sunyani as a shrine. This is Airtel’s way of saying we are willing to spread the efficacy of our network and the beauty of our competition to as many touch points as possible every year,” Mr. Gyan added.From Takoradi, Airtel Rising Stars heads to Konongo which will host the Ashanti and Eastern Regions. Tamale and WA follow in quick succession where Upper East and Northern Regions will compete followed by the Upper West and Brong Ahafo Regions. The Volta Regional town of Denu completes the zonal journey and the national finals will be held in Sunyani on the 29th and 30th August 2015.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more