The second of May, a sad day in trade union history

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

1933-2014_webOn this day in the year 1933 the Nazis began their attack on the free trade unions in Germany which led to the total destruction of the free trade unions in that country, and to the incarceration and death of many trade unionist.

And, as if to make a point, exactly 81 years later, on the 2nd of May 2014 fascist thugs stormed the trade union house in Odessa, set fire to it and killed at least 48 people in the process.

Let us this day remember the martyrs of the trade union movement in Germany 83 years ago and those of Odessa 2 years ago. They all fell because they were trade unionists and because they stood for the working class and against the capitalist exploiters. And let their death not go unavenged.

Deutsche Version (German version)

Der 2te Mai, ein trauriger Tag in der Geschichte der Arbeiterbewegung

Heute vor 83 Jahren, am 2. Mai 1933, begannen die Nazis mit ihrer Attacke gegen die freien Gewerkschaften Deutschlands was die totale Zerschalgung der freien Gewerkschaften in diesem Land, und die Einkerkerung und den Mord an vielen Genossen, zur Folge hatte.

Und, als wenn sie damit was sagen wollten, genau 81 Jahre nach dem Angriff der deutschen Nazis auf die Gewerkschaften griffen ukrainische Faschisten das Gewerkschaftshaus in Odessa, setzen es in Brand und ermordeten dabei mindestens 48 Menschen.

Lasst uns gedenken der Märtyrer der Gewerkschaftsbewegung in Deutschland vor 83 Jahren wie auch denen in Odessa vor 2 Jahren. Sie fielen weil sie Gewerkschaftler waren und weil sie für die Arbeiterklasse und gegen die Ausbeutung durch das Kapital standen. Lassen wir ihren Tot nicht ungerächt.

© 2016

Opinel pocketknives – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Opinel1The pocketknives made by La Coutellerie OPINEL in France are a cut above the rest for less money than most. In other words, they are the very best clasp knives for use in the outdoors, and also for lot of other uses, including greenwood carving, that money can buy.

Better than knives many many times more expensive those little beauties from France are very high quality clasp knives ideally suited for many outdoor and other activities and you don't have to spend a fortune to own one, two or even more than that. My preference is and remains the carbon steel version over the stainless one any day.

I have found the the locks of the OPINEL, that patented locking ring, to be the safest lock of any pocketknife that I have so far encountered. It is a lock that is (almost) impossible to break. In fact, some years back I conducted the break test on them and all I succeeded in doing was to break the handle off just behind the lock; this was with the blade in a vice (shame on me, I know) and a long steel tube put over the end of the handle for leverage. The lock remained intact.

The OPINEL clasp knives have been manufactured for over 100 years by now in the French Savoy region by the Opinel family. Even though over the years the manufacturing process has been modernized and today is computerized to a great extend the design of the knife itself has changed little, if at all, over all those years with one exception, and that is the introduction in 1955 of the patented Virobloc rotating safety locking ring for the №’s 6 and upwards.

This is the locking mechanism which I have mentioned earlier and which is the safest lock of any pocketknife which I have so far encountered. It is extremely doubtful – Impossible even – to find a folding lock knife with a lock of the same superior quality for the same low price anywhere in the world.

In 1890 Joseph Opinel, a humble edged-tool maker from the Savoie region, created the OPINEL knife which, over time, has now become a knife against which others are judged throughout the world. This author certainly has been judging other knives against the OPINEL’s perfect lines and design for a great number of years already and has found most, if not indeed all others, wanting in one way or another.

Opinel2Today the OPINEL folding knife is classed among the world’s 100 most beautiful objects and is displayed in both the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The OPINEL folding knife is a most uncomplicated object and ideally suited for outdoor pursuits. It was originally made for the Savoy mountaineers and that most probably accounts for this.

I have been using Opinel № 6 and № 8 pocketknives ever since I was a child, and later in the military even, and also in my spoon and other treen carving activities and they have never let me down.

© 2016

Quinoa, the superfood that is impoverishing Peruvian peasants

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Quiona_LambsQuarters1Quinoa has become a sought after superfood for almost everyone desiring a healthier lifestyle and especially vegetarians and vegans. At the same time the western hunger for this “superfood” is impoverishing Peruvian peasants, leaving not enough for their own needs.

Oh, yes, they do get paid by the buyers for the grain that they sell them but they can't eat money and quinoa is their staple and thus there is not enough for their own needs.

If this plant would be growing here in the developed world most gardeners and farmers would pull it out as a weed because it is a goosefoot after all, the same genus and basically the same plant as the native goosefoot, aka Fat Hen or Lamb's Quarters. In other words, we have a cousin of this superfood growing wild in our fields and gardens in our own countries though the common goosefoot is not as productive and prolific with its seeds (grains).

This common goosefoot, a relation to the amaranth, was – please note the word was – a staple also of the diet in the Punjab until the arrival of hybridized wheat – the short-stemmed stuff – and Roundup. However, it was the greens of this plant that the people in the Punjab were using and not so much the seeds. The fact that the plant got killed off by the herbicides needed to enable the wheat to grow well the local population also developed serious problems with malnutrition.

But we have many what could be called superfoods growing in our own gardens, in the countryside and even on some many sites in towns and cities. However, we tend to call them weeds and the gardeners pull them out or hit them with one or the other herbicide, often the dreaded Roundup. We should be cultivating and eating them instead. Also instead of importing superfoods and so-called superfoods from other countries and continents.

The French are well ahead of us in this, and have been for centuries. They don't pull up dandelion, for instance. Instead they eat it. And the same goes for many of those so-called weeds in other countries. Chenopodium album (Lamb's Quarters, aka Fat Hen or White Goosefoot) is – or was before the advent of the new kind of wheat and Roundup – by the people of the Punjab and in other countries and regions other weeds are on the menu too.

The Greeks have a dish (or side dish) called Horta which is nothing more than nettles, dandelion and some other edible wild greens cooked like spinach. Chickweed too is a pot herd and also goes well with egg and cress where it is used as a substitute for the salad cress. Many of those weeds have been shown to be (almost) superfoods and thus we should not waste them by pulling them up and disposing of them. We should use them to nourish us instead.

© 2016

Over 50s in UK politically right-wing

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The over 50s, who form half of the adult population, were voting in their thousands on the night of March 2nd 2015 on which political party leader ‘best performed’ on the only seven-party political debate that night.

Silversurfers.com, who hosted the poll, has revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron performed best with 27% of the vote and his current Deputy, Nick Clegg getting a disastrous 3% - a mighty change for the Liberal Democrat leader from five years ago.

The results themselves came out about as follws:

  • David Cameron leads as best performer with 27% of the votes

  • SNP’s leader Nicola Sturgeon was very close behind with 26%

  • Nigel Farage beat off Ed Miliband with 24% with just 14% for the Labour leader

  • Nick Clegg turned out to be a disaster in this poll with just 3% of the vote

The poll which saw over 1,100 over 50s vote also revealed and quite surprisingly that Nicola Sturgeon was a close 2nd getting 26% of the vote. Despite her continued pledge to separate Scotland one day from the United Kingdom, many of the over 50s were commenting that maybe a Conservative-SNP coalition might be a good thing!

The voting did not go in the favor of Ed Miliband, at all, which saw him fall far behind UKIP leader Nigel Farage who got 24% of the votes.

When we see how the older working class, for instance, run, literally, over to UKIP and even other right-wing parties and groups the radio call from a certain Apollo spacecraft “Houston, we seem to have a problem,” rings in one's ears, only that the call is not being made to Houston but to all of those that look for a better alternative to Toryism and Capitalism. Another five years of the Tories in Britain and the poor and working class in this country will have nothing left.

While it may be true that the 50s were not mentioned once in the two hour debate, particularly as they are now nearly half the adult UK population. The aging population was mentioned in relation to the NHS but there was no debate on how the UK will manage a society that is increasingly living longer with many over 50s having a vast untapped experience that could be used to help the youth of today learn “new” skills.

But, then again, none of the politicians in that debate seem to have mentioned the over 50s who are making choices that they may come to regret when they no longer have the social services and the NHS to rely on free at the point of delivery when they need them, if they give the Tories another five years to destroy the country and especially the welfare state.

On the other hand the over 50s indeed have often untapped skills and experience that could be used to help the youth of today to learn “new” skills; new meaning here skills that will be important in a new society to be built on the ruins of the old, the latter which is about to fall apart around our ears.

Capitalism cannot be reformed, and neither can the Labour Party. What this country, and indeed the world, the Planet, needs is a new movement, a new society, a new system, that takes account of both man and Planet, and where the economy is based on the resources and not on ever more and more growth.

To achieve that, however, we must get the over 50s away from the fascist ideas that they, currently, are appear to be following, from the ideas of the Tories, of UKIP, the EDL and others.

It was frightening to see how many of that age group seem to be in the marches of PEGIDA, which joined with the EDL, in London, for instance, on Saturday, April 3, 2015. And it is also those of the fifty and over age bracket that appear to be the majority of the members of the AfD and PEGIDA in Germany. Although, it has to be said, that also many young, especially unemployed and working class men and women, are being caught up in this.

© 2016

When robots steal our jobs

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

This is not a farfetched science fiction idea and notion but is on the way to becoming reality; the robots that is, and with it fact that they will cause us to lose our jobs.

More and more jobs can now be carried out by “robots”, even the mowing of lawns, even though those robotic mowers still need to be “told” precisely, often via wires surrounding an area, where too cut and all that but they do exist and are being refined more and more.

Many manufacturing jobs already are being carried out, and on some levels for some time already, such as in the automotive industry, by robotic systems. Yes, this mechanization of production processes has done away with the drudgery of the repetitive work at the production lines, but it has also done away with the need for workers and more and more jobs are under threat through the introduction and the development of robots to replace humans.

As if outsourcing of jobs to countries such as China, Vietnam and India, etc., have not caused enough problems already we are now headed towards the total elimination of some jobs altogether. Now we have come even thus far that there is software available that automatically generated newspaper articles and this may soon make the journalist redundant (or so it has been suggested).

So, what is the answer to this dilemma that many people could, in the not so distant future, lose their jobs and any chance of another one?

Some have suggested a universal (basic) income for all but I cannot see that happening unless all means of production would be in the hands of the workers (no, not the robots that do the work) and that I cannot see happening in the near future either, at least not in the UK and the US.

We have seen, in history, those things happening time and again, whether it was with the weavers at the advent of the mechanized weaving loom, or others. But now things are looking much different to then, for everything, almost, could become mechanized by way of robots and what trades can the workers replaced by those machines enter in today's world? Very few, I should think.

Yes, there will be some jobs and trades that cannot be replaced by robots but attempts will be made, of that we can all be certain, to replace as many humans as possible with machines in order to “save money”.

One has to wonder though as to whether those wishing to save money in production processes by replacing humans with robots have actually pondered who is going to buy their products if they put people out of employment and cheat them out of an income?

If you make something that no one can afford to buy because they do not have the money to do so because your actions have caused them the lack of money you soon are going to run out of customers.

That equation, however, does not seem to enter the minds of those whose only motivation is profit by reduction of costs and one of the greatest costs in any industry is that of labor and it is that one that they want to reduce at all costs.

Can anyone in their right mind really believe that those selfsame capitalists are going to be so nice to give every worker that the robots make redundant (and everyone else) a nice basic income of a couple of thousand Dollars equivalent a month and let everyone do as they wish by way of being creative, for instance, such as writing, woodcarving, painting, gardening, and all that, or even volunteering?

It is not going to happen unless we change the system and not just tinker around with the old one. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It was designed not to favor the proletarian, the worker, but only the owner of production, and no capitalist government is going to give a universal basic income to the people whether or not they are the victims of job losses due to mechanization and robots.

Robots will soon be stealing the jobs of most of us and unless we are going to do something about it, and do something about it now, we all, and our children and children's children after us, will be on the scrap heap.

© 2016

And they wonder why our High Streets are dying

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Worthing Herald, Worthing, West Sussex, as well as the Portsmouth News, and others have reported on the closure of a profitable gift shop for men in the town or Worthing. And this is but one of many stores that are forced to close its doors because they cannot afford the rent hikes and/or the over the top business rates.

Profitable gift shop closes due to high business rates (Portsmouth News)

The Mens Gift Shop, in Montague Street, Worthing, a profitable gift shop, would not be closing if “antiquated” business rates were halved to help small retailers, its owner, Michael Smith, has said. The shop has been trading profitably for the past 13 years but have closed by the end of February 2015.

Mr. Smith has launched a stinging attack on the business rates system, which he views as out of date and favoring larger firms.

He said: “The biggest problem for us is the antiquated system of business rates, which is just not fit for purpose. If rates were halved, then we would not be shutting”, and he believes larger retailers and online firms such as Amazon have the advantage on smaller traders due to complex business rates calculations, which have not been updated for years.

He said: “Once a shop hits 1,850 square meters, it becomes a large shop and rates are capped at £70 per square meter. We pay £350 per square meter.

“A company like Amazon would pay £35 per square meter. They pay 10 per cent of what we do because it is classed as a warehouse. Amazon isn't a warehouse, it's a retailer.”

It would also appear, it has to be said, that in many towns and cities of the UK, priority seems to be given to large chains and and supermarkets rather than to individual retailers and craftspeople as far as stores go and the reason for that I may leave the reader to think about. We may all be wrong as to what our thoughts on that are but, then again, we may all be correct.

If we, and that is all of us, want a thriving high street and towns centers then we must demand from the councils that a different approach is being taken and that independent shops are given the priority over those from the large chains, whether those be Teso, Sainsbury's. Morrisons, Asda, Pound Shop, or Amazon, Argos and the like.

Independent retailers and craftspeople make a town center something that you want to go to and, yes, grocers, butchers and greengrocers too are needed. In fact everything from the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker, and everything in between.

© 2016

Hedge management boosts rare butterfly

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

ButterflyImproving hedges by proper hedgerow management helps to conserve the rare Brown Hairstreak butterfly and also aids other wildlife. Often, in the same way as coppicing, laying hedges and managing them, besides trimming them, is seen by certain self-proclaimed ecologists and environmental experts as bad for wildlife but neither the proper management of hedges nor coppice management of woodlands is. It is actually of great benefit to wildlife and trees, and in the case of coppice woodlands also to the people and local economy.

The Brown Hairstreak butterfly was thought to be extinct in the West Midlands until its rediscovery in 1970 in an orchard. Since then, local landowners have helped the colony to expand.

According to Jane Ellis of Butterfly Conservation, the Brown Hairstreak

requires blackthorn hedgerows on which to lay its eggs. It responds positively to "sensitive" hedgerow management.

The biggest problem that we have today, however, as regards to farm and roadside hedges is that they are no longer being properly and sensitively managed but get hacked with a flail without ever being laid properly.

In addition to that there are too many hedges that are planted today with other shrubs than those that are beneficial for the likes of the Brown Hairstreak and others and the hedges are, if planted, are all too often planted without real thought and method.

This is the same with woodlands that are allowed to fall into disrepair short of destruction for lack of vision and resultant from that lack of proper management. Private woodlands, as well as and especially council owned woodlands are so affected, and while there is little that can be done as regards to those in private hands but, maybe, applying to the owners if they want them managed, those that are publicly owned by councils, whether county councils or municipal or parish councils should be handed over, for management, to cooperatives, or other interested parties.

© 2016

For more on coppicing and why, etc. see “Managing our Woods”, a small book that explains the whys and wherefores of managing our woods in this way and calls for us to return to that way.

President Obama's blackmail threat over EU Referendum

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Obama said that Brexit would put UK at ‘back of the queue’ for trade deal in huge EU Referendum intervention

POTUSHowever, someone on social media mentioned that the Americans do not, per se, use the term queue and thus it would appear that the text was written by the UK government and given to the US President to use. Though I am well aware that in some instances the word queue is also used in America and thus it could also have come from the POTUS himself.

Speaking at a press conference in London alongside David Cameron, Obama said: “First of all, let me repeat, this is a decision for the people of the United Kingdom to make. I not coming here to fix any votes. I’m not casting a vote myself. I’m offering my opinion. And, in democracies, everybody should want more information and not less. And you shouldn’t be afraid to hear an argument being made. That’s not a threat. That should enhance the debate.

Particularly because my understanding is that some of the folks on the other side have been ascribing to the United States certain actions we’ll take if the UK does leave the EU. So they say, for example, that ‘well, we’ll just cut our own trade deals with the United States’. So they’re voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do and I figured you might want to hear from the President of the United States what I think the United States is going to do.

And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc—the European Union—to get a trade agreement done.

And the UK is going to be at the back of the queue. Not because we don’t have a special relationship but because, given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries, rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements, is hugely inefficient.”

Either way it is blackmail and should be seen as a threat and should be rejected as such. The US President has no right to interfere in the affairs of this country unless Britain is not a sovereign nation but just a US colony. I will leave the reader to make up his or her own mind about this latter issue.

Fact is that President Obama wasn’t just talking about his views but issuing a direct threat about the consequences of the referendum. What we are seeing here is more textbook Project Fear than platitudes about what is in the American and British interest.

It fits in perfectly with the tone of the Remain campaign, sowing doubt in voters’ minds about what will happen to the British economy if the country votes to leave. But it will also agitate those Eurosceptic Tories who are already furious about the way the US President has been harnessed by the In campaign.

In some speeches and references to the British EU referendum a couple of weeks back the current POTUS also implied that it would hurt the “special relationship” if the British people should vote to leave the EU.

What is this “special relationship” actually, we should ask here, and how did it come about and who actually benefits from it. The greatest benefactor from it is and has always been the US, whether it is with regards to extraditions of people the US views as criminals or other issues.

To understand how this “special relationship” came about and how it is that the US has such an influence over the UK we have to go back some 70 years or so to the time of the Second World War and the agreement between Churchill and the United States as to American help in this war against German fascism. It was there that Churchill had to grant the US certain rights and privileges over British sovereignty and had also to sign away the colonies to enable to US to become a “world power”, which before that it definitely was not. And in this light this blackmail threat has to be seen also and especially.

© 2016

Millions of Brits leave personal data exposed because they don't know their own passwords

London, 14 April 2016: Nearly two thirds of UK adults rely on 'auto-fill' to complete the login process for some or all websites and a third login automatically AND store their bank card details to shopping sites such as eBay and Amazon – making them vulnerable to substantial financial losses.

That’s according to a survey conducted by antimalware and mobile security company BullGuard. With nearly half of Brits primarily accessing these sites on their phone, the loss of their handset could prove disastrous.

BullGuard commissioned the study exploring the login preferences of 2,000 UK adults when browsing the web on a phone or tablet.

"The results show that a great number of people are taking risks with sensitive data, largely for the sake of convenience”, said Cam Le, Chief Marketing Officer at BullGuard. “We save login and payment card details often without a second thought, but with that comes the risk of what could happen should our mobiles or tablets fall into the wrong hands. It’s always important to make it is as difficult as possible for criminals to access personal and financial details, and that includes those stored on personal devices.”

Less than half of people taking part in the survey have set up a pass code for their phone or tablet – meaning anyone who gets their hands on the device can access its contents freely.

Three in five respondents leave themselves open to cybercrime by staying logged in to social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter, which could contain private information that could be used for cyber theft or fraud.

58 per cent of Brits stay signed-in to their email accounts permanently, despite the private and sensitive information potentially accessible.

Nearly two thirds of people store their credit or debit card details on Amazon, over a fifth do the same for eBay and a third also save their card details on online payment service, PayPal.

Furthermore, over a fifth of respondents stay permanently logged-in to the payment service.
The typical Brit has approximately six different passwords and seven in ten struggle to remember them. In fact, Brits have to request a new password every other month on average because they keep forgetting them, while a third of respondents resort to writing their passwords down.

Eight in ten of those polled said they use the autofill option “purely for speed and convenience” while half say it’s “annoying to continually type passwords in.”

On why they find it difficult to remember passwords, over half of respondents blamed websites which force them to use “strange characters” or numbers.

Over a third of UK adults struggle because they try to have a different password for each website they log in to. In addition to the wealth of private and financial information potentially available to opportunistic thieves, the device itself isn’t cheap – being worth £194.09 on average. Despite this, little more than three in ten people have insured their phone or tablet.

Less than a quarter of those surveyed have activated the “find my phone/tablet” function enabling them to track their device if lost or stolen, while just a fifth of respondents have installed security software on their phone. However, BullGuard believes there is a compromise to be found.

“It’s understandable, given the sheer number of often quite complicated passwords we have to deal with, to need a helping hand”, Cam Le continued. “In light of these results we’d advise people to be more selective with the websites that have login details pre-stored. Anything that includes financial details for quick transactions or allows access to them – such as Amazon, Paypal and eBay, the top three in our list, should be something you commit to memory. Sites that don’t reveal any potentially sensitive data are lower risk. Hopefully with this middle ground, people can enjoy a comfortable and safe environment online.”

Top 10 sites for storing bank card details
1. Amazon - 64.13 per cent
2. PayPal - 32.90 per cent
3. eBay - 21.19 per cent
4. Tesco - 10.78 per cent
5. Argos - 9.85 per cent
6. Marks & Spencer - 9.48 per cent
7. Apple - 7.62 per cent
8. Rakuten - 6.88 per cent
9. Asda - 6.69 per cent
10. NetFlix - 6.69 per cent

Top 10 sites for storing login details including passwords
1. Facebook - 60.12 per cent
2. Email provider (Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc) - 35.28 per cent
3. Amazon - 33.97 per cent
4. Twitter - 26.69 per cent
5. eBay - 20.25 per cent
6. Instagram - 13.88 per cent
7. PayPal - 13.57 per cent
8. Google+ - 11.89 per cent
9. Pinterest - 9.13 per cent
10. Linked-In - 9.05 per cent

BullGuard is a fast growing antimalware and mobile security brand. Its award-winning product portfolio includes internet security solutions, mobile security, 24/7 identity protection, and social media protection for both home and small business users, including BullGuard Premium Protection - a unique suite that goes beyond the PC to safeguard personal and financial information by continually monitoring the web, social networks, as well as the dark web for stolen and compromised data sources.

For more information visit BullGuard.

Official ground-breaking ceremony: vortex energy builds 22MW "Gadegast" wind farm

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

After three years' project development the construction work is starting on the eight wind turbines in Saxony-Anhalt

projektierer-generalunternehmer-vortex-energy-gadegast-sachsen-anhalt-wi-1_webWith the start of the foundation work for eight wind turbines in the district of Gadegast all those involved have reached a special milestone. The North Hesse all-round wind energy company vortex energy Deutschland GmbH has been developing the project for three years now and has succeeded in selling it to a large German institutional investor. As the general contractor, vortex energy will be performing the construction work in the period April to September 2016. After commissioning, vortex energy will also take charge of the wind farm’s technical and commercial management.

projektierer-generalunternehmer-vortex-energy-gadegast-sachsen-anhalt-wi_webThe company, which is based in Kassel, has developed the project from the “green field” stage since it was included in the regional plan of Anhalt-Bitterfeld Wittenberg as a priority wind energy area in 2013. There was intensive debate and in some cases resistance, but then overall approval was achieved and vortex energy was able to prevail over the competing project companies, its having planned and designed the wind farm with the consent of the town of Zahna-Elster and concluded the necessary agreement with the landowners concerned. After a total project planning time of three years it also successfully obtained the approval under federal pollution control legislation (BImSchG) for eight wind turbines.

The wind turbines of the type GE 2.75 MW with a total height of around 200 metres are being erected in the municipal area of the town of Zahna-Elster. Each turbine has an electrical output of 2.75 megawatt. The hub is at a height of 139 metres and the rotor diameter is 120 metres. "Being in the 3 MW class, the turbines chosen are ideally suited to this wind farm," explains Philipp Jeske, CEO of vortex energy Deutschland GmbH.

"After commissioning, which is scheduled for the end of September, vortex energy will also be taking charge of the operational management. It is important to us that we are for investors a comprehensively competent partner, that we successfully prepare the wind farm for marketing, while meeting all statutory specifications, and that as the operational manager we remain a contact partner for at least a decade. This involves considerable trust," Dr. Florian Leuthold, COO, vortex energy Holding AG, stresses.

The "Gadegast" will supply around 16,250 households with an annual output of about 65 million kilowattt hours of green electricity. With these turbines it is possible to save an annual amount of more than 37,000 tonnes of CO2 as compared with the energy generation mix in Germany, which is still dominated by fossil fuels. "A further step on the road to 100% energy supply from renewables," says Dr. Till Jeske, founder and CEO the vortex energy Group, "We regard the decentralised generation of energy from renewables as the key to the future and we want to make a major contribution to the energy turnaround in Europe," Jeske states.

Vortex energy was founded in 2004 and currently employs 65 people in Kassel and Szczecin . The company specialises in the planning, construction and operation of wind turbines and solar power installations in Germany and Poland. Since 2010 vortex energy has been among the top three leading Polish companies on the wind energy market. To date vortex energy has constructed 16 wind farms with a joint capacity of 340 megawatt in Germany and Poland. Since February 2015 vortex energy has had a concession in Poland as a supplier of electricity trading and balancing. The vortex energy Group includes vortex energy Deutschland GmbH and vortex energy Polska Sp. z o.o.

Comment by GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW: While wind farms may be better than fossil fuel power station of all types, including gas and bio-gas, in general we, that is especially government and industry, are still not getting it.

Instead of ever taller wind turbines with ever larger blades what really is needed is a total rethink on more than one level.

First of all we need to reduce our consumption of energy, in this case electricity, and secondly we need to re-engineer homes and businesses to work on lower voltages so that thirdly by use of small wind and solar all homes and business become, more or less, independent from any outside supply of electricity.

Most appliances today run on a much lower voltage than 220/240 volt AC. They do not need that kind of power. Most work on 12 volt DC, or even below that, and lighting also, with LEDs could be on that voltage. This, however, would require a different circuitry in the home and would, with small wind and solar panels, make every building energy independent. That, however, is something that the powers-that-be and industry just do not wish to ever happen.

Small wind turbines (and efficient solar panels) on every roof, combined with a predominately 12 volt DC system, would make power stations more or less obsolete, including large wind turbines, and would make every house independent from the power companies. The problem is that the political will is not there and we will be told, no doubt, should we be demanding such changes, that thousands of jobs would be lost.

The truth of the matter is that energy independence of people is something that, for some reason, the powers-that-be are extremely scared of and that is why they try their damnedest, as can be seen by some many actions they take against off-gridders in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to prevent this. People who are independent from such sources as power and food are dangerous in the eyes of those that wish to control the masses.

© 2016