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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Green Party is UK's most popular party

Green Party UK's most popular political party.

According to comres polling, the Green Party is the United Kingdom's most popular political party.  The Green Party has the highest positive approval ratings, and the lowest disapproval ratings of Britain's five largest parties. 

ComRes Poll: Green Party most popular in UK

Com Res polled about George Osborne, Ed Balls, Boris Johnson and the GreenParty. In fact, the Greens were slightly more favourably regarded than UKIP (28 per cent to 27 per cent), and much less unfavourably regarded (23 per cent to 38 per cent), giving them the better claim to be the “most popular” party in Britain. 


Green Party +5 to 28% since (June 2013)
UKIP -11
Labour -19 (-17)
Conservative -25 (-29)
Lib Dem -35

21 jan 14 @ 1:58 pm est          Comments

Green Party leader in Scotland a rising political star

Green Party leader Patrick Harvie 

"That kind of hard right slant is quite alien to Scottish politics," Harvie, 40, one of the two Greens in Edinburgh's 129-member parliament who both back independence, said.

"It may be at that point that some undecided voters start to see the positive case for taking responsibility for our own decisions."

The Green Party's Patrick Harvie, an increasingly prominent figure in Scottish politics, said he would not want to bet on the result of the referendum

Scotland's Greens are campaigning for greater use of renewable energy in a country that is a pioneer of wind and wave power as well as having offshore oil reserves. While the Greens back the SNP on independence, on many issues they appeal to left-leaning supporters of Labour, the main opposition in Scotland's parliament.

The Labour Party is trying to come up with plans for constitutional change that would keep Scotland within the United Kingdom but shift more powers from London - something polls show most Scots would favour.

Harvie said he saw the potential for the Labour party to split on the extent of those proposals after its Scottish conference in March, potentially aiding the pro-independence camp.

"If people in the Labour Party start to peel away then that could change the dynamic far more powerfully than anything we've seen to date," he said.

Campaigners against Scottish independence say it would be unrealistic, costly and unworkable.

A 'Yes' vote would certainly open a can of worms financially, including negotiations with London on dividing up debt, oil revenues and the operations of two of Britain's biggestbanks.

Harvie is among Scottish politicians, including some in the SNP, who have spoken in favour of at least preparing the ground for dropping sterling and creating a new independent currency. SNP leader Alex Salmond has said an independent Scotland would want to keep the pound, at least for a time.

Defending the idea of a new currency, Harvie said "In the longer run, and it might be over a number of years, the economic needs of Scotland and the rest of the UK would be more likely to diverge." 

The struggling campaign for Scottish independence could get a lift from an expected swing to an anti-EU party in Britain's European parliament elections in May, the leader of Scotland's Green Party said on Thursday.

With eight months until a September 18 referendum, opinion polls show about half of Scots oppose ending the 307-year-old union with England, about a third favour the Scottish National Party's bid for independence and around 15 percent are undecided.

The mood could shift in favour of the Green Party in the coming European Parliament election, Green Party leader Patrick Harvie told Reuters in an interview.

"It may be at that point that some undecided voters start to see the positive case for making the Green Party the largest future focused party, with eco for the economy."


21 jan 14 @ 9:17 am est          Comments

Green Party for doubling renewables: Solar Jobs, Wind Jobs, Geothermal Jobs

Green Party proposes doubling of renewables by 2020

Green Party has presented a proposal for clean energy, suggesting a doubling of renewable energy generation through to 2020.

According to See News, the party presented the programme in Berlin. It suggests an expansion of renewable energy continuing in a cost efficient manner without a cap on the expansion capacity.

The party wishes to limit the growth in the levy, paid by consumers, under the renewable energy law (EEG).

Furthermore, exemptions for industry should be cut in line the the EU rules.

It also proposes that investment opportunities and security for citizens in the further development of renewable energy should also be guaranteed.

In addition to a reform of the EEG, the Green Party demands a curbing of coal power usage to reduce overcapacity and to reach the country’s climate protection goals.

21 jan 14 @ 9:10 am est          Comments

Friday, January 17, 2014

Green Party takes power Saturday in Hessen

Green Party takes power Saturday in Hessen state government in Germany

The Green Party Lt. Governor takes office, and the Green Party party cabinet secretary will take over leadership the environment and transportation.  Hessen's new state legislature meets for the first time Saturday. They are expected to formally elect the Green Party's new coalition government with the conservative Christian Democratic Union. Here is der Spiegel Magazine's Green Party story

 Hessen TV on the Green Party led Government 

17 jan 14 @ 7:27 pm est          Comments

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Independent Green Party's Janet Murphy

In County Board Race, Indy-Green Party Also Wants In on the Action

by SCOTT McCAFFREY, Staff Writer
The  Sun Gazette
11 jan 14 @ 11:23 am est          Comments

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Maglev Rail Wash DC to NYC one hour,0,1214183.story

Maglev Rail would transform Baltimore and America

 watch the video here.,0,7891686.story 

Maglev is back, tantalizing Marylanders with the promise of speeds that could whisk train passengers from Baltimore to Washington in 15 minutes.

What is billed as a new generation of magnetic levitation technology is at the heart of the latest proposal, the first step in what would eventually be a line taking passengers from Washington to New York in 60 minutes at a cruising speed of 311 mph.

The proposal resurrects a technology that seemed to be the next big thing in the late 1990s and early 2000s before fizzling out amid concerns over its cost, the difficulty of putting together a suitable route and its potential effect on neighbors.

“The technology itself has progressed,” Wayne Rogers, chairman of TNEM, said in a presentation to The Baltimore Sun this week. “We as Americans never picked up on it.”

Supporters of the maglev concept have long seen it as a game-changer for Baltimore, bringing the city closer to the capital and making it a more attractive place for businesses that deal with the federal government to locate. The latest proposal includes stops in the city and at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Whether the United States will embrace the project any more warmly than it did in the early 2000s, when then-Mayor Martin O’Malley and others were intrigued by the prospect, is debatable. Even if the technology operates superbly, the project faces numerous obstacles.

Rogers, chairman of the Synergics energy company in Annapolis, estimated that building the Baltimore-D.C. segment alone would require “somewhere north of $10 billion.” But the extensive tunneling that would put more than 30 of its roughly 40 miles underground, avoiding Linthicum and other neighborhoods affected by an earlier plan, could drive the cost higher. By Rogers’ own estimates, tunneling costs alone could reach $4.5 billion to $6 billion.

Unlike past proposals, the TNEM group says it can count on financing from a Japanese government bank, reflecting Tokyo’s eagerness to launch the new superconducting maglev technology — developed by Japan Central Railroad — in the U.S. Northeast Corridor.

The TNEM group pointed to a September speech by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the New York Stock Exchange in which he praised the “dream technology” of superconducting magnetic levitation — now being tested on a short segment of a Tokyo-Nagoya line that is projected to be completed by 2027. Abe said he presented President Barack Obama with a proposal for a line between Washington and Baltimore.

Yoshiro Taguchi, transportation attache at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, confirmed that such an offer was made in February. He said Abe offered Obama the use of the technology and “substantial financial support” — with no amount specified — for a Washington-Baltimore line. Japan is hoping that development of the Washington-Baltimore segment would entice investors to finance the rest of the line between Baltimore and New York, Rogers said.

There’s little mystery to maglev’s appeal. Artist renderings show a sleek, bullet-like system that uses magnetic forces to let trains glide on a cushion of air, with none of the friction caused when steel wheels meet rails. Speeds are projected at more than three times those of Amtrak’s Acela train, currently the nation’s fastest.

But a ticket could carry Acela-like costs. The investment group does not have a precise estimate of the fare, but one representative said it would be a little more than the cost of an Acela ticket. A low-end round-trip ticket on Acela now costs $84 between Washington and Baltimore and more than $330 between Washington and New York.

Japan Central has had an 11-mile maglev test track open since 1996 and has reported reaching speeds as high as 361 mph. The government has given the railroad approval to build a 320-mile commercial line between Tokyo and Osaka at a cost estimated at $112 billion.

The TNEM group is counting on an undetermined amount of financial help from the federal government but none from the state, Rogers said. The hope of federal funding poses a challenge on Capitol Hill, where Congress has shown little inclination to spend on big infrastructure projects — especially those involving intercity rail.

The investment group has attracted the support of some big names. Today, TNEM will announce a bipartisan advisory board led by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The board will include three former governors of Northeast corridor states — Republicans George Pataki of New York and Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and Democrat Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania — and two former U.S. secretaries of transportation, Democrat Rodney Slater and Republican Mary Peters. Kevin Plank, founder of Baltimore-based UnderArmour, is also on the list.

The group is not disclosing the identities of its American investors except for Rogers and vice chairman D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, a corporate lawyer in Washington.

Unlike conventional high-speed rail, the prevailing technology in most of the developed world, superconducting maglev represents a complete break from old ways. That’s part of the problem. It could make no use of existing right-of-ways or other infrastructure. Critics point out that if it were built in stages, northbound riders could face years during which they could go no farther than Baltimore without having to switch to an Amtrak train, negating any benefits of the increased speed.

“The only way the maglev would make sense is to build it from D.C. to New York all in one shot,’ said Andrew Kunz, president of the US High Speed Rail Association, which backs a more conventional technology in use around the world now. “And that’ll never happen because it’s outrageously expensive and nobody will spend the money on it.”

Kunz said Amtrak’s estimated cost of a conventional high-speed rail system it wants to build between Washington to New York is $110 billion to $120 billion. Maglev, he said, costs five times more per mile than that technology— even before of the cost of the extensive tunneling envisioned in the TNEM plan.

Maryland flirted with maglev technology a decade ago, conducting detailed studies that put the cost of a Baltimore-Washington line at $3.7 billion in 2003. That was for a plan using a previous generation of technology along with much less extensive tunneling.

John Harding, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s last chief maglev scientist, retired in 2004 and now lives in California. He remembers assessing the feasibility of a series of maglev proposals all across the country. None came to fruition. The Baltimore-Washington project ultimately was rejected for reasons from a curvy right of way to low passenger projections, he said.

The top speed of the train in the proposal, which followed existing rail right-of-ways, was 240 mph, but “because of the curves, the average speed, God, it was pretty terrible,” closer to 150 mph, Harding said.
“What was really killing the Baltimore-Washington design was the curves, because they were following, pretty much adhering to, the present right-of-way, and that was a right-of-way that was designed in the 1800s,” Harding said.

He said the current proposal to build most of the line along a straight shot underground “solves that problem, but at great cost.”

Financial evaluations for Baltimore-Washington maglev never showed “enough traffic to pay off the cost of construction in any reasonable amount of time with a reasonable fee,” Harding said, and that was building the line above ground.

But maglev still has longtime fans in Baltimore. Robert Embry, president of the Abell Foundation, said a maglev line to Washington would be a major boost for the city.

“I can’t think of any other public expenditure that would have nearly the effect that would have,” he said.

5 jan 14 @ 4:55 pm est          Comments

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