Oxford academic warns of blackouts in UK by 2015

Dieter Helm, professor of energy policy and a fellow of New College, cited calculations by Aurora Energy Consultancy, which predict that Britain’s surplus energy capacity will be close to zero in 2015-16, leading to a very high risk of blackouts.Helm attributes this risk to ministers’ failure to replace power stations that have been closed down and the unprecedented rate of economic growth. He said, “We know what the calculations are on the supply side because no new kit [power plants] will be built before 2015-16, but on the supply side all official estimates have underestimated GDP [gross domestic product] growth and therefore energy demand.“The government must be praying for another recession,” he added, saying that Britain needed to divert resources immediately into ensuring that Britain’s energy capacity was as high as it could be – a “Spitfire moment”. He recommended that ‘mothballed’ gas stations, closed down largely because of their inefficiency, be re-opened to meet the unprecedented command.Sir John Armitt, who is currently advising the Labour Party on Britain’s infrastructure needs, said, “In harsh political terms [blackouts] would be the best possible thing that could happen because this country is extremely good in a crisis.”He added, “The Central Electricity Generating Board used the say that a resilient network operated on a 25% capacity surplus. We’re down to 4% because we’ve gone slower than we should have done on nuclear.”The National Grid, while acknowledging the need for further investment in infrastructure, has dismissed claims that Britain is in danger of blackouts. A spokesperson said, “Margins are tighter this year than in previous years, but our view is that the market has the capability to meet electricity and gas demand this winter. We successfully managed similar levels back in 2008/9. We will continue to keep a watchful eye on the situation and take the necessary actions to keep the lights on.”A spokesperson from the Department of Energy & Climate Change was similarly confident about Britain’s capacity, saying, “We have legislated through the Energy Act 2013 to bring on the investment in new energy infrastructure that we need to replace power stations that are closing down.” This act includes the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) package, which aims to attract £110 billion of investment to replace outdated power plants and prevent the risk of blackouts.Oxford students were generally supportive of Helm’s statements. Ryan Hoyle, a first-year medic, said, “Blackouts wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible thing. As long as important services aren’t affected, it wouldn’t have a meaningful impact on people’s quality of life. If anything, it would force people to face up to the fact that energy isn’t unlimited and force us to think about our consumption.”Adam Ismail, a first-year engineer, said, “The current government refused to spend for ideological reasons. Now they’re finally realising that they can’t get away with it, and are proving Labour right. This Energy Act is too little, too late, and goes to show how shallow the environmental policy is of a prime minister who dismissed it as ‘green crap’”. read more

Yes please, NUS!

first_imgOxford has voted to remain affiliated with the National Union of Students.The Yes to NUS campaign, led by OUSU President Becky Howe, prevailed with 3,409 votes against 2,430. The elections had a turnout of 27.7 per cent, significantly higher than recent OUSU elections. 136 people abstained.A spokesman from the Yes to NUS campaign told Cherwell, “We are delighted that Oxford has said, in resounding numbers, Yes to NUS. Now the real work starts. We’ve argued for a strong student movement and now our energies are going towards making that happen. Our immeasurable thanks go to the hundreds of campaigners who have made this happen”A statement released by No Thanks NUS said, “Obviously we at No Thanks NUS are disappointed with the results of the referendum.”“While we respect the result, we are also saddened that the campaign was marred by personal attacks from the Yes campaign and electoral malpractice from the NUS itself.”“This was a David and Goliath contest from the start – a grassroots movement of busy and passionate students on the one hand and full-time sabbatical officers and the apparatus and budget of a national organisation on the other.”Support for a referendum was triggered by the election of Malia Bouattia to President of the NUS, amidst accusations of anti-Semitism. Nearly 50 Jewish Societies from across the UK penned an open letter to Bouattia criticising her. OUSU voted to hold a referendum earlier this term after a motion was proposed by David Klemperer. The decision to hold a referendum passed with 67 votes against 56, with 3 abstentions.Universities across the country have held referendums giving students the option to disaffiliate. Oxford joins the universities of Warwick, Surrey, Exeter and Cambridge which have all voted to stay with the NUS. Newcastle, Hull and Lincoln universities voted to disaffiliate. Richard Brooks, NUS vice president said, “I’m happy to see students at the University of Oxford have voted for OUSU to remain part of their national union. We have a lot of work to do but we are already developing a new democratic structure and look forward to OUSU being part of this process.“Concerns have been raised by Oxford students about anti-Semitism within NUS and these will not be ignored. We take these concerns seriously and we will act on them. We hope to rebuild trust with Jewish students and work closely with OUSU to address any issues.”Isaac Virchis, President of Oxford Jewish Society, told Cherwell, “Oxford Jewish Society would like to congratulate the Yes to NUS campaign on its success, whilst expressing our obvious disappointment with the result of the referendum. The result of this referendum must not be taken as a mandate for the NUS to continue in its current state regarding anti-semitism and the welfare of Jewish students.”“The NUS must reflect on why they have lost the support of an overwhelming majority of our society’s members. Issues such as the applause for arguments against Holocaust commemoration and the anti-semitic comments of Malia Bouattia remain unaddressed. Anti-racism is not a selective ideology where we can pick and choose which oppressions we choose to oppose. The NUS cannot claim to be an anti-racist organisation until it takes the concerns of Jewish students seriously.”A spokesperson from CRAE commented, “We’re delighted with the result – it’s a huge win for students of colour at a time that we’re fighting the racist PREVENT agenda, rising tuition fees and illegal deportations of students. We’re thrilled that Oxford has voted unambiguously to stand with us and NUS in the fight against this racist government.”Sarah Clarence-Smith, President of the LGBTQ+ society, told Cherwell, “The LGBTQ+ Society is incredibly relieved to be remaining in the NUS on the basis that it fundamentally improves the lives of LGBTQ+ students, especially given the amazing work of the Trans Campaign, LGBT+ Conference, and contributions it has made to improving student mental health.”last_img read more

Commentary: School’s Out, Hunger’s In

first_imgCommentary: School’s Out, Hunger’s InJune 1, 2018By John KrullTheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The number startles.Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, tells me 279,000 Hoosier children struggle to be fed during these coming months.John Krull, publisher, TheStatehouseFile.comBryant and I, along with the Indiana Department of Education’s Adam Barker and Tina Skinner, talk over the air about summer food insecurity, particularly among children.The end of a school year can mean many things for kids – a chance to break the routine, the opportunity to spend more time outside, an opening to work, spend time with friends or travel with family.But, for an alarming slice of Indiana’s children, the end of school also means that it’s time to go hungry. The meals they receive at school stop when classes do. For too many Hoosier children, that can mean going 10 or 11 weeks without knowing when the next nutritious meal will come or where it will come from.Bryant, Skinner, and Barker say the best number we have indicates that nearly 18 percent of the state’s population can be defined as food insecure, but figure probably is low. There’s a stigma attached to being hungry one’s self – and an even greater one for having hungry children.Many people who need food are too embarrassed to ask.There are resources available for hungry people, hungry families, and hungry children, Barker, Bryant, and Skinner tell me.They describe herculean efforts to deliver meals at parks, at schools, at drop-offs, and at many other sites. They deliver meals in paper bags and in backpacks. They feed people at community get-togethers as part of a widespread effort to end the embarrassment and erase the stigma of hunger – if everyone is eating at the community meal, there’s no reason for shame.The portrait that emerges from their descriptions is of a small army of Hoosiers struggling to solve a big problem.They make a dent.But not much more than a dent.All this work and all these meals reach only about 16 percent of the Hoosiers who are food insecure – just under 45,000 children of the 279,000.The rest continue to go hungry.Barker and Skinner, a nutrition specialist, talk about the costs of allowing children to go hungry. Study after study has demonstrated that students who are hungry or ill-nourished don’t learn as quickly or as well. They present more discipline problems. And they are far less likely to succeed in work and in life.Put another way, children who aren’t fed decent meals will have a hard time leading satisfying lives and stand a much greater chance of causing problems for society at large.That’s the big picture.The smaller one is more intimate, more painful.A memory surfaces as Barker and Skinner talk. Years ago, I volunteered at an inner-city elementary school in Indianapolis. More than 95 percent of the students in the school were deemed at-risk and were on the free and subsidized breakfast and lunch program.I was at the school the morning the kids came back from Thanksgiving break. I was shocked at the way many of them crowded into the cafeteria and the near desperation with which they ate their food.One teacher told me, “A lot of them probably haven’t had much to eat over break.”Over Thanksgiving weekend.The memory makes my jaw tighten as Barker, Bryant, Skinner and I talk.No child should have to live like that.No child should go hungry.But, over these coming summer months, 234,000 Hoosier children will.Nearly a quarter of a million children in our state will go hungry.They will go through the day hungry.And they will go to bed hungry.Day after day, week after week, month after month.Here in Indiana.Here in America.Here in the heart of the world’s breadbasket.FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

“Visions of How to Keep Vanderburgh County Safe” Scholarship Essay Contest For High School…

first_imgTopic: Ways law enforcement, city leaders and the community can better protect the streets of Evansville.Students must come up with an original idea of how to deter crime in the local area. For example, a topic may include how to decrease drugs, domestic violence, thefts or gang activity.Once an idea is presented, the student must explain why his or her idea will work and the importance of addressing that safety issue in the community.Scholarship funds:$1,000 top essay winner$300 second place$200 third placeEach scholarship is a one-year grant paid directly to the recipient.Rules: Essay must be no less than 1,000 words.Must be a high school senior in Vanderburgh County (resident as well).Must plan to attend a four-year or two-year degree program following high school graduation (must be accepted into that program by the time you apply for the scholarship).Application needs to be typed (no handwritten entries will be accepted).Please attach the application to your essay.Judging: Judging will be made by the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office on the originality of the idea and how well it is presented in written form.Deadline: Essay should be turned into the prosecutor’s office by April 1, 2016. Winners will be contacted via telephone the week of April 7, 2016.Please mail or email your essay with the application to:Whitney Riggs1 N.W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.Room 108 Administration Bldg.Evansville, IN 47708Email: [email protected] 812-435-5688 for more information or if you have questions.Application:Name:Address:Phone number:High school:Name of school you plan to attend:Possible major/studies:FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Jersey City ranks one of most expensive for rent, but second…

first_imgJERSEY CITY — GOBankingRates, a personal finance website, published a study that ranked Jersey City as one of the most expensive cities to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the country. When compared to 50 major cities nationwide, Jersey City came in fifth, according to the study.The city is also one of the places where rents are increasing the most.However, Jersey City also rated as second best in the nation for walkability. And the study said costs for basic utilities were third lowest on the same list of 50 cities.“While Jersey City continues to grow as a destination, we have been mindful of the importance of keeping the city affordable for residents and have placed a major emphasis on creating affordable housing, including two 80/20 inclusionary projects on the waterfront,” said city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill. “In four years, the Fulop administration has created or preserved more affordable housing than during the previous eight years, including new senior housing and veterans’ housing.” A GROWING CITY – Jersey City rents are high among major cities in the U.S. but apparently have other positive factors ×A GROWING CITY – Jersey City rents are high among major cities in the U.S. but apparently have other positive factorslast_img read more

Mouthing off

first_img== “I’m only baking in a glorified wooden shed. Surely this is not running a business. We have had to stop baking cakes to sell and the council are even quibbling over our tables in the garden on planning grounds.” – Civilian Diane Tovey falls foul of North-East Lincolnshire council regs after baking and selling cakes for the RNLI in her garden “Just as Disney’s ’High School Musical 3: Senior Year’ delivers kids joy and fun mom can feel good about, Sara Lee Soft & Smooth breads give kids the taste they want with the wholegrain nutrition that satisfies parents.” – Tim Zimmer, vice-president, Sara Lee Fresh Bakery, strains to link the firm’s products with the Disney film, following a marketing tie-in in the US “I have lived on Marmite sandwiches, nothing more, for the last 25 years and am dedicated to the art form that is Marmite sandwich-making. Every sandwich I make is created with love, care and attention to detail.” – George Lambert, reported by the Press Association to have built a 12ft stack of Marmite sandwiches in a record-breaking attempt ==last_img read more

News story: Government Legal Department donates thousands of legal books to charity

first_imgBooks from GLD’s library have made their way across the globe to Kenya, after being donated to the charity Book Aid International.Over the last 9 months, 3,500 volumes of legal materials have been sent to the charity. The donated books are no longer needed by Government Lawyers as they have been superseded by new online versions via subscription services.Commenting on the donation, Treasury Solicitor Jonathan Jones said: Giorgia Cerruti the Book Provision Manager for Book Aid International said: I am very pleased that our legal books have been sent in to such a worthwhile charity, and they have been put to good use thousands of miles away. We’ve also sent other books and journals to the Supreme Court, Royal Courts of Justice and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office library. I am glad that we are able to share our knowledge base with law students and those who just want to know more about law, around the world. We so often get requests for law books, and do not receive enough donations to cater for the high demand, so GLD’s donations are really vital for so many of our partners. The books are amazing! The Kenya National Library Service is opening a new central library branch, and these books will be great to help start a legal section there. So as you see, we’ll put them to very good use! Book Aid International work with partners around the world, to ensure that books reach the communities who have the greatest difficulty accessing reading material. In 2017, the charity sent books to 20 countries – including South Sudan, Sierre Leone, and Syrian refugees in Lebanon among others. GLD have worked with Book Aid International since 2005.last_img read more

Double your credit union’s email marketing results

first_imgNod your head if you get a lot of emails. I promise we’re not spying on you, but it’s clear you’re nodding.But (oh the irony) we’re also responsible for our fair share of marketing emails bulging other folks’ inboxes. Knowing first-hand how easy it is to get e-buried, how do you ensure your email is effective in motivating your target audience?Let’s examine a formula that more than doubled the conversions in a recent email campaign.You Can Do Better Than TargetNo, we don’t mean the well-known retailer. They’re doing just fine. We mean you can do better than “target audience.”As a credit union, you’re often working with a known audience. Existing members that you’d like to deepen the relationship, cross-sell, and further engage. Even better, you have data specific to each member. With the right insight, strategy, and execution, this can get you a long way toward that doubling of success.We promised a formula, so taking things literally, here it is: (PG + PB) – PI = $The variables stand for: (Personal Greeting + Personal Behaviors) – Personally Irrelevant = More Conversions, aka $Translated from fake math to real English: Leverage the known activity for each specific individual and tailor the email accordingly. Meanwhile, be sure to leave out any components that are not of use to that particular individual. When all rolled together the results will far exceed a one-for-all message.Seeing the ResultsMore detail on automating and executing the formula is available in Top 4 Personalization Techniques to Drive Non-Interest Income. That post spawned a lot of interest and inquiries, hence this follow up and sample case study.One of the examples in Top 4 Personalization Techniques was the Pot O’ Points email campaign. This campaign incorporated customized gamification while following the formula. The results were stunning.By one metric — enrollment in the program — the campaign more than doubled the average results over typical enrollment efforts.More poignantly, Pot O’ Points was designed to increase debit card transactions (and thereby, interchange revenue for the issuing credit union), and again following the formula knocked it out of the park. The chart below shows the transaction lift broken down by various cardholder segments.Download Case Study: Engagement Campaign for a detailed report on how the campaign was executed and a deeper dive into the results. Effective Campaigns Yield Sustained ResultsPerhaps the most eye-opening measurement is the sustained results. The campaign called for recipients to modify their behavior for a month. They would be rewarded for this modification, and so would their financial institution (in the form of increased interchange revenue). Of course, a credit union would love for this profitable modification to be long-term, not just for one month.Turns out an effective campaign, though having a finite duration, can spawn long-term effects. In some ways this is common sense: Coke doesn’t spend millions of dollars on its high-production value TV commercials in hopes someone buys one can of Coke one time. But we’re not as accustomed to this with fleeting email marketing.We should be.It’s as simple as (PG + PB) – PI = $. And assuming you’re interested in that $, it’s a formula very worth following.See details on the sustained results in the case study. And happy marketing! 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dante Dominick Danté Dominick is an award-winning content and marketing strategist with specialized knowledge for the financial services industry. He has helped over a hundred community financial institutions improve their image, creative … Web: www.buzzpoints.com Detailslast_img read more

Police crack cold case murder of CU employee

first_imgJustice may finally come for the daughters of a woman who was brutally murdered while she was working alone at a Wisconsin credit union branch 36 years ago.Robin Mendez, 69, of Minocqua was arrested last week for allegedly murdering his wife, Barbara Mendez on April 28, 1982 at the Park City Credit Unionbuilding that had previously been located on Highway 51 in Minocqua.According to a criminal complaint filed in Oneida County Circuit Court in Rhinelander on Feb. 6, Mendez was charged with first-degree murder and could receive a life in prison sentence if he is convicted. During a local court hearing, he did not enter a plea. His bail was set at $250,000.Although the branch has been closed and the murder case went cold for more than three decades, it was never forgotten by police and the 5,000 residents of Minocqua, a small town nestled in the Northwoods forest in upper Wisconsin. continue reading » 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Will your ATMs be secure in 2020?

first_img continue reading » In January of 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7, spelling potential trouble and security issues for many ATMs still running on that software. Now is the time to take steps to upgrade equipment or software to address this issue, and with some strategic contract negotiations, you can keep your equipment secure through this as well as future compliance and security events.The state of ATM security todayThe last several years have seen a number of compliance and security concerns when it comes to ATMs. EMV chips became required on all debit and credit cards, as well as at point-of-sale systems, in part to combat the fraudulent practice of “skimming” customers’ secure data from cards’ magnetic strips. Many smaller banks and credit unions lagged behind this implementation deadline, with some currently still working to upgrade their machines. This lag on card chips pushed back implementation of chip reader requirements on ATMs, leaving some machines susceptible to fraud and exposing banks and credit unions to liability.The latest issue banks and credit unions must deal with is the elimination of Windows 7 support in January 2020. The many ATMs that run on this software will no longer receive patches and software updates. And while it’s not an absolute mandate to replace your machines or upgrade to Windows 10, protecting your ATMs can help protect against malware intrusion. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more