Mixedmatt's Mixed Blog My home on the interwebbers!

15May/151

The Environment and the EU

The Environment and the EU

Climate Action is needed.

Climate Action is needed.

Many people have asked me why do we need regional or world governance at all. Apart from the diplomatic, trade, economic benefits (not just economics in terms of financial, social, welfare etc) but a properly governed regional/world government can provide change and action for the most important category of them all.

The Environment

Care of the Environment is no longer confined to a few tree huggers but has become a major international concern. Climate change is real and the years we have lived through from the year 2000 are proof of that.

We just had the warmest year on record (2014). A second typhoon in a year just battered the Philippines with enormity (though you could argue it's not directly linked). Climate change isn't new and has happened in the history of this planet before, but never has it been down to mankind as it has been since the industrial revolution began. We have been unlocking carbon stored underground and pumping it directly out into the atmosphere (along with CFCs and other gases). Yet, We have some that still deny whether climate change is happening. This isn't a post of whether climate change is or isn't happening however. It's about the environment, keeping the air we breath clean, the seas we fish in clean, the rivers we fish in clean, our existence and that of many species safe.

Why national governments can't succeed with Environmental policy

National governments are often short sighted. It's not their fault as most governments serve a term of 5 years. The focus will always be on the next election. The Environment requires very long term commitments and not short-run policy patches.

This is where regional or world governance can come in. The UN is not restrained by terms or the slow speed of democracy in this case. The EU does have a democratic parliament so can be restricted in terms of speed. In acting to form policy. Some issues which national governments have are not present at EU or international level.

But Climate Change will only effect other continents

Well, this isn't the case (and stop being so selfish if you think that's the case!) "A recent paper produced by the Climate Action Network highlights the impacts of climate change on Europe, of which Oxfam is focusing on the food and agriculture aspect of the report. With projected agricultural outputs expected to decrease 2% each decade for the next century in a world where food demand is set to increase by 14% in the same period, it is time for climate impacts on food security – inside and outside Europe – to be brought onto the agenda." As agriculture represents 3.5% of the 28 Member state European Unions GDP and employs 17 million people it would be one of the hardest hit sectors and this is what the Oxfam source recognises.

We have seen yields in Europe decrease this year due to a change in climate (regardless of whether it's a one-off or the beginning of a pattern). I talk of the Olive yield this year which is down on years previous, due to drought.

How far should things be left to the market to resolve?

It's a normative question and the answer to this may depend on a persons politics. Politicans on the right would tend to favour a lesser degree of intervention (a more hands of approach) those on the left generally would prefer intervention.

The EU uses 'cap and trade' principle. The EU Emissions trading scheme is in it's third phase.

Note: I've decided to make this a living post and will update accordingly (in the post or comments below). I chose to do this mainly as I don't have much time now not even to proof-read. I'm doing a project in my Economics module, focusing on Environmental Economics. I hope I can provide more of an insight into this subject area (and be able to explain whats in my head with clarity!) more then! I'll update this often once I've completed my project :)

Sources: Image and quotations courtesy of - Oxfam

2May/150

Here just about!

I'm still here all. Just got smelly dissertation/projecty thingy :(

I got some new posts planned soon. On me and politics. Gotta stay tuned..

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15Mar/150

Britain’s Racist Election

Readers, its General Election time in the UK in May 2015. This documentary lays bare the human classification of race and the dangers it poses for any election. After watching it fully through I shall review it.

The story of the anti-immigration campaign in the 1964 General Election - featuring one of the most infamous slogans in British history - that made a small Midlands town notorious around the world

Link - http://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-racist-election/on-demand/59088-001

5Mar/150

Surviving as a busy guy!

Keep calm and stay busy

Keep calm and stay busy (I'm trying!)

Yea, I'm a busy guy these days. When it's not all university work and retail work.. I'm busy learning French (self-study), I also want to enter go-karting events this year but haven't been gymming for years (being too busy!). Entering a championship like I did in 2013 is a pipedream now!

But.. I'm still here and I got many posts that I'd like to get online but simply just don't have the time to refine them. I'm currently at the beginning of my project for Economics. Lots of research involved. I'm also massively behind on an assignment that's due on the 10th March, (why am I writing this then? Haha).

A few weeks back I had jury service. It was a very interesting and eye opening experience. Better then my current part-time job!

I'm currently also planning my summer, I need to get to C2 (fluent) level in French by next year to have any chance of applying for a decent career role after my European Voluntary Service (EVS). German some point in the future. I'm aiming to do my EVS for a year. I've decided to take French lessons with the Institut Francais rather than Alliance Francais. A visit to the Institut Francais made the decision for me. It's part French government funded and you can really see as it has excellent resources (Cinema, Library etc) it looked clean and modern throughout. It's slightly cheaper which is big bonus! πŸ˜‰

To be honest now, I can't wait to leave this country. Everything here has just sapped me. I'm gonna be happy to get out and I'm determined to do so.

I will not be available at all tomorrow. Friday 6th March 2015 as I will be focusing on my Environmental Economics assignment all day. I will write a blog post about it though because it's an area of importance for me. stay tuned.

I'm so excited for 2016, it feels 2015 is just a filler year before my life really begins! But a lot of hard work to put in this year :)

15Jan/151

DD309 – Economics TMA2 Marked :)

DD309 - Economics TMA2 Marked :)

Econometrics, Economics Bleh!

Econometrics, Bleh!

My second assignment for DD309 - Doing economics: people, markets and policy came back marked yesterday (11th Jan) and I was pleasantly surprised.

I'd been struggling with this TMA as I left it too late. I did a lot of my research the morning and the night before it was due in! So, I really am surprised to get a 2:1 for it and I'm shocked I did so well in the gretl (statistical component) of the assignment.

I did poorly on the game theory part which was a bit of a worry. I'm considering doing Environmental Economics for my project, and am looking to incorporate some game theory. I really need to brush up on that now :(

I've started thinking of my project and just jotting down useful websites and books. I'm excited but also very aware of the challenge but I'm so looking forward to it! Who thought I could enjoy studying eh?? It's all down to the Open University. I'm not going to say that I'm shocked to have gone this far, because I started this to get a degree in something I love. It's just amazing how time has passed from late 2011 when I was considering the Open University to the stage I am at now.

Graduating next year! May 2016 πŸ˜€

Anyway, this module still needs to be completed and so does DD313 - International Relations. If you are considering university, especially the Open University. Do it you won't regret it! I know so much more than when I began my degree. I find at the OU.. I'm treated like an adult then at the brick university I attended from 2008 to 2010. I'm responsable for my study much more, no lecturer whines at me. All my tutors either face to face, or over email (and phone) have been incredible.

To top it off, I do feel intellectually challenged with every chapter of my module materials I read, every external book I read and assignment I complete. I have more and more confidence in myself, the fact that I can have a fulfilling career, and not one that just pays well, but also helps a lot of people! :)

Running the level 2 and level 3 Economics modules one after the other was the right decision in my opinion. I was able to keep thinking about Economics over my small break between my Politics module ending and the level 3 Economics starting!

Tomorrow and for the next few weeks, there are lots of library days planned for my third assignment and research project! That's it for now. Have a great weekend readers :p

*Note: TMA stands for Tutor Marked Assignment for those not familiar with Open University terms.

1Jan/150

It’s 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone. I can't believe I bought the domain mixedmatt.com back in 2007. I never believed I'd still be blogging now.

Hope you all have a happy peaceful new year and all your wishes come true! :)

Matthew

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7Dec/142

It’s my Birthday!

Yep, Time seems to move too fast! I feel old.

At 0:02am a while back... the mixedmatt was born!

I'll let my readers figure out my age. Comment just below. If nobody does then I won't spill. Please don't make me look like a loner! Ha :)

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27Nov/140

FutureLearn – Simply amazing!!

The Futurelearn week schedule!

The Futurelearn week schedule!

It's all about FutureLearn.com! How many of you have heard of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)??

Simply put I'm finding them amazing. I've only done courses from Futurelearn at the moment. If you love learning about new things you will love MOOCs! I've signed up to so many interesting courses on Futurelearn. Not had time to complete them all yet. There are other MOOCs providers such as coursera.com, most courses are provided by US universities.

Futurelearn and their teaching methods!

Futurelearn and their teaching methods! :)

I'm a real geek and when I get free time (very rare these days) I like to drink a beer and expand my mind. It's incredible the depth to which topics are covered.

You can even claim a certificate (non-formal) once a certain percentage of the course is completed!

Khan Academy is another website I find extremely useful, mainly for university help at the moment (with Economics) but it also has many other interesting subjects under constant expansion. The way the instructor Salman Khan explains things is great, you don't actually see his face he uses an electronic blackboard to explain and draw diagrams.

I have a course that ran a month or two ago on Futurelearn called Developing Your Research Project from the University of Southampton. This will come in very handy for Economics for when I start my research project next year. I'm going to try and start that online course soon so I can be prepared. It's great for anyone who wants to expand their mind, prepare before they start their university degree, or just kill time! These courses don't have to be completed by the dates they run but it's best that way to interact with the other students. I have yet to do one according to schedule. I'm simply too busy!

Au revoir for now readers! :)

23Oct/140

It’s almost Winter

London in Winter

London in Winter

Winter is just on the horizon and it's the time of the year I loathe. It get dark early, the temperatures drop, we gain an hour of sleep (next week Sunday not too bad!) and it's just horrible overall. That's not even mentioning Christmas πŸ‘Ώ

I've kind of stuck to a few pledges I made mid-year. It's been very difficult though.

As this year winds to a close, I think I should be relatively happy with this year. Although I didn't compete in a single go-karting race or championship (mainly due to time commitments). I've overall done a lot of work towards my degree and actually feel a lot closer to May 2016! The results of my politics exam are due to be released this or next week! Fingers crossed.

I'm fully in to DD309 my second Economics module, it's level 3 and means I have only one module left to complete my degree! Whoop.

I've become more confident in myself. I've seen a lot of lives come to and end, some quite unexpectedly and it really makes you reevaluate how you live your life. I really need to just live it. I've put in a lot more work to become a more confident person, to achieve the things I really want to achieve. Things are good and life really is what you make it :)

I have an upcoming assignment due in next month so I'll be busy with that. Catching up on the reading I'm behind with too. I'm behind and I don't know how that quite happened!!

I'm looking forward to 2015 now really and starting everyday confident of myself. Heres to hoping we don't have a Cold Winter πŸ˜‰

Someone messaged asking who my server provider was and I didn't get back to them. My provider is VPS.net. I've been with them a little over a year now. Mixedmatt.co.uk runs on a server provided by them, the customer support has been amazing so far :)

That's it! Love you all. I will write back soon...

1Oct/140

Brussels again, Alone :)

Traditional Romanian dancing outside the EU parliament

Traditional Romanian dancing outside the EU parliament

Yesterday, (Sept 30th) I went to Brussels again. I was a bit nervous the day before as I was going alone. My friend from the Netherlands pulled out because of flu.

It was my first time in Brussels alone and it was a success πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
I went and ate at my favourite restaurant Chez Leon. Took a trip to Porte de Hal/Hallepoort and went up The Halle Gate. Amazing place, so much history and the views were to die for! I walked around the top and could see the whole city. Only problem was my phone battery died. So I got no snaps of that :(

Went to the EU quarter again. There where lovely stalls selling Romanian goods. There was Romanian cheeses and foods on offer! Lot's of cheese on sticks.

Outside the parliament complex in the place, there where several placards about what action the EU should take on various topics from Agriculture to Syria (Bombardment of Kobane). All in all I managed to see a lot. Even though I hadn't planned on going alone.

Waiting for departure on Eurostar:

Video of Romanian Folk dancing near the EU parliament:

I hope to return soon. More prepared to go it alone. Love ya readers :)

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