In the Netherlands, cycling is a way of life and is so common that there are more bikes than people, according to BBC News. As many as 70 percent of journeys are by bike in cities like The Hague and Amsterdam. Cycling can be a significant way to reduce a person’s carbon footprint, as using a bike instead of a car as little as once per day reduces an average person’s transportation emissions by 67 percent, according to University of Oxford researchers, reported Bloomberg. An international research team has recently shown that almost 700 million metric tons of carbon pollution would be saved each year if everyone rode their bikes every day like the Dutch, Phys.org reported. That’s more than the annual emissions of Canada.
Farmers in the Netherlands have blockaded supermarket distribution centers in continuing protests against new environmental rules on nitrogen emissions that are likely to put many of them out of business. Fishers on Monday blocked ports in a show of support for farmers. The blockade prevented ferries from sailing to almost all the Wadden Islands off the country’s northern coast and caused lengthy delays, shipping companies reported. Also on Monday, farmers used tractors and large bales of hay to block entrances to the supermarket distribution centers, as the association of food traders warned of supply bottlenecks.
Progressive sections in the city of Amersfoort, Netherlands took to the streets demanding affordable housing on January 30. Activists from various youth & student groups, feminist groups, trade unions and political parties marched for housing rights on the call of #Woonrevolte Amersfoort, a housing rights coalition. Different housing coalitions have announced protest actions in other cities of the Netherlands in the coming days and weeks.
Four-year-old Joris Niekus hops excitedly in front of a wall-sized flatscreen as his dad loads up an interactive version of Roald Dahl’s BFG (known as GVR in Dutch). Seconds later, face beaming, his digitised silhouette is bopping across the screen together with Dahl’s gangly giant. It’s just one of many experiences on offer at a new downtown development in the Dutch city of Groningen...
The Netherlands will not give out any permits for the exploration for shale gas in the Netherlands, economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes has confirmed to parliament. ‘Shale gas is not an option in the Netherlands any more,’ Wiebes said. ‘We are not doing it. It is over and done with.’ The previous economic affairs minister Henk Kamp introduced a five-year moratorium on drilling for shale gas which expires in 2020. Shale gas is ordinary natural gas that has been trapped in dense shale beds deep underground. It is extracted using a controversial process known as fracking, which involves drilling a hole deep into the shale and pumping in water mixed with sand and chemicals. A number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas in the Netherlands because of the risk of pollution.
By Brianna Acuesta for True Activist - It might be hard to imagine a world where prisons actually close because of a reduction in prisoners if you live in the U.S., but in many countries abroad this is not such a rare occasion. In the United States, the existence of private prisons that churn out a profit means that the prison-industrial complex focuses less on helping inmates stay out of trouble and more on how the inmates can benefit prison owners. In the Netherlands, however, crime has been rapidly decreasing for the last decade and 19 of the nearly 60 prisons have since closed. Some prisons even took in inmates from Belgium and Norway just to keep up their locations. While this may have resulted in a loss of jobs, it means that less people are being incarcerated, which is always a positive in any country. On top of fewer prisoners and less crime, the government in the Netherlands found a way to repurpose the closed prisons: they now house refugees in there.
By Katie Valentine for Climate Progress - The lower house of the Dutch parliament passed a motion recently that would ban the sales of non-electric cars in the country by 2025. The motion still needs to pass the Senate to become binding, but if it does, it would mean that the only non-electric cars allowed in the Netherlands would be those already on the road today: anyone in the country looking to buy a new car would have to buy electric. Such a law would, naturally, lead to a big increase in electric car ownership in the Netherlands. Already, the Netherlands is doing pretty well on EV purchasing...
By Mathijs van de Sande in RoarMag - This weekend, on June 27, the 42-year-old Aruban man Mitch Henriquez was brutally murdered by police in The Hague. Henriquez was visiting his family in the Netherlands, with whom he attended a music festival. While leaving the venue, Henriquez was beset by a handful of police officers, allegedly on the basis of the vague, unfounded — and, indeed, in due course falsified — suspicion that he was carrying a weapon. A press release stated that police had employed physical force, as Henriquez violently resisted his arrest. It also argued that only during the detainee’s transportation to the police station, Henriquez suddenly became unwell. He had to be reanimated in the vehicle, while being hurried to hospital. Henriquez died a few hours later.
For three weeks now, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has been shaken by a wave of student protests against the neoliberalization of higher education and the lack of democratic accountability in internal decision-making. Last week, UvA staff joined the rebellion, declaring their solidarity with the students and threatening further actions if their demands are not met. With the university’s main administrative building — the Maagdenhuis — now occupied by students, the governing council has been forced into an awkward position: will it honor the demands of the academic community for greater democratization, or will it continue to obey the neoliberal logic of bureaucratic financialization? While the struggle at UvA has been mostly local and national in character, the implications of the issues raised by its students and staff reach far beyond the borders of the Netherlands.
When most people think of harnessing renewable energy from the ocean, the gigantic spinning blades of offshore wind farms are probably the first thing that come to mind. Or maybe it’s gracefully bobbing buoys capturing wave energy or dams that skim power off rushing tides. Very few people, however, think of the oceans as a vast source of renewable heat that can be used to keep homes warm and showers steaming. But that’s exactly what a growing number of seaside towns in northern Europe are doing, despite having some particularly chilly ocean water. Technologies like solar panels were just too expensive and wouldn’t produce enough energy in this region. It should perhaps come as no surprise that the ocean can be used to climate control our homes. After all, the Earth’s oceans essentially climate control the entire planet. The more than 70 percent of the Earth that is covered by water serves as a kind of global thermostat. Oceans take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which helps to moderate temperatures, and they also emit heat from the sunlight they absorb. Clouds, too, which perform a variety of cooling and insulating functions to help regulate temperature on Earth, form from water evaporating off the ocean. Harnessing just a tiny fraction of the heat stored in the world’s oceans has theoretically been possible for many years, but has only recently been put into practice. One of the first places in the world to draw on the ocean for residents’ heating needs is Duindorp, a small harbor town near the Hague in the Netherlands.
A court on Wednesday ordered the Netherlands to compensate the families of more than 300 men turned over to Bosnian Serb forces and later killed in the Srebrenica massacre 19 years ago. In an emotionally charged hearing at a civil court in The Hague, Presiding Judge Larissa Alwin said Dutch UN peacekeepers should have known that the men deported from the Dutch compound by Bosnian Serb forces on 13 July, 1995, would be killed because there was already evidence of the Serbs committing war crimes. "By cooperating in the deportation of these men, Dutchbat acted unlawfully," Alwin said, referring to the name of the Dutch UN battalion. The court cleared the Netherlands of liability in the deaths of most of the 8,000 Bosnian Muslims killed after Bosnian Serb forces commanded by General Ratko Mladic overran the town of Srebrenica on 11 July in what was to become the bloody climax to the 1992-95 Bosnian war that claimed 100,000 lives. Two days later, the outnumbered Dutch peacekeepers bowed to pressure from Mladic's troops and forced thousands of Muslim families out of their fenced-off compound. Bosnian Serb forces trucked the males away and began executing them. Their bodies were plowed into hastily made mass graves in what international courts have ruled was genocide.