China readies national carbon market to fight climate change

They then let those businesses that release less carbon than the cap sell to other companies permissions to emit whatever’s left.

Antung Anthony Liu, an economics professor at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, said that if done right, the markets could turn China’s epic climate change fight into an international investment opportunity.

Starting in 2013, China set up the seven pilot markets in the country’s largest cities–Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen–as well as the industrial provinces of Guangdong and Hubei. Five of the seven markets give away carbon credits every year and then let companies auction off their excess credits. A successful carbon offset, or “cap-and-trade,” market could play a big part in cutting China’s emissions–and help the world tackle global warming.

“China is taking this step to accept its responsibility in stopping climate change,” said Zhou Cheng, the Beijing exchange’s vice president. Since mid-April, the seven markets have traded a total of 31.2 million tons of carbon. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

For some Chinese companies, selling excess carbon offset credits could bring in millions of dollars a year.

A closer look indicates otherwise: The scrolling list rotates the same dozen or so trades, all from last year.

The past decade, however, has been a spotty one for carbon credit experiments in China.

The lights from the Beijing Environment Exchange–one of seven pilot markets in China for trading carbon–raises questions for the country as it prepares for next year’s roll-out of a nationwide system that could help the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide rein in its emissions.

Already launched in Europe, California and a few other spots, such carbon offset markets limit how much carbon can be emitted per year by factories and businesses. “To my mind, the markets haven’t the intended hopeful effect yet but capacity has been built. These markets clearly exist. Regulators must also step in to prop up falling carbon offset prices and keep prices at other times from reaching unsustainable highs.

“China goes through a process where it tries to experiment with a policy before rolling it out,” Liu said. Instead, they say they are learning important lessons from their experiments and will use them in what will soon become the world’s biggest carbon offset market.

If anything, the national plan heralds a strategy change for a country that’s so far used its one-party system to order everything from factory closures to barbecue bans by giving companies a money-making incentive to cut their carbon emissions, said Jeff Swartz, international policy director at the Geneva-based nonprofit group the International Emissions Trading Association.

China readies national carbon market to fight climate changeIn this May 12, 2015 photo, workers monitor the carbon trading at the Beijing Environmental Exchange office in Beijing, China. “The policy needs to follow the market at some time.”

Other markets use different methods to set emission targets and determine who has to participate. With next year’s rollout, a successful carbon offset market would clearly play a big part in China’s larger plan to rein in emissions. One result is a higher investment in renewable energy such as solar and the capture and reuse of heat emitted during some industrial processes, he said.

“This is still a market created by policy,” Kong said. With China’s greenhouse gas emissions doubling over the past decade, the fate of the world’s climate depends on whether China can cut back on the coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other emission sources that have released hundreds of millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. All rights reserved.

“China is using a number of different policies, both command-and-control but also market policies,” Swartz said. For example, the markets still offer only spot trading with no futures markets, which greatly limits the potential market size. With China’s greenhouse gas emissions doubling over the past decade, the fate of the world’s climate depends on whether China can cut back on the coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other emission sources that have released hundreds of millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. “This affects industry in a legal, scientific way, and it lets them form their business plans while looking at carbon emissions too.”

By design, each market has set up its own rules, with an eye for testing approaches for a national market.

China readies national carbon market to fight climate changeIn this May 12, 2015 photo, a worker pulls a chair past an electronic boards displaying the carbon trading index on the left, at the Beijing Environmental Exchange office in Beijing, China. With next year’s rollout, a successful carbon offset market would clearly play a big part in China’s larger plan to rein in emissions. And hopefully one of them will be chosen as the best one and the nation will go forward from that.”

Five years ago, European Union officials ended a carbon offset plan that paid Chinese companies to destroy the greenhouse gas HFC-23 after learning that the companies were producing the gas only to be paid to destroy it.

Explore further:China, EU working on common approach on climate change

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(C) 2015 The Associated Press. “(Emissions trading) will provide a fundamental solution to allow China to peak its emissions.”

Chinese officials, however, say the pilot markets aren’t meant to significantly cut the country’s carbon profile yet. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

At first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing’s financial district suggest a booming market.

Kathy Kong, CEO of Beijing-based trading firm Timing Carbon, said the pilot markets still have a lot of room to grow. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

What comes next year will depend on how the seven pilot markets shape up. Many companies required to buy carbon credits have waited until the last minute of compliance periods to make their trades, which has raised concerns about low liquidity in the market. With next year’s rollout, a successful carbon offset market would clearly play a big part in China’s larger plan to rein in emissions. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

In Beijing, any company that emits more than 10,000 tons of carbon a year–equal to the household and vehicle emissions of more than 400 American households–must join the offset market, which means it receives a yearly cap on its emissions and must buy carbon credits if it wants to emit more carbon. The European market in its first year traded more than 10 times that amount of carbon.

“We want to make our role of carbon asset management a new standard for the group company, not just to buy and sell to get some profit,” Guo said.

China readies national carbon market to fight climate changeIn this May 12, 2015 photo, a worker checks documents on his computer as his colleague walks past an electronic board displaying the carbon trading index, left, at the Beijing Environmental Exchange office in Beijing, China. Credit prices have generally run from $55 to $75 per ton, and the penalty for exceeding the limit can cost three-to-five times the usual credit price. With next year’s rollout, a successful carbon offset market would clearly play a big part in China’s larger plan to rein in emissions. Chen said another idea would be to create separate offset markets around specific industries such as steel, cement energy or construction rather than connect the separate pilots operating according to different rules.. With China’s greenhouse gas emissions doubling over the past decade, the fate of the world’s climate depends on whether China can cut back on the coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other emission sources that have released hundreds of millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. With China’s greenhouse gas emissions doubling over the past decade, the fate of the world’s climate depends on whether China can cut back on the coal-fired power plants, automobiles and other emission sources that have released hundreds of millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. They could link up so that a company in Beijing in the north could trade with another in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Around 550 companies in Beijing now take part in the exchange.

So far, the pilots have failed to make a noticeable dent in carbon emissions, with about 978 million yuan, or $158 million, traded since their launch in 2013, compared to the 7.2 billion euros, or about $8 billion, of carbon offsets that were traded in the European market in its first year of operation, 2006. Hubei is the country’s biggest market by volume of carbon traded.

China readies national carbon market to fight climate change

China readies national carbon market to fight climate changeIn this May 12, 2015 photo, Zhou Cheng, vice president of the Beijing Environmental Exchange speaks during an interview at his office in Beijing, China. Some observers question the reliability of data recording how much companies are emitting.

For state-owned firms such the Chinese capital’s largest power utility, Beijing’s pilot market has forced business plans to factor in carbon emissions, said Jeremy Guo, executive vice president of the utility’s energy investment arm

Google Teddy Bear Plan Combines Science-Fiction With Creepy Realism

The document’s introductory abstract explains that the device would be used in conjunction with “one or more media devices.”

“We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees come up with,” advised a spokeswoman for Google in a report published by BBC News. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications.”

BBC News reports that Google’s patent was recently discovered by legal technology firm SmartUp, who described the concept as “one of Google’s creepiest patents yet.”. Such a product would give a simple child’s toy the kind of human-like qualities that, up to this point, were best depicted in fairy tales and science fiction stories.

[Image from United States Patent and Trademark Office]

The Google teddy bear isn’t likely to hit store shelves in the near future. “Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. But for more imaginative types, visions of rebellious talking toys in shows like The Twilight Zone and films like Poltergeist and Child’s Play are the stuff of some seriously bad mojo. Gizmodo muses that the device’s ability to passively collect and store data by constantly monitoring its environment prevents a number of potential issues concerning privacy. A report by Time Magazine indicates that Google filed a patent for an “anthropomorphic device” back in February of 2012 that could be adapted into a doll or toy. Google Teddy Bear Plan Combines Science-Fiction With Creepy Realism

Google’s Research and Development apparatus, which Fortune has likened to a wing of the Defense Department, is notoriously secretive, protecting its projects from a competitors as well as from the prying eyes of a curious public. Nevertheless, some are understandably alarmed about the implications of the proposal, albeit for a number of decidedly different reasons. Indeed, if Google can’t make a splash in the toy market with a walking, talking, and grimacing teddy bear, the company might well find a receptive audience with horror movie enthusiasts.

In essence, the finished product would ostensibly possess the means to interact with people and its environment much in the way that one might think of a well-trained dog or helper monkey, but without all of the pesky feeding and clean-up.

The application itself uses diagrams and lengthy textual explanations to provide the conceptual framework for an anthropomorphic device that would convey expressions of interest, curiosity, and boredom. Contact with the device could be initiated either through verbal cues — such as referring to the device by its name — or by social cues, including eye contact between a person and the device.

Descriptions of the technology, penned by Google inventors Richard Wayne DeVaul and Daniel Aminzade, seem to bring the sensory and interactive abilities of electronic devices to an unprecedented and hitherto inconceivabale level.

The Patent Application Publication on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office includes basic sketches of a plush bunny and teddy bear with notes on locations for input and output receptacles as well as “motors” at various points or articulation. True to form, Google declined comment on the notion of a Google teddy bear or similar product.

If the kids of today are freaked out by Teddy Ruxpin, imagine what the children of tomorrow will think if hi-tech’s biggest house of ideas goes through with plans for the Google teddy bear

The Impending Dangers of Nuclear War: America’s W88 Thermonuclear Warhead is 30 Times a Hiroshima Bomb | Global Research

As awareness of the humanitarian impact grows hearts and minds are being changed worldwide. After hearing presentations from a wide range of experts on the various effects of nuclear weapon detonations the conference concluded that “it is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected.” Conference members also agreed that the effects of a nuclear weapon detonation will not be constrained by national borders but will produce significant negative regional and global effects6.

File:W-88 warhead detail.png

This ground-breaking and historic conference was attended by delegates from 127 countries and 70 nongovernmental organizations.


The powerful summary statement of the conference Chair pointed out that the broad participation of states and civil society reflected the burgeoning awareness that this issue is of the utmost importance to all the peoples of the world. He called for a ‘legally binding instrument’ and declared that the, ‘time has come to initiate a diplomatic process conducive to this goal. This is enough to wipe out the entire population of the planet many times over together with all other life forms. The nuclear states have become a sorry sight. The next logical development, as the nuclear states continue to deny their obligations to shed their arsenals, is for the non-nuclear states to proceed independently to enact a treaty outlawing these weapons internationally. In a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan 20 million people would die from the nuclear blasts, fires, and radioactive fallout.

And finally there is hope. Frozen in a realm of outdated thinking which was always inhuman; their leaders frightened and paranoid and prepared to put the survival of humanity in jeopardy simply in order to feel important and powerful as they strut, uncomprehending, on the world stage.


Their brief and nightmarish ascendancy is over.

The W88 is over 30 times more destructive than the bomb which wiped out Hiroshima. They are the very antithesis of humanity5…’. But these 9 are outnumbered by 20 to one. The huge burgeoning of awareness in the citizens of the world is bearing fruit.

Mexico offered to host a follow-up meeting to this conference and such is the vital importance of this approach that other states declared their intention to organise additional events on this subject.

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)8 is a coalition of over 350 organisations in 90 countries. And the fallout would have global consequences that would kill millions of people, disrupt climate patterns, and threaten global agricultural collapse4.

 So with these and other major forces at work there is an unstoppable movement towards banning these Armageddon machines. Getting rid of them will take courageous leadership by states but such leadership will have the support of civil society. The world has moved on.



A single W88 could completely destroy London, Moscow or New York.


There are 9 nuclear states and there are 183 non-nuclear states. The suffering would be indescribable and for many would go on for months and years before death. The other four nuclear states(Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea) too are ‘improving’ their arsenals. It is the turn of the last and most destructive of them all.

The first International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in 2013. How can we ever be sure that some deranged psychopath will not gain power in one of the nuclear states and deceive him/herself into believing that it is in their best interests to make a first strike? How can we ever be sure that some terrorist organisations will not hack into the electronic control systems and carry out the launching themselves? And we now know that even a small nuclear exchange could be a lethal threat to everyone on the planet. And rather than focus on the numbers and ‘yields’ of the weapons it was wisely decided to concentrate on the effects on humanity of the use of nuclear weapons. As the great moral leader Desmond Tutu wrote “Nuclear weapons are an obscenity. It is time to take action 7.’

The Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in Nayarit, Mexico, on 13 and 14 February 2014. The security of the non-nuclear states is threatened by the irresponsible and self-focused behaviour of the 9 others. Due to ‘…proliferation, the vulnerability of nuclear command and control networks to cyber-attacks and to human error and potential access to nuclear weapons by non-state actors, in particularly terrorist groups’ the risks are ‘growing globally’. What sort of people would do such a thing? What kind of human would threaten such an atrocity?  

It is ironic that the worst offenders are the five permanent members of the ‘Security’ Council of the United Nations. It is time we ban nuclear weapons.

 Furthermore decent people round the globe know that the existence of nuclear weapons is a brooding evil which undermines the moral integrity of humankind. No emergency services could begin to cope There would be no relief. By focusing attention on the humanitarian consequences of their use they are well on their way to doing so.

The risks of ‘accidental, mistaken, unauthorised or intentional use is growing significantly due to more countries holding weapons on higher levels of combat readiness’.

The only remedy is an enforced world ban on the existence of nuclear weapons. Each bomb on a major city would kill millions of people; women, children, babies, old people, everyone. They have had 69 years to get rid of their nuclear weapons while all that the citizens of the world hear from them are windy speeches around purported good intentions which never come to fruition. She concluded ‘It is time to change the status quo. The existence of nuclear weapons means they could be used by accident, by misunderstanding or by malicious intent. Humanity owes a great debt to Norway for this initiative.

Is this sane? Has the human race lost its senses? A single United States thermonuclear warhead, designated W88, has an estimated ‘yield’ of 475 kilotons2.  The ‘yield’ is the destructive power expressed in tons of TNT equivalent.

The nine nuclear states have over 10,000 nuclear weapons in their stockpiles1. The movement for an international ban is unstoppable.

The US, the UK, Russia, China and France are rebuilding or upgrading their arsenals of nuclear weapons. The nuclear states were invited but declined to attend. It is not easy to face up to the implications of these arsenals especially if you bear the primary responsibility. It included delegations representing 146 States, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and civil society organizations.

The situation is being rendered even more dangerous by the US and Russia who keep 1,800 weapons on high alert atop long-range ballistic missiles that are ready to launch 5 to 15 minutes after receiving an order!

The Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held in Austria later this year. Is it possible to imagine the degree of paranoia represented by such a standing threat? The UK government has started to spend one hundred billion pounds on rebuilding its Trident fleet of nuclear submarines, each one with the capacity to incinerate over 40 million people. Our belief is that this process should comprise a specific timeframe, the definition of the most appropriate fora, and a clear and substantive framework, making the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons the essence of disarmament efforts. This is being done at a time when many citizens are suffering from inadequate defences against flooding and when the social services are being radically cut back. 

She went on to explain that the use against cities of less than one percent of existing weapons would put billions of lives in jeopardy and have a long lasting detrimental  effect on both the planet’s climate and agriculture. These weapons must be outlawed; ‘in the past, weapons have been eliminated after they have been outlawed. We believe this is the path to achieve a world without nuclear weapons’. India and Pakistan sent observers.




Citizens of the world have simultaneously become aware that the nuclear states do not intend to get rid of their nuclear weapons and that their existence imposes a permanent and intolerable threat to us all. Ray Acheson, in her closing statement on behalf of ICAN to the Second Conference included the words ‘The claim by some states that they continue to need these weapons to deter their adversaries has been exposed by the evidence presented at this conference and in Oslo as a reckless and unsanctionable gamble with our future’.


The US government has 5 nuclear submarines on patrol at all times carrying 1000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb3. The non-nuclear majority which do not feel the need for a lethal ‘security’ crutch have decided to take the initiative. As we discuss the statistics and strategies of ‘nuclear arsenals’ and ‘nuclear deterrence’ it can be hard to keep in mind the reality underlying the abstract discussions. She insisted that we must act to get rid of them or they will be used by accident, misunderstanding or malicious intent. The other weapons of mass destruction have already been banned

Column: FIFA presidency no laughing matter as would-be candidate becomes frontman for gambling

It reads like a plug for Fifty Shades of Grey.

Asking your kids to make tea during half-time breaks won’t shield them from the bombardment, not with gambling ads flashing throughout matches on pitch-side light-boards. What ever happened to sport for sport’s sake, for the buzz of competition, not a bet? How quaint. This was about making a splash. But I mean you’re talking about one of the biggest, powerfulest jobs in football and all you’re getting to hear about is Paddy Power.”

Whoa. Bet again. That much was clear from the Paddy Power branding.

And how about this blurb from Sky Bet, title sponsor since 2013 of England’s three divisions below the Premier League. So silky as a player for Newcastle and Tottenham; so ridiculous now with his car-crash campaign for the FIFA presidency.

Imagine, for a moment, a Paddy Power-financed FIFA president. That was before online bookmakers offered odds on anything and everything, from match results and goals scored to which team will win the coin toss or take the first corner, and before their relentless advertising.

That is the message that football, more than most other sports, is mainlining into our homes, helped by names like Ginola and teams lending their cachet, stadiums, jerseys and players to the industry that had cash to splash when the 2008 financial crisis hobbled other sponsors.

But the targets were our wallets and spending habits, not our hearts. After Thursday’s passing of the entry deadline, “Team Ginola” should fade away.

But that’s not the point here. “There’s more passion, more pleasure and more pain.”

“It’s eyeballs we’re after,” 12Bet executive Rory Anderson, quoted in the Daily Mail, said when the online bookmaker became the name on Hull City’s shirt for this Premier League season.

All this in a sport grappling with the increasing danger of gambling-related match-fixing and with ample examples of gambling-addicted players who frittered away their wealth.

We’re talking here about David Ginola. Write to him at or follow him at

But gambling advertising wasn’t as in-your-face as now. In the UK, which liberalized gambling advertising in 2007, adults’ exposure to gambling commercials on television soared five-fold in eight years to 2012, regulator Ofcom found. Hull against Aston Villa on Feb. In pocketing 250,000 pounds (335,000 euros; US$375,000) from bookmaker Paddy Power for this stunt, Ginola became the latest Trojan horse in the gambling and gaming industry’s creeping and creepy embrace of football.

Bet. There’s nothing funny about the gambling industry’s latest wheeze to sink its teeth even deeper into football and its fans.

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” he said in a phone interview. John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. But the mere thought of the gambling industry even attempting to place a stooge at the very top of football makes the prospect of another Blatter term seem perhaps not quite so bad.

And that isn’t funny at all.

“It just makes like a mockery of football.”

One of those is Kevin Twaddle, a former player for Motherwell and other Scottish clubs who told his story in the biography, “Life On The Line: How to Lose a Million and So Much More.” He no longer gambles and has delivered talks to other players about the risks.

Ginola has zero chance of unseating Sepp Blatter. The increase was three-fold for children aged 4-15.

Twaddle takes a very dim view of Ginola’s Paddy Power-backed grab for FIFA.

PARIS –  Don’t laugh. Bet some more.

“I’m here today to talk about love” were the Frenchman’s seductive opening words at his campaign launch in London this month.

. Villa’s shirt sponsor is dafabet, a name that works better in Chinese, where “dafa” means “big wealth.” Stoke and Burnley players are billboards for Bet365 and Fun88 (another name that plays on the Chinese word to get rich).


Sports and gambling have, of course, long gone together, feeding off each other’s success and growth. 10 will pit two Asian online bookmakers against each other. It won’t happen; FIFA’s ethics rules should see to that. FIFA’s election and ethics rules will almost certainly keep him off the May ballot. “It’s great for Paddy Power. Tuning in for results of football betting pools, which offered big jackpots for small stakes, was a Saturday afternoon ritual for many 20th Century English families.

Sport “matters more when there’s money on it,” it says

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think | Johann Hari

For a century now, we have been singing war songs about addicts. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. Their message is that an addict who won’t stop should be shunned. Forster’s — “only connect.” But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong — and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it. They would be freed. Very few had rehab. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.

One example I learned about was a group of addicts who were given a loan to set up a removals firm. She is going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. From a Jewish doctor who was smuggled out of the Budapest ghetto as a baby, only to unlock the secrets of addiction as a grown man. You can have all the addiction, and none of the chemical hooks. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction — if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction — then this makes no sense. From a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who was conceived when his mother, a crack-addict, was raped by his father, an NYPD officer. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street-users into desperate addicts and leaves medical patients unaffected. The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other, and to the society, and responsible for each other’s care. It is as close to a human recreation of the cages that guaranteed deadly addiction in rats as I can imagine. One of my earliest memories as a kid is trying to wake up one of my relatives, and not being able to. We need to connect and love. The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park.

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned — and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. That’s not nothing.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers — according to the same study — simply stopped. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. None of them died. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. I guess addiction felt like home to me.

Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. It’s called cocaine. And use it.

The full references and sources for all the information cited in this article can be found in the book’s extensive end-notes.

There is an alternative.

The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them — to their own feelings, and to the wider society. It’s how we get our satisfaction. You can build a system that is designed to help drug addicts to reconnect with the world — and so leave behind their addictions. If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use.

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment.

The full story of Johann Hari’s journey — told through the stories of the people he met — can be read in Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, published by Bloomsbury. And use it. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. That’s what addiction means.

When I returned from my long journey, I looked at my ex-boyfriend, in withdrawal, trembling on my spare bed, and I thought about him differently. So they decided to do something radically different. Duh.” It’s not difficult to grasp. But if you believe Bruce Alexander’s theory, the picture falls into place. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever — to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me — you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about The Cause of Addiction lying with chemical hooks is, in fact, real, but only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments — ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. It seems obvious. It forces us to change our hearts. We can all explain it. You may remember it. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. This massive war — which, as I saw, kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool — is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction.

When I learned all this, I found it slowly persuading me, but I still couldn’t shake off a nagging doubt. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism — cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking.

But here’s the strange thing: It virtually never happens.

Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself. The medical patient is like the rats in the second cage. So if the old theory of addiction is right — it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them — then it’s obvious what should happen. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live — constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

This has huge implications for the one-hundred-year-old war on drugs. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug inside it called nicotine. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. How can this be? This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told that it felt like it could not be true. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. It seems manifestly true. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

Loving an addict is really hard. I have seen it. The book has been praised by everyone from Elton John to Glenn Greenwald to Naomi Klein. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. The experiment is simple. Until dead. It’s not you. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. I thought I had seen it in my own life. The drug is the same, but the environment is different. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds.

If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: “Drugs.

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Imagine if you and I and the next twenty people to pass us on the street take a really potent drug for twenty days. The rat is put in the cage all alone. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. And when those prisoners get out, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record — guaranteeing they with be cut off even more. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. One is just water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else. It is human connection.

This isn’t only relevant to the addicts I love. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense — unless you take account of this new approach.

If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass — and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention — tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. You can buy it at all good bookstores and read more at

The results of all this are now in. Human beings are bonding animals. It is happening. For example, I went to a prison in Arizona — ‘Tent City’ — where inmates are detained in tiny stone isolation cages (‘The Hole’) for weeks and weeks on end to punish them for drug use. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief.

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. It’s the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M.

This isn’t theoretical. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table.

I had a quite personal reason to set out for these answers. I went to a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas (with the permission of everyone present, who knew I was there to observe) and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known in my life. (The full references to all the studies I am discussing are in the book.)

If you would like more updates on the book and this issue, you can like the Facebook page:

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. . The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. But what happened next was startling. It occurred to me as I wiped his brow, we should have been singing love songs to them all along. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. It’s your cage.

I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels. The good cage saved them. From the surviving friends of Billie Holiday, who helped me to learn how the founder of the war on drugs stalked and helped to kill her. We need now to talk about social recovery — how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

But still, surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in quite precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book The Cult of Pharmacology. But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction — and you may lose them altogether. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine.

Johann Hari will be talking about his book at 7pm at Politics and Prose in Washington DC on the 29th of January, at lunchtime at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on the 30th January, and in the evening at Red Emma’s in Baltimore on the 4th February.

If you still believe — as I used to — that addiction is caused by chemical hooks, this makes no sense. Bruce Alexander — the creator of Rat Park — told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs. Ever since then, I have been turning over the essential mystery of addiction in my mind — what causes some people to become fixated on a drug or a behavior until they can’t stop? How do we help those people to come back to us? As I got older, another of my close relatives developed a cocaine addiction, and I fell into a relationship with a heroin addict. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,000-mile journey for my new book, Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs, to figure out what is really driving the drug war, I believed it too. I’ll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was — at the same time as the Rat Park experiment — a helpful human equivalent taking place. We would be addicted. The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. We would have a ferocious craving. We will have to change ourselves.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It was called the Vietnam War. And it can do the same thing to you.”

But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. I watched this playing out in the human stories I met across the world.

When I first learned about this, I was puzzled. Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. From a man who was kept at the bottom of a well for two years by a torturing dictatorship, only to emerge to be elected President of Uruguay and to begin the last days of the war on drugs.

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around

Has anyone ever caught you having sex?

not her anyway..

Twice, and they both were kinda strange.. That one was strange because it was my girlfriend walked in on me and I was doing… So that was also a reason to stop right in the middle of it.. well.. (we were 17 at the time) and my mom started screaming that there was no sex allowed in the house, she turned around and slammed the door.

. The first was when I was still living at home. My mom walked in on me and my girlfriend. It got me so angry that I just got up and followed her (naked and dripping..) to tell her she sure as hell didn’t want us to do it outside.

The second time was in college

iovation Has Helped Customers Stop Over a Million Fraudulent Activities in 2008

The Philippines and Nigeria followed with 11% and 7%.

For iovation’s Online Retail customers,

devices coming from Ghana had the highest percentage of denied

transactions at 20%. Mexico and Australia followed with 19% and

13%, respectively.

For iovation customers in the Online Social Networking sector, devices

coming from Belgium had the highest percentage of denied transactions

at 15%. The Philippines and Belgium

rounded out the top three countries with the highest online fraud rates

at 8% and 7%.

iovation, which identifies physical Internet-enabled devices and

accounts with histories of fraud and abuse activity, shares its Device

Reputation Authority(TM) network of over 60

million unique device reputations across multiple networks to protect

online businesses from all forms of online fraud and abuse. Today, iovation manages the reputation of tens of

millions of Internet-enabled devices worldwide, allowing its customers

to control online fraud and abuse while benefiting from sharing device

reputation intelligence. The U.S. iovation, which will process more than one billion device

reputation queries this year, reported that in the first quarter alone

it helped customers block over 900,000 fraudulent and abusive activities

coming from 230 different countries and providences.

iovation, which provides real-time fraud and abuse protection for a

number of verticals such industries as Online Retail, Internet Gaming

and Gambling, Financial Services, and Online Social Networking, also

reported industry-specific geographic fraud trends based on device

reputation queries it performed in Q1. Germany and the UK

followed with 1.24% and 1.04%, respectively.

. Costa Rica and Canada followed

with 3% and 2%, respectively.

For iovation customers in the Financial Services sector, which denied

0.30% of their worldwide transactions in Q1, the Netherlands had the

highest percentage of denied transactions at 1.66%. Vietnam and Lebanon followed with fraud rates of

14% and 7%.

For iovation customers in Internet Gambling, Panama had the highest

percentage of denied transaction at 6%. topped the

list of countries with the most reputation queries, followed by Canada

and the United Kingdom with 11 million and 8 million, respectively.

iovation, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, pioneered the use of device

reputation for managing online fraud, abusive behavior and multi-factor

authentication. iovation helps customers stop more than 10,000

fraudulent activities per day. In Q1 of

2008, iovation reported performing more than 100 million reputation

checks on devices coming from the United States. Along with these findings, we are very

pleased to report the impact iovation is having in helping customers

stop online fraud and abuse.”

For iovation customers in the Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming

(MMO) space, devices coming from Israel had the highest percentage of

denied transactions at 34%. Those findings included:

“As eCommerce continues to grow at a rapid

pace, iovation is seeing similar growth trends in the amount of online

fraud and abuse that is occurring across multiple industries,”

said Scott Olson, vice president of marketing, iovation. “During

the first quarter, we saw consistent geographic devices and accounts

targeting specific verticals. For more information on iovation and the

company’s products, visit

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–iovation, the Device Reputation Authority(TM) for

the Internet, today announced it has helped customers stop more than a

million online fraudulent and abusive activities in the first half of

2008. About iovation

Of the countries that iovation performed at least 250,000 device

reputation queries in Q1, Israel topped the list of the highest

percentage of denied transactions at 15%

Unibet Group plc: Mediaset Espana selects Kambi Sports Solutions for fully managed Sportsbook service

This means that the Kambi solution is approved and audited by the

SPM, LGA, AGCC, AAMS and DGOJ, as well as being compliant with eCOGRA. Going forward our focus will be to work with

our partners to take a leading position within the gaming market.”

Kristian Nylén, CEO Kambi.

Kambi is a B2B supplier of fully hosted sports betting services on an

in-house developed software platform.

Kambi utilizes a best of breed security approach, with guiding

principles from ISO 27001.

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mediaset España is one of Spain’s 35 largest companies on the main

Spanish stock exchange Bolsa de Madrid’s index IBEX 35 with a market

capitalisation of EUR 1.7bn.

About Kambi Sports Solutions

More information about Kambi Sports Solutions can be found on


This information was brought to you by Cision

According to the agreement, Kambi will provide a fully managed

Sportsbook operating under a local gaming licence for three years.

“I am delighted that Mediaset España has chosen to partner with Kambi

and we are happy that Kambi continues to be the preferred choice for

premium brands in Spain. Kambi’s clients include

Unibet, Paf, Acrismatic Group, Egasa Group, Napoleon Games, Expekt,

Tonybet, Fun88, Nordicbet, Interwetten and AsianLogic. The Kambi

solution is currently certified in Denmark, Malta, Alderney, Italy and

Spain. Kambi employs 260 people and has

offices in London, Stockholm, Malta and Manila