RNW Press Review - Tuesday 4 March 2008
A roundup of today's press by Radio Netherlands.RNW Press Review - Tuesday 4 March 2008 - by Jacqueline Carver
NRC.next writes that a number of advisers have been employed to help Dutch MPs fathom the depths of European Union rules and regulations. According to one Christian Democrat parliamentarian, the lack of scrutiny of the EU’s decision-making process by The Hague means that the consequences of decisions made in Brussels are sometimes only clear after they have become law. CDA MP Jan Jacob van Dijk says, "Knowledge of the EU in the lower house isn't extensive".
Some analysts say the lower house wasn't paying attention and allowed EU air quality norms to be set too high. This resulted in the suspension of several important infrastructure projects, as continuation would exceed EU guidelines on air quality. MP van Dijk says the support and expertise given by the advisers means that, "we now have the proper equipment to do our work".
Global warming features in several stories scattered through today's Dutch dailies. Trouw's economics section opens with news that "KLM is looking to polish its green image". The paper covers the launch, at an all-day meeting in a Dutch nature reserve, of CO2Zero, KLM's ambitious programme to promote growth without increasing CO2 emissions.
The new programme allows passengers to see how much carbon dioxide their flight will produce and gives them the opportunity to pay for their pollution. The money raised will be used to finance climate projects supported by environmental organisations. The paper writes that KLM's director-general realised that most people don't associate KLM with being environmentally friendly and wants to change that.
KLM and students at a Dutch technical university are working on a project to produce 'green aircraft' that will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent. However, a Dutch professor of aerospace engineering says we cannot afford to wait 20 years, "Set a thousand students to work on this project instead of the three working on it now".
AD reports that a recent survey found that more than 80 percent of people living in the Netherlands believe that saving energy is important. However, the most important motive behind energy-saving measures is not saving the environment but saving money. The survey found that the low-energy light bulb is the most popular way of cutting energy use.
The survey was carried out to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Dutch branch of Wiser Earth. According to AD, the organisation's director believes the time is now ripe for politicians, industrialists and environmentalists to join together and implement energy-saving measures: " It's all too ad hoc at the moment. The Netherlands is capable of doing more than just turning the television off standby and screwing in a light bulb".
De Telegraaf, always good for a shock-horror headline, writes, "The mosquitoes are coming! Experts predict a summer of plagues". According to the populist daily, the residents of the island of Schiermonnikoog view the coming summer with mixed feelings. On the one hand, they long for lazy days in the sunshine, and on the other they fear a repeat of the almost biblical proportions of last summer's mosquito plague. The owner of a luxury hotel on the island says, "I saw the first swarms of mosquitoes last week and I almost fell off my bike with shock".
According to one Dutch mosquito expert, climate change means that mosquitoes are here to stay and "we will have to get used to it". According to an environmental researcher, the entire country will experience plagues of mosquitoes. He also warned that diseases previously only found in the tropics would start cropping up in the Netherlands, as tropical mosquitoes are able to survive here due to the warmer, wetter climate.
The first Lapwing's egg has been found! It is a tradition here in the Netherlands that the first Lapwing's egg is the first sign of spring and hunting for lapwing's egg is a popular pastime for some people. AD writes that the first Lapwing's egg of 2008 was found on Monday in the province of Utrecht and that it is the first time that one has been found so early in the year.
A spokesperson for a Dutch environmental organisation says, "It is remarkable that the egg was found so far north. But it has been a very warm winter and birds respond to the weather". He also described the discovery as, "delightful, a beautiful egg".