Open Society Institute – George Soros

The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses. One of the aims of the OSI is the development of civil society organizations (e.g., charities, community groups and trade unions) to encourage participation in democracy and society.

OSI was created in 1993 by investor George Soros to support his foundations in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Those foundations were established, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. OSI has expanded the activities of the Soros Foundations network to other areas of the world where the transition to democracy is of particular concern. The Soros Foundations network encompasses more than 60 countries, including the United States.

\”The Soros foundations are autonomous institutions established in particular countries or regions to initiate and support open society activities. The priorities and specific activities of each Soros foundation are determined by a local board of directors and staff in consultation with George Soros and OSI boards and advisors. In addition to support from the Open Society Institute, many of the foundations receive funding from other sources.

Source: wikipedia –  sourcewatch

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George Soros (Investor, Finanzier, Open Society Foundation), Foto: http://www.stephan-roehl.de

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L\’Open Society Institue (OSI) è un\’organizzazione no-profit creata nel 1993 da George Soros per la promozione della democrazia, dei diritti umani e delle riforme economiche e sociali.  A livello locale  l\’OSI implementa una serie di iniziative per supportare l\’educazione, la salute pubblica e l\’indipendenza dei media. Uno degli scopi dell\’OSI è lo sviluppo di organizzazioni (sindacati, no profit, comunità)  per incoraggiare la partecipazione alla vita civile e sociale.

Soros ha iniziato la sua attività di filantropo sin dagli anni 70, offrendo fondi per aiutare gli studenti neri dell\’Università di Cape Town nel Sudafrica dell\’apartheid e aiutando anche movimenti dissidenti all\’interno della \”cortina di ferro\”. I finanziamenti filantropici di Soros nell\’Europa dell\’Est per la maggior parte avvennero attraverso l\’Open Society Institute (OSI) e la Soros Foundation, che in alcuni casi operava sotto altri nomi: ad esempio la Stefan Batory Foundation in Polonia. Fino al 2003 si stima abbia donato una cifra di 4 miliardi di dollari. L\’OSI afferma che abbia speso annualmente circa 400 milioni di dollari negli ultimi anni. I progetti più importanti hanno compreso aiuti a ricercatori e università del Centro e dell\’Est Europa e aiuti ai civili durante l\’assedio di Sarajevo. Soros ha anche effettuato una donazione di 420 milioni di euro alla Central European University (CEU)

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One thought on “Open Society Institute – George Soros

  1. Dear Sir,
    A CO2 reduction plan was envisaged during my M.Sc. in Environmental Technology, as a class-assignment in 1999-2000. It was a low tech plan which could easily be put into practice where the whole world could come to play. The plan offered a new dimension to carbon trade for businesses. The outline was as below-

    Fast-growing trees assimilate CO2 out of air fast (4 times faster than natural forests). We need to harvest these trees for their fast growing period in selected areas around the world. The harvest (dry hard wood is >50% carbon and very slow degrading; about 25% of fresh wood is carbon) will be put away into caves, empty mines and natural faults- thus putting away atmospheric CO2 safely and cheaply for a very long time. After all, thousands of years old similar fossilized trees we use (oil, coal and gas) cause air CO2 to rise. Why not put back some?

    A Chinese saying is “Catastrophe = Opportunity”. Could we not witness the CO2 rise as an opportunity to store some energized Carbon (similar to currency?) for foreseeable future use? Businesses may choose to grow & bury calculated numbers of trees each year to compensate for their extra carbon emission need. This plan will help developing countries come to terms with the world’s Carbon Trade agreement where they can even keep the harvest for themselves. The plan allows a proportionate trade between businesses and the earth, which is only apt.

    This act means no offense to tree-lovers, forest-lovers or nature lovers. Only newly grown, purposefully, commercially harvested trees will be used, leaving natural forests alone. Scientists will calculate the numbers of trees required each year and decide types of trees to harvest for total sustainability.

    Desperate time calls for desperate measures. I know this is not ‘The’ solution, but as an Environmental Technologist I believe it has the signature of being a substantial part of it. Here I urge all Environmental Action Groups to commission the plan as good enough to counter any other CO2 reduction plan (if not better), and press world’s policymakers to acknowledge the same so that carbon traders may get this plan as a choice.

    Unique Advantages of the Plan:
    • Fast growing trees assimilate Carbon out of air 4 times more than regular grown up forest trees. Wood is >50% carbon by dry weight & >2 tons of carbon can be assimilated per acre per year with such trees.

    • Commercially harvesting of fast growing tree means new business throughout the world and support from Nature activists (no antagonism socially).

    • Industries/ businesses may choose to grow & bury required No.s of trees (a carbon mass) as direct carbon trade (for the excess carbon emission they may do each year; can be seen as ‘secondary allowance’?). Governments throughout the world can grow & bury against their ‘primary allowances’ to businesses/ industries for their ‘right to emit a specific amount’. Direct, proportionate carbon trade between businesses and the earth is seen as the best here. The plan will keep a cap on totally undesirable secondary, tertiary profit-selling of carbon credits in the trade market.

    • Energy cost (financial burden) to execute the plan is minimal.

    • Bigger, fast developing countries who are unwilling to sign an International Carbon Trade Agreement may find this plan most suitable.

    • Same land can be used over and over again to harvest fast growing trees on 5 to 10 year basis (since our cultivable land is limited and we cannot create unlimited forest). The cost to keep the land fertile comes into account.

    • Caves, empty mines, natural faults are there to store huge quantities of logs & chips- without interfering into any other natural & human activity.

    • With Safest & longest storable way and an energy source, the opportunity to use logs when in desperate need is always there (or when sustainable environmental friendly ways of energy extraction from wood will be invented in future).

    • No shortages of micro & macro nutrients needed to harvest such vast quantities of wood.

    • Easily calculable, executable and easy to monitor.

    • Biotechnology may invent trees of even higher CO2 assimilation capacity (harvest can be grown in isolation, no interference with natural progeny).

    Why Policy makers and decision-making, implementation centrally?
    =================================================
    Do you not find the idea of carbon sequestration through burial of wood is a simple enough & good enough idea to propose to the topmost level (UN & World leaders)? Maths are all there; the plan is viable and simple! Only a unified action from a country (or From the World) can make a plan as big as this a success. You will never get it done (forget doing it in time!) disseminating the idea up for grabs at grass-root level. It is the vision, willingness and understanding of the policymakers we need to pursue. Our present vision has ended at growing more trees but cannot dread to think what we are going to do with those trees, especially when we need long-term carbon-sequestration and our arable land is limited?

    We need to focus the world’s vision towards this plan and research along if needed. Each Log/ Wood/ Chip is to be seen as a cell of stored carbon & Energy. And ‘Grow & Bury’ wood in every sense is ‘the single best way’ to put away enough carbon to save our planet. Some would argue (those who see burying wood is a waste), let’s use the wood as energy and bury the char it produces. There could be a debate on it and if found totally sustainable, and does not backstab our primary goal (Long term carbon sequestration) – then by all means let’s do it!

    Let me tell you of a Bangladeshi Multi-million dollar MLM (multi-level marketing) company, the only product of which is tree plantation. About 2.5 million Bangladeshi national invested into it (it is popular!). The company is a lease-holder of thousands of acres of land (giving no heed to social antagonism against its own ideologies & involvements, often misusing legal & poor governmental administrative systems; because the more it grows, further it needs to grow). It plans to grow & sell trees on a 12 year cycle & profit its investors 4 times more then national banks. And it’s getting government support because it’s helping create green! Country basis/ community basis plans as such (one which is bound to economic profit) to grow forests will never work. Our prime goal will have to be long-term CO2 reduction.
    We know what will happen to those trees within a quarter of a century. All may be acting as temporary sequesters today but ultimately will be thrown to the nature as CO2. You do not keep using 10-15 year old wooden furniture/ materials, do you? In good’s disguise this is a bad making worse scenario. What we need is a unified plan from world’s governments keeping the end goal in mind. We are getting rid of harm from 6 billion people- that should be beneficial enough for us. Let’s not complicate the plan with economic gain further.

    A Related Issue:
    =============
    Now, so far we taxed the players at the outskirts of the carbon problem (those who are using carbon minerals). What about those who are at the centre; who are producing them? I believe countries unearthing carbon minerals must be ‘environment-taxed’ for the amount they take out yearly. Since the ill-effects of carbon mineral’s use are global and the producers benefit financially at the cost of those ill effects, however necessary the commodity may be, they cannot deny environmental responsibility.

    Since buyer’s demand cause producers to unearth in vast amount; hypothetically, producers could share the proposed environment tax with primary buyers in proportion to their demand. Never the less, there has to be adequate taxation, the amount needed to reverse the incurring ill-effects in the environment.

    Sreeman Mishu Barua, MSc(UK), REHS(USA)
    BaruaEnviro Consultancy,
    Plot: X-50, Block: A,
    Chandgaon R/A,
    4212 CTG,
    Bangladesh.
    +88 (0)31 672678
    +88 (0)183 0183 777
    sanitarian@inbox.com

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