Finland has always been the pride of pure nature, but it seems that because of the economic growth all the values are for sale. Near the region where I live has been set up Europe's largest nickel mine. It is not an open quarry, but nickel is mined chemically with sulfuric acid. Now it turns out that mine is not able to take care of their emissions and sulphate content of the nearby lakes has risen dramatically. The authorities do not require mine to correct the situation, but even considering the environmental permit issued for six times larger output. Meanwhile, Finland is marketed with its clean nature and advanced technologies ... How is your country marketed? Does the reality face the marketing?
"Not in my backyard" is commonly heard everywhere. We are reluctant to want a job that kills us or exploitation to harm us. "Elsewhere" is always the keyword to put somebody else in jeopardy. Remember Bhopal? Personally, my highest respect for Finland goes to Onkalo near Olkiluoto, which although scary is the best example of what man can do to minimize his mistakes and guard the deadly unleashed atom. My country is marketed, or maybe it's just an undeniable fact, as a land of stunning beauty and immense wealth of art treasures. Whether we spoil such beauty or do not maintain invaluable artworks, that's a different story. Same thing whether Ferrari keeps winning or not, or fashion designers thrive or fade. It's more of a personal perception rather than factual reality. The best pizza in the world may not be Italian.
My country is run by souless big business who would stop at nothing if they can profit. I certainly hope Finland doesnt go that route as I often point to your country as an example of whst we should aim for.
This is a concern here also. I have seen far too much prime pasture and farm fields made into 5 acre homes. When the real state boom was going on the Californians were coming here and thinking they were getting a good deal were buying these sections that 10 years before went for15k per acre now go for50k per acre. Then they would finance a house on it for500k thinking they were getting a deal. Well the wages in the area do not support at500k house for most people. Some were able to buy it outright w/ what they got from the little holding they sold in California, but most now are belly up. In the mean time they have driven up the taxes for the rest of us and they cannot figure out why we are really ticked off and want them to go home... duh. But the farmers, who were on hard times were finding they could make a killing selling their land as lots rather than as farm land. Now the sprawl is really bad.
Not sure how the UK is 'marketed' but for visitors I imagine they say it is a) stuffed full of history and tradition (and yes it is) and b) very green (and yes it is) and c) have a huge variety of landscape for a tiny set of islands (and yes, it has). It is also expensive, crowded, has a lot of traffic congestion, is often very wet (which is why it is very green) and often pretty chilly. I don't think they use those facts when they are marketing the UK. :-)
When visiting the UK you expect to be greeted by a Beefeater with frightfully proper Queen's english . . . . .not a turban wearing chap who sounds likes he works in a call center :)
South Africa was marketed as having noisy vuvuzelas at all gatherings. Well, we had to live up to the hype for Sepp Blatter but today you would be hard-pressed to find a vuvuzela anywhere.
You won't find many Beefeaters who speak the Queen's English, trust me!
We have a very similar problem to this here in Oregon. Some Japanese company decided they wanted some precious metal down by the fairly small town of Jacksonville. They made a huge mess of the place, including making part of one of the rivers so chemically contaminated that pretty much everything near it has died, for a 35 mile segment. However, the laws that govern mining on public forest land are horribly outdated (most from the 1870s and 1880s) and there is no provision for chasing after a foreign based company that created such a mess. Yet, to the non-resident or untrained eye the river looks just fine so they continue marketing the area as a scenic area. The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area used to be a spectacular area to see the natural beauty of the states on whose border it sits. To some extent that still is the case, but a huge amount of development has happened there too, and most of it is exceptionally ugly modern structures.
Yes, fairytales are probably the correct word when your are trying to describe the soul of a country. And maybe it would be better if everyone would decide it by meeting people. Anyway, I'm more fascinated of concrete things like green fields in UK, vuvuzelas in South Africa. But like in Spain, I would realy want to see those flamenco dancers when the marketing brochures have them :) What comes to those big souless companies? It seems to be impossible to fight against them because owners are not locals. They mess the nature and leave. I hope that general athmosphere would change thinking and people would start to pay more attention to increasing consumption.
But it helps if you know where they live ;) Just joking but often in small communities the pressure is so high that you have to take other into account or you lose your business.
Sorry, it is always more difficult to deal with money when it is an international situation. Laws change between countries and having access to their courts is not always an option. When there is an ocean between the countries, it gets worse. We have had to fight for payment far too often with companies that are outside the US and not had the resources we have to do it here in the states. To go after a company for clean up where there isn't a clear cut dollar amount - good luck.
My country certainly doesn't show the tar sands on the front of the promotional brochures for Canada, that's for sure. That region was ugly enough before big oil got their hands on them. Scott --> That killed me! Venemous honestly is so funny sometimes!
Ed, I could have been more detailed but I don't want the thread deleted. I could name names :)
Oh Scott, not sure what you're thinking but our country is run by the EPA that has all but made running any sort of business here so full of bureaucracy and expensive that they have all left and moved to China and India.... ( I should know, I deal with it every single day)
It is far too easy to not understand truth.
Ah yes, China -where they load infant formula with melamine, make children's toys with lead paint and sheetrock that releases sulfur gases. And where we ship 80% of our toxic ewaste. Check out a place called Guiyu where most this sh*t is dumped: over 80% of the kids have lead poisoning and the ground has leeched so much heavy metal waste that the water is undrinkable and crops can no longer be grown. Give me the EPA any day. It's not perfect but better than this.
amen to that!
No offense to our Chinese members was intended there: businesses and their practices do not a culture make. We're just as bad for sluffing off our toxic waste - I wonder what we'd do if we had to handle that mess ourselves.
Kate, when they had to handle the mess themselves....they didn't. Just dumped it in our rivers and lakes or any 'out of the way' place. I'd be curious to hear if any members who aren't from the US have negative feeling about the EPA.
These mines knew it would be that way. In Colorado there is a mine called Summitville, and they took out a whole mountain peak for the gold. The plastic line pool holding the poison used to extract the gold began to leak, and they ignored it as they knew the cost would be too great to fix it. The leak got into a nearby creek which runs into a river, which runs into the Rio Grande...which runs all the way to Mexico.. The river was destroyed completely.. Nothing grows in it. This was years ago.. 20 years. The mine was shut down, and the state of Colorado had to take over the clean up, which is still going on. So this is what happens..... Get angry and get vocal about that mine problem you have. Painterdave
There was a German person who once overhead a similar complaint to the above about the USA's EPA and how it was damaging to industry and business here. He told me "It is very entertaining to hear anyone say such things. In Germany we have far stricter environmental and community protection laws, yet our tiny country exports twice the value of goods to China as what the USA does." I've not tried to verify their claims. I can tell you that I have worked for government agencies and private industry in the USA, and the private companies I have worked for here have far worse internal bureaucracy problems than the government agencies I have worked for. Honestly, some of these places made the company depicted in "Dilbert" cartoons appear to be a well managed highly efficient organization. Some of the vendors I deal with daily in my current job give us the choice of buying from "Really Bad", "Awful", and "Much Worse". My first job out of University was at the industrial engineering division of United Parcel Service. Something like 70% of the people I actually worked with took great joy in going to meetings, doing presentations to eachother on all the stuff they could be doing to increase efficiency, doing studies about how much money could be saved if the internal mail carrier would alter her route and save 10 steps per night, how many packages it was economical to crush and damage in order to keep another truck from being on the road, etc. The best thing the company could have done for its financial future was toss the whole lot of them out the door and start over. You can't blame the government for the horrible management practices that seem to plague industry and business here. These problems reach from the huge banks all the way down to some of the smaller companies. Our government agencies aren't well run either, but that is only a symptom of a much larger problem with how management practices in both the government and the private sector are implemented here. Lee Ann's (Dymphna1) company is probably an exception to this, as it is very likely she and her family wouldn't put up with the nonsense that seems to be horribly endemic these days.
No we don't. People's lives depend upon our equipment. Everything has to be right. If it isn't right, it does not go out the door. We would rather do a recall if we think it would hurt someone (and we have after finding that a particular braze or mold was not holding up the way we thought it should) than to save the money. It might not save money up front, but now we are leaders in the industry because of it. Our name is the one people trust, this means they are willing to spend more on our product above others. No we are not the least expensive, but we are the best. Every single unit is tested before it leaves the building, it always has been and always will be. It is why we can compete in areas where cheap produces are produced. We are ISO 9001 also, that cost us about10k to even implement.
Good for you guys, Lee!