German church tax woes: ARD article. It's pointed out on statistical info....that the number of members in either the Catholic or Protestant Churches of Germany is decreasing. Presently, 55-percent of Germans identify with one of the two groups (in terms of taxation), where it used to be 62-percent (2005-level). It's been written as a taxation rule for decades and helps to fund the churches to exist (money comes directly out of you paycheck). Decrease? Mostly due to older member dying off and continued trend of people quitting the church.
Plastic bags out: N-TV article. Aldi came out and announced that in the coming year....they are dumping not only the plastic bags....but the paper bags as well...for the grocery chain. The only bags you can then buy at the check-out point, will be reusable bags. The public? It's hard to say if this will be a positive thing. The grocery thinks that people will just accept this. My gut feeling is that people will go and order a entire box of 200 grocery plastic bags, and keep the box in the trunk of the car. At least for the public TV situations.....the chain can go and claim they are working in favor of the environment.
Britain to end diesel/gas in 2040: N-TV report. The UK is looking at the idea of banning all gas/diesel cars on the roads as of 2040. Not just to halt new car sales (gas and diesel), but to go the extra step of banning all except battery cars. What is curious here is that both Mercedes and VW (of Germany) intend to produce a quarter of their cars in battery-only by 2025 (eight years in the future). Right now, there just isn't any real interest in the pure battery-car sales (hybrids are a different discussion in this matter). One has to wonder why much electrical grid cost will go up over the next decade or two, and if you aren't paying double for your battery-car versus the gas-car by 2030.