Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Congress honors "Green Revolution" scientist

By Ishani Ganguli, Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:08PM BST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 93-year-old agricultural scientist and Nobel laureate regarded as the father of the "Green Revolution" in farming received the Congressional Gold Medal on Tuesday for a life-long battle against world hunger.

President George W. Bush was on hand at the U.S. Capitol for the presentation of the highest civilian honor to Norman Borlaug, whose advances helped nearly double the food supply in countries including Mexico, India and Pakistan.

Borlaug's efforts date back to the mid-20th century, when he developed disease-resistant, high-yield wheat varieties and worked with developing countries to grow these crops using modern farming techniques.

He has more recently focused on increasing food production in Africa and other parts of Asia.

"Without question, Dr. Borlaug, your life and your life's work ... saving more than 1 billion people from famine and starvation, are an inspiration," said Steny Hoyer, Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Hunger continues to cast its measurable shadow across much of the developing world," Bush added. "The most fitting tribute to this man is to continue his life's work."

In 1970, Borlaug was the first Nobel Peace Prize recipient for work in agriculture. Seven years later, President Gerald Ford presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Congressional Gold Medal, first given to George Washington in 1776, honors people who have offered outstanding service to the security, prosperity and national interest of the United States.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

China to invest USD 2.63 bn for eco-protection in Tibet

16 Jul 2007, 1105 hrs IST,PTI

The Times of India

BEIJING: China plans to invest about USD 2.63 billion to protect the fragile eco-system on the Tibet plateau, an official said as the glaciers in the remote Himalayan region were shrinking at an alarming rate.

The plan covers a dozen projects on protection and construction of eco-system on the Tibet plateau, a main part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, dubbed the "Roof of the World", an official with the development and reform commission of the Tibet Autonomous Region said in Lhasa on Sunday.

These projects, costing 20 billion yuan (USD 2.63 billion) include construction of nature reserve, protection of natural forest, restoration of grassland and pasture, harnessing and prevention of desertification and prevention of geological disasters.

The plan, to be approved soon, will last for about 20 years. "In the first five years, the investment from the central government will total 7 to 8 billion yuan," the official said. Tibet plateau boasts various kinds of plants and vegetation due to various landforms and different weather conditions. Tibet is a region with the most typical biological diversity and is a major gene bank ensuring global biodiversity.

However, the local eco-system is very fragile and difficult to recover once it is damaged. The plan will play an important role in helping recover and protect the ecological system on Tibetan plateau, the official from the top planning body of Tibet said.

Analysts say that the implementation of the national plan will help ease the pressure posed by global warming on local ecological environment and could ensure sustainable development in the region.

Previous reports, quoting Chinese experts, said that global warming is taking a toll on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in southwest China, and experts say the symptoms include shrinking glaciers, frozen earth melting, grasslands turning yellow and rivers drying up.

Climate change has shrunk the size of wetlands in Tibet at the source of China's two longest rivers, the Yangtze and the Yellow River, reducing the volume of water flowing in the rivers, Chinese scientists said last week.

Scientists from the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) studied changes over the past 40 years to the wetlands on the cold Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in west China where the two rivers have their source.

Analysing aerial photos and satellite remote sensing figures, they found that the wetlands on the plateau have shrunk more than 10 per cent over the past four decades.

The wetlands at the origin of the Yangtze River suffered the most, contracting by 29 per cent. In addition, about 17.5 per cent of the small lakes at the source of the Yangtze River have dried up, the scientists said.

On June four, China issued its first national plan to address climate change. The plan said the country hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 50 million tonnes by 2010 through the development of hydro power projects.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ice sheets tell a scary new story, Jul 14, 2007 04:30 AM

Cameron Smith

There was a thunderously important comment that went largely unnoticed in the reports published last spring by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The comment noted there was a possibility polar ice sheets might be more vulnerable than predicted, because climate computer models didn't take into account recent observations. But there was no consensus on the significance of the shortcoming, the IPCC said.

Now, a team led by James Hansen, head of NASA's climate agency, has published a study that identifies what's going on at the poles, and confirms the vulnerability of the ice sheets. Its findings throw into question all the conclusions reached by the IPCC.

In particular, the study says ocean levels could rise by metres this century, not centimetres as the UN panel suggested. Worse still, what's occurring in polar ice fields could flip the world into much faster and far more devastating global warming than predicted by the IPCC.

This kind of fast transition has happened in the past – many times, according to paleoclimatic records, the Hansen study says – and it can happen now.

If it does occur, the study warns, it could produce runaway global warming powerful enough to raise sea levels 25 metres, as happened about 3.4 million years ago.

The study directly contradicts the IPCC, which expected the Antarctic ice sheet to get bigger, "due to increased snowfall." Instead, ice fields in West Antarctica could collapse if current trends are not reversed, the study says.

Hansen and his team looked at records of the past 450,000 years contained in ice cores and ocean sediment. They concluded melting ice caps can flip global warming suddenly into a runaway mode "out of humanity's control" and this would create "an inevitable and devastating sea-level rise."

What causes a flip is spiralling interactions. As warming from greenhouse gases increases, ice surfaces melt, and as they do they absorb more heat, because surface water reflects less of the sun's radiation than does snow and ice.

This causes surfaces to melt more quickly and broadly; melt tunnels carry water to the underside of glaciers where it acts as a lubricant speeding them to the sea; the ice sheet thins, lowering its surface in critical coastal areas; warming sea water loosens frozen underpinnings of ice fields; "icequakes" (lurching of ice sheets) increase; fractures and break-offs multiply; more ocean water is exposed to absorb heat.

The study calls this a non-linear response to global warming. The IPCC computer models were faulty, it says, because they assumed the response of ice fields would be linear. "(The IPCC) models are missing realistic, if any, representation of the physics of ice streams and icequakes ..." the study adds.

The world "may just have a chance" of avoiding a flip into disastrous climate change, it concludes. But only by holding global temperature increases to no more than 1 degree Celsius, and atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) to 450 parts per million. Missing these targets means straying into dangerous territory, it adds.

But half a degree of warming is inevitable because of gases already in the atmosphere, and CO2 concentration already is 384 ppm and is increasing by 2 ppm a year. Ten more years of a 2 ppm increase would make it "implausible" that the world could meet the target and get off the path to disaster, the study says.

It's a dire warning. I hope Canadians are paying attention.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

System relies on ice to chill buildings

By Colleen Long, Associated Press Writer Sat Jul 14, 3:45 PM ET

Yahoo News

NEW YORK - As the summer swelters on, skyscrapers and apartments around the city will be cranking up the air conditioning and pushing the city's power grid to the limit.

But some office towers and buildings have found a way to stay cool while keeping the AC to a minimum — by using an energy-saving system that relies on blocks of ice to pump chilly air through buildings.

The systems save companies money and reduce strain on the electrical grid in New York, where the city consumes more power on hot summer days than the entire nation of Chile.

It also cuts down on pollution. An ice-cooling system in the Credit Suisse offices at the historic Metropolitan Life tower in Manhattan is as good for the environment as taking 223 cars off the streets or planting 1.9 million acres of trees to absorb the carbon dioxide caused by electrical usage for one year.

Such a reduction in pollution is valuable in a city where the majority of emissions come from the operation of buildings. State officials say there are at least 3,000 ice-cooling systems worldwide.

"It is worth it to do in New York City," said William Beck, the head of critical engineering systems for Credit Suisse. "If you take the time to look, you can find innovative ways to be energy efficient, be environmental and sustainable."

Because electricity is needed to make the ice, water is frozen in large silver tanks at night when power demands are low. The cool air emanating from the ice blocks is then piped throughout the building more or less like traditional air conditioning. At night the water is frozen again and the cycle repeats.

Ice storage can be used as the sole cooling system, or it can be combined with traditional systems to help ease the power demands during peak hours. At Credit Suisse, for example, the company must cool 1.9 million square feet of office space at the Met Life tower, a historic building that was New York's tallest in the days before the Empire State Building.

Read More ....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Sunshine State vs. Global Warming


Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007 By TIM PADGETT/MIAMI

This summer's record-breaking heat has put global warming at center stage — with the slew of Live Earth concerts and inescapable pontifications by Al Gore. Most Republicans, however, seem to be watching from the wings. But Florida's new GOP governor, Charlie Crist, hopes to erase that impression starting today with a major international summit in Miami on climate change, featuring California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Kennedy Jr.

Can one person slow global warming? Actually, yes. Here's our guide to how you can help build a greener planet

Traditionally, this is viewed as an issue Democrats champion, but if you go back to Republicans' roots, there's a strong conservationist bent," says Crist, who also invited Teddy Roosevelt's great-grandson as a keynote speaker to remind people that a Republican founded America's national parks system. "It's important to stand up for what you believe in, regardless of party affiliation."

Since taking office in January, Crist has enlisted the bellwether Sunshine State in the Schwarzenegger-led movement to pull the party back toward the center — and few issues highlight that determination more than global warming. At the summit's close, Crist — who plans to install solar panels at the Governor's mansion in Tallahassee next week — will sign an executive order making Florida the latest of a dozen states to adopt California's stringent standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It requires 2009 model cars sold in Florida to cut those emissions by 25% and utilities to cut them to 1990 levels by 2025. "Look at Florida's enormous tourist industry — our economy is inextricably linked to our environment,"

Crist told TIME on the eve of the summit. "Imagine what rising sea levels [caused by global warming] would do to Florida. We have more coastline, almost 1,300 miles, than any state except Alaska. I happen to be a Republican, and I happen to be a Floridian, and this is something I feel strongly about."

Read More ....

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Gore urges crowd to go green

The Sydney Morning Herald

RMER American vice-president Al Gore welcomed the crowd to Sydney's Live Earth concert and asked the public to make a series of pledges to go green.

Mr Gore, who was speaking from Washington, asked people to demand that their country "join an international treaty within the next two years that cuts global warming pollution by 90 per cent in developed countries".

He also asked them to "help solve the climate crisis" by reducing their own CO2 pollution as much as they could and offsetting the rest to become carbon neutral. He then called on people to:

- Fight for a moratorium on the building of any new power plants that burn coal without the capacity to trap and store CO2 emissions;

- Work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of their homes, workplaces, schools, places of worship and transport;

- Fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

- Plant trees and join others in preserving and protecting forests.

Mr Gore will visit Australia in September to launch the world's first V8 hybrid car.

The environmental campaigner will team up with Lexus to mark the October release of the luxury car maker's third hybrid, the LS600hL.

Mr Gore was awarded an Oscar for his documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, and helped orchestrate the Live Earth concerts held around the world yesterday.

He will host politicians, business leaders and other VIPs at two luncheons, entitled An Audience With Al Gore, on September 14 in Sydney and September 21 in Melbourne.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

New Jersey governor signs toughest U.S. carbon law

Fri Jul 6, 2007 6:59 PM ET

By Timothy Gardner

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., July 6 (Reuters) - New Jersey became on Friday the first U.S. state to mandate sharp greenhouse gas reductions by 2050 to help fight climate change.

The law, signed by Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, makes New Jersey the latest state to bypass the Bush administration by setting mandatory regulations to fight emissions of gases that scientists link to global warming.

"We want to send a message to Washington. Wake up, get with the program and start doing something about greenhouse gases," Corzine told reporters at Giants Stadium on the eve of former Vice President Al Gore's international Live Earth concerts.

The Global Warming Response Act mandates cuts of greenhouse gas emissions throughout New Jersey's economy by about 16 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 in the country's most densely populated state.

Scientists say heat-trapping emissions need to be cut by that much to prevent the worst effects of global warming including deadly storms, flooding and droughts.

U.S. states have taken action on their own and in regional groups because the federal government has not yet passed mandatory regulations on the emissions.

President George W. Bush opposes mandatory cuts of the gases, favoring voluntary goals.

The U.S. Congress is mulling several bills that would cut output of the gases by employing market mechanisms to trade the right to pollute. But whether a bill will pass before Bush leaves office in 2009 is a matter of keen debate.

California, the world's eighth largest economy, recently enacted a tough greenhouse gas law. Like New Jersey's, it also mandates an emissions cut by 2020. But its long term goal of cutting emissions 80 percent by 2050 is a target, not a hard mandate. Environmentalists said the New Jersey law is tougher than California's because its 2050 target is enforceable.

Gore, who also spoke to reporters about the New Jersey law, said he would talk about it in future presentations of his slide show about global warming.

New Jersey, which has a hub of oil refineries and chemical plants in its northern region, aims to fight emissions by promoting renewable energy like solar and wind power and by helping consumers to conserve power.

Public Service Enterprise Group , owner of New Jersey's largest utility, said PSEG supports the law but that it would lead to higher power prices.

"I believe customs are willing to pay for the higher costs associated with the environmental benefits," the company's Chief Executive Ralph Izzo told Reuters at the ceremony where Corzine sighed the bill.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association opposes the law, saying it would raise fees and give sweeping powers to state agencies.

The law also seeks to deal with emissions from vehicles, the largest source of the emissions in New Jersey, by enhancing public transportation, car-pooling and the shipping of goods by rail instead of truck.

But even environmentalists said the effort would be a tough fight as renewable energy currently only provides a tiny portion of the state's power.

"We need to be careful of congratulating ourselves on this legislation because the hard work is yet to be done," said Doug O'Malley, the field director for Environment New Jersey, a green group that helped form the law. (Additional reporting by Lisa Lee)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

PepsiCo Puts Recycling Center Stage at Live Earth New York Concert

Official Concert Sponsor to Raise Awareness by Facilitating Recycling Efforts at Giants Stadium Event on Saturday

Yahoo Finance, Thursday July 5, 10:44 am ET

PURCHASE, N.Y., July 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PepsiCo will shine a spotlight on recycling at the Live Earth New York concert this Saturday at Giants Stadium. The company will make it easy for people to recycle their bottles and cans while offering information about how they can make recycling a part of their everyday lives.

PepsiCo's Live Earth New York concert presence includes:

-- Tents made from recycled Pepsi billboards will accept bottles and cans from concertgoers, who in turn will receive wristbands, messenger bags and wallets made from recycled materials.

A commemorative Live Earth Pepsi can designed by musical artist and producer Pharrell Williams will be distributed on-site. There are currently 500 million Pepsi Live Earth cans available in stores across the country.

-- Pepsi will provide more than 800 Live Earth volunteers with T-shirts promoting recycling.

-- Outside the stadium, the Pepsi Sculpture Garden will feature 10' X 10' figures made from cans, bottles and other recycled materials.

-- Frito-Lay's SunChips brand will provide concertgoers with free "Live Brightly" T-shirts, which are also available for purchase via The Alliance for Climate Protection, the movement behind Live Earth, will receive 100% of the proceeds from the online sale.

"We support Live Earth because they share our commitment to raise awareness and offer solutions for an eco-friendlier society," said Dawn Hudson, president and CEO, Pepsi-Cola North America. "We'll take this opportunity to educate everyone who attends the concert on the importance of recycling. We're making great strides in eco-friendlier packaging, energy and water conservation and waste reduction. It's all part of PepsiCo's commitment to Performance with Purpose -- to do better by doing better."

PepsiCo has been a leader in packaging reduction and worldwide recycling efforts. While actively looking for opportunities to reduce the impact of its packaging on the environment by using less material and using more recyclable materials, PepsiCo is also making it easier and more fun to recycle with the help of organizations like Keep America Beautiful and the National Recycling Coalition.

Soft drink bottles and cans are the most recycled packages in America. Since 1990, more than 150 billion Pepsi containers have been recycled. According to the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, recycling 40 aluminum beverage cans has the energy-saving equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. In 2006, Americans recycled enough aluminum cans to conserve the energy equivalent of over 15 million barrels of oil.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Netherlands to buy carbon credits from Pontianak landfill gas flaring

On 14 June Ambassador Dr N. van Dam, together with the mayor of Pontianak, Dr H. Buchary Abdurrachman, witnessed the signing of the Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement for the Pontianak Landfill Gas Flaring Project, executed by project developer PT Gikoko Kogyo and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in its capacity as a trustee of the Netherlands CDM Facility.

The Netherlands are buying an amount of 350.000 Certified Emissions Reductions from the Pontianak Landfill Gas Flaring Project. These reductions will help the Netherlands to meet part of its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction obligation under the Kyoto Protocol and reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Pontianak Landfill Gas Flaring Project is the first project under the bilateral Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) cooperation between the Netherlands and Indonesia. The Netherlands and Indonesia entered into a bilateral CDM cooperation 2 years ago, with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation under the CDM between the Ministry of the Environment of Indonesia Kementerian Lingkunan Hidup and the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) on 22 February 2005.

The implementation of this project for Landfill Gas Flaring on the landfill of the Municipality of Pontianak, TPA Batu Layang, will abate approximately 1.5 mln tonnes of CO2 equivalent during the proposed project life. This contributes to the greenhouse gas abatement goal of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

In addition to this global benefit, the project will contribute locally to sustainable landfilling and municipal solid waste management. Furthermore, this private sector investment in solid waste management demonstrates the commercial opportunities for sustainable municipal solid waste management as well as environmental and social improvements.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Why Uganda hates the plastic bag

By Mark Whitaker

BBC News, Uganda

This weekend Uganda joins the growing number of East African countries which have banned the plastic bag in an attempt to clean up cities and prevent environmental damage including blocked drains.

Trader wrapping cakes in plastic bags.

The ban covers the manufacture, import and use of plastic bags

Before your eyes become accustomed to the sight and the stench, the Chitezi municipal dump - which serves the Ugandan capital, Kampala - is like a scene from a painting by Bosch, a premonition of the Apocalypse, or a vision of Hell.

High in the sky, great birds wheel around on the thermals. At first glance, they look like giant vultures, casting ominous shadows on the ragged human scavengers strewn around below.

But as they touch down on the grey, stinking moonscape, they seem to take on a ghastly sub-human form themselves. Like cowled priests bent over the rotting piles.

With their moth-eaten plumage, grotesque "alopecia-ed" heads, and sinister reptilian eyes, these are Africa's nightmare birds - marabou storks - fencing with their murderous bills over the carcass of a plastic sack they have ripped apart.

Flocking here in their hundreds, the ravenous birds are making a feast of Kampala's refuse, squabbling with their human competitors over the richest pickings.

Read More

New e-waste recycling laws begin

A much-delayed law that makes British producers and importers of electronic goods responsible for the recycling of their products has come into force.

BBC News

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive requires 4kg of "e-waste" to be recycled per person.

Manufacturers have to fund recycling schemes, while retailers must offer take-back services to customers.

The legislation was supposed to be operational by August 2005 but was delayed by "major difficulties".

"E-waste", which includes PCs, games consoles, microwaves and washing machines, is the fastest-growing form of rubbish in the European Union.

The UK produces an estimated 1.2m tonnes of e-waste each year, most of which has been ending up in landfill sites.

Read More ....

Crafting eco-friendly homes

WSTM, June 30, 2007 05:22 AM

When it comes to building a new home more and more people these days are looking for green alternatives.

One California architect is mixing environmental practices with a very old method of building.

It's a strange thing that in 15 years of building homes the house that Paul Melish is most proud of is one he didn't build at all.

"It came from a factory outside of Portland, Oregon. We then had it shipped on four large semis," said Melish.

Melish and his crew built the foundation and he coordinated the giant crane that dropped it onto his site in Marin County, California.

"They built this house in two and a half months in the factory. It would have taken my crew two and a half months to frame the house," said Melish.

Everything from its sustainable bamboo floors to the eco friendly paint job was finished before the house ever arrived in California.

"Everything you see here is shipped, the plumbing was in, the tile was laid, the glazing was in, and the paint's on the wall," said Melish.

It also happens to be one of the area's greenest homes, not just for what went in to it, but also what didn't.

"In a typical job you have these large containers that then take all the material away. We've only had to take three pickup trucks worth of garbage away from this house," said Melish.

The idea of prefab houses isn't a new concept, but their status as an environmentally friendly alternative is.

"I moved to the bay area and my husband and I started looking for a place to live. We couldn't find anything we liked that we could afford and nothing was green," adds architect Michelle Kaufman.

Kaufmann is out to change the old stigma about manufactured homes.

"I think a lot of that has to do with that preconception we have in the U-S, that prefab is substandard because we think of trailer homes," Kaufman explained.

Kaufmann's homes are built with renewable resources, recycled paper countertops, solar power and wind generated cooling.

Also because they're built in a factory there's up to seventy percent less waste.

"It's a really great way to prepackage these green solutions, make it easier for people and make it more affordable for people to go green," said Kaufman.

So far Kaufman has designed more than a dozen homes in the bay area.

She hopes to build ten thousand in the next 15 years while along the way changing the idea that building a green lifestyle takes a lot of work.

ADB urges Asian governments to boost investments in clean energy

The Jakarta Post

BANGKOK (AP): Asian governments must promote clean energy sources, including wind and solar power, if they want to maintain their booming economies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades, the Asian Development Bank said Tuesday.

Traditional energy resources such as oil, gas and coal will not last forever and are becoming increasingly expensive, and bolstering investment in clean energy sources is the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said in a speech Tuesday.

"Asia faces a particularly daunting challenge in securing the energy it needs to support growth and poverty reduction in a responsible, sustainable manner," Kuroda said at the opening of a three-day clean energy forum at the ADB headquarters in Manila.

"Clean energy, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, needs to be actively promoted," he said, according to a statement from the bank. "Developing countries should be encouraged to explore possibilities for renewable energy sources,such as wind, solar, and biofuels."

Delegates at the conference - co-sponsored by the ADB and the United States Agency for International Development - are expected to discuss how to promote and roll out clean energy projects in Asia, the bank said. They will also address how to finance cleanenergy projects, including establishing carbon trading schemes which are relatively unknown in Asia.

The Philippines Energy Minister Raphael Lotilla told attendees that the challenge many developing countries like his face is financing renewable energy projects, which he said are often up to 3 times more costly than conventional sources.

Despite Philippine requirements that 5 percent of fuels come from ethanol by 2008 and a draft bill that would mandate up to 10 percent of energy come from renewable sources, the Philippines still is struggling to boost its amount of energy that comes for renewables, Lotilla said.

Among the solutions, Lotilla said, would be allowing the Philippines to use payments due on outstanding debt to finance renewable projects.

Asian Development Bank's Web Site: