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, October 31, 2007

WWF declares Mt. Lumut forest as special conservation area

Muara Teweh, C Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Indonesia has declared a protected forest in Mount Lumut in Barito Utara (Barut) district in Central Kalimantan a conservation area for Heart of Borneo (HoB) program, a local official has said.

The protected forest in Mt. Lumut which covered 25,802 ha-land was considered a sacred place by native Dayak Hindu Kaharingan community. Thus, the WWF-Indonesia regarded that it should be turned into a conservation area, local environmental management and spatial arrangement office head Akhmad Yani said here Wednesday.

Dayak Hindu Kaharingan people are native inhabitants in Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.

The Barut district administration supported the program and thus set up a working group that had been tasked to give a description before WWF-Indonesia officials in Jakarta on November 15.

The administration has suggested a national park status for the protected forest which is really rich in flora and fauna. The Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) launched a study on the forest and planned to recommend a world natural heritage for the forest as well.

Akhmad said the Barut district administration had already asked a forest minister to revoke concessionary permit of PT Indexim Utama Corporation that operate on the slope of Mt. Lumut.

Quality of economic growth more important for environmental protection

Bangkok (ANTARA News) - An ESCAP official said from the view point of protection of the environment and implementation of sustainable development, the quality of economic growth was more important than its number or percentage.

"Economic growth has to be green. The quality of economic growth is the matter, not its number. Focusing on the percentage of economic growth is wrong," Rae Kwon Chung, Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Division of ESCAP (UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), said when speaking a seminar themed "Back to Our Common Future" here.

But unfortunately, Chung said, many Asian countries had copied the US in appreciating economic growth mainly in terms of percentage. He noted that Bangkok had copied the US in developing its transportation infrastructure which had led to traffic jams.

He said sustainability was achieved by integrating the environment into development.

"Sustainability is the most important thing," he said, quoting the "Our Common Future" report produced by the World Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development or also known as the Brundtland Commission.

However, he regretted that the 'Our Common Future' report had failed to recommend strategies to implement sustainable development.

He said for the sake of sustainable development, it was important to manage demand, and not to increase supply.

"Demand management is important, in addition to leadership for the environment," he said at the one-day seminar organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) regional office in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, Regional Director of UNEP for Asia and the Pacific Surendra Shrestha said in his remarks at the seminar which coincided with the launching of UNEP's 4th Global Economic Outlook (GEO-4): 'Environment for Development' to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Our Common Future report which was published for the first time in 1987.

The GEO-4 described the changes since 1987, assessed the current state of the global atmosphere , land, water and biodiversity and identified priorities for action.

He said the environmental awareness of the world community and their leaders had improved a lot but the actions were not adequate.

GEO-4 emphasized that "Our Common future depends on our actions today, not tomorrow or some tine in the future."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Biofuels 'crime against humanity'

By Grant Ferrett, BBC News, New York

A United Nations expert has condemned the growing use of crops to produce biofuels as a replacement for petrol as a crime against humanity.

The UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, said he feared biofuels would bring more hunger.

The growth in the production of biofuels has helped to push the price of some crops to record levels.

Mr Ziegler's remarks, made at the UN headquarters in New York, are clearly designed to grab attention.

He complained of an ill-conceived dash to convert foodstuffs such as maize and sugar into fuel, which created a recipe for disaster.

Food price rises

It was, he said, a crime against humanity to divert arable land to the production of crops which are then burned for fuel.

He called for a five-year ban on the practice.

Within that time, according to Mr Ziegler, technological advances would enable the use of agricultural waste, such as corn cobs and banana leaves, rather than crops themselves to produce fuel.

The growth in the production of biofuels has been driven, in part, by the desire to find less environmentally-damaging alternatives to oil.

The United States is also keen to reduce its reliance on oil imported from politically unstable regions.

But the trend has contributed to a sharp rise in food prices as farmers, particularly in the US, switch production from wheat and soya to corn, which is then turned into ethanol.

Mr Ziegler is not alone in warning of the problem.

The IMF last week voiced concern that the increasing global reliance on grain as a source of fuel could have serious implications for the world's poor.

Unilever Group Chief Executive, Patrick Cescau, Awarded 2007 Botwinick Prize in Ethics by Columbia Business School, Friday, October 26, 2007; Posted: 01:52 PM NEW YORK, Oct 26, 2007

(BUSINESS WIRE), one of the world's largest consumer products companies, announced today that its group chief executive, Patrick Cescau, was named the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Botwinick Prize in Ethics by the renowned Columbia Business School.

Mr. Cescau, who delivered the keynote address today at a conference hosted by the Social Enterprise Club of Columbia Business School said, "Social responsibility and sustainable development are no longer fringe activities, but are central to our business. And just as this has become core to business, so it should also become core to management education. It must be moved to the heart of the curriculum."

The Botwinick Prize in Ethics is awarded to an individual from a business organization that exemplifies the highest standard of professional and ethical conduct. Each year the acceptance speech is delivered to MBA students, faculty, alumni and staff.

Past winners include the late Anita Roddick (1994), cofounder and chief executive of The Body Shop; James Sinegal (2006), president and CEO of Costco Wholesale Corporation; and Lord John Browne (2004), former group chief executive of BP plc.

"Columbia Business School is honored to recognize Patrick with the Botwinick Prize," said Raymond Horton, the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance and director of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. "Patrick was selected for his leadership in placing importance on social and environmental accountability in today's global business environment. He understands that an organization can be successful beyond financial returns."

Patrick Cescau said: "There are a great many people in Unilever - past and present - whose work has made the company what it is: a company with responsibility at its very heart, and it is with enormous pride that I accept this award on their behalf."

Since its founding in 1930, a strong social mission has been at the heart of Unilever's business strategy: the company is committed to the highest standards of corporate behavior toward its employees, consumers and the societies and world in which it lives. Over the years, Unilever has launched or participated in an ever-growing range of initiatives to source sustainable supplies of raw materials, protect environments, support local communities and more.

In September 2007, Unilever was recognized as "Best in Class" in its approach to climate change disclosure by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a coalition of over 315 global investors with more than $41 trillion in assets.

The company was also elected a leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes (DJSI World) in the food and beverage sector for the ninth consecutive year.

Additionally, Unilever, the world's largest tea company, announced earlier this year that it has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance and committed to purchase all of its tea from sustainable, ethical sources, a revolutionary move for the world's tea business.

Note to Editors

For more information about Unilever's Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability initiatives, please visit:

Friday, October 26, 2007

REDD, not green, scheme for reducing emissions

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Bogor

In front of 40 international parties in Bogor on Thursday, Indonesia tabled a new pilot project that would see developing countries adopt REDD - an incentivized program to better manage forest emissions.

REDD (Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing nations) is an alternative to Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism (CDM) and would see forested countries reap more financial benefits by remanaging their forestry sector.

Many forested countries have not been able to adopt Kyoto's CDM into their forestry sector, which was one the main incentives behind the development of REDD.

The government said it would select four forests from across the country to pilot the project, which involves financial incentives for better managing forestry activities.

Senior advisor on partnership affairs at the forestry ministry Sunaryo said, "We will select (the) forests for the project and hopefully we can show them to the world in Bali," Sunaryo said.

"We hope the Bali meeting can adopt the concept," he said.

The four forest projects would be located in South Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra and Southeast Sulawesi.

Included in the proposal is the Heart of Borneo, a total of 220,000 square kilometers of equatorial rainforest encompassing Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia on Kalimantan island.

Bali is set to host the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference from Dec. 3 to 14.

The REDD mechanism has been proposed by Indonesia for the world's rainforest countries and should see some financial benefits arise for efforts made to better manage deforestation.

The government said it was hopeful other developed countries would accept the concept.

It said REDD would help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and would help address climate change.

The Kyoto Protocol on CDM only acknowledges aforestation and reforestation projects.

The protocol defines aforestation as converting land unforested for a period of at least 50 years to forested land via proactive seeding and planting management.

Reforestation is defined as the conversion of land area to a forested area after December 1989.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Wednesday countries that adopted the REDD program would be eligible for financial incentives from developed countries to help cope with any economic losses.

"The carbon market for REDD should provide a better price for each ton of carbon saved, and that price should be determined by the market so that the tropical rain forest countries do not have to shoulder the burden of opportunity costs," he said.

A ton of carbon dioxide stored by a forest is priced at US$3 to $5 and CDM from the energy saving sector is currently worth between $5 and $10.

Yudhoyono also said multinational companies in developed countries should play a crucial role in efforts to forest and prevent deforestation.

Forestry has long been a primary source of income for Indonesia. Data from the forestry ministry said the deforestation rate in Indonesia was 1.8 million hectares between 1987 and 1997.

The rate rose to 2.8 million hectares per year until 2000. Between 2000 to 2006 deforestation fell to 1.08 million hectares per year.

Emissions caused by changes in forests represent about one-fifth of the world's total emissions.

Indonesia currently has 120 million hectares of forest -- the world's third largest after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some 24 CDM projects have been developed across the archipelago, most of which have focused on alternative energy sources but none of which have been UN-approved for carbon trade to-date.

Natural decline 'hurting lives'

Continuing destruction of the natural world is affecting the health, wealth and well-being of people around the globe, according to a major UN report

BBC News

The Global Environment Outlook says most trends are going the wrong way.

It lists degradation of farmland, loss of forest cover, pollution, dwindling fresh water supplies and overfishing among society's environmental ills.

The UN Environment Programme (Unep) says there is a "remarkable lack of urgency" to reverse these trends.

"There continue to be persistent and intractable problems unresolved and unaddressed," said Unep's executive director Achim Steiner.

"Past issues remain and new ones are emerging, from the rapid rise of oxygen 'dead zones' in the oceans to the resurgence of new and old diseases linked in part with environmental degradation."

Unep concludes that the well-being of millions of people in the developing world is put at risk by failure to remedy problems which have been tackled in richer societies.

Final alarm

Publication of this Global Environment Outlook (Geo-4) marks 20 years since the World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), a seminal conference which put the idea of sustainable development at the heart of the UN.

Since that time, Geo-4 concludes, most environmental indicators have become more serious.

  • There is "visible and unequivocal" evidence of the impacts of climate change
  • Many farming systems have reached their limits of production
  • Warmer temperatures and ocean acidification threaten food supplies
  • 1.8 billion people face water shortages by 2025
  • Three-quarters of marine fisheries exploited to or beyond their limits
  • Exposure to pollutants causes 20% of disease in developing nations
  • Pollution being "exported" to developing world
  • About 60% of "ecosystem services" are degraded

State of the Earth, in graphics

Fish stocks are in a worse state, arable land (particularly in Africa) is becoming unusable, more people than ever before lack enough clean water, greenhouse gas concentrations have risen, and the loss of biodiversity is accelerating.

"This assault on the global environment risks undermining the many advances human society has made in recent decades," wrote UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in a foreword.

"It is undercutting our fight against poverty. It could even come to jeopardise international peace and security."

Geo-4's 572 pages do contain some positive conclusions, including a slowing of the rate of Amazonian deforestation, cleaner air in western Europe, and the global treaty curbing destruction of the ozone layer.

But they are dwarfed by the overwhelming conclusions that overall, environmental indicators are pointing downwards, and governments are not committing enough will and resources to halt the slide.

"There have been enough wake-up calls since Brundtland," said Mr Steiner.

"I sincerely hope Geo-4 is the final one."


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Thursday, October 25, 2007

UN: US, Australia ready to negotiate new climate change treaty

The Jakarta Post

BOGOR, Indonesia (AP): The United States and Australia, the only industrialized countries to not sign onto the Kyoto climate change treaty, are willing to join negotiations for a successor agreement in coming years, a U.N. official said Thursday.

Yvo de Boer, a leading U.N. climate official, said participants at informal talks in Indonesia this week agreed that economically developed nations must take the lead in adopting measures to halt the earth's rising temperature.

"The United States came to this meeting with a very constructive position, saying they want to see a launch of negotiations" to be concluded by 2009, he said.

A major summit will be held in December on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where environment ministers from 80 countries will discuss a replacement for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

"The United States and Australia indicated in this meeting they are willing to begin negotiations," de Boer told reporters Thursday.

The Kyoto agreement requires 36 industrial nations to reduce the heat-trapping gases emitted by power plants and other industrial, agricultural and transportation sources, but critics say it did not go far enough and are pushing for a more stringent regime next time around.

The United States, Australia and some other Western nations do not want to sign onto a new deal setting caps on emissions unless China and India - who argue that such a deal would impede their booming economies - agree. So far, that seems unlikely.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

World's carbon dioxide emissions rising at alarming rate

By Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

Carbon dioxide — the greenhouse gas considered most responsible for global warming — has been emitted into the Earth's atmosphere at a dramatically accelerating pace since 2000, researchers reported Monday.

"Carbon dioxide is rising at a much faster rate than before," says study co-author Christopher Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology in California. "In the 1990s, CO{-2} emissions increased by about 1.3% per year. Since 2000, the growth rate has been 3.3% per year." The researchers calculate that global carbon-dioxide emissions were 35% higher in 2006 than in 1990.

What's especially troubling, notes lead author Josep Canadell of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, is most climate scenarios used by scientists and policymakers to predict temperature increases are based on the 1.3% rise. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide warm the planet by trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Canadell says that while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts "we will have temperature increases of 3.2 to 7.1 degrees by the end of the century, … we're well on the way to the higher temperature increase if the emissions keep going up at this rate."

Higher global temperatures have been predicted to cause rising sea levels, more frequent heat waves and wildfires, and huge losses of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic.

The study was published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It states that carbon released from burning fossil fuels and making cement rose from 7 billion metric tons a year in 2000 to 8.4 billion metric tons in 2006. A metric ton is 2,205 pounds.

The growing world economy is fueling the emissions. "Our ability to become more carbon-efficient is declining, especially since 2000," Field says. "We're no longer seeing progress in this area, which is probably a reflection of a large amount of coal coming into the power system."

Another factor is the reduced amount of carbon dioxide naturally absorbed by the Earth's land, plants and oceans, known as "carbon sinks." Study co-author Thomas Conway of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., says, "Carbon sinks were keeping up with the increased emissions, but now they're not."

Canadell confirms this: "We now know that significant contributions to the growth of atmospheric CO{-2} arise from the slowdown" of nature's ability to take the chemical out of the air.

The research was supported by Australian, European and other international agencies.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rising Seas Threaten 21 Mega-Cities

Guardian United, Saturday October 20, 2007 7:31 PM

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Cities around the world are facing the danger of rising seas and other disasters related to climate change.

Of the 33 cities predicted to have at least 8 million people by 2015, at least 21 are highly vulnerable, says the Worldwatch Institute.

They include Dhaka in Bangladesh; Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro; Shanghai and Tianjin in China; Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt; Mumbai and Kolkata in India; Jakarta in Indonesia; Tokyo and Osaka-Kobe in Japan; Lagos in Nigeria; Karachi in Pakistan; Bangkok in Thailand, and New York and Los Angeles in the United States, according to studies by the United Nations and others.

More than one-tenth of the world's population, or 643 million people, live in low-lying areas at risk from climate change, say U.S. and European experts. Most imperiled, in descending order, are China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Egypt, the U.S., Thailand and the Philippines.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Oceans are 'soaking up less CO2'

The amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world's oceans has reduced, scientists have said.

BBC News

University of East Anglia researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements from merchant ships equipped with automatic instruments.

Results of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic show CO2 uptake halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005.

Scientists believe global warming might get worse if the oceans soak up less of the greenhouse gas.

Researchers said the findings, published in a paper for the Journal of Geophysical Research, were surprising and worrying because there were grounds for believing that, in time, the ocean might become saturated with our emissions.

'Saturated' ocean

BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said: "The researchers don't know if the change is due to climate change or to natural variations.

"But they say it is a tremendous surprise and very worrying because there were grounds for believing that in time the ocean might become 'saturated' with our emissions - unable to soak up any more."

He said that would "leave all our emissions to warm the atmosphere".

Of all the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, only half of it stays there; the rest goes into carbon sinks.

There are two major natural carbon sinks: the oceans and the land "biosphere". They are equivalent in size, each absorbing a quarter of all CO2 emissions.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Virgin Atlantic 747 to test biofuel in early 2008

By Al Yoon

BOSTON (Reuters) - British billionaire Richard Branson said on Monday his Virgin Group hopes to produce clean biofuels by around the start of the next decade and early next year will test a jet plane on renewable fuel.

Virgin hopes to provide clean fuel for buses, trains and cars within three or four years, Branson told a Mortgage Bankers Association meeting in Boston.

In the meantime, Virgin will be conducting a test jet flight on renewable fuels. "Early next year we will fly one of our 747s without passengers with one of the fuels that we have developed," Branson told the annual conference.

Virgin is developing biofuels for aircraft in conjunction with Boeing Co and engine-maker GE Aviation, a unit of General Electric Co. Previously, Branson had said the company would test the fuel sometime next year and that some people had said it would be late in the year.

Air New Zealand has said it plans to test a flight on a combination fuel of biofuel and kerosene in late 2008, but Virgin is trying to beat that airline by testing biofuels first.

Branson pledged last year to spend all the profit over the next 10 years from his 51 percent stake in Virgin's airline and rail businesses on fighting global warming.

Read whole article ...

Monday, October 15, 2007

China vows to rebalance economy, nurse environment

Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:59am EDT

By Jason Subler and Zhou Xin

BEIJING, Oct 15 (Reuters) - China will promote more consumer spending to trim its bulging trade surplus and redouble efforts to limit damage to the environment inflicted by breakneck growth, President Hu Jintao said on Monday.

In his keynote address to the ruling Communist Party's five-yearly Congress, Hu also reaffirmed China's commitment to let the yuan move more freely and gradually dismantle the country's capital controls.

Hu said climbing faster up the technology ladder and weaning the economy off exports and investment were key to rebalancing an economy that for the first time will contribute more to global growth this year than the United States.

"This is a pressing strategic task vital to the national economy as a whole," he said.

Hu reserved the most dramatic language of his 2-1/2-hour speech for the need to protect the environment and conserve resources, which he said was vital to "the survival and development of the Chinese nation".

"Our economic growth is realised at an excessively high cost of resources and the environment," he said.

Read whole article ....

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Millions forced out by China dam

BBC News

At least four million people are to be moved from the area around China's Three Gorges Dam amid warnings of an "environmental catastrophe".

The announcement by state media follows reports that the dam could cause landslides, soil erosion and pollution.

Critics have long warned the dam, the world's largest hydro-electric project, could cause huge environmental damage.

Millions of people are now set to be relocated to the sprawling city of Chongqing at the reservoir's west end.

The vice-mayor of the city, Yu Yuanmu, was quoted as saying the relocations were necessary to "protect the ecology of the reservoir area", which "has a vulnerable environment".

Read whole story

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore shares Nobel Peace Prize with U.N. panel

(CNN) -- Former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work to raise awareness about global warming.

In a statement, Gore said he was "deeply honored," adding that "the climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."

The former vice president said he would donate his half of the $1.5 million prize to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a U.S. organization he founded that aims to persuade people to cut emissions and reduce global warming.

The White House offered an initial reaction to the Nobel win by President Bush's 2000 opponent. "Of course, we're happy that Vice President Gore and the IPCC are receiving this recognition," said deputy press secretary Tony Fratto.

During its announcement, the Nobel committee cited the winners "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

The award ceremony will be held December 10 in Oslo, Norway.
Video Watch why Gore won the Nobel prize »

In recent weeks, Gore has been the target of a campaign to persuade him to enter the 2008 presidential race.

A source involved in Gore's past political runs told CNN that he definitely has the ambition to use the peace prize as a springboard to run for president.

But he will not run, because he won't take on the political machine assembled by Sen. Hillary Clinton, said the source. If the senator from New York had faltered at all, Gore would take a serious look at entering the race, the source said.But Gore has calculated that Clinton is unstoppable, according to the source.

Gore repeatedly denied he has any plans to run again, but this week a group of grass-roots Democrats calling themselves "Draft Gore" took out a full-page ad in The New York Times in a bid to change his mind.

"Your country needs you now, as do your party, and the planet you are fighting so hard to save," the group said in an open letter.

"America and the Earth need a hero right now, someone who will transcend politics as usual and bring real hope to our country and to the world."

The Nobel committee praised Gore as being "one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians."

"He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted," said Ole Danbolt Mjos, chairman of the Nobel committee.

In making the announcement, Mjos said, "Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.

"Thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established in 1988 to study climate change information. The group doesn't do independent research but instead reviews scientific literature from around the world.

The U.N.-sanctioned group was formed by the World Meteorological Organization and U.N. Environment Program. U.N.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "delighted" with the news that Gore and the IPCC will share in prize.

A spokeswoman for the IPCC, which draws on the work of 2,000 scientists, said the panel was surprised that it had been chosen to share the award with Gore and praised his contribution to environmental campaigning.

"We would have been happy even if he had received it alone because it is a recognition of the importance of this issue," spokeswoman Carola Traverso Saibante said, The Associated Press reported.

The Nobel caps a series of prestigious awards associated with Gore, including two Oscars this year for the 2006 documentary film, "An Inconvenient Truth," which followed him on a worldwide tour publicizing the dangers of climate change.

Last month, he also picked up an Emmy -- the highest award in U.S. television -- for "Current TV." The show, which Gore co-created, describes itself as a global television network giving viewers the opportunity to create and influence its programming.

Previous American recipients of the peace prize include former Presidents Carter in 2002, Wilson in 1919 and Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

In 1973, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shared the award with North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. received the honor in 1964. See more on 2007 Nobel winners »

Gore was vice president for eight years under President Clinton. He won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000 and ran against Bush.

But he failed in his bid for the White House -- despite winning more popular votes than Bush -- when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his challenge over voting results in Florida, securing an Electoral College majority for Bush.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

World environment ministers to meet in Bogor

Adianto P Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Ministers dealing with environmental affairs from 40 nations, including the U.S., will discuss ways to tackle global warming in an informal meeting in Bogor, West Java, this month.

The Oct. 23-25 meeting will be chaired by Indonesian State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar in his capacity as incoming president of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC).

Rachmat said the meeting would discuss a paper presented by Indonesia covering issues including post-Kyoto Protocol and the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD) scheme.

"We will listen to opinions and take input from the ministers on our paper, although this will not be binding (to our position at the conference in Bali)," he said after a meeting with senior envoys Ali Alatas and Emil Salim in his office Wednesday.

Emil is chairman of the Indonesian delegation to the UNFCCC, the world's main decision-making authority on climate change issues, to be held in Bali in December.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to attend the Bogor meeting.

Minister Rachmat said the Bogor meeting would be the first step preceding the Bali conference with 40 ministers representing 191 signatory states of the Kyoto Protocol.

"The meeting would also build consensus for negotiation in the upcoming Bali conference in the framework of post-2012 Kyoto Protocol," he said.

The 40 ministers attending the conference come from (among others) the U.S., Australia, European and ASEAN countries.

Ministers from Brazil and Papua New Guinea, representing two of the world's largest tropical forested nations, would also attend the meeting.

Rachmat said the Bali conference would discuss heavier topics than in the previous UNFCCC meeting in Kenya last year.

"The Bali conference will discuss fresh aspects of post-Kyoto Protocol in 2012," he said.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol requires rich nations listed in Annex I to reduce emission levels by at least 5 percent from 1990.

The United States and Australia, however, have rejected this emission reduction target.

Developing countries including Indonesia which ratified the protocol in 2004 are not obliged to reduce emission levels.

Minister Rachmat has said the Bali conference was expected to bear the so-called "Bali road map" with a scheme of financial incentives for avoiding deforestation.

Indonesia has joined lobby groups from forested countries to promote the REDD scheme at the Bali conference, with hopes to gain financial incentives for its huge areas of forest.

Indonesia currently has 120 million hectares of forest, the world's third largest after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Indonesia, with other forested countries including Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Peru, has set up a coalition to slow the loss of forests to combat climate change.

In return, these countries hope rich nations will provide them incentives for these efforts.

Indonesia is also set to plant 79 million trees to help tackle climate change.

Climate change deadlier than car accidents: European agency


BELGRADE (AFP) — Europe needs to take drastic action to reverse complex environmental issues that have shortened the life expectancy of its people by almost a year, the European Environmental Agency said Wednesday.

"Air pollution continues to pose a significant threat to health: it shortens average life expectancy in western and central Europe by almost one year and affects the healthy development of children," the EEA said in a report presented at the opening of a ministerial conference here.

The continent needed to act fast to deal with challenges including the poor quality of air and drinking water, adverse impacts of climate change and continuing biodiversity losses, said the 400-page report.

"Air pollution by fine particles represents the highest risk to public health in all regions, higher than that of other air pollutants. The estimated annual loss of life is significantly greater than that due to car accidents," it warned.

The report was unveiled at the sixth ministerial "Environment for Europe" conference in Belgrade, a gathering attended by ministers and other high-level officials from 56 countries.

"We need to further strengthen the will to act on environmental issues across the pan-European region," Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the EEA, told reporters in the Serbian capital.

"This requires a better understanding of the problems we face, their nature and distribution across societies and generations," she said.

In the report, the European agency warned that greenhouse gas emissions had increased in recent years in most European countries and "are projected to continue to do so in the future.

"Global emissions will have to be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2050 to limit temperature increases to a maximum of two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the target proposed by the EU as necessary to avoid unacceptable climate change impacts in the future," the EEA said.

It added that countries of the former communist bloc in particular were at risk because of their rapid economic transformation.

"Most air pollutants have increased in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia by more than 10 percent as a result of economic recovery, increases in transport and the lack of effectiveness of air pollution protection policies," it said.

The participants of the three-day conference are expected to adopt a declaration at the end of the gathering on Friday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Indonesian women to plant 10 million trees to help overcome climate change

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Seven woman organizations will plant an estimated 10 million trees throughout Indonesia starting on December 1, 2007, to help deal with climate change.

The planting of 10 million trees was also expected to be put in the book of records, Dewi Motik, chairman of the tree planting organizing committee, told the press at the Presidential office here on Tuesday after meeting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

"There will be 10 million trees, and the event will be the first ever," Dewi Motik said.

President Yudhoyono on November 28, 2007 was expected to officially launch the tree planting activities which would be conducted simultaneously throughout Indonesia starting on December 1, 2007, at 8.00 am Western Indonesian Time (WIB), or 9.00 am Central Indonesian Time (WITA), or 10.00 am Eastern Indonesian Time (WIT), she said.

Most of the trees to be planted would be fruit-bearing trees to give benefits to local people living surrounding the areas where the trees would be planted, the businesswoman said.

The seven organizations to get involved in the tree planting activities would be the Solidarity of the United Indonesian Cabinet Ministers` Wives (Sikib), Kowani, Dharma Pertiwi, Dharma Wanita Persatuan, the Woman Alliance for Sustainable Development, The Family Welfare Movement (PKK), Bhayangkari and the organizing committee of the Mothers` Day 2007.

Meanwhile, First Lady Mrs. Ani Yudhoyono said that tree planting was a hobby of women.

"Women are fond of planting, none of them cut trees," she said.

In connection with the event, a national conference of Indonesian women to anticipate effects of climate change and global warming, will be organized in Jakarta, from November 26 to 28, 2007.

Erna Witoelar of the conference`s organizing committee said that around 700 women from all over Indonesia would take part in the conference which will discuss efforts to solve the problem of climate change.|

The former minister hoped that the 10 million tree planting activities could become a start up of larger scale reforestation programs to rehabilitate the country`s forests.

"Indonesia needs to plant around two billion trees in the next five years. So, 10 million trees that we will plant are a very small number. We hope to encourage the people to do similar activities," Erna Witoelas said.

Reuters: Shell says has key to clean coal as demand soars

Tue Oct 9, 2007 2:01 PM BST

By Jackie Cowhig

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell’s technology to turn coal into gas to fuel power plants could allow developing countries to meet surging energy demand without a matching rise in emissions, Shell executives said on Tuesday.

Power plants fuelled by gas made from coal using Shell’s proven technology could have 9 percent lower costs than conventional coal-fired boilers if both types of generation involve carbon capture and storage, the executives said.

There are various projects to fight climate change by developing commercial-scale capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and storage underground but none has yet been proved to work in practice.

Shell is licensing clean coal technology it developed over 40 years to produce synthetic gas (syngas) from any type of coal including bituminous, sub-bituminous, lignite and anthracite.

“Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plants run on syngas are around 10 per cent more costly than conventional coal plants,” said Peter de Wit, Executive Vice President Clean Coal Energy.

“But this is reversed if you assume carbon capture and storage,” said Ian Poll, General Manager Synthesis and Gasification, Shell Global Solutions International.

Shell’s process adds oxygen to coal at a high temperature, partially oxidising it. It creates slag containing ash and trace metals that can be easily removed and disposed of, Shell said.


It is far easier and cheaper to extract CO2 from highly-pressurised syngas, before it is burnt in a generator, than to extract the greenhouse gas from coal plant flue gases, Shell said.

“Coal gasification and CCS will be extremely relevant in years to come if energy demand is to be met,” de Wit said.

“While accepting there are lots of carbon-related issues and that coal has been a dirty energy resource, coal is central to meeting the world’s energy challenge,” he said.

“Global energy demand is not just rising, it’s accelerating, even faster than the rate of population growth, he said.

Shell is developing oil shales, sands, offshore and deeper oil and gas production, which are more energy-intensive than “easy oil,” but are necessary for diversification, he said.

Licensing its syngas production technology and participating in research to develop coal-fuelled generation with a zero carbon footprint are part of that diversification, he said.

Shell has sold 18 licences for use of its syngas production technology to date. Of these, 15 have been sold to China for syngas production plants that are now coming on stream.

China is bringing two large conventional coal-fired power plants into operation each week, coal industry sources said.

Shell has around 40 licence opportunities which are being evaluated, executives said, including six to take an equity stake in a project.

Interest in syngas technology has come from many countries including India, Africa, Indonesia and Russia, they said.

One attraction of syngas and IGCC generation for developing countries is that low quality coal can be used.

India, Indonesia and Turkey are among countries with surging energy demand but which have mostly low quality domestic coal.

Shell is licensing the use of its technology but is not building plant, they said. However, Shell would consider taking equity stakes in syngas production ventures with partners.

It has signed alliances with coal producers Anglo American and China’s Shenhua Energy <> but has no plans to re-enter coal mining, de Wit said. Shell sold its coal mining interests to Anglo in the 1990s.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Conergy's Bold Australian Wind Farm Plan

Vivian Wai-yin Kwok,, 10.08.07, 11:19 AM ET

German solar power company Conergy is seeking approval to build the largest windmill in Australia, taking a 2 billion Australian dollar ($1.8 billion) bet on the country's Parliament passing legislation supporting renewable energy.

Under Conergy's blueprint, 500 turbines will be placed near the hamlet of Silverton, New South Wales, in the five years starting from 2009. With a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts, the project aims at producing energy for 400,000 homes, meeting about 4.5% of the state's electricity demand. The German-designed wind farm would be 10 times bigger than the next-largest wind farm approved for the state and could reduce Australia's carbon dioxide emissions by at least 3 million tons of a year.

The proposal was unveiled Monday in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The site has some of the best wind resources in the country. Silverton, a small village at the western extreme of New South Wales, 25 kilometers (16 miles) northwest of Broken Hill, is best known as the backdrop for several Australian movies such as Mad Max II (known in America as The Road Warrior) and A Town Like Alice. The fact that the village is inhabited by only a handful of artists makes it less difficult for Conergy to propose the windmill project.

Conergy's plan follows the news that the federal government is setting a mandatory clean energy target of 30,000 gigawatt hours of electricity a year nationwide by 2020. Australian Prime Minister John Howard last month revealed that the government intends to pursue a goal of 15% of electricity coming from renewable energy by 2020, while New South Wales plans to generate 10% of its power from environmental friendly resources by 2010.

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