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

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Twelve new springs appear around Buyan Lake, Bali

Denpasar (ANTARA News) - At least 12 new springs have appeared suddenly around Buyan Lake, Buleleng District, which is located around 55 km north of Denpasar.


Local farmers are now using water from the new springs for irrigation, Bali provincial forestry service head Made Sulendra said here on Saturday.


Some 4.93 sq km wide Buyan Lake is one of four lakes on Bali Island which have become tourist attractions.


Sulendra said it was believed the new springs had formed thanks to the massive regreening programs launched by the Bali provincial administration last year. Bali planted at least seven million trees last year, including in areas surrounding Buyan Lake.

Eco-friendly timber firms want incentives

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Hanoi | Fri, 04/25/2008 12:15 PM

Forestry companies producing eco-friendly timber pleaded at the Asia-Pacific forest conference on Thursday for incentives to help with rising operating costs while demand for sustainable wood-related products remains sluggish.

The Hanoi conference is the leading regional meeting on forestry, attended by more than 600 participants including decision makers, governments, firms, foresters and activists.

Indonesian listed timber company PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya said that operating costs for producing much-promoted sustainable timber were up about 30 percent.

Sumalindo president director Amir Sunarko told the conference, "When we started logging 16 years ago, we made a commitment to adopt sustainable forest management but during that time we never received incentives,"

Sunarko said government should reduce the burden for "eco-producers" by simplifying red tape while importing countries should reduce tariff barriers for sustainable wood products.

Sumalindo, which operates in natural tropical and plantation forest covering 448,986 hectares in East Kalimantan, has been certificated by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for sustainable forest management of the firm's 267,000 hectares.

He said that since adopting sustainable forestry management, Sumalindo, a member of Singapore-based forestry group Samko Forest Holding, had improved market sales.

Governments in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for over half a billion hectares of forest, have long promoted sustainable forest management aimed at slashing poverty, particularly for communities living near forest areas.

Countries importing wood products in the region have adopted policies aimed at restricting illegal logging and promoting sustainable forestry management and eco-timber products.

However, experts said few Asian timber firms were applying for sustainable forest management certificates since local and foreign buyers continued trading in illegal timber products.

Hugh Speechly of the British Department for International Development's (DFID) Forest Governance and Trade Program said sustainable forestry management was not just an environmental goal, but raised social, political and economic issues.

"Sustainable management of forests in Asia is not just the responsibility of Asian countries but also of developed countries whose seemingly insatiable demand for timber products often drives illegal logging," he said.

"This demand impacts heavily on economies of developing countries and livelihoods of rural communities," Speechly said.

He said timber-producing nations lose more than US$15 billion a year from uncollected royalties due to illegal logging.

"Trade in illegally procured timbers is estimated to depress world prices by up to 16 percent, making it difficult for legal operators to compete," he said.

"The UK's Forest Governance and Trade Program is confronting this problem by harnessing market leverage in timber consuming countries to encourage governance reform in producing countries."

The Danish-owned timber company Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman (DHL) operating in Vietnam said that support for domestic demand for sustainable forest products was also important in promoting eco-friendly products.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dell mini desktop set to save energy, By Agam Shah, IDG News Service


Small laptops have been hogging most of the limelight lately, but Dell's tiny new PC could bring attention back to desktops.


Dell CEO Michael Dell has previewed what he called "the company's smallest and most environmentally-responsible consumer desktop PC." Dell previewed the desktop as part of Earth Day at the Fortune Brainstorm conference being held in Pasadena, California.


The small form-factor desktop is 81 percent smaller and uses up to 70 percent less energy than a typical desktop mini-tower, said Anne Camden, a Dell spokeswoman.


She declined comment on hardware specifications, brand name or pricing. Details will be released later this year when the desktop is released.


The desktop, which stands on a holder, will come in recycled and recyclable packaging, Camden said.


It will most likely compete with Apple's Mac Mini and Everex's MyMiniPC, mini desktops with full computing capabilities designed to save desk space.

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IBM Launches High-Powered Server For Internet Companies

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

RI is "environmental superpower": US envoy

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In observance of Earth Day, US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume has written an article titled "Indonesia: Environmental Superpower". Following is his article sent to ANTARA on Tuesday:

Anyone who happened to go by the U.S. Embassy over the past few days might have noticed changes. On Saturday, a group of Indonesian children helped put the finishing touches on seven different murals depicting some of the flora and fauna of Indonesia. I am proud to have their paintings displayed outside the Embassy, and glad to see that they are thinking of the environment at a young age. Today is Earth Day, and it is important to take stock of what we are doing to protect these children`s future environment.

Indonesia was a fitting host for the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, in part because its rich biodiversity and natural resources are unsurpassed. Indonesia possesses the highest marine biodiversity on the planet, and one of the largest and most biodiverse tropical forests in the world.

Indonesia is an environmental "superpower," and a natural leader in global efforts to protect the environment. Yet the country faces tremendous challenges to ensure that the next generation will inherit these vast environmental riches. Indonesia is the world`s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, due mainly to large-scale deforestation. Illegal logging is widespread. Energy needs and emissions from power generation and transportation are rising fast. The destruction of coral reefs, overfishing, and other unsustainable practices threaten the livelihoods and welfare of tens of millions of Indonesians who depend on the ocean`s resources, as well as irreparable damage to Indonesia`s unique ecosystems.

Indonesia is taking steps to face these challenges. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Government of Indonesia are cracking down on illegal logging and taking action to improve forest governance. They are in the process of implementing a new timber legality standard that will constrict trade in illegally harvested timber.

They have launched a National Climate Change Action Plan and a National Action Plan for the Orangutan Protection. Recognizing the importance of coral reefs and threats to their sustainability due to climate change and unsustainable exploitation, President Yudhoyono also launched the regional Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) during the Bali conference. Fittingly, 2008 is the International Year of the Reef.

Much work remains. Protecting our planet is a long-term, cooperative endeavor. The United States can be Indonesia`s "super-partner", and President Yudhoyono has invited increased U.S. environmental partnership. We already collaborate on anti-illegal logging activities, and support the Heart of Borneo Initiative to protect the forest habitat in Kalimantan. We work together to protect endangered orangutans. Our two governments are negotiating a large fund to conserve tropical forests, under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act. We already fund marine programs in Indonesia and the region, and have pledged initial support of over $4 million to the Coral Triangle Initiative.

Indonesia needs electricity to grow, but it should use clean-coal and renewable energy technologies to meet its rapidly increasing energy needs. Indonesia can retrofit existing "dirty" electricity-generating coal plants, build new, cleaner ones, and harness Indonesia`s potential 27,000 megawatt geothermal capacity. The Clean Technology Fund that President Bush announced last year, and which the United States is developing in cooperation with the World Bank, Japan, the United Kingdom, and other partners, has the potential to be an important tool in dealing with the clean energy challenge.

Working together, we can protect rainforests, conserve biodiversity, avoid the collapse of global fisheries, and combat climate change. The challenges are great, but our cooperation shows great promise for the future

On this Earth Day, let us remind ourselves that we are all connected. How Indonesia and the U.S. treat their forests and oceans will affect the rest of the world, and all of our children`s futures

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Freshening of deep Antarctic waters worries experts

By David Fogarty, Reuters, Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:13pm

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Scientists studying the icy depths of the sea around Antarctica have detected changes in salinity that could have profound effects on the world's climate and ocean currents.

The scientists returned to the southern Australian city of Hobart on Thursday after a one-month voyage studying the Southern Ocean to see how it is changing and what those changes might mean for global climate patterns.

Voyage leader Steve Rintoul said his team found that salty, dense water that sinks near the edge of Antarctica to the bottom of the ocean about 5 km (3 miles) down was becoming fresher and more buoyant.

So-called Antarctic bottom water helps power the great ocean conveyor belt, a system of currents spanning the Southern, Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans that shifts heat around the globe.

"The main reason we're paying attention to this is because it is one of the switches in the climate system and we need to know if we are about to flip that switch or not," said Rintoul of Australia's government-backed research arm the CSIRO.

"If that freshening trend continues for long enough, eventually the water near Antarctica would be too light, too buoyant to sink and that limb of the global-scale circulation would shut down," he said on Friday.

Cold, salty water also sinks to the depths in the far north Atlantic Ocean near Greenland and, together with the vast amount of water that sinks off Antarctica, this drives the ocean conveyor belt.

This system brings warm water into the far north Atlantic, making Europe warmer than it would otherwise be, and also drives the large flow of upper ocean water from the tropical Pacific to the Indian Ocean through the Indonesia Archipelago. Read whole story

Related Story:

Global Warming: The Greenland Factor

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bandung students learn from farmers in nature, cultural tour

Slamet Susanto & Tarko Sudiarno, The Jakarta PostKulonprogo, Yogyakarta, Wed, 04/13/2005 12:35 PM

Plowing, growing rice and cooking with wood stoves are part of the daily routine for rural people. For students of Bandung International School (BIS), however, thesetasks are a rare, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This not surprising, because most of the 45 BIS students following the nature and cultural tourism program in Sendangsari village of Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, are foreign nationals with accustomed to a modern lifestyle not the life of hardship and toil in rural Indonesia.

Bandung International School students get hands-on experience at planting rice in a paddy (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

"Enough, enough!" yelled Sabina, who had been driving a cattle-pulled plow for less than five minutes. The student from Denmark was shouting for help as she tried to get down from the plow. She was apparently disgusted at the sight of the cow peeing and emptying its bowels right in front of her.

"It's all right, miss,natural manure, beneficial to plants," said the plow driver while helping Sabina to descend.

But Sabina expressed her pleasure at taking a leisurely walk around the village and observing the cultivation process while familiarizing herself with local farmers' traditions.

Forgetting the cow dung, Sabina joined her classmates to try her hand at planting rice. "It's quite interesting. I once saw this in Sukabumi (West Java)," she said. 

Tyler, a BIS student from Canada, looked at the muddy field intently, then plunged into the mire and gestured as though he was swimming.

"It feels like snow. The difference is that mud is warm and makes the body dirty," he remarked.

"Help me, help me.!" still another student cried as his legs slid down into the mud to his knees. Some of his friends came near but instead of helping, they jostled each other before finally falling together into the sludge, laughing.

Apart from learning local crop planting methods, the students were also introduced to rural community traditions, such as the use of the bedug, a big drum, as a means of communication to signal the start of a village meeting.

"In the city, residents keep their money at banks and can withdraw it any time through an ATM. Villagers save their money by raising cows," the students' guide explained. "Cattle constitute a form of savings for rural people and will be sold when they have urgent needs, just like in a bank transaction."

Greening and replanting various plants, as well as an introduction to different wildlife species of Indonesia in the Yogyakarta Wildlife Rescue Center (PPSJ), were also part of the BIS students' village tour program.

They were taught how to feed animals, take care of them and release them back into their natural habitat. The animals were originally confiscated by authorized government agencies and placed under the PPSJ's care.

Jonas, a BIS history teacher, said the stroll around the village was very conducive to building a close relationship between teachers and students. He said this helped teachers to better understand the students' needs to create the best method of teaching.

"Such close association and awareness of what students want contribute to their learning process," stressed Jonas, who has been in Bandung since 1998 and has two children with his wife, who is from the area.

Observing traditional activities, he added, made students conscious of what it really meant to struggle for life.

"So far, (the students) have lived in big cities and most of them come from established families, enjoying pleasant living conditions and never before knowing the toils of life," he pointed out.

The village experience will increase their knowledge in addition to the science subjects they learned in class.

"After graduation, I hope they will have a broader perspective," Jonas said.

The educational benefits of the village tour were deemed extremely valuable to the students' education that it has been made into a regular activity.

"This program is part of the school curriculum and is regularly carried out to broaden students' horizons," Jonas said.

Meanwhile, PPSJ director Sugi Hartono revealed that the wildlife center, in cooperation with relevant agencies and local communities, was promoting cultural tourism in rural areas.

As we are in the hilly region of Menoreh, we call our cultural and nature tourism zone Menoreh Green Land," he said.

A BIS students rides a traditional plow as a farmer assists the team. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)

According to Hartono, Menoreh Green Land offers genuine rural tourism covering crop planting methods and local traditions. Visitors are also served typical foods that are unique to the area. The land's extensive hills and rapidly flowing rivers for rafting are also open to exploration in their natural conditions.

Since its founding in 2003, the PPSJ has accommodated 4,194 animals representing 54 species, of which 2,873 have been rehabilitated and released back to the wild. Among these animals are sea hawks (Haliatus leocogaster), pig-snout tortoises (Carettoscelis insculpta), bondol hawks (Haliastur Indus) and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus).

Four hectares of the PPSJ's 14-ha area are reserved for wildlife conservation and the remainder for a variety of outbound games.

"We also aim to nurture a love of wildlife among students at an early age so that they will become a succeeding generation that cares for the ecosystem, rather than one that only exploits nature as is the case today," Hartono said.

He also hoped an increase in tourists to the area would help improve the community's welfare.

"Local people can make extra income from their food stalls, homestays and the sale of handicrafts as souvenirs," continued Hartono.

"Although not all villagers are aware of the importance of tourism, through dialogs on its direct economic benefits, we are sure they will come to fully support the effort," he said.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Shift in the Debate Over Global Warming

The charged and complex debate over how to slow down
global warming has become a lot more complicated.

Most of the focus in the last few years has centered on imposing caps on greenhouse gas emissions to prod energy users to conserve or switch to nonpolluting technologies.

Leaders of the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change — the scientists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year with former Vice President Al Gore — have emphasized that market-based approach. All three presidential candidates are behind it. And it has framed international talks over a new climate treaty and debate within the United States over climate legislation.

But now, with recent data showing an unexpected rise in global emissions and a decline in energy efficiency, a growing chorus of economists, scientists and students of energy policy are saying that whatever benefits the cap approach yields, it will be too little and come too late.

The economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, stated the case bluntly in a recent article in Scientific American: “Even with a cutback in wasteful energy spending, our current technologies cannot support both a decline in carbon dioxide emissions and an expanding global economy. If we try to restrain emissions without a fundamentally new set of technologies, we will end up stifling economic growth, including the development prospects for billions of people.”

What is needed, Mr. Sachs and others say, is the development of radically advanced low-carbon technologies, which they say will only come about with greatly increased spending by determined governments on what has so far been an anemic commitment to research and development. A Manhattan-like Project, so to speak.

And time is critical, they say, as China, India and other developing nations march headlong into the modern world of cars and electric consumption on their way to becoming the dominant producer of greenhouse gases for decades to come. Indeed, China is building, on average, one large coal-burning power plant a week.

In an article in the journal Nature last week, researchers concerned with the economics, politics, and science of climate also argued that technology policy, not emissions policy, must dominate.

“There is no question about whether technological innovation is necessary — it is,” said the authors, Roger A. Pielke Jr., a political scientist at the University of Colorado; Tom Wigley, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research; and Christopher Green, an economist at McGill University. “The question is, to what degree should policy focus directly on motivating such innovation?”

Proponents of treaties and legislation that would cap emissions don’t disagree with this call to arms for new, low-carbon technologies. But they say the cap approach should not be ignored, either.

One of them is Joseph Romm, a blogger on climate and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit group pushing for federal legislation to restrict greenhouse gases.

“Of course we need aggressive investments in R. and D. — I for one have been arguing that for two decades,” Mr. Romm wrote in a post to his blog, “But if we don’t start aggressively deploying the technologies we have now for the next quarter century, then all the new technologies in the world won’t avert catastrophe.”

Another expert who has emphasized the importance of capping emissions, Adil Najam of Boston University, said he hoped this emerging debate would not distract from doing whatever is possible now to curb emissions.

“You can do a tremendous lot with available technology,” said Professor Najam, one of the authors of the intergovernmental panel’s report on policy options. “It is true that this will not be enough to lick the problem, but it will be a very significant and probably necessary difference.”

But Professor Pielke and his co-authors say that a recent rise in emissions — particularly in fast-growing emerging powers — points to the need for government to push aggressively for technological advances instead of waiting for the market to force reductions in emissions.

Mr. Sachs pointed to several promising technologies — capturing and burying carbon dioxide, plug-in hybrid cars and solar-thermal electric plants. “Each will require a combination of factors to succeed: more applied scientific research, important regulatory changes, appropriate infrastructure, public acceptance and early high-cost investments,” he said. “A failure on one or more of these points could kill the technologies.”

In short, what is needed, he said, is a “major overhaul of energy technology” financed by “large-scale public funding of research, development and demonstration projects.”

At the same time, China and India continue to insist that economic growth is both their priority and right. They argue that the established economic powers should be responsible for spearheading the research to reduce carbon emissions. After all, the United States and Europe spent more than a century growing wealthy by burning fossil fuels.

Developing countries repeatedly made that point last week in Bangkok in the latest round of United Nations talks over the shape of a new climate agreement. But the United States rejected a proposal from China that 0.5 percent of the gross domestic product of industrialized countries be used to disseminate nonpolluting energy technologies.

As if to underscore the energy and emissions trajectories in Asia’s emerging powerhouses —and the priority placed on growth there and among important international institutions — the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank is planning to vote on Monday on helping to finance a four-billion-watt complex of coal-burning power plants, the “Ultra Mega” complex, in Gujarat State in India.

Related Story:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hydrogen-powered plane takes off

BBC News

The first manned, hydrogen-powered plane has been successfully tested in the skies above Spain, its makers say.

The small, propeller-driven craft, developed by aviation giant Boeing, made three short flights at an airfield south of Madrid, the company said.

It was powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which produce only heat and water as exhaust products.

The tests could pave the way for a new generation of greener aircraft, the company said.

Boeing's chief technology officer John Tracy said the flights were "a historical technological success" and "full of promises for a greener future".

Three test flights of the two-seater aircraft took place in February and March at an airfield at Ocana, south of Madrid. The plane was modified to include a hybrid battery and fuel cell system used to power an electric motor coupled to a conventional propeller.

During take-off the planes batteries were used to provide an additional boost, but whilst in the air, the plane relied entirely on the hydrogen fuel cell.

Boeing said the plane has a flying time of 45 minutes but tests were limited to around half that time.

Although the test had been successful, the firm said it did not believe fuel cells could be the primary power source for large passenger aircraft.

However, it could be used as a secondary source of energy for large planes, according to Nieves Lapena, the engineer responsible for the test flights, but this may take some time to develop.

"In my opinion, we are talking about a delay of about twenty years," she said.

Green skies

Hydrogen-powered planes have been flown before, but never with a human pilot onboard.

In 2005, California-based AeroVironment successfully completed test flights of its Global Observer craft which was powered by liquid hydrogen.

Other companies are also seeking to develop more environmentally-friendly planes, amid concerns over their contribution to climate change.

Earlier this year, the airline Virgin Atlantic conducted the first commercial flight powered partly by biofuel.

And last year, defence firm Qinetiq flew a solar-powered plane for 54 hours, smashing the official world record for the longest-duration unmanned flight.

Zephyr, as the craft was known, could be used for military applications, as well as for Earth-observation and communications.

Other unmanned prototypes have been shown off by the American space agency Nasa.

However, in 2010, Swiss balloonist Bertrand Piccard plans to launch Solar Impulse, a manned plane in which he will attempt to circumnavigate the globe.

To carry the precious payload, the craft will have a huge wingspan of 80m (262ft), wider than the wings of the Airbus A380.

As the plane is piloted by only one person at a time, it will have to make frequent stopovers. The current plan is for the journey to be broken into five legs each lasting between four or five days.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

General Motors' R&D Chief Urges More Hydrogen Fueling Stations

April 02, 2008: 10:25 AM EST, DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

General Motors Corp. (GM) is asking the energy industry and government officials to help automakers make volume production of fuel cell electric vehicles "a reality" by opening more hydrogen fueling stations.

GM says hydrogen infrastructure is "economically viable and doable."

Larry Burns, GM's vice president for research and development and strategic planning, is expected to make the remarks in the keynote address Wednesday to the National Hydrogen Association's annual conference in Sacramento, Calif.

Veronica Dagher; 201-938-5400;

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gore launches $300 mln climate change campaign

By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Gore, former U.S. vice president, Academy Award winner and Nobel peace laureate, on Monday launched a $300 million, three-year campaign to mobilize Americans on climate change.


"We can solve the climate crisis, but it will require a major shift in public opinion and engagement," Gore said in a statement.


"The technologies exist, but our elected leaders don't yet have the political will to take the bold actions required. When politicians hear the American people calling loud and clear for change, they'll listen," he said.


A longtime environmental activist, Gore chairs the Alliance for Climate Protection, which unveiled the "We" campaign with a series of videos, a Web site -- -- and a television advertisement set to air during such programs as "American Idol," "House," and "Law & Order."


The first ad likens the battle against climate change to U.S. troops storming the beaches at Normandy during World War Two, the struggle for civil rights and the drive to send humans to the moon.


"We didn't wait for someone else" to tackle these historic problems, the actor William H. Macy says in the spot. "We can't wait for someone else to solve the global climate crisis. We need to act now."


Future spots are expected to feature such "unlikely allies" as civil rights activist Al Sharpton and conservative preacher Pat Robertson, and country singers Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks speaking together against climate change.


"What's different about this (campaign) is for the first time ever, we're going to be able to reach the general public in their daily lives through television, through media, through community-based organizations ... and online," Cathy Zoi, the alliance's chief executive officer, said by telephone.


Zoi said that ultimately the United States needs new laws to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that spur climate change, "but frankly, in the first instance, we want to get people to join the movement."


She said 9 percent to 10 percent of Americans are already active in the movement against climate change, and 80 percent are aware of the problem.


(Editing by Eric Beech)