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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nothing wrong with Dutch hemp bread

RNW, 19 May 2012

There is nothing wrong with bread containing hemp sold by a baker in the Dutch village of Oegstgeest, the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) has concluded.

A local police officer in the village near the town of Leiden recently seized a number of loaves on the suspicion that they contained cannabis. The NFI has refused to comment on the case and is referring calls to the police, who have so far declined to make an official statement.

Leonard Marks, manager of the bakery in question, says the police officer informed him the NFI had found his bread was alright. The baker says he sells dozens of such breads every day. The breas is made with hemp which is grown in Switzerland. Mr Marks says he uses the hemp because it’s good for the immune and muscular systems. The breads, the baker emphasises, contain just small quantities of hemp. “Maybe if you ate lots of them one after the other, you might just notice something,” he says.

Related Articles:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Giant tidal turbine 'performing well' in tests off Orkney

BBC News, 17 May 2012

The BBC's David Shukman says installing the giant turbine beneath the
stromy waters was an "extraordinary" operation

Related Stories 

A subsea turbine which uses tidal power to generate electricity has successfully completed initial tests off Orkney.

The turbine was lowered into position during winter storms and Scottish Power Renewables said it was performing well.

The 100ft-high 1MW (megawatt) Hammerfest Strom HS1000 device is already powering homes and businesses on the island of Eday.

There are plans to create a 10MW tidal power array in the Sound of Islay.

Testing began in December and has been designed to finalise the timetable for the Islay project, with machines being installed "as early as feasible" between 2013 and 2015.

Keith Anderson, SPR chief executive, said: "The performance of the first HS1000 device has given us great confidence so far. Engineers were able install the device during atrocious weather conditions, and it has been operating to a very high standard ever since.

"We have already greatly developed our understanding of tidal power generation, and this gives us confidence ahead of implementing larger scale projects in Islay and the Pentland Firth.

"Scotland has the best tidal power resources in Europe, and that's why we are seeing world leading technologies tested here."

The turbine can be monitored from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) base in Eday, but engineers can also operate and inspect the device from Glasgow using mobile connections and an on-board camera.

The turbines are placed on the seabed

Related Articles:

Tidal power gets a stormy birth off coast of Scotland

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal 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.) 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Saudi Arabia Plans $109 Billion Boost for Solar Power

Bloomberg, by Wael Mahdi and Marc Roca - May 11, 2012

Saudi Arabia is seeking investors for a $109 billion plan to create a solar industry that generates a third of the nation’s electricity by 2032, according to officials at the agency developing the plan.

The world’s largest crude oil exporter aims to have 41,000 megawatts of solar capacity within two decades, said Maher al- Odan, a consultant at the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. Khalid al-Suliman, vice president for the organization known as Ka-care, said on May 8 in Riyadh that nuclear, wind and geothermal would contribute 21,000 megawatts.

“We are not only looking for building solar plants,” al- Odan said in an interview in Riyadh yesterday. “We want to run a sustainable solar energy sector that will become a driver for the domestic energy for years to come.”

The comments highlight the scale of Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to boost renewable energy use as a way to pare back on oil consumption used for domestic desalinization and power plants, potentially saving 523,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day over the next 20 years.

For the solar panel manufacturers such as First Solar Inc. (FSLR) and SunPower Corp.(SPWR), the Saudi Arabian market would open a huge new market as European countries reduce subsidies to keep a lid on installations. Panel sales may dip this year for the first time in more than a decade from 27,700 megawatts installed last year, according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg on March 9.

‘Less Profitable’

“These markets are likely to be a lot less profitable than existing markets,” Vishal Shah, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in New York, wrote in a note to clients yesterday, noting the Saudis may require bid winners to supply from factories built in the nation. “It looks like both First Solar and SunPower would need to set up local manufacturing.”

First Solar dropped 4.9 percent yesterday, taking its slide this year to 55 percent. SunPower slid 0.7 percent, for a 16 percent decline this year.

Ka-care is the government agency set up in April 2010 to oversee the nation’s renewable energy strategy. Its plans are likely to be approved later this year, al-Suliman said, according to a copy of the presentation he gave on May 8.

The government is targeting 25,000 megawatts from solar thermal plants, which use mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on heating fluids that turns a power turbine. Another 16,000 megawatts would come from photovoltaic panels, according to the Deutsche Bank note.

Bidding Round

Citing government officials, Deutsche Bank said the capacity would be added in competitive bidding starting with 1,100 megawatts of PV and 900 megawatts of solar thermal in the first quarter of 2013. A second round of bidding is due in the second half of 2014.

That tendering process would differ from the European system, where developers are granted above market rates for solar power they produce. Germany, Spain, Italy and the U.K. have slashed rates under those feed-in tariffs to control a surge in installations.

Saudi Arabia currently has about 3 megawatts of solar installations, trailing Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“The Saudi Arabian government has a powerful incentive to diversify its energy mix to reduce dependence on oil,” said Logan Goldie-Scot, an analyst at New Energy Finance in London. “The state could generate an internal rate of return of approximately 12 percent if it built a PV plant and sold the displaced oil on the international markets.”

The analyst is assuming initial capital costs for the solar projects of about $2.17 per watt of capacity installed.

Wind and Nuclear

Persian Gulf oil producers are seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels for power generation to maximize exports of valuable crude and allocate natural gas to petrochemicals production. Ka-care estimates Saudi Arabia’s peak electricity demand will reach 121,000 megawatts in the next 20 years, with half of that power generated using hydrocarbon fuel.

Other forms of renewable energy such as nuclear, wind, geothermal, will only generate 21,000 megawatts of the peak-load required by 2032, al-Suliman said in his presentation.

Saudi Arabia is considering different options to generate electricity from nuclear energy, according to al-Suliman. Under the so-called “Balanced Scenarios”, Saudi Arabia would build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030 with a capacity of 14,000 megawatts of electricity.

Nuclear Cooperation

The country signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China in January, following three accords signed last year with France, South Korea, and Argentina. The cost of developing the reactors may reach $100 billion, according to officials from Ka- Care.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. sees “technical” potential to produce 25,000 megawatts of electricity from wind in Saudi Arabia, Faisal Habiballah, head of solar at the company known as Saudi Aramco, said Feb 20. There is also geothermal energy in the western parts of the Kingdom, he said.

The capital cost of installing the 41,000 megawatts should be around $82 billion, al-Odan said. The rest of the $109- billion investment will go to train the Saudis to run the solar plants as well as for maintenance and operation, he said.

Once the strategy, which includes new regulations and financial incentives for private investors, is approved “we will start implementation directly,” al-Odan said.

Saudi Arabia may burn 850 million barrels of oil a year, or 30 percent of its crude output, to generate electricity by 2030 if doesn’t become efficient in energy consumption, Electricity & Co-Generation Regulatory Authority Governor Abdullah Al-Shehri said in a presentation in Riyadh May 8.

To contact the reporters on this story: Wael Mahdi in Cairo at; Marc Roca in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

Related Article:

Concentrated solar power is the most expensive solar
technology, but it can store energy for cloudy weather. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

UN Agency Adopts Global Guidelines Against 'Land Grabbing’

Jakarta Globe, May 11, 2012

Indonesian farmers and students react as the police spray water during
 a protest against illegal land confiscation and incidents of violence in
 land-grabbing cases outside the parliament building in Jakarta, in this file photo.
The UN adopted global guidelines on farmland purchases and the use of fisheries
 and forests by rich countries in the developing world on Friday, a move hailed
as a block on 'land grabbing.' (EPA Photo)

The UN adopted global guidelines on farmland purchases and the use of fisheries and forests by rich countries in the developing world on Friday, a move hailed as a block on “land grabbing.”

“They’ve just endorsed it by acclamation,” a spokesman for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome told AFP. The new voluntary rules are the result of three years of negotiations between UN member states.

The International Land Coalition, an alliance of civil society groups, said in a statement the document was “a remarkable advance towards people-centered land governance that is firmly anchored in a human rights framework.”

“The guidelines support access to systems of justice and transparent information concerning tenure, while promoting women’s land rights and gender equality,” it said.

“The rights of indigenous peoples are protected through recognition of their ancestral domains. Non-state actors, such as multinational corporations, are given clear responsibilities to respect human rights,” it added.

Agence France-Presse
Related Article:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coconuts, wind and sun to power Pacific nations

Jakarta Globe, May 10, 2012

Now instead of finding ways to escape the heat, like this schoolboy
in Tuvalu, islanders will use it to create energy

Tiny Pacific nations which are most at threat from rising seas have vowed to dump diesel and other dirty expensive fuels blamed for causing global warming and replace them with clean sources.

Using coconut biofuel and solar panels, Tokelau -- which consists of three island dots half way between New Zealand and Hawaii -- plans to become self-sufficient in energy this year.

The leaders of other so-called small island states around the world made commitments at a meeting this week organized by the UN Development Program and the Barbados government.

The Cook Islands and Tuvalu in the Pacific are aiming to get all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean is aiming for 60 percent from renewables by 2020.

And East Timor's government vowed that no family in its capital, Dili, would be using firewood for cooking by 2015 and said half the country's electricity would be from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

"I know we set ambitious targets, but it is actually exciting," Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna told AFP.

"We don't see those targets as being difficult. It is very inspiring and that is what is motivating us to get going."

Puna said about 15 percent of the New Zealand-dependency country's budget is spent on importing diesel oil. He has called it a "crippling dependence".

He wants those tens of millions of dollars spent on health and social services and education for the approximately 20,000 inhabitants of 15 islands spread over 2.2 million square kilometers (850,000 square miles) in the Pacific.

The government plans to start converting to solar panels and wind turbines. Already nearly all houses have solar water heaters.

Work will start on Rakahanga in the northern group of islands next year with help from Japan. New Zealand is to fund the energy revolution in the southern islands.

Puna said the energy change was proposed while campaigning for a 2010 election. "We didn't realize, it but we were tapping into a reservoir of environmental consciousness among our people. The reaction has been fantastic.

"Somewhere in our makeup we are environmentally conscious people, because we have learned to live off the land and off the sea, that is our heritage, that is our tradition and we are just tapping into that again."

In North America and many European countries there has been resistance to wind turbines sprouting up on land and sea.

"There may well be some in the Cook islands," said Puna. "But I think once people realize and see the benefits from these instruments there will not be too many problems."

UN studies show that oil imports account for up to 30 percent of gross domestic product in some Pacific countries, with prices bolstered by the huge distances it has to be carried.

Ministers at this week's meeting complained in a statement that despite their "significant actions" to help ease global climate change, international action has been "slow and grossly inadequate," given the increasing threat to island nations from rising seas.

Their declaration -- adopted ahead of next month's UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro -- called for the new energy sources to be made "accessible, affordable and adaptable," so all threatened island states can take steps to adapt.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Diageo to end funding of Heartland Institute after climate change outburst

Firm has 'no plans' to work with thinktank following campaign comparing people concerned about climate to mass murderers, Leo Hickman, Sunday 6 May 2012

Ted Kaczynski was shown on a billboard alongside the caption:
“I still believe in global warming. Do you?” Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP

Diageo, one of the world's largest drinks companies, has announced it will no longer fund the Heartland Institute, a rightwing US thinktank which briefly ran a billboard campaign this week comparing people concerned about climate change to mass murderers and terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson and Ted Kaczynski.

On Thursday, a billboard appeared over the Eisenhower Expressway in Illinois showing a picture of Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who in 1996 was convicted of a 17-year mail bombing campaign that killed three people and injured dozens. The caption read: "I still believe in global warming. Do you?" A day later it was withdrawn.

The London-based drinks giant, which owns brands such as Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Moët & Chandon, said this year that it was "reviewing any further association with Heartland" following the release online of internal Heartland documents which revealed its corporate donors as well as a plan to promote an alternative climate change curriculum in US schools. Following the widespread outcry triggered by Heartland's billboards, a Diageo spokeswoman told the Guardian: "Diageo vigorously opposes climate scepticism and our actions are proof of this. Diageo's only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future."

In February, a US scientist, Peter Gleick, admitted obtaining and publishing internal Heartland documents which showed that Diageo had given the thinktank $10,000 (£6,190) in 2010. The documents, one of which Heartland later claimed was a fake, said the thinktank was expecting another $10,000 from Diageo this year.

On Friday, Heartland, which is trying to promote its annual conference for climate sceptics, to be held in Chicago this month, said it was withdrawing the billboard campaign. However, it refused to apologise, claiming the campaign was an "experiment". Its website is still hosting the original press release, which includes the claim that the "most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen." Microsoft, which has a policy of supplying free software to all non-profit organisations in the US, posted a blog on its website on Saturday distancing itself from Heartland. The thinktank received software from Microsoft worth $59,908 in 2011. The blog said: "Microsoft believes climate change is a serious issue that demands immediate, worldwide attention and we are acting accordingly … The Heartland Institute does not speak for Microsoft on climate change. In fact, the Heartland Institute's position on climate change is diametrically opposed to Microsoft's position. And we completely disagree with the group's inflammatory and distasteful advertising campaign."

In March, General Motors, the world's largest carmaker, said it was ending its funding of Heartland after 20 years owing to the thinktank's hardline climate scepticism.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Anxious Japan prepares for life without nuclear power

Japan has 54 nuclear reactors, but as of Saturday, not one of them will be in operation – how will the country cope?, Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Thursday 3 May 2012

Anti-nuclear protesters gather outside Shinjuku station, Tokyo.
Photograph: Getty Images

This weekend Japan will begin a bold experiment in energy use that no one had thought possible – until the Fukushima Daiichi power plant suffered a triple meltdown just over a year ago.

On Saturday, when the Hokkaido electric power company shuts down the No3 reactor at its Tomari plant for maintenance, the world's third-largest economy will be without a single working nuclear reactor for the first time for almost 50 years.

The closure of the last of Japan's 54 reactors marks a dramatic shift in energy policy, but while campaigners prepare to celebrate, the nationwide nuclear blackout comes with significant economic and environmental risks attached.

The crisis at Fukushima sparked by last year's deadly earthquake and tsunami forced Japan into a fundamental rethink of its relationship with nuclear power.

The Tomari shutdown come as the Japan braces itself for a long, humid summer that will have tens of millions of people reaching for the controls of their air conditioners, raising the risk of power cuts and yet more disruption for the country's ailing manufacturers.

In a report released this week, the government's national policy unit projected a 5% power shortage for Tokyo, while power companies predict a 16% power shortfall in western Japan, which includes the major industrial city of Osaka.

"I have to say we are facing the risk of a very severe electricity shortage," the economy, trade and industry minister, Yukio Edano, said, adding that the extra cost of importing fuel for use in thermal power stations could be passed on to individual consumers though higher electricity bills.

Before the 11 March disaster, Japan relied on nuclear power for about 30% of its electricity, and there were plans to increase its share to more than 50% by 2030 with the construction of new reactors.

The release of huge quantities of radiation into the air and sea, the contamination of the food and water supply and the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents mean that vision of a nuclear-dominant, low-carbon future lies in ruins.

Over the past 14 months, dozens of nuclear reactors not directly affected by the tsunami have gone offline to undergo regular maintenance and safety checks, while utilities have turned to coal, oil and gas-fired power plants to keep industry and households supplied with electricity – imports that contribute to Japan's first trade deficit for more than 30 years last year.

Japan, already the world's biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, bought record amounts of LNG last year to replace nuclear. The international energy agency estimates the closure of all nuclear plants will increase Japanese demand for oil to 4.5m barrels a day, at an additional cost of about US$100m a day.

Last-ditch attempts by the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, to win support for the early restart of two reactors at Oi power plant in western Japan have failed amid a hardening of public opposition to nuclear power.

None of Japan's idle reactors will be permitted to go back online until they pass stringent "stress tests" – simulations designed to test their ability to withstand catastrophic events such as the 14-metre tsunami that knocked out Fukushima Daiichi's backup power supply, and sparked the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

While some experts have criticised the two-stage stress tests as inadequate, an immediate return to even a limited amount of nuclear power now seems impossible.

Residents' approval isn't legally required for restarts, but Noda is unlikely to risk the possible political fallout from ignoring local opinion: in a recent poll by Kyodo News, 59.5% are opposed to restarting the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture, while 26.7% support it.

Leading the push to restart the reactors is Keidanren, Japan's influential business lobby. In a recent survey, 71% of manufacturers said power shortages could force them to cut production, while 96% said that the additional spectre of higher electricity bills would hit earnings. The Japan Institute for Energy Economics has warned that keeping nuclear reactors mothballed could limit GDP growth to just 0.1% this year, as manufacturers cut back production while paying higher prices for crude.

Critics of the nuclear shutdown have also highlighted the impact more fossil fuel power generation will have on Japan's climate change commitments. Even big investors in renewables, such as the Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son, concede it will take time for them to have any real impact on the country's energy mix.

They will be buoyed by a new environment ministry panel's assertion that Japan can still reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 from 1990 levels without nuclear, through energy saving and the quicker adoption of renewables, which it hopes will account for between 25% and 35% of total power generation by 2030.

"If Japan has the motivation, it can do this, too," said Sei Kato, deputy director of the environment ministry's low carbon society promotion office. "We have the technological know-how."

Short-term risks aside, environmental groups say Saturday's shutdown is an unprecedented opportunity for Japan to wean itself off nuclear power.

"This is a turning point for Japan, and a huge opportunity for it to move towards the sustainable energy future its people demand," Greenpeace said in its advanced energy revolution report. "With an abundance of renewable energy resources and top-class technology, Japan can easily become a renewable energy leader, while simultaneously ending its reliance on risky and expensive nuclear technology."

On Tuesday, office workers made their contribution with the start, one month earlier than usual, of the annual "cool biz" drive to reduce energy use. But swapping suits and ties for short-sleeved shirts, and turning down air conditioners will be easy for as long as Japan enjoys mild spring temperatures. The biggest test of their post-Fukushima resolve has yet to come.

Related Articles:

"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.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Exclusive: Shale causes rise in waste gas pollution

Reuters, by Henning Gloystein and Alessandra Prentice, LONDON | Wed May 2, 2012

(Reuters) - The shale energy boom is fuelling a rise in the burning of waste gas after years of decline, a World Bank source told Reuters ahead of the release of new data, giving environmentalists more ammunition against the industry.

Global gas flaring crept up by 4.5 percent in 2011, the first rise since 2008 and equivalent to the annual gas use of Denmark, preliminary data from the World Bank shows.

The increase is mostly due to the rise in shale oil exploration in North Dakota, propelling the United States into the top 10 gas flaring countries along with Russia, Nigeria and Iraq.

The preliminary data - which will be released in detail later in May - shows that global gas flaring crept up to around 140 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2011, up from 134 bcm the previous year.

Flaring is used to eliminate gas at mineral exploration sites, and is released via pressure relief valves to ease the strain on equipment.

"The challenge in North Dakota is that there is a lot of initial exploration and production going on, and often some flaring is necessary at that stage," the source at the World Bank's Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) said.

"We are hopeful that when the full data is released, both policymakers and companies in North Dakota will pay more attention to this issue and take the necessary steps to minimize flaring."

The data will draw further criticism to the industry, which some activists already condemn on environmental grounds.

"Environmental regulations to stop flaring are taking a real kick in the teeth because the financial crisis has put the emphasis on increasing competitiveness, while anything that is seen as diminishing competitiveness is not getting any political traction," Charlie Kronick, senior climate campaigner at Greenpeace, said.

Britain's annual gas consumption is just under 100 bcm, and Norway's yearly production just above that - which makes the 140 bcm flared globally over a third more than Europe's top consumer and producer, respectively.

In current market terms, 140 bcm of gas would be worth over $100 billion in barrels of oil equivalent.


Gas flaring has fallen more than 20 bcm since 2006 - despite a slight increase between 2008/2009 - but the rise in 2011 indicates that companies and countries must continue to scale up their efforts to reduce global flaring, the GGFR said.

Despite massive oil and gas reserves, many top flaring countries suffer from chronic power shortages and stagnating gas export volumes which experts say could be addressed if they used the gas instead of burning it.

"It is key to show producers and governments that there is a win-win solution - in many cases you're saving the gas and putting it to a positive use and sometimes you're building energy infrastructure that can be a catalyst for future economic benefit," Michael Farina of U.S. energy engineering group GE Energy said.

In Iraq, the World Bank says that the gas flared is enough to fuel all of the country's electric power needs, most of which is unmet or generated by heavy fuel and crude oils, while Nigeria also faces substantial losses from flaring.

"Nigeria loses billions of naira to wasted gas while the nation's power projects are crippled as a result of lack of gas supply," Nigerian pressure group Social Action said.

The wasted gas also causes immense environmental damage, both locally and on a global scale.

The World Bank estimates that the flaring of gas adds some 360 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in annual emissions, almost the same as France puts into the atmosphere each year or the equivalent to the yearly emissions from around 70 million cars.

If this waste were to take place within the European Union's carbon emissions trading scheme, the flaring would cost some 2.5 billion euros ($3.30 billion) at current market value of 7 euros per metric ton of CO2.

Estimating that flaring amounts to around 4.5 percent of global industrial emissions, environmental group Greenpeace says current legislation fails to tackle the issue.

"The problem is that international oil companies are not penalized for flaring gas," Greenpeace's Kronick said.

The damage flaring does to local communities is also immense.

Social groups in Nigeria say that flaring in the Niger Delta, where some 30 million people live, has gone on for 40 years and led to acid rains, causing many illnesses.

"Flaring of gas endangers human health and reduces agricultural productivity," Nigeria's Social Action group said. ($1 = 0.7571 euros)

(Additional reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic, editing by William Hardy)

Jessica Ernst, whose village in Alberta, Canada, is surrounded
by natural gas wells, told a Calgary publication in 2008 that due
to methane contamination, she could set her tap water on fire.
Below, an apparatus the Duke University researchers used to test
methane levels. (Photograph by Wil Andruschak.)

Land of the rising solar industry attracts firms, by Liu Yiyu, China Daily,  2012-05-02

Workers check solar panels at a wastewater treatment facility in Tianjin
 Eco-City, a joint project between China and Singapore, on April 25.
(Photo Source: China Daily)

BEIJING, May. 02 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese solar companies are expanding into Japan, where the solar industry is receiving more government support as the country is reducing its dependence on nuclear power following a nuclear accident last year.

Chaorisolar Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd and Sky Solar Holdings Co Ltd plan to develop 100 megawatts of solar projects with an investment of 7.5 billion yen ($93.9 million) in Japan this year. The cooperation will help increase Chaorisolar's sales of solar panels as the demand for those products wanes in large markets such as Europe.

Chaorisolar is a Shanghai-based maker of photovoltaic products and Sky Solar builds solar farms, where solar electricity can be generated on a large scale.

The project is expected to generate gross profits equal to as much as 10 yuan ($1.60) a watt, Chaorisolar said.

Other companies have moved or are moving into the country.

Hareonsolar Technology Co Ltd, plans to establish a subsidiary in Japan, the company said in a statement last month.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd recently opened a subsidiary in Tokyo, and Trina Solar Ltd also set up an office in Japan, showing the companies' interest in the market.

Canadian Solar Inc opened a subsidiary in Japan in 2009, when the country adopted a feed-in-tariff ensuring that private homes that used photovoltaic systems would receive payments for power they generated. The company also plans to build and operate solar farms in Japan.

Suntech Power Holdings Co, which makes the most solar cells of any manufacturer in the world, moved into the Japanese market in 2006 by acquiring MSK Corp, a maker of solar equipment.

"Today, we are a strong player in the Japanese solar industry with a 5 percent market share," Yutaka Yamamoto, Suntech Japan president, said on the company's website.

Yamamoto said he expects Suntech will command at least 10 percent of the Japanese market in 2012, when new feed-in-tariffs will take effect.

Japan began reconsidering its energy plans after leaks at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following an earthquake and a tidal wave in March last year. The country is now trying to secure more sources of safe, renewable energy and the government is looking toward solar energy for that purpose.

By 2011, Japan had 1.2 gigawatts of solar capacity, a number expected to increase by 40 percent in 2012.

As the Japanese government prepares to put in place new feed-in-tariffs in July 2012, both foreign and local manufacturers think they see an opportunity opening up.

(Source: China Daily)

Editor: C_Luan
Related Article: