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, 2012

Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power by 2018, research says

Renewables will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015 if current growth rates continue

The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent, Tuesday 30 October 2012

A windfarm at Scroby Sands off East Anglia. Renewable energy will provide
 power for one in 10 homes by 2015, research shows. Photograph: Albanpix
Ltd / Rex Features

Renewable energy capacity will overtake nuclear power in the UK by 2018, if current rates of growth continue, and will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015, according to new research.

The amount of electricity supplied by wind energy alone is up by a quarter since 2010, in a surprisingly good year for the renewables industry. While the government has notably cooled on wind power – more than 100 Tory MPs signed a statement this year opposing new windfarms, and the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has queried the future of subsidies – the industry has continued to grow, with investment in offshore wind up by about 60% to £1.5bn in the past year. Planning approvals for onshore windfarms also rose, up by about half, to reach a record level, according to the trade association Renewable UK.

Despite the outspoken opposition from many Tory MPs against wind power, there was a rise in the amount of onshore wind capacity approved last year for the first time since 2008.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of Renewable UK, said: "These strong figures underline the importance of a secure trading climate to attract investment, especially in difficult times. That's why it's so important that the framework provided by the energy bill, currently under parliamentary scrutiny, must be right. Although we still have a long way to go to meet our challenging targets, we are firmly on track and gathering momentum."

John Hayes, the newly appointed Conservative energy minister who has been an outspoken critic of windfarms in the past, told the Guardian he was proud of the UK's wind energy industry. "Investing in cutting edge technology is very British," he said.

Despite his past opposition to windfarms, he said he would support new turbines if built in suitable areas. "It's about having the support of local people – that is the key thing," he said. Measures to make it easier for local communities to benefit from windfarms – for instance, by taking a financial stake in the revenues – are to be brought forward by the coalition government.

The energy bill, originally expected to be debated next week, is likely to be delayed until later in November as ministers wrangle over the implications. There is a sharp split within the Tory party over how to treat renewable energy, as more than 100 of the Conservatives' MPs earlier this year signed a letter opposing new windfarms. Peter Lilley, a vocal climate change sceptic, was appointed to the energy and climate change select committee last week in a move that some saw as an indication of a rightward shift in the government's climate policy. But David Cameron has in the past said renewable energy would be crucial to the UK's future prosperity.

Any last-minute changes to the energy bill risk alienating investors. Wind turbine makers are stalling decisions on whether to invest in new manufacturing plants in the UK, pending clarification from the government on its future energy policy. Several large companies, including Siemens, General Electric and Mitsubishi, are pondering building manufacturing plants in the UK, but will make no decision without firmer assurances from the government. The repeated insistence from Osborne that the UK's energy future lies with the gas industry – a new "dash for gas" is under way, with the government clearing the path for 20 new gas-fired power stations – has unsettled renewable energy investors. "The constant talk about gas is not reassuring for us," one wind investor, who could not be named, told the Guardian.

Renewable UK said that last year there were at least 137,000 people involved in the sector, with a further 654,500 jobs in ancillary industries.

"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, 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….”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Modern alchemy leaches gold from water

Jakarta Globe, Marc Preel, October 28, 2012

Magpie Polymers extracts a microgramme of gold per litre of water

A small French start-up company is selling a technology with a hint of alchemy: turning water into gold.

It does so by extracting from industrial waste water the last traces of any rare -- and increasingly valuable -- metal.

"We leave only a microgramme per litre," according to Steve van Zutphen, a Dutchman who founded Magpie Polymers last year with a fellow 30-year old Frenchman Etienne Almoric.

"It's the equivalent of a sugar lump in an Olympic swimming pool."

Magpie Polymers operates from slightly shabby premises at a factory at Saint-Pierre-les-Nemours 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Paris.

But it is at the leading edge of technology with a procedure developed at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in 2007.

The process is based on the use of tiny pellets of plastic resin through which waste water is pumped. Gold, platinum, palladium and rhodium, the world's most precious metals, little by little stick to the pellets and are thus separated from the waste water.

A single litre of this patented resin can treat five to 10 cubic metres of waste water and recover 50 to 100 grammes of precious metal, equivalent to "3,000 to 5,000 euros ($3,900 to $6,500)," Almoric said.

Mobile phones, catalytic converters and countless other everyday products contain these precious metals.

But once they are scrapped, the problem lies in retrieving the particles of precious metals.

"What is complicated is that the amounts are infinitesimal, so hard to recover," according to Steve van Zutphen.

Once they have been separated and crushed some industrial waste products have to be dissolved with acid in water. Then the metals in the water have to be recovered whether they are valuable or not.

"There are many technologies to get metal from water that have existed since the 19th century. But there comes a moment when existing technologies are no longer effective or become too expensive," van Zutphen said.

The chief markets to which the two entrepreneurs are looking are the "refiners": specialists in the recovery of precious metals, such as British firm Johnson Matthey, the Anglo-French company Cookson-Clal and Boliden of Sweden.

But the technology could also be of interest to mining groups or large water treatment companies such as French Veolia or Suez Environnement.

The timing is good. The economic crisis has revived interest in gold, and thanks to rising demand for platinum and similar metals, combined with increasing shortages, prices have soared. As platinum mines become exhausted, half the metal used worldwide is already recycled.

Magpie's technology can also be used to leach out harmful metals such as lead, mercury, cobalt, copper and uranium.

"Obviously the amounts are much bigger. The problem is that nobody wants to pay for something that has no value," said Almoric.

Tougher environmental standards, which would further tighten the rules of waste recovery for businesses, could add further strength to the Magpie model.

The young start-up has already taken on six staff and hopes for a turnover of a nearly a million euros next year and 15 million euros in four years' time. It has just raised half a million euros from the Fonds Lorraine des Materiaux (51-percent owned by the Caisse des Depots-Region Lorraine, 49 percent by ArcelorMittal).

Magpie does not give the names of its chief clients but is already present in "France, England, Belgium and Switzerland" and soon in Germany and Spain.

Related Article:

Ecologists preparing for boom in urban wildlife 'invaders'

Previously unseen wildlife are colonising British cities but local authorities are concerned by the increase

The Guardian, The Observer, John Vidal, Saturday 27 October 2012

Coming to a street near you: wasp spider, fallow deer and great spotted
woodpecker. Photograph: Alamy

First came the urban fox, then flocks of colourful tropical parakeets. But now deer, woodpeckers, hedgehogs, jackdaws, birds of prey and exotic spiders, fish and insects are colonising British cities, say wildlife experts.

Previously unseen muntjac, roe and fallow deer now boldly enter inner-city areas such as Finsbury Park in north London and have been seen in cemeteries, gardens and golf courses on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Sheffield, Bristol, Guildford and Newcastle, says the London Wildlife Trust's deputy director, Mathew Frith.

He gave a warning that people could soon expect to see wild boar in suburban streets and gardens: "It will not be too long before they impact on our urban areas. They have no natural predators, it is complicated to hunt them, and their numbers are increasing. We can expect them soon."

Birds of prey, once common in cities, have this year returned in numbers. Red kites, extinct in England and Scotland by the 1800s and down to just a few pairs 20 years ago, are now not just seen flying over London and other cities, but have been found feeding in gardens in places such as Reading, Frith says.

In a remarkable turnaround from the polluted wildlife deserts of the 1970s, inner-city parks and private gardens are now attracting creatures once practically extinct in urban areas and providing habitats for wildlife seldom seen before in Britain.

The invaders, which are mostly welcomed by ecologists but worry local authorities as their numbers increase, are becoming bolder every year as they fill ecological niches.

Jackdaws have been found raiding pigeons' nests on the British Museum and the National Gallery, and peregrine falcons, which were almost exterminated by the use of pesticides after the second world war, have taken to nesting in the Houses of Parliament, Tate Modern and the O2 arena, as well as on tower blocks and housing estates.

"They used to be persecuted, but now they are returning," says Frith. "Twelve years ago there were no breeding pairs at all. But now we have eight to 10 pairs in London."

Smaller animals and birds once rare in cities are also thriving, says ecologist Tony Canning, who works at the Camley Gardens nature reserve near King's Cross in north London. He attributes some of the increase in urban wildlife to a declining use of pesticides by gardeners. "Sales shot up in the 1980s gardening boom, but people don't use so much now," he says.

Increasingly urbanised landscapes are thought to be of mixed value for birds, with species such as pigeons and chaffinches able to survive in these environments, while others, such as the swift, starling and song thrush, are in decline.

One of the most successful urban birds may be the tropical ring-necked parakeet, which colonised Esher in Surrey years ago and is becoming widespread in urban areas in the Midlands. "We now have great spotted woodpeckers right in the centre of cities. I saw one flying over London Bridge last week," says Frith.

Exotic animals have often been brought to London and to British port cities on boats, but they seldom breed. But no one can explain how a self-sustaining colony of non-venomous metre-long Aesculapian snakes has come to live near the canal in Regent's Park. They normally eat birds and eggs, but appear to be feeding on rodents.

Hundreds of terrapins, which can live for up to 60 years, are known to inhabit British cities following the craze over the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show in the 1990s. This year a mink was spotted in an artificial lake in Thamesmead, one of London's most deprived communities. "What we are seeing especially is new insects. The red-eyed damselfly was virtually unknown a few years ago. Now it's in central London. Wasp spiders are spreading everywhere," says Canning.

Milder winters are thought to have extended the range of insects and spiders to London and southern England cities. Jersey moths and exotic, brightly coloured wasp spiders, almost unheard of a few years ago, have spread from the continent, and red-eyed damselflies, first spotted in Britain in 1999, are now common on London's waterways.

In August a rarely seen long-tailed blue butterfly was found trying to establish a breeding territory in East India Dock. It is possible that it came off a boat, but just as likely that warmer winters have made it possible for it to survive.

Ecologists cannot say if the present boom in wildlife is because species are being driven out of the countryside or because cities are becoming more attractive. "We have lost some urban habitats, like old industrial sites, and a lot of front gardens have been concreted over," says Canning. "But a huge amount of conservation work has been done in nature reserves in the past 20 years."

Equally, thousands of ponds in the countryside have been filled, but frogs and newts now find it easier to live in cities because pesticides are used less.

The work of local authorities may also be encouraging wildlife. Tens of thousands of street and park trees were planted in the 1950s and 1960s in British cities and many of these are nearing maturity, offering new habitats for many types of birds such as magpies, which only nest above 25ft.

But not all new urban wildlife in urban areas is welcome. Last week scientists from Queen Mary College, University of London, said that almost 100 freshwater species not native to the UK have invaded the river Thames catchment area, costing hundreds of millions of pounds to eradicate. They include Chinese mitten crabs, zebra mussels, Asiatic clams and other species which can rapidly multiply and take over the habitats of native wildlife and infest waterways.

The recolonisation of British cities parallels what is happening elsewhere in Europe and also the US. Wolves have been found within 25 miles of Rome, and wild boars are now so common in Berlin that the city authorities have issued hunting licences.

American scientists warned last week that wolves, mountain lions and wild dogs could soon be a common sight in densely populated cities. "Raccoons, skunks, foxes – they've already been able to penetrate the urban landscape pretty well. The coyote is the most recent and largest. The jury's out with what's going to happen with the bigger ones," said Dr Stan Gehrt of Ohio State University, who has been tracking the wild dogs.

"It used to be rural areas where we would have this challenge of coexistence versus conflict with carnivores. In the future, and I would say currently, it's cities where we're going to have this intersection between people and carnivores. Overall, I think it is amazing what is happening. If we give a bit of room here and there, nature does its own thing. We are finding many animals are surprisingly tolerant of what humans do."

Related Articles:

Cross-species friendships are springing up all over. Of them, Matthew said in 2010:

“The innocence of animals, who act from instinct, never from malice, automatically qualifies all except a few species to ascend with Earth. Along the way those who now are wild will become tame, predators will become vegetarians, and all will live peaceably with each other and humankind. Already there is evidence of cross-species friendship, even mothers of one species nurturing infants of another, and instances of bonding between wild animals and humans.”  (Matthew message - Channelled by Suzanne Ward, Aug 13, 2010)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Greenpeace warns EU off herbicide-tolerant GM crops

France24 - AFP, 22 October 2012  

Herbicide is sprayed on a soybean field in 2011. Global environmental watchdog
 Greenpeace launched a new report Monday warning the European Union against
 authorising herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops, saying they
would lead to herbicide-resistant super-weeds.

AFP - Global environmental watchdog Greenpeace launched a new report Monday warning the European Union against authorising herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops, saying they would lead to herbicide-resistant super-weeds.

"When herbicide-tolerant crops are relied on heavily, they trigger the spread and emergence of resistant weeds, which has now happened throughout the United States," said Oregon-based agricultural economist Charles Benbrook, who was commissioned by Greenpeace to study the issue.

"Then farmers have to spray much more heavily, turning to older, higher-risk herbicides which increases risk to both their cost of production as well as the public health problems associated with herbicide use," Benbrook told AFP, adding: "We're solidly in that phase in the US."

The launch of the report in Warsaw, Poland comes as the 27-member EU considers authorising 26 genetically engineered crops, including 19 that are tolerant to herbicides, Greenpeace said.

Benbrook has predicted EU farmers risk using up to 15 times more glyphosate-type herbicides on HTGE corn, soy and sugar beet crops to stem the growth of super-weeds over a 14-year period (2012-2025), as well as inflated prices for genetically modified seeds, should Brussels allow them.

Greenpeace commissioned Benbrook to complete a study on glyphosate-tolerant crops in the EU based on data on use of the herbicides in the US.

US biotech giant Monsanto brought glyphosate to the market in the 1970s under the Roundup trademark, but it is now off-patent and has become the most commonly used herbicide in the US.

While its producers claim glyphosate has relatively low toxicity compared to other herbicides, concerns persist about its environmental and human impacts.

"If EU farmers take up HTGE technology as quickly as in the US, glyphosate use in maize crops -- the most important and widely grown crop in Europe -? will increase by over 1,000 percent by 2025 over current use, and total herbicide use will double," Greenpeace warned in a Monday statement quoting the Benbrook study.

Benbrook and two US farmers are on an 18-day Greenpeace tour of Europe to meet farmers, local communities and politicians to share their concerns about HTGE crops.

Greenpeace campaigner Lasse Bruun also unveiled the YouTube launch of "Growing Doubt" (, a Greenpeace documentary focused on the experience of farmers in the US and Argentina with HTGE crops and glyphosate-based herbicides.

It comes on the heels of the "Bitter Seeds" documentary focused on an epidemic of farmer suicides in India among peasants who have lost their land after falling into debt using genetically modified crops.

Pesticides put bumblebee colonies at risk of failure, study finds

Farming pesticides are also killing worker bumblebees, meaning colonies that are vital for plant pollination are more likely to fail, Reuters, Monday 22 October 2012

A bumblebee collecting pollen. Photograph: Alamy

Pesticides used in farming are also killing worker bumblebees and damaging their ability to gather food, meaning colonies that are vital for plant pollination are more likely to fail when they are used, a study showed on Sunday.

The United Nations has estimated that one-third of all plant-based foods eaten by people depend on bee pollination and scientists have been baffled by plummeting numbers of bees, mainly in North America and Europe, in recent years.

British scientists said they exposed colonies of 40 bumblebees, which are bigger than the more common honeybee, to the pesticides neonicotinoid and pyrethroid over four weeks at levels similar to those in fields.

Neonicotinoids are nicotine-like chemicals used to protect various crops from locusts, aphids and other pests.

"Chronic exposure … impairs natural foraging behaviour and increases worker mortality, leading to significant reductions in brood development and colony success," the scientists wrote in the report in the journal Nature on Sunday.

Exposure to a combination of the two pesticides "increases the propensity of colonies to fail", according to the researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London.

A 2011 UN report estimated that bees and other pollinators such as butterflies, beetles or birds do work worth €153bn ($200bn) a year to the human economy and are in decline in many nations.

The findings underscored the importance of wider testing of pesticides to ensure they do not also target bees, it said.

France banned a neonicotinoid pesticide made by Swiss agrochemicals group Syngenta in June, citing evidence of a threat to the country's bees. A report last month, however, said that the original research was flawed.

"My guess is that the decline of bees is like a jigsaw -there are probably a lot of pieces to put into place. This is probably a very important piece of that jigsaw," lead author Richard Gill said.

In a separate commentary in Nature, Juliet Osborne of the University of Exeter in England said the study underscored the need to understand all factors that may contribute to harm bees and to "colony collapse disorder".

"For example, we have as yet no convincing demonstration of the relative effects of pesticides on bee colonies compared to the effects of parasites, pathogens and foraging resources," she wrote.

Gill endorsed recommendations by the European Food Safety Authority for longer testing on adult bees and larvae, new ways of assessing cumulative exposure to toxins and separate assessments for different bee species.

He said previous studies had mostly examined the impact of pesticides on individual bees, rather than colonies. Bumblebees form colonies of a few dozen bees, while honeybees can number up to tens of thousands.

"Effects at the individual level can have a major knock-on effect at the colony level. That's the novelty of the study," he said.

The average number of bees lost in the experiment - both dead in the nesting box and failing to return - was about two-thirds of the total for bees exposed to a combination of the two pesticides against a third for a control, exposed to neither.

Bumblebees exposed to a combination of pesticides were about half as successful at gathering pollen, used as food, compared to a control. They also devoted more workers to collecting food, meaning fewer were raising larvae.

A study published in the journal Science in March showed for the first time that pesticides seriously harm bees by damaging their ability to navigate home.

Other experts said more research was needed. "It certainly wouldn't be fair to say that this research spells doom for wild bees," said James Cresswell of the University of Exeter.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

South Korea to house new UN Green Climate Fund

Deutsche Welle, 20 october 2012

The United Nations has chosen South Korea as the home for its Green Climate Fund. South Korea is reportedly viewed by many as a bridge between developing and developed nations.

The new United Nations Green Climate Fund, established to manage billions of dollars to assist developing countries tackle climate change, is to be situated in Songdo, Incheon City, South Korea, the board of the fund announced on Saturday.

The former German capital city of Bonn, home to the UN's Climate Change Secretariat, had hoped it would be chosen to house the fund, but it was not to be.

Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Switzerland were all nominated to house the headquarters, along with Germany and South Korea.

The decision, made by the 24 heads of the UN steering committee, will be put to environment ministers for approval at a meeting in Doha, Qatar at the end of November.

Welcomed decision

In 2009, developed nations agreed to raise climate aid, now about $10 billion (7.67 billion euros) a year, increasing to $100 billion from 2020.

The money would assist developing countries curtail greenhouse gas emissions, and better cope with floods, droughts, heat waves and increasing sea levels.

The current fund has been exhausted, and there has been no decision made on how to raise the $100 billion needed.

International charity Oxfam welcomed the announcement to house the headquarters in South Korea.

"South Korea must work to get all developed countries to make immediate pledges to the Green Climate Fund in Doha," David Waskow, Oxfam climate change program manager, told the Reuters news agency.

Bridging rich and poor

South Korea had been favored as the site to be chosen for the fund, as it was seen as a bridge between rich and poor nations, diplomatic sources said.

Strong economic growth in South Korea meant it joined the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development) in 1996.

However, under definitions formulated at the UN climate convention in 1992, it is still considered a developing nation.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle congratulated South Korea on the appointment, but re-iterated he would continue to work to increase Bonn's already strong UN presence.

jlw/slk (Reuters, AP)
Related Articles:

Funding deal at biodiversity conference leaves shortfall

"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa,Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism, Higgs Boson), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around"DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text Version) 

"...The Weather... Again

My partner has been "against the grain" in the past years, giving you what I have channelled about the weather. Is it global warming? No. Is it going to get better? No. This is a two-generation cycle. There will continue to be earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and storms. This is a recalibration of life in the ocean, and humanity must go through this in any way they can. This is a cycle, a known and expected one, but since you haven't gone through it in modern times, it's not well understood yet. ..."

“… So now we've refreshed that which we have said before, a review. You are in the middle of a cycle that will bring cooling to the planet. It is not a heat cycle, but rather a cooling cycle. But it always starts with a short heat cycle. It has been here before. It will come again. It is a long cycle - one generation plus five years. That's how long it's going to last. It starts with the melting of the ice caps, which is far more than any of you have seen in your lifetime or those of your ancestors. It is a cycle whose repetition is thousands of years long, but one that has not yet been recorded to the books of Human record. But it's definitely been recorded in the cores of the ice and in the rings of the trees.

Thousands of years old, it is, and it happens in a cyclical way. It's about water. It starts with that which is the melting of the ice caps to a particular degree, which has a profound effect on the planet in all ways. You can't have that happen without seeing life change as well as Gaia change and you've seeing it already. What happens when you take that which is heavy on the poles [ice] and you melt it? It then becomes cold water added to that which is a very, very gentle and finite balance of temperature in the seas of the planet (1). The first thing that happens is a redistribution of the weight of water on the thin crust of the earth from ice at the poles to new water in the seas. The results become earthquakes and volcanoes, and you're seeing them, aren't you? You are having earthquakes in places that are not supposed to have earthquakes. Volcanoes are coming to life in a way that you've not seen before on a regular basis. There will be more. Expect them.

Is it too much to ask of a Human Being that if you live by a volcano that you know might erupt, maybe you ought to move? Yet there will be those who say, "It hasn't erupted in my lifetime or my parents' lifetime or my grandparents' lifetime; therefore, it won't." You may have a surprise, for all things are changing. That is what is happening to Gaia. ….“

Big Bang: Is there room for God?

BBC News, Victoria Gill, 19 october 2012

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The discovery of the Higgs boson is so fresh that the exhibit in Cern's museum has not yet been updated.

In the exhibit - a short film that projects images of the birth of the Universe onto a huge screen - the narrator poses the question: "Will we find the Higgs boson"?

Now that the Higgs has finally been spotted - a scientific discovery that takes us closer than ever to the first moments after the Big Bang - Cern has opened its doors to scholars that take a very different approach to the question of how the Universe came to exist. 

On 15 October, a group of theologians, philosophers and physicists came together for two days in Geneva to talk about the Big Bang.

So what happened when people of such different - very different - views of the Universe came together to discuss how it all began?

"I realised there was a need to discuss this," says Rolf Heuer, Cern's director general.

"There's a need for us, as naive scientists, to discuss with philosophers of theologians the time before or around the Big Bang."

Cern's co-organiser of this unusual meeting of minds was Wilton Park - a global forum set up by Winston Churchill.

It is an organisation usually associated with high level discussions about global policy and even confidential exchanges on matters of international security, which perhaps emphasises how seriously Cern is taking this exchange.

But even the idea of a "time before the Big Bang" is impossible territory for physicists.

It is a zone of pure speculation - before time and space as scientists understand it came to exist, and where the laws of physics completely break down.

So does that make it a realm where science and religion can come to an understanding?

One of the meeting's most outspoken participants, Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, says definitely not.

"One gets the impression from a meeting like this that scientists care about God; they don't," he says.

"You can't disprove the theory of God.

The discovery of a "Higgs-like particle"
 preceded this religious and scientific

Science and faith

The first person to propose the Big Bang 
theory was a catholic priest. Georges
Lemaitre was also professor of physics
at the Catholic University of Louvain when,
in 1931, he proposed in an academic paper
that the expanding universe must have
originated at a finite point in time. His 
religious interests were as important to him
as his science, and he served as president
of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from
1960 until his death in 1966.

Charles Darwin, who could be said to have
sparked the religion vs science debate,
struggled with his own faith. Darwin trained
as an Anglican parson and, in his diaries
from explorations on his ship, the Beagle,
even referred to himself as "quite orthodox".
In his autobiography, Darwin wrote: "The
mystery of  the beginning of all things is
insoluble to us; and I for one must be
content to remain an Agnostic."

"The power of science is uncertainty. Everything is uncertain, but science can define that uncertainty.

"That's why science makes progress and religion doesn't."

But the suggestion that science and religion are fundamentally incompatible was a point of contention during the meeting.

John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, is also a self-declared Christian. He thinks the very fact that human beings can do science is evidence for God.

"If the atheists are right the mind that does science... is the end product of a mindless unguided process.

"Now, if you knew your computer was the product of a mindless unguided process, you wouldn't trust it.

"So, to me atheism undermines the rationality I need to do science."

But this seemingly intractable God vs science debate was only a part of the meeting.

Prof Heuer said he wanted the participants to "develop a common understanding" of one another's' viewpoints.

But even exchanging ideas was, at times, tricky; scientists and philosophers often speak a very different language.

Andrew Pinsent is research director at the University of Oxford's Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion. He is also a trained physicist who once worked at Cern.

"We have to educate one another in the terms that we use," he says.

For example, he explains, "philosophers have been discussing the meaning of [the word] truth for centuries.

"It's defined as a justified true belief."

But for many physicists, it is uncomfortable territory to use that word when talking about what we know about the Universe and the Big Bang.

Prof Krauss says that the word is at the heart of "one of the fundamental differences between science and religion".

"People who are religious believe they know the truth," he says.

"And they know the answer before even asking the question. Whereas, with scientists, it's the exact opposite.

"In science, although we use the word truth, what really matters is if it works."

"That's why it's a sensitive issue, because if you know the truth, there's no need to deal with this little question of whether something works or not."

The Big Bang

Despite the barrier of opposing world views and incompatible lexicons, Dr Pinsent believes that engaging with philosophy could help science to better address the very big questions.

"There has been no new conceptual breakthrough in physics in a quarter of a century," he says.

He says this is partly because, science in isolation "is very good for producing stuff" but not so good for producing ideas.

He invokes Einstein as an example of a truly philosophical scientist.

"[He] began by asking the sorts of questions a child would ask," says Dr Pinsent, "like what would it be like to ride on a beam of light."

And Rolf Heuer is open to the idea of bringing philosophy into Cern itself.

"I wouldn't go so far as to let them run experiments here," he jokes, "but I wouldn't see any problem to have a philosopher in residence. "

Too specialised?

The main conclusion of the event has been simple: keep talking.

"We face a problem in our culture of hyperspecialisation," says Dr Pinsent.

"This ignorance of other fields can cause problems, like a lack of social cohesion.

And although Prof Krauss said the meeting felt at times like "people who can't communicate trying to communicate," even he sees some value in this somewhat esoteric exchange.

"Many people of faith view science as a threat," he said.

"I don't think science is a threat, so it is useful for scientists to show that they don't necessarily view it that way."

As one contributor put it during the meeting: "Religion doesn't add to scientific facts, but it does shape our view of the world."

And since Cern is searching for clues about how that world came to exist in the first place, it wants to see how its discoveries might fit into any world view.

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