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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Zara to ban toxins in clothing after Greenpeace campaign

Want China Times, CNA and Staff Reporter 2012-11-30

Protesters present a "toxic" fashion show in front of
Zara's store in Taipei. (Photo/Chen Chen-tang)

One of the world's top clothing retailers committed Thursday to eliminating the use of potentially toxic chemicals in its products by 2020 in response to a worldwide campaign by Greenpeace.

Inditex, the parent company of Spanish fashion brand Zara, said that day that it will begin requiring 20 suppliers to disclose pollution data as early as next March, according to the local branch of Greenpeace East Asia.

The campaign targeted 20 world-renowned garment brands around the globe and found high levels of toxins in many of their products.

"Zara is the eighth global fashion brand to bow to people's demands for non-toxic clothing, which means our voice has been heard," said Rose Lai of Greenpeace.

Zara's commitment came nine days after the environmental group disclosed the brand's use of potentially toxic chemicals such as nonylphenol ethoxylates, detergents used in the textile industry that are considered harmful to health.

Since the release of the report, more than 315,000 people worldwide have joined the campaign, with tens of thousands taking action on Facebook and Twitter, according to Greenpeace.

Over 700 people in countries including Taiwan have also been protesting and performing street theater outside Zara shops around the world.

Related Article:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Botswana to ban wildlife hunting

Yahoo – AFP, 29 November 2012

An elephant is pictured at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape
 region of South Africa, near Port Elizabeth, on July 9. Botswana, one of Africa's
 premier safari destinations, said Thursday it will ban commercial hunting of wildlife 
because of a decline in animal populations.

Botswana, one of Africa's premier safari destinations, said Thursday it will ban commercial hunting of wildlife because of a decline in animal populations.

The government has decided to "indefinitely suspend commercial hunting of wildlife in public or controlled hunting areas" from January 1, 2014, the environment ministry said in a statement.

The government of the diamond-rich country stated that the killing of wild game for sport was no longer seen to be "compatible with either our national commitment to conserve and preserve local fauna or the long term growth of the local tourism industry".

Tourism contributes about 12 percent to Botswana's gross domestic product.

Hunting concessions in the vast southern African country currently exist in the Okavango Delta and in parks in the Kalahari region, famous for its high-end tourism facilities.

The country boasts large numbers of big game like elephant, lion and buffalo, but the government has voiced concern over a sharp decline in some species.

"If left unchecked this decline poses a genuine threat to both the conservation of our natural heritage and the long term health of the local tourist industry which currently ranks second to diamonds in terms of its revenue earnings," the ministry said.

It added that individual licences for specific game, in specific circumstances, would be assessed.

The ban was foreshadowed by President Ian Khama in his state of the nation address last month.

Earlier this year Spanish King Juan Carlos, 74, went on what was to become an infamous elephant hunting trip in Botswana's northern Okavango region.

The trip attracted widespread criticism back home, as the country was battling an economic decline.

His expedition was cut short after he suffered a hip injury. 

Related Article:

Spain's King Juan Carlos poses in front of a dead elephant
on a hunting trip in Botswana, Africa. Photograph: Target
Press/Barcroft Media

Energy Savings – Easy as Dirt, Heat, Pressure

MSU doctoral student Xu Lu is part of a team that has developed a new
 thermoelectric material. Here Lu works in the MSU Center for Revolutionary
Materials for Solid State Energy Conversion. Photo by G.L. Kohuth.

By using common materials found pretty much anywhere there is dirt, a team of Michigan State University researchers have developed a new thermoelectric material.

This is important, they said, because the vast majority of heat that is generated from, for example, a car engine, is lost through the tail pipe. It’s the thermoelectric material’s job to take that heat and turn it into something useful, like electricity.

The researchers, led by Donald Morelli, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science, developed the material based on natural minerals known as tetrahedrites.

“What we’ve managed to do is synthesize some compounds that have the same composition as natural minerals,” said Morelli, who also directs MSU’s Center for Revolutionary Materials for Solid State Energy Conversion. “The mineral family that they mimic is one of the most abundant minerals of this type on Earth – tetrahedrites.

“By modifying its composition in a very small way, we produced highly efficient thermoelectric materials.”

The search to develop new thermoelectric materials has been ongoing. Morelli said that while some new, more efficient materials have been discovered as of late, many of those are not suitable for large-scale applications because they are derived from rare or sometimes toxic elements, or the synthesis procedures are complex and costly.

“Typically you’d mine minerals, purify them into individual elements, and then recombine those elements into new compounds that you anticipate will have good thermoelectric properties,” he said. “But that process costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. Our method bypasses much of that.”

The MSU researchers’ method involves the use of very common materials, grinding them to a powder, then using pressure and heat to compress into useable sizes.

“It saves tremendously in terms of processing costs,” he said.

The researchers expect this discovery could pave the way to many new, low-cost thermoelectric generation opportunities with applications that include waste heat recovery from industrial power plants, conversion of vehicle exhaust gas heat into electricity, and generation of electricity in home-heating furnaces.

The research was published in the online journal Advanced Energy Materials.

The work is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy/Office of Science. The work is a partnership with the University of Michigan and UCLA. Other institutions involved with the MSU-based center are Northwestern University, the Ohio State University, Wayne State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

For more information on the Center for Revolutionary Materials for Solid State Energy Conversion, visit

Friday, November 23, 2012

China to have 3,000MW solar thermal power capacity by 2015

Want China Times, Xinhua 2012-11-23

A solar farm in Xining, Qinghai province. (Photo/Xinhua)

China will have 3,000 megawatts of solar thermal power installed capacity by 2015, with the total market value reaching 45 billion yuan (US$7.22 billion), according to a report released on Wednesday.

Most parts of China are suitable for the development and use of solar energy, with 98% of the country's territory recording an annual average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours or above generated from solar radiation per square meter, according to a green paper on climate change.

The paper, released by the Social Sciences Academic Press, put the country's annual average of energy generated from solar radiation per square meter at 1,500 kilowatt-hours, an amount possibly equal to the amount of energy consumed by an average household in one year.

Western and hinterland regions have more abundant solar energy resources, as such areas generally feature terrains located at higher altitudes and less humid weather than eastern and coastal areas, it reads.

The most solar radiation energy is recorded in southern Tibet and the Golmud region in Qinghai, while the least is recorded in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing.

The green paper also forecast more extreme weather in China in the coming centuries. People and public facilities will be exposed to more risks brought about by such weather as a result of the emission of more greenhouse gases.

The report was released as nations are gearing up for a new round of climate change talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7 in Doha, Qatar.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Solar Vehicles in Chile Race Across World's Driest Desert

Jakarta Globe, Roser Toll, November 17, 2012

A member of Chilean team "Atenea II " competes with a solar car during the first
 stage of the Atacama Solar Challenge — a solar car race in Atacama Desert,
northern Chile — in Calama, some 1500 km north of Santiago, on November 15, 2012.
 Fifteen teams from four countries are participating in the three-day 1300 km race.
 (AFP Photo/Martin Bernetti)
Related articles

Calama, Chile. Fifteen solar panel vehicles, some that look like small space ships, raced across Chile’s Atacama desert Friday as part of a contest to build low-cost environmentally-friendly cars.

Teams from countries like Argentina, Chile, India and Venezuela have crafted aerodynamic racers to speed across 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) of the world’s driest desert in the second edition of the Atacama Solar Challenge.

The race, which began Thursday and ends Monday, pits teams from universities that build their cars on a tight budget in the slog across northern Chile.

Some of the vehicles powered exclusively by the sun’s rays, while others are solar- and pedal-powered hybrids.

The solar-powered vehicles are mostly flat rectangular contraptions lined with solar panels to absorb solar energy, which is stored in batteries, and with a cubicle to house the driver. The hybrids look like neighborhood go-carts with solar panels glued on.

The race started Thursday at the Humberstone saltpeter, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Chile’s capital, Santiago. The site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a ghost town that has been abandoned since saltpeter mining was halted ended there in the mid 20th century.

This year, a team from oil-rich Venezuela made their debut in the competition that celebrates an alternative to fossil fuels.

“In a country with a mono-economy based on oil, with an infinite potential of hydraulic energy, and without an energy problem, it is a miracle to build a car like this,” said the Venezuelan team captain Carlos Mata.

“The import laws in Venezuela meant we could not get all the necessary materials, so we had to adapt what we had. It was a huge effort,” he explained.

But his team persisted, eager to participate in an event organizers say is aimed at encouraging research into alternative sources of energy.

The solar vehicles shared the same northern Chilean highway with trucks, buses and cars, but are a long way from replacing them, said Leonardo Saguas, captain of the Antakar team from Chile’s Universidad de La Serena.

Yet Saguas, whose team built last year’s winning car, said he can envision a day when Chile is mass producing solar cars.

“We have plenty of resources, we just need to develop them,” he said.

Gabriel Martinez, proud team captain from the University of Concepcion, spent a year perfecting his vehicle.

“It has 244 solar cells” which capture the sun’s energy and convert it to electricity stored in batteries, he bragged, adding that the vehicle “weighs 300 kilograms and its peak power is 950 watts.”

“This race is awesome. It applies all the engineering and technology we learn into a sport. I love it,” he gushed.

Luciano Chiang, professor at Chile’s Catholic University, supervises the Solar Mecatronica team, one of five competing from Chilean universities.

“The market for [solar] panels belongs 90 percent to China, which no one can compete with on price,” Chiang said.

“Yet Chile is the country with the most potential solar energy in the world,” he said. “It is the same paradox as with batteries. We buy them from China, but they are made of lithium that surely comes from Chile,” the world’s leading source of the mineral.

Agence France-Presse

Related Article:

Airbus teams up with Chinese firm to make green fuel

Want China Times, Xinhua and Staff Reporter 2012-11-17

An ENN laboratory in Hebei province. (Photo/Xinhua)

Airbus on Wednesday signed a deal with Chinese biofuel producer ENN to jointly explore an alternative fuel for the aviation industry.

Airbus, with its parent company EADS Innovation Works, signed the agreement with ENN, one of the leading biofuel producers in China, to develop the fuel made from algae oil.

The deal was struck at the ongoing 9th China International Air Show in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.

Algae oil, extracted, processed and refined from certain species of algae, is regarded as one of the most promising ways for the production of biofuels in the aviation industry.

According to the deal, a test flight with the biofuel is scheduled for 2013 in China, after a Sino-US feasibility study of the biofuel is concluded.

The partners also agreed to assess the environmental, economical and social impact of the biofuel for aviation use, and promote its marketing in China.

The ENN company, which owns microalgae oil making equipment, can make more than ten tonnes of the product annually. Starting from 2013, it will enhance its capability to meet the demand of biofuel-based flights.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grunt work: Scientists decode pig genome

Google – AFP, 14 November 2012

The domestic pig is already used extensively in medical research, due to
its anatomical similarity to humans (AFP/File, Philippe Huguen)

PARIS — Scientists said Wednesday they had laid bare the genetic code of the pig, revealing that besides providing ham, bacon and sausages, the domestic swine may also be useful in fighting human diseases.

Pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations which in Man have been linked to obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, a team from the United States and Europe found.

"We have the chance to study (in pigs) how these genes interact with others to cause obesity, diabetes or other diseases," Denis Milan, head of animal genetics at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), told AFP.

"This suggests that for some studies, including testing drugs and therapies, pigs may be a useful model for predicting outcomes in humans," added co-author Alan Archibald from the University of Edinburgh.

The domestic pig, Sus scrofa domesticus, is already used extensively in medical research, due to its anatomical similarity to humans.

Pig heart valves are being used by surgeons to replace faulty human ones.

"Now we can use pigs for looking at genetic diseases" as well, said co-author Lawrence Schook from the University of Illinois.

This could include "making genetically modified animals to create human disease models."

The sequencing of the genome also holds promise for improvements in the pig's more traditional role since being domesticated over 10,000 years ago -- that of serving as dinner.

Scientists now have more tools at their disposal to breed a new generation of super-pigs that will yield more meat for less feed, bear more piglets and resist disease better.

The team has developed a test with which they can identify individual pigs with a genetic predisposition to growing fat fast, survive long and bear many offspring.

"The DNA test information can be used... as a basis for selecting the animals which will be used to breed the next generation," explained Archibald.

The sequencing project, which saw the domestic pig's genome compared to that of the wild boar, human, mouse, dog, horse and cow, also revealed a "clear" genetic distinction between European and Asian pigs.

The ancestor of the domestic pig, which resembles today's wild boar, first emerged in Southeast Asia and migrated across Eurasia.

The two groups were separated for so long, including by ice ages, that they became almost sub-species.

The findings adds to evidence "that pigs were independently domesticated in western Eurasia and East Asia", the authors wrote in the paper published in the journal Nature.

They also found that of the species examined, pigs had the most olfactory receptor genes -- underlining the importance of smell in the scavenger animal's lifestyle.

The swine also had fewer bitter taste receptors, meaning that "pigs can eat food that is unpalatable to humans" -- another reason they have become such a highly valued farm animal.

More of human DNA is active
than was thought

Related Articles:

"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)

"..... DNA - A Quantum Force 

Now let me take you to the very small. Over a decade ago, Vladimir Poponin, a Russian scientist, used light in an experiment with one molecule of DNA. Through this experiment, he discovered a multidimensional field around DNA. Light patterned itself into a mathematical equation [sine wave] when DNA was present. He discovered that DNA had a quantum field. Not only that, it was a quantum field somehow filled with information. How else could the field pattern light into a sine wave? Now, this came from a quantum biologist, not Kryon. Yet there are many who doubt this experiment ever happened, since it shows something that no Human expected. There are those who simply don't wish to look at the fact that real quantum biologists did a real experiment! They chose to relegate all that information to the new age and not to science. It's always interesting what Humans do with science, isn't it? If it doesn't fit the 3D model of their reality, then they deny it exists.

When the full Human genome was transcribed, every single chemical in it was seen. The numbers are shocking, for in a molecule that is so small you cannot see it without an electron microscope, there are more than 3 billion chemicals! The double helix is more complex than you know. This molecule is small enough to be qualified to be in a quantum state, and Vladimir Poponin showed that it actually had a field around it, even a single DNA molecule.

Those who did the Human Genome Project wanted to know how the 3 billion chemicals of DNA create more than 26,000 genes of the Human body. By the way, there are more genes than that, but I'm using the scientists' numbers, not mine. So this is what they were interested in. They did not see DNA in a quantum state. They were not looking for that, even though the very science of DNA shouts with logic that it has to be quantum. They weren't looking for that. Instead, they counted chemicals and looked for codes, and they found them in a very odd arrangement.

They discovered that of the 3 billion chemicals in the DNA double helix, all the genes were being created in the protein-encoded parts of DNA. Three and a half percent of DNA was creating all the genes. More than 90% of the chemical makeup of DNA seemed to be random. It did absolutely nothing - that they could see or understand. Even to this day, science does not see the obvious, that the 90% is quantum and the 3.5% is linear.

Today, your quantum physicists are often dealing with ten dimensions plus time (11 dimensions) in the most popular kind of multi-dimensional physics, string theory. If you began to ask them about what this all looks like, they would say the words, "chaos" and "random patterning." For this is the way that quantum fields work. They are filled with potentials instead of absolutes, and they vary depending on many factors... including Human consciousness. Someday there will be the realization there is a strong possibility that DNA, although a biological molecule, is in a quantum state. This will break the rules of "size" in a quantum state. For it actually is "mostly quantum," and even affects the spin of the atoms that enter its field. Then the next obvious question will occur: "What information is in the ninety percent of DNA that is quantum?"

Now we get to the core truth, don't we? So I will tell you. The ninety percent of DNA which is quantum, is filled with information, both esoteric and timeless. It is a quantum blueprint for everything you are and have been since you arrived on the planet the first time. DNA contains instruction sets for your life; everything from your full Akashic Record - every single lifetime you have had - to the benevolent creator's fingerprint within the seeds of creation itself. Every single talent you ever had is there, even if you don't have any of those today... the record is there. Every predisposition of weakness and strength are there. Biologically, every single instruction to every single stem cell is there.

Did you ever wonder where stem cells get their "information" to make the Human Being? It's in the 90% of your DNA, and it's all quantum. Why do some quantum DNA contain instructions to create weaker bodies? Why is it that some predispositions for disease are there? Now I'm giving you this information so that you will understand something that is coming next... perhaps the most important biological attribute ever presented. ..."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Urine-powered generator unveiled at international exhibition

Yahoo News, Eric Pfeiffer, Nov 12, 2012

Three of the four inventors of the urine-powered generator (Eric Hersman)

Four African girls have created a generator that produces electricity for six hours using a single liter of urine as fuel.

The generator was unveiled at last week's Maker Faire in Lagos, Nigeria, by the four teens Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, all age 14, and Bello Eniola, 15.

So how exactly does the urine-powered generator work?
  • Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen.
  • The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
  • The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
  • This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.

And as for delivering the fuel itself? Well, we'll leave that up to the consumer.

The Maker Faire is a popular event across the African continent, drawing thousands of participants who travel to Lagos to show their inventions and other practical creations.

As the NextWeb describes it, the Maker Faire is intended to highlight creations "that solve immediate challenges and problems, and then works to support and propagate them. Put another way, this isn't just a bunch of rich people talking about how their apps are going to change the world."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Washington County Bans Growing of GMOs

Natural Society, Anthony Gucciardi, November 12th, 2012

While some anti-GMO legislation like Prop 37 was shot down through corporation-funded projects and deceptive campaign tactics, one county in Washington state was massively successful in establishing a landmark ruling against Monsanto and GMO crops as a whole. The concerned citizens of San Juan County were able to pass what is known as Initiative Measure No. 2012-4, which actually bans the growth of genetically modified organisms within the county.

And it doesn’t just affect traditional GMO crops.

According to the writing within the legislation, the Initiative actually protects against the growth and cultivation of any genetically modified organism — even animals which have been genetically modified. This specific wording is key when considering that the act of genetic modification is no longer specific to crops. While it is true that crops have been the major focus of GMO cultivation, with upwards of 90 plus percent of corn now reportedly being altered, new disturbing and outlandish biotech projects that twist the genetic coding of more advanced life are becoming much more frequent.

A recent example of such an ‘experiment’ involves the creation of genetically modified cows that actually produce human breast milk. Milk that is intended to feed human infants within the next 10 years or so if certain biotechnology proponents get their way.

I explain in a recent interview with Russia Today how Monsanto attempts to squash any anti-GMO legislation through deep political ties and financial power:

While the Initiative allows for ‘controlled’ use of GMOs by researchers and health care providers only in small and secured environments, it is a landmark in the fight against GMOs on a legislative level. While this Initiative may currently only affect San Juan County, similar Initiatives and propositions may spring up elsewhere in other states and counties. With over 90% of the public in favor of labeling GMOs, it should be no surprise that individuals are actively seeking answers on a political level.

It also shows that Monsanto and fellow mega corporations cannot wipe out each new piece of legislation that seeks to threaten profits in favor of consumer health. While the mega corps were successful in taking down Prop 37 through spending over $45 million in deceptive advertising, illegally using the FDA seal and fabricating a quote, and even posing as voter groups to trick voters into voting against the proposition, they simply cannot stomp out labeling or bans in every county or state nationwide.

As more and more people begin to realize the reality of GMO and how they can devastate both health and the environment, Monsanto will have a lot more to deal with than just a few pieces of legislation.

Related Articles:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Party acknowledges unfair treatment of China's farmers

Want China Times, Xinhua 2012-11-10

Farmland in Changchun, Jilin province. (File photo/Xinhua)

After it became the country's only ruling party 63 years ago, the Communist Party of China is now looking back to where it started on its way to the national power: solving land problems for farmers.

In his keynote report to the 18th National Congress on Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao has pressed the party to reform the land expropriation system and increase farmers' share of gain in land value. "We should give more to farmers and take less from them," Hu told the party in his speech at the opening of the congress, which was televised nationwide Thursday.

Hu promised the party will ensure equal exchange of factors of production and balance allocation of public resources between urban and rural areas.

The pledge, the first of its kind the party has ever made in its national congress reports, came at a time when massive protests by farmers over land seizures erupted in multiple villages across the country over the past years.

The reform of the land expropriation system, if proceeds as promised, means that the Chinese government will no longer sacrifice the property rights of farmers to reduce the cost of the country's industrialization and urbanization.

According to China's existing land system, rural collectives, usually a rural village committee, rather than farmers themselves, own the land in rural areas, a systematic arrangement that came into being in China after several land reforms initiated by the party lifted it to national power.

Historians believe the widespread support the Communist Party once had from farmers was one of the major factors that helped it become China's ruling party after it confiscated land from landlords and allocated them to peasants for free in the revolutionary era.

Late leader Mao Zedong attributed the party's course to national power to a strategy of "using the rural areas to encircle the cities."

The reform and opening up that catapulted China into its current position of the world's second-largest economy also originated from Xiaogang village in east China's Anhui province, where farmers secretly contracted farmland from the collective in 1978 when most villages in the country were still struggling to make their ends meet in collective farms.

The practice at Xiaogang village was later applied to the rest of the countryside, as rural collectives distributed land-use rights to households through contracts of 30-year "household management."

Yet under the existing rules, the state can nationalize the collective-owned land over reasons like "public interests" and transfer farmland for industrial and construction use.

To build more homes for migrant workers flocking to cities and towns amid the country's rapid urbanization, local governments grabbed a number of land from farmers over the years, then sold them to industrial and housing developers, but offered very little compensation to rural residents.

Moreover, farmers are deprived of any gains in the land value after their farmland is expropriated, thus fueling increasing discontent and complaints from farmers, including those living at Wukan village in the city of Shanwei in south China's Guangdong province.

A year ago, Wukan made international headlines when the village's residents staged three waves of large-scale rallies over four months to protest against village officials' illegal land seizures, corruption and violations of financing and election rules.

"Under the current land expropriation system, farmers are almost excluded from benefits of land price appreciation," said Xu Xiaojing, director of the Research Department of Rural Economy with the Development Research Center, a government thinktank under the State Council, China's cabinet.

He said the current compensation standard for expropriated land is too low, thus limiting farmers from sharing the revenues of increases in land prices.

"In fact, those farmers who lost their land have been unfairly thrown out from China's industrialization and urbanization process," Xu said. "This is absurd."

In many villages, villagers usually get a reimbursement between 450,000 yuan and 750,000 yuan (about US$75,000-$120,000) for each hectare of farmland expropriated, but local governments can cash in millions of yuan in revenue on auctioning a hectare of rural land.

Yang Yuying, a female farmer living in the suburbs of Hefei, the capital of Anhui province, became one of the victims of the unfair land seizure system in the country.

Yang and her family were compensated less than 1 million yuan (US$160,000), along with a 90-square-meter housing unit, when their land was seized by the local government.

"The compensation looks quite a lot of money, but we've lost our land and can't enjoy the same treatment in employment, medicare and education as urban residents do," Yang said. "Our lives have no guarantee, and even my kid has to pay extra fees to go to school in the city."

As China's urbanization has driven over half of the country's population of 1.3 billion into cities and towns, many farmers like Yang are having their land seized by local governments without property compensation, thus sowing the seeds of unrest in the country.

"The unfair treatment farmers face in land seizures are now the primary source of complaints and social unrest in the country," said Wang Kaiyu, a sociologist who has conducted field investigations in rural China for a long time.

"In reforming the land expropriation system, the government should appropriately raise the one-off compensations to farmers, but establishing a mechanism to guarantee their long-term lives is even more important," Wang said.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Australia to join new round of Kyoto emission cuts

Deutsche Welle, 9 November 2012

Australia has announced it will sign up for a second round of the Kyoto Protocol, an environmental protection treaty. Australia would become the first major non-European country to sign the new "Kyoto 2" phase.

"Australia is ready to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol," Climate Minister Greg Combet announced on Friday.

So far, only the European Union and several smaller economies have signalled a willingness to agree to a new phase of emission-cutting pledges.

The Kyoto Protocol, which was negotiated in 1997, is the first global treaty to set binding obligations on wealthy countries to cut emissions.

The so-called "Kyoto 2" agreement commits to a 5 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2020 based on 2000 levels.

Australiais among the world's worst per-capita polluters, with a heavy reliance on coal mining and exports with most of its electricity coming from coal-fired power stations.

Combet's announcement comes ahead of annual negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which will take place in Doha, Qatar in December.

The big issue is renewing commitments under Kyoto after the first round of cuts expires on December 31, although agreement on a new globally-binding deal is not expected until 2015 and will not come into force until 2020.

"From 2020 we expect all countries - including the United States, the European Union, China, Japan, India, Indonesia and South Korea - will be part of a new agreement to reduce emissions," Combet said. "This will bring all countries onto the same legal platform to reduce emissions."

Hours after Combet's announcement, New Zealand announced it will not sign up for the second phase, but denied it was withdrawing from Kyoto.

hc/mz (AFP, dpa)

Hillary Clinton slams wildlife trafficking

Google – AFP, 9 November 2012 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October (AFP/File)

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Thursday for a stepped up fight against poaching, warning against criminal gangs seeking to satisfy growing demand for ivory and rhino horn.

"Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before," the top US diplomat told a meeting at the State Department.

Despite progress over the past three to four decades to clamp down on poaching, growing wealth meant demand was on the rise again.

"As the middle class grows, which we all welcome and support, in many nations items like ivory or rhinoceros horn become symbols of wealth and social status," Clinton said, urging all governments to join the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking.

"And so the demand for these goods rises. By some estimates, the black market in wildlife is rivaled in size only by trade in illegal arms and drugs.

"Today, ivory sells for nearly $1,000 per pound. Rhino horns are literally worth their weight in gold, $30,000 per pound."

The rise in trafficking in endangered animal species was also hitting domestic economies where local populations depend on wildlife for tourism, as well as spreading disease and helping to fund rebel militias.

"We all, unfortunately, contribute to the continued demand for illegal animal goods. Wildlife might be targeted and killed across Asia and Africa, but their furs, tusks, bones, and horns are sold all over the world," Clinton stressed.

The United States was now the second largest destination for smuggled animal goods, she said, adding "that is something we are going to address."

But Clinton insisted it was "a global challenge that spans continents and crosses oceans, and we need to address it with partnerships that are as robust and far-reaching as the criminal networks we seek to dismantle."

It was one of the messages that she would be taking with President Barack Obama to the East Asia summit in Cambodia later this month, she said.

Clinton urged the establishment of a global system of regional wildlife enforcement networks, which she was hoping would get off the ground with $100,000 being put up by the United States.

Clinton said she was also asking for an intelligence assessment of the impact of large-scale wildlife trafficking on security, saying she had been alarmed by reports from leaders in Africa.

"It is one thing to be worried about the traditional poachers who come in and kill and take a few animals, a few tusks, a few horns, or other animal parts," she said. "It's something else when you've got helicopters, night vision goggles, automatic weapons, which pose a threat to human life as well as wildlife."

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"Do Animals Reincarnate?" - NOV 22, 2010 (Kuthumi channelled by Lynette Leckie-Clark)

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)