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, February 28, 2014

Oil-rich Norway may divest from fossil fuels

Google – AFP, 28 February 2014

A Greenpeace activist in a polar bear costume protests outside Norwegian
 company Statoil's office in Moscow on April 25, 2013 against its plans to drill 
in the Arctic (AFP, Yuri Kadobnov)

Oslo — Oil-rich Norway said Friday in an ironic twist that it would consider pulling its enormous state oil fund out of overseas investments in fossil fuels.

Norway, where oil revenue accounts for nearly a quarter of the economy, has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, which has invested the nation's oil wealth in a range of stocks, bonds and other vehicles -- including major oil and gas companies.

An independent panel of experts will report back to parliament in 2015 on the likely consequences of the fund -- which is worth almost $840 billion (610 billion euros) -- divesting from coal, oil and gas businesses, the rightwing ruling coalition said Friday.

It was not clear whether any pull-out would affect all fossil fuel extraction companies, or whether it would also include power companies.

"It is important to look at this issue from every angle before going ahead with changes," said Svein Flaatten, finance spokesman for the conservative party.

Norway's Government Pension Fund, as it is officially known, owns about 1.3 percent of global market capitalisation.

The world's largest natural gas platform Aasgard-B being towed on April 17, 2000
 from Kvaerner Rosenberg Shipyard near Stavanger on the first stage of its journey
to its North Sea destination (Scanpix/AFP, Alf Ove Hansen)

Its top 10 stock holdings include almost 29 billion kroner ($4.8 billion, 3.5 billion euros) in Anglo-Dutch multinational Shell, 22.1 billion kroner in BG and 20.2 billion kroner in BP.

Despite its misleading name, the fund is in fact intended to shore up the Scandinavian nation's welfare state into the future.

In December the opposition Labour Party first sparked a debate on the fund going greener when it proposed selling off its investments in "dirty" coal-based energy.

Several financial experts have claimed that the "oil fund", as it is commonly called, is doubly exposed to investment risks.

A price drop in the fossil fuel sector would mean less state money poured into the fund and also lower returns on the stock market, as oil and gas account for 8.4 percent of the fund's stock holdings.

A large proportion of state revenue in Norway is derived from oil and gas production, and the state also owns a coal mining operation on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

Related Articles:

"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….”

“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1)How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”

US moves ahead on massive Africa power bid

Google – AFP, Shaun Tandon (AFP), 27 February 2014

Electricity wires reflect the sun light at sunset in Mokopane, 60kms southwest
of Polokwane, South Africa, on June 21, 2010 (AFP/File, Daniel Garcia)

Washington — US lawmakers broke through a logjam Thursday on a plan to bring electricity to 50 million Africans, in what Washington hopes will be its next major initiative for the continent.

During a visit to Africa in June, President Barack Obama announced a US drive to improve power for the two thirds of Africans who lack a reliable supply.

But legislation in Congress, which is more concrete and ambitious than Obama's initial statement, had been held up by a dispute on whether to support electrical plants that produce large amounts of carbon blamed for climate change.

The bill, approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sets a goal of installing 20,000 megawatts of power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 and reaching at least 50 million people who do not have electricity.

The funding would come from the private sector, using government-backed credit guarantees.

Representative Ed Royce, who chairs the panel, hailed the Electrify Africa Act as a way for the United States to contribute to the continent's development, as lack of power impedes everything from education to health care.

Royce, a Republican who worked on the bill with members of Obama's Democratic Party, said that the plan would also help American companies tap into a growing consumer market and show US engagement in the face of China's rising presence in Africa.

The bill still needs approval from the full House of Representatives and Senate, but the committee vote indicated broad support.

However, the legislation came under fire from Representative Mo Brooks, a conservative Republican from Alabama who said that the United States was not financially sound enough to be "building power plants and power lines in Africa."

"I very much appreciate the altruistic motivations that I've heard in support of this legislation, but quite frankly, I don't believe America's financial condition is such that it supports spending money that we don't have on these projects," Brooks said.

Lawmakers from both parties countered that the US-backed financial institutions involved in the initiative -- the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, and the Export-Import Bank -- do not spend taxpayer money and in fact create US jobs by boosting economic activity.

Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly denounced Brooks's view as "dangerous" and said of the act: "It's not just 'altruism,' it's enlightened self-interest."

"I don't want to be the person who has to answer the next generation, 'Why is Africa-Chinese trade the dominant trade in that part of the world and we don't even have a slice of it?' And the answer is because somebody, somewhere, 20 years before said we can't afford it," Connolly said.

- Climate change battle diverted -

Obama had promoted electricity as the next big goal for the United States in Africa after his predecessor, George W. Bush, worked with Democrats to fight diseases including HIV/AIDS and former president Bill Clinton helped jumpstart trade.

But the bill had been held up as corporations pushed to ease existing requirements that OPIC steer clear of carbon-intense projects. General Electric said it supported renewable energy but that efforts in Africa also needed other sources, such as gas.

In a compromise, the bill does not address the issue. The fight was partially diverted as Congress took up OPIC funding when drafting the $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2014.

Environmentalists argued that major fossil fuel projects have proven to be a failure in much of Africa and that US investment could encourage more innovative clean energy in a continent expected to be hard hit by climate change.

One, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, pressed for passage of the legislation.

Tom Hart, the group's US executive director, said that the bill "shows the best face of America."

Related Articles:

Greek shipping tycoons threaten to set sail over tax privileges

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

".... The Illuminati

One more. "Kryon, what about the Illuminati?" OK, I'll tell you, for these things are already known by many.

Everything you thought about the Illuminati of the past is correct. This was not conspiracy, but fact. However, in the light of what I just said above, it could not sustain itself in an energy where everyone talks to everyone, and has since gone dormant.

The Illuminati was based in Greece, and it started by controlling the most potent economic attribute that could manipulate the strings of commerce on the earth - shipping. Once they had control of shipping, what followed was financial markets. This, then, worked its way to insurance, world stock markets and banking. This was prevalent for decades, right up to the mid '80s.

I have a question for the elders in the room. Look back in your lifetime, dear ones. What was the stock market like when you were younger? If you remember, you will say it had incremental changes up and down, except for occasional major shifts - which, by the way, were also controlled. It was steady, up or down. It didn't vacillate wildly, with hundreds of point-shifts from month to month. It never did. That's what a controlled market looks like. Now take a look at your current stock market. Does it look controlled? It is not! It is free-wheeling and it can go wherever it is driven by normal financial activity.

This should tell you something, dear ones. The Illuminati is no longer in control. It lost in banking, in tobacco, and it's about to lose in big pharma and insurance because awareness lets people know what is controlled and what is not. Awareness of truth will trump any other energy, and integrity will win some major battles.

So, did the Illuminate die? No. They simply lost their method of control.

The Future of the Illuminati

Now, I want to tell you something that you didn't expect and something I've reported only one other time. What about all of the money that the Illuminati has? There are trillions and trillions of euro in banks, under their control, waiting. What are they going to do with it and where are they going to use it? It's still here. They're waiting.

This group is waiting for something to happen that they know is going to happen, for they see it coming as much as I do. However, I would like to tell you something that they don't expect. With awareness comes generational shift. Those in charge of this money will not always be elders. The indigos eventually will have it.

They are waiting for something to happen in Africa - the building of a new civilization, a continent that has nothing to unlearn. Once Africa is cured, once it's ready, a new civilization can be created from the ground up. Africans will be ready to learn everything about building a foundation for the most advanced civilization ever and will do it with the most modern and inventive systems available. Eventually, this new continent will even beat the economics of China.

This is the prediction and always has been, and the Illuminati's money will fund it. Did I say the Illuminati will fund it? [Kryon laugh]The Illuminati's money will fund it, but there is a difference from the past, dear ones. The ones who inherit the positions in the Illuminati will be a different consciousness. Listen, they are not suddenly going to be the ones who have the good of everyone in their hearts - hardly. They want to make money, but what they will see instead is a way to make a great deal of money through this investment. In the process, it will automatically help hundreds of thousands, and they will be at the beginning, the foundation, that builds the new Africa. The new African states of unification eventually will create a continent stronger than any of the others, and it will have one currency. The resources alone will dwarf anything in the world.

"Wow, Kryon, how long is that going to take?"

The Humans in the room control that and those listening later and reading. When you leave this room, what are you going to do? Go home, report this, rub your hands together, and wait for it to happen? It won't. For the Humans in the room and the old souls hearing and reading have got work to do, and I've told you this before. You've got work to do.

There's an alliance that you're going to have to create with one another and with another group - the young people of Earth. The youth of this earth are changing the way things work. Can you see it? You're not supposed to sit around and watch them either, because they need you, old soul.

It's time for you to align with the indigos and the concepts of the youth of the planet. Do not think for a moment that their age shows their wisdom. These two attributes are not commensurate with one another; they're not linear. These young people may be older souls than you are! Don't think that because they've got technology that you don't understand that you can't be one with them. Their technology is social networking, the very thing we are talking about, where everyone can talk to everyone. The new consciousness on the planet starts in two areas - the children and the old souls. ..."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Greenpeace Calls Out Procter & Gamble for Dirty Palm Oil Sourcing

Jakarta Globe, Ethan Harfenist, February 26, 2014

This file photograph taken on June 7, 2012 shows the boundary between the
 remaining rainforest and newly developed palm oil plantation over cleared
tropical forest land in Central Kalimantan province. (AFP Photo)

Jakarta. Greenpeace accused the US-based consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble on Wednesday of being complicit in environmentally destructive activities in Indonesia, including encroachment of Sumatran tiger habitats, slash-and-burn clearing and the presence of an “orangutan graveyard.”

The environmental NGO slammed the company for sourcing “dirty” palm oil from allegedly unscrupulous suppliers in a report titled ”Procter & Gamble’s Dirty Secret.” The report, the result of a yearlong investigation by Greenpeace International, uncovered evidence that Procter & Gamble-linked palm oil companies were involved in the destruction of orangutan and Sumatran tiger habitats and the kind of slash-and-burn land clearing methods responsible for the region’s annual haze.

“[Procter & Gamble] needs to stop bringing rainforest destruction into our showers,” Bustar Maitar, head of the Indonesian forest campaign at Greenpeace International, said in a press statement. ”It must clean up its act and guarantee its customers that these products are forest-friendly.”

Greenpeace urged Procter & Gamble to adopt a “zero deforestation” pledge and undergo a serious review of its supply chain.

“Procter & Gamble should follow the lead of other palm oil using companies like Unilever, Nestlé and L’Oréal, which have already promised to clean up their supply chains,” Bustar said.

Palm oil is the world’s most ubiquitous vegetable oil and a main driver of deforestation in Indonesia. The oil accounted for roughly 40 percent of the world’s vegetable oil production from 2012-2013, and it is a key ingredient in many household products, like Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders shampoo and Gillette shaving gel.

Procter & Gamble purchased some 462,000 tons of palm oil between 2012-2013, much of it derived from plantations located in Indonesia. One of the companies Greenpeace zeroes in on in its report is BW Plantation, a Jakarta-based firm that is a third-party supplier for Asian Agri — a palm oil company owned by Sukanto Tanoto’s RGE Group.

BW Plantation is allegedly responsible for the recent clearance of orangutan habitats in Central Kalimantan. The company is also linked to a police investigation into an “orangutan graveyard” next to the province’s Tanjung Putting National Park, a 416 thousand-hectare nature reserve famous for its orangutan population.

“We’ve been confronting P&G over the last eight months with how it’s exposing consumers to forest destruction,” said Areeba Hamid, forest campaigner at Greenpeace International. “Instead of taking urgent action, the company has been greenwashing its actions.”

Procter & Gamble pledges, according to its website, to “confirm that all palm oil purchases have originated from responsible and sustainable sources by 2015.” In its 2012 sustainability report, Procter & Gamble promised to achieve zero net deforestation, in accordance with the Consumer Goods Forum.

Proctor & Gamble and BW Plantations were not immediately available for comment.

Greenpeace has been engaged in a highly vocal campaign against destructive and unsustainable agricultural business practices in Indonesia for decades. The group has been successful in forcing corporate change through campaigns raising awareness of the involvement of large multinational companies in deforestation in Indonesia and abroad.

In October, a report titled “License to Kill: How deforestation is driving Sumatran tigers toward extinction,” focused on questionable sourcing by Wilmar — the world’s largest palm oil trader. The Singapore-based company has since announced a zero deforestation policy.

Asia Pulp & Paper, the world’s largest pulp company, caved to similar pressure after losing several high-profile clients to Greenpeace’s once-active campaign against the paper company. APP has now adopted similar sustainability goals and invited Greenpeace to oversee the process as an independent observer.

“Greenpeace believes palm oil must make a genuine contribution to Indonesia’s development,” Bustar said. “Progressive palm oil producers in the Palm Oil Innovation Group, along with ambitious commitments from big palm oil players GAR and Wilmar, prove that there is a business case for responsible palm oil.

“There is no excuse for companies like P&G, Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate Palmolive to delay immediate action on deforestation.”

Palm oil production is the largest cause of deforestation in Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. The country was home to nearly half of the world’s palm oil plantations in 2006 after years of concession land grabs, illegal logging and lax law enforcement, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Related Articles:

Monday, February 24, 2014

French organic winemaker in court for shunning pesticides

AsiaOne – AFP, Feb 23, 2014

Grape pickers harvest fruit from the vines at the Chateau Luchey-Halde vineyards
 in Merignac, southwestern France as the traditional wine harvest begins September 16,

DIJON, France - A winemaker in France's Burgundy region appears in court Monday for refusing to use pesticides in his organic vineyard despite a government order.

Environmentalists have backed his refusal but other local winemakers have denounced the support campaign around him as full of "falsehoods" and defended their practices.

Emmanuel Giboulot is being pursued by an arm of the agriculture ministry for not heeding a local directive in Burgundy's wine-growing Cote d'Or area to regularly treat vines against a leaf-hopping insect that causes an infectious disease called "flavescence doree".

The disease first appeared in 1949 in France's southwestern Armagnac region.

It then spread steadily, reaching the wine-producing areas of Cognac, Languedoc, northern and southern Rhone, the Loire Valley and Bordeaux.

There is no cure yet for the bacterial infection, which can kill young vines and greatly reduce the productivity of older ones.

After the discovery of the disease in Burgundy's Beaune region, the local administration last June ordered all vineyard owners in the Cote d'Or area to treat their vineyards with pesticides.

But Giboulot has doggedly defied the order and shunned pesticides on his 10-hectare (24-acre) estate straddling the Cote de Beaune, the southern part of the Cote d'Or that is home to the great names in Burgundy wine.

He argues that the order would destroy the work of his father, who converted to biodynamic farming in the 1970s.

Like refusing vaccination

Giboulot was prosecuted after a check by local agricultural authorities in July and faces up to six months in prison and a 30,000-euro ($41,000) fine.

His defiance has won the support of leading environmental groups including Greenpeace and France's Green party, part of the ruling coalition with President Francois Hollande's Socialists.

His supporters will stage a demonstration on Monday outside the court in Dijon where Giboulot is due to appear.

"In the absence of a proven health threat, freedom of choice should be given," said Sandrine Belier, a Green party lawmaker in the European Parliament.

Environmentalists argue that instead of ordering the sweeping use of pesticides, local authorities should only monitor the disease, uproot affected vines and limit the mandatory use of pesticides to the areas under threat.

Local officials insist Giboulot is not being persecuted and that the step is vital to save vineyards across the region.

"All vines must be treated by everyone for the treatment to work," said Olivier Lapotre, the head of the local food department.

"It's a deadly disease for vines and very contagious and it's because of this that such measures are obligatory," he said.

Burgundy officials say the policy is paying off. The prefecture said only 0.20 hectares were seriously affected by flavescence doree in 2013 and the vines there uprooted, against 11.3 hectares in the previous year.

Denis Thiery, the head of research at the Bordeaux wing of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, said the disease had "exploded in the past decade," arguing the case for the use of pesticides.

"Almost all French wine-growing regions have been affected except the Jura, Alsace and Champagne," he said, adding that the order had to be respected.

"It's like refusing a vaccination when it's mandatory," he said.

Claude Chevalier, the head of the Burgundy Wine Board representing producers, said the case had been overblown and defended the practices of regional winemakers.

"We cannot tolerate the falsehoods being said about what is done in Burgundy. In Burgundy we do not pollute," he said, adding that Giboulot "is not the only person defending nature in Burgundy."

Related Articles:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bhutan, world's last TV holdout, now at tech vanguard: PM

Google – AFP, Patrice Novotny (AFP), 22 February  2014

Nissan Motor CEO, Carlos Ghosn (R), and Bhutanese Prime Minister, Tshering
Tobgay, unveil the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle in Thimphu, on February 21, 2014
(AFP, Dibyangshu Sarkar)

Thimphu — It was the world's last hold-out against television and is regarded by travellers as a Himalayan Shangri-La.

But Bhutan's decision to make itself the poster boy for electric transport is further proof of its willingness to embrace technology as part of its unique Gross National Happiness development model, says its prime minister.

In an interview with AFP after signing a deal with Nissan on Friday to import a fleet of battery-powered compact cars to the remote Himalayan nation, Tshering Tobgay said Bhutan was happy to be at the technological vanguard.

This file photo shows a trafffic warden
 directing traffic in the Bhutanese capital
 city of Thimphu, on October 4, 2010
(AFP/File, Ed Jones)
"Technology is not destructive. It's good and can contribute to prosperity for Bhutan," the prime minister said.

It was not always thus. The tiny kingdom was famously the last country to ever get television, finally embracing it in 1999, at a time when less than a quarter of households had electricity.

But it is rapidly shedding its reputation as a technophobe -- it now exports electricity thanks to an ambitious hydropower programme, while smart phones are a common sight, at least on the streets of the sleepy capital Thimpu.

"Internet, cellular phones, smartphones, they are ubiquitous, you can't do anything without them, now they are essential tools," said Tobgay.

"Cellular phones became a reality 10 years ago. We adopted it very well, almost everybody has a cellular phone, that's the reality.

"Similarly today we launched the Nissan Leaf... Our goal is to make the best of all options," he added.

Under the deal with Nissan, dozens of battery-powered Leafs should soon be motoring along the streets of Thimpu, helping it avoid the kind of pollution pervasive elsewhere in South Asia.

Tobgay said Bhutan would never allow its environment to become a victim of economic growth -- an important principle of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

"Growth is important but it should be balanced with other aspects of life including culture, spirituality, heritage and sustainable development," said the prime minister.

"During the development of the last 30-40 years, we placed a lot of emphasis to promote the environment, clean industries.

"We are looking to become 100 percent organic, (although) it will take some time. And we are looking to develop a zero emission goal. This formulates a narrative of Bhutan, about what Bhutan is about and where Bhutan wants to go."

Tobgay, who came to power last July after winning Bhutan's second elections, has previously voiced a degree of scepticism about GNH -- a philosophy originally espoused by a former king -- as a distraction from tackling the country's problems.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (2nd L), watched by Nissan Motor
 CEO Carlos Ghosn (L), plugs in a receptacle to charge the Nissan Leaf electric
vehicle, in Thimphu, on February 21, 2014 (AFP, Dibyangshu Sarkar)

But in his interview, the prime minister said addressing issues such as corruption, unemployment and the environment would allow Bhutan to practice what it preaches.

- Guiding philosophy -

"GNH should guide us, this philosophy should not be compromised," he said.

"But my stance has been that rather than talking about the GNH and debate the philosophy, we have to operationalise it."

With a population of just 750,000, Bhutan is in many ways a study in contrasts with its giant neighbours India and China, with their billion-plus populations and mega-cities.

Despite its stunning scenery, few tourists can afford to pay the $250 daily rate to visit the "Land of the Thunder Dragon".

But its abundant waterfalls and crystal-clear rivers have allowed Bhutan to become a significant player in the hydropower sector.

Bhutan now operates four hydroelectric plants which between them have almost 1,500 megawatt capacity -- at peak output roughly equivalent to a large nuclear power station -- and the surplus is sold onto India.

Tobgay said Bhutan would struggle to meet its capacity target of 10,000 megawatts by 2020 through the building of 10 new plants.

But he said there should be no doubting Bhutan's commitment to a zero emission target which would involve other renewable energies.

"We are looking also at solar panels, windmills, bio gas," he said.

"The important point is to make progress towards achieving our goal which is to harvest renewable energy and to use that renewable energy to power our own country and to power the energy needs of our neighbours with clean energy."

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“…  Tesla the Man

There was a point in time when humanity almost stumbled, by the way. You were having a hard time with electricity. So a man came along who was way ahead of his time and was available and his name was Nikola Tesla. He gave you a principle that today you call alternating current. Dear ones, I challenge you to understand this principle. Most of you can't, because it is not in 3D. The attributes are still considered "genius-level thinking" to this day. The whole idea of the kind of electricity you use today comes from this man's quantum mind.

That was all he was allowed to do. Tesla himself was a kind of time capsule, delivered at the right time. He had more, but alternating current was all that was allowed to be given to the planet at that time. Oh, he tried to give you more. He knew there were other things, but nothing was able to be developed. If I told you what else he had discovered, you might not be aware of it at all, since it was never allowed to get out of the box. Earth was not ready for it.

Tesla discovered massless objects. He could alter the mass of atomic structure using designer magnetics, but he never could control it. He had objects fly off his workbench and hit the ceiling, but he couldn't duplicate or control it. It just wasn't time yet. Do you know what else he was known for? It was seemingly the failure of the transmission of electricity. However, he didn't fail at all.

There are pictures of his tower, but every time a Human Being sees a tower, there is a biased assumption that something is going to be broadcast through the air. But in the case of Tesla, he had figured out how to broadcast electricity through the ground. You need towers for that because they have to pick up the magnetics within the ground in a certain way to broadcast them and then collect them again from the nodes of the planet's magnetic grid system. We talked about this before. He was utilizing the grid of the planet that is in the earth itself! He was on the edge of showing that you could use the whole grid of the planet magnetically to broadcast electricity and pick it up where you need it, safely, with no wires. But the earth was not ready for it.

Tesla died a broken man, filled with ideas that would have brought peace to planet Earth, but he was simply not allowed to give any of them to you.

Now I'll tell you why he was stopped, dear ones, and it's the first time we have ever told you – because these inventions were too easy to weaponize. Humanity just isn't ready for it. You're not ready for massless objects, either, for the principles are too easy to weaponize.

"So," you might say, "when will we be ready for it?" I think you already know the answer, don't you? At the time when Human consciousness reaches a point where that which is most important is unification and not separation, it will happen. A point where conquering and power are not desirable ideas or assets. A point where humanity will measure the strength of its population by how healthy they are and not by economic growth. A point where coming together with your neighbor is the main objective to social consciousness, and not conquering them or eliminating them. That's coming, dear ones. It's a ways away, but it's coming. Look around the planet at the moment. The old energy leaders are obvious, are they not? It's like they are relics in a world of thinking that is passing them by.  ….”

Bhutan to become green car showcase in deal with Nissan

Google – AFP, Patrice Novotny (AFP), 21 February 2014

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn (right) and Bhutanese Prime Minister
 Tshering Tobgay shake hands after unveiling the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle in
Thimphu on February 21, 2014 (AFP, Dibyangshu Sarkar)

Thimphu — The remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan signed a deal with Japanese auto giant Nissan Friday to become the ultimate showcase for electric cars, taking advantage of its abundance of hydropower.

The announcement was made during a visit by Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn to Thimphu, the picturesque capital of Bhutan.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said electric vehicles would help meet a target of zero emissions.

Bhutanese students participate in
 celebrations at the National stadium in 
Thimphu on February 21, 2014 to mark
 King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck's
34th birthday (AFP, Dibyangshu Sarkar)
"An important part of that plan will be sustainable and environmentally-friendly zero emission transport," he added at a joint press conference with Ghosn.

"We don't want to rely on and we don't want to buy fossil fuel," he added.

To mark the announcement which came on the birthday of Bhutan's revered king, Nissan said it was donating two of its Leaf electric vehicles to the government.

It will also supply Bhutan's pool of government cars and fleet of taxis with the same model for an undisclosed price.

Nissan plans to set up a network of charging stations across Thimphu, which industry experts see as vital in persuading motorists to shell out for an electric vehicle.

Wedged between India and China, the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' is famed for its Gross National Happiness development model that specifically takes into account the environment as well as psychological well-being.

Landlocked and mountainous, Bhutan is teeming with rivers and waterfalls that enable it to operate four hydroelectric plants with a combined capacity of 1,400 megawatts -- equivalent to a powerful nuclear reactor.

Most of the electricity is sold on to India but Bhutan also has to import traditional fossil fuels to meet the needs of its motorists.

"(Electric vehicles) will help Bhutan to reduce the use of fossile fuels and the need to import foreign oil," said Ghosn in the press conference.

Ghosn said the deal would make Bhutan an environmental role model, predicting that the government investment would encourage consumers.

"What we are talking about is the very initial step. Because of this vision that we see for Bhutan, you can expect hundreds or hopefully thousands of Leafs (to be) sold in Bhutan," added Ghosn.

- Self-sufficiency -

Tobgay, who came to power after winning Bhutan's second ever elections last July, sees electric cars as a way of becoming more self-sufficient and of demonstrating the rapid development of a nation that only introduced television in 1999.

The prime minister acknowledged that the high price -- the Leaf costs around $20,000 in the United States -- could scare off motorists but said he was hoping for outside help.

"If we can get international agencies and individuals to support us to subsidize one third of that price, it becomes very affordable," he said.

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay (2nd left), watched by Nissan chief
 executive Carlos Ghosn (left), plugs in a receptacle to charge the Nissan
Leaf electric vehicle in Thimphu on February 21, 2014 (AFP, Dibyangshu Sarkar)

While other capitals in South Asia are often cloaked in pollution, the residents of Thimpu enjoy a largely pristine climate.

As all vehicles have to be imported and are heavily taxed, car ownership is relatively small and taxis are widely used.

Nissan has emerged as the world leader in the electric car market having invested four billion euros with its French partner Renault, which owns more than 40 percent of the Japanese company.

Launched in 2010, the Nissan Leaf is now the best-selling electric car in history after becoming the first model to pass the 100,000 mark for worldwide sales at the end of last year.

One of the Leaf's chief attractions is its special fast charger which can be fired up in just half an hour, a vast improvement on the eight hours that it takes to recharge batteries linked up to the mains electricity.

It can reach speeds of up to 150 kilometres (93 miles) per hour and has a range of 200 kilometres.

The limited range of most green cars and their relatively high prices have proved major hurdles to a growth in sales.

But while the market remains tiny, industry experts expect demand to grow sharply in the next few years as emissions standards across the world are toughened.

2012 Nissan Leaf Taxi in Sao Paulo