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, July 20, 2016

Last month was hottest June on record: US scientists

Yahoo – AFP, July 19, 2016

Last month was the hottest June in modern history (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen)

Washington (AFP) - Last month was the hottest June in modern history, marking the 14th consecutive month that global heat records have been broken, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.

"The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2016 was the highest for the month of June in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880," the agency said in a statement.

"This marks the 14th consecutive month the monthly global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in the 137-year record."

The report, issued each month by NOAA, also said the global temperature for the first six months of 2016 was the hottest on record.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius).

"June 2016 marks the 40th consecutive June with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th century average," NOAA said.

Alaska has seen a years-long streak of astonishing warmth, with the
warmest year-to-date and warmest June capping it off so far this year. 

NOAA also spoke about what it calls the "monthly temperature departure" or record spikes in heat. It said 14 of 15 of these spikes have occurred since February 2015, signalling that global warming is accelerating.

The planet's average land temperature in June was 2.23 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century monthly average, tied at an all-time record for June that was struck last year. The land temperature also hit a record high for the first six months of the year.

The average sea surface temperature was 1.39 degrees Fahrenheit above last century's monthly average. That marked the hottest June and the hottest January-June period on record.

Experts say global warming is at least partially to blame for a number of environmental disasters around the world, from the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia to wildfires raging across Canada.

Last year marked the hottest on record, beating 2014, which previously held the title.

With 14 months in a row now setting records for heat, 2016 -- now half over -- is on track to be another scorching year.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bavarian village pioneers clean energy revolution

Yahoo – AFP, Pauline Curtet, July 13, 2016

A row of wind turbines towers on the edge of the picturesque Bavarian village of
Wildpoldsried, population 2,600, where rolling meadows meet pine forests and Alpine
peaks line the horizon (AFP Photo/Christof Stache)

Wildpoldsried (Germany) (AFP) - A row of wind turbines towers on the edge of the picturesque Bavarian village of Wildpoldsried, population 2,600, where rolling meadows meet pine forests and Alpine peaks line the horizon.

"I love them," says Thomas Pfluger, a local resident, gazing at the windmills jutting out above the tree-tops. "To look at them, it makes me proud."

Pfluger's home village, with its old Catholic church and traditional beer garden, may be rural Bavaria at its most idyllic, but it's also at the cutting edge of Germany's green energy revolution.

Known as the "Renewables Village," it uses mainly wind, solar and biomass to meet all its electricity needs, and sells the rest back into the national grid at a profit.

Like many other communities in Germany, Wildpoldsried took advantage of generous subsidies and price guarantees that were rolled out in recent years to boost alternative energy.

To ensure local acceptance, Wildpoldsried relied on a simple idea: to involve the entire village and spread the benefits among its people.

Like 300 other locals, Pfluger, a 55-year-old IT developer, put his money into the wind farm, which offered guaranteed, above-market-rate returns for 20 years.

"I invested 100,000 euros ($110,000) in the wind turbines," he said. "Every year, I get about six percent of this amount as profit."

Village mayor Arno Zengerle, 59, stressed that "the participation of the citizens is the most important thing".

"They must profit from the renewable energy. If only private investors from the outside took part, it wouldn't work."

So far business has been good. Last year, the village produced five times more electricity than it consumed.

The goal for this year is to raise that ratio to seven-fold.

Pfluger's home village, with its old Catholic church and traditional beer garden, 
may be rural Bavaria at its most idyllic, but it's also at the cutting edge of Germany's 
green energy revolution (AFP Photo/Christof Stache)

'Logical choice'

Martin Hartmann, who lives in a beautiful old house with flower boxes in a cozy village street, opted for solar and has covered his garage roof with photovoltaic panels.

"It was a logical choice," said the 33-year-old printer.

"I was born here, I grew up with the idea that Wildpoldsried is the 'energy village', so I got interested in it very early," he said, his eyes fixed on real-time power stats on his smartphone.

Across the village, all public buildings are energy self-sufficient or produce a surplus, which earn the municipality several million euros a year.

"In other words, local taxes are not very high here," smiled Zengerle, of the conservative Christian Social Union party.

Zengerle often hosts foreign delegations of diplomats, experts and journalists -- about 100 visits a year -- to inform them about the clean energy model.

Some companies have been drawn to Wildpoldsried, including Sonnen GmbH, which makes batteries for storing excess wind and solar power, and which employs 140 people here.

Its founder and boss Christoph Ostermann, 45, said: "When I look out the window, I see solar panels on a lot of roofs, windmills that are spinning.

"Wildpoldsried has been (energy) independent for a long time, so for a company like ours, it's inspiring."

As Nuclear Plants Shut Down, Renewable Energy Could Boom

Golden age

The village benefited from the golden age of generous grants, guaranteed prices and priority access to the grid that were the key planks of the energy transition.

As Germany is phasing out nuclear energy and, more slowly, trying to leave behind carbon fuels, the scheme has raised the share of clean energy to about one third of national consumption.

By mid-century this is meant to rise to 80 percent. To get there, Germany has just shifted gear to a more market-based approach that is meant to put a lid on costs.

The flipside of the energy transition has been that the cost of subsidised green power has been passed onto households who pay for it through surcharges on their power bills.

In future, providers of green power will have to bid in competitive tenders, letting market forces shape the way ahead.

Environmental groups fear for the future of the energy transition, and a shift away from local cooperatives to big business.

"In our country, renewable energy is at risk of going backwards," said the mayor. "There is a consensus on the idea of getting out of nuclear energy, but not on its replacement."

Wildpoldsried, however, is on the safe side, having already locked itself into a green energy system and pushing on with more reforms, including switching its street lighting to highly-efficient LED bulbs.

Pfluger said he has never regretted the choice, despite some naysayers.

"Some people say that wind turbines are not beautiful," he shrugged. "I prefer to have wind turbines in my area rather than a nuclear power plant."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Signs of 'healing' ozone layer over Antarctic: study

Yahoo – AFP, June 30, 2016

A study has found that the September ozone hole over the Antarctic has shrunk
by 1.5 million square miles, signaling good news for the environment (AFP
Photo/Eitan Abramovich)

Miami (AFP) - The hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic has begun to shrink, signaling good news for the environment decades after an international accord to phase out certain pollutants, researchers said Thursday.

The study found that the ozone hole had shrunk by 1.5 million square miles (four million square kilometers) -- an area about the size of India -- since 2000.

"It's a big surprise," said lead author Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an interview with Science magazine.

"I didn't think it would be this early."

The study attributed the ozone's recovery to the "continuing decline of atmospheric chlorine originating from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)," or chemicals that were once emitted by dry cleaning, refrigerators, hairspray and other aerosols.

Most of the world signed on to the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which banned the use of CFCs.

"We can now be confident that the things we've done have put the planet on a path to heal," said Solomon.

Co-author Anja Schmidt, an academic research fellow in volcanic impacts at the University of Leeds, agreed, describing the Montreal Protocol as "a true success story that provided a solution to a global environmental issue."

Volcanic activity

The ozone hole was first discovered in the 1950s.

It reached record size in October 2015, but Solomon and colleagues determined that this was due to the eruption of the Chilean volcano Calbuco that same year.

The volcano slightly delayed the recovery of the ozone, which is sensitive to chlorine, temperature and sunlight.

"Volcanic injections of particles cause greater than usual ozone depletion," said Schmidt.

"Such eruptions are a sporadic source of tiny airborne particles that provide the necessary chemical conditions for the chlorine from CFCs introduced to the atmosphere to react efficiently with ozone in the atmosphere above Antarctica."

The ozone goes through a regular cycle each year, with depletion of ozone starting in late August at the end of Antarctica's dark winter.

The hole typically peaks in size in October.

The overall trend toward recovery became apparent when scientists studied measurements from satellites, ground-based instruments and weather balloons in the month of September, not October.

"I think people, myself included, had been too focused on October, because that's when the ozone hole is enormous," said Solomon.

"But October is also subject to the slings and arrows of other things that vary, like slight changes in meteorology."

Co-author Ryan Neely, a lecturer in observational atmospheric science at Leeds, said the scope of the study allowed the team to "quantify the separate impacts of man-made pollutants, changes in temperature and winds, and volcanoes, on the size and magnitude of the Antarctic ozone hole.

"Observations and computer models agree," he added.

"Healing of the Antarctic ozone has begun."

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