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)
Google: Earthday 2013

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Elif Bilgin: Turkey Environment Wonder Kid

In an effort to improve the plant's conditions, man is in constant search to improve and undo the damage that's already been done. Sixteen year-old Elif Belgin has had an early start by creating bioplastics made from banana peels

Daily Sabah, Leyla Yvonne Ergil, 21.08.2014

Elif Bilgin: Turkey's environmental wonder kid Recently on my Facebook feed, I have been seeing links to a video of a 16-yearold Turkish girl from Istanbul by the name of Elif Bilgin who has successfully created a bioplastic out of banana peels. Although Bilgin was awarded the Scientific American Science in Action Award and the Voter's Choice Award in the 2013 Google Science Fair. In thevideo, Bilgin explains that she began the project when she was just 14, having become frustrated with the plastic pollution she saw in the Bosporus.

She found out that petroleum based plastics are causing a vast amount of pollution and that bioplastic, a type of biodegradable plastic derived from biological substances rather than petroleum, is indeed a solution. Not only is it cheaper to make, but it also works to recycle waste material.
She spent the following two years researching alternatives to petroleum-based plastic and the current methods for producing bioplastic. Although there was a bioplastic made from potatoes, Bilgin wanted to see if she could make plastic out of organic waste material rather than using something that can be consumed. Banana peels were the perfect solution as they are both high in starch and cellulose and generally thrown out. After two years of developing her project and making 12 trial runs - with only the last two successful - Bilgin finally succeeded in making a bioplastic from banana peels.

The process she uses involves dipping the peel in sodium metabisulphite solution before boiling and pureeing the peels. The resulting paste is then baked to create a type of plastic that can easily be used as cable insulation or for cosmetic prosthetics. "Anyone can use this plastic and our beautiful planet will be spared from the consequences of the production of plastics with petroleum derivatives," says Bilgin in the video that has gone viral, adding that in the meantime, she has also perfected her recipe for banana splits and cupcakes.

Bilgin, who is a junior at Koç High School, and for the past seven years has been attending the Istanbul Science and Art Center for gifted students, submitted her project titled, "Going Bananas! Using Banana Peels in the Production of Bioplastic as a Replacement for Traditional Petroleum Based Plastic," to the 2013 Google Science Fair, with no hopes, she said, of being a finalist. Her project not only won the Scientific American Magazine's Science in Action award of $50,000 (TL 108,313) for being innovative, easy to put into action and reproducible in other communities, but her work also drew in votes of support from all over the world, winning her the Voter's Choice award of $10,000. Her project has drawn great media attention worldwide since then and she has been invited to speak at Google Zeitgeist America 2013, Tedx Vienna and Tedx Istanbul. After high school, she hopes to study science and later become a doctor of medicine.

Describing herself as a hyperactive child that learned to read and write on her own by the age of four, Bilgin says she loved asking questions about anything and everything that she saw, so her parents bought her books on scientists and inventors. During a talk at TEDxVienna in December, Bilgin described the first invention she ever made, which were manual window wipers for her glasses in the second grade. "After my little project I stepped into a world of unlimited possibilities," says Bilgin, adding that she has always wanted to make a difference in the world. In middle school, she went on to win awards for two different projects, one on soilless farming and the other on designing a car using wind energy to carry heavy objects. Bilgin said that as her world grew, the problems she wanted to solve got bigger and harder.

Petroleum- based plastics cause major issues for both human health and the environment. The chemicals in these plastics seep into our food and water and have been linked to various forms of cancer, never mind that they are also a major cause of pollution in our oceans and landfills. Bilgin says she drew her inspiration from Marie Curie, a female scientist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity, "while challenging gender norms along the way."

Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields and the only person to win in multiple sciences, namely physics and chemistry. Check out this intelligent, beautiful, charming and inspiring young Turkish girl, who is being discovered worldwide for her contribution to science. "I don't think that it is your age that determines the potential you have, it is the unlimited imagination you have that gives you the unlimited potential to create," says Bilgin.

Monday, November 24, 2014

China in $45.6b Infrastructure, Energy Pledge With Pakistan

Jakarta Globe, Mehreen Zahra-Malik, Nov 23, 2014 

The Chinese government and banks will finance Chinese companies to build
 $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next
 six years, according to new details of the deal seen by Reuters on Friday. (Reuters
Photo/Mohsin Raza)

Islamabad. The Chinese government and banks will finance Chinese companies to build $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next six years, according to new details of the deal seen by Reuters on Friday.

The Chinese companies will be able to operate the projects as profit-making entities, according to the deal signed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a visit to China earlier this month.

At the time, officials provided few details of the projects or the financing for the deal, dubbed the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The deal further cements ties between Pakistan and China at a time when Pakistan is nervous about waning US support as troops pull out of Afghanistan.

Pakistan and China, both nuclear-armed nations, consider each other close friends. Their ties are underpinned by common wariness of India and a desire to hedge against US influence in South Asia.

Documents seen by Reuters show that China has promised to invest around $33.8 billion in various energy projects and $11.8 billion in infrastructure projects.

Two members of Pakistan’s planning commission, the focal ministry for the CPEC, and a senior official at the ministry of water and power shared the details of the projects.

The deal says the Chinese government and banks, including China Development Bank, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of China’s “Big Four” state-owned commercial banks, will loan funds to Chinese firms, who will invest in the projects as commercial ventures.

“Pakistan will not be taking on any more debt through these projects,” said Pakistan’s minister for water and power, Khawaja Asif.

Major Chinese companies investing in Pakistan’s energy sector will include China’s Three Gorges Corp., which built the world’s biggest hydro power scheme, and China Power International Development.

Sharif signed more than 20 agreements during his trip to China earlier this month, including $622 million for projects related to the deepwater, strategically important Gwadar Port, which China is developing.

The port is close to the Strait of Hormuz, a key oil shipping lane. It could open up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf across Pakistan to western China that could be used by the Chinese Navy — potentially upsetting rival India.

Pakistan sees the latest round of Chinese investments as key to its efforts to solve power shortages that have crippled its economy.

Blackouts lasting more than half a day in some areas have sparked violent protests and undermined an economy already beset by high unemployment, widespread poverty, crime and sectarian and insurgent violence.

Under the CPEC agreement, $15.5 billion worth of coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects will come online by 2017 and add 10,400 megawatts of energy to the national grid, officials said. An additional 6,120 megawatts will be added to the national grid at a cost of $18.2 billion by 2021.

“In total we will add 16,000 MW of electricity through coal, wind, solar and [hydro electric] plants in the next seven years and reduce power shortage by 4,000 to 7,000 megawatts,” Asif said.

The CPEC deal also includes $5.9 billion for road projects and $3.7 billion for railway projects, all to be developed by 2017. A $44 million fiber-optic cable between China and Pakistan is also due to be built.


New energy sector eyeing opportunities in Silk Road initiatives

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2014-11-23

A PV industrial park in Hami, Xinjiang, July 22. (File photo/Xinhua)

Chinese industries, particularly the new energy sector, are eying opportunities stemming from the Silk Road initiatives, including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road project, after Chinese president Xi Jinping announced recently that China will contribute US$40 billion to set up a fund to finance the initiatives, the China Securities Journal reports.

The Silk Road infrastructure fund will be used for investing in infrastructure, resources and industrial and financial cooperation, among other projects, Xi stated.

The Silk Road initiatives were proposed in 2013 and have since then attracted attention from various industries seeking to tap into business opportunities, including the new energy sector.

The new energy industry represented by the solar power sector is an indispensable part of implementing China's Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, which aims to build roads, railways, ports and airports across Central Asia and South Asia, said Ding Wenlei, executive director of the Shandong-based Hangyu Solar.

The Silk Road Economic Belt will include regions in Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Western Europe, while the Maritime Silk Road will encompass countries and regions in East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, North Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Some of these regions have an abundance of fossil fuels, including natural gas and petroleum and some have enormous potential for the development of renewable resources.

Northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, which is a part of the Silk Road Economic Belt plan, has an apparent advantage in its geography and civilization and China should grab the opportunity to promote Xinjing's opening up and building a passage for international trade between East and West.

In recent years, Xinjiang has striven to build itself into the country's onshore strategic energy base. Xinjiang Electric Power announced on Nov. 14 that it will start the construction of a 750 kilovolt power grid in the region and ensure it will be completed by the end of 2015.

Ting added that Xinjiang has the unique advantage of developing solar photovoltaic cells, given Xinjiang's annual 1,800-1,900 average hours of sunshine, which is ranked second in the country by region.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Climate change fund creeps toward target

Donor countries have pledged $9.3 billion for a fund aimed at helping developing countries tackle the challenges of climate change. Officials hope a $10-billion target will be met in the coming months.

Deutsche Welle, 20 Nov 2014

Thirty nations on Thursday pledged a combined $9.3 billion (7.4 billion euros) for a United Nations fund that will help poor and developing countries set up defenses against the negative impacts of global warming.

Following the donors' conference in the German capital, Berlin, the fund's executive director, Hela Cheikhrouhou (pictured center above), praised the "game-changing" result of the meeting. She said money from the fund, called the Green Climate Fund, would mostly go to vulnerable countries, including small island nations and poor African states.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres had set a target for the fund of at least $10 billion euros by the end of the year, a sum that would be disbursed over four years from 2015.

But even though Thursday's conference fell short of this goal, Germany's environment minister, Barbara Hendricks (pictured left), told reporters she was optimistic, because some countries had indicated that they would increase their contribution in the months to come.
"I'm confident that we will reach the $10 billion goal," she said. "$9.3 billion is already pretty close.

Time running out

Britain became a major contributor to the fund on Thursday, pledging $1.13 billion, after the United States last week promised to come up with $3 billion, the biggest amount so far.

Germany, Japan and France are among the other major donors, while Switzerland, South Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Mexico, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic have all offered smaller amounts.

The money from the fund is to be used both to help poorer countries cope with effects of climate change such as rising seas, warmer temperatures and more extreme weather conditions, and to aid them to develop clean energy sources that produce fewer greenhouse gases.

Climate experts have recently warned that time is running out in the battle against climate change, described last week by UN chief Ban Ki-moon as "the defining issue of our times."

A UN report this month said that the Earth could experience at least 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming in the foreseable future if humans did not cut their carbon emissions drastically.

Such a temperature rise would result in melting ice caps, along with an increased incidence of extreme weather phenomena such as hurricanes and droughts.

tj/msh (AFP, AP)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spanish island generates its own clean energy

An island in the Canaries has developed a unique system to produce all the electricity it needs. The combination of wind and hydro power provides seamless energy, saves Spain money, and acts as a model for the future.

Deutsche Welle, 18 Nov 2014

The irony is that it actually takes quite a lot of fossil fuel to reach the tiny island of El Hierro, population 10,000. You'd need to catch at least one commercial flight, then a propeller plane or a ferry to reach the remote outpost 1,000 kilometers from the European mainland in the Atlantic Ocean. It's the last land Christopher Columbus saw before reaching the New World.

The island is part of the Canary Islands and belongs to Spain, although it takes about a 12-hour journey to get there from the Iberian Peninsula. That's the same voyage barges of diesel fuel had to make before the island's shift to renewable energy. The seabed around the active volcanic island is too volatile, and the water too deep, for undersea electricity lines. The only way the island got its power was by shipping in about 6,600 tons of diesel fuel by boat each year - an expensive and dirty endeavor.

El Hierro now bills itself as world's first self-sufficient island in terms of energy. To power the island, it's transitioned from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy, thanks to a mix of wind and hydro power.

How it works

Water flows into the lower lake in
 the El Hierro electricity generation
Wind turbines harness the Canary Islands' Atlantic gusts. When production exceeds demand - such as at night, for example - excess energy is used to pump water from a sea-level tank into a natural crater half a mile uphill on El Hierro's volcano. When the wind dies down, the water is released through a turbine to generate more power.

Other islands have similarly managed to become energy independent, such as the tiny self-governing island of Tokelau in the South Pacific, and the Danish island, Samso. But whereas these have done so with the help of having previously been hooked up to a power grid, El Hierro made the change in isolation.

The centerpiece of El Hierro has long been a massive rocky volcano at the island's center. Now, it's dotted with five huge wind turbines that provide the entire island's electricity, about 48 gigawatt hours.

"They're 64 meters high. So just getting them onto the island and up this mountain was a logistical nightmare!" laughs engineer Juan Manuel Quintero, who sits on the board of the Gorona del Viento power plant. "They were split into three parts that each arrived at different ports. We had to widen the road to get them through!"

Everything is connected with sensors, so that within five seconds of the wind dying down, the hydro part of the plant kicks in. For residents, the lights don't even flicker.

It's a relatively simple system that requires only two engineers to monitor it around-the-clock. Quintero described it as a unique system.

"It's been done separately, but no one's ever combined water and wind," Quintero said. The wind machines and water turbines were purchased pre-made, he added. "The innovation we made is hooking up the two systems together."

Just five massive turbines provide most of the island's power

An investment in the future

The Spanish government, a local university and a Spanish power company helped fund the project, with a total investment of 90 million euros ($113 million).

The Gorona del Viento power station was one of the last projects Spain approved before the economic crisis prompted the government to halt all of its subsidies for renewable energy, two years ago.

El Hierro's governor, Alpidio Armas, says that El Hierro has seen increasing emigration. People born in El Hierro are spread all over Europe and the Americas, where they've traveled in search of jobs or a better life, away from the windy, harsh outpost. But now, the governor hopes this new power station could bring people back - and make them proud of their island.

"When they turn on the light, they think of the windmills moving and maybe they think, 'We are different than the rest of the world, because we are catching electricity for these windmills and not from conventional engines,'" Armas said.

Most current residents of El Hierro appear to approve of the power plant, though it doesn't lower their electricity bills. Prices for power are still set at a national level for all of Spain, no matter the source of the energy. But by cutting diesel deliveries, the Spanish government saves nearly 2 million euros a year - even after factoring in costs to build and maintain the plant.

And the new power scheme has given this isolated island some energy security - perhaps forever.

"How much will be the price for oil in 20 years time? We don't know! But we are sure that we will still have wind in the Canary Islands in 20 years time," said Gonzalo Escribano, an energy economist at Madrid's Elcano Royal Institute. "And the price, or the cost to generate an additional gigawatt, will be zero, just very small costs for maintenance."

El Hierro has halted consumption of some 40,000 barrels of oil each year. That's more than 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide that are not being released into the atmosphere.

But officials on El Hierro won't leave it at that. The island's governor is looking ahead, and wants to have all the island's cars be electric by the year 2020.

Related Article:

Wind energy producers replace old turbines with new to beat subsidy stop, November 17, 2014

Many Dutch farmers own wind turbines. Photo:

Wind energy producers are planning to demolish at least 172 turbines and replace them with new ones in order to qualify for €350m in green energy subsidies, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The paper says research by an association representing people who live near the turbines shows that local councils have had a surge of permit requests to replace turbines ahead of the December 31 deadline.

The turbines no long qualify for subsidies from next year but are still in good working order. However, it is more financially attractive for energy firms to take them down, sell them second hand and get subsidies for the new turbine, the paper says.

The NLVOW says most of the turbines scheduled for replacement could run for a further 10 to 15 years. 

The economic affairs ministry has changed the regulations, removing the financial advantage for new turbines, from next year. 

Parliament is due to debate sustainable energy on Monday.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Details of first pilot center for APEC Green Supply Chain disclosed

Want China Times, Xinhua 2014-11-15

The Yujiapu railway construction site in Tianjin, March 7. (File photo/CNS)

More details on the first pilot center for the Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) were disclosed by Tianjin's Yujiapu Financial District on Friday.

One of the achievements of the APEC Beijing meetings, the pilot center, which will be established in Yujiapu, will explore and share China's experience of low carbon to Asian-Pacific region economies.

The Green Supply Chain is a kind of management mode with an emphasis on energy efficiency and environmental friendliness throughout the whole product life cycle. Enterprises adopting this management style will achieve both environmental and economic benefits.

The cooperation network aims to conduct applied research on the green supply chain, subsequently establishing pilot centers and relevant websites to share information, explained assistant general manager of Tianjin Innovative Finance Investment Company, Mu Lingling, who is in charge of the preparation work.

"We hope the pilot center can help develop an information sharing mechanism and form a kind of Tianjin Mode in the market and service, so as to export the 'Chinese Standard' to Asia Pacific," Mu said.

The Yujiapu Financial District, set up in 2009, aims to become the world's biggest financial district. By 2012, the number of registered enterprises in the zone exceeded 470.

Obama unveils $3 bn contribution to UN climate fund: US official

Yahoo – AFP, Jérôme Cartillier in Yangon and Jitendra Joshi in Brisbane

Barack Obama speaks during the opening session of the Climate Change Summit at
the United Nations in New York on September 23, 2014 (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)

Brisbane (Australia) (AFP) - US President Barack Obama will pledge $3 billion to a UN fund aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change in the world's poorest countries, a US official said Friday.

"It is in our national interest to helping vulnerable countries to build resilience to climate change," the administration official said as Obama headed to a G20 summit in Australia.

Obama was en route to Brisbane after visiting Myanmar and China, where on Wednesday he and President Xi Jinping announced ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emissions as part of a pact designed to breathe new life into attempts to replace the international Kyoto treaty.

Barack Obama takes part in a civil
 society roundtable discussion at the US
 Embassy in Yangon on November 14, 
2014 (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
Obama was expected to outline his pledge in a speech on Saturday in Brisbane on the sidelines of the G20 talks, as backers and donors involved in the UN's "Green Climate Fund" (GCF) prepare to meet in Berlin on November 20.

The US president's renewed focus on climate change threatens to upend Australia's stated focus of keeping the G20 summit confined to economic issues.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a sceptic about man-made global warming and he was forced to deny Friday that the revived debate about the issue this week risks leaving him isolated.

And Obama himself must yet get Congress to agree to the contribution, which could be a tough sell after the Republicans regained control of both houses in this month's mid-term elections.

The UN-backed GCF is designed to enlist private-sector money on top of government donations, and so help poorer countries to invest in environmentally friendly technologies and build up their defences against rising sea levels and less predictable weather patterns.

The US official said Obama's $3 billion pledge would also help make the world safer.

"More resilient communities are less likely to descend into instability or conflict in the aftermath of extreme climate events, needing more costly interventions to restore stability and rebuild," the official said.

Abbott in the cold?

At the G20 summit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to say that Japan will give up to $1.5 billion to the Green Climate Fund, Kyodo News agency reported Friday.

Christiana Figueres, the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has called for an initial capitalisation of $10 billion by the end of the year.

France and Germany have already pledged to contribute $1 billion each.

Tony Abbott (left) shakes hands with Indonesia's
 President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of 
the G20 Summit in Brisbane on November 14,
 2014 (AFP Photo/Andrew Taylor)
The G20 meeting is the third event in an intensive week for international summitry, and comes after Obama and Xi agreed their deal to make their countries -- the world's top two polluters -- curb their emissions.

China set a target for its greenhouse gas output to peak "around 2030", the first time Beijing had agreed to an approximate target date for beginning to reverse its emissions trend.

Obama set a goal for the US to cut such emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

The Sino-US pact was hailed by climate scientists as the jolt in the arm that post-Kyoto negotiations need heading into a major meeting in Paris next year.

But US Republicans denounced it for having the potential to kill economic growth and job creation.

And Abbott, a conservative who like many Republicans disdains the science behind climate change, has withdrawn a "carbon tax" that his Labor predecessor had introduced as a way of combatting industrial emissions.

On Friday Abbott said the tax had been "damaging our economy without helping the environment".

Instead, he said his government was taking "strong action" of its own by committing to reduce emissions by five percent on 2000 levels by 2020.

The US official, however, urged "all major countries" to contribute to the GCF.

"As the US and China showed earlier this week, we need to reach across traditional divides to tackle climate change, and that includes providing support to the poorest and most vulnerable."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

UN chief hails US, China efforts on greenhouse gases

Want China Times, Xinhua 2014-11-13

Ban Ki-Moon speaks at a press conference, Nov. 12. (Photo/Xinhua)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday praised pledges made by China and the United States to limit greenhouse gases and called on the rest of the world to follow suit on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit.

In a statement, the UN chief encouraged all other countries to make similar promises but noted announcements have to be released before March 2015.

"The decision on their (the United States and China) position to increase their level of commitment to reducing CO2 emissions is an important contribution to the new climate change agreement to be agreed to in Paris next year," Ban told reporters.

"I urge all countries, especially all major economies to follow the US and China and announce ambitious post 2020 targets as soon as possible but no later than the first quarter of 2015."

Hours earlier, Washington and Beijing pledged to take action to limit greenhouse gases, aiming to inject fresh momentum into the global fight against climate change ahead of make-or-break climate talks in Paris next year.

Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed to cap China's emissions in the future. US President Barack Obama also said his country would move much faster in cutting its levels of pollution.

China has set a target for its emissions to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible. Xi also pledged to increase the share of energy that China will derive from sources other than fossil fuels to about 20% by 2030.

US President Barack Obama (L) and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a
 press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014
(AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

Related Articles:

G20 climate protesters bury heads in Bondi sands

Yahoo – AFP, 13 Nov 2014

This handout picture taken by Tim Cole and released by on November 13,
 2014 shows Australians burying their heads in the sands of Bondi Beach to send
a message about the dangers of climate change (AFP Photo/Tom Cole)

Sydney (AFP) - Scores of Australians buried their heads in the sands of iconic Bondi Beach on Thursday to send a message to Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the dangers of climate change.

As world leaders arrived in the northern city of Brisbane for the G20 summit, more than 100 people dug holes in the famous sand so they could plunge their bodies in halfway, holding their position for three minutes.

Organisers said they were telling Abbott: "You have your head in the sand on climate change".

"Tony Abbott's refusal to include climate change on the G20 agenda and his government's overt attempts to stifle the renewable energy industry show that he is determined to keep his head buried in the sand on the most important issue of our time," said organiser Eden Tehan.

Since coming to power last year, Abbott's conservative government has scrapped a carbon tax designed to tackle climate change, fulfilling a key election promise.

It has also removed another tax on the profits of coal mining, while new investment in renewable energy has fallen 70 percent. Abbott has defended the use of fossil fuel coal as crucial to Australia's prosperity.

"We want to tell world leaders coming for the G20 that Tony Abbott does not represent the view of most Australians who want to see urgent and global action on climate change and for Australia to contribute a meaningful share towards reducing global emissions," Tehan said.

G20 leaders, including US President Barack Obama, meet in Brisbane on Saturday and Sunday with boosting global growth the main theme of their talks.

Related Article:

Spanish Island to be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy

A tiny Spanish island with just 10,000 residents is about to do something amazing. El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, plans to completely sever ties with the traditional power grid and move entirely to renewable energy. The island plans to become completely self sufficient next month when its 11.5 megawatt wind farm kicks into gear. El Hierro already has a water turbine that generates electricity, and the added wind power will enable the island to go totally off-grid.

Image via Jose Mesa

We wrote about El Hierro a few years ago when the island announced its plans to move over to renewable energy. In the meantime, the island has been busy at work implementing its ideas and is finally ready to make the shift. Between the water turbines and the new wind farm, the island will have enough power for all of its residential needs – including the water desalinization plants on the island – by the end of next month, with enough extra to ensure electricity even if the wind dies down.

The island actually generates enough power for its residential needs with just the water turbines, but the wind power allows El Hierro to have a little extra power, which will be used to pump fresh water from near the harbor on the island to a reservoir in a volcanic crater 2,300-feet above the sea. When there is not enough wind for electricity needs, that water will be released to feed down into the water turbines to generate more energy, so the island will always have enough power to keep things running.

Eigg's renewable energy sources include solar,
 wind, and hydroelectric [Peter Geoghegan/Al Jazeera]

Related Article:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

US and China announce 'historic' climate accord

Yahoo – AFP, Jerome Cartillier, 12 Nov 2014

US President Barack Obama (L) and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a
 press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014
(AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

Beijing (AFP) - The United States and China on Wednesday announced an action plan on greenhouse emissions as part of a "historic" pact that was acclaimed by climate scientists but denounced by US Republicans as a job-killer.

At a Beijing summit, the leaders of the world's two biggest polluters put their stamp on attempts to breathe new life into action against global warming ahead of international talks in Paris next year.

A woman and child wear masks on a
 polluted day in Beijing on October 20,
2014 (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)
US President Barack Obama said the joint announcement on the two countries' emissions targets was a "historic agreement" and a "major milestone in the US-China relationship".

Chinese President Xi Jinping said: "We agreed to make sure that international climate change negotiations will reach an agreement in Paris."

Attempts to deal with climate change, which scientists warn is approaching a potentially catastrophic point of no return, have long been stymied by the unwillingness of the United States and China to work together on the problem.

But China set a target for its greenhouse gas output to peak "around 2030", which Obama commended as an effort to "slow, peak and reverse the course" of its emissions.

And Obama, who faces scepticism as well as outright denial about climate change in the US Congress, set a goal for the United States to cut its own emissions of greenhouse gases by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

"We have a special responsibility to lead the worldwide effort against climate change," Obama said at a joint news conference with Xi.

"We hope to encourage all economies to be more ambitious," he added.

China and the US, which together produce around 45 percent of the world's carbon dioxide, will be key to ensuring a global deal on reducing emissions after 2020 is reached next year.

'A new day'

The two countries have long been at loggerheads over global targets, with each saying the other should bear more responsibility for cutting emissions of gases blamed for heating up the atmosphere.

But after the 2009 Copenhagen Summit nearly ended in fiasco, salvaged only by a last-minute deal brokered by Obama and China's then premier, Washington and Beijing have started to move closer towards agreement.

The World Resources Institute, a US-based environmental group, hailed the Obama-Xi pact as a breakthrough.

Cows graze in the shadow of the coal-fired Chalk Point Generating Station,
on May 29, 2014 in Benedict, Maryland, United States (AFP Photo/Mark Wilson)

"It’s a new day to have the leaders of the US and China stand shoulder-to-shoulder and make significant commitments to curb their country's emissions," the institute's president Andrew Steer said in a statement.

"They have both clearly acknowledged the mounting threat of climate change and the urgency of action," he said.

But while it was the first time China agreed to a target date for emissions to peak -- officials have previously only spoken of doing so "as soon as possible" -- the commitment was qualified, leaving considerable room for manoeuvre.

China has trumpeted its efforts to reduce dependence on coal and oil in the past, and is the world's largest hydropower producer, with a growing nuclear sector.

But economic growth remains a vitally important priority and has seen demand for energy soar.

Much of Obama's action on climate change meanwhile has been done with executive orders rather than cooperation from an often confrontational legislature.

The deadline for Obama's new pledge is in more than a decade's time but he only has two years left in his presidency. He faces a Congress now set to be controlled by opposition Republicans in both houses after this month's mid-term elections, which will make passing environmental legislation even more difficult.

In an early portent of the battles to come, the US Senate's new Republican leader was quick to slam Obama's proposed greenhouse gas reductions.

“This unrealistic plan, that the president would dump on his successor, would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs," Senator Mitch McConnell said.

The European Union pledged last month to reduce emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

But efforts to make meaningful progress on climate change will by stymied unless the US sets "a concrete and ambitious" goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner, said in October.

The EU accounts for 11 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 16 percent for the United States and 29 percent for China.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kell: 'Climate change is bad for business'

1000 companies as well as powerhouses such as BlackRock, BT Pension or Rockefeller- and Rothschildfunds are pushing for a global carbon deal. UN Global Compact founder Georg Kell tells why.

Deutsche Welle: Mr. Kell, The United Nations has won some unexpected allies in the fight against global warming.

Georg Kell: For the first time, the private sector has argued in favor of pricing externalities. This is a breakthrough because usually business blocks climate action on a national level. Investors are actually making the case for putting a significant price on carbon. Polluters are making the case to be charged. That has never happened before. This is a very promising major development which will encourage policy makers.

The COP climate conferences showed very limited results in the past two decades because big companies lobbied against new climate laws and most heads of state didn’t show up. Can you comment?

Georg Kell together with Statoil CEO Helge
 Lund, José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq,
Chairman and CEO of Spanish wind energy
 company Acciona and Frank Pegan, CEO
 of the Australian Pension Fund Catholic
Super (FLTR)
Now 73 countries, including Russia and China, have signed a declaration which fights global warming. 120 Heads of State, even US President Barack Obama and the French President Hollande, attended the recent UN Climate Summit in September. Ban Ki-moon also mobilized the streets: More than 400,000 people participated in the Climate March in New York. Most importantly, however, 1000 companies made the case for pricing carbon. Unthinkable only two years ago.

What caused this change?

Extreme weather and sea water level rises are not just a horror scenario any more. Storms, floods, droughts and water scarcity can disrupt almost any planned economic activity. There is big nervousness going on for good reason. The exposure to such risks has increased enormously. Climate change is bad for business.

Hurricane Sandy recently flooded huge parts of New York. Do real estate owners such as the Rockefeller Family support the UN because they are now getting "wet feet”?

Yes, it’s a mixture of many things. Obviously the fear of property losses is a major factor. Much of the world's wealth, about 60 percent, is invested in property and infrastructure. For the first time the investor community is actually realizing that their future asset performance is seriously under threat.

Financial powerhouses such as BlackRock, BT Pension Scheme and the Rothschild & Cie Gestion Group, have just signed a call on governments to implement a major global carbon pricing. Some of the asset owners who represent about 24 trillion dollars did more than this.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, built with profits from their great-grandfather's Standard Oil Company, is now selling investments in the fossil fuel industry and is putting pressure on companies that are adding to climate change. Rockefeller Brothers will abandon companies reliant on coal and tar sands because carbon is now recognized as the evil in the game. Scientific evidence strongly shows that carbon is the cause of global warming. You cannot deny this any more.

George Kell says greenhouse gas emission will have a high priece in the future.

The IPCC has just released a report that we need to cut carbon emissions by 40 - 70 percent before 2050 if we aim to limit global warming below two degrees. What’s your take on this?

This is why pricing carbon high enough is essential. It provides incentives to move towards an energy efficient low carbon consumption and production. Many companies still have a double-faced identity: One the one hand showing a bit of green credentials, on the other hand lobbying against carbon action. They focus on short term profits. Therefore, we need to give strong signals and strong incentives. A quick transition is possible. Philips Lighting already switched 40 percent of its turnover to energy efficient LED. Unilever and Nestlé have invested large sums in to a sustainable supply chain.

Can subsidies be shifted to renewable energy?

Yes, 500 billion dollars are spend are annually to subsidize fossil fuels. We have to get rid of perverse subsidies, stop using dirty diesel and coal, and invest in green technologies.

For decades the oil industry was one the biggest opponents of renewable energies. Now UN Global Compact members such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Statoil have signed a call for a global carbon pricing. How come?

Getting oil on board is a very important step. For almost 10 years, the UN Global Compact and others have been working on winning the business community, to get them to realize that sustainably and a natural system that can support all of us is good for business. Many companies have discovered that energy efficiency and a low carbon footprint gives them a competitive advantage. Greenhouse gas emission will be priced highly in the future.

How high?

The Norwegian government charges its oil and gas industry with a CO2 tax of up to 75 dollar per ton. This has made Norway a leader in carbon-efficient oil and gas production. Helge Lund, the CEO of Statoil, said an international price on carbon should be at least 100 dollar per ton. This is a start.

This will increase energy cost significantly. What about the losers, such as the coal industry?

There are always winners and losers. The world has to adapt to changes. A low carbon world opens up a whole universe of new business opportunities: new products, new services, and new solutions. It will push green growth and create many new jobs. A major shift to renewable energy has made Denmark an export leader of green technology .The Danish think tank Sustainia just nominated Newlight Tech for an award. The US based company developed a process to take CO2 out of the air and transform it into carbon negative plastics.

Greenhouse emissions don't care about national boarders. What about major polluters such as China?

Working on climate issues is a huge opportunity to also revive collaboration among states. China is putting in place a national pricing system for carbon next year. This will be the biggest carbon market. China is now also the biggest investor in renewable energies.

82 percent of the world's energy is still produced by fossil fuels. Do you think the UN will have a chance to close a global deal on carbon pricing at the COP21 climate summit in Paris next year?

It's in the cards. Not pricing pollution and carbon emissions is the biggest market distortion in human history. The voices of those who make the case for pricing carbon are getting louder and stronger. Our job is now to win more companies to lobby for carbon pricing and to encourage policy makers to be courageous. The world is longing for solutions.

Georg Kell is the founder and executive director of UN Global Compact. Global Compact members are signing a declaration in which they express their commitment for an ethical way of conducting business. With more than 8000 members the UN Global Compact is the biggest corporate sustainability organization.

Peter O’Neill, head of the Rockefeller family and great-great-grandson of John D
Rockefeller, along with Neva Rockefeller Goodwin (second from the right_, 
great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, and Stephen B Heintz, president of
the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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that he would double his renewable energy investments. Video
screenshot: Georgetown University/YouTube

"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.


We've told you that one of the greatest natural resources of the planet, which is going to shift and change and be mysterious to you, is fresh water. It's going to be the next gold, dear ones. So, we have also given you some hints and examples and again we plead: Even before the potentials of running out of it, learn how to desalinate water in real time without heat. It's there, it's doable, and some already have it in the lab. This will create inexpensive fresh water for the planet. 

There is a change of attitude that is starting to occur. Slowly you're starting to see it and the only thing getting in the way of it are those companies with the big money who currently have the old system. That's starting to change as well. For the big money always wants to invest in what it knows is coming next, but it wants to create what is coming next within the framework of what it has "on the shelf." What is on the shelf is oil, coal, dams, and non-renewable resource usage. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, has it? Now you will see a change of free choice. You're going to see decisions made in the boardrooms that would have curled the toes of those two generations ago. Now "the worst thing they could do" might become "the best thing they could do." That, dear ones, is a change of free choice concept. When the thinkers of tomorrow see options that were never options before, that is a shift. That was number four. ….”