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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Could Fairphone help clean up supply chains in the smartphone market?

A new ethical smartphone raises questions whether they can ever be truly conflict-free but it will certainly shake up the market

Guardian Professional, Rich McEachran,  19 September 2013

Founded at the beginning of 2013, Fairphone is aiming to disrupt the status
quo of the smartphone market. Photograph: Fairphone

This article is being typed on a Samsung laptop and the interviews have been conducted via an Apple product. In the past, boycotting the electronic giants has been seen as ineffective as there hasn't been a conflict-free alternative to turn to in protest. Now there is.

Founded at the beginning of the year, Fairphone is aiming to disrupt the status quo of the smartphone market. Costing €325 (around £275 or $440) it's reasonably priced, and given the recent announcement of the iPhone 5S & 5C, its launch is timely.

It started in 2010 as a campaign to create awareness of abuses in electronics supply chains. The Dutch social enterprise soon realised that creating a conflict-free smartphone was a tangible goal. Using existing initiatives such as Conflict-Free Tin Initiative and Solutions for Hope, it has managed to ensure sources of tin and tantalum are conflict-free and it's trying to be as transparent as possible throughout the supply chain, from the mines to the factories to the end user. It has even released a cost breakdown of where every pound is spent. Part of each sale goes towards Closing the Loop, a global programme that encourages the reuse and recycling of old mobile phones.

Fairphone has received 15,000 pre-orders with 25,000 handsets available, and this week the company will showcase the product at its UK launch at the London Design Festival.

Fairphone openly admits that its product isn't "100% ethical", but is proud of the fact that it is putting people and social values first. It seems consumers understand this, too. A Twitter search brings up plenty of tweets from people who have bought a handset. The majority of Twitter users approached indicated that they were buying into the movement, supporting the cause and helping create public awareness.

Natalie Foo, co-owner of an e-consultancy firm whose clients have included an iron ore mining company, told me that she was inspired to buy one after meeting Fairphone's product strategist last year, when the phone was still in its incubation stage.

"By examining the supply chain and manufacturing processes in detail, they can encourage people to be more conscious about their purchases and educate them on what actually goes on," explains Foo.

One user who preferred to remain anonymous, said that "splitting hairs over whether a product can ever be totally free of conflict is creating a false dichotomy" and that people should just "buy into the feel good factor of Fairphone helping clean up supply chains".

Another anonymous user, who works in software development, said they would avoid buying it because instead of being run on a free software, it is run on the Android operating-system, a software market dominated by Samsung, which makes 95% of Android phone sales.

The complexity of the relationships in the electronics industry – for instance, Apple has been known to use parts produced by Samsung – does beg the question of whether a phone can ever be free from conflict or avoid being connected to a company that is failing to clean up its act.

Those who had bought the Fairphone seemed to have done so partly out of a feeling of guilt. Buying the phone was seen as a way to absolve themselves from indirectly supporting and funding the illegal mining and war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"While owning a phone does not make a person responsible for these violations, it does link us to the atrocities, and given the intimacy and constancy of these objects in our lives, the connection is ever-present and thereby disturbing" says Daniel Rothenberg, a lecturer at Arizona State University who presented a paper in July titled Is your cell phone linked to atrocities in Africa?.

At the same time, those asked admitted that if Apple, Nokia or Samsung were to release their own conflict-free phones they would consider buying one.

"A shift like that in the industry, from [one of the big three companies], will be a game-changer," explains Bandi Mbubi, the founder of Congo Calling. "And it is no longer too far off. The ground has been prepared [by Fairphone]. The movement has brought the end-users closer, at least psychologically, to the producers of raw materials. It has raised unprecedented awareness in the minds of consumers."

There is still reason to be cautious, though. If the electronic giants produce their own conflict-free smartphone, then arguably Fairphone has set out to achieve what it wanted and that is to put consumer pressure on companies to clean up their supply chains. However, if companies start making claims of being fairer and more ethical without having the evidence to validate them, then consumers are likely to sniff them out.

Due to the nature of supply chains, and as companies don't buy directly from mines but from smelters, there is always the risk that illegal minerals could be smuggled in. This convoluted manufacturing system has given companies an excuse to pardon themselves from any wrongdoing.

The hope though is that with the Dodd-Frank legislation coming into effect next year, companies will no longer have excuses and can legitimately claim that their supply chains are 100% conflict-free by the end of 2014. Sasha Lezhnev, a senior policy analyst at the Enough Project, a humanitarian organisation dedicated to ending genocide and crimes against humanity, believes that this is a realistic aim and that a key step towards achieving this is the audit of smelters. As it stands, only a quarter of smelters have gone through conflict-free audits.

"Over the next year, as companies implement the legislation, this number should go up significantly, to the point that electronics companies can weed out the uncertified smelters from their supply chains" says Lezhnev.

"Another key step is to make sure those companies also help build a clean minerals trade in Congo by buying from certified mines, because if they don't, the smuggled minerals will come back to bite them in a dirty supply chain."

Until then, Fairphone is a welcome development in highlighting the issues of ethical conduct of the smartphone market.

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