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

Saturday, May 26, 2007

U.S. Rebuffs Germany on Greenhouse Gas Cuts

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Published: May 26, 2007, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, May 25 — The United States has rejected Germany’s proposal for deep long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, setting the stage for a battle that will pit President Bush against his European allies at next month’s meeting of the world’s richest countries.

In unusually harsh language, Bush administration negotiators took issue with the German draft of the communiqué for the meeting of the Group of 8 industrialized nations, complaining that the proposal “crosses multiple red lines in terms of what we simply cannot agree to.”

“We have tried to tread lightly, but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position,” the American response said.

Germany, backed by Britain and now Japan, has proposed cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who will be the host of the meeting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm next month, has been pushing hard to get the Group of 8 to take significant action on climate change.

Read More ....

Unilever to sell environmentally sustainable tea

By Marcy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The company that produces Lipton tea, one of the world's biggest black tea buyers, aims to obtain all its tea from plantations deemed sustainable, a U.S.-based watchdog group said on Friday.

Announcing its first such agreement with a tea company, the Rainforest Alliance said Unilever, which owns such well-known brands as Lipton and PG Tips, will begin selling Rainforest Alliance certified tea.

"This decision will transform the tea industry which has been suffering for many years from oversupply and underperformance," Unilever Chief Executive Patrick Cescau said in a release.

Rainforest Alliance certification requires three levels of sustainability - worker welfare, farm management and environmental protection. The first certified tea will come from Kericho, Kenya, an estate expected to be certified within weeks, to be sold in European restaurants and to caterers in August.

Read More ....

More info can be found on Lipton's website:

Friday, May 25, 2007


Press Release - UN News Center

May 24 2007

Following three definitive reports on climate change and a recent technical symposium, States and the private sector are showing more willingness to move ahead rapidly to stem greenhouse gas emissions, the lead official of United Nations-administered pacts on the issue said today.

"I get very encouraging signals of the desire of countries to move things forward," Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the Framework Convention on Climate Change told reporters at a UN Headquarters press conference following a meeting of parties to the Convention in Bonn, Germany that concluded last week.

The 191 Parties to the Convention and 173 Parties to its Kyoto Protocol, which contains legally binding targets for reducing emissions through 2012, attended the Bonn meeting, which was convened in preparation for a major world conference on the issue in December in Bali, Indonesia.

The meeting, Mr. de Boer said, was also the first opportunity for delegates to react to all three reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which documented the human cause of climate change and its dire impacts with much greater certainty, but also showed that technology already exists to deal with the problem in a cost-effective manner.

Encouraging signs included the fact that important countries such as Brazil have expressed the need to move beyond mere discussions into negotiations on a long-term climate change treaty applicable in 2012 and beyond, he said.

He added that developing countries such as South Africa have spoken of the need for commitments from both the developed and the developing world, instead of laying responsibility at the feet of the industrialized countries alone.

China and India, the largest developing countries, were actually taking steps to create national strategies to reduce greenhouse emissions, and the business community was taking the lead in calling for a clear policy direction so that it could shape its investment decisions over the longer term.

At the same time, he cautioned that serious negotiations on a post-2012 regime would only be launched at the Bali conference, and not concluded there, given experience with the Kyoto Protocol, which took two years to negotiate and another two to ratify and bring into force.

"So basically, the window of opportunity to put something in place that can seamlessly follow on beyond 2012 is closing," Mr. de Boer said, noting that the next few years were also critical because many energy production facilities around the world were due for replacement, and because climate change was accelerating.

"We really need to move quickly, and my sense is that that sense of urgency is increasingly shared by Governments," he said.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Japan to propose cutting greenhouse gases by 50%

TOKYO (AP): Japan plans to propose cutting world greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 in a bid to limit the effects of global warming, news reports said Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was to announce the plan later in the day, and will present the proposal at an upcoming summit of industrialized nations in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June, the reports said.

The plan also calls for participation by leading gas-emitters United States, China and India in a global warming pact to take effect in 2013 after the Kyoto Protocol expires, Kyodo News agency and public broadcaster NHK reported.

They said Japan would push for a flexible framework to maximize participation. NHK said Japan would also push for expansion of nuclear power as a way of cutting emissions.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki confirmed the government was working on a plan, but refused to provide details or reveal the timing of its release. Abe, however, had a speech scheduled for later Thursday.

"Japan would like to make an active contribution to the environmental problem and climate change at the Heiligendamm summit and next year's summit," Shiozaki said. Japan is to hostnext year's summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

"We are now working out the details and the prime minister plans to make his position clear to the public as early as possible," Shiozaki added.

Japan, one of the world's most energy efficient nations, has been a key promoter of the Kyoto Protocol, which was negotiated in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto in 1997.

Under that pact, Japan is required to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 6 percent below its 1990 level by 2012, but is struggling to do so as its economy grows.

The United States has not joined the pact, arguing that such a framework is ineffective without participation from major emitters such as China and India. Those two developing countries are not required to cut emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Recent climate change discussions have focused on what kind of a pact should follow Kyoto in 2013.

Proponents of cuts in emissions have pushed for discussion of a post-Kyoto pact at theJune 6-8 Group of Eight summit in Germany and a climate change conference scheduled for December in the Indonesian island of Bali.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Govt to seek better climate solutions at Bali conference

Tony Hotland, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Host Indonesia wishes to see a fresh and superior set of agreements arise from the momentous conference on climate change to be held this December in Bali, which will seek to interlock all nations in tinkering with the Kyoto Protocol to assure the environmental accord's future.

State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar said Tuesday the event was of great importance in responding to the alarming reports of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which foretells of the environmental implausibility of an inhabited world by around 2070.

"Now is the (time to gain) momentum. The UNFCCC reports pose an urgent pressure, under which, if states don't behave, we are all going to die," Rachmat told a discussion at The Jakarta Post's bureau.

He said the upcoming Bali climate conference is expected to improve the Kyoto Protocol, the implementation of which is faltering despite it having come into effect in February 2005.

Ratified by 140 nations and with the world's largest polluter, the United States, refusing its participation, the Kyoto Protocol aims at pushing developed nations to cut their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming by 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

It includes mechanisms that allow Annex I economies to meet their targets by purchasing emissions reductions via financial exchanges, such as through the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, or earn them through projects which reduce emissions in Non-Annex I economies under the Clean Development Mechanism.

In practice, this means Non-Annex I economies have no emissions targets, but when an emissions reduction project is implemented in these countries, they receive carbon credits that can be sold to Annex I buyers.

Significant polluters such as the U.S. and Australia, which has a per capita pollution rate 4.5 times higher than the global average, have refused to ratify Kyoto, insisting to do so would harm their respective economies. They also claim it is unfair that developing nations such as China and India are exempt from obligations under the accord, despite them both emitting sizable quantities of greenhouse gases.

"Our objective is to make the Bali talks as effective as possible in engaging all signatories of the Kyoto Protocol, such as China and the U.S., because emissions reduction isn't going to work out without all nations partaking," Rachmat said.

Environmental activists have been consistently campaigning to promote awareness and action against global warming, which is said to have already started affecting lives in many parts of the world. It is believed global temperatures could increase by as much as two percent each year.

Indonesia is viewed as prone to the negative consequences of such climate change. Experts have observed that drastic temperature changes have already begun harming the country's staple agriculture sector as rainfall rates and drought seasons become more erratic.

Rachmat said Indonesia, which has one of the world's fastest rates of deforestation, was key to mitigating global climate change through its ability to facilitate reforestation projects.

"In this scheme, we want our efforts in fixing and conserving the forests to be well rewarded. Say, give some dollars for some hectares of forest (we will renew). We have a plan to replant four million new trees. We have the area but not the funds," he said.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Indonesia and Australia Agree to Breed Wild Animals

Tuesday, 22 May, 2007 | 15:32 WIB

TEMPO Interactive
, Jakarta: The Forestry Department followed up cooperation with the Australian Zoo Authority to breed wild animals threatened by extinction. The Letter of Intent was signed in Jakarta yesterday (21/5).

Earlier, the Wildlife Park Authority bred the Sumatran orangutan in Australia. The orangutan called Tamara was brought from Bukit Dua Puluh National Park, Jambi.

Last October, Tamara was returned to Indonesia. Tamara gave birth to 12 orangutans, now being reared at the Perth Zoo under the auspices of the Australian Zoo Authority.

In the Letter of Intent , the base of cooperation continues. It was agreed that Australia will support the conservation activities of other animals from the national park such as the Sumatran elephant and the Sumatran tiger.

Australia will be involved in the activities of habitat protection and security, rehabilitation and release of the orangutan to its natural habitat, elephant and tiger conservation especially the handling of conflict with humans also Javan gibon conservation.

Australia will also help to increase human resources in the national park by the staff exchange program, population survey and research through to technical aid for infrastructure development.

Can climate change get worse? It has

Liz Minchin, environment reporter,

May 22, 2007 - 7:00AM

The research found Australia's carbon emissions have grown at nearly twice the global average since 1990, yet Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries to climate change.

The world is now on track to experience more catastrophic damages from climate change than in the worst-case scenario forecast by international experts, scientists have warned.

The research, published in a prestigious US science journal, shows that between 2000 and 2004 the rate of increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was three times greater than in the 1990s.

That is faster than even the worst-case scenario modelled by the world's leading scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, published over recent months, because the updated emissions figures were not available in time to be included.

The climbing emissions mean that average global temperatures are now on track to rise by more than four degrees this century - enough to thaw vast areas of arctic permafrost and leave about 3 billion people suffering from water shortages, including in Australia.

And Australia's emissions from fossil fuels are increasing faster than the global average, growing at nearly twice the rate of the United States.

Senior CSIRO scientist Michael Raupach, who led the international research on accelerating global emissions, told The Age that the findings were "dreadful".

"Emissions are increasing faster than we thought, which means the impacts of climate change will also happen even sooner than expected," said Dr Raupach, a co-chairman of the Global Carbon Project, based at the CSIRO in Canberra.

"What this really highlights is the urgency of cutting emissions. It won't be easy, but we know that we have solutions available to us now to do that and that it can be done at a relatively small cost to the economy."

The jump in emissions since 2000 has been driven by increasing populations, growing global wealth, and greater than expected use of fossil fuels.

The paper found that none of the world's major rich or developing regions are "decarbonising" their energy supplies, by reducing demand or switching to less polluting energy, which spells trouble for international efforts to curb global greenhouse emissions.

The research is being published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The outlook for Australia is particularly dire. In assessing the same data for Australia, Dr Raupach found Australia's carbon emissions have been growing at nearly twice the global average since 1990.

Yet Australia is also considered to be one of the most vulnerable developed countries to climate change. The IPCC recently warned that global warming was now causing "increasing stresses on water supply and agriculture, changed natural ecosystems (and) reduced seasonal snow cover" in Australia.

Dr Raupach also found Australia has achieved less than the US or Europe in improving the carbon intensity of its economy. Australia is the world's second worst carbon polluter per capita, producing 19 tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels alone each year, just behind the US, with 20 tonnes a year. The global average is 4.3 tonnes per person.

"While China's total emissions are far higher than Australia's, that's only because there are 65 Chinese for every Australian; per capita their emissions were 3.7 tonnes a year in 2004," Dr Raupach said.

"So when it comes to emissions reductions over the coming decades, Australia clearly has to make a bigger proportional reduction than China in any globally equitable and workable strategy."

Early this month, scientists, economists and government representatives from more than 120 countries signed off a landmark statement saying it was possible and affordable to make deep emission cuts, but that political inaction remained a key barrier to progress.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dry season spells death for conserved trees, flowers

Theresia Sufa and Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Bogor, Jakarta

Climate change may have taken its toll on the Bogor Botanical Gardens, with treasured trees and flowers at risk of dying due to drought, an official said.

Head of the gardens' management team Irawati said that plant collections have been affected by warmer temperatures in Bogor as a result of climate change.

"This is the first time in our history that we have been forced to water our collections due to fewer downpours," Irawati said at the gardens' 190th anniversary celebrations on the weekend.

The anniversary was attended by State Minister of Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman and chairwoman of the Indonesian Botanical Garden Foundation Megawati Soekarnoputri.

As part of the conservation efforts, Irawati said the gardens has offered its collection of rare plants to the Bogor administration to be planted outside the complex to save them from extinction.

"The gardens is almost full. We're also developing an eco-park in the Cibinong Science Center to accommodate some of our collections," Irawati said.

There are currently 2,000 flowers and trees planted in the 32-hectare eco-park in Cibinong.

Minister Kusmayanto said the Bogor Botanical Gardens played an important role in conserving flowers and trees from other countries.

The complex contains collections of thousands of types of flowers and trees from around the world, including the sakura or cherry blossom tree from Japan and the kimilsungia flower from Korea.

Climate change has been a hot topic around the world due to its impacts on the environment. It has slashed rainfall in many regions and has subsequently caused droughts.

State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar said that climate change had hit several areas in the country.

The environment ministry said that huge floods in February which inundated more than half of Greater Jakarta were a strong indication of the affects of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's top authority on the issue, said that Indonesia had experienced rising temperatures of between 0.2 and 1 degree Celsius per year.

Environmental guru Emil Salim warned that global warming could threaten the country's agricultural production.

"Climate change has frightened those involved in our agricultural sector," Emil, who is also environmental advisor to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said during a seminar on the impacts of climate change on the agriculture sector.

Emil said that an increase in temperature of one degree Celsius could boost the intensity of droughts and floods as well as cause cyclones. He said the condition would then reduce the availably of surface and river water.

"The impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector are very harsh in equator countries like Indonesia," Emil said.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Go green: Eco-friendly vacations

Some rental-car companies have added hydrid cars like the Toyota Prius to their fleets.

BY JOHN LEE, Special to The Miami Herald

You're gnawing on a rubbery, over-overpriced sandwich at 31,000-feet -- marveling that your quick-hop flight from London to Paris cost only a few dollars more than lunch -- when a wave of regret hits you like a burst of unexpected turbulence.

It's not that your meal tastes like an old beach sandal, or that the legroom on this cattle-class plane seems designed for a height-challenged 5-year-old. What really raises your hackles is the creeping suspicion that your trip is an environmental disaster.

Welcome to the world of green guilt and the uncomfortable suggestion that, with global warming on the agenda like never before, the golden age of cheap vacations has a price far beyond the bargain-basement deal you picked-up on Travelocity.

It's not necessarily true -- at least yet. Carbon emissions from passenger jets are less than five percent of all man-made carbon dioxide totals, though they are rising and could more than quadruple in the next two decades. But that's not the only enviro-problem with travel.

That comfy SUV you often hire on your holidays is the height of gas-guzzling irresponsibility. Using all the towels in your hotel room for an after-bath cocoon is a slap in the face to Mother Earth. And ordering exquisite restaurant meals sourced from half a world away can provoke severe scowls from passing greenies munching on locally-grown mung beans. (Or maybe they're just jealous.)

Fortunately, for those of us who want to add a level of environmental responsibility to our vacations without sucking out all the fun, there are more choices available than ever before. But while traveling by rickety tandem or washing a single pair of hemp socks on the road might suit some, it's clear that not all green travel choices are created equal.

Read More ....

Related Articles:

* Going Green
* Green Travel Resources
* How Green is your Trip?
* Tiny island nation seeks a place in Africa's growing ecotourism business
* Hotels begin to warm to 'carbon offsets'
* At this Virginia farm, guest comfort comes with a clear conscience

Climate change official sees new willingness from developing countries to talk

The Jakarta Post

BERLIN (AP): A top UN climate change official expressed optimism Friday about developing countries' willingness to enter into talks on a new agreement to limit greenhouse gases after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that key developing countries South Africa and Brazil had shown more willingness to talk about future measures and that "prospects are good" for beginning talks on a post-Kyoto agreement.

"That's an indication from two very important developing countries that they are willing to engage in talks about the future," he said at a press conference concluding a two-week meeting of more than 1,000 diplomats from 190 countries.

I think there are quite encouraging signals from both developed and developing countries that they are willing to go to the next level."

Ideas raised at the preliminary meeting in Bonn will be put before a larger meeting in December in Bali, Indonesia, when UN officials hope to launch formal negotiations. The aim is to also draw in the United States, the world's largest polluter, which refused to accept the mandatory limits of the Kyoto system, and emerging giants like India and China, which were exempted from Kyoto obligations, UN officials say.

Developing countries, including heavy polluters such as China, argue that most of the carbon dioxide emissions believed to cause global warming came from the richer industrialized countries in past years and that they should not bear the burden for that. DeBoer said that stance meant that financial assistance and incentives for investment in cleaner technology in developing countries would be of crucial importance.

"Developing countries meeting in Bonn have been making it very clear that the problem - the current high level of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere - was caused by the North and should not be pushed onto the South," de Boer said.

"They are insisting on their right to economic growth and poverty alleviation," de Boer. This is why the issue of economic incentives to green investments in developing countries is so important."

Binus hosts global warming campaign

Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Nearly 40 Senior High School students sat peacefully as Verena Puspawardani of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia talked about deforestation, industrial activity and global warming issues.

The students listened to her presentation attentively at a gathering recently. Once in a while, they talked to each other.

The students were representatives of senior high schools in Jakarta invited by the Bina Nusantara University (Binus) to the annual student gathering.

This year, the gathering, which took place at Hard Rock Cafe, eX Plaza in Central Jakarta, had the theme Save Our World.

"This is an annual event that we have been organizing since 2003. The topic of discussion is selected to connect with the recent issues," the university's media relations office Surano M. Noor said.

Surano, known as Rano, said the event was aimed at telling students how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and how to save energy as well.

This year, Binus is working with WWF to share information and knowledge with the students.

Rano said he hoped the students -- mostly the chairpersons of Student Organization (OSIS) in their schools -- would convey the message to fellow students.

Not only did the students get information from WWF but they also got practical training on how to make an effective campaign and how to create an interesting presentation.

"We hope these students will share their knowledge with their peer groups," he said.

Verena, meanwhile, said that her presentation focused on global warming and factors that step up the process. "This discussion also serves as a warning to the students that they also have a responsibility for the future," she said.

Global warming, she said, occurs because of the increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations as a result of industrialization and the massive use of automobiles.

Because many power plant also use fuel, the massive use of electricity also contributes to global warming, she said.

During her presentation, Verena also screened a short documentary film about deforestation. Then, she invited students to ask questions.

A student who introduced himself as Joshua asked Verena why people have to save energy.

Responding, Verena emphasized that "saving energy" does not mean that people have to stop using electricity.

"What we can do to save energy is to use electrical devices at home properly," Verena said.

She suggested that students should switch off TVs, CD players and computers -- not leave them in standby mode -- if they are not using those appliances.

"Dirty clothing must not be washed with a washing machine. Instead, it should be washed by hand," she added.

Verena said that students should not put hot food in a refrigerator because it will make the device work harder -- meaning that it will consume much energy.

"The keyword is use devices at home properly," she said.

Chill Bill: Microsoft teams with Clinton to develop green software

Emissions tracking IT free to monitor footprints

Computerworld UK

By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

Microsoft will work with the Clinton Foundation to develop free web-based software and services that cities around the world can use to monitor their carbon emissions and share ideas about environmental protection.

The announcement, made on Thursday, comes a day after former President Clinton said his foundation would finance the renovation of buildings in 16 cities in different parts of the world to make them more environmentally friendly.

Cities will be able to use the online software to better understand their environmental impact and to participate in an online community, sharing ideas and best practices and collaborating. The software will allow users to monitor their progress and track the effectiveness of emissions reduction programmes. It will be compatible with some existing emissions reduction products, but Microsoft didn't list which ones.

Read More ....

Bekasi to trade CO2 reductions

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Bekasi municipality is hoping to generate funds through the trade of carbon by offering the ten-hectare Sumur Batu sanitary landfill site in Bantar Gebang to investors.

The head of the city's environmental agency, Dudi Setiabudi, said the Sumur Batu landfill currently handles 1,600 cubic meters of solid waste per day and produces 66,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.

"We are now in the process of tendering the project to investors who are interested in developing it as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project," Dudi said.

Dudi visited the office of the Designated National Authority (DNA) on Wednesday to discuss the planned project, which will destroy methane gas generated at the landfill.

The DNA is a government body tasked with approving local DNA projects before they are submitted to the United Nation's Executive Board which has the final say on whether or not projects are viable.

Dudi said that several foreign companies from countries including Korea, Japan and France had expressed interest in the project.

"The initial investment needed to secure the required technology to process methane gas is over Rp 9 billion (approximately US$1 million) so we have to determine the winner through a tendering process," he said.

He said that based on a feasibility study conducted by the World Bank, the project could be extended for up to 21 years.

Dudi said that his administration had prepared all documents required to register the project with the DNA.

"We have discussed the plans with people living in close proximity to the planned project. They welcome the CDM idea because the project will mean landfill is managed better," he said.

The Bekasi administration is expected to register the project with the DNA in June.

The Sumur Batu landfill site, which is located near the 108-hectare Bantar Gebang landfill belonging to the Jakarta administration, is currently operated by the Bekasi Sanitation Agency.

However, Dudi said that residents living near the facility often complain about the poor waste management system which causes air and water pollution.

"We hope private investors can develop a waste management system that may reduce air and water pollution. The CDM project will benefit local people and provide extra income to the administration," he said.

The CDM is in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, which encourages developing nations, including Indonesia, to develop projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Developers of projects receive a Certificate of Emission Reduction from the United Nations Executive Board, which specifies the amount of carbon that can be traded to rich nations.

A ton of CO2 reduction is currently valued at between US$5 and $10.

However, many predict that a ton of CO2 reduction may eventually reach up to $30.

Tax for Industry that Produces Pollution

Friday, 20 April, 2007 | 16:41 WIB

TEMPO Interactive
, Jakarta: The implementation of sanctions over industry that produce pollution will be more effective than a moratorium of new vehicle manufacturing. Industrial pollution, said former Coordinating Minister for the Economy Rizal Ramli, was one the causes of the green-house effect that affects global warming.

“There must be a financial sanction such as tax so that they reduce pollution gradually,” he said at the break of a discussion, “Settlement and Rehabilitation of Ecological Justice” yesterday (04/19). He responded to the plan of Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar's proposal of moratorium of new vehicle production if air pollution could not be reduced.

So far, developed countries, said Rizal, have always accused Indonesia as the agent of global warming by virtue of deforestation. State and multinational companies that produced pollution and the greenhouse effect should have paid Indonesia for any pollution they created.

However, developed countries such as the US in fact refused to be blamed and to sign the Kyoto Protocol and Carbon Emission Trading (CET). CET is a policy which regulates that industry be given the maximum pollutant rate that is admissible. Should it be abundant, industry should compensate.


Exxon still funding global warming sceptics: Greenpeace

Exxon has argued that its position on global warming has been widely misunderstood

Gulf Times

Published: Saturday, 19 May, 2007, 09:06 AM Doha Time

NEW YORK: Exxon Mobil Corp gave over $2mn in 2006 to groups Greenpeace called global warming sceptics even as the oil company campaigned to improve its climate-unfriendly image.

Nevertheless, Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded company, cut its donations to these groups by more than 40% from 2005.

The company still funds about 40 “sceptic groups,” according to the report from Greenpeace, but Exxon disputed that many of the organisations were “global warming deniers.”

The groups listed include: the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Many of them concern themselves with a wide range of issues.

Earlier this year, Exxon said it had stopped funding a handful of groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, that have downplayed the risks of carbon dioxide emissions.

Exxon has argued that its position on global warming has been widely misunderstood and has taken part in industry talks on greenhouse gas emission regulations.

"We believe that climate change is a serious issue and that action is warranted now,” said ExxonMobil spokesman Dave Gardner.

Gardner said in a statement that the company supports numerous public policy organisations on a variety of topics that do not represent Exxon or speak on its behalf.

“The groups Greenpeace cites are a widely varied group and to classify them as ‘climate deniers’ is wrong,” he said, adding most of the groups had taken no position on climate change.

Still, the Greenpeace report is already receiving scrutiny in Washington, where Rep Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat, has joined the environmentalist group in calling for Exxon to release its plans for contributions during the current year.

“The support of climate skeptics, many of whom have no real grounding in climate science, appears to be an effort to distort public discussion about global warming,” Miller said. “So long as popular discussion could be about whether warming was occurring or not, so long as doubt was widespread, consensus for action could be postponed.”

Margo Thorning, chief economist of the American Council for Capital Formation said she took “strong exception” with Greenpeace’s classification of the group.

“If Greenpeace would take the time to examine the testimony I’ve given over the years, we’ve always said that climate change is a problem,” Thorning said of her group, which says on its website that it promotes economic and environmental policies that promote economic growth.

“We’re not climate deniers, we’re problem solvers,” she said.

Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, said his group believes that there has been a change to the climate, but that the cause is still uncertain.

“Whether its cyclical – something that happens every few hundred years – or whatever, I don’t know. I don’t believe anyone has the answer yet,” said Alford, head of the group that says on its website it is dedicated to economically empowering African-American communities.

“I think where Greenpeace gets upset is that we don’t agree with them. But so what? I think their position is pretty radical and one-sided,” he said.

Greenpeace said it included groups that either tried to mischaracterise the science behind global warming or “obstruct the policy debate.”

Spokesman Kert Davies said these arguments “hinged on the fact that this (global warming) is not an urgent problem or has no basis. Ultimately, it always boils down to, ‘There is no problem, so why would you destroy the economy to solve it."

ExxonMobil’s spending on the groups was less than a third of the company’s $6.5mn in contributions for policy research.

The company and its foundations donated a total of $138.6mn to non-profit organisations and social projects worldwide in 2006.

According to the Greenpeace report, Exxon’s spending was well below the nearly $3.6mn it spent on “denial groups” in 2005 and just over half the $3.9mn it shelled out in 2004. – Reuters

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Unilever argues for holistic NPD

Packaging News, 18 May 2007

Unilever has warned that lightweighting for its own sake is not the best approach to packaging design and that a more holistic approach is preferable.

“We see packaging as part of the total system of product development,” Graham Houder, Unilever Foods’ category packaging director, told delegates at a Packaging Innovation seminar yesterday.

“It would be irresponsible for us to lightweight packaging if there were going to be negative consequences for the product.”

Unilever also said it did not have a “monopoly on great ideas” and that it was outdated for companies to decide what they wanted then find someone to produce it.

Unilever Foods’ collaborative innovation director Graham Cross, who shared the podium with Houder, said the company had decided to come to Total because it wanted to encourage all packaging manufacturers, large and small, to approach it with their innovations.

UK waste reduction guide designed to help industry

By Ahmed ElAmin, Food Productiondaily

18/05/2007 - A new UK guide designed to help retailers and processors cut down on packaging waste serves as an example for other EU companies.

The guide, published this week by the of Waste & Resources Action Program (Wrap), is primarily focused on retailers, but manufacturers such as Unilever, Heinz and Northern Foods have also officially signed up to a commitment to cut down on packaging waste going to landfill.

A number of signatories to the agreement have established reduction targets of up to 25 per cent.

Government's strategy has been to focus on retailers so they can push their suppliers to cut down on packaging waste, either by reducing the amount they use for their products, or by switching to more recyclable, reusable and biodegradable materials.

Wrap is selling the packaging waste reduction program by citing reduced material and distribution costs through light-weighting.

Read More ....

The Wrap guide is available at

Green group urges recyclable packs

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Environmental group have called on the government to issue a policy to push consumer goods producers to use recyclable packaging to help deal with Jakarta's long-standing waste problem.

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said such a move would be crucial because about 80 percent of the waste sent to the Bantar Gebang dump site in Bekasi, West Java, came from Jakarta households.

"Jakarta will never be able to resolve its waste problem unless producers are told to use eco-friendly wrappers for their products," said Slamet Daroyni, the executive director of Walhi's Jakarta chapter.

"And it's also not fair to merely blame households for creating the waste problems. With more eco-friendly product packaging, household waste would have less of an impact on the environment," Slamet said.

Walhi's statement has come as a response to the ongoing deliberation by a House of Representatives special committee on a new bill on waste management.

The first-ever bill -- which is scheduled to be passed this year -- would give the highest authority for handling waste to the provincial administration. Walhi has argued such a move would be a setback because centralized authority was more a more effective way of managing waste.

"Business permits for consumer product manufacturers operating in the country are granted by the central government and so (the central government) plays a very important role in waste management. Coordination must, as a result, be under the vice president or at least a minister," he said.

Slamet said that in Malaysia waste problems were overseen by the deputy prime minister with the involvement of 11 government departments.

Slamet said the government also had to regulate major businesses such as shopping malls, apartments and hotels in order to set up the trash management facilities needed to deal with the garbage.

"The facilities would be used to sort garbage for composting so that there would be no need to send everything to Bantar Gebang dump site," he said.

Household waste management is a problem in cities across the country, and many believe it is a key cause of contamination in Jakarta's water supply.

A number of environmental group have tried to educate people on separating recyclable material from their garbage before sending it to the dump. But such efforts have failed to take hold.

The draft of the new waste management law stipulates that organic garbage should be sorted from non-organic garbage at its source.

It also states that residents are obliged to limit, reduce and manage their waste and prohibits dumping in certain areas.

Importing waste into Indonesia now carries a fine of Rp 1 billion or a three-year jail term.

Jakarta currently dumps 6,000 tons of mostly household garbage in landfill in Bekasi, West Java, each day. The administration pays Bekasi a management fee of US$5.60 per ton of garbage to use the dump.

The administration says its uses advanced technology in each municipality to manage up to 4,000 tons of the garbage. The city administration earlier introduced a high-tech waste management facility in Bojong, Bogor, but nearby residents opposed to the site and forced its closure.

Friday, May 18, 2007

BP, Rio Tinto Venture to Develop Clean Coal Energy

By Stephen Voss

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc and Rio Tinto Plc formed a joint venture, Hydrogen Energy, to develop technology for producing power from coal, oil and natural gas without emitting the gases blamed for global warming.

Rio will pay $32 million to BP to form the equally owned venture, which includes two planned BP hydrogen-fuel projects in Scotland and California that will cost at least $1 billion each.

``Projects such as these have the potential to help deliver the carbon emission reductions which companies and countries around the world are now seeking,'' BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said in a statement today.

The U.S. and China, the world's two largest energy consumers and carbon dioxide emitters, are unlikely to abandon coal for power generation, since they have large domestic reserves of the mineral. The U.S. says it wants cleaner technologies that will allow it to use coal while also reducing emissions.

BP, the world's third-largest non-state-owned oil company, and Rio, the world's third-largest mining company, have previously formed a partnership on coal-mining in Indonesia, before selling that business in 2003. Ten years ago, BP was the first major oil company to acknowledge man-made carbon dioxide emissions could affect the climate.

Clean Power Plant

BP has spent two years developing an industrial-scale, 475- megawatt power plant in Peterhead, Scotland, that emits less greenhouse gas. Using natural gas as a feedstock, the plant will separate hydrogen, which will be used to make clean power, from carbon dioxide, which will be piped to the North Sea and buried in an oil field 2.5 miles below the seabed.

Carbon dioxide would remain buried ``literally forever,'' or for hundreds of years, Steve Westwell, BP's group vice president for alternative energy, said on a conference call from Houston.

BP has also announced plans for a second experimental plant at its Carson refinery in California, where it will make hydrogen from coke, a low-value refinery byproduct.

``Although initial projects may be based on non-coal feedstocks, they will be significant building blocks in the development of coal gasification on an industrial scale,'' Rio's chief executive officer, Tom Albanese, said in today's statement.

Rio is among the world's largest coal producers, along with Xstrata Plc., BHP Billiton Ltd. and Peabody Energy Corp. A venture with BP will enable Rio to offer technology for coal-fired plants without producing large quantities of greenhouse gases. BP is not planning to re-enter the coal business through the joint venture, Westwell said.

BP's Projects

The Peterhead project has completed its engineering design work and is awaiting a decision on financial support from the U.K. government, BP said. If a decision to proceed with the project is made next year, it could start operation in 2011.

Gordon Brown, who will become U.K. Prime Minister next month, said earlier this year companies will need to compete for government funding for carbon-capture and storage projects. More details are expected in a government policy paper on May 23.

Westwell said economic ``incentives'' are needed for carbon, capture and storage projects because of the added expense in creating clean electricity.

The Carson, California, project could be operational by the end of 2012 ``subject to the successful outcome of engineering studies and appropriate policy being in place,'' BP said.

Project Leaders

Hydrogen Energy will be based in Weybridge, in southeastern England, and led by Chief Executive Officer Lewis Gillies, the former head of BP's hydrogen-power business. Its chief financial officer will be Peter Cunningham, formerly the head of business evaluation at Rio.

BP and Rio are both headquartered at St. James's Square in central London and new chief executive officers started at both companies on May 1.

They also have management links: BP's executive vice president for gas, power and renewables, Vivienne Cox, who runs the company's alternative energy business, is also a non-executive director on Rio's board. Andrew Mackenzie joined Rio as the head of its industrial minerals division in 2003, after two decades in exploration at BP.

Rio Tinto chairman Paul Skinner is the former head of oil refining at BP's arch rival, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Voss in London at

Clinton Creates $5 Billion Green Building Program

May 17, 2007

By Alec Appelbaum, Architectural Record

Can fixing energy-wasting buildings stave off global instability? Former president Bill Clinton thinks so. In the biggest project his foundation has taken on since securing a supply of cheap generic AIDS drugs for third world countries, Clinton has brokered a $5 billion effort to finance the retrofit of old buildings in 16 cities around the world.

The project, which Clinton announced at a climate conference in Manhattan yesterday, creates a financing and labor pool to replace energy-hogging light fixtures, as well as install better building insulation and more efficient HVAC systems.

ABN Amro, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS will offer loans, which landlords will repay with the savings gained on their utility bills. Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Siemens, and Trane will manage and audit the work while three trade associations, including the U.S. Green Building Council, will train minority contractors and “long-term unemployed” laborers in the construction techniques. “This will create a system to make it easier for building owners to make improvements,” Clinton said.

Sounding a bit like his former vice president, environment guru Al Gore, Clinton added that cities emit three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gases and that buildings account for between 50 and 80 percent of this toll. The program’s first wave of cities—Bangkok, Berlin, Chicago, Houston, Johannesburg, Karachi, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Toronto—will start by retrofitting publicly owned buildings. Proponents are keeping the program open to private landlords as well—the landlord of Clinton’s offices in Harlem, Cogswell Realty, has signed on.

Clinton’s foundation will also team with the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, a coalition of mayors and business, to promote the program and spread it to other cities.

Rice as climate culprit? Experts take aim at 'paddy

The Jakarta Post

BANGKOK (AP): As delegates to a climate conference in the Thai capital debate how to reduce greenhouse gases, one of the problems - and a possible solution - lies in the rice fields that cover much of Thailand, the rest of Asia and beyond.

Methane emissions from flooded rice paddies contribute to global warming just as coal-fired power plants, automobile exhausts and other sources do with the carbon dioxide they spew into the atmosphere.

In fact, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting this week in Bangkok concludes that rice production was a main cause of rising methane emissions in the 20th century. It calls for better controls.

"There is no other crop that is emitting such a large amount of greenhouse gases," said Reiner Wassmann, a climate change specialist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

"Methane emissions are unique to rice," he said. "If Asian countries are exploring possibilities to reduce greenhouse gas, they have to look at rice production. I'm not saying it's the biggest source, but in Asia it's a source that cannot be neglected."

It's the bacteria that thrive in flooded paddies that produce methane, by decomposing manure used as fertilizer and other organic matter in the oxygen-free environment. The gas is emitted through the plants or directly into the atmosphere.

A molecule of methane is 21 times more potent than a molecule of carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Although carbon dioxide is still the bigger problem, representing 70 percent of the warming potential in the atmosphere, rising levels of methane now account for 23 percent, reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

After decades of atmospheric buildup, methane - also emitted naturally from wetlands and from other man made sources, such as landfills and cattle farming - has leveled off in the past few years. Some scientists credit changes in rice production, and some also trace it to repairs in oil and gas storage facilities that can leak methane.

A 2005 study by U.S. scientists focused on China, which produces a third of the world's rice and where rice fields have shrunk by 10 million hectares (24 million acres) in the past decade as farmers shifted to other crops and abandoned marginal land. The study also found that nitrogen-based fertilizer has replaced manure, and many Chinese farmers are using less water on their fields.

Environmentalists push for renewable energy and efficiency at climate change conference

The Jakarta Post

BANGKOK (AP): There's no shortage of ideas for high-tech measures to combat global warming: develop clean biofuels made of corn or palm oil, ramp up production of advanced nuclear power stations, or bury harmful carbon emissions in underground vaults.

Those are the last solutions many environmentalists want to hear about.

For the green lobby pushing this week for forceful action at a UN conference on limiting the rise in global temperatures, such answers either cost too much, delay an inevitable weaning from fossil fuels, or get in the way of the real solutions, such as renewable energy and greater efficiency.

"There are a lot of technologies that are mentioned ... that are not exactly the most sustainable options," said Catherine Pearse, international climate campaigner for the Friends of the Earth environmentalist group. "We may be replacing one existing problem with new ones."

Finding effective mitigation measures at the meeting in Bangkok is crucial to ensuring the world is able to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and keep the atmosphere from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) and avert the worst impacts of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN network of 2,000 scientists that has produced two landmark reports on global warming this year, is working on a third study to be released Friday. This one deals with mitigation measures.

A draft of the report features a lengthy list of possible solutions: improved energy efficiency such as hybrid vehicles, renewable sources such as solar and hydropower, cleaner-burning coal, biofuels and reforestation.

Nuclear energy is also mentioned, and the United States is pushing for that option to get greater emphasis in the final document.

But not all the proposals are equal, environmentalists argue, saying some - such as nuclear power - are even dangerous, while technologies such as renewable energy sources are not given proper emphasis.

The green lobby is a varied group, but the lion's share of them insist mounting concern over global warming should not lead to increased reliance on nuclear energy.

A green Jakarta begins at home

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Caring for the environment can mean more than just changes to your lifestyle. It can also change how you raise your children.

Television presenter Charles Bonar Sirait drastically overhauled his family's habits after being 'enlightened' by seeing the impact small family lifestyle changes could make on the environment.

Like many parents, Charles used to keep two decorated, colorful and air-conditioned rooms, one for each of his two children.

Before, he kept the children in separate rooms because he wanted to teach them to be independent by sleeping separately from their parents from a young age.

"I taught my children to sleep in their own rooms since they were one-year-old. I wanted them to be independent," Charles told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.

But after Charles was elected an honorary member of the leading environmental group the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) last year he changed his family's lifestyle.

"I began to see what we can contribute from our homes. I tried to apply earth-friendly ideas to any decision I made," said Charles, who also teaches at the Tantowi Yahya Public Speaking School.

His first move was to redesign his main bedroom to allow his four-year-old and six-year-old children to sleep in the same room as him and his wife.

"We can sleep together in the room from Monday to Friday. My children are very happy and more importantly we can turn off the two air conditioners (in their rooms)."

On top of this change, Charles also cut the use of air conditioners during the daytime by opening up more ventilation in the house. He also matched his working schedule with his wife so they could go to work together in the same car.

"By doing all this, we could save at least Rp 1,500,000 (about US$161) a month in energy. It seems simple but it makes a difference for the environment," he said.

Charles is one of many people struggling to reduce their carbon emissions, which are blamed by the vast majority of scientists for global warming.

Global warming may sound like too big an issue to deal with, but individuals can make a difference.

The State Ministry for the Environment says Jakarta produces 60 percent of Indonesia's ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions through its air conditioners and refrigerators, among other appliances.

The Jakarta administration argues it cannot force people to stop using CFCs because of a lack of reasonable alternatives.

However, an alternative is in fact readily available in the form of more ozone-friendly hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are more expensive than CFCs and widely used in much of the developed world, where CFCs are banned.

The CFCs used in Jakarta are imported from India and China.

A technician at an air conditioning company in Palmerah Barat, Winarly, said small to middle sized shops tended to be driven by the large price difference to opt for the cheaper CFCs.

"The price difference is threefold. We can't afford to buy the eco-friendly products since most customers also don't want to pay more," he said

Winarly said a 13.6 kilogram tank of CFC cost Rp 600,000, while HFC sold for Rp 2,000,000.

As the government began its CFC phaseout, Winarly said CFC suppliers began illegally filling tanks intended for other gases with CFCs.

"To make things worse, most technicians can't determine whether the freon (the broad family of substances to which both CFCs and HFCs belong) is eco-friendly or illegal since there's no equipment available to test it," he said.

He said many dealers preferred to sell CFCs in smaller one-kilogram tanks for Rp 20,000, finding the lower price to be popular with consumers.

"The quality of the freon in the one-kilogram containers is worse than the CFCs in the 13.6 kilogram tanks because it's leftovers from other countries dumped into Indonesia," he said.

Winarly's workshop uses at least four CFC containers per month.

"We release the freon residue (into the air) since the government doesn't provide a place for us to put it," he said.

CFCs have long been pinpointed as the major source of thinning of the earth's ozone layer, which helps to filter ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Intensive exposures to CFC residue also poses health hazards such as skin cancer and cataracts.

Indonesia ratified the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol on ozone layer protection in 1992 which obliged it to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances.

The protocol requires Indonesia to stop importing CFCs by December 2007.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Suhud of WWF-Indonesia said many air conditioning and refrigeration technicians did not understand how to prevent the escape of CFC residue.

"The solution lies on the hands of the government. They must cut the illegal import of CFCs into the country," he said.

Eco-driving campaign to cut emissions

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The clean air campaign group Swisscontact has stepped-up its effort to promote environmentally friendly driving in order to cut car emissions, the main contributor to Jakarta's air pollution.

The group's campaign officer, Tory Damantoro, said the company will perform training in so-called "eco-driving" techniques for drivers working in the private transport company Hiba Utama.

"In the first stage, we will train 100 Hiba Utama drivers, starting in May," Tory told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Hiba Utama currently operates around 2,000 passenger buses.

Eco-driving was first promoted in Indonesia by Swisscontact last year when the group trained 50 truck drivers from the publicly listed cement maker PT Holcim Indonesia.

Tory said truck drivers using eco-driving techniques could save fuel consumption by up to 10 to 15 percent.

"With small improvements in driving style, drivers can save significantly on fuel consumption and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (CO2)," he said.

"So if 3 million cars traveling across the city applied eco-driving techniques, there would be an energy saving of Rp 400 billion per year. It's an easier way to clean the city's air," he said.

Eco-driving techniques have been developed in several European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and Switzerland since the mid-1990s.

The British government is now planning to make eco-driving training a requirement for obtaining a driver's license.

Swisscontact has long pushed the Jakarta administration to clean the city's air.

The organization's massive campaigns led the administration to issue a bylaw on air pollution control requiring, among other measures, compulsory emissions tests for all private cars.

The bylaw also makes the use of more eco-friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) compulsory for all public transport.

However, the bylaw has not come into full effect due to poor law enforcement.

The administration has also tried to discourage people from driving private cars into the city by increasing parking fees and improving busway services.

The administration also plans to implement electronic road pricing this year to substitute the current three-in-one lane system.

Experts have said emissions from road vehicles contribute to up to 70 percent of the city's air pollution.

Tory said his company would analyze CO2 emission reductions resulting from the eco-driving program.

"If possible, we will develop the eco-driving style to reap money from the clean development mechanism (CDM)," he said.

The CDM is part of Indonesia's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, which allows developing nations to trade carbon credits gained through reduced emissions.

A ton of reduced CO2 emission is currently valued at between US$5 and $10.

Eco-driving Tips:

1. Anticipate the traffic, look as far ahead as possible 2. Drive smoothly and at a constant speed 3. Change gears economically, shift up gears quickly 4. Stay in higher gears with lower engine RPM (revolutions per minute) whenever possible 5. Coast a lot 6. Decelerate smoothly 7. Avoid breaking abruptly 8. Use engine breaking

Source: Swisscontact

'It's become a habit in the family'

The Jakarta Post

The commemoration of Earth Day, which fell on April 22, was all about raising people's awareness of what they could do to help the planet. The Jakarta Post asked residents what they have done for the environment.

Nanik Purwanti, 25, is an administration officer. She lives in Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta:

I've never joined any campaign to "save the earth" or joined any other programs to do with the environment.

But I've always tried to be wise in everyday life, by doing things such as switching off the light and the air conditioning whenever I go out of my room. I also follow my sister's habit of separating plastic from other garbage. We've got two separate containers at home. Even though it wasn't easy at first, it's become a habit in the family.

Rita Suryani, 29, is a human resources officer. She lives in Cilandak, South Jakarta:

I've been taking part in environmental activities since I was in high school, and I became more active during my university years. I've taken part in many campaigns to protect the environment, from basic ideas such as cleaning up daily waste to protesting against global warming.

It's fun being part of a community that can do things to protect our earth. I try to broaden this environmental consciousness to my family and friends, and ask them to start with basic things such as throwing their garbage away where they're supposed to. I've also introduced the eco-friendly lifestyle to my son. For his first steps, I've been teaching him to love nature and animals. I've taken him to the zoo once, and he loved it.

Your septic tank: Could it be a ticking time bomb for disease?

The Jakarta Post

Checking where your dinner ends up is definitely a dirty job. But experts have a name for septic tanks which have had their maintenance neglected: a time bomb.

Association of Indonesian Sanitation Technology Experts chairman Sofyan Iskandar said household water consumption contributes strongly to the quality of raw water.

Seeping liquid waste from poorly maintained or built septic tanks severely pollutes underground water, he said.

"Many housing developers ignore regulations on septic tanks since they know that homeowners won't check them thoroughly. Even if they build a septic tank, it won't have a cement floor. House owners should be worried if after two years they don't have to empty the septic tank," he said.

Sofyan, also a member of the government-sanctioned body Water Supply and Sanitation Policy Formulation and Action Planning (Waspola), warned improperly installed septic tanks can cause waterborne diseases, such as diarrhea or, worse, cholera.

"About 90 percent of groundwater in Jakarta is not good for consumption and almost half of the population suffers from diarrhea once in a while. The disease inflicts a high infant mortality rate. It's not without reason we call the condition septic tanks are in a time bomb," he said, quoting studies by Waspola, in cooperation of the National Development Planning Board, AusAid and the World Bank.

Worse still, a lack of incentives to bring septic waste to city processing installations has meant many of those cleaning septic tanks have simply dumped the waste into rivers.

"There should be monitoring of septic tank maintenance by the Public Works Agency, the Environment Management Body and the Industry and Trade Agency that issues licenses to (septic tank) businesses," Sofyan said.

Guy Hutton from the World Bank's Water Sanitation Program calculated that Jakarta residents each spend on average US$12 per month on treating diarrhea.

According to Sofyan, that figure far outstrips the cost of building a septic tank, which comes to around $260 for a standard tank or up to $360 per household for a community tank that could accommodate 200 people.

The community septic tank, he added, was the best temporary solution for managing black water, in light of the fact that the Jakarta administration could not afford a proper sewerage system.

"Besides budget constraints, it's not easy to make residents move their toilets from the back of the house to the front door. Indeed, it's households that are the face of this city."

-- Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

Household tips for cleaning up our city

The Jakarta Post

Households are the cornerstone of our city. How they manage their waste in turn affects city sanitation. In the last of three guides, The Jakarta Post's Adianto P. Simamora, Anissa S. Febrina and Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak provide tips on how households can keep the city clean.

Waste management

- Start sorting your own garbage, provide two separate bins for organic and non-organic waste.

- To avoid scavengers creating mess, observe your garbage man's schedule and take out your already sorted garbage when he comes around.

Septic tank

- Make sure your septic tank is located at least 10 meters from wells or water pumps. - For a family of five, the standard size of your septic tank should be no less than one cubic meter. - Empty your septic tank every two years. - To ensure that liquid waste doesn't mix with groundwater, build a seepage pit.

Sources: Indonesian Architects Association, BPPT, WWF Indonesia Power Switch campaign,, Drinking Water and Sanitation Working Group, Waspola, Public Works Ministry, various sources.

Tips to save your money and the planet

The Jakarta Post

Power outages and water crises are inevitable occurrences in Jakarta, which relies on limited natural resources. In the second of three guides, The Jakarta Post's Adianto P. Simamora, Anissa S. Febrina and Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak provide tips for households to save electricity and water.

Shopping for groceries

Ask for used cardboard boxes for your groceries instead of plastic bags. If possible, bring your own bags.

When choosing between two similar products, select the one with the least unnecessary packaging.

Consider large or economy-sized items for household products that are used frequently, such as laundry soap, shampoo, pet foods, and cat litter. These sizes usually have less packaging per unit of product. For food items, choose the largest size that can be used before spoiling.

Look for items that are available in refillable containers. For example, some bottles and jugs for beverages and detergents are made to be refilled and reused, either by the consumer or the manufacturer.

When possible, use rechargeable batteries to help reduce garbage and keep toxic metals found in some batteries out of the waste stream. Another alternative is to look for batteries with reduced toxic metals.

Avoid detergents that produce large amounts of bubbles. The more bubbles it produces, usually the more it will pollute the water.

In the kitchen

Use the washing machine at its full load capacity.

Front loading washing machines save more water and use less detergent than top loading ones.
Washing your dishes under a running tap requires 15 times more water, try switching to using three separate pails of water to wash instead.

Use the waste water from washing fruits and vegetables to water your garden.

Don't run an empty re-frigerator or freezer as they lose more cold air, consume more energy than full ones (once completely chilled).

If you don't need enough food to fill your refrigerator and freezer, simply fill it with water-filled plastic bottles.

Don't leave fridge doors open for longer than necessary. Let food cool down fully before putting it in the fridge or freezer.

Defrost your freezer regularly and keep it at the right temperature. Wherever possible don't stand cookers and refri-gerators next to each other.

In the bathroom and laundry

Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth or scrubbing dishes.

Use water conserving low flush toilets to minimize water consumption and the production of waste water.

For non-water conserving toilets, place objects such as bricks, plastic bottles or weight loaded plastic bags into the cistern in order to reduce the volume of each flush. Make sure you place the objects in places where they won't disturb the flushing mechanism.

Your shower is another water consuming device. Install a low-flow shower head or install a flow res-triction device into the supply line in order to reduce your water consumption.

So-called "gray water" can be collected from sinks, tubs, and everything else except toilets, and then reused in order to reduce your fresh water consumption.

Regularly clean your vacuum cleaner. A dusty filter means more electricity is needed to start the machine.

In the living room and study

Use energy-saving lighting. Consider using low-energy fluorescent bulbs rather than incandescent ones. They last longer and cost less to replace over time. If you replace 25 percent of your lights in high-use areas with fluorescent, you can save about 50 percent of your lighting ener-gy bill.

Set your air conditioner at the most comfortable temperature (5 degree Celsius below the outdoor temperature is suggested). The lower the temperature, the more energy is wasted.

Clean or replace air conditioning filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.

Switching off your computer screen during breaks can help save energy.

Whenever you can, print on both sides of paper. It helps save the energy used during production.

Turn off televisions, videos, stereos and computers when they are not in use - they can use between 10 percent and 60 percent of the power it takes to run them when they are on "stand by".

Do not leave outdoor lights on all night or during the day - consider using timers or sensors.

Use the lowest wattage needed to adequately light up an area.

Use task or special purpose lighting to supplement general lighting wherever possible.

Keep lights and fittings clean. Dusty or dirty globes and fittings can reduce light output by up to 50 percent.

Avoid having several lights activated by one switch.

Sources: Indonesian Architects Association, BPPT, WWF Indonesia Power Switch campaign,, various sources.