Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Friday, November 30, 2007

Religious, traditional wisdom urged for green protection

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Religious and ethnic leaders expressed concern Thursday over global warming, asserting no spiritual teachings or traditional beliefs allowed the unchecked exploitation of nature.

Environmental damage caused by human activities is against all spiritual and traditional values, which teach people to preserve and live in harmony with nature, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said during a discussion here.

The event was organized by Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia's most influential Muslim organizations, to seek a common ground among different groups prior to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali from Dec. 3 to 14.

World representatives will convene at the UN conference to negotiate a global treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Religious and ethnic leaders will also be involved in the negotiations aimed at pushing developed countries to reduce carbon emissions produced by industrial activities and to shoulder the responsibility for any failure to meet reduction targets.

Present during Thursday's meeting were representatives of Indonesia's five biggest religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Ethnic tribal leaders from Banten, Sumatra, Papua, Madura and Borneo also were in attendance.

Buddhist priest Tadisa Paramita said human greed was behind the environmental degradation that has translated into natural disasters such as floods and drought.

He said humans had benefited from industrial activities at the expense of the environment, ignoring nature's protests sent through a number of disasters.

"Nature responds according to what humans do. We believe that nothing comes as a coincidence ... people reap what they sow."

Father Ismartono of the Indonesian Bishops Conference said: "Humans are not the owners of this earth and have no right to exploit nature the way they do. God is the creator of this earth and humans are the steward."

Indonesia has seen some of the worst environmental damage in the world, with some 50 million hectares of forest throughout the country heavily exploited.

The country has been cited for its rapid rate of deforestation, and has been called one of the main contributors to global warming.

Al Azhar, representing the Riau Malay tribe from Sumatra, told the audience how forests in his region were exploited by timber companies despite protests from indigenous people.

"Indigenous people will plant one tree if they cut down one tree ... but the companies come and take everything from the forest without any effort to replace it."

Leonard Imbiri from Papua said the forests in Papua had been devastated.

"People know of Papua as having amazing and wild forests ... but you can come and see now, the forests and nature there have been badly damaged. Gone are the indigenous people's efforts to preserve them," he said. (lln)

Lampung finds community solution to forest conservation

Oyos Saroso H.N., The Jakarta Post, Lampung

Lampung administration has developed a forest conservation area which involves residents.

Since 2000, 6,537 households near Rigil hill and Tangkit Tebak forest in West Lampung municipality have taken part in the "Forest Community" program, regreening the 12-hectare forest which was damaged by illegal logging.

As an incentive, the villagers -- who work in groups -- are allowed to cultivate a part of the damaged forest for a five year term.

Now, not only do they enjoy the harvests from their crops, but also benefit from the restored forest.

"We're glad we have land to work on ... so that we can support ourselves, while protecting the environment," a farmer, Erfan, said.

The team responsible for the program consists of the village chief, officials from the environmental management board and forest conservation supervision unit, environmentalists and farmer organizations.

The team supervises farmers in groups of 50 and manages land use, distribution, planning and licensing, which is required by people wishing to cultivate land in the area. The team also evaluates the performance of farmer groups each year.

"Groups who are successful in operating under the program would be given permission to cultivate the forest land for 25 years, as recently instructed by West Lampung Mayor Erwin Nizar," a team member and environmentalist from Keluarga Pecinta Lingkungan (Environmentalist Family), Rama Zakaria, said.

Farmers are not allowed to build houses or even shacks in the forest near their crops or to sell the land, or they will lose permission to use the land in the coming year.

Rama said community-based forest management was the best way to prevent the forest from being damaged.

"Farmers until now ... witness forest destruction but can do nothing. Now, with the forest management based in the community they can participate to protect it, and even bust the illegal loggers."

Rama said even though the Forest Community pilot project has gone well, there were still many obstacles in repairing damaged forests in other parts of the province, particularly in two national parks and one protected forest.

He said Lampung faces rampant illegal logging activities which have damaged 60 percent of the 125,000-ha Way Kambas national park in East Lampung, 40 percent of the 365,000-ha Bukit Barisan Selatan national park and 40 percent of the 22,000-ha Wan Abdur Rahman protected forest in Bandar Lampung.

According to environment management board data cited by Rama, 1.4 of 3.3 million ha of Lampung is forested, but 65 percent of it is now damaged.

"At first, the administration was reluctant to allow residents to manage and cultivate crops in forest areas, but after they saw how it is managed, (they) cooperated," Rama said.

World Bank data from 2007 shows Indonesia became the world's third biggest carbon dioxide emitter because of uncontrolled forest degradation.

"It is embarrassing to find the world pointing at Indonesia as one of the main contributors to global warming when once we were so proud of our forests," Rama said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Google Plans to Develop Cheaper Solar, Wind Power

By Ari Levy

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., whose corporate motto is ``don't be evil,'' created a research group aimed at developing cheaper renewable energy sources, focusing on solar, wind and other alternative forms of power.

Google, owner of the most-used Internet search engine, is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead a development process that may cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the Mountain View, California-based company said today in a statement.

The project, called Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, follows initiatives earlier this year to develop hybrid and electric cars and to maximize the efficiency of its data centers, which account for most of the energy Mountain View, California- based Google consumes.

``We want to apply the same creativity and innovation to the challenge of generating renewable electricity at globally significant scale and produce it cheaper than from coal,'' Larry Page, Google's co-founder, said in the statement.

The goal is to create enough renewable energy to power a city the size of San Francisco for less than it would cost using coal, in ``years, not in decades,'' Page said. Coal accounts for more than 50 percent of all U.S. power and is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions.

Google rose $5.24 to $671.24 at 11:38 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares had gained 45 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Commonwealth issues climate plan

BBC News

Leaders of Commonwealth states have drawn up an "action plan" to tackle climate change that falls short of any binding agreement.

The text, released after the second day of their summit in Uganda, is designed as a strong statement ahead of next month's UN climate talks.

But the 53-member group could not reach a consensus on binding emission cuts.

Meanwhile, India's Kamalesh Sharma has been appointed secretary general. He replaces New Zealand's Don McKinnon.

Mr McKinnon is stepping down at the end of his four-year term.

On Saturday, the Commonwealth leaders are working at a retreat on Lake Victoria, away from media attention.

Officials had said the summit would try to iron out differences between member states on climate change.


Many Commonwealth nations, led by Britain, wanted an influential statement before next month's UN talks in Bali, which will discuss a new agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

But Canada had insisted that any statement should refer to the need for contributions from the world's major polluters, including the United States, which has so far resisted any binding targets.

Australia is also a major CO2 emitter. Like the US, its outgoing government has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

"There are clearly some (Commonwealth leaders) who are clearly not ready to use the term binding at this stage," Mr McKinnon said following Saturday's talks.

"The objective was to make a very strong political statement without getting caught up in too many technicalities ahead of Bali," he said, according to the AFP news agency.

A Commonwealth statement announced a shared goal "to achieve a comprehensive post-2012 global agreement that strengthens, broadens, and deepens current arrangements", AFP reported.

"This should include a long-term aspirational goal for emissions reduction to which all countries would contribute," the statement said.

The first day of the summit was marred by clashes between protesters and police in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

Protesters denounced Britain's Queen Elizabeth for meeting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who they say abuses rights.

The three-day summit on Friday suspended Pakistan for civil rights violations under its emergency rule.

Brown optimism

A new global trade agreement is also on the summit's agenda.

It is one of the most divisive issues for the Commonwealth, which includes some of the world's wealthiest nations as well as some of the poorest.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday expressed optimism that a new deal could be reached in the next few weeks.

The talks have repeatedly stalled since their inception in Qatar's capital, Doha, in 2001.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

How Dutch tackle waste charging

BBC News

A group representing councils in England and Wales has set out three "pay-as-you-throw" schemes which it believes would be effective in reducing waste and increasing recycling.

The Local Government Association says such schemes have been successful elsewhere in Europe, including in the Netherlands:


This involves households buying different sized pre-paid sacks or special tags to go on ordinary bin bags for general household waste.

Maastricht is a Dutch city with 57,450 households, 60% of which are houses and 40% flats.

It introduced a sack-based system of waste charging in 2000. Households can purchase 25/50 litre sacks, priced at 0.69/1.04 euros (47p/71p), which are collected weekly/fortnightly.

Following the introduction of the system, the total amount of household waste fell and the recycling rate increased from 45% to 65% (compared to a national target of 53%).


In this system, wheelie bins are fitted with chips to allow bins to be weighed when they are loaded onto refuse trucks - a system currently used for trade waste in the UK.

Households are sent a bill (quarterly or annually) for the amount of non-recyclable waste they throw out.

In the south eastern authority of Sittard, where just 25% of homes are apartments, they introduced a weight-based system for houses in 2002.

As a result, general waste is down 41% and dry recyclables up 23%. The council estimates the system has resulted in savings of 1.1million euros (£748,000) per year.


Households choose from a range of wheelie bin sizes according to the amount of waste they think they will generate, and are charged accordingly.

The city of Haarlemmermeer, near Amsterdam, operates a fortnightly volume-based collection system, where residents can purchase bins ranging from 80 litres (142 euros/£97) to 240 litres (215 euros/£146).

Residents are fined for setting out extra waste. Recycling in the area has increased and the scheme is saving the council money, as it is cheaper to operate than incineration.

*Figures supplied by the Local Government Association

Govt prepares to plant 79 million trees

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government is very optimistic that its effort to present a gift to the world by planting 79 million trees next week will make a significant contribution toward curbing global warming.

The planting, to take place on Nov. 28, has been designed a national event in which people at around 79,000 locations all over Indonesia will plant trees at exactly the same time.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will kick off the action from Jonggol, West Java, at 9 a.m., while people in the middle and eastern parts of Indonesia will carry out the planting at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.

Forestry Minister M.S. Ka'ban said the campaign related to Indonesia's role as the host of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in December.

During the Bali meetings, Indonesia will propose a scheme called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD). The scheme is expected to provide an opportunity for countries willing to conserve their forests be compensated financially for each ton of carbon gas the forests absorb.

"Over the next three years, the trees can be expected to grow to around two meters high and start effectively absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2). One hectare of land packed with six-year-old trees can absorb around 200 tons of CO2 per year," Ka'ban said during a press conference at the Forestry Ministry on Friday.

He hoped the world would see the effort as a strong signal that Indonesia was serious about the REDD proposal. He added that it would be unfair if Indonesia had to bear the responsibility of preserving its forests, losing its right to benefit from them, while other countries enjoy the outcome for free.

"At least Rp 216 trillion is needed for replanting all of Indonesia's forests that have been damaged," he said.

He explained that the total cost for the 79-million-tree planting campaign would be around Rp 1.28 trillion (US$136.7 million). "The fund was generated from forestry businessmen all over Indonesia, while almost all of the seedlings come from the Forestry Ministry stockpiles."

The committee chairman for the campaign, Soetino Wibowo, explained that the target number of 79 million trees was based on the total number of state institutions throughout Indonesia that would participate.

"We have around 79,000 state institutions, the national, provincial, regental, district and sub-district and municipal levels, as well as the police and military branches. Every institution will plant at least 1,000 trees. However, we are sure that they can do more," Soetino said.

He also said that the planting campaign would be followed up by efforts to care for the trees over the next three years. "The first three years are the most critical period of growth," he said. (uwi)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Japan pledges $1.8 bln for green projects in Asia

Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:53am EST

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda pledged 200 billion yen ($1.83 billion) in loans over the next five years for environmental projects in Asia, officials said on Wednesday.

The projects include sewage disposal and sulfur dioxide scrubbing from power plant smoke stacks.

Tokyo also said it was ready to provide up to $10 million for a World Bank fund aimed at preserving forests, an issue Indonesia will push for at a U.N. meeting in Bali next month to try to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Japan also plans to launch a satellite by the end of March 2009 that would monitor greenhouse gas emissions and share the data with Asian nations.

Experts say dealing with the effects of climate change will be a major problem for Asia, where greater extremes of weather are expected to cause more intense storms and droughts, while melting of Himalayan glaciers could lead to summer water shortages for tens of millions.

China is expected to overtake the United States as the world's top carbon dioxide polluter and Indonesia might have risen to the No.3 emitter because of deforestation and massive forest fires. India's emissions are also rising quickly.

Japan is among the world's top-five greenhouse gas emitters.

(Reporting by George Nishiyama, writing by Neil Chatterjee, editing by David Fogarty)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Clinton advances renewable energy ideas

Yahoo News

By Martin Griffith, Associated Press Writer Sat Nov 17, 7:47 AM ET

FERNLEY, Nev. - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton turned the spotlight on a key Western issue, saying the resource-rich region can help lead the U.S. in the development of renewable energy.

In remarks Friday night to about 1,200 people in a heavily Republican town about 30 miles east of Reno, Clinton said alternative energy would cut down on greenhouse gases, create American jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

"We are now more dependent on foreign oil than we were on 9/11," Clinton said. "We are basically at the mercy of all these oil-producing regimes ... that all too often use that money against us.

"We have all this empty federal land in Nevada. It should be packed with wind turbines and solar panels," she said.

Her remarks at the town hall meeting came a day after she and other Democratic presidential hopefuls barely touched on Western issues — like water, grazing and mining — at a debate in Las Vegas.

Nevada, a state rich in geothermal, solar and wind power, has moved its Democratic presidential caucus to Jan. 19, following Iowa on Jan. 3 and most likely the New Hampshire primary several days later.

Clinton did not mention her Democratic challengers in Fernley. Instead, she outlined her platform to help the middle class, including her health insurance, education and energy proposals.

She also pledged efforts to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington and criticized President Bush.

"Anybody who tells you that the Republicans know how to manage the budget and balance the books, you tell them you don't know where they've been living the last 6 1/2 years because that is not the facts," Clinton said.

"It gets me a little agitated to think that 6 1/2 years ago we had a balanced budget and surplus in America and it's all been squandered. We now have a $9 trillion deficit."

She also expressed disappointment over Congress's inability to pass legislation to bring the troops home from Iraq.

Their latest defeat came Friday when Senate Republicans blocked a $50 billion bill that would have paid for several months of combat but also would have ordered troop withdrawals to begin within 30 days. The measure, narrowly passed this week by the House, also would have set a goal of ending combat in December 2008.

"We don't have enough Republicans who will vote with us yet. We need more," she said. "But the facts are pretty clear. Our young men and women in uniform have done everything they were asked to do. I do not want them remaining as referees of an Iraqi civil war any longer."

Afterward, Clinton met with about 80 volunteers during a visit to her Reno campaign headquarters. She then flew to Las Vegas, where she's scheduled to campaign Saturday.

Asian leaders promote green region, nuclear power

Singapore (ANTARA News) - Asian leaders from 16 countries will pledge to increase the region's forest cover by 2020 and promote the use of nuclear energy during their annual summit here next week.

A draft statement obtained by Agence France-Presse on Saturday said the leaders will also throw their support behind a UN plan as the "core mechanism" for tackling global warming.

Leaders from 10 Southeast Asian nations, along with their counterparts from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, are to release the statement when they meet Wednesday for the East Asia summit.

In the draft, the leaders pledge to work towards an "aspirational goal of increasing cumulative forest cover in the region by at least 15 million hectares (37 million acres) of all types of forests by 2020".

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders, in a separate statement to be issued after their summit on Tuesday, will pledge to increase forest cover by at least 10 million hectares within the same timeframe.

The United Nations warned earlier this year that illegal logging by foreign firms could lead to a 98 percent loss of Southeast Asia's tropical rain forests by 2022, threatening endangered wildlife and the livelihoods of local peoples.

The 16 Asian leaders will on Wednesday also agree to cooperate on the "development and the use of civilian nuclear power," amid concerns soaring oil prices could hurt regional economic growth, according to the draft., Asea

But they will stress that the use of atomic energy will be carried out in a "manner ensuring nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation" by adopting safeguards within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Environmental groups have voiced concerns over the disposal of nuclear waste and the danger that plutonium -- a key ingredient for making atomic weapons -- could fall into the wrong hands.

A key focus of concern is Southeast Asian extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah, blamed for a series of attacks in the region including the 2002 Bali bombings.

The leaders will affirm their commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as the "core mechanism" to deal with global warming, according to the draft.

ASEAN member Indonesia is hosting a UN-backed climate change conference on the resort island of Bali next month, at which delegates will try to thrash out a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012.

The leaders will pledge to increasingly use cleaner alternative energy sources but stress any new commitments by developing nations on cutting greenhouse gas emissions should take their level of development into account.

Empty rhetoric?

Rafael Senga, the Asia-Pacific energy coordinator for the World Wildlife Fund, described the draft statement as "empty rhetoric," saying it lacks firm commitments.

"Rhetoric must be scaled down," he told AFP.

"We want to see a more pro-active stance from both ASEAN and the East Asia Summit. It has been a practice that after making statements at the summits, nothing happens after that."

The East Asia leaders' statement says the region's rapid economic growth, while helping to ease poverty, will lead to higher energy demand and thus the need to ensure affordable and sustainable energy supplies.

An expected doubling of Asia's current urban population of 1.7 billion people by 2030 will also pose environmental challenges, the leaders say.

U.N. Chief Seeks More Climate Change Leadership

The panel’s report is the first to acknowledge that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, from higher temperatures could result in a big sea-level rise over centuries rather than millennia.

By Elissabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times, Published: November 18, 2007

VALENCIA, Spain, Nov. 17 — Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, describing climate change as “the defining challenge of our age,” released the final report of a United Nations panel on climate change here on Saturday and called on the United States and China to play “a more constructive role.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described climate change as “the defining challenge of our age.”

His challenge to the world’s two greatest greenhouse gas emitters came just two weeks before the world’s energy ministers meet in Bali, Indonesia, to begin talks on creating a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The United States and China are signatories to Kyoto, but Washington has not ratified the treaty, and China, along with other developing countries, is not bound by its mandatory emissions caps.

“Today the world’s scientists have spoken, clearly and in one voice,” Mr. Ban said of the report, the Synthesis Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “In Bali, I expect the world’s policymakers to do the same.”

He added, “The breakthrough needed in Bali is for a comprehensive climate change deal that all nations can embrace.”

Although Mr. Ban has no power to enforce members of the United Nations to act, his statements on Saturday increased the pressure on the United States and China, participants here said.

Read More

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

UN calls for joint climate effort

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says a new report on climate change has set the stage for a real breakthrough in tackling the issue.

BBC News

Launching the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, he said it made clear that real and affordable ways to deal with the problem exist.

He called for action at next month's climate change conference in Bali.

The IPCC report states that climate change is "unequivocal" and may bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts.

After a week of arduous talks in Valencia, Spain, the UN panel of scientists agreed the document which says the planet is being driven toward a warmer age at a quickening pace by human activity.

Rising sea levels

The scientists concluded that carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than they were a decade ago, prompting the panel's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, to highlight the need to deal with impacts which are coming whether or not global emissions are curbed.

Even if levels of CO2 in the atmosphere stayed where they are now, he said, research showed sea levels would rise by between 0.4 and 1.4 metres simply because water expands as it warms.

"This is a very important finding, likely to bring major changes to coastlines and inundating low-lying areas, with a great effect in river deltas and low-lying islands.

"If you add to this the melting of some of the ice bodies on Earth, this gives a picture of the kinds of issue we are likely to face," he said after the landmark report was published.

'Abrupt and irreversible' impacts

The report was officially unveiled by UN chief Ban Ki-moon from Valencia.

As he began Mr Ban congratulated the IPCC and the thousands of scientists involved in its work on their recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

"I come to you humbled after seeing some of the most precious treasures of our planet threatened by humanity's own hand," said the UN chief, who has just been on a fact-finding trip to Antarctica and South America.

"All humanity must assume responsibility for these treasures."

"Let us recognise that the effects of climate change affect us all, and that they have become so severe and so sweeping that only urgent global action will do. We are all in this together - we must work together," Mr Ban added.

Among the report's top-line conclusions are that climate change is "unequivocal", that humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are more than 90% likely to be the main cause, and that impacts can be reduced at reasonable cost.

The synthesis summary finalised late on Friday warned that climate change may bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts.

Such impacts could include the fast melting of glaciers and species extinctions.

"Approximately 20-30% of species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5-2.5C (relative to the 1980-1999 average)," the summary concludes.

Other potential impacts highlighted in the text include:

  • between 75m and 250m people projected to have scarcer fresh water supplies than at present
  • yields from rain-fed agriculture could be halved
  • food security likely to be further compromised in Africa
  • widespread impacts on coral reefs

Writing in the International Herald Tribune ahead of the report's release, Mr Ban said the world may be nearing a tipping-point on climate change.

"We all agree. Climate change is real, and we humans are its chief cause. Yet even now, few people fully understand the gravity of the threat, or its immediacy.

  • Probable temperature rise between 1.8C and 4C
  • Possible temperature rise between 1.1C and 6.4C
  • Sea level most likely to rise by 28-43cm
  • Arctic summer sea ice disappears in second half of century
  • Increase in heat waves very likely
  • Increase in tropical storm intensity likely

"Now I believe we are on the verge of a catastrophe if we do not act."

His comments were endorsed by environmental groups on the fringes of the IPCC gathering.

"Climate change is here, it's impacting our lives and our economies, and we need to do something about it," commented Hans Verolme, director of the climate change programme with the environmental group WWF.

"After this report, there are no politicians left who can argue they don't know what climate change is or they don't know what to do about it."

The IPCC findings will feed into the next round of negotiations on the UN climate convention and Kyoto Protocol, which open in Bali on 3 December.

"Today the world's scientists have spoken clearly and with one voice," Mr Ban said in Valencia. "In Bali I expect the world's policymakers to do the same."

IPCC to warn of 'abrupt' warming

By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News website, Valencia

Climate change may bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts, the UN's climate advisory panel is set to announce.

Delegates to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agreed a summary of its landmark report during overnight negotiations here.

Discussions were said to have been robust, with the US and other delegations keen to moderate language.

The summary will be officially launched by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Saturday.

It brings together elements of the three reports that the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC has already released this year, on the science of climate change, impacts and adaptation, and options for mitigating the problem.

Among its top-line conclusions are that climate change is "unequivocal", that humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are more than 90% likely to be the main cause, and that impacts can be reduced at reasonable cost.

  • Probable temperature rise between 1.8C and 4C
  • Possible temperature rise between 1.1C and 6.4C
  • Sea level most likely to rise by 28-43cm
  • Arctic summer sea ice disappears in second half of century
  • Increase in heatwaves very likely
  • Increase in tropical storm intensity likely

The synthesis summary being discussed here in Valencia strengthens the language of those earlier reports with a warning that climate change may bring "abrupt and irreversible" impacts.

Such impacts could include the fast melting of glaciers and species extinctions.

"Climate change is here, it's impacting our lives and our economies, and we need to do something about it," commented Hans Verolme, director of the climate change programme with the environmental group WWF.

"After this report, there are no politicians left who can argue they don't know what climate change is or they don't know what to do about it."

Local witnesses

At a news conference, WWF presented testimonies from "climate change witnesses" in various parts of the world.

Speaking by video link, Australian scientists and fishermen spoke of the changes they were seeing on the Great Barrier Reef. And Olav Mathis Eira, a Sami reindeer herder from Norway, said that his communities are seeing weather patterns unprecedented in their oral history.

"Winter is one and a half months later than it used to be," he said. "We observed birds and insects that do not have a name in Sami."

The 20-page IPCC synthesis summary is due to be accompanied by a longer, more detailed document, and discussions on that are continuing here.

The findings will feed into the next round of negotiations on the UN climate convention and Kyoto Protocol, which open in Bali on 3 December.

Friday, November 16, 2007

US, China working on biofuel pact

Yahoo News

By JOE McDONALD, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING - The United States and China are working on a pact to promote use of ethanol and other biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and could announce an agreement as early as next month, an American official said Friday.

The agreement would call for cooperation in research, producing crops for fuel and other areas, said Alexander Karsner, an assistant U.S. energy secretary. He was in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials on promoting use of renewable energy sources.

The United States and China are the world's biggest oil consumers and producers of carbon dioxide and other gases that scientists say trap the sun's heat and are raising global temperatures.

Karsner said he and Chinese officials talked about a meeting next month in Indonesia of environment officials from 80 countries to discuss a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol on emissions reductions. He said he did not bring up Washington's insistence that Beijing, a major emissions source, accept binding limits. China has rejected emissions caps but says it will try to curb gas production.

A biofuels agreement could be announced at the Dec. 12 meeting of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, a high-level U.S.-Chinese forum on trade and other issues, Karsner said. He declined to give details, saying they still are being discussed.

It would be Washington's first such pact in Asia, following similar agreements with Brazil and Sweden, Karsner told reporters.

"China is a natural, as would be India, to enhance cooperation on biofuels," he said.

China has promoted wind power and other alternative energy in hopes of reducing environmental damage from heavy use of coal and oil to fuel its booming economy. The communist government also wants to curb reliance on imported energy, which it sees as a strategic weakness.

China already is the third-largest producer of biofuels after the United States and Brazil, which account for 80 percent of global production, according to Karsner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

UNEP applauds Indonesia`s plan to ban CFCs, methyl bromide imports

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has applauded Indonesia`s plan to ban the importation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and methyl bromide as of January 1, 2008.

UNEP congratulated Indonesia for its pro-active steps which, it said, should be emulated by other countries in the region, said Atul Bagai, Regional Coordinator for Networking of the Bangkok-based UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific said in Sanur, Bali island, on Saturday.

Indonesia had taken a big step as it would put the country two years ahead of the 2010 schedule for the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol, Bagai told participants of a UNEP-sponsored meeting dubbed Special Dialogue on Potential Actions for controlling and Monitoring ODS (Ozone Depleting Substance) trade in South Asia and South East Asia in Sanur.

He said Indonesia was one of the first few countries in the region to meet the deadline of the CFC phase out ahead of schedule.

The Special Dialogue on Actions for Controlling and Monitoring ODS trade in South Asia/ South East Asia is being held in parallel with the Sweden-funded first Regional Enforcement Network (REN) Workshop, from November 8 to 10, 2007, and to be followed by the Joint Meeting of South East Asia (SEAP) and South Asia (SA) Networks of ODS Officers organized by the UNEP from November 12 to 14, 2007, also in Sanur, Bali.

The Dialogue was attended by Indonesian ODS importers and traders, representatives of ODS producing and exporting countries such as China, India and Korea, and Montreal Protocol implementing agencies which include UNEP, UNDP, and the World Bank.

Meanwhile, UNEP in its press release quoted Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, as saying "In a few short weeks, nations will gather in Bali, Indonesia, for the UN climate convention meeting. Here countries must urgently and earnestly address the need for a post-2012 greenhouse gas emission regime".

Steiner said that Indonesia`s announcement on its ODS import ban was a further good signal, among many positive signals this year, that governments could move on the climate change challenge.

"The phase-out of CFCs was agreed on in order to protect the ozone layer. But new research has shown that this phase-out has had the double environmental and economic benefit of also helping to combat climate change-CFCs it emerges are also powerful greenhouse gases," he added.

"And there are many other win-wins that can be secured. In September, governments also agreed to an accelerated freeze and phase-out of HCFCs - also controlled under the Montreal Protocol - specifically because of their climate impacts. Perhaps if we use our collective creativities we can pick more low hanging fruit from phasing-out of old, energy inefficient light bulbs to more energy efficient buildings," said Steiner.

Surendra Shrestha, Regional Director of UNEP Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok in the UNEP press statement said that Efforts by countries like Indonesia, not only to comply with agreed upon targets under the treaty, but also to meet them ahead of time, is testimony to their commitment to meet promises made under the Montreal Protocol.

"Much time, effort and work has gone into meeting these obligations, and Indonesia and other countries in this region, who are continuously working to meet this 2010 deadline, should be applauded for this effort," said Surendra Shrestha.

With support provided by the Protocol`s Multilateral Fund, Indonesia reduced consumption of CFCs from 9,000 tons in 1996 to 2000 tons in 2005, used mostly by refrigeration, air conditioning, and automotive sectors.

Consumption of methyl bromide, not under quarantine regulations, has dropped from 140 tons in 1994 to 32 tons in 2005. Methyl bromide is used for soil treatment and fumigation.

"We feel confident that the ban will encourage consumers to switch to ozone-friendly alternatives, although the main challenge to effectively banning CFC is illegal trade. At the same time, we also need to look at alternatives for the use of methyl bromide, which is on the rise in this region", said Masnellyarti Hilman, Deputy Minister for Nature Conservation Enhancement and Environmental Degradation Control of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment.

Growth in consumption of methyl bromide in quarantine applications in the region is more than 10% per annum, according to UNEP.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Climate scepticism: The top 10

BBC News

What are some of the reasons why "climate sceptics" dispute the evidence that human activities such as industrial emissions of greenhouse gases and deforestation are bringing potentially dangerous changes to the Earth's climate?

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finalises its landmark report for 2007, we look at 10 of the arguments most often made against the IPCC consensus, and some of the counter-arguments made by scientists who agree with the IPCC.

Read More ....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Climate rallies across Australia

BBC News

Tens of thousands of people have staged protests across Australia calling on political parties to take stronger action against climate change.

The Walk Against Warming rallies were held in state capital cities and about 50 towns as the country prepares for a general election on 24 November.

Organisers said up to 150,000 people had taken part. The biggest protests were in Melbourne and Sydney.

Campaigners want greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 30% by 2020.

Police estimated that up to 30,000 activists gathered in Melbourne, while in Sydney, organisers said more than 28,000 people turned up.

:Credibility problems'

There were reportedly other rallies in the New South Wales marginal seats of Parramatta, Dobell and Eden-Monaro, along with most other states and territories.

Alex Marr, a director of one of the groups behind the rallies, The Wilderness Society, told the Sydney protest: "Both major parties have credibility problems on climate change."

The Labor opposition has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050 and ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Liberal Party PM John Howard says any global agreement must include big developing nations such as China and India.

Australia and the US are the only major industrialised nations not to have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

Australia, which has recently seen record drought conditions, is one of the worst polluters in the world, on a per capita basis.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

UN chief makes Antarctica visit

BBC News

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has visited Antarctica in an effort to highlight global warming.

Mr Ban - the first UN chief to visit the continent - wanted to see for himself the effects of climate change on the world's largest wilderness.

After flying over melting glaciers, he told reporters that what he had seen had been both "extraordinarily beautiful" and "disturbing".

Mr Ban is preparing to host a climate conference in Indonesia in December.

The secretary general flew to Antarctica from southern Chile, and was briefed by experts about the impact of global warming on the frozen continent.

Antarctica is home to about 90% of the world's ice, but scientists say some parts are melting fast.

In some areas of the continent, temperatures have risen by as much as 3C in the past 50 years - prompting penguins to move inland in search of colder habitats.

Over the next century global warming could speed up the melting of the polar ice caps, causing major flooding of lowlands and changes in crop production, experts have warned.

Wrapped in thick clothing, Mr Ban was taken to see a glacier and visited a research station set up by South Korea, his home country.

He urged the world to do more to safeguard the future of the planet.

"This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action," he said.

Mr Ban has vowed to make climate change a priority.

The December conference in Bali, Indonesia, is aimed at launching talks on a deal to replace the Kyoto accord - which expires in 2012

China signals rejection of emission caps

Yahoo News

By Joe McDonald, Associated Press Writer Fri Nov 9, 4:56 AM ET

BEIJING - A Chinese official gave the clearest sign yet that Beijing will reject binding caps on greenhouse gas emissions at a global meeting next month, saying Friday developing countries must be allowed to raise emissions to fight poverty.

Beijing is about to overtake the United States as the world's top greenhouse-gas producer. It is under pressure from Washington to accept binding limits at a meeting in Indonesia of environment ministers from 80 nations to discuss a possible replacement to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on emission reductions.

Nations agreed in Kyoto to cut output of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to below 1990 levels by 2012. But China, India and other developing economies are exempt.

"Climate change is caused mainly by developed countries," Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said. "They should have the main responsibility for climate change and to reduce emissions."

"Most developing countries are in the process of industrialization and urbanization, and they face the arduous task of poverty reduction," Zhang said. "So they need a large period of time for continuous energy demand growth with the growth of greenhouse gas emissions."

Zhang did not say directly what Beijing's position would be at the meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, and he did not take questions from reporters.

A European Union official who met this week with Chinese leaders said they told him in private meetings that Beijing could not accept any binding obligations.

Zhang was speaking at a ceremony to launch a fund to channel money from emissions-reduction credits into environmental projects.

The fund will collect a share of Chinese companies' revenues under a system that allows industries in developed economies to offset pollution by paying others to reduce emissions. Beijing has promoted that system among its companies while resisting emissions caps.

China's stunning economic growth means it accounted for 58 percent of carbon emissions worldwide in 2000-06, the International Energy Agency said in a report this week.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Booming palm oil demand from Indonesia fuelling climate crisis

London (ANTARA News) - Booming world demand for palm oil from Indonesia for food and biofuels is posing multiple threats to the environment as forests are being cleared, peat wetlands exposed and carbon released, a report said on Thursday.

The massive forest clearance for palm plantations underway in Indonesia removes trees that capture carbon dioxide, and the draining and burning of the peat wetlands leads to massive release of the gas, said environment group Greenpeace in its report "Cooking the Climate".

On top of that, the booming demand for biofuels that include vegetable oils to replace mineral oil is in many cases actually generating more climate warming gases, the report was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"Tropical deforestation accounts for about a fifth of all global emissions," said the report. "Indonesia now has the fastest deforestation rate of any major forested country, losing two percent of its remaining forest every year."

"Indonesia also holds the global record for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation, which puts it third behind the U.S. and China in terms of total man-made GHG emissions," it added.

It said that on top of Indonesia's existing six million hectares of oil palms, the government had plans for another four million by 2015 just for biofuel production. Provincial governments had plans for up to 20 million hectares more.

The report is aimed directly at a meeting next month of UN environment ministers on the island of Bali which activists hope will agree on urgent talks to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on cutting carbon emissions which expires in 2012.

Degradation and burning

It said every year 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide -- the main climate change culprit -- are released by the degradation and burning of Indonesia's peatlands.

Once the peatlands are drained, they start to release CO2 as the soils oxidise. Burning to clear the land for plantations adds to the emissions.

The report said peatland emissions of CO2 are expected to rise by at least 50 percent by 2030 if the anticipated clearances for expansion of palm oil plantations goes ahead.

It cited a report by environmental NGO Wetlands International that said production of one tonne of palm oil from peatlands released up to 30 tonnes of CO2 from peat decomposition alone without accounting for carbon released during the production cycle.

Greenpeace also noted that the European Union's push to boost the use of biofuels as part of its plans to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 was a decisive factor in booming palm oil demand.

"This use alone equates to the harvest from 400,000 hectares or 4.5 percent of global palm oil production," it said.

"Meanwhile, palm oil use in food continues to increase, partly as food manufacturers shift to using palm oil instead of hydrogenated fats and partly as it replaces other edible oils being used for biodiesel," the report added.

Greenpeace called for a ban on peatland forest clearance, urged the palm oil trade not to buy and sell produce from degraded peatland areas and said governments should exclude palm oil from biofuel and biomass targets.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

China Shifts Pollution Fight

New Rules Target Export Industry With Stiff Penalties

The Wallstreet Journal, November 1, 2007

HONG KONG -- China is introducing new antipollution regulations for its booming export industry, in an unusual collaboration between the government's environmental-enforcement arm and the Ministry of Commerce.

The rules could affect thousands of Chinese suppliers that make goods for multinational companies.

Earlier this week, Zhang Lijun, vice director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration, said export manufacturers that violate China's pollution laws would be forced to close for one to three years. The policy will be enforced jointly by SEPA and the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry said the prices of Chinese exports are artificially low because factories aren't paying for the costs associated with pollution.

"The products are shipped abroad, but the pollution is left in China," said Chen Guanglong, a senior official in the ministry. "Export prices don't reflect the true costs, which is one of the reasons for our unreasonable trade surplus." China's burgeoning trade surplus with the U.S. is the subject of acrimonious debate between Beijing and Washington.

Read More ....

Monday, November 5, 2007

Most ready for 'green sacrifices'

The poll suggests the public are more ready than politicians

BBC News

Most people say they are ready to make personal sacrifices to address climate change, according to a BBC poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries.

Four out of five people say they are prepared to change their lifestyle, even in the US and China, the world's two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.

Three quarters would back energy taxes if the cash was used to find new sources of energy, or boost efficiency.

Chinese respondents were more positive than any others about energy taxes.

BBC environment reporter Matt McGrath says the poll suggests that in many countries people are more willing than their governments to contemplate serious changes to their lifestyles to combat global warming.

According to the survey, 83% of respondents throughout the world agree that individuals will definitely or probably have to make lifestyle changes to reduce the amount of climate-changing gases they produce.

The poll also suggests that a large majority of people in each individual country surveyed believe that sacrifices will be necessary.

In almost all countries in Europe, and in the US, most people believe the cost of fuels that contribute most to climate change will have to increase.

The only exceptions were Italy and Russia, where significant numbers of people believe that increases in the price of energy will not be necessary.

The pollsters suggest that high energy costs in both countries could have put people off the idea of increasing prices even further.

Attitudes to rising energy costs in Asia and Africa are more varied.

In China and Indonesia, large majorities believe that higher energy costs are necessary, but in South Korea and India majorities in favour of higher prices are much smaller.

And in Nigeria, 52% of the respondents did not believe that higher fuel costs would be necessary to combat global warming.

Green China?

Opinions are divided on proposals to increase taxes on fossil fuels.

Worldwide, only 50% are in favour and 44% are opposed.

The Chinese are the most enthusiastic when it comes to energy taxes: 85% of those polled are in favour, 24 percentage points more than in the next most-supportive countries.

In the rest of the world, only narrow majorities - and sometimes minorities - favour higher energy taxes.

However, when people opposed to energy taxes are asked whether their opinion would change if the revenue from the taxes were used to increase energy efficiency or develop cleaner fuel, large majorities are produced in every country in favour of higher taxes.

And when those opposed to higher taxes are asked whether they would change their minds if other taxes were reduced in order to keep their total tax burden the same, the survey again discovered large majorities in every country in favour of higher green taxes.

"This poll clearly shows that people are much more ready to endure their share of the burden than most politicians grant," said Doug Miller, director of Globescan, the polling company that conducted the survey on behalf of the BBC.

Globescan interviewed 22,182 people in the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. Interviews were conducted face-to-face or by telephone between 29 May 29 and 26 July 2007.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Think tank: Climate affects security

Yahoo News,

By ARTHUR MAX, Associated Press Writer Sat Nov 3, 3:13 AM ET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Climate change could be one of the greatest national security challenges ever faced by U.S. policy makers, according to a new joint study by two U.S. think tanks.

The report, to be released Monday, raises the threat of dramatic population migrations, wars over water and resources, and a realignment of power among nations.

During the last two decades, climate scientists have underestimated how quickly the Earth is changing — perhaps to avoid being branded as "alarmists," the study said. But policy planners should count on climate-induced instability in critical parts of the world within 30 years.

The report was compiled by a panel of security and climate specialists, sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for a New American Security. The Associated Press received an advance copy.

Climate change is likely to breed new conflicts, but it already is magnifying existing problems, from the desertification of Darfur and competition for water in the Middle East to the disruptive monsoons in Asia which increase the pressure for land, the report said.

It examined three scenarios, ranging from the consequences of an expected temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040, to the catastrophic implications of a 10-degree rise by the end of the century.

At the very least, the report said, the U.S. can expect more population migrations, both internally and from across its borders; a proliferation of diseases; greater conflict in weak states, especially in Africa where climates will change most drastically; and a restructuring in global power in line with the accessibility of natural resources.

Left unchecked, "the collapse and chaos associated with extreme climate change futures would destabilize virtually every aspect of modern life," said the report, comparing the potential outcome with the Cold War doomsday scenarios of a nuclear holocaust.

"Climate change has the potential to be one of the greatest national security challenges that this or any other generation of policy makers is likely to confront," said the report.

Among its contributors were former CIA director James Woolsey, Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling, National Academy of Sciences President Ralph Cicerone, President Bill Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta and former Vice President Al Gore's security adviser Leon Fuerth.

The report listed 10 implications of climate change that policy makers should consider, including rising tensions between rich and poor nations, the backlash resulting from massive migrations, health problems partly caused by water shortages and crop failures, and concerns over nuclear proliferation as nations increasingly rely on nuclear energy.

The global balance of power will shift unpredictably as trade patterns change, it said. China's importance in the climate equation will grow as it increases emissions of greenhouse gases, and Russia's influence will increase alongside its exports of natural gas, the report said.

Attention began to focus earlier this year on the strategic consequences of climate change. But the latest report, more than 100 pages long, is among the most detailed analyses published so far on security aspects.

Last April, a a panel of retired top-ranking military officers issued the alarm that global warming was a "serious security threat" likely to aggravate terrorism and world instability.

The Office of the National Intelligence Director said the following month it has begun working on an assessment of the national security implications of climate change.

The difference a day might make

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia's women have stepped up to the plate in the fight against climate change with a group of seven all-female organizations from across the archipelago promising to see 10-million trees planted in a day.

The seven groups that are set to work together to encourage women nationally to plant and care for the trees includes the Indonesian Women Congress (KOWANI), the Association of Military Officers' Wives (Dharma Pertiwi) and the Solidarity Forum for the Wives of Indonesian United Cabinet Officials (SIKIB).

A group spokeswoman said they would aim to plant the 10 million seedlings on December 1.

"The earth is in danger," KOWANI's Linda Agum Gumelar said.

"We need to start a joint action to respond to this problem."

Murniati Widodo AS, chairwoman of SIKIB, said all the seeds would be provided by the Forestry Ministry and forestry agencies free of charge.

She said they would hold a national conference on environmental conservation from November 26 to 28 in Jakarta.

"The three-day conference aims at improving women's outlook (around) the adaptation and mitigation efforts of the effect of the climate change," Murniati said.

"Women have huge (potential).

"Imagine if all women were involved in planting trees and taking care of them."

Erna Witoelar, the UN Special Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals in the Asia Pacific, said women were among the victims of natural disasters caused by climate change.

"This program will change the paradigm that reforestation is only a matter of planting trees," she said.

She said the 10-million tree planting project was a small part off the government's campaign to plant two billion trees within the next five years.

"But the most important thing is that we know our faults and how to fix them," Erna said.

We all know that climate change is unavoidable but we can at least reduce its impact."

Erna said it was "high time for women to show their plus points, especially regarding their patience in growing and taking care of their children".

"This aspect of women's patience and (ability to) care needs to be exploited," she said.

The results of the program would be presented before the Climate Change Conference in Bali in December.

Other groups involved include the Association of Civil Servants' Wives (Dharma Wanita Persatuan), the Association of Police Officers' Wives (Bhayangkari), the Family Welfare Movement (PKK) and Women Alliance for Sustainable Development (APPB).