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

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

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

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

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

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

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

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

“… 4 - Energy (again)

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

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

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

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PLN operates Asia's first CPO-fueled power plant

Alfian, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   

State electricity company PT PLN fired up the engine of Asia Pacific's first crude palm oil (CPO) fueled power plant in Dumai, Riau, on Wednesday. 

"This is a pilot project. The power plant is operating, but it is still in the commissioning stage," PLN director Murtaqi Syamsuddin said. 

The power plant will be able to generate 10 megawatts (MW) of electricity. 

Murtaqii said the plant had to be fired up with diesel fuel in order for the engine to reach the required temperature before it could operate entirely on CPO. 

"The equipment converts crude palm oil to fuel," he said while adding that the conversion was done by an engine produced by Neue Maschinenbau Halberstadt GmbH (NMBH), a German-based biofuel engine producer. 

NMBH's director for Marketing and Sales, Franz J. Komischke, said that to convert CPO into fuel for a power plant the size of the one in Dumai would require an investment between Rp 22 billion (US$ 1.9 million) and Rp 29 billion. 

"The investment figure pretty much depends on how many engines a power plant has and the size of the engines," he said. 

According to Komischke, by replacing diesel fuel with CPO, the power plant's production costs could be reduced by 40 to 60 percent. 

Based on the current oil price level, the conversion of a 15MW power plant will reduce production costs by $4 million to $4.5 million per year, he said. 

About 1,500 tons of CPO is needed per year for a 10MW power plant, he added. 

The government issued a regulation last month mandating the use of biofuel by manufacturers, commercial business, fuel retailers and power plant operators.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Danish PM says China onboard for climate pact goal

By Chris Buckley 

Beijing (ANTARA News/Reuters) - China is committed to seeking a climate change pact at key talks next year, the prime minister of Denmark said on Thursday, urging countries not to use global economic upheaval as a reason for delaying a deal. 

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is among the European leaders in Beijing for an Asia-Europe meeting. And with Copenhagen to host end-game talks late next year on a new climate change pact, he has been courting China, with its bulging output of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas behind global warming. 

Rasmussen said on Thursday he had emerged from talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao the previous day with a commitment that China is "committed to reaching agreement in Copenhagen". 

"The two sides ... affirmed the common goal to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at the climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009," he told a small group of reporters, citing an agreement the two countries sealed on Wednesday. 

The negotiations, culminating late next year, aim to create a treaty building on the current Kyoto Protocol climate pact that expires at the end of 2012. Its host role has given Denmark an unusual prominence in seeking agreement.


With the world preoccupied with the financial crisis and its fallout, and with many issues dividing rich countries from poor ones over how to combat global warming, Rasmussen said China's commitment was an encouraging sign to others.


He said other countries should not use the economic downturn as a reason to delay or stymie a new pact.


"No doubt, the financial crisis will be used as an excuse to water down the climate change agenda," said Rasmussen, adding that he believed increased spending on environmentally friendly technology could help stimulate an economic rebound.


Stay on track


European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said later that delaying tackling climate change because of the crisis was not acceptable, and called on China to join in the fight.


"Yes, there is a cost to reducing emissions. But the cost of climate change is going to be far higher, including for China," he said in a speech.


"It is important that efforts to combat climate change stay on track, despite the financial crisis we are facing."


Under the current Kyoto pact, China and other developing nations do not have to agree limits on their output of the greenhouse gases from industry, vehicles and land-use that are dangerously warming the atmosphere.


But China's fast-rising emissions, which experts believe now far outstrip the United States', have driven other countries to say it must accept firmer limits.


EU environment ministers this week said developing countries should commit to keep emissions 15 to 30 percent below unconstrained "business as usual" levels.


Rasmussen said the EU proposal, which would not set an absolute ceiling on poorer countries' emissions but oblige them to take measurable steps, could be the way to draw China and other developing countries into the commitments.


"The contributions from the industrialised countries will not be enough," he said. "We need engagement from the big emerging economies."


At the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) opening on Friday, the 27 EU member states and the European Commission will also discuss climate change policy with Japan, China and India and 13 other Asian countries.


Rasmussen said he also hopes that meeting will agree on aiming for a pact in Copenhagen.

Manmohan urges Europe to "do more" to combat climate change

The Hindu

Beijing (PTI): India on Saturday appealed to its European partners to "do more" to combat climate change as it suggested adoption of a "holistic approach" to tackle the problem which threatened the global environment and development.


Noting that the progress on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol has been slow, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that emissions of developed countries have actually increased by 2.6 per cent from 2000 to 2005.


"We should call upon our European partners to do more in this regard. The developing world is committed to doing its share," Singh told the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit here.


"A holistic approach is needed to tackle this problem. We cannot do so by perpetuating the poverty of the developing countries, or by preventing their industrialisation," he said.


The challenge ahead is to put in place development strategies which improve living standards, create job opportunities and are also environment friendly, Singh said.


"Thus, common but differentiated responsibility should be the cardinal principle of negotiations to find practical and pragmatic solutions within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change," Singh said, advocating India's stance.


He also said the principle of convergence of per-capita emissions of developing countries with advanced developed countries is catching imagination of international community.


"We should recognise that each citizen of the world has equal entitlement to the global atmospheric space," he said.


Asserting that the dependence on fossil fuels was a "cause of many problems," Singh said "greater effort is needed to promote clean and renewable sources of energy, including nuclear energy" as he highlighted India's quest for enhancing its share of atomic power.


The world, therefore, needs a new compact plan to increase efficiency in the use of available energy resources, he said.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mobile Phones and Vanishing Bees

The Institute of Science in Society

The recent boom in third generation mobile phones may be the main culprit for colony collapse disorder in honeybees. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

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Colony collapse a new phenomenon

Bees worldwide have been involved in a disappearing act called “colony collapse disorder” over the past two years [1] (Mystery of Disappearing Honeybees, this series), with little sign of the disease or infestations that have resulted in massive loss of colonies in the past. The bees simply leave the hives and fail to return. Beekeepers and scientists alike are stymied as to the cause of this strange phenomenon.

One likely culprit is a new class of systemic pesticides, which are not only sprayed on crops, but also used universally to dress seeds in conventional agriculture, and can confuse and disorientate bees at very low concentrations [2] (Requiem for the Honeybee, this series). Another candidate is radiation from mobile phone base stations that has become nearly ubiquitous in Europe and North America where the bees are vanishing; this possibility is considerably strengthened by preliminary findings that bees fail to return to the hives if cordless phone base stations are placed in them.

Simple experiment with dramatic results

Researchers at Landau University in Germany designed a simple experiment for students on the Environmental Science course [3]. Eight mini-hives, each with approximately 8 000 bees were set up for the experiment. Four of them were equipped with a DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication)-station at the bottom of the hive, and the other four without the DECT-station served as controls.

At the entrance of each hive, a transparent plastic tube enabled the experimenters to watch the marked bees entering and leaving the hive, so they can be counted and their time of return after release recorded for a period of 45 minutes.

The experimenters also studied building behaviour by measuring the area of the honeycomb and its weight.

In the course of the experiment, three colonies exposed to mobile phone radiation and one non-exposed control colony broke down. The total weights of the honeycombs in all colonies, including those at the time of breakdown were compared. The controls weighed 1 326g, while those exposed to the DECT-stations weighed only 1 045g, a difference of 21 percent. The total area of the honeycomb in the controls was 2 500, compared to just 2050 in the exposed hives.

But it was the number of returning bees and their returning times that were vastly different. For two control hives, 16 out of 25 bees returned in 45 minutes. For the two microwave-exposed hives, however, no bees at all returned to one hive, and only six returned to the other.

Cordless phone base station widely used in homes and offices

These dramatic results are of a preliminary nature, but one should bear in mind that the DECT-station is a simple cordless phone base, widely used in homes and offices.

It emits microwave radiation of about 1 900 MHz continuously, which is frequency modulated at 100 Hz. The average power is 10 mW, with a peak of 250 mW. It represents the exposure levels of perhaps tens of millions worldwide living near mobile phone base stations, or have cordless phones in their homes or offices.

The same scientists had carried out an earlier experiment with the cordless phone base on a standby mode, in which the average power is 2.5 mW, and that appeared to have had no effect on the bees [4, 5].

Clearly the present findings need to be taken much further, but their significance should not be downplayed for a number of reasons. The findings are compatible with evidence accumulating from investigations on many other species including humans, showing that mobile phone radiation is associated with a range of health hazards including cancers [6] (Drowning in a Sea of Microwaves, SiS 34). Furthermore, bees are known to be extremely sensitive to magnetic and electromagnetic fields, and there have been many suggestions that they could be used as an indicator species for electromagnetic pollution.

Bees as indicator species for electromagnetic pollution

Experiments dating well back to the last century have documented the phenomenal sensitivity of honeybees to electromagnetic fields. Bees use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate. Free-flying honeybees are able to detect static intensity fluctuations as weak as 26 nT against the background earth-strength magnetic field (average 500 mT) [7]. This has been demonstrated in experiments where individual honeybees have been trained to discriminate between the presence and the absence of a small static magnetic anomaly in the lab. Honeybees can also learn to distinguish between two 360o panoramic patterns that are identical except for the compass orientation. In this case, the difference was a 90o rotation about the vertical axis [8]. The most powerful cue to direction for the honeybee comes from the sky, but discrimination between patterns is possible in the absence of celestial information, as when the sky is overcast. Under those conditions, bees can use a magnetic direction to discriminate between patterns.

The bees’ waggle dance on the honeycomb, which tells hive mates where to find food, can also be misdirected by anomalies in the earth’s magnetic field or very weak pulsed magnetic fields at about 250 MHz applied in the correct direction [9]. Bees can even learn to detect very low levels of extremely low frequency alternating electromagnetic fields [10].

But mobile phones have been around for close to 20 years, so why now? There has been a recent change in cell phone technology that coincides with the current crisis. At the beginning of the present century, 3G (third generation) mobile phone systems became publicly available, leading to a surge in popularity of mobile phones, and many more phone towers [11]. Bees are disappearing in North America, Europe and also Australia, wherever mobile phones are greatly in use. Stay tuned.

NATURE | Silence of the Bees | The Importance of Bees

Related Articles:

Greenhouse gas 4 times higher than thought

Reuters, Thu Oct 23.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Levels of a powerful greenhouse gas are four times as high as previously thought, according to new measurements released on Thursday.


New analytical techniques show that about 5,400 metric tons of nitrogen trifluoride are in the atmosphere, with amounts increasing by about 11 percent per year.


Ray Weiss of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and colleagues said it had not been possible to accurately measure this gas before.


They said nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more effective at warming the atmosphere than an equal mass of carbon dioxide, although it does not yet contribute much to global warming.


Previous estimates had put levels of the gas at less than 1,200 metric tons in 2006.


Nitrogen trifluoride, a colorless, odorless, nonflammable gas, is used to etch silicon wafers and in some lasers.


Writing in Geophysical Research Letters, Weiss and colleagues said they analyzed air samples gathered over the past 30 years under the NASA-funded Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment.


Weiss said nitrogen trifluoride needs to be regulated, as carbon dioxide is.


"From a climate perspective, there is a need to add nitrogen trifluoride to the suite of greenhouse gases whose production is inventoried and whose emissions are regulated under the Kyoto Protocol, thus providing meaningful incentives for its wise use," he said.


Michael Prather, an atmospheric chemist at the University of California at Irvine, noted nitrogen trifluoride is being used more commonly and predicted that more would be found in the atmosphere.


"It is now shown to be an important greenhouse gas," Prather, who was not involved with the Scripps study, said in a statement. "Now we need to get hard numbers on how much is flowing through the system, from production to disposal."


(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Philip Barbara)

Related Article:

Salt levels in the ocean reflect human-induced climate change

Global warming cools hopes for Dutch skating race

By Mike Corder, The Associated Press 


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Global warming is taking a heavier toll than previously thought on a grueling 120-mile speedskating marathon over frozen rivers and canals linking 11 towns in northern Holland.


Skaters pass a windmill at the village of Birdaard, northern Netherlands, on this Jan. 4, 1997 file photo, during the "Elfstedentocht" (eleven-cities-course). Global warming is taking a heavier toll than previously thought on the Netherlands' most famous race, a grueling 200-kilometer (120 mile) speedskating marathon over frozen rivers and canals linking 11 towns in the northern province of Friesland. A study published Friday Oct 24 2008 by the respected Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said the race is likely to be held only once every 18 years because of higher winter temperatures. Known locally as the Elfstedentocht, the race has only been held 15 times since the first official event in 1909. (AP Photo/Dimitri Georganas/File)

A study published Friday by the respected Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said the race is likely to be held only once every 18 years because of higher winter temperatures. Three years ago, it estimated the likelihood at once every 10 years.


Organizers insist on a minimum thickness of 6 inches of ice along virtually the entire route in the northern province of Friesland to ensure it is safe enough to carry thousands of skaters.

The rule means that races have always been rare. Known locally as the Elfstedentocht, it has only been held 15 times since the first official event in 1909.


"In 2005, we calculated once in 10 years, and mainly due to warm winters that came afterwards we had to change our estimate to once every 18 years so there is ... a steep decline," one of the report's authors, Arthur Petersen, said in a telephone interview. "That's purely caused by climate change."


The report, based on temperature readings from the Dutch national meteorological institute, was produced independently of the race organizing committee.


"The report shows that the chance of staging the 11 Cities Race is decreasing, but this does not mean that we will never have the race again," said Sybe Bruining, national secretary of the committee, in a telephone interview.


Despite German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, there were four races in the 1940s — three of them during the war.


There were two in the 1950s and then in 1963, which was recognized as the toughest ever because of a strength-sapping combination of icy temperatures, strong winds and snow.


A gap followed of 22 years until back-to-back races in 1985 and 1986. Since then, the only race was in 1997, won by brussels sprouts farmer Henk Angenent in 6 hours and 49 minutes — less the half the original winner's time.


Petersen acknowledges says the Elfstedentocht is a way of focussing the public's attention on the climate change issue.


"It's an icon for climate change, but of course it is not the most important effect of climate change ... that's more related to flooding and to agriculture," he said.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

66 Million U.S. Households are Making a Difference by Buying SC Johnson Products

By using alternative energy to make its products, SC Johnson cuts greenhouse gas emissions associated with products like Pledge(R) and Scrubbing Bubbles(R) that are found in nearly 57 percent of U.S. households 

Last update: 12:34 p.m. EDT Oct. 17, 2008 

RACINE, Wis., Oct 17, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Innovation isn't just the hallmark of SC Johnson's products, it's also fundamental to how its products are made. That's why when consumers reach for a can of Pledge(R) furniture polish produced with green energy, or a Ziploc(R) bag made with wind power, they can feel good knowing their purchase is from a company that's doing what's right for people and the planet. 

In fact, one in every two U.S. households(1) is making a difference by using an SC Johnson product around their home, such as Windex(R), Pledge(R), Ziploc(R), Glade(R), Raid(R) or Scrubbing Bubbles(R), all of which are made using renewable energy. That's nearly 57 percent of U.S. households -- or 66.2 million families -- making a difference when they buy SC Johnson products.


This important point of difference is highlighted in a new advertisement from SC Johnson, featuring company Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson. The ad highlights the company's innovative use of clean and efficient alternative energy sources at its manufacturing operations in Michigan and Wisconsin, and in Medan, Indonesia. "We're reducing greenhouse gases all over the world," Johnson says in the 30-second television spot airing in the United States. "So when you reach for Windex(R), Pledge(R), or any SC Johnson product, you can feel good about it."


Among the alternative energy innovations highlighted in the ad are:


  • SC Johnson's use of wind power electricity for its Bay City, Michigan factory that produces Ziploc(R) brand products, a move that replaces almost half the factory's annual purchase of coal-fired electricity and helps keep 29,500 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere annually.

  • Its use of cogeneration turbines to produce green energy utilizing methane piped in from a local public landfill as well as natural gas. SC Johnson's cogeneration turbines generate the entire average daily base-load electrical demand of its largest global plant, in Racine, Wisconsin.

  • The company's construction in Medan, Indonesia of an innovative burner/boiler system that runs on palm shells, the remaining waste of the palm oil industry. By transferring this former waste product into a fuel source, the system has cut greenhouse gas emissions at the Medan factory by more than 15 percent and reduced use of diesel fuel by 60 percent.


As reported in the company's 2008 Public Report, available at, these are just some of SC Johnson's efforts in support of its 2011 environmental objectives, which include sourcing 40 percent of global electricity from renewable energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from all worldwide factories by 12 percent versus 2000 -- a goal already achieved in 2008.

For more details and a historical snapshot of SC Johnson's environmental legacy, visit


About SC Johnson: SC Johnson is a family-owned and managed business dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, personal care and insect control. It markets such well-known brands as EDGE(R), GLADE(R), OFF!(R), PLEDGE(R), RAID(R), SCRUBBING BUBBLES(R), SHOUT(R), WINDEX(R) and ZIPLOC(R) in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN(R), BAYGON(R), BRISE(R), ECHO(R), KABIKILLER(R), KLEAR(R), and MR. MUSCLE(R). The 122-year old company, with more than $8 billion in sales, employs approximately 12,000 people globally and sells products in more than 110 countries. Learn more at


(1) Source: Nielsen Homescan Panel, Total U.S., 7/1.07 - 6/28/08


Sunday, October 12, 2008

One-metre sea-level rise this century, scientists say

Berlin (ANTARA News) - Global warming calculations have been too optimistic, and the sea level round the globe is likely to rise a full metre this century, two senior German scientists warned Wednesday.

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who heads the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects and Jochem Marotzke, a leading meteorologist, said UN-backed data on climate change, predicting a rise of 18 to 59 centimetres, was out of date.

"We now have to expect that the sea level will rise by a metre this century," Schellnhuber was quoted by DPA as saying in Berlin.

He said international plans to limit the rise in average global temperatures to just 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, mainly by limiting growth in carbon dioxide emissions, were only achievable with enormous effort.

Schnellnhuber, who is official adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on climate-change issues, said the new findings employed data unavailable to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its most recent global warming report.

The two experts said the IPCC report had been based on data up to 2005 only, but since then ice loss in the Arctic had doubled or tripled.

Schnellhuber charged that 20 per cent of the loss of the ice sheet on Greenland could be directly linked to the added carbon dioxide emissions from new Chinese coal-fired power stations.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Google whips out $4.4 trillion clean-energy plan

Atlanta Business Chronicle, the philanthropic unit of search giant Google Inc., publicized a $4.4 trillion plan to wean the United States off fossil fuels by 2030. 

Giant Google’s curiosity, which seems as boundless as the Internet its algorithms search, extends into nearly every area of human endeavor. Though it makes most of its money from advertising it is interested in nearly every subject, and presented this proposal as a straw-man, meant to stimulate policy debate. 

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), based in Mountain View, Calif., calls in the proposal for a 38-percent cut in oil used for vehicle fuel. “Technologies and know-how to accomplish this are either available today or are under development,” the proposal, by Jeffery Greenblatt, says. 

It also urges greater use of nuclear, solar, wind and geothermal sources of power. 

According to Google, the plan would cost about $4.4 trillion but over 22 years would save a net of about $1 trillion while creating new jobs. 

The details of the plan call for: 

  • Improved electrical energy efficiency, which will counteract growth in demand and also the expected demand from plug-in electric cars.
  • Replacing all electrical power generation that uses coal and oil for fuel. About half of electrical generation from natural gas would also be replaced, all with renewable sources like wind — both on and offshore — solar and geothermal.
  • Raising standard car fuel efficiency from 31 mpg to 45 mpg.
  • Increasing use of plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars.
  • Replacing cars in business fleets faster.

To achieve these goals, Greenblatt says, the country will have to improve electrical transmission capacity and invest in research to make renewable energy cheap and ubiquitous. Mileage standards for cars will have to be raised, and infrastructure like charging stations for electric vehicles will have to be encouraged and built.


Google’s proposal assumes that electricity demand can be kept flat at the 2008 level, rather than growing by a quarter by 2030. The proposal claims “ample proof” that this is possible, citing research studies and the experience of states, plus a McKinsey & Co. report — Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost, published last December.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Donors pledge $6.1 billion to climate change funds

Washington (ANTARA News/Reuters) - Industrialized countries pledged more than $6.1 billion on Friday to international investment funds aimed at helping developing countries adopt cleaner technologies and mitigate growth in greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank said.


The first projects to benefit from grants, highly concessional loans and loan guarantee instruments from the Climate Investment Funds are expected to be announced in early 2009, the World Bank said.


Representatives of 10 countries -- Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland Britain and the United States -- attended a donor conference hosted by the bank on Friday.


The United States has pledged $2 billion over three years, while Britain announced a commitment of 800 million pounds ($1.47 billion). Japan pledged up to $1.2 billion.


"These funds are all about demonstrating that low-carbon development and climate resilient development can happen," Andrew Steer, director general at Britain's Department for International Development, said in a statement. "They will allow us to get on with helping developing countries with their efforts on climate action."


Two trust funds are being created under the Climate Investment Funds, which will be administered by the World Bank and by multilateral development banks.


The Clean Technology Fund will invest in projects and programs in developing countries that contribute to the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low-carbon technologies. The projects or programs must have a significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas savings.


The idea behind this fund, promoted heavily by U.S.


Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, was to bridge the cost gap between newer, cleaner technologies, such as wind farms in the power sector, and cheaper, but older and dirtier technologies, such as coal-fired power plants.


The second fund, the Strategic Climate Fund, will be broader and more flexible in scope. It will serve as an overarching fund for various programs to test innovative approaches to climate change.


The first program under the strategic fund will work with several developing countries to study and develop strategies for dealing with the current effects of climate change, such as drought, tidal surges and agricultural problems. The research will help these countries better prepare for climate change in their future development, the World Bank said.