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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Island of mud appears near Hingol in Pakistan, shows seismicity, Suhail Yousuf , November 26, 2010

KARACHI: A soft muddy island appeared a few kilometers from the seashore in Hingol area of Balochistan. According to Pakistan Fisher Folk (PFF), the island is 90 meters (m) high with a span of approximately three kilometers (km).

PFF spokesman, Sami Memon told that the fishermen of Ibrahim Hyderi area described the occurrence after returning from Hingol. Fishermen observed white, slippery hot sand erupting from water, three km away from the beach. Before the upsurge of sludge, fishermen also observed high tides near the coast and several boats were trapped due to the emergence of the island.

Memon told that the island is 30m beneath the water and 60m above the sea level which is a total of 90m in height. According to Memon, the fishermen also registered another island 12 years back which plunged into the sea after four months.

However, the amateur video of the event clearly showed eruption of white hot liquid sludge on top of the island which is still ongoing.

Speaking to, Director of Geolabs at Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP), Asif Nazeer Rana said the area holds three tectonic plates – namely Eurasian, Arabian and Indian plates which are responsible for high seismic activity due to subduction in the Makran area.

Rana said that the Chaman Transverse Fault could also be responsible for the sudden rise of the island at Hingol because the fault is extremely active, moving at a rate of four centimeter yearly.

The Chaman Fault is the only physical feature of Pakistan which can be seen from space and it was responsible for the horrifying earthquake of 31 May, 1935 in Quetta. Over 30,000 people died in the quake.

Rana said that an earthquake of 4.1 magnitude on the Richter scale was also recorded recently in the Chiltan area due to activity of the Chaman Fault and the series of these events need serious attention. –

Related Article:

East of the Indonesian island Java, in the sea between Java and Bali,
a new island has risen from nothing within a few days. It is probably of
volcanic origin. The location is not so very far from Tambora.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Japan spreads the satoyama message

CNN News, By Matthew Knight for CNN, November 29, 2010

The Satoyama Initiative takes its name from the satoyama landscape
which has been farmed sustainably for centuries in Japan.

  • Satoyama Initiative trying to promote traditional Japanese land use around the world
  • Satoyama landscape is land which lies at the "interface of nature and human settlement"
  • Preserving rural farmland key to overall mission to preserve biodiversity
  • Recent U.N. biodiversity summit recognized its importance as a tool to preserve habitats

London, England (CNN) -- It is a country that provides the world with much of its modern technology, but Japan is now adding some old-fashioned rural wisdom to its exports list in an effort to stem nature loss around the world.

The Satoyama Initiative has been set up by Japan's Ministry of the Environment and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) in an attempt to promote traditional Japanese land conservation around the world.

While its widely recognized that conservation of unspoilt wildernesses is vital to preserve eco-systems, the fight to preserve and promote biodiversity in human-influenced habitats is equally urgent.

And that's where the Satoyama Initiative hopes to help, advocating a vision of "sustainable rural societies in harmony with nature."


The initiative takes its name from the Japanese word for the landscapes located between villages (sato) and the mountains (yama) which have for centuries fostered rich biodiversity thanks to continued human management of the land.

According to Masahito Yoshida, chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Japan, satoyama covers 60 percent of the land.

These landscapes vary in use, but all provide a dual service.

Paddy fields and the ponds and ditches which irrigate them not only provide a staple of the Japanese diet but also function as wetland habitats for wildlife.

Managed woodlands harvested for firewood and charcoal also provide ideal habitats for many species of wildflowers, while the vast expanses of pasture and grassland are home to small mammals, birds and insects.

Fumiko Nakao, fellow of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies told CNN: "These areas are at the interface of nature and human settlement, and most of these landscapes are facing challenges."

Increasing urbanization and industrialization has seen the agricultural workforce in Japan shrink from 45.5 percent in 1950 to just seven percent today, according to UNU-IAS.

And that workforce is increasingly old, as the young flee to the cities in search of better paid jobs.

Nakao says the principal aim of the Satoyama Initiative is to examine rural areas threatened with overuse or neglect and highlight new activities which can revitalize them.

Over the last three years the initiative has been compiling case studies from all over the world -- including Malaysia, Peru, Kenya, Australia, Spain and the United States -- shining a light on sustainable rural practices which adhere to the spirit of satoyama landscapes.

Back in Japan, the initiative is tracking the progress of several projects where communities and land are being brought back to life.

Nakao highlights the example of Kyotango City, a mountainous rural area in the Kyoto Prefecture, where the construction of a new biogas power plant in 2007 and a forest dairy farming scheme is helping revitalize the local economy.

Furthermore, a liquid fertilizer -- a byproduct of biogas production -- is replacing chemical sprays, opening up new and potentially profitable markets in organic produce.

And as the land returns to use, so wildlife habitats are beginning to prosper again.

The Satoyama Initiative received a boost at the recent U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) talks in Nagoya, Japan where it was officially recognized as "a potentially useful tool to better understand and support human-influenced natural environments for the benefit of biodiversity and human well-being."

Josephine Langley, an IUCN scientist who attended the U.N.'s biodiversity summit believes the satoyama landscape represents some of the "fundamental principles" of the CBD.

"The Satoyama Initiative and the satoyama a way to recognize traditional knowledge of people who are actually doing the management of biodiversity on a day to day basis," Langley said.

"It's not just conservation, it is sustainable use. They are feeding themselves, they are feeding the communities around them and they are maintaining a landscape they value and is a really fundamental part of Japanese culture."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

4th blast hits New Zealand coal mine where 29 died

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Greymouth | Sun, 11/28/2010

A fourth explosion in nine days ripped through a New Zealand mine where 29 miners perished, and officials said Sunday the coal was on fire, a development that could significant delay recovery of the bodies.

Large quantities of smoke and flames were seen shooting from the Pike River Coal mine's vertical ventilation shaft after Sunday's blast.

"This smoke has changed, it's no longer a gas fire, it's obviously now a coal fire," Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall told reporters. "Where that coal fire is or how big it is, we don't know."

The mine might have to be temporarily sealed to starve the fire of oxygen, Whittall said, without indicating how long it would take to kill the fire. The move could seriously delay the recovery of the bodies, and Whittall said it was not the preferred option.

The explosions have dislodged a lot of coal, "so there's a lot of fuel in the mine to burn," he said.

The worst-case scenario was that the actual coal seam would start to burn, he said. A gas fire is relatively easy to put out, but a coal fire in a seam would be a "very different beast," Whittall said.

There were no injuries from Sunday's blast. People working near the mine entrance were moved away from the area for safety.

The 29 miners were trapped by the first blast Nov. 19 and declared dead after a massive second blast five days later. A third explosion Friday was fueled by methane gas seeping into the mine.

Police superintendent Dave Cliff said the latest explosion demonstrates the volatility of the mine environment, which has prevented any rescue workers from entering the mine since the first blast.

"We are doing all we can to progress the recovery operation, however the explosion reinforces the risks involved in working in this environment and the requirement to put people's safety first," he told reporters.

Operators still hope to deploy an Australian jet-powered engine to blast nitrogen and carbon dioxide gases and water apor into the mine. The inert gases would expel oxygen that could fuel more explosions, and would smother the fire.

Prime Minister John Key said Sunday that a Royal Commission of Inquiry will be held into the disaster - showing that the government was taking the inquiry seriously and was determined to findanswers for the dead miners' families.

New Zealand's mining industry is small and generally considered safe. The tragedy deeply shocked the country and devastated families who - buoyed by the survival tale of Chile's 33 buried miners - had clung to hope that their relatives could emerge alive.

The coutry has had 210 deaths in 114 years in mines. New Zealand's worst mine disaster was in 1896, when 65 died in a gas explosion at a mine on the same coal seam as the latest tragedy.

The most recent had been in 1967, when an explosion killed 19 miners near the Pike River site. A fire in a mine in 1914 killed 4.

Related Article:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ships of Light - The Carlos Diaz UFO Experience – Video 1-2

The most spectacular UFO contact case of the 21st century with 23 original UFO films, most of which have never been published.

One of the first of many UFO photographs taken by Carlos

In 1981 on a lonely road in the mountains of Mexico, Carlos Diaz had an encounter with UFOs that changed his life forever. 20 years later, the contacts continue. 12,000 eyewitnesses including journalists, scientists and the Mayor of Mexico City have now encountered this phenomenon.

Learn about messages received by Carlos Diaz from his UFO encounters and what we may learn from them. Get all of the facts in what is considered the most comprehensive investigation of a UFO case ever.

Friday, November 26, 2010

China launches hourly air quality data index

RNW, 26 November 2010

China has started publishing hourly air-quality information for major cities across the country as the world's top source of greenhouse gas emissions tries to rein in its notorious pollution.

The levels of sulfur and nitrogen dioxide as well as particulate matter in 113 major cities will be updated every hour and published online under the new system launched Thursday by the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre.

The new system will "satisfy the people's right to know information about the environment," the centre was quoted by state media as saying.

It will "play a crucial role in air pollution prevention and control".

Beijing started publishing daily air quality reports a decade ago using information from more than 2,000 air-quality monitoring stations across the vast country, the official Xinhua news agency said.

China -- which this week admitted it is the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter -- has some of the world's worst air pollution after rapid growth over the past 30 years triggered widespread environmental damage.

The US embassy in Beijing already runs an hourly air quality index for the city that is published on social networking site Twitter and was set up as an alternative to official Chinese data widely criticised as downplaying pollution levels.

The embassy's index caused a stir on Twitter last week when it described pollution levels in the capital as "crazy bad". The phrase was later deleted by the embassy.

Earth's lakes are warming due to climate change: study 2010-11-24

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Earth's largest lakes have been warming during the past 25 years in response to climate change, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said on Tuesday.

JPL said its researchers reached the conclusion after using satellite data to measure the surface temperatures of 167 large lakes worldwide.

This was the first comprehensive global survey of temperature trends in major lakes, said JPL in Pasadena, Los Angeles.

There has been an average warming rate of 0.45 degrees Celsius (0.81 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade, with some lakes warming as much as one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade, said JPL, noting that the warming trend was global, and the greatest increases were in the mid- to high-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

"Our analysis provides a new, independent data source for assessing the impact of climate change over land around the world, " said Philipp Schneider, lead author of the study.

"The results have implications for lake ecosystems, which can be adversely affected by even small water temperature changes."

Small changes in water temperature can result in algal blooms that can make a lake toxic to fish or result in the introduction of non-native species that change the lake's natural ecosystem, according to the researchers.

Scientists have long used air temperature measurements taken near Earth's surface to compute warming trends. More recently, scientists have supplemented these measurements with thermal infrared satellite data that can be used to provide a comprehensive, accurate view of how surface temperatures are changing worldwide.

The researchers used thermal infrared imagery from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and European Space Agency satellites. They focused on summer temperatures (July to September in the Northern Hemisphere and January to March in the Southern Hemisphere) because of the difficulty in collecting data in seasons when lakes are ice-covered and/or often hidden by clouds. Only nighttime data were used in the study.

The bodies studied were selected from a global database of lakes and wetlands based on size (typically at least 500 square kilometers - 193 square miles - or larger) or other unique characteristics of scientific merit. The selected lakes also had to have large surface areas located away from shorelines, so land influences did not interfere with the measurements. Satellite lake data were collected from the point farthest from any shoreline.

The findings of the study include:

  • The largest and most consistent area of warming was northern Europe, the warming trend was slightly weaker in southeastern Europe, around the Black and Caspian seas and Kazakhstan while the trends increased slightly farther east in Siberia, Mongolia and northern China;

  • In North America, trends were slightly higher in the southwest United States than in the Great Lakes region; and

  • Warming was weaker in the tropics and in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

The results were consistent with the expected changes associated with global warming, JPL said in a news release.

The satellite temperature trends largely agreed with trends measured by nine buoys in the Great Lakes, Earth's largest group of freshwater lakes in terms of total surface area and volume, JPL said.

The lake temperature trends were also in agreement with independent surface air temperature data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. In certain regions, such as the Great Lakes and northern Europe, water bodies appear to be warming more quickly than surrounding air temperature, according to JPL.

Related Articles:

Kiesha Crowther Little Grandmother, one of the 12 young Shaman wisdom keepers to establish the "Tribe of many colors" recently was on a European Tour spreading her message on how to start living from the heart. She also speaks about our ancestors, the pole shift, where the extraterrestrials are hiding and what we can do to change our world and heal Mother Earth. This is a 25 minutes summary of her workshop in Zurich, Switzerland of early November 2010.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

US designates 'critical' polar bear habitat in Arctic

WASHINGTON — The US government on Wednesday designated "critical habitat" for polar bears who live on Alaska's disappearing sea ice, a move that could impact new oil and gas drilling projects in the Arctic.

The United States has classified the polar bear as
"threatened," but not endangered
The Fish and Wildlife Service set aside 187,000 square miles (484,000 square kilometers) off Alaska as the threatened bears' habitat, which means any project that could impact the animals' way of life must undergo careful review.

"This critical habitat designation enables us to work with federal partners to ensure their actions within its boundaries do not harm polar bear populations," said Tom Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

"Nevertheless, the greatest threat to the polar bear is the melting of its sea ice habitat caused by human-induced climate change. We will continue to work toward comprehensive strategies for the long-term survival of this iconic species."

The move falls short of barring any drilling or other activity in the area, but "identifies geographic areas containing features considered essential for the conservation of the bear that require special management or protection."

US environmental advocates earlier this month warned that polar bear habitats could be disrupted if oil companies eager to exploit the Arctic for fuel were to experience an accidental spill like the BP gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledged that the designation, which includes swaths of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off northern Alaska, "encompass(es) areas where oil and gas exploration activities are known to occur."

Any activity there would now have to undergo a review to "identify ways to implement these actions consistent with species conservation," the statement said.

"This applies to oil and gas development activities, as well as any other activity within the range of the polar bear that may have an adverse affect on the species."

The United States has classified the polar bear as "threatened," but not endangered, due to the struggles it endures because the sea ice on which it lives and hunts is melting due to climate change.

The US government is considering opening the Chukchi Sea, a body of water off the coast of Alaska that is shared with Russia, to drilling but is reviewing leases awarded in 2008 after a lawsuit by indigenous people and green groups contended that the government does not have enough facts about how drilling will impact the environment.

Companies like Royal Dutch Shell want to begin drilling in the coming months, once winter ice begins to break up, and are submitting proposals to show they can meet tougher new government regulations.

The US Geological Survey said in 2008 that within the Arctic circle there are 90 billion barrels of oil and vast quantities of natural gas waiting to be tapped, most of it offshore.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

China invests 30 bln USD in emission cutting in 5 years

People Daily Online, November 22, 2010     

The Chinese government has allocated a total of 200 billion yuan (30.12 billion U.S. dollars) from its central budget for energy conservation and emission cutting from 2006 to 2010, said an official with China's top economic planning body Monday.

The fund was expected to generate a total non-government investment of two trillion yuan, said He Bingguang, a senior official of the Department of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection at the National Development and Reform Commission.

From 2006 to 2010, China had made breakthroughs in the scale, technological level, and commercial modeling of the country's green industries, said He at a press conference concerning the International High-tech Exhibition of Green Industries and Green Economy, to be held in Beijing starting Wednesday.

The four-day event will be attended by 127 participants, 85 of which are foreign-funded firms.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Obama pauses at NATO summit to tout new GM hybrid

Reuters, LISBON | Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:51pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) sits as he inspects an Opel Ampera electric car at the NATO Summit in Lisbon November 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama took time out from a NATO summit in Lisbon on Saturday to tout a new hybrid electric car which General Motors plans to roll out in Europe next year.

Obama found himself acting as salesman-in-chief for GM Opel's Ampera model just days after he declared in Washington that U.S. taxpayers would get their money back for saving GM in a bailout that was broadly unpopular.

Calling the Ampera an "example of GM technology," Obama said: "This is the future."

"This is a car made in America," he said after inspecting an Ampera at the convention center where he was wrapping up a two-day NATO summit. "We're going to start selling it in Europe."

GM last week was refloated as a public company amid heavy investor demand, and the White House sought to take credit for what it saw as a successful turnaround.

Public anger over the bailout, along with rescue packages for Wall Street banks, contributed to heavy losses for Obama's Democrats in the November 2 congressional election.

But the stock sale capped GM's recovery from near-collapse, thanks to a $50 billion government rescue.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Toyota lays out big green-car push with hybrids, EVs

Reuters, Tokyo, By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia autos correspondent, Thu Nov 18, 2010

A Toyota employee shows how to recharge a Prius-based plug-in hybrid during a photo opportunity at the company's showroom in Tokyo November 18, 2010. Toyota on Thursday laid out big plans for launching greener vehicles, including 11 new conventional hybrids over the next two years and a Prius-based plug-in hybrid that may cost as little as 3 million yen. (Credit: REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao)

(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp on Thursday laid out big plans for launching greener vehicles, including 11 new conventional hybrids over the next two years and a Prius-based plug-in hybrid that may cost as little as 3 million yen ($36,050).

One of the hybrids will be a compact car with fuel efficiency exceeding 40 km per liter -- the highest for a gasoline-electric model measured under Japanese test cycles, it said.

The world's top automaker has led the industry in cleaner, next-generation vehicle technology, having dominated the hybrid field for more than a decade with the iconic Prius and 13 other models so far.

But with governments tightening environmental and fuel economy standards all over the world, rival automakers are aiming to catch up, particularly with new vehicle technologies such as battery-powered electric cars and part-electric-part-engine "range extenders" such as General Motors's Chevy Volt.

Not to be outdone, Toyota said it would begin selling a plug-in hybrid based on the Prius by early 2012 mainly in Japan, the United States and Europe, targeting sales of more than 50,000 units a year.

The car, which unlike a conventional hybrid can be plugged in to enable longer-distance driving using only electricity, is expected to cost as little as 3 million yen in Japan, Toyota said. GM has priced its Volt at $41,000, while Nissan Motor Co's all-electric Leaf will start at 3.76 million yen before subsidies.

With billions of dollars of cash at hand, Toyota is among the few car manufacturers able to spend on research and development across the range of technologies.

In the field of battery electric vehicles, which Nissan and its French partner, Renault SA, are aiming to lead, Toyota confirmed it would launch a model based on the tiny iQ in the United States, Japan and Europe in 2012, initially targeting urban commuters.

It was also considering a launch in China, the world's biggest car market, with road trials planned in 2011.

Toyota plans to begin selling fuel-cell vehicles, which are also all-electric but run on hydrogen fuel, in the three markets from around 2015. Their high cost are a hurdle, but Toyota said it expected to be able to offer the car for a price under 10 million yen -- about one-tenth of what the zero-emission vehicle cost at the beginning of the decade.

Toyota is also working on developing next-generation batteries in-house, an ambition that had been held by the group's founder Sakichi Toyoda.

Having established a separate battery division in January with about 100 researchers, Toyota said it had made some progress toward creating a full solid-state battery in a compact package, as well as determining the reaction mechanism of lithium-air batteries.

(Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Related Article:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Unilever's trailblazing environmental plan

Unilever's environmental audit and sustainable agriculture plans are a gamechanger for the way that global companies behave, says Jonathon Porritt, Jonathon Porritt, Monday 15 November 2010 09.37 GMT

Unilever has announced that 100% of its agricultural raw materials will be
'sustainably sourced' by 2020. Photograph: Newscast/Ally Carmichael

For the last two years, Unilever has been carrying out a comprehensive 'audit' of the impact on the environment from the use of its products, in terms of water, waste and emissions of greenhouse gases. It already had all the data relating to the manufacture, processing and transport of its products, and has been making good progress in reducing all those direct impacts over the last 10 years or more. But those direct impacts turned out to be relatively insignificant when compared with what happens when customers actually use these products.

Having amassed the data, category by category, brand by brand, the Executive Team then set targets for reducing those impacts, unleashing an unprecedented search for innovative solutions across the entire company. Some of those innovations will require reformulating the product itself, or completely redesigning the packaging. Some will require a very different engagement with the customer, with a view to 'co-creating' the environmental benefit by using the product in a different way.

To be honest, I've never seen a process quite like this. The data-gathering has been rigorous (as is always the case in Unilever), and the targets are seriously ambitious. If it's all delivered, then the net impact on the environment in 2020 will be no greater than it is today even though the company is simultaneously setting out to double its revenues during the same time period. Doubling revenues and halving impacts is going to be one hell of a challenge.

RSPO's logo for product packaging
On top of that, Unilever have also announced that 100% of its agricultural raw materials will be 'sustainably sourced' by 2020. Since 1997, Unilever's food brands have been developing a Sustainable Agriculture Code for all its suppliers, covering every aspect of production. It's an extraordinary document, and makes most governments' guidance on 'good agricultural practice' look extremely crude. Its work with the Rainforest Alliance on certifying its main tea brands, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil have been widely acknowledged as groundbreaking. But to put in place systems of certification and self-assurance covering every single ingredient in every single product is a vast undertaking.

It's important to point out that it may be a little premature to get too excited about all this! It is, after all, just a Plan. Success can only be judged in terms of what is delivered, not in terms of what is being promised. There's a long way to go before 2020 – and even if every target is achieved, in every country all around the world, environmentalists will still point out that the use of Unilever's products is still having a huge impact on the natural world.

The lion's share of that growth will be in developing and emerging countries where there are still billions of people for whom the benefits of good food, balanced diets, hygiene and sanitation are still not available. Some of Unilever's growth will be achieved in meeting those basic needs, and some in terms of more aspirational consumer products that will be more problematic environmentally. But who is to say that the average citizen in India has less of a right to enjoy a Magnum ice cream than the average UK citizen?

Finally, for me personally, one of the greatest strengths of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, is the holistic vision that lies behind it – combining all the environmental metrics with nutrition and hygiene targets, community investment and educational projects, employee engagement and so on.

In this a game-changer for Unilever? Absolutely. Is it the best Plan out there for big global companies? I believe it is.

• Jonathon Porritt is Founder Director of Forum for the Future

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. Become a GSB member to get more stories like this direct to your inbox

Related Article:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Huge gamma-ray bubbles found extending from Milky Way

Los Angeles Times, By Thomas H. Maugh II, November 10, 2010

The unexpected discovery suggests a colossal event in our galaxy's past, releasing energy equivalent to 100,000 exploding stars. But scientists don't yet know what that event might have been.

This NASA illustration depicts the twin bubbles of high-energy gamma rays protruding from the Milky Way, which are believed to be nearly as big as the galaxy itself. (NASA / November 9, 2010)

Startled astronomers said Tuesday they had discovered two massive bubbles of gamma-ray energy extending 25,000 light-years above and below the plane of the Milky Way galaxy like a squat hourglass.

"They're big, they're sharp-edged and they contain a lot of energy," astrophysicist Douglas Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., said in a news conference. Finkbeiner led a team that used data from NASA's 2-year-old orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to discover the bubbles hiding behind a fog of gamma rays.

That fog occurs when particles moving at or near the speed of light interact with interstellar gas.

"My first response when I saw these figures was, 'Wow!' " astronomer David Spergel of Princeton University said at the news conference. Spergel, who was not involved in the research, added that "we think we know a lot about our own galaxy," and yet the bubbles, which are almost as big as the galaxy itself, were totally unexpected.

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Researchers do not yet know what produced the bubbles, but the fact that they appear to have relatively sharp edges suggests that they were produced in a single event. Finkbeiner said that would have required the rapid release of energy equivalent to about 100,000 supernovae, or exploding stars.

One possibility is that there was a burst of star formation in the center of the galaxy producing massive, short-lived stars that exploded and ejected a great deal of gas and dust over a few million years.

Another possibility is that the black hole at the center of the galaxy — which has a mass about 4 million times that of the sun — shot out a stream of particles over a much shorter time scale, perhaps 10,000 to 100,000 years.

Though there is no evidence that the black hole has such a jet today, it may have had one in the past. Similar jets have been observed in other galaxies. Starbursts have also been seen driving enormous gas outflows in other galaxies.

"Whatever the energy source behind these huge bubbles may be, it is connected to many deep questions in astrophysics," Spergel said.

The report will be published Wednesday in the Astrophysical Journal.

Artist's concept of Milky Way. This NASA handout image shows an artist's concept of the Milky Way. Two huge, unexplained gamma ray emitting bubbles have been discovered at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, US astronomers said Tuesday. (AFP/NASA/File)

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Energy Update: Intensifying the Shift to Crystalline

a message from Meredith Murphy

I then went to channel and gather more understanding. I asked: What is this structure of enormous gamma ray emitting lobes, that the NASA's Fermi Telescope Finds reveals are in our Galaxy? What is the relevance or meaning of this for me and others exploring the expansion of consciousness? Here is what I received from Archangel Michael and Naeshira:

"Enormous waves of high frequency light enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Interacting with lower vibrating waves to form higher frequency gamma rays. Gamma rays are typically thought of as destructive to living cells; however gamma rays with their high frequency/short wavelength are unusually compatible with crystal, (as opposed to carbon structures). Thus, they are highly effective at bringing high-frequency energies into your experience in a new way.

Radiation from gamma rays in your atmosphere is increasing in a parallel movement as your cells becoming increasingly converted from carbon to crystalline in structure. This allows for vast quantities of high-frequency energy to permeate and elevate the overall collective energy field of Earth plane." (Read whole article)

Things You Don't Expect – Gamma Energy

There is another thing that is related that is yet to be understood by science. There are other sets of instructions to Gaia, which come from a place you don't expect. There's a lot of energy hitting the earth, a tremendous amount in the form of gamma energy. Science wonders where it's coming from, but it remains elusive. They realize that it's cosmic and coming from space. The truth is that it's coming from the center of the galaxy, but it appears to be coming from everywhere. That's because the main attribute of this kind of energy is that it is not 3D. Therefore, it has quantum [multidimensional] attributes that do not carry a "location" or place of origin with it. This is difficult to explain, but things in a true quantum state are everywhere, entangled in a universal soup of being "one" with everything. Therefore, you can't say "it comes from there." There is precedent in science for this, so it is not all that strange to a physicist reading this. Read more ..... (THE RELATIONSHIP TO GAIA - April 2010 (Kryon Channeling))

“Let me give you another hint about the mechanics of your Universe. We've talked about gamma-ray activity for almost a decade. We told you to "look for intense gamma-ray activity." We told you that when you see it, you'll know that there's creation going on - something special happening. Now we identify this as dimensional shift. It's always accompanied by powerful gamma rays, specifically of extreme high intensity. This is an attribute of dimensional shift, and also tells you that something is happening. You see this at the edge of your galaxy, and you know that something is changing there. It's a "mini-big bang," if you want to use your own terms. It's part of a constantly changing Universe, one that's moving in a push/pull fashion.”