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, July 27, 2018

Tennet invests heavily to add green energy to grid

DutchNews, July 26, 2018


Tennet, owner of the Dutch national grid and another covering large parts of Germany, spent €904m in the first half of 2018 upgrading its infrastructure as part of the energy transition, the Financieele Dagblad said on Thursday. 

The power grid operator said the expenditure was the first part of a 10-year, €30bn investment in cables and other infrastructure as well as software and hardware to smooth the transition away from gas and towards green energy.  

Tennet, which is owned by the Dutch government, said total revenues were unchanged at €2bn while gross operating profit fell to €699 (796)m as regulations were adjusted in the Netherlands. Tennet provides no net earnings figures. 

Unlike fossil fuels, green energy – wind and solar – generate variable amounts of power. ‘This presents us with a new situation as end-users cannot handle variable electricity generated by weather dependent sources,’ said Mel Kroon, outgoing head of Tennet. 

‘This involves not only developing new infrastructure to connect the offshore wind farms with the land-based grid, but also in designing new software and hardware to operate it,’ Kroon said.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Amsterdam introduces ‘bread bins’ as weapon against plague of rats

DutchNews, July 16, 2018


Some 20 special waste bins are to be placed across parts of Amsterdam in an effort to stop people feeding stale bread to birds – and inadvertently boosting the number of rats. 

The bins will be placed outside primary schools, mosques and neighbourhood centres, the Parool reported on Monday. The bread and other food left in the bins will be used to produce biogas, the paper said. 

In April, the Amsterdam district of New West and Zuidoost introduced a ban on feeding stale bread to birds in some parts of the boroughs, with fines of €70 for doing so. 

City officials have also produced information leaflets and a video to explain the importance of not leaving old bread on the streets. In addition ‘changes’ are being made to green spaces – although the Parool does not say what this will involve. 

The Hague, Haarlem and Utrecht earlier introduced the special bread bins to stop food waste. 

Over 2,500 reports of rats were made to Amsterdam health department officials in 2016, the most recent year figures have been available. That was a rise of 27% on 2015.

‘It’s very attractive for rats to live on food provided by humans. A major reason for the problems with rats is the overabundance of food in public spaces,’ a spokesman said last year.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Starbucks to phase out plastic straws by 2020

Yahoo - AFP, July 9, 2018

Starbucks has announced that it plans on phasing out all plastic straws from
its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020 (AFP Photo/JOE RAEDLE)

Washington (AFP) - Global coffee giant Starbucks announced Monday it is to eliminate all plastic straws from its 28,000 stores by 2020, becoming the latest corporate giant to take steps to combat pollution from disposable plastic.

After months of tests, many of them carried out in Britain, the firm announced the news on Twitter.

The plastic straws will be replaced by recyclable lids that have a small raised opening allowing consumers to sip their drink, a model that has already been road tested on some of the company's cold beverages in the US and Canada.

Plastic straws have proven difficult to recycle, not because of the material they are made from but because they are too slim for recycling production lines to effectively sort through. The new lids, made of polypropylene, will be big enough for machines to recycle, Starbucks said.

"Starbucks is finally drawing a line in the sand and creating a mold for other large brands to follow," said Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing. "We are raising the water line for what's acceptable and inspiring our peers to follow suit."

The store will automatically offer cold drinks with the new sipping lid, but for "frappuccinos," a coffee mixed with ice, the store will offer paper straws or ones made of a compostable plastic based on fermented plant starch. Customers who prefer a straw with their drink can ask for one.

By not automatically offering straws with drinks, Starbucks estimates it will save a billion straws a year.

Numerous advocacy groups, including Ocean Conservancy, welcomed the move. Several European countries and cities in the United States are mulling restrictions on the use of plastic straws, although outright bans are still rare. In the US, Seattle -- hometown of Starbucks -- is the only major city to have so far banned the use of plastic straws in its eateries.

Pressure from consumers is driving many companies to tackle waste from packaging. McDonald's is road testing the use of biodegradable straws for its drinks.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Plastic is light, versatile and here to stay -- for now

Yahoo – AFP, Etienne BALMER, Marie HEUCLIN, July 8, 2018

A huge array of goods and packaging we use in our everyday lives is made
of plastic (AFP Photo/JEAN-MICHEL ANDRE)

But the resilient, supple, light and malleable materials play a key role in our lives and, according to experts, will remain crucial for a long time to come.

Here are a few things to know about the world of plastic.

How it's made

The classic production process involves the distillation and refining of fuel or natural gas, breaking down hydrocarbons.

Various raw materials make up the building blocks of the resulting plastic. Monomers build more complex molecules called polymers -- the scientific name for plastics.

There are two families of polymers.

Thermoplastics, accounting for some 80 percent of global plastics consumption, melt when they are heated and then harden when cooled.

Then there are thermosets, which do not soften after moulding.

How it's used

Five polymers account for the majority -- 71 percent -- of global plastics consumption.

Plastic plays a huge role in our lives (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

First, there is polyethylene, found above all in single-use packaging, then polypropylene, used in car bumpers, dashboards and drinking straws.

Next up is polystyrene, used for packaging, insulation panels and yoghurt pots.

There is also polyvinyl chloride -- better known as PVC -- used in windows and drains -- and then polyethylene terephthalate (PET), commonly used for synthetic fibres or bottles.

Lighter is better

There is much innovation in conventional plastics, with new properties being added to maximise performance.

Lighter is better, and slimming the volume of plastic is a constant challenge, not least to reduce the amount of plastic clogging the oceans and to wage war on waste.

But lighter plastic also means lighter finished products, including in transport.

"The need for (greater) lightness in auto transport is a massive innovation factor," Christophe Cabarry, founder and president of SpecialChem, an online platform connecting sellers and buyers of chemicals and materials, told AFP.

A few grams a year are being shaved down, even on products as mundane as plastic bottles.

Despite the war on plastic bags, they are still a huge problem for the 
environment (AFP Photo/Munir UZ ZAMAN)

What about the environment?

The wait is on for the breakthrough of bioplastics -- plastics made using biodegradable materials or natural recyclable materials.

"There is much innovation in the sector," says Cabarry.

But of the 2.05 million tonnes of bioplastics produced worldwide last year less than half was actually biodegradable, according to European Bioplastics, an industry association.

The association put their market penetration at barely 0.75 percent in 2017, owing to bioplastic's much higher costs.

But we recycle, right?

Europe managed to re-use around 31 percent of 26 million tonnes of plastics waste in 2016.

"Europe has initiated a transition from a linear towards a circular and resource efficient society", says the PlasticsEurope association of manufacturers.

But the rate in the United States is much lower, at 10 percent, and across the world, only 9 percent of the nine billion tonnes of plastic produced to date has been recycled, a recent UN report said.

Some 12 million tonnes per year, mostly in the form of single-use packaging, are dumped into the world's oceans, creating an ecological nightmare, according to Greenpeace.