( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Happy Valentine’s Day all!!!
Here we go…
“It was the islanders who first raised concerns about the decline in fish and other marine life in the bay. Arran was once renowned for its fishing, with hundreds of sea anglers flocking to the island for its annual fish festival. That was decades ago when cod, haddock, hake, dab, plaice and turbot were plentiful in the waters of the Firth of Clyde.
Today the Clyde fishing fleet is a fraction of its original size, and the white fish have gone, leaving only prawns, langoustines and a dwindling stock of scallops. Islanders said the bed of the bay had been left barren after being dragged clean by dredgers – a claim refuted by the fishermen.”
This concern led to a unique collaboration between all stakeholders, eventually resulting in the proposals for significant no-take zones to allow fish stocks to recover. Such zones have been set up before in the UK – a pilot project in 2003 around Lundy Island reported significant recovery in marine life after just 18 months. This is, however, the first time such an effort has been brought about through grassroots collaboration, rather than top-down planning. The result is a significant area of marine habitat that will be left undisturbed by fishing, with an even larger area set aside for strict management:
Nokia has unveiled ReMade, a revolutionary mobile phone made of 100% recycled materials.
The idea behind the “remade”? concept was to see if it was possible to create a device made from nothing new. It has been designed using recycled materials that avoid the need for natural resources, reduce landfill, and allow for more energy efficient production.
In a remarkable step into the worlds of high finance and climate politics, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in Chicago last week to encourage U.S. business leaders to help reshape the world’s economic future by investing in low-carbon markets.
In a February 7 speech to the Economic Club of Chicago, Secretary-General Ban asked his audience to enter an “age of green economics,”? with the United Nations as a partner.
On a perfect New Mexico winter day – with the sky almost 10 percent brighter than usual – Sandia National Laboratories and Stirling Energy Systems (SES) set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate. The old 1984 record of 29.4 percent was toppled Jan. 31 on SES’s “Serial #3” solar dish Stirling system at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility.
Osborn says that SES is working to commercialize the record-performing system and has signed power purchase agreements with two major Southern California utilities (Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric) for up to 1,750 megawatts (MW) of power, representing the world’s two largest solar power contracts. Collectively, these contracts require up to 70,000 solar dish engine units.
– A mature La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific continued to influence the climate of eastern Australia and was forecast to remain until at least the end of the southern autumn, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on Wednesday.
La Nina weather patterns, the opposite of El Ninos, are associated with wet weather in eastern Australia and Southeast Asia.
After being hit by its worst drought in 100 years, eastern Australia has been abnormally wet this year.
As a service to the long-term sustainability of both fish stocks and fishing communities, WWF has established an online resource providing up-to-date information on bycatch (the capture of non-target creatures in fishing gear) and how to reduce it.
The new website, accessed through WWF’s familiar www.panda.org portal, aims to take fishers, consumers and those simply concerned, through the whole bycatch story, from problems to proven or potential solutions.
Not good news but hysterical since this is the car that is supposed to really help Chevy break into the hybrid/fuel efficient market hehe. As usual, American car manufacturers keep adding bells and whistles and price their cars right out of the market for most people.
The GM Volt plug-in hybrid was supposed to hit showrooms in 2010 for $30,000. Well, apparently it’s not that easy to redesign wipers, stereos and other electrical accessories so they drain as little juice as possible from the battery. GM has announced that the first generation Volt will be “closer to $35,000”. The good news is that the late 2010 deadline hasn’t been officially pushed back, though GM says that if it can’t make it, the car might be delayed until the Spring of 2011.
Meanwhile Toyota is going for smaller, more fuel efficient and affordable.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota will unveil the production design of its all-new small car – Toyota iQ. First shown as the Concept Car iQ at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, iQ will go into production during late 2008.
iQ represents a break-through in compact urban transportation. For a first, up to three passengers can be comfortably seated in a compact urban vehicle at sub three metres in length, and additionally have enough area to accommodate a child or luggage.
The spaciousness of iQ is a result of its ingenious packaging, which was created by six space-saving but inter-linked engineering innovations that represent a revolution in Toyota’s automotive vehicle development. Infused with Japanese design elements, iQ is a radical change in vehicle design as well as environmentally friendly transportation, and away from the belief that small cars are basic and less safe.
Not sure when this will come to the US though.
Owners of gas-guzzling cars will have to pay 25 pounds ($50) a day to drive them in central London from October in a push to cut carbon emissions, mayor Ken Livingstone said on Tuesday.
Livingstone admitted it would have little immediate impact on emissions but said the lifestyle signal and other moves such as recycling initiatives and new building rules would help cut London’s carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2025.
Livingstone said the new scheme would raise 30 million to 50 million pounds ($60 million to $100 million) a year and cover most of the cost of a major cycling initiative he unveiled on Monday that will include a Paris-style roadside bicycle hire scheme in the city centre.
Can you imagine how much money we would raise if we did something similar here!!??!!! This tax is only for driving in the city. If we did this all of our cities would raise enough money to install light rail for sure.
The first vegan strip club in the world, y’all. It’s mind-boggling how no one’s thought of this concept before-we know that whenever we go get a lap dance, we instinctively get peckish for some pan-fried tofu.
Sexy carnivores are welcome to audition, but most of Casa Diablo’s strippers are vegans or vegetarians, according to owner Johnny Diablo, a 44-year-old former Los Angeleno and a self-described “ethical vegan” of 23 years.
There is a video at the link so you see the interview. It is no meat and no dairy menu.
California is recognized worldwide for protecting its Pacific Coast from development and pollution. As for ocean wildlife – the fish, plants, mussels and mammals – well, we’ve been pretty happy eating right through them along with the rest of the world.
But now California is turning that tide by creating a series of new “marine protected areas,” or watery wildernesses where fish can escape the hook and net. By giving fish room to grow bigger and more prolific, the hope is that all wildlife in the sea will benefit, and so will the people who eat them.
At meetings in Pacifica today and Thursday, state officials get a first look at plans for “marine protected areas” along 360 miles of the Pacific Coast between Santa Cruz and Mendocino.
It is the second phase of a multiyear effort to eventually cover the entire coast with zones where fishing is banned or restricted. In the first phase, 29 preserves were created in 2007 between Santa Cruz and Lompoc.
The process began with the Marine Life Protection Act in 1999, which recognized that fish need protected ocean just as deer and bear need protected forest.
The research team, led by NCAR scientist Joan Kleypas, looked at the Western Pacific Warm Pool, a region northeast of Australia where naturally warm sea-surface temperatures have risen little in recent decades. As a result, the reefs in that region appear to have suffered relatively few episodes of coral bleaching, a phenomenon that has damaged reefs in other areas where temperature increases have been more pronounced.
The study* lends support to a much-debated theory that a natural ocean thermostat prevents sea-surface temperatures from exceeding about 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius) in open oceans. If so, this thermostat would protect reefs that have evolved in naturally warm waters that will not warm much further, as opposed to reefs that live in slightly cooler waters that face more significant warming.
“Global warming is damaging many corals, but it appears to be bypassing certain reefs that support some of the greatest diversity of life on the planet,” Kleypas says. “In essence, reefs that are already in hot water may be more protected from warming than reefs that are not. This is some rare hopeful news for these important ecosystems.”
Eugene, Oregon, has much to celebrate in its first year of operating the new Emerald Express (EmX) bus rapid transit, or BRT, system. On January 14, the city received a 2008 Sustainable Transport Award “Honorable Mention,”? along with Guatemala City and Pereira, Colombia, while the two finalists were London and Paris. Eugene was the only U. S. city selected for the annual award, sponsored by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
This BRT corridor, the EmX Green Line, runs a four-mile stretch between Eugene and Springfield. Its fleet of 63-foot hybrid-electric buses operates in exclusive bus lanes for about 60 percent of the route, servicing passengers every 10 minutes.
Poor countries will soon receive billions of dollars from a new World Bank fund to help them cut pollution, save energy and fight global warming, the international organization said.
Developing countries such as India and China are already trying to reduce their carbon emissions, mainly to save on energy, but have baulked at doing more without technological help from Europe, Japan and the United States.
Most carbon dioxide heating the planet now is a result of western industrialization, and developing countries want financial help to cut their own growing emissions.
“The fund will support publicly and privately financed projects that deploy technologies that can cut emissions, increase efficiency and save energy…(in) developing countries,” the U.S., British and Japanese finance ministers said in the Financial Times on Friday.
The World Bank clean technology fund would receive some of the $2 billion in climate funds U.S. President George W. Bush announced last month, and part of the 800 million pounds ($1.56 billion) Britain pledged to “environmental transformation” last year, Henry Paulson, Alistair Darling and Fukushiro Nukaga said.
Japan last month announced a $10 billion package to support developing countries’ fight against climate change but the finance ministers’ letter did not detail how much of this would be channeled through the World Bank.
Well that’s it for now!!