Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lighting Revolution Forecast By Top Scientist

ScienceDaily (July 22, 2009) — New developments in a substance which emits brilliant light could lead to a revolution in lighting for the home and office in five years, claims a leading UK materials scientist, Professor Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University.

The source of the huge potential he foresees, gallium nitride (GaN), is already used for some lighting applications such as camera flashes, bicycle lights, mobile phones and interior lighting for buses, trains and planes. More >>>

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

UNITED NATIONS -- July 21, 2009- The chief of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change criticized the Group of Eight summit participants for ignoring the IPCC's scientific findings and the declaration that emerged from the 2007 U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, in which leaders agreed to work toward a new treaty limiting average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

Though simultaneously praising the 2-degree commitment as "clearly a big step forward" in international talks, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri told reporters here yesterday that G-8 leaders failed to heed warnings that global greenhouse gas emissions levels must peak by 2015. Nations must also start to come up with concrete plans for rapidly slashing emissions afterward, Pachauri said. More >>>

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Facing the Future: Speech by HRH The Prince of Wales

The Richard Dimbleby Lecture, titled “Facing the Future” as delivered by HRH The Prince of Wales, St James’s Palace State Apartments, London

London - 8th July 2009 - Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted that you are able to join me here at St. James’s Palace and I am enormously grateful to Jonathan Dimbleby for what was a very well-crafted obituary!

But Ladies and Gentlemen, Richard Dimbleby was, without doubt, one of the world’s finest broadcasters. He combined a flair for language with great human insight to report on some of the most significant moments of the twentieth century – not least when he guided millions of viewers on the day television came of age, with the B.B.C.’s coverage of my mother’s Coronation in 1953. And I remember that day well. I was about the age of four, and I also recall some wonderful lady coming up to me years ago and saying “I remember you so well at your parents wedding, with your little head appearing over the pew.” And I said “I think it was the Coronation”, and she said, “No, no, your parents’ wedding!”

Whenever he turned his powers of observation to those great occasions he always, to my mind, managed to stress that sense of the long-term view which duty and stewardship depend upon.

St. James’s Palace has been at the heart of that process ever since a seventeen year old Prince of Wales ascended the throne to become King Henry the Eighth exactly five hundred years ago this year. It was Henry who commissioned the building of this palace – exhibiting an interest in architecture that may possibly be hereditary! But towards the end of his reign he also showed an interest in sustainability. Perhaps it is not so well known that Henry instigated the very first piece of green legislation in this country. More>>>

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 12, 2009 - Climate “policy as usual” is not working. In the 20 years since serious global discussions on climate change have been underway, atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations and average temperatures have continued to rise.

During the 1990s, the talk was mostly about the need to prevent climate change. Now, adapting to climate change is given equal or greater priority. This shift of focus is an admission of failure.
To save the environment we will need unprecedented action — and a great deal of luck. But the change we need is nowhere in sight. Having participated in U.N. negotiations and countless climate conferences in recent decades, we confess to a dreadful sense of déjà vu as we approach the December 2009 Climate Summit in Copenhagen. More >>>

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009 - VENICE -- Europe will be wrangled for the next six months by a lanky, no-nonsense Swede named Carl Bildt. His country chairs this semester's cascade of European Union summits, procedural debates and other gabfests. As Sweden's foreign minister, it is Bildt's job to make sense of it all -- a task akin to herding not cats but eels.

Well, he asked for it, didn't he? When he was Sweden's prime minister in the 1990s, the conservative politician relentlessly overhauled his country's socialist economic policies and neutralist orientation to push it into the European Union. Now Sweden is stuck picking up the pieces of a deepening European economic crisis, paralyzed national governments and a constitutional stalemate.
But it was Bildt's description of the strategic consequences of climate change that galvanized my attention when he spoke here to the Council for the United States and Italy. The rapid melting of the Arctic ice sheet at the North Pole will bring "revolutionary new transport possibilities between the Atlantic and the Pacific," he told the gathering, expanding that thought for me later in an interview. More >>>