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)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Why does the haze come back every year?


The country emits 6.5 times as much CO2 from degraded peatland as it does by burning fossil fuels every year, the report said.

Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Last year the annual haze in Sumatra and Kalimantan caused respiratory diseases, a month-long school holiday and an airplane accident. The haze is a continuing smoky gift that has spread itself across parts of Indonesia and neighboring countries for more than two decades.

It's led to huge economic losses for the region and been blamed on both negligence and dry weather. Malaysia, Singapore and to a certain extent Thailand and Brunei Darussalam are all regularly affected by it.

Certainly one significant contributor to the problem is the clearing of land for palm oil plantations.

The government offers low-interest loans to plantation companies, in the hope that 1.5 million hectares of new plantations can be added to the country over the next five years. The availability of peatland is attractive for those wanting to clear land for palm oil.

Palm oil can be processed into alternative energy source biofuel, although currently technology only allows it to be used in small amounts mixed with conventional fuel.

Many producers of palm oil, the price of which increased by 35 percent between January and November 2006 after fuel prices rose, have blamed the haze on local villagers, pointing to their traditions of burning land to clear it, combined with the hot weather.

Peatland fires are harder to extinguish than forest blazes. And occasional rainfall does little to diminish to smog.

A study by the Netherlands-based Wetlands International and Delft Hydraulics revealed earlier this year that during the last few decades, emissions from drained or burned peatland in Indonesia have reached 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year.

This shows that Indonesia has contributed to almost a 10th of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

The country emits 6.5 times as much CO2 from degraded peatland as it does by burning fossil fuels every year, the report said.

Aside from the increasing role of palm oil producers, bad planning and ineffective forest management has contributed to the months of fires and smog.

Critics say the expansion of palm oil plantation land has been unnecessary, an easy way out rather than an effort to maximize available land.

Indonesian Forum for The Environment executive director Chalid Muhammad said the government had issued too many forest utilization licenses.

"Fifteen million hectares of land in Indonesia are in dispute for various reasons, so they cannot be utilized. That explains why there are so many forest concessions issued," Chalid said.

The government's plan to empower both civilians and officials to monitor the land has proved difficult -- even the governor in charge of one of the world's greatest tropical forest centers has expressed frustration.

"Many officials only care about the investors and neglect the ecological implications. Issuances of forest permits are rarely accompanied by an environmental impact assessment," said Central Kalimantan governor Teras Narang.

"Palm oil is important as an alternative fuel source. However, diversity in plantations is better for Kalimantan. There should be more rubber plants, meranti, jeruntu, and others," he added.

As for handling the annual smog problem, the government has been reactionary rather than take preventive measures.

Efforts to induce rain through cloud stimulation and "water bombing" have been costly and ineffective, particularly given the large scope of the haze and inadequate facilities.

Walhi says there are 40,000 hotspots, areas that have generated heat across Indonesia for the past five years.

Moreover, Indonesia has limited aircraft suitable for tackling the issue, although though it is aiming to buy more. This year the government used two Hercules aircraft from the Air Force. A larger and much more effective water bomber costs about Rp 400 billion (US$44 million).

Law enforcement in the affected areas is notoriously poor, to the disgust of neighbors Malaysia and Singapore.

Some critics have called for stronger legal instruments, such as a presidential decree to enable the instant revocation of forest permits or lawsuits against the company if the people are found guilty, apart from stricter enforcement.

"The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is also ineffective because the current law cannot revoke a plantation company's permit for land use if it is found guilty," said Chalid.

The Roundtable, grouping palm oil companies, environmentalists and other energy companies, aims to certify companies that adhere to sustainable ecology.

Many of the arrested culprits have been insignificant scapegoats, as the big players easily bribe their way out.

Governor Teras suggested a faster process of examination and gathering of evidence. The current legal process, the governor said, is long, arduous and costly.

Further, monitoring agents such as regents, public figures and kampong heads, had not really become aware of the importance of eradicating the haze, he said.

"Many of the community leaders are authorized to act but lack the will, facilities and funds," Teras said, adding that officials needed a detailed map marking smog-sensitive areas.

Indonesia has not even signed the Transboundary Haze Agreement, which has been ratified by a number of other Southeast Asian countries. This is despite the willingness of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to allocate $50,000 to solving the problem from each country.

It's rather hard for Indonesians affected by the smog, let alone neighbors, to understand legislators' excuses that before signing, other regional environment problems should be handled -- except if locals and the elite of Java's major cities including Jakarta one day find themselves choking in smoke.

The costs incurred by the haze agreement are still seen to be a burden while, for instance, "Malaysia and Singapore have been accommodating and buying our smuggled logs," legislator and former environment minister Sonny Keraf said.

Neighbors are urging us to ratify the treaty to enable rapid deployment of assistance in event of fires.

Others say even if Indonesia doesn't ratify the agreement, ASEAN is reluctant to impose tough sanctions on Indonesia.

But nature can't wait for everyone to sort out priorities. Next year efforts to douse the smog could be even harder because of the forecast of a longer dry season, triggered by the El Ni¤o weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean.

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