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)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

'Greenwashing' Jakarta -- it's just not enough

Anissa S. Febrina, The Jakarta Post, Singapore

The cities of Jakarta and Surabaya recently signed the Urban Environmental Accord -- an building and construction-related agreement which has already seen Surabaya win an ASEAN energy award for its environmentally friendly Wonokoyo building.

But experts agree Jakarta has a long way to go before it can claim all new buildings under construction in the city would comply with international standards for energy conservation or waste reduction.

"We have only recently implemented a requirement for building rooftops to have some sort of greenery," Jakarta urban architecture advisory board member Moh. Danisworo said.

"But, that is not the real concept of a sustainable building."

The award-winning Wonokoyo building in Surabaya is designed to annually consume 88 kilowatts per hour (kWh) per square meter (sq m) -- which is at a far lower rate than the Asean standard of 200 kWh/sq m/year.

Experts agree the environmentally friendly movement is often used by developers and builders as a marketing gimmick -- or something called "greenwashing".

"You cannot claim to have a green building if the only effort you make is to plant trees or use water-saving toilets," New Zealand architect Craig Price said.

"That is what's called greenwashing."

While Jakarta's office buildings and high-rises may be adorned with lush green plants and sometimes even draped in green attire, the city is yet to include environmentally friendly features into its building codes, leaving it well behind developed countries globally.

But Jakarta does have plans to green-rate its buildings, said a team member with the Urban Environmental Accord adoption, Andono Warih.

"Technical details for green rating will soon be included in Jakarta's currently revised building code ordinance," Andono said.

And Danisworo said new requirements would include an increased green space ratio and limited basement coverage for buildings occupying flood-prone areas.

Flood is an issue Jakarta needs to tackle immediately, but "going green" goes much further than that, he said.

Research by the US Department of Energy showed commercial and residential buildings consume close to 40 percent of total energy consumption.

They use 70 percent of electricity, 40 percent of raw materials, 12 percent of fresh water supplies and account for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, buildings generate 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste.

World Green Building Council said green buildings were potentially the most cost effective buildings and were a relatively quick way of reducing CO2 emissions.

For Jakarta, two of the most important enviro-targets included reducing the city's CO2 emissions and decreasing residential and commercial water wastage, experts said.

Because the city is a tropical metropolis where average temperatures range between 23 and 37 degrees Celsius, it's a well-known fact that office building managers are continually asked to ensure tenants are comfortable enough to work.

Experts agree that instead of making sure the structure itself enables a healthier microclimate, facility managements tend to rely on air-conditioning, which leads to massive energy consumption -- unless supported by eco-friendly architecture.

The total cost of air-conditioning could reach up to 60 percent of total electricity costs.

According to a research by the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), only one in seven buildings in the city embraced thermal comfort with low energy consumption.

"It is costly to maintain conventional non-environmentally friendly buildings -- but cost is also our main concern in constructing eco-friendly buildings," Danisworo said.

"The level of awareness is just not there yet."

Indonesian Real Estate Association (REI) chairman Lukman Purnomosidi said it depends what perspective you use when it comes to weighing up the expenses associated with eco-friendly buildings.

According to Autodesk vice president Phillip Bernstein, a green building costs between 10 percent and 15 percent more during the design stage compared to conventional buildings.

They also cost between five and 10 percent more during the construction stage, Bernstein said.

"Some of the best green buildings reduce energy consumption by up to 50 percent and water usage by up to 80 percent."

And Price said some buildings that fall under the category of cost premium buildings had their investment paid back in five to seven years."

For developers looking for a quick yield -- long term investment in enviro-friendly designs, materials or technology is not a priority.

Indonesian Society of Civil and Structural Engineers chairman Davy Sukamta said developers were mostly concerned about the upfront investment required.

"Current efforts are limited to choosing energy-saving air conditioning, integrated lighting and limited intelligent building systems," Davy said.

"Supposedly, we could also take into account building materials used and the energy consumed in manufacturing and transporting them to building site," he said.

But Davy said this was not likely to occur with out some much-needed support from Jakartans and their administration.

Because the building and construction industry is predominantly led by the private sector, Bernstein said Jakarta's effort to go green "must come from the bottom up".

Possible features for green buildings:

* Optimized use of daylight and controlled solar access
* Photocell external lighting controls
* Air purging system
* Variable outdoor air flow rates
* Non occupied AC set back modes
* Water saving fittings
* Environmentally preferable materials selection
* Pneumatic waste conveyance system
* Rainwater harvesting and recycling

Source: Singapore's Building and Construction Authority-Autodesk Sustainable Building Seminar

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