The federally funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory reports that poorly-aimed, unshielded outdoor lights waste 17.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in the U.S. each year. Photo cred: Brand X PicturesEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: Has anyone calculated the energy wasted at night by unnecessary lighting in and around buildings? What can we do to reduce our light footprint? — Bill Rehkamp, via e-mailAmericans do squander a lot of electricity keeping things lit up at night while most of us sleep. This light blocks our view of the night sky and stars, creates glare hazards on roads, messes with our circadian sleep-wake rhythms, interrupts the patterns of nocturnal wildlife, and is by and large annoying. It also takes a financial toll: The federally funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) reports that poorly-aimed, unshielded outdoor lights waste $2 billion (17.4 billion kilowatt-hours) of energy in the U.S. each year.NOAO has monitored outdoor lighting levels across the U.S. and beyond for the past six years through its GLOBE at Night program whereby citizen-scientists track nearby outdoor lighting levels over a two-week period beginning in late March and submit their observations to NOAO electronically. A simple star map provided by NOAO is all that participants need to track their slice of sky. “All it takes is a few minutes for a family to measure their night sky brightness by noting how many stars are missing from an easy-to-find constellation like Leo (in the northern hemisphere) or Crux (in the southern hemisphere),” says GLOBE at Night project director Connie Walker. “This tells us how much light is directed upwards into the sky.”Over the last six annual campaigns, participants from 100-plus countries have contributed almost 70,000 measurements, giving project organizers a detailed picture of light pollution globally. Unfortunately, analysis of the data shows that participants have seen brighter skies and fewer stars over time, meaning that light pollution is a growing problem. The free and publicly-accessible data gathered by the project is not only useful for educational purposes but can also help inform planners and policymakers on decisions about increasing public safety, reducing energy consumption and even identifying parks and green spaces that can serve as “sky oases” where city dwellers can appreciate the night sky from a safe, dark place.According to the McDonald Observatory’s Dark Skies Initiative (DSI), the solution to light pollution is 90 percent education and 10 percent technology. “We can reclaim vast amounts of energy currently wasted inadvertently into the night sky…by using light fixtures that are shielded to reflect light down where it is needed, as well as using the smallest number of lights and lowest wattage bulbs necessary to effectively light an area,” says DSI. Leading by example through the installation of downward-pointing outdoor light fixtures is a great place for home and building owners to start: “Once people see it in action, and understand its implications for cost savings and enhanced visibility, they are far more likely to adopt good lighting practices on their own.” Another group committed to reducing light pollution, the International Dark-Sky Association, maintains a list of distributors that sell approved fixtures to prevent light pollution.Some cities have instituted standards to limit outdoor night lighting to protect citizens against unwanted light (or “light trespass”). The International Dark-Sky Association has developed a set of model lighting ordinances that cities and towns can adopt and modify to suit their needs accordingly. Also, the U.S. Green Building Council has incorporated a credit for buildings seeking to reduce the amount of light trespass and sky glow through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.CONTACTS: GLOBE At Night, www.globeatnight.org; Dark Skies Initiative, www.mcdonaldobservatory.org/darkskies; International Dark Sky Association, www.darksky.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
By Erick Foronda/Diálogo June 14, 2019 Bolivia subscribed to the United Nations Firearms Protocol on May 13. About 26,000 weapons are in the hands of civilians around the country, Bolivian Minister of Government Carlos Romero revealed during the signing of a letter of understanding with Thierry Rostan, representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Bolivia, and Simonetta Grassi, head of the Global Firearms Programme (PAF). The document expressed the Bolivian government’s intentions to combat the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of firearms and related parts, components, and ammunition, in compliance with the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. “Bolivia has one of the lowest average indexes in the region,” said Romero during the signing. “These are weapons of different kinds that we’ve registered, ranging from those used for illegal hunting, leisure, and collection to those used for personal defense.” The letter of understanding will now go to the Bolivian Congress to be approved as part of the Bolivian legislation. This procedure has already been entrusted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will follow up with the rest of the legal regularization process. Illicit arms trafficking is a serious threat for security, and aggravates armed conflict, Rostan told the press. “The link between firearms and crime is clearly evident due to high murder rates,” said the UNODC representative. Grassi also said that “it is not a coincidence that the international community has stopped seeing organized crime and illegal firearms possession as isolated crimes; even the United Nations Security Council encourages strategies for control over firearm possession and their diversion to narcotrafficking, terrorist, and other organized crime groups.” Bolivia started the Voluntary Weapons Registry on September 2, 2015, for a period of 180 days in accordance with Act 400 on Weapons, Ammunition, and Explosives Control, passed in 2013. Since 2012, PAF provides technical and legislative counseling, as well as training and research for arms trafficking and related crimes in Latin American countries.
The county has invested quite a lot of money in tourism infrastructure in recent years. A new campsite has been opened within Terme Jezerčica, and a hostel in Desinić. In Krapinske Toplice, the construction of a new hotel has been announced, in Zabok the Gjalski castle is being renovated, and in Stubičke Toplice the rehabilitation and renovation of the hotel Matija Gubec and the cult Slamarica should begin. The opening of new accommodation capacities is in progress with the creation of new tourist facilities and attractions. In Krapinske Toplice, guests can try a helicopter simulation in the Heli Center Toplice, take a walk in the Science Park in Oroslavje or ride quads or fly balloons over Zagorje. The tourist campaign “Fairy tales in the palm of your hand”, as the film is also called, is recording excellent results. Last year, 159.200 arrivals and 349 thousand overnight stays were recorded in Krapina-Zagorje County, which is an increase of over 12 percent in arrivals and 7 percent in overnight stays compared to 2017. Željko Kolar, prefect of Krapina-Zagorje County, pointed out the tourist success of the county. “We have reached a level where we are the best – we are the best destination for continental tourism in Croatia. Now is the right time to subbrand by sector. We will have the main brand – our Fairy Tale in the palm of your hand, and we will branch it into some categories in order to raise the promotion of the destination to another higher level.” Krapina-Zagorje County has released a new promotional film in which they want to present in the best way the most successful tourist destination of continental Croatia as many potential guests as possible. “Our most important markets are Slovenia, Germany, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and Austria. With a new promotional tourist video and all other promotional activities in Zagorje we want to attract couples, families with children and tourists looking for a destination where through history, culture, art, gastronomy, spas and hills they can experience a modern, active vacation in a traditional environment.”, Said Sanja Škrinjar, head of the office Krapina-Zagorje County Tourist Board. In order to highlight all the tourist offers of Zagorje, a promotional film was made under the direction of Jasenka Haleuš and the production company Krijas. “The four-minute film, which has a shorter version, was shot last summer at more than thirty locations – from the most famous such as Veliki Tabor, the Museum of Krapina Neanderthals and Marija Bistrica through untouched nature to newly discovered locations including Bedekovcanska Lakes and the Museum of Oldtimers Presecki. The recording also records sixty-four people, Zagorje people in love with their Zagorje”, Said Haleuš. A very great potential of Zagorje in Europe is the healing thermal waters that favor the development and strengthening of health tourism, one of the fastest growing tourist branches in Croatia. It is this fact that prompted Zagorje’s health and tourism workers to establish the Zagorje cluster, whose common goal is to create a recognizable health and tourism product.
During the closure, the agency will sterilize all public facilities at the gardens.LIPI will also organize a new arrangement for employees to ensure that maintenance at the gardens continues for the next two weeks.“We hope that the botanical gardens will be more comfortable, neat and that all plants will be in good condition once we reopen those gardens,” said Hendrian, the head of the agency’s plant conservation research center. (glh)Topics : The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) has closed four botanical gardens across Indonesia in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.The four botanical gardens — Bogor Botanical Garden and Cibodas Botanical Garden in West Java, Purwodadi Botanical Garden in East Java and Eka Karya Botanical Garden in Bali — were closed on March 19 and will open again on March 30.“LIPI is responsible for maintaining public health and safety amid the disease outbreak, and therefore we have closed those botanical gardens,” said LIPI head Laksana Tri Handoko on Thursday.
Render showing the Queen Street Village development, Southport.No other part of Queensland other than Wide Bay was expected to see such a big jump next year.The region includes Broadbeach-Burleigh, Coolangatta, Gold Coast-North, Gold Coast Hinterland, Mudgeeraba-Tallebudgera, Nerang, Ormeau-Oxenford, Robina, Southport and Surfers Paradise.And developers are continuing to be drawn to the Gold Coast, with the $550 million masterplanned Queen St Village to transform the former hospital site at Southport, the twin tower River Terrace development at Surfers Paradise recently approved, and a host of residential developers have moved in to the outer suburbs of the tourism mecca.Robina Group has two residential projects in the Stadium Village precinct.Robina Group sales manager Azura Griffen said the announcement of the Games had been a catalyst for development around Cbus Stadium.Coomera is another suburb reaping rewards, with a number of developments underway including Foreshore Coomera (Stockland), Bloom Coomera (Pointcorp) and Otto Estate (Tribeca). A large range of home designs are available at Bloom Coomera.Analyst Michael Matusik puts the Gold Coast’s contribution to the southeast Queensland economy at $31.564 billion, after growing 15 per cent over the past five years.That’s just one percentage point below the powerhouse efforts of Brisbane in the same period (16 per cent).“Brisbane and the Gold Coast are the whales and are likely to remain so for some time to come,” he said in his latest Matusik Missive. Robina Group’s Cambridge Residences.It was officially recognised by the State Government as a local authority the following year and officially gazetted as a place name in April 1980.The area spans more than 1858sq km, with the latest Queensland Home Value Forecasts, by Moody’s Analytics and CoreLogic, pointing to continued strong rises. It said Gold Coast house values grew 6.5 per cent last year – the strongest rise across the state.While that’s supposed to moderate somewhat to four per cent this year, it was then predicted to transition to a seven per cent surge in 2019.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago Render showing parklands at Foreshore Coomera Artist impression of the River Terrace twin tower development in Surfers Paradise proposed by Sunnyland Group. Pictures supplied by Gold Coast City Council.All that glitters may really be gold when it comes to the state’s southeast coastline, with analysts predicting that’s where Queensland’s biggest property growth will emerge next year.With the Commonwealth Games shining a spotlight on the Gold Coast – and its already high popularity with both international and interstate investors – analysts believe the region will pull three times the rate of growth of Brisbane.Home to more than half a million people (568,470 estimated), the formerly heavily wooded region was first home to the Yugambeh people – who lived in family clans in river valleys and estuaries.Some place names have survived, including Nerang and Coombabah.It was the booming property market that saw the name “the Gold Coast” become a reality, coming not from the metal but from a post-war real estate boom.“In the late 1940s, Brisbane journalists called the coast, south of Brisbane, ‘the Gold Coast’ … the local council thought that it was a good promotional name and on 23 October, 1958, the South Coast Town Council adopted the name Gold Coast Town Council,” according to the council.
The company reported a 19% lower order intake for the first six months of this year, equaling €2.25 billion ($2.57 billion). The orderbook at the end of the period decreased by 12% to €5.4 billion, while net sales increased by 1% to €2.39 billion. In order to mitigate the impact of the outbreak on its business, the company already announced short-term cost-saving measures in the first quarter of the year, which started to be realized in the second quarter. These predominantly included reduced discretionary spending and worktime reductions. Moving forwards, Eskola believes positioning the company for the eventual market recovery is of equal importance. Eskola added that the highlight of the second quarter was the strong development in cash flow. “The decline in demand was especially strong in the cruise industry, as travel bans and other mitigation measures have kept most passenger vessels idle for the past few months. Customer interest in scrubber investments was another area of weakness, due to the turmoil in global oil markets,” Jaakko Eskola, President and CEO of Wärtsilä said. “Thanks to its unique offering, and with the maritime industry’s increasing interest in utilising data to optimise performance, I am confident that Voyage will eventually play a key role in Wärtsilä reaching its long-term financial targets.” The adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Finnish technology group Wärtsilä and markets in which it operates further increased in the second quarter of the year, shrinking demand across the board. “Marine Power, Marine Systems, and Energy will continue to focus on driving performance by strengthening their lifecycle offerings. Voyage, on the other hand, still needs investments in R&D, sales, and marketing to scale the digital business and to create a basis for sustainable, profitable growth,” he said. Wärtsilä withdrew its market outlook for 2020 on March 31, 2020 pending an improvement in visibility. “I’m pleased to see that our efforts to decrease credit risk by intensifying receivables collection has paid off. Strengthening our liquidity reserves has also been a priority. During the second quarter, we extended and expanded our revolving credit facilities, and initiated arrangements for additional two-year term loans,” he added. Eskola said that despite the difficult back-drop, second-quarter net sales held up reasonably well amid increased equipment deliveries, which offset the volume decline in services. “In the Energy business, customers remained hesitant to commit to new investments. With this is mind, the order to supply a 200 MW flexible baseload power plant to South America showed that progress can be made, even in exceptional circumstances. Service activity was negatively affected in our businesses by the lower utilisation of installations, as well as by virus containment measures.“ Overall, for the full year, the effects of the pandemic on the company’s financial performance are expected to be material. However, Wärtsilä said that it could not yet quantify the full impact on its business as it was still too early.
Tweet Sharing is caring! Share 13 Views no discussions NewsRegional CARICOM heads of state urged to focus more on region’s youth by: – November 23, 2011 Share Share Sir Patrick Allen. Image via: thewestindiannews.comKINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Governor-General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, has encouraged Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of state to place greater focus on enriching the lives of the region’s youth.“I urge you fellow presidents and governors-general to continue to commit our offices and extend our influence to reach our young people. They are the future of the Caribbean. We have to build in them confidence toward the future, an indomitable spirit, and defiance in the face of adversity and challenge,” he said.Allen was speaking at the opening of the 14th annual conference of presidents and governors-general of CARICOM on Monday in New Kingston.He said CARICOM’s heads of state can do more “to advance our societies” and effect positive change in young people, given their ideal position as being “above the political fray and being able to act as mediators and conciliators.”“It is important to take stock of what’s right with us as we contemplate the future. I believe our values and attitudes will determine how we build our future. Our future is dependent on the values and attitudes we manifest and how we are able to inculcate these in our youth,” he argued.The governor-general reminded conference participants that the region comprises “a tough, resolute and defiant people,” that has produced brilliant historians who have documented the heroic struggles of the ancestors, and that “we need to use the history to ground our young people and let them know and appreciate the heritage that they have.”He pointed out that he launched the ‘I Believe Initiative’ because he passionately believes that there is need to build in people, possibility thinking and a can-do spirit.“We need to see ourselves, not as hapless victims and creatures of circumstances, but as a strong, resilient, resourceful, courageous people who are willing and able to take on the world – whatever it brings,” he said.Meanwhile, Allen said that despite the problems faced, he was proud of the region’s achievements, particularly in terms of democracy.“When I think about the challenges which the global community has had with democracy and with what is called democratic collapse; when I reflect on the many countries which have suffered from coups, dictatorships, tyranny and repression, I feel proud of our record as a region,” he said.The governor-general said even though the region has not been perfect, “we have been exemplary and have been a model,” in terms of commitment to democracy and the rule of law.“When we see that even some countries which have had a long democratic tradition have suffered serious reversals, we should pause to celebrate our rich, enviable democratic traditions… (which) are not just enshrined in Constitutions, they are enshrined in the hearts and minds of our people. We have nurtured a democratic culture, democratic ethos, and a democratic spirit,” he said.Governor-general of The Bahamas, Sir Arthur Foulkes, for his part, thanked the Allen and the government of Jamaica for hosting the conference.Pointing out this was his first time participating in the conference, Foulkes assured of his personal commitment to regional unity and the will of the government of The Bahamas to work towards that goal.He expressed the hope that “this conference and every other forum in CARICOM and every point of contact between us, will serve to advance the cause for unity.”Ten heads of state from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica are attending the four-day conference, which is being held under the theme: ‘Building Together for the Future’.The event will allow for the sharing of experiences and developments in the various territories. The programme will include a number of working sessions involving persons drawn from the fields of politics, economics, and academia, among others.The presenters will speak on various topics, such as: ‘Expanding the Role of the Office of the Governor-General’; ‘Initiatives of the Governor-General and their Impact on Nation Building’; ‘The Centrality of CXC to Educational Development and Change in the Region’; ‘Terms and Conditions of Service’; and ‘Matters of Protocol’.By Alecia Smith-EdwardsCaribbean News Now
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Great Lakes aren’t normally a huge part of the nation’s military footprint but there’s a lot at stake for them in the defense spending bill under discussion in Congress.Last week the House voted for the National Defense Authorization Act, and one of the provisions in it relaxes rules that regulate ballast water from tankers, cruise and cargo ships.Josh Mogerman, national media director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says that water is living pollution that is devastating the lakes with invasive species.“We have more invasive mussels in the Great Lakes now than there are fish in all the seas of the world so this is a huge problem,” says Mogerman. “And the concern now is that this bill opens the door to new invasive species coming in and making something that’s already a mess much, much worse.”The cruise and shipping industries have said the increased regulation on ballast water is unnecessary.The White House is supporting some of the provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act but strongly objects to other parts of it, including the weakening of laws regarding the dumping of ballast water, saying it undermines the Endangered Species Act.The Senate is expected to vote on it this week.Mogerman says zebra and quagga mussels now coat the bottom of portions of Lake Michigan and have filtered the waters enough to allow unprecedented algae growth.“The bottom of the lake used to be a rocky, barren sort of a place,” says Mogerman. “And now it is entirely covered with quagga mussels and algae that are the result of changes to the very ecosystem that have fundamentally changed what the lakes are and how they operate.”Mogerman says the economies of cities in the region rely on the lakes for water, jobs, tourism and quality of life and have a lot at stake in this discussion.He’s urging everyone to contact their local representatives this week.
This year, DNR staff members are also contributing to the fund through the State Employees Community Campaign.“We appreciate the generosity of those who contribute to Indiana’s youth,” Kress said. “We hope to see this program grow so we can educate more students across the state about our natural and cultural legacy.” To donate click here.Indiana has 24 state parks and eight reservoirs eligible for field trip funding. Field trips to state parks engage students in learning about Indiana’s fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats and conservation.The receiving schools and grant information are:—Bluffton Harrison Elementary School, Bluffton, grade 1, visiting Ouabache State Park, $225.—Bradie M. Shrum Elementary School, Salem, grade 5, visiting Spring Mill State Park, $225.—Carlin Park Elementary, Angola, kindergarten, visiting Pokagon State Park, $75.—Eastside Jr/Sr High School, Butler, grades 7 & 8, visiting Pokagon State Park, $220.—Edgar Miller School, Merrillville, grade 1, visiting Indiana Dunes State Park, $225.—Highland Park Elementary, Bloomington, grade 1, visiting McCormick’s Creek State Park, $225.—Lancaster Central Elementary, Bluffton, kindergarten, visiting Ouabache State Park, $225.—Lebanon High School, Lebanon, special needs 9-12, visiting McCormick’s Creek State Park $225.—Liberty Elementary, Liberty, grade 3, visiting Whitewater Memorial State Park, $225.—Metro North Elementary, Wabash, kindergarten, visiting Salamonie Lake, $155.—North Elementary, Washington, grade 4, visiting Lincoln State Park, $225.—Northridge Middle School, Crawfordsville, grade 6, Turkey Run State Park, $225.—Oaklawn Elementary, Monticello, grade 3, visiting Prophetstown State Park, $225—Pleasant View Elementary, Yorktown, grade 2, visiting Mounds State Park, $225.—Riverview Middle School, Huntington, grade 6, visiting Mississinewa Lake, $195.—Rock Creek Community Academy, Sellersburg, kindergarten, Falls of the Ohio State Park, $225.—Rockville Elementary, Rockville, grade 1, visiting Turkey Run or Raccoon SRA, $120.—SENSE Charter School, Indianapolis, grade 7, visiting Fort Harrison State Park, $225.—Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, grade 11, Indiana Dunes State Park, $225.—South Decatur Elementary, Greensburg, grade 4, Versailles State Park, $205.—Southern Wells Elementary, Poneto, grade 6, McCormick’s Creek State Park, $225.—Spencer Elementary, Spencer, grade 5, visiting McCormick’s Creek State Park, $225.—Thomas Miller Elementary, Lafayette, grade 3, Prophetstown State Park, $200.—Westville Elementary, Westville, grade 4, Indiana Dunes State Park, $135. A video of students benefiting from this grant is here.The fund was established in memory of Tom Huck, a long-time DNR employee who was an ardent supporter of outdoor experiences for children in parks, with financial help from the Indiana Master Naturalist Advisory Council, according to Jody Kress, executive director of the INRF. Indianapolis, In. — Students at 24 Indiana schools this academic year will have the chance to learn about the outdoors, thanks in part to a grant program that supports field trips to Indiana State Parks. The Discover the Outdoors Field Trip Grant Program is for public, private, parochial or home-school educators and is administered through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF), the supporting non-profit of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.The grants fund transportation costs, program fees and classroom supplies related to preparation or follow-up for the field trips.An estimated 2,218 K-12 students will benefit from the grant program in 2018-19. The program expects to distribute $4,905 through 24 grants.This is the sixth academic year that the grant program has been in effect. Through the current academic year, the program has distributed more than $30,000 in overall funding and helped more than 10,000 students visit an Indiana State Park property for a guided hike or talk with an interpretive naturalist.
“I got another 90 minutes under my belt and it’s much better than training. You can only get match fitness through games and I’m feeling good.” Liverpool hit the crossbar through Emre Can and Lucas had a late header cleared off the line by Noble, but they were otherwise poor and deservedly left empty-handed. “We deserved to lose,” admitted boss Jurgen Klopp. “We always had the ball, we could have made many more chances but we didn’t. We have to again accept that we didn’t play like we should.” Striker Carroll has scored two goals in two games, including the crucial second in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Liverpool, since returning from his latest injury absence. The 26-year-old has been dogged by fitness problems since moving to Upton Park in 2013, while questions have been raised in the past about his lifestyle and how he looks after himself away from football. Press Association But Bilic now finally has his key forward fit and firing – and wants him to stay that way. “Now he looks fit to me,” said the Croatian boss. “Basically we are talking a lot about him; ‘Andy this, Andy that, Andy for England’, but now he is fit and it is all about him now. “Is he going to look after himself, work hard, train, rest, to maintain his fitness, or to even make it better? And then, and only then, he will become a great asset for us. “It is up to him. But I expect him to stick to what he was like recently. He would be very, very stupid to do otherwise.” Michail Antonio nodded West Ham in front after 10 minutes, and Carroll killed off his former club when he thumped home a header from Mark Noble’s cross 10 minutes after half-time. “That’s two back-to-back wins which is fantastic and two goals for me, which is obviously even better for me personally,” the big frontman told West Ham TV. “It’s nice that the manager was pleased with my performance. I put a shift in and so did all the lads and he’s just delighted with the three points, as is everyone. West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has warned Andy Carroll to keep himself in shape.