Reykjavik was the venue of the 1986 Summit between Messrs. Reagan and Gorbachev where a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was envisioned. Last night we saw in Vienna a film about the interplay at that time and listened to wise words at an ongoing CTBT Organization – Science and Technology Conference – in anticipation of what President Obama will say today in Berlin at the 50 years anniversary of the Kennedy Speach.
It was April 26, 1986 and Gorbachev worried about the Star-Wars or Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) of President Reagan, called for the Summit and was ready for a CTBT agreement provided the US does its further experimentation with SDI technology in its Terrestrial Laboratories and not in Space. President Reagan reacted with his impressions from the treaty on the elimination of chemical weapons after the First World War when it was decided to eliminate nerve-gas (Mustard gas etc.) but all sides continued to keep in stock Gas-Masks – for just in case. So he wanted the SDI as a defense which clearly could not be acceptable by the Russian who said that – what if the US cheats and keeps some bombs – it will be hard then for the Soviets to have a position on their own. All that while both sides agreed that a Nuclear War cannot be won and therefore will never be fought.
Gorbachev said that the smallest bomb in their arsenal has the power to do three times more harm then Chernobyl did, and he had no problem giving to Reagan their complete list of bombs and locations. If you cannot use them anyway why not agree to eliminate them all-together?
Needless to say that the Reykjavik exchanges are still base for the Scientists and Technologists meeting today and trying to prepare documents for the politicians meeting later on. Low and behold – President Obama is back in this 50 years old effort and wants to push the ball forward even if he says that full result might not be obtained in his lifetime.
The CTBTO headquartered in Vienna, under the leadership of Executive Secretary Tibor Toth of Hungary, is having its 2013 Conference June 17-21, 2013 – the Science and Technology Conference – and the chair will then be turned over to co-chairs from Mexico and Indonesia. It is for the long haul.
Hans Blix, former head of IAEA, who was on the program, surprised us by stating that he is today more worried about the environment then about a nuclear war. Now – that is something for us !!! Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO, who will open the SE4All offices on July 1, 2013, was sitting in the first row. I am sure he did not miss theses words as well.
Mr. Pramit Pal Chadhuri, Foreign Editor of Hindustan Times spoke about the Indian subcontinent and other Emerging States including China and Brazil. He said that if the two super-powers would move to accept CTBT so will India and Pakistan and even China. The Pakistani Ambassador to the UN, present in the room seemed to disagree.
The chair/Moderator of the debate was the very capable Patricia Lewis, Research Director of Chatham House, London.
Obama Has Plans to Cut U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, if Russia Reciprocates.
Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By PETER BAKER and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: June 18, 2013
WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to use a speech in Berlin on Wednesday to outline plans for further reductions in the American nuclear arsenal if Russia agrees to pare back its weapons at the same time, administration officials said Tuesday.
Resuming a drive toward disarmament that he had largely shunted aside over the past two years, Mr. Obama will propose trimming the number of strategic warheads that each of the two big nuclear powers still maintains by up to a third, taking them below the 1,550 permitted in the treaty he signed with Russia in his first term, a senior administration official said. That would leave each country with just over 1,000 weapons.
Mr. Obama will also declare that he will work with NATO allies to develop proposals for major cuts in tactical nuclear weapons, which are not covered by the existing treaty. Russia, which has far more tactical nuclear weapons deployed than the United States and Europe do, has firmly resisted such cuts. There are fears that its tactical weapons are in parts of Russia where they risk being seized by terrorist groups.
Mr. Obama will also announce that he will host a final nuclear security summit meeting in the United States just before he leaves office.
The president, who once talked about eventually ridding the world of nuclear weapons, faces enormous obstacles to any further reductions, both in Moscow and in Washington. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has demanded further concessions on missile defense before entertaining deeper nuclear cuts, and Republicans in the Senate have made clear they would resist any treaty that went beyond the New Start pact ratified in 2010. Mr. Obama’s aides have said that they have no appetite for another treaty battle, and that they would try to follow the precedent of the first President George Bush, who arranged reciprocal but not binding cuts with the dying Soviet Union without a treaty.
But the president’s return to the issue of nuclear reductions, however tentative, suggests he wants to invest at least some of his remaining time in office to making enough progress that he can point to it as an important legacy. “It’s a way of signaling what he sees his agenda for the rest of his second term being,” said an administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified in advance of the speech.
Supporters of further disarmament said they hoped Mr. Obama would refocus attention on the goal after rarely mentioning it in recent years, while he was consumed by other issues. “The most important thing he could do is lay out the broad agenda for the next three and a half years,” said John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World, an advocacy group.
In addition to further reductions, Mr. Isaacs said, there are several policy changes Mr. Obama could take that would move the country further away from cold war-style national security. He said the president could take nuclear weapons off high alert and change nuclear doctrine to say that the only purpose of such weapons would be as a deterrent.
But administration officials cautioned against expecting the Berlin speech to be a sequel to Mr. Obama’s 2009 address in Prague laying out his vision for a nuclear-free world. Instead, nuclear reductions will be just one element of a larger, thematic address, officials said, and the president will not get into much detail about specific policy changes.
That is a significant lowering of the bar: For a while, Mr. Obama considered setting out much more ambitious goals in a speech administration officials hoped he would give this month, on the 50th anniversary of a famous speech John F. Kennedy gave at American University. That speech, less than a year after the Cuban missile crisis, created the push for what became the nuclear test ban treaty, signed two months later.
Early in Mr. Obama’s first term, aides described an ambitious agenda that included ratifying the long-stalled Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and negotiating a new treaty that would ban the production of new fissile material, the makings of nuclear fuel. In the Berlin speech, Mr. Obama will repeat his call for the test ban treaty but will set no deadline for submitting it to the Senate, because of administration fears that it would go down to a second defeat.
Pakistan has blocked the opening of negotiations on the fissile material ban, and administration officials say they will put pressure on the new Pakistani government to move on that issue. He will also have to press Pakistan to cease its deployment of a new generation of tactical weapons that officials fear could easily be stolen by terrorists.
Mr. Obama’s early agenda has been frustrated by many setbacks. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests during his tenure. Iran has installed 17,000 centrifuges and now has enough low- and medium-enriched fuel to produce a half dozen weapons, with further enrichment. Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing arsenal. Once Republicans made gains in the Senate, Mr. Obama never submitted the test ban treaty for ratification or negotiated further cuts with Russia.
Perhaps Mr. Obama’s biggest success has been his effort to lock down vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, a task nearly all countries have agreed to, even if he did not accomplish the entire job in the four years he initially envisioned.
The New Start treaty limited both the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 missiles, bombers and submarine launchers, of which 700 could be deployed. As of March 1, Russia — with 1,480 deployed warheads and 492 deployed launchers — had already met two of the three limits and was close to the third. The United States — with 1,654 deployed warheads and 792 deployed launchers — was close but not under the caps.
Mr. Obama appears to recognize that the follow-up treaty he once envisioned with Russia now may be too difficult to push through the Senate. Instead, if Russia agreed to further cuts, the existing verification systems in the old treaty would be used to confirm that both sides were abiding by their new commitments.
But if Mr. Putin rejects this offer, one of Mr. Obama’s aides noted, “it will be very tough slogging for the next three years.”
Transforming the Global Economic Paradigm ASAP.
Rachel’s Network “Green Leaves”
We all know well the challenges facing us. From reversing ecological and economic collapses to meeting the development needs of seven billion (and growing) residents of our planet, we’ve got our work cut out for us.
But what can one person—or one organization—do?
Join me on an adventure to transform the global economic paradigm.
Nations, companies, and NGOs are all seeking a new global agenda. Many of these groups are now coalescing around the United Nations’ work to replace the Millennium Development Goals—the targets set back in 2004 for poverty reduction—that expire in 2015.
I’ve been asked by the King of the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan to help the world shift its development model away from the current approach of increasing the throughput of stuff and money through the economy (as measured by gross national product) to an agenda of increasing human well-being, measured as “gross national happiness.” I’m part of an International Expert Working Group, convened by the King to set forth the intellectual architecture for this new paradigm.
Where do you come in? The Expert Group has created the Alliance for Sustainability and Prosperity, or ASAP for short, to convene the expertise needed to bring genuine prosperity and well-being to everyone on the planet.
ASAP seeks your ideas. The world needs help and its leaders are asking for your answers.
How do we encourage governments, companies, and an economy obsessed with measuring and growing gross national product to shift to maximizing total well-being? For example, a divorcing cancer patient who gets in a car wreck has added to the GNP. Is she any better off? Clearly not. If you stay home to care for your children you add nothing to the GNP, but have contributed significantly of your family’s welfare, and to a healthier society.
Humankind has all of the technologies needed to solve the crises facing us.
Why aren’t we using them? How do we overcome the gridlock of governments, and inspire the best of the private sector to take more of a leadership role?
Explore the ASAP site at www.asap4all.org. The “Articles” section provides pieces written by ASAP members. See, in particular, “Building a Sustainable and Desirable Economy-in-Society-in-Nature,” with lead author Robert Costanza.
The “Public Forum” invites your best thinking. ASAP experts have been working on this for over three decades.
But the state of the world today is a testament to the fact that we can’t do it alone. The radical utopian forecast is that we can sustain business as usual. It’s not going to be like that.
What sort of future do you want to see for the world? How do you think we can achieve it? What is already working that should be replicated more broadly? That has to be fixed? And what’s the purpose of the economy that we’re all a part of? Do we exist to serve it, or can we transform it, instead, to serve us?
If you have a good idea, but no clue how to achieve it, submit it—maybe another of you has the answer you’re seeking.
We believe that it is possible to transform the global economy into one that delivers greater human well-being and happiness, while nestling gracefully into the larger ecosystem that sustains all life. Indeed, doing this is key to ending the global economic crisis. We can’t achieve one without doing the other.
BREAKING NEWS>> Top Human Rights Council official Richard Falk called on the world body to shut down UN Watch Click here for full story >>
UN Watch fought back and a dramatic confrontation resulted with some saying it exposed Falk’s abuses on the floor of the UN council Click here for video>> Supporters worldwide are rallying to support UN Watch, contributing toward an emergency $50,000 campaign to defend the NGO against Falk’s attack.
Richard Falk Wants “Investigation” to Shut Down UN Watch: Richard Falk is the U.N.’s permanent investigator against Israel.
He endorses 9/11 conspiracy theories, supports Hamas, and exonerates Al Qaeda. Days after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, he blamed it on America and Israel, calling it an act of “resistance.”
Because UN Watch successfully exposed his abuses, this got his condemnation by some world leaders (click here to see new video), and Human Watch circulated a draft resolution to fire him – Falk is now calling for a Human Rights Council investigation of UN Watch’s credentials—to effectively shut down the organization. It’s unclear who would head such an inquiry.
In an unprecedented act, Falk’s new report to the Human Rights Council devotes a scathing rant against a non-governmental organization.
Falk lashes out at UN Watch, saying we’ve made his life a living hell – that we’ve completely disrupted his declared plan for a “Legitimacy War against Israel.” In his own words – Falk testifies to UN Watch’s incredible impact: • Falk objects that UN Watch “demeaned” and “defamed” his character, damaged his “credibility,” and destroyed the “effectiveness” of his mandate.
• Falk expresses outrage that UN Watch got world leaders—and even his own boss, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—to denounce him.
• Falk complains that UN Watch “smears” have been “sent to diplomats and United Nations officials, including the Secretary-General, who apparently accepted the allegations at face value, issuing public criticism with no effort to seek my views.”
• Falk laments that UN Watch won’t give him a moment’s rest, and that our “smear campaign” is carried out “in numerous settings,” from the UN to “university venues where the Special Rapporteur gives lectures.”
• Falk’s report concludes that UN Watch has managed to “divert attention” from his “message” and to “shift public interest away” from his campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
As a result, Falk has been lobbying furiously this week to get the dictator-dominated Human Rights Council to “investigate” UN Watch, accusing them of being an Israeli-controlled puppet.
In Falk’s logic, if a group opposes Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas rockets, it’s a legitimate NGO; if a group opposes the obsession of anti-Israel prejudice at the UN — as founders Eleanor Roosevelt and Rene Cassin did — it’s a sham and shill for the Zionist Entity, and not a real NGO.
An extraordinary scene took place yesterday when the Canadian Parliament rose for a standing ovation in support of UN Watch, as Jason Kenny, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced his country’s support for the NGO against Richard Falk’s attack.
PARLIAMENT OF CANADA
Mr. Larry Miller (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, CPC): “Mr. Speaker, Richard Falk has once again disgraced himself. Mr. Falk is once again attacking UN Watch, an NGO led by Canadian Hillel Neuer, and called for it to be investigated. This is McCarthyism in the worse sense of the term. Will the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism inform the House whether the government agrees with Mr. Falk or not?”
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC): “Mr. Speaker, Richard Falk is an embarrassment to the United Nations Human Rights Council. He has praised 9/11 conspiracy theorists repeatedly. He has suggested that the United States provoked terrorist attacks against it. He is now attacking Canadian-led UN Watch. We call on Richard Falk to be fired as a special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is a disgrace to that body and the United Nations.”
China needs a consumption based accounting of CO2 emissions in order to be part of the fight on Climate Change. This was found out in a IIASA study and is seemingly not part of what President Xi and President Obama talked about at their recent Rancho Mirage meeting in California.
Presidents Obama and Xi agreed at RANCHO MIRAGE, California to fight Climate Change by cutting the use of the Ozone Depleting Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – this according to a press release from the White House.
It is not clear to us if The Rancho Mirage Agreement includes steps on reducing CO2 emissions.
In effect we found that big statements on an agreement on Climate Change have just very little to stand on - www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/08…
The following release from IIASA is much more to the point regarding the needs for a US-China agreement on Climate Change then what it seems was obtained ay the Rancho Mirage meeting.
“For China: To cut CO2 – account for outsourcing!”
Free Market Road Show, June 10th in Vienna, Austria
… we continue our discussion on the future of Europe, how to reduce youth unemployment, whether we need more or less regulation and how to get the economy back on track again on Monday, June 10th at the Österreichischer Gewerbeverein, Eschenbachgasse 11, 1010 Vienna.
Discuss these topics with Jose Pinera, former Minister of Labor and Social Security in Chile, Erich Weede University of Bonn, Razeen Sally, Singapore, Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks USA, RIchard Rahn, CATO USA, Hardy Bouillon New DIrection, Brussels, Tom Palmer, Atlas USA, and many other international speakers.
The title of the 2013 Free Market Road Show® is: “To Save or Not to Save: Will austerity programs alone save Europe?” For more information and the agenda of the event, please visit: www.austriancenter.com/
For the meeting at the Palais Eschenbach – please register at: www.austriancenter.com/
Austrian Economics Center
A-1010 Vienna, Jasomirgottstraße 3/11
Schlu?ssel zur Energiewende
Wann: 8. Mai 2013, 9:00 Uhr Wo: Urania, Dachsaal, Wien
Anmeldung Wir bitten um Anmeldung unter www.biomasseverband.at/veranstaltungen/anmeldung
Eintrittsgebu?hren 48,- Euro inkl. Tagungsunterlagen, Mittagessen und Kaffeepausen
Ru?ckfragen +43 1 533 07 97-0, office at biomasseverband.at
Anreise Vom Flughafen Schwechat: Mit dem CAT nach Wien Mitte/Landstraße, dann
Von dort sind es 7 Minuten zu Fuß zur Urania. Alternativ von Wien Mitte/Land- straße mit der Straßenbahnlinie O zwei Stationen (Richtung Praterstern) zur Halte- stelle Hintere Zollamtsstraße und 4 Minuten zu Fuß.
Vom Westbahnhof: Mit der Linie U3 zur Station Stubentor (Richtung Simmering). Mit der Straßenbahnlinie 2 eine Station (Richtung Friedrich-Engels-Platz) bis zum Julius-Raab-Platz. Von dort 4 Minuten zu Fuß zur Urania.
Urania Uraniastrasse 1 1010 Wien
Bahnhof Wien Mitte/Landstraße
Parkgarage Georg Cochplatz
MIT UNTERSTU?TZUNG DES
Kartendaten © 2013 Google
Here what we held back as draft in March 2013 but did not post as we did not want to sound negative – but now after the release of the High-Level post-2015 report we suggest it as an introduction: “When handed an empty folder can one expect the UN General Assembly to produce a plan of action for the Post-2015 Development Agenda?” But Now There Will be two reports and a common goal – “SE4All.”
The Global Development Responsibility that the Austrian Government undertakes has a website – www.globaleverantwortung.at
The guest speaker was Mr. Jens Martens of the Bonn based Global Policy Forum – Europe www.globalpolicy.eu
His topic: “Global Sustainability Goals for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.”
Then he was followed by a panel that included as well:
Mr. Daniel Bacher of the Dreikoenigsaktion (the Three Kings Action Program of the Catholic Young People NGO – DKA),
Ms. Elfriede A. More, Head of the Department for Environment Affairs of the Austrian Life-Ministry,
Mr. Werner Raza, of the Austrian Research Institute for International Development (OEFSA),
and Amb. Maria Rotheiser-Scotti, Director for Multilateral Development Cooperation, The Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs – her position at firstname.lastname@example.org is described as – Matters of multilateral development cooperation at the United Nations (UNDP, UNIDO, UNCTAD, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNV and UNOPS, UNCDF, UNAIDS, UNCHS / HABITAT) and other international organizations, including co-ordination in Austria and development major conferences; ACP; affairs of JPOs and similar assignments with international organizations (in coordination with the Department II.5); developmental aspects of ECOSOC, the UN General Assembly and the international trade, including WTO multilateral development issues such as migration and development; treatment of DC-affairs in the EU .
Mr. Martens explained the Rio 2012 duality with two tracks – the continuation of the unfinished MDG that were about poverty, and the new track of SDGs that is about sustainability, while the reality is that there is no-more the old differentiation North-South. In effect the last years that saw the emerging economies also saw the new division of income disparity that replaces the North-South dividing lines, with lines that are to be found in within every country. There are rights to alternate development, to not fall behind in human rights, and to partake of the fruits of development. Also, it became clear that there are ecological limits to development.
He explained the three visions – MDG plus, the SD Goals to be put on Sustainable Development, and the concept of Universal Sustainability of the post-2015 Agenda.
We post the above with a purpose – a reminder that Austria is joining ECOSOC at the UN General Assembly in 2013.
Today: Iran Became Head of UN Disarmament.
But UN Watch’s campaign has already sparked protest walk-outs by U.S. & Canadian envoys, and letter by 72 Congressmen demanding Iran’s removal
Third Session of the Open Working Group (OWG) of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
22-24 May 2013 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America
The third session of the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place from 22-24 May 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York. The meeting brought together OWG members, other member states, observers, representatives from UN agencies and Major Groups. The meeting was devoted to addressing the thematic issues of: (a) food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought, and (b) water and sanitation. The OWG is co-chaired by Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, and Csaba Körösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary.
Co-Chair Kamau opened the session on Monday morning highlighting that the issues for discussion are fundamental to human survival. He said the new development agenda must carry over and complete the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stressing the need to maintain momentum, engagement and enthusiasm. Over the three days, participants heard keynote addresses, panel presentations and had the opportunity to engage in a dynamic interactive exchange of views on the two issue clusters on the agenda.
After summarizing the session on Friday afternoon, Co-Chair Körösi stressed the need for a common vision going forward aiming for transformational change to address poverty eradication and human development. He noted a positive atmosphere with participants exploring challenges, jointly identifying inter-linkages, and collectively determining and prioritizing issues.
The Summary of this meeting is now available in PDF format
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF OWG-3
OPENING THE BOX
In June 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development called for the UN General Assembly to develop a set of sustainable development goals that are limited in number, aspirational and easy to communicate, address all three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced way, and are coherent with and integrated into the UN’s post-2015 development agenda. Establishing the Open Working Group to elaborate these goals and reaching agreement on its membership and draft programme of work required a serious effort, which left some observers concerned about the group’s ability to fulfill its daunting mandate. Now, as the OWG has shifted its focus to substantive issues, the process resembles a jigsaw puzzle as participants begin the process of turning over the pieces to see what they may hold for a future set of sustainable development goals and where they might best fit.
The third session of the OWG was many participants’ first experience in one of the UN’s newly remodeled conference rooms. The first morning held the air of a “jamboree,” in the words of a bemused Co-Chair Macharia Kamau, with many colleagues having just arrived from their capitals. But soon enough the initial glee gave way to focused effort as the three-day meeting got underway.
Expert panel presentations instigated in-depth attention to the selected themes. Throughout the meeting, however, some participants called for greater interactive exchanges and fewer long, prepared and official statements. Various delegates also called for a Co-Chairs’ summary of the meeting, concerned that an official report would put pressure on governments to develop official positions and ensure that their views were accurately reflected. They emphasized that they did not want the summary to become a negotiated document. At this point in the puzzle, delegates clearly wanted to examine all of the pieces, define the issues and engage in substantive interactive discussions.
EXAMINING THE PIECES
The first cluster of issues—food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, desertification, land degradation and drought—highlighted inter-linkages between these issues. One delegate stressed that inter-linkages imply tradeoffs, noting that while food production can eliminate hunger, if done in a “business as usual” manner that gain could come with severe costs in other areas, such as land quality, water and fisheries management, biodiversity, pollution, and the rights and protections of people involved. Therefore, in order to achieve long-term, cross-sectoral and irreversible progress—which several delegations indicated is the essence of sustainable development—the SDGs must balance the three dimensions of sustainable development. Some delegations specifically emphasized the economic and structural causes of hunger, referring to agricultural subsidies, volatile food prices, and land privatization as needing further attention. Within this context, there was general support for the Rio+20 goal of a land degradation neutral world and the need for sustainable agriculture, but uncertainty remained as how to incorporate this into the SDGs.
With regard to the second cluster of issues, participants reiterated that water is at the core of sustainable development and that sanitation, in particular, represents unfinished business under the MDGs. The session’s expert panel on water and sanitation introduced the concept of “water security,” revealing a delicate issue for several countries. Despite assurances from panelists that they used the term to mean securing access to water and sanitation, concerns persisted that without an internationally agreed definition “water security” could be seen as support for the UN Security Council to include water issues on its agenda, thus making it a security issue rather than a development issue.
Implicit agreement was easier, however, on the need for focused investment and national policies for better access to water and sanitation. Participants seemed aligned around the idea that water and sanitation deserve specific attention in the SDGs.
PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER
A common theme during OWG-3 was the need to address cross-sectoral links in a way that promotes inter-ministerial cooperation at the national level as well as cooperation at the international level. This discussion will likely continue at upcoming OWG meetings. Other issues for continued discussion are the importance of building on the lessons learned from the MDGs, the drawbacks of the “siloed” approach, and continual “re-inventing of the wheel.”
Means of implementation will be a focus in subsequent sessions as well. In his closing remarks on Friday afternoon, Co-Chair Kamau urged delegates not to look at means of implementation in a vacuum or leave it until the December session (OWG-6), where it is a scheduled theme, but to consider it within each set of issues under discussion, and be specific on how to secure it.
As the meeting concluded, several participants were cautiously optimistic that this process had the potential to finally define and operationalize sustainable development. However, others warned that it is still early in the process and success is far from certain. While OWG-3 was a step in the right direction, there are still five more sessions ahead where participants will continue to examine and organize the puzzle pieces before negotiations begin and the SDG puzzle will be pieced together.
This analysis, taken from the summary issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © email@example.com, is written and edited by Faye Leone, Kate Offerdahl and Hugh Wilkins, LL.M. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <email@example.com>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the European Commission (DG-ENV), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and the Government of Australia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2013 is provided by the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – IGES), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <firstname.lastname@example.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022 USA.
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ENERGIEWENDE is a word heard frequently in Vienna – translated it means ENERGY TURNAROUND – but its real meaning depends on who says it. We found that nothing short of Energy Reformation (not Evolution or Revolution) will do.
This report of ours starts with the May 22nd, 2013 meeting of The Vienna Club of Thinkers. The Topic was Energy Turnaround from a thinking person’s point of view. The presenter was Wilhelm Michael Zankl and the audience looked and sounded like a Mensa Club reunion.
The second event was the following day at the Renner Institut (the Governing Austrian Socialist Party Think tank) at their usual meeting-place at Garden-Hotel Altmansdorf (Hotel 2), Oswaldgasse 69, 1120 Vienna – and the topic was “Does the Energy Turnaround create jobs?
What drove our attention to these meetings is the upcoming introduction of the SE4All (Sustainable Energy for All) at the three-day meeting at the Austrian Presidency Halls – the Hofburg – May 28-30 – next week. But let me immediately say that I do not think that there was any direct planning of these meetings because of the conference – at least the people I talked to at above two meetings did not know about the larger event, rather I think that the topic of Energy Policy being picked up these days by the European Commission in Brussels, is the general motivator of these meetings, and the newspapers keep providing motivating articles as well.
In 1990, Zankl wrote “Energy, Anergy, Anarchy” with the latest edition of 1995 – the content of his logic has not really changed since. He cooperated with Hermann Scherr and Jeremy Rifkin and the system is clear. The road in front of us is clearly depicted:
You see a car nearing a decision point:
- No Oil – this is the end of the way
- No Nuclear – with a two kilometer slippery slope, at 3km you get storm and lightning and a sign of turn around
- Water, Sun and Wind – clear choice.
What is energy? It means “Inside – Somewhere” from two Greek words – then you divide it – you can use it.
Fast run down takes us to Archimedes, Leibnitz, Carnot (First law of Thermodynamics, Rudolph Clausius (Second Law of Thermodynamics).
Energy is Power, mass, and Work as energy per time and power per distance.
Anergy is what escapes to the environment. Entropy tells us we cannot bring it back – it pollutes the Environment and Hermann Scherr said it ought to be taxed – rather then the CO2.
There is an energy entropy, a matter entropy, and an information entropy – nothing is 100% sure. Order is the lowest entropy. A constructive process can be seen as negative entropy.
Biology uses energy sparingly but we humans waste it. But energy is existence. Energy is Welfare. If you want to waste energy – waste solar energy – it is there for us to waste. We get to politics and here to the conflict of interest with the notion of centralism – farmer unions and bio-energy.
He sees no problem if 10 billion people operate 5 billion electric vehicles with power derived from the sun and wind. The Turnaround must change the corporate economy to a people’s economy.
Growth Sustainability is not possible – this needs boundless energy that is not produced with oil, coal, Natural Gas.
Regenerative energy comes from wind, photovoltaic, biogas.
Time bombs: Change of Ocean Streams (the Gulf Stream), Melting of Glaciers, Methane Hydrates.
Global Warming but in Europe cooling because of the melting of glaciers.
Looking at 160,000 years CO2 curve we see the risingin the last 23,000 years with very intensive rising in the last 200 years.
He calculates the waste of money because of our neglecting to use the energy from the sun. The loss per meter square is 100 Euro and it is estimated that at least 30 Euro could have been easily obtained. This is decentralized energy – not the Desertech kind which he rejects.
At Q&A time much more came into focus. Vienna could export electricity if all roof space were used.
In the audience was also Herbert Rauch who in 2005 wrote with Alfred Strigl “Die Wende der Titanic” (The Turn of the Titanic) and created the “EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” ESD – www.esd-eu.akis.at
It is just a pity that our corporate world never really built policies around the ideas of these thinkers – and we stopped a long time ago wondering why.
The four hour long, two part, Renner Institute Seminar with encouragement from the European Commission, was a mixed bag. It included a variety of presenters divided into two panels by the moderator – Mr. Guenther Strobl, the Business Editor of “Der Standard.” The first panel dealt rather with generalities and the second panel was defined as from sectors. So the first panel had CEOs of major Austrian institutions and full audience, while the second panel lost half of the audience and that was a pity.
The first panel included the Director of the Board in charge of Energy at the Wiener Stadtwerke (the Vienna Energy that supplies around two million people with electricity, gas and heat.) Mr. Marc Hall; Mr. Sven Hergovich The Environment and Transport head of the Labor Board of Vienna; Mr. Manfred Pils of the Austrian Power Grid and with the Naturamico International; and Ms. Theresis Vogel, business chair of Climate and Energy Funds.
I just did not believe my ears – the word “Nachhaltigkeit” or Sustainability in any form – was not mentioned by these speakers even once.
Indeed – the first speaker was Mr. Pils and he spoke of the problem that Fukushima made nuclear impossible and that in the EU 13 million people living at the sea-shore will lose their homes if the sea level rises by one meter. He mentioned the big bill that the EU pays for importing energy.
He spoke of the gas network as the best way to deposit energy and suggested the recycling of CO2 by making CH4 out of it. Sounds good but when and how?
Ms. Vogel stressed efficiency as Europe is committed to decrease CO2 emissions by 80-85% by 2050.
Mr. Hall also stressed efficiency and reminded us of Amory Lovins’ NEGAWATT. He defined Energy Turnaround for Germany as Electric Power creation and the avoidance of liquid fuel for mobility.
Mr. Hergovich suggested numbers for new jobs but did not clearly explain how it will be done.
The Q&A was lively and at the end I engaged Mr. Hall on the issue of the missing concept of Sustainability as a starting point to the discussion.
The second panel, was much more open to innovation. I will mention them in the order of their appearance – as the later they spoke in the pecking order, the better it got.
First speaker was Herbert Lechner the scientific coordinator of the Austrian Energy Agency – a government institution.
The second speaker Michael Strebl, the CEO of Salzburg Netz GmbH, the promoter of the Smart-Grid of the Salzburg region. They work with Siemens. In the Koestendorf community they plan to use heat-pump systems.
Ms. Karin Tauz is the Head of the Business Unit that develops Electric Mobility for the Austria-Tech company that belongs to the Federal Government for Technology oriented political measures themes. She sounded very goal oriented and in tune with what politics needs in order to come up with solutions. She actually got applause from the remaining audience.
And now the last speaker – Mr. Hubert Ladinger who is with Ludwig-Boelkow-Systems Technology GmbH of Ottobrunn, Bavaria, Germany.
Finally I heard the word Sustainability. www.LBST.de uses electrolysis to create these usable gasses and thus a way to store the energy obtained from the sun or the wind – for later use that can include Fuel Cells or Gas Turbines. THEY SELL WIND-GAS and before you know they can replace the Fracking-Gas !! Further – he actually had employment figures and made suggestions to answer the questions that were posed before the first six speakers said what they did.
As part of the Q&A, it occurred to me that the seminar was actually very good because it exposed the negatives and eventually landed on a positive. And really what are seminars for? I respect a seminar when it provides the listener with enough ideas so he can leave and create by himself – in this respect – this seminar was a great success. Just listening to people tooting their horns hardly ever is worth the time spent.
Also – to the suggestion of EVOLUTION vs. REVOLUTION – it became clear to me that it is neither.
WHAT IS NEEDED IS REFORMATION.
Further, it seems that the word REFORMATION with its old use in the replacement of corrupt church behavior of the Middle Ages, a new system based on much less waste and simpler demands by the public of the time, is indeed what the ENERGY TURNAROUND will have to come up with.
It was clear to me that voicing this to the people that came to the seminar will fall on deaf ears – and it did. But the LOGIC THINKERS might appreciate this better. Also I hope that next week’s three days exercise might come up with a beginning of a roadmap to get us to 2015, 2025 and beyond.
Over the weekend several articles and advertisements came to my attention:
First the self-congratulatories in Der Standard and the Kronen Zeitung of the Austrian OMV Oil Company about its Pipelines and Technologies – that they want us to think that are what is needed to secure a good energy future.
Then the article in the Business Section of the “Die Furche” of May 23, 2013, by Austria Ambassador to China Irene Giner-Reichl “Focus Energy-Revolution” about the Upcoming Energy Forum that starts May 28th. THE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL concept being based on Electricity that has a largely increased content coming from Renewable Energy. As per the UN, the intent is to double the Renewable Energy content by 2030.
And in the weekend Der Standard – 25/26 May 2013 – Mr. Guenther Strobl, the moderator of the Renner Institute panels of May 23rd, has interviewed former German Environment Minister and former head of UNEP – Professor Klaus Toepfer, who told him that the idea of having a cheap energy policy in the EU does not make sense. My God, why did Mr. Strobl not take advantage of this concept at his Thursday panels? Or did this interview happen only on Friday the 24th?
The use of gas from underground fracking shale in order to replace reliance on more dirty oil is not something that can be noticed only in passing – a much more serious look at this technology is needed. But then this will not come up unless investigative reporting is ordered by editors of respected media.
Further – just saw the “Die Presse” of today – Monday, May 27, 2013 – article by Professor Emeritus at the University of Vienna Physics Department who lectures on Energy – Professor Gero Vogel. The title is “THE BIG SOBERING UP FROM THE ENERGY TURNAROUND” – the Energiewende – that this old-timer professional was very suspicious all the time because he knew that the talk of having “OECOSTROM” in Austria was just not true. While getting its electricity from hydro-power, nevertheless September to March Austria is short of water and imports from the European power market the nuclear and coal generated electricity from the Czech Republic – which the Austrian deride for their way of producing that electricity in the first place. (for those interested – the reference is to -”Die grosse Ernuechterung nach der Energiewende.”)
The Professor is obviously right describing the political reality – but like him saying that the weather now is warm and the snow melted, which is factually not true, as Austria is now again in the middle of a two weeks spell of freezing weather – he is wrong about the potential of having clean energy – honestly – for all of the EU. The Energy turnaround is not behind us – the truth is that we have not entered it yet. The conservative leaders of business hold us back for their very narrow economic reasons that if allowed will push us to environmental hell.
28 May 2013
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
08.45 – 09.00
H.E. Mr. Michael Spindelegger, Vice Chancellor and
Foreign Minister of Austria
Mr. Pavel Kabat, Director,
Mr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO
09.00 – 09.15
Two pieces of music
Quartet of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
IIASA Goodwill Ambassador
09.15 – 09.45
Mr. Chad Holliday, Chairman, Bank of America
Ms. Renate Brauner, Vice-Mayor and Vice-Governor of
the City of Vienna
Message from the United Nations Secretary
General, Mr. Ban Ki
Press Conference (in parallel)
09.45 – 11.15
Ministerial and High-Level Dignitaries Segment
Ms. Nisha Pillai
H.E. Mr. Suhail Mohamed Almazroui, Minister of Ener
gy of the United Arab Emirates
H.E. Mr. Heikki Holmås, Minister of International D
evelopment of Norway
H.E. Mr. Edison Lobão, Minister of Mines and Energy
H.E. Mr. Lihua Liu, Vice Minister of Industry and I
nformation Technology of China
H.E. Mr. Anatoly Yanovskiy, Deputy Minister, Minist
ry of Energy of the Russian Federation
Mr. Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji
to the United Nations New York and
Chairman of the G77
11.15 – 12.45
High Level Panel I:
Energy in the Post-2015 Agenda
Moderator Ms. Nisha Pillai,
General and Executive Secretary of the United Natio
Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE
Mr. Adnan Amin, Director General, IRENA
Mr. Jose Goldemberg
, Board Member, Sustainable Energy Institute
Ms. Maria van der Hoeven, Director General, Interna
tional Energy Agency
Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice President, Sustainable Develo
pment, The World Bank
Mr. Gerhard Roiss, CEO, OMV
Ms. Elizabeth Thompson, Executive Coordinator for t
he UNCSD Rio + 20 Conference
Mr. Halil Yurdakul Yigitgüden,
ordinator of Economic and Environmental
12.45 – 14.30
Lunch hosted by OFID and IIASA (by invitation only
28 May 2013
14.30 – 16.00
High Level Panel II:
A New Action Agenda – High Level Group on Sustainab
le Energy for All
Moderator Ms. Nisha Pillai,
Mr. Alexander Bychkov, Deputy Director General, IAE
Mr. Jérôme Ferrier, President, International Gas Un
Mr. Victorio Oxilia, Executive Secretary, OLADE
Mr. N.P. Singh, Adviser, Ministry of New and Renewa
ble Energy of India
Mr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resource
Mr. Mohammed Taeb, Environmental Coordinator, OPEC
14.30 – 15.30
Special Event: Launch of the SE4ALL Global Tracking
Framework (parallel at Radetzky
Moderator Mr. Kandeh K. Yumkella
, Director General, UNIDO
Ms. Rachel Kyte, Vice
President, Sustainable Development, World Bank
Ms. Maria van der Hoeven, Director General, Intern
ational Energy Agency
Ms. Vivien Foster, Sector Manager, Sustainable Ener
gy, World Bank
Mr. Simon Trace, Executive Director, Practical Acti
16.00 – 16.30
Coffee and Tea Break
16.30 – 18.00
Special Event: Thematic Consultations on Energy (pa
rallel at Rittersaal)
16.30 – 18.00
Plenary Session 1:
Framework for Action – High Impact Opportunities
Moderator Mr. Albrecht Reuter
, Member of the Board, Fichtner IT Consulting
Mr. Albert Binger, Energy Science Advisor, Caribbea
n Community Climate Change Centre
Mr. Christoph Frei, Secretary General, World Energy
Ms. Helen Mountford, Deputy Director, OECD
Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic,
Deputy Director, IIASA and Professor of Energy Econ
Technical University of Vienna
Mr. Ebrima Njie, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastruc
Ms. Leena Shrivastava, Executive Director, The Ener
gy and Resource Institute
Mr. Arthouros Zervos, Chair of REN21and CEO and Pre
sident Public Power Corporation
Reception hosted by
EnDev and Partnership
29 May 2013
Wednesday, 29 May, 2013
08.30 – 09.00
Summary of the Previous Day
Co-President, Global Energy Assessment
09.00 – 10.00
Ministerial and High Level Segment
H.E. Mr. Marcin Korolec, Minister of Environment, P
H.E. Mr. Sospeter Muhonga, Minister of Energy and M
inerals of Tanzania
H.E. Mr. Ahmed Mostafa Emam, Minister of Electricit
y and Energy, of Egypt
H.E. Mr. Sok Siphana, Advisor of the Royal Governme
nt of Cambodia
Ms. Datuk Loo Took Gee, Secretary General of the Mi
nistry of Energy, Green Technology
and Water of Malaysia
Mr. Raúl García Barreiro, Deputy First Viceminister
of the Ministry of Energy and Mining
of the Republic of Cuba
10.00 – 11.30
Plenary Session 2:
Energy and Green Growth
Moderator Mr. Paul Hohnen
, Founder and Managing Director, Sustainability Str
Ms. Jacqueline Cramer, Director, Utrecht Sustainabi
Ms. Naoki Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Enviro
Mr. Lambert Kuijpers, Co
Chair, Technology and Economic Assessment Panel of
Mr. Heinz Leuenberger, Director, Environmental Mana
gement Branch, UNIDO
Mr. Mark Radka, Head of Energy Branch, UNEP
Mr. Arthur Reijnhart, General Manager, Alternative
Energy Strategy, Shell
11.30 – 13.00
Plenary Session 3 –
Moderator Mr. Joan Clos
, Executive Director, UN HABITAT
Mr. Eddie Bet Hazavdi,
Director, Department of Energy
Conservation at Ministry of Energy
and Water of Israel
Ms. Brigitta Huckestein, Senior Manager, Communicat
ions & Government Relations
Energy and Climate Policy, BASF Group
Ms. Carina Lakovits, Advisor, International Financi
al Institutions, Austrian
Mr. Raj Liberhan, Director, Indian Habitat Centre
Mr. Thomas Madreiter, Director of the Urban Plannin
g, City of Vienna
B. Marré, Head of Division of Water, Energy, Urban
Development and the
Geoscience Sector, Federal German Ministry for Econ
omic Cooperation and Development
Mr. Marcos Pontes, UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador
13.00 – 14.30
Lunch hosted by GEF and UNIDO (by invitation only a
29 May 2013
14.30 – 16.00
Parallel Session 1 –
, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia Uni
Mr. Jan Dictus, GOJA Consulting for Environment and
Mr. Wolfgang Engshuber, Chairman, Principles for Re
Mr. Michael Kelly, Deputy Managing Director, World
LP Gas Association
Ms. Richenda Van Leeuwen, Director, Energy Access I
nitiative, United Nations Foundation
Mr. Pradeep Monga, Director, Energy and Climate Cha
Mr. Lucius Mayer-Tasch, Energy Advisor, GIZ
Ms. Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for the Great L
akes Region of Africa
14.30 – 16.00
Parallel Session 2
– Energy Efficiency
Mr. Luis Gomez-Echeverri
, Senior Research Scholar, Transition to New Techno
Mr. Mark Hopkins, Energy Efficiency Expert, United
Ms. Doris Österreicher,
Head of Business Unit Sustainable Building Technolo
Institute of Technology
Ms. Marina Ploutakhina, Industrial Energy Efficienc
y, Unit Chief, UNIDO
Mr. Jigar V. Shah, Executive Director, Institute fo
r Industrial Productivity
Mr. David Shropshire, Section Head, Planning and Ec
onomic Studies Section, IAEA
16.00 – 16.30
Coffee and Tea Break
16.30 – 18.00
Parallel Session 3 –
Renewable Energy as a Tool for Sustainable Developm
Moderator Ms. Christine Lins,
Executive Director, REN 21
Mr. Gábor Baranyai, Deputy State Secretary, Ministr
y of Foreign Affairs of Hungary
Mr. Martin Hiller, Director General, REEEP
Mr. Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECREEE
Mr. Diego Masera, Unit Chief, Renewable and Rural E
nergy Unit, UNIDO
H.E. Ms. Brigitte Öppinger-Walchshofer, Managing Di
rector, Austrian Development Agency
Mr. Jorge Samek, Director General, ITAIPU Binaciona
Mr. Peter Traupmann, Managing Director, Austrian En
16.30 – 18.00
Parallel Session 4–
Technology Transfer and Innovation
Moderator Mr. Omar El Arini,
Honorary Chief Officer, Multilateral Fund Secretari
Mr. Giovanni Federigo De Santi, Director of the Ins
titute for Energy and Transport of the Joint
Research Centre of the European Commission
Mr. Martin Krause, Regional Practice Leader for Env
Mr. David Rodgers, Senior Energy Specialist, Global
Mr. Sidi Menad Si-Ahmed, Director of Montreal Proto
col Branch, UNIDO
M.R. Mr. Pongsvas Svasti, Associate Professor, Tham
Mr. Sven Teske, Director of Renewable Energy, Green
Reception hosted by REEEP
30 May 2013
Thursday, 30 May 2013
08.30 – 09.00
Summary of the Previous Day
Co-President, Global Energy Assessment
09.00 – 10.00
Ministerial and High Level Dignitaries Segment
10.00 – 11.30
Plenary Session 4 :
Financing the Energy Future We Want
Mr. Robert Dixon, Team Leader of Climate Change and
Chemicals Team, GEF
Mr. Faris Hasan, Director of Corporate Planning and
Economic Services, OFID
Ms. Georgina Kessel, Partner, Spectron
Mr. Venkata Ramana Putti, Senior Energy Specialist,
Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
Ms. Wang Yuan, Senior Advisor, China Development Ba
11.30 – 13.00
Plenary Session 5:
Public and Private Partnerships
Moderator Ms. Irene Giner-Reichl
, President, Global Forum on Sustainable Energy
Mr. Günter Maier, Managing Partner , MG Energy
Mr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC and UNIDO Goo
Mr. Janez Podobnik, Director General, International
Centre for Promotion of Enterprises
Mr. Alexei Shevlyakov, Acting Director General, Rus
sian Energy Agency
Mr. Thomas Stelzer, Assistant Secretary
General, Policy Coordination and Inter
Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and
Mr. Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Govern
ment Affairs, Philips
13.00 – 13.30
Coffee and Tea Break
11.30 – 13.00
Parallel Session 5:
Green Mini-Grids Africa –
Sector Transformation Towards Sustainable
Energy For All
Moderator Mr. Steven Hunt
, Energy Advisor, Low Carbon Development Team, DFID
Mr. Ryan Anderson, Head of Section for Renewable En
ergy Advisory Services, Norplan
Mr. Theophillo Bwakea, Principal Engineer, Tanzania
n Rural Energy Agency
Mr. Dean Cooper, Energy Finance Programme Manager,
Mr. Bertrand Deprez, European Affairs Manager, Schn
Mr. Mike Enskat, Senior Programme Manager, GIZ
Mr. Patrick Theuret, Access to Energy Programme, ED
13.30 – 14.30
Adoption of VEF 2013 Declaration: Energy Goals Beyo
Moderator Ged Davis
, Co-President, Global Energy Assessment
Closing remarks by Co-organisers
ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA: Business Partnerships – An effective instrument for development cooperation
How innovative cooperation supports the development of markets for renewable energy
Date – 28 May 2013
Time – 14:30 to 16:00
Location – Rittersaal
This side-event discusses innovative forms of cooperation between the private sector and established structures of development cooperation to develop new markets. Examples from the renewable energy sector show how both recipient countries and companies can utilize the opportunities of business partnerships. Traditional development cooperation faces many challenges, so alternative approaches are required. As business and development belong together, partnerships with the private sector are getting more and more important. Join the discussion on business partnerships and the development of renewable energy markets!
European Commission Joint Research Centre: Creating and sharing knowledge together on African Renewable Energy Sources
Date: 28 May 2013
Time: 16:00 – 17:30
Location: Mittlere Lounge
On the occasion of the Vienna Energy Forum 2013, JRC will release findings from the newest report “The availability of Renewable Energies in a changing Africa”. This report follows and extends the 2011 JRC report “Renewable energies in Africa” and focuses on the climatic, demographic and technological changes expecting to involve Africa in next decades and how they will impact the Renewable Energy production and deployment opportunities in the continent. This side event will explore to what extent climate change has affect the ability of the renewable energy sources to deliver their important resources to this goal and will look at the potential of the available options. Come and join the second report presentation, discuss issues with authors, and test the latest online tool developed to visualize off-grid electricity production options in Africa.
GFSE: Sustainable Energy Solutions for All: Made in Austria
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 09:00 to 11:00
Location – Trabantenstube
Austrian know-how and technologies have a lot to offer to make inclusive sustainable energy solutions a reality. In this side event, the Austrian experience in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency will be presented. The event also seeks to facilitate the identification of cooperation opportunities for different actors in the context of SE4All. It will also highlight the value-added of multi-stakeholder networks in enabling joint action. We would be delighted if you could join the discussion.
IIASA: Multiple Benefits of the Global Energy Transformation Recent Research Findings
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 09:30 to 13:00
Location – Künstlerzimmer
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is organizing the VEF side event “Multiple Benefits of the Global Energy Transformations: Recent Research Findings”. The main global problem areas of research at IIASA – energy and climate change, food and water, and poverty and equity – are among the greatest challenges facing humanity today. The side event will present recent research findings – focusing on energy and technology – and their relevance to the Post 2015 Development Agenda. The Global Energy Assessment (GEA), completed in 2012, was an important component of the energy-related activities at IIASA and some of the new research activities at IIASA are building upon the findings of GEA.
IAEA: Promoting a Sustainable Energy Future: the Role of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 10:00 to 12:00
Location – Mittlere Lounge
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supports its Member States in their efforts towards a sustainable energy future. In this side event, IAEA representatives will showcase the successful contribution of the Agency to build capacity, disseminate information, raise awareness and foster cooperation within and among Member States to help them make informed decisions regarding the most appropriate energy strategies. Topics discussed will include the sustainability of nuclear power as a clean energy solution, capacity building activities, the role of innovative technology solutions and the critical steps to introduce or expand a nuclear power programme.
EUEI PDF: Africa-EU Private Sector Cooperation: Matchmaking for win-win business opportunities in the renewables sector?
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 11:30 to 13:00
Location – Trabantenstube
The Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) is a multi-donor and multi-implementer programme that aims to accelerate the use of renewable energy in Africa. It was launched by more than 35 African and European Ministers at the First High-Level Meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) in Vienna in September 2010. While the programme has already launched a number of support interventions in the area of policy advisory services, this side event aims at reflecting on the types of support interventions necessary to foster an active exchange and linking of African and European private sectors actors, as well as highlighting some of the positive examples where European and African actors have successfully worked together.
Launch of the SE4All Global Tracking Framework
Date – 28 May 2013
Time: 14:00 to 14:45
Location – Radetzkysaal II
Prepared by a team of energy experts from 15 agencies under the leadership of the World Bank and the International Energy Agency, the report provides a comprehensive snapshot of over 180 countries’ status with respect to action on energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as energy consumption. As the Millennium Development Goals process has clearly demonstrated, measurable goals that enjoy widespread consensus can mobilize commitments to action, strategic partnerships and widespread support from key stakeholders and whole societies. For many, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative is an illustration of what a Sustainable Development Goal for the energy sector would look like. However, it is well known that measure progress is critical to achieving goals and getting results. The Global Tracking Framework Report is the answer to the challenge of measuring and reporting progress towards achieving the Sustainable Energy for All goals and objectives.. The report’s framework for data collection and analysis will enable us to monitor progress on the SE4ALL objectives from now to 2030.
The Energy Future We Want – Including Water & Food in the Energy Debate
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 14:30 to 16:00
Location – Radetzky II
The side-event will provide a global platform to discuss recent international undertakings and progress on the water-energy-food nexus. The side-event will stimulate contributions and insights from institutions and individual experts on strategies to include water and food in the energy debate as nations around the world develop new energy policies and evaluate the options they want to follow in response to the SE4All initiative. Contribute to the nexus debate by sharing your experience and expertise with representatives from the private sector, researchers, policy makers and water/energy experts around the world on the intricate links between water, energy and food.
Regional Sustainable Energy Centers in Africa: Creating Regional Markets to Support the Decade of Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL)
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 14:30 to 18:00
Location – Trabantenstube
The Energy and Climate Change Branch of UNIDO, in close collaboration with the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Global Forum on Sustainable Energy (GFSE), are organizing the VEF side event “Regional Sustainable Energy Centers in Africa: Creating Regional Markets to Support the Decade of Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL)”. The side event will facilitate discussions on the added value and possible actions of a south-south cooperation network between regional sustainable energy promotion centers in Africa. It will highlight the roles of the Centers as part of the institutional structure of the SE4ALL initiative. In a learning event, the ECOWAS Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECOWREX), one of the flag-ship programs of ECREEE will be introduced to the audience. Finally, a new publication on Renewable Energy Status and Trends in West Africa will be presented.
UNIDO: Women’s Leadership on Energy Justice in Productive Sectors
Date – 29 May 2013
Time – 15:00 to 17:00; Networking Drinks from 17:00
Location – Künstlerzimmer
Increasing energy access for productive use will generate opportunities for women to earn a living for themselves and their families, but the debate thus far has been mainly focused on women’s domestic needs. At this side-event, we will look beyond the household door and discuss how to empower women to become active producers, managers, promoters, sellers and leaders of modern energy services for a truly sustainable solution to energy poverty. We would be delighted if you could join us to share your experiences and expertise in this debate.
Register for the event here
A continuing Climate Lobby: Energy Policy & Climate Program at Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC and the German Ecologic Think Tank with offices in Berlin, Brussels and Vienna in the EU, and Washington DC and San Mateo, CA in the US. The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 850 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 90 countries.
Ecologic Institute: An International Think Tank for Environment and Development.
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 850 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 90 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
CAN members work to achieve this goal through information exchange and the coordinated development of NGO strategy on international, regional, and national climate issues. CAN has regional network hubs that coordinate these efforts around the world.
CAN members place a high priority on both a healthy environment and development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission). CAN’s vision is to protect the atmosphere while allowing for sustainable and equitable development worldwide.
Ecologic Institute is a private not-for-profit think tank for applied environmental research, policy analysis and consultancy with offices in Berlin, Brussels and Vienna in the EU, and Washington DC and San Mateo, CA in the US.
Ecologic Institute was founded in 1995 as an independent research institute. Since its founding, Ecologic Institute has built a reputation for excellence in transdisciplinary and policy-relevant research. Through its participation in large-scale international collaborations, Ecologic Institute increases the relevance of its project results and improves communication among scientists, policymakers and the public. Ecologic Institute also provides ongoing expert advice on emerging issues through its framework agreements with the European Parliament
The insights of Ecologic’s staff provide practical ways forward for policymakers seeking to address complex challenges. Over the years, Ecologic’s work has informed the decision-making processes of a wide variety of international institutions, national ministries, sub-national and local authorities and non-profit organizations.
43/44 Pfalzburger Strabe
Phone: +49 (30) 86880-0
Matthias Duwe of the German Think Tank Ecologic recently spoke on the future of European climate policy making as part of our EPC Forum Speakers Series. The presentation is available on our You Tube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?
Dr. Wil Burns, Associate Director
Master of Science, Energy Policy & Climate Program
Johns Hopkins University
1717 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Skype ID: Wil.Burns
Blog: Teaching Climate & Energy Law & Policy, www.teachingclimatelaw.
In Vienna there is a bit of the Mediterranean – a Citrus hot house at the Schoenbrunn Palace Orangery; then we found that in Koernten (Carinthia) there is even an active commercial Citrus Garden. Say – Austria wants part of the Mediterranean as well.
The Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna has, since the Emperors’ days, hot-houses under the Orangery name, as seemingly the Emperors were keen of the citrus plants. Here you find a large collection of citrus varieties and fruit was produced for the Emperor’s Court.
May 17-20, 2013, were citrus-festival days at the Orangery of the Schoenbrunn Palace.
Sunday May 19th there was what amounted to a Citrus tasting class where Katharina Seiser, an Eating-culture specialist and culinary journalist, explained the three kinds of Citrus plants – the Lemon, the Mandarin and the Pamplemousse father of the Grapefruit. We were told that there was also a fourth line – that of the Asian Ichang-Papeda which was not presented. We got to taste some two dozen different varieties and a few secondary products such as marmalade and sweets. I clearly got convinced that a fresh-picked kumquat tastes immensely better then the market bought produce.
The Buddha’s Hand is a very strange looking species – tastes good.
Some other lemons were the size of cantaloupes – we saw them on trees on display.
Life Minister of the Austrian Federal Government, Mr.Niki Berlakovich, was the honorary chairman of the festival.
In Koernten (Carinthia), at Faaker Sea (Lake) one finds an actual Mediterranean Citrus Garden -
– that markets locally produced Lemon marmalade, Orange cakes and other products you would not expect to get from locally produced fruit in Austria. www.Zitrusgarten.at
At second thought – above should not surprise us,. In the Center of Vienna, on the cement floor at the side of the Danube canal, there is also a Tel-Aviv Beach were in the summer young people play paddle ball like on the Tel-Aviv beaches.
Looking up the Ichang-Papeda on the internet – I found:
The Ichang Papeda (Citrus ichangensis) is the hardiest of the evergreen citrus, said to withstand temperatures down to 0 degrees F. It is a tough, spiny, small tree growing wild on steep hillsides in the Himalayan foothills. Though its fruit is marginally edible, small, thick skinned, seedy and somewhat bitter with limited juice, it does make an interesting and attractive ornamental. Its most important use is in hybridizing with other citrus species to create super cold hardy, yet highly edible varieties.
One of our favorites of these here on the farm is the Shangjuan. It is a natural cross originating in China of Citrus ichangensis and C. maxima, the pummelo. Also called the Ichang Lemon, the Shangjuan, which means “fragrant ball” in Chinese, produces masses of large, juicy, yellow lemon like fruit. Somewhat rough skinned and with a generous amount of seeds that can be easily removed, each fruit can give up to ½ cup of good quality juice that can be used for fresh or for cooking and desserts. These fruits ripen October- January for us, starting a full month before our Meyer lemons, giving us an abundant supply of high vitamin C juice at a time when it is most needed. When fully ripe the fruits have a good grapefruit taste and can be eaten as such, especially with a little sweetening. This easy to grow vigorous evergreen tree makes a great ornamental, its broad glossy dark green leaves giving year round beauty. Fragrant white spring blooms are followed by a heavy crop of fruit in the fall. The Shangjuan is considered hardy down to 5 to 10 degrees, which gives it adaptability to many areas where commercial citrus cannot be grown.
Another popular hybrid is the Yuzu, an ancient natural cross of Citrus ichangensis X C.reticulata. In the past it was called C.junos. The Yuzu originated in east Asia and grows wild in central China and Tibet. It was introduced to Japan and Korea during the Tang dynasty and has become a very popular fruit in these countries. The fruit ripens in the fall and is about the size of a tangerine. It has a fragrant juice similar to a lemon that is much esteemed in Japanese cooking. The spicy rind is also used as a flavoring. In Japan several fruits are wrapped in cheesecloth and floated in a hot bath for their relaxing scent. In Korea a syrup is made from the fruit and added to hot water as a remedy for the common cold and other winter illnesses. The upright evergreen tree is very hardy, able to withstand temperatures in the 5 to 10 degree F range. Even if defoliated the fruiting wood can survive to bear the next year. Like the Shangjuan it has lustrous green leaves, fragrant white flowers, showy fruit and many thorns.
The Ichang Papeda is also used in breeding programs to develop cold hardy citrus. It has been found to have a better ability to convey cold hardiness without compromising fruit quality than its deciduous relative the Trifoliate orange. Who knows what interesting and useful Ichang hybrids await us in the future.”
Which means to me – forget now the Mediterranean – Asia gives us the possibility to enlarge indeed citrus growing to colder climates as well!
Thomas Friedman tells the world that the current uphevals in Syria started from lack of water, enhanced by the fast growing population ruled by a represive corrupt regime with outside money fomenting sectarian and religious passions. Then Assad’s cronies bought up the small farms, drilled for water, drove the farmers to the cities where they found it hard to make a living – so they rebelled. They say the drought came from Allah, but the misery from Assad and his Alawites.
Without Water, Revolution.
Published: May 18, 2013 12 Comments
TEL ABYAD, Syria — I just spent a day in this northeast Syrian town. It was terrifying — much more so than I anticipated — but not because we were threatened in any way by the Free Syrian Army soldiers who took us around or by the Islamist Jabhet al-Nusra fighters who stayed hidden in the shadows. It was the local school that shook me up.
Thomas L. Friedman by Josh Haner/The New York Times
As we were driving back to the Turkish border, I noticed a school and asked the driver to turn around so I could explore it. It was empty — of students. But war refugees had occupied the classrooms and little kids’ shirts and pants were drying on a line strung across the playground. The basketball backboard was rusted, and a local parent volunteered to give me a tour of the bathrooms, which he described as disgusting. Classes had not been held in two years. And that is what terrified me. Men with guns I’m used to. But kids without books, teachers or classes for a long time — that’s trouble. Big trouble.
They grow up to be teenagers with too many guns and too much free time, and I saw a lot of them in Tel Abyad. They are the law of the land here now, but no two of them wear the same uniform, and many are just in jeans. These boys bravely joined the adults of their town to liberate it from the murderous tyranny of Bashar al-Assad, but now the war has ground to a stalemate, so here, as in so many towns across Syria, life is frozen in a no-man’s land between order and chaos. There is just enough patched-up order for people to live — some families have even rigged up bootleg stills that refine crude oil into gasoline to keep cars running — but not enough order to really rebuild, to send kids to school or to start businesses.
So Syria as a whole is slowly bleeding to death of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. You can’t help but ask whether it will ever be a unified country again and what kind of human disaster will play out here if a whole generation grows up without school.
“Syria is becoming Somalia,” said Zakaria Zakaria, a 28-year-old Syrian who graduated from college with a major in English and who acted as our guide. “Students have now lost two years of school, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and if this goes on for two more years it will be like Somalia, a failed country. But Somalia is off somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Syria is the heart of the Middle East. I don’t want this to happen to my country. But the more it goes on, the worse it will be.”
This is the agony of Syria today. You can’t imagine the war here continuing for another year, let alone five. But when you feel the depth of the rage against the Assad government and contemplate the sporadic but barbaric sect-on-sect violence, you can’t imagine any peace deal happening or holding — not without international peacekeepers on the ground to enforce it. Eventually, we will all have to have that conversation, because this is no ordinary war.
THIS Syrian disaster is like a superstorm. It’s what happens when an extreme weather event, the worst drought in Syria’s modern history, combines with a fast-growing population and a repressive and corrupt regime and unleashes extreme sectarian and religious passions, fueled by money from rival outside powers — Iran and Hezbollah on one side, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar on the other, each of which have an extreme interest in its Syrian allies’ defeating the other’s allies — all at a time when America, in its post-Iraq/Afghanistan phase, is extremely wary of getting involved.
I came here to write my column and work on a film for the Showtime series, “Years of Living Dangerously,” about the “Jafaf,” or drought, one of the key drivers of the Syrian war. In an age of climate change, we’re likely to see many more such conflicts.
“The drought did not cause Syria’s civil war,” said the Syrian economist Samir Aita, but, he added, the failure of the government to respond to the drought played a huge role in fueling the uprising. What happened, Aita explained, was that after Assad took over in 2000 he opened up the regulated agricultural sector in Syria for big farmers, many of them government cronies, to buy up land and drill as much water as they wanted, eventually severely diminishing the water table. This began driving small farmers off the land into towns, where they had to scrounge for work.
Because of the population explosion that started here in the 1980s and 1990s thanks to better health care, those leaving the countryside came with huge families and settled in towns around cities like Aleppo. Some of those small towns swelled from 2,000 people to 400,000 in a decade or so. The government failed to provide proper schools, jobs or services for this youth bulge, which hit its teens and 20s right when the revolution erupted.
Then, between 2006 and 2011, some 60 percent of Syria’s land mass was ravaged by the drought and, with the water table already too low and river irrigation shrunken, it wiped out the livelihoods of 800,000 Syrian farmers and herders, the United Nations reported. “Half the population in Syria between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers left the land” for urban areas during the last decade, said Aita. And with Assad doing nothing to help the drought refugees, a lot of very simple farmers and their kids got politicized. “State and government was invented in this part of the world, in ancient Mesopotamia, precisely to manage irrigation and crop growing,” said Aita, “and Assad failed in that basic task.”
Young people and farmers starved for jobs — and land starved for water — were a prescription for revolution. Just ask those who were here, starting with Faten, whom I met in her simple flat in Sanliurfa, a Turkish city near the Syrian border. Faten, 38, a Sunni, fled there with her son Mohammed, 19, a member of the Free Syrian Army, who was badly wounded in a firefight a few months ago. Raised in the northeastern Syrian farming village of Mohasen, Faten, who asked me not to use her last name, told me her story.
She and her husband “used to own farmland,” said Faten. “We tended annual crops. We had wheat, barley and everyday food — vegetables, cucumbers, anything we could plant instead of buying in the market. Thank God there were rains, and the harvests were very good before. And then suddenly, the drought happened.”
What did it look like? “To see the land made us very sad,” she said. “The land became like a desert, like salt.” Everything turned yellow.
Did Assad’s government help? “They didn’t do anything,” she said. “We asked for help, but they didn’t care. They didn’t care about this subject. Never, never. We had to solve our problems ourselves.”
So what did you do? “When the drought happened, we could handle it for two years, and then we said, ‘It’s enough.’ So we decided to move to the city. I got a government job as a nurse, and my husband opened a shop. It was hard. The majority of people left the village and went to the city to find jobs, anything to make a living to eat.” The drought was particularly hard on young men who wanted to study or marry but could no longer afford either, she added. Families married off daughters at earlier ages because they couldn’t support them.
Faten, her head conservatively covered in a black scarf, said the drought and the government’s total lack of response radicalized her. So when the first spark of revolutionary protest was ignited in the small southern Syrian town of Dara’a, in March 2011, Faten and other drought refugees couldn’t wait to sign on. “Since the first cry of ‘Allahu akbar,’ we all joined the revolution. Right away.” Was this about the drought? “Of course,” she said, “the drought and unemployment were important in pushing people toward revolution.”
ZAKARIA ZAKARIA was a teenager in nearby Hasakah Province when the drought hit and he recalled the way it turned proud farmers, masters of their own little plots of land, into humiliated day laborers, working for meager wages in the towns “just to get some money to eat.” What was most galling to many, said Zakaria, was that if you wanted a steady government job you had to bribe a bureaucrat or know someone in the state intelligence agency.
The best jobs in Hasakah Province, Syria’s oil-producing region, were with the oil companies. But drought refugees, virtually all of whom were Sunni Muslims, could only dream of getting hired there. “Most of those jobs went to Alawites from Tartous and Latakia,” said Zakaria, referring to the minority sect to which President Assad belongs and which is concentrated in these coastal cities. “It made people even more angry. The best jobs on our lands in our province were not for us, but for people who come from outside.”
Only in the spring of 2011, after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, did the Assad government start to worry about the drought refugees, said Zakaria, because on March 11 — a few days before the Syrian uprising would start in Dara’a — Assad visited Hasakah, a very rare event. “So I posted on my Facebook page, ‘Let him see how people are living,’ ” recalled Zakaria. “My friends said I should delete it right away, because it was dangerous. I wouldn’t. They didn’t care how people lived.”
Abu Khalil, 48, is one of those who didn’t just protest. A former cotton farmer who had to become a smuggler to make ends meet for his 16 children after the drought wiped out their farm, he is now the Free Syrian Army commander in the Tel Abyad area. We met at a crushed Syrian Army checkpoint. After being introduced by our Syrian go-between, Abu Khalil, who was built like a tough little boxer, introduced me to his fighting unit. He did not introduce them by rank but by blood, pointing to each of the armed men around him and saying: “My nephew, my cousin, my brother, my cousin, my nephew, my son, my cousin …”
Free Syrian Army units are often family affairs. In a country where the government for decades wanted no one to trust anyone else, it’s no surprise.
“We could accept the drought because it was from Allah,” said Abu Khalil, “but we could not accept that the government would do nothing.”
Before we parted, he pulled me aside to say that all that his men needed were anti-tank and antiaircraft weapons and they could finish Assad off. “Couldn’t Obama just let the Mafia send them to us?” he asked. “Don’t worry, we won’t use them against Israel.”
As part of our film we’ve been following a Syrian woman who is a political activist, Farah Nasif, a 27-year-old Damascus University graduate from Deir-az-Zour, whose family’s farm was also wiped out in the drought.
Nasif typifies the secular, connected, newly urbanized young people who spearheaded the democracy uprisings here and in Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia. They all have two things in common: they no longer fear their governments or their parents, and they want to live like citizens, with equal rights — not as sects with equal fears.
If this new generation had a motto, noted Aita, the Syrian economist, it would actually be the same one Syrians used in their 1925 war of independence from France: “Religion is for God, and the country is for everyone.”
But Nasif is torn right now. She wants Assad gone and all political prisoners released, but she knows that more war “will only destroy the rest of the country.” And her gut tells her that even once Assad is gone, there is no agreement on who or what should come next. So every option worries her — more war, a cease-fire, the present and the future. This is the agony of Syria today — and why the closer you get to it, the less certain you are how to fix it.
The Vienna Solar Table-of-Friends took up Thursday May 16, 2013 – to obvious acclaim – THE PROBLEM OF THE SHRINKING AGRICULTURE-BASED VILLAGES in Austria. We present a platform that makes the use of the land and the power from the sun – the main movers of the economy.
The Vienna Solarstammtisch that meets at the “Zum Hagenthaler” Restaurant at Wallgasse 32, 1060 Wien, every third Thursday of the month, is a creation of Eurosolar Austria. www.eurosolar.at
It is led by Professor Franz Niessler, and the information is usually conveyed by Eng. Herbert Eberhardt herbert.ebergardt at eurosolar.at
Many of the the Solar Table participants own electric vehicles and live in energy-saving homes equiped for use of solar energy.
At the May 2013 meeting, the First presenter was Rosemarie Dietz, a Green visionary from Perchtoldsdorf NO, who related her experiences when crossing on foot the length of Lower Austria (Niederoesterreich) looking for the implementation of renewable energy on her path. She was looking for location of wind-mills and for the use of photovoltaic use of solar energy, but she also found that there were no-more small local restaurants on her way where one could have stopped for a meal and a drink. The villages are shrinking and the young people move to the large cities. The small scale agriculture that was the base of the rural sector has vanished and everything is bought at the large supper markets like in the city – much of it imported from long distance.
The moderator was Gerhard Kohlmaier and the main speaker Professor Hannes Bauer who is now with the Union of Retirees of Lower Austria, Head of the Political and Economic Futures Forum and building an effort for change. His target is the economic security of the individual in a growing strength of the European Union. He clearly sees in providing safeguards for the communities in villages – people living on and from the land – the best way of providing this security – and it clearly grabs our attention because this is also our belief.
Dr. Bauer looked at the ethics of high social, ecological and democratic values as strength for Austria in the EU context – Quality of Life and the Social Security of the citizens are the goals of his sort of politics.
Dr. Hannes Bauer is not a newcomer to Austrian Politics. During the years 1989-1991 and 2000-2008 he was a Socialist Party member of the Austrian Parliament and 1986-1987 State Secretary in the Ministry of Trades, Industry, and Labor. His background is economics – business development. Having started out from the State Government of Lower Austria and entering in 1991 the Leadership of at the the Federal level of the Austrian Socialist Party. He belongs to the Chancellor Bruno Kreisky School of active policy-oriented Socialism.
The meeting of the Solar-Table May meeting was amazing. Besides the Austrian political Reds and Greens, present were also the Blacks, Blues, and the new Stronach Yellow – and all got involved in the conversation. Needless to say that all were for solar energy but had difficulty accepting each-others honesty in pursuing the goal of a decentralized, community-based, small-town or village based economy – though all adhered to such a goal.
Energy was a main topic. How do we build back an agriculture that will provide biofuels, and how do we do so that the villages rely on photovoltaic solar energy and windmills – being independent of big corporation electricity grids, and even able to supply energy to the National grid? How do we convince the governing powers that there is no need of shale-fracking – this beyond the obvious that fracking is dangerous to the environment? How does one handle American intervention in EU economy planning?
I will now do something unusual – I am going to put forward the ideas I voiced at the meeting and which I felt summarized the different points of view in an event that sounded like a political competition, but that could easily be turned into a united National front for independence from outside economic forces. All what is needed now is a single party to come up with such ideas in its platform and invite the others to join in.
Let us start now:
The thesis is that what grows on the land is sustainable and positive, what comes from the inside of the earth will not endure, is unsustainable, and negative.
Planting for food and fuel, for animal feed and industrial feed-stocks, for human and animal life, is all based on the continuous energy that reaches the earth from the sun – thus non depleting. This is done by people living in small communities on the land – this activity if cared for, with the help of appropriate National policies, will keep people on the land and avoid their migration to magnet-cities something the topic of the evening was aimed to achieve.
Planting wind mills and solar collectors, like the photovoltaic collectors, on the land or roof-tops, is just another act of reaping results with the help of solar energy – exactly like growing vegetation or animals. We see no difference here.
Looking under the land for riches deposited in the past, the likes of fossil fuels of all sorts – coal, shale, oil, gas, and figuring out technologies to extract them from underground, amounts to using up in a short time of natures bank-deposits. On top of this it gave us the CO2 problem and clear climate-change – both avoidable if we refrain from using fossil fuels.
ERGO: Working the land revives the villages and provides us with what we need. Searching ways to obtain products out of fossil deposits, destroys the land, the population living on the land, and eventually the whole economy, because of the way it effects the environment, the social and economic development of the State, and the security of the people who lose their direct relationship to the land.
What political party will have the courage to put a return to a land policy of growth on its election banner?
Mr. Eberhardt brought to show the new Renaud “Twizy” small two-seater electric vehicle.
Next Solar Table meeting will be Thursday, June 20, 2013, same location, 18:00 pm (6PM)
THE TOPIC: RENEWABLE PRIMARY MATERIALS – “NAWAROS” – (“Nachwachsende Rohstoffe”).
A blind UN lets Iran Chair the upcoming U.N. disarmament conference – the Perfect Crime of Irrelevance. The US will not be represented at Ambassadorial level when the Iranian sits in the Chairman’s Chair but will participate in a Saudi paid-for Counterterrorism Board.
Iran will assume the presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament on May 27 and hold it over four weeks, until June 23, 2013.
The conference chair helps organize the work of the conference and assists in setting the agenda.
The conference was established in 1979 after a special U.N. General Assembly session, and is made up of 65 countries. In the past, the conference and its predecessors negotiated major multilateral arms limitation and disarmament agreements. In recent years it has become paralyzed, with member states often divided even on setting the agenda.
The Conference of Disarmament reports to the UN General Assembly and is billed by the UN as “the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.”
Iran is astate that illegally supplies rockets to Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, potentially aiding and abetting mass murder and terrorism. To make this rogue regime head of world arms control is an outrage. Abusers of international norms should not be the public face of the UN.
The UN is not shocked, its officials say Iran’s post is merely the result of an automatic rotation.
The US and others speak up:
Statement by Erin Pelton, Spokesperson, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, on Iran’s Rotation as President of the Conference on Disarmament, May 13, 2013
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
May 13, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iran’s upcoming rotation as President of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) is unfortunate and highly inappropriate. The United States continues to believe that countries that are under Chapter VII sanctions for weapons proliferation or massive human-rights abuses should be barred from any formal or ceremonial positions in UN bodies.
While the presidency of the CD is largely ceremonial and involves no substantive responsibilities, allowing Iran–a country that is in flagrant violation of its obligations under multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and to the IAEA Board of Governors–to hold such a position runs counter to the goals and objectives of the Conference on Disarmament itself. As a result, the United States will not be represented at the ambassadorial level during any meeting presided over by Iran.
another e-mail we got:
So fast forward. We find an ever more aggressive North Korea sharing nuclear know-how with like-minded belligerents, such as Iran and Syria.
When North Korea took the helm, Iran’s representative told the Conference: “I would like to congratulate the distinguished ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the assumption of the presidency and assuring him of my delegation’s full support and cooperation.” You can be sure that the North Korean rep will deliver an equally flowery welcome when Iran dons the crown.
This also isn’t the first time that the UN has appointed Iran to a position of authority wildly at odds with its reprehensible record. In 2010 Iran was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women – the UN’s top women’s rights body. Iranian laws that permit women to be stoned for alleged adultery? Irrelevant.
The saddest part of this charade is that these countries and their despotic leaders take sustenance from acquiring such formal trappings and basking in the accompanying diplomatic niceties. The United States is a member of the Conference on Disarmament. We don’t need another administration speech that the “door is still open” but “the window is closing.” With an Iranian poised to preside, we need to leave.
UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay is getting worried somebody might figure out she was on the wrong side of history in Egypt. Her latest press statement is entitled: “Egypt risks drifting away from human rights ideals.” D’ya think? So Pillay now has this to say about the legal moves currently unfolding under the human rights tutelage of the Muslim Brotherhood: “I am very concerned that the new law, if adopted in its current form, may leave them in a worse situation than they were prior to the fall of the Mubarak Government in 2011.”
Then see also:
Saudi Arabia heads UN counter-terror efforts
Saudi Arabia is the Chair of the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Centre Advisory Board. Well, it does know a lot about terrorism – as a major player in the realm of training, financing and indoctrinating terrorists. Saudi Arabia has also ratified the terrorism treaty of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which defines terrorism to exempt hitting Jewish or American or any other target while engaged in “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination.” So how did Saudi Arabia come to Chair the UN “counter-terrorism” group? The UN website unabashedly informs us that they bought it: “In 2011, through a voluntary contribution of the Government of Saudi Arabia, the United Nations Secretariat was able to launch the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT).” The Obama administration responded by joining their Advisory Board.
The State Department’s recent release of its human rights report on Saudi Arabia contains the following statement under the heading “anti-Semitism:” “There were no known Jewish citizens.” Judenrein Arab states?
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has swung into action on Syria – to criticize Israel for destroying Hezbollah-bound weapons on Syrian territory. The threat to international peace and security, and specifically to Israel, from weaponry switching hands and moving across borders from Syria grows more dire day-by-day. The UN chief thought the right response was to ask “all sides” (ie Israel) to “exercise maximum calm and restraint” – and respect Syrian “national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Since when was murdering 70,000 + and arming organizations committed to attacking a neighboring state, an internal sovereign affair?
Richard Falk addresses AUB audience
Terrorist sympathizer and UN Human Rights Council expert Richard Falk had a busy week in the Hezbollah stronghold of Beirut, following his obscene remarks on the Boston terror attacks. On Thursday of last week he delivered the annual Constantine Zurayk Lecture at the American University of Beirut. He entitled his speech “Rethinking the Future of Palestine: Beyond the Two State Consensus,” and argued against the two-state solution for ending the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict because at this moment in time it is “obsolete.” Iranian TV has now posted a video about Falk’s performance. Similar to the justifications he made for “resistance” at the time of the Boston terror attacks, Press TV reports that Falk “praised the resistance of the Palestinian people, considering it as the only means to address their suffering….Dr. Falk argued that…the only way to address the ordeal of the Israeli occupation is through global mobilization of support for the resistance….” In addition to direct support for terrorism – aka “resistance” – Falk told the reporter: “Israel can’t live in peace and security with its neighbors…It is a pariah state endangering the Middle East…and the U.S. is an accomplice.” Zurayk was a well-known Arab nationalist who spent his career arguing how the battle against Israel can be won and giving directions for “the road to final and complete victory.” He is heralded for coining the term “al-nakba” – the now entrenched reference to the creation of the state of Israel as a “catastrophe.” Some call him the grand-daddy of the insidious political plan of “catastrophology.” It is clear why Falk would be the recipient of the Zurayk honor.