South Australia energy minister aims for 100% renewable electricity by 2030 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:South Australian energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan has set himself a goal of getting the state to its ambitious target of “net 100 percent renewable electricity” before 2030, rather than the formal aspirational target of some time in the 2030s.South Australia already leads Australia in growing its share of renewable electricity generation, with well over half of the state’s electricity now being produced by wind and solar energy projects.Van Holst Pellekaan told the Stimulus Summit co-hosted by the Smart Energy Council and Renew Economy, that the South Australian government was not easing up on its targets, and was aiming to reach net 100 percent renewables by the end of the decade“We will be, as estimated by AEMO, a bit in excess of 85 percent by 2025 and our government’s goal is to be net 100 percent renewable energy generation by the 2030s,” van Holst Pellekaan said. “And for me, it’s a firm goal. Personally, it’s a firm goal. I want South Australia to be net 100 percent electricity generation renewable by 2030. That’s what I work for every day. So that’s where we’re heading.”[Michael Mazengarb]More: South Australia minister aiming for 100 per cent renewables before 2030
Finland’s Fortum faces environmental backlash as Datteln 4 coal plant nears operation in Germany FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):In Fortum Oyj’s first earnings call since its acquisition of a majority stake in German power producer Uniper SE, the Finnish utility assured stakeholders of its plan to cut emissions across its asset fleet. To that end, it is running strategic reviews and may explore the sale of certain plants.Fortum had already curbed emissions from its generation fleet substantially, but with the purchase of Uniper comes swelling criticism, and one project, in particular, is stirring outrage among environmentalists.Uniper is weeks away from commissioning Germany’s last new coal-fired power plant, Datteln 4, whose closure is already in sight as part of the country’s scheduled exit from lignite-fired and hard coal power generation by 2038.“I know it sounds crazy to start a new coal power plant in 2020,” [CEO Pekka] Lundmark said. However, he added that the achievement of emissions reductions across Europe do not depend on individual units, but rather the functioning of the Emissions Trading System, or ETS, as a whole and that the emissions cost is being paid rather than displaced. According to Lundmark, the Market Stability Reserve mechanism under the ETS, which gradually removes credits from the market to curb emissions, is working effectively and Fortum is lobbying for further tightening at an EU level.For its old coal power generation fleet, Uniper has “an ambitious shutdown schedule,” Lundmark said, in addition to its new carbon neutrality target for 2035. Most of its German coal assets burn hard coal, and will, therefore, have to participate in auctions to determine the compensation they get for shutting down, in contrast to lignite-fired assets that will receive direct compensation.Fortum is also working on a joint emissions reductions and asset strategy with its new subsidiary, Lundmark said, adding, “It’s a good thing for the climate that Uniper has an owner like Fortum.” But the German power producer’s environmental footprint continues to be put under the microscope by certain investors. The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, managed by Norway’s Norges Bank, announced May 13 it is reviewing its investment in Uniper due to its coal exposure.[Camilla Naschert]More ($): Despite new coal plant, Fortum reiterates green push for subsidiary Uniper
American Rivers today announced its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Rivers — naming California’s San Joaquin River the Most Endangered River in the country. Four million people live in the San Joaquin watershed. Outdated water management and excessive diversions, compounded by the current drought, have put the San Joaquin River at a breaking point.American Rivers is calling on the California State Water Resources Control Board to increase flows in the river to protect water quality, fish, and recreation, and support sustainable agriculture. American Rivers is also urging Congress to preserve agreements and laws designed to protect the San Joaquin River and the jobs and communities it supports.“The San Joaquin River is ground zero for water supply challenges, but it is also fertile ground for new and innovative water supply solutions,” said Bob Irvin, President, American Rivers. “We want a future with a healthy river and sustainable agriculture. This listing is a call to action for all of us to come together around solutions to protect and restore reliable and predictable clean water supplies and a healthy river for future generations.”The river and its tributaries support some of the most productive and profitable agriculture in the world, irrigating more than two million acres of arid land. However, the river is so heavily exploited that it runs dry in certain stretches. The current drought is placing additional stress on the river and revealing the inadequacies of status quo water management for both people and the environment.“On the San Joaquin and across the nation, communities can increase their ability to deal with drought now and in the future by protecting and restoring rivers and using water more efficiently,” said Irvin. “By prioritizing healthy rivers and sustainable water management, we can enjoy reliable clean water supplies, healthy fish and wildlife, recreation, and quality of life for generations to come.”For the second year in a row, the America’s Most Endangered Rivers report underscores the problems that arise for communities and the environment when we drain too much water out of rivers. Last year the Colorado River was #1 on the list because of outdated water management. The Colorado River Basin remains in the spotlight this year, with water diversion threats placing the Gila River and the rivers of the Upper Colorado Basin on the Most Endangered list.The annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers report is a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates. Over the years, the report has helped spur many successes including the removal of outdated dams, the protection of rivers with Wild and Scenic designations, and the prevention of harmful development and pollution.America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2014:#1 San Joaquin RiverCaliforniaThreat: Outdated water management and excessive diversionsAt Risk: River health and resilient communities#2 Upper Colorado River SystemColoradoThreat: New trans-mountain water diversionsAt Risk: River health and recreation#3 Middle Mississippi RiverMissouri, Illinois, KentuckyThreat: Outdated flood managementAt Risk: Wildlife habitat and public safety#4 Gila RiverNew MexicoThreat: New water diversionsAt Risk: River health, fish & wildlife, recreation, and tourism#5 San Francisquito CreekCaliforniaThreat: DamAt Risk: Fish and wildlife habitat and public safety#6 South Fork Edisto RiverSouth CarolinaThreat: Excessive water withdrawalsAt Risk: Fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, and water quality#7 White RiverColoradoThreat: Oil and gas drillingAt Risk: Drinking water supplies and fish and wildlife habitat#8 White RiverWashingtonThreat: Outdated dam and fish passage facilitiesAt Risk: Salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations#9 Haw RiverNorth CarolinaThreat: Polluted runoffAt Risk: Clean water#10 Clearwater/Lochsa RiversIdahoThreat: Industrialization of a Wild and Scenic River corridorAt risk: Scenery, solitude, world-class recreational values
Clips of the Week: Send It features some blood-pumping vids of adrenaline seekers getting after it. From kayaking the White Salmon River in Washington to a downhill racer’s big comeback, these clips are sure to get you stoked.A thrilling edit of a team of kayakers tackling the White Salmon River in Washington.Tom Wheeler, a UK downhill rider and racer, sadly lost his arm in Rheola, Wales in 2011. This is the story of his epic comeback.Andrew Whiteford has a Dub Tales series on Vimeo, this video in particular caught our attention.
Photo Courtesy of Vladamir PustovitEver wondered what the most popular articles on Blue Ridge Outdoors are? Well ponder no more. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most popular BRO pieces and included them below for your reading pleasure.From Appalachian Mountain Lion Mysteries and a long time BRO contributor’s satirical search for the ever-elusive Sasqautch to Moonshine in the Mountains and our classic guide on How to Date a Kayaker, these articles will keep you entertained for hours.MOST POPULAR STORIESMountain Lion MysteryHow to Date a KayakerIn Search of BigfootFirst Descents: Chris Gragtmans’ Waterfall Paddling PlungesHomeless for the HolidaysBrown Mountain LightsThe Greenest Man in the MountainsMoonshine in the MountainsBest Outdoor JobsThe Skinny on Naked Running
Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County West Virginia has long been considered one of the Southeast’s premier skiing destinations, but have you ever wondered what goes on up there at 4,848 feet above sea level— after the snow melts?Turns out, thanks to all things mountain biking, summer and fall are almost as exciting as winter. If you like racing down the slopes spraying snow, just wait until you’re racing down on two wheels, slinging dirt. Snowshoe Bike Park is recognized as one of the best in the US. With nearly 40 trails and 1,500 vertical feet of decent, it’s challenging enough for the most experienced downhill biker, yet still accommodating to beginning riders.If you’re new to the sport, you can always learn the fundamentals of terrain and technique through an introductory mountain biking lesson with one of the Resort’s experienced instructors. You’ll start on Easy Street and before you know it you’ll be ready to cruise down green and blue flow trails like Dream Weaver and Skyline right along with the pros.If braving the steeps on a downhill bike isn’t your thing, don’t worry; there are plenty of cross-country biking and hiking opportunities for the more laid-back adventurer. There are actually more than 11,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness in Snowshoe’s backcountry, so whether you’re looking for scenic overlooks and abundant wildlife or a cardio workout and challenging rock scrambles, you’ll find it on this mountain. And imagine what all those miles of Appalachian forest look like when the leaves are turning into a rainbow of fall colors. Right now may just be the best time of year for backcountry exploring, whether it be on bike, foot or something a little faster…If you’re really ready to cover some ground and experience the whole mountain, you can take a guided off-road tour in a Polaris RZR or ACE all-terrain vehicle. Just mix a little adrenaline with cool mountain air, amazing landscapes and a splash of mud, and you’ve got the perfect farewell-to-summer adventure.When you’re done with all that sweat and dirt, you can relax in the mountaintop Village at the restaurant of your choice, the spa, or by taking a scenic lift ride to the beach at Shaver’s Lake. That’s right, Snowshoe has a lake with a beach, along with stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and more.With all the amenities of a typical resort, it really is adventure by day, relaxation by night. And what makes it even better? How about one pass –an affordable pass—that gets you access to all of it? The Mountain Adventure Pass does that and more. Even the Mountain Biking 101 course is included, plus golf, sporting clays and other activities.So whether you need one last summer adventure, want to take in some amazing fall vistas, or you’re just ready to try something new, check out Snowshoe Mountain. It will not disappoint.
By Dialogo March 06, 2009 MLB developed the World Baseball Classic for countries that have an interest in playing.I think its a good idea, and will eventually catch on.But, all players should participate for the country in which they were born Star players from 16 countries are ready to represent their native lands in the 2009 renewal of the World Baseball Classic (WBC). China and defending champion Japan competed in the first game March 5. The building enthusiasm for the tournament reflects two notable developments in the sport: the worldwide reach of what once was strictly an American game and, reciprocally, the diverse makeup of U.S. major league rosters. Most of the national teams will include players on loan from the U.S. major leagues. The team from the Dominican Republic, whose 25-man roster will be composed entirely of major leaguers, includes some of the U.S. game’s brightest stars — from Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and David Ortiz of the Yankees’ archrival Boston Red Sox to pitcher Pedro Martinez and slugger Alfonso Soriano. Major League Baseball’s commitment to the tournament is clear from its willingness to give up more than 200 players during the important “spring training” period ahead of the 2009 regular season, breaking the usual training rhythm. The move is not completely altruistic, to be sure. By showcasing the talents of stars who have made good in the United States, baseball executives hope to enhance the sport’s worldwide appeal even further. With baseball dropped as an Olympic sport after the 2008 games in Beijing, where South Korea won the gold, the WBC has become the one true international competition. Baseball officials are pushing hard to have the sport reinstated at the 2016 Olympics, competing with rugby, golf, squash, karate, roller sports and softball for one of two openings on the program. The initial round of WBC games will be held at venues in Tokyo, Mexico City, Toronto, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Second-round action among surviving teams will be held starting March 14 at stadiums in San Diego and Miami. The championship games will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles starting March 21. The 36 umpires assigned to officiate in WBC games include 21 from the U.S. major leagues, four from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and two from the Korean Baseball Association. Others are from Canada, Mexico, Panama, Cuba and Australia, and two represent the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Carlos Beltrán, a hard-hitting center fielder for the New York Mets, reflects the pride expressed by many WBC participants. “There is not one experience in baseball, in the big leagues, that is bigger than playing for your country,” he told major league Web site mlb.com after being named to Puerto Rico’s team. U.S. baseball teams provide a treasure trove of foreign-born players to draw upon. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig’s office has reported that 239 of the 855 players on rosters at the start of the 2008 season were born outside the 50 states. That amounts to 28 percent, or just slightly less than the record of 29.2 percent set in 2005. The Dominican Republic produced the largest number of those players, 88, followed by Venezuela (52); Puerto Rico (29); Japan (16); Canada (14); Mexico (11); Cuba (eight); Panama (five); Australia (four); Taiwan (three); Colombia, Curacao and South Korea (two each), and the Netherlands, Nicaragua and the U.S. Virgin Islands (one each). The New York Mets led all teams with 15 foreign-born players on their 40-man roster. Even more striking are the figures for the minor leagues, the smaller-market entry point for virtually all future major league stars. There, 3,356 of 7,021 roster players — a record 47.8 percent — were born outside the 50 states. The 2009 tournament is the second WBC, coming three years after Japan won the inaugural 2006 Classic by defeating Cuba in the championship game, 10-6. Sponsors hope to hold future events once every three years. Japan and Cuba continue to boast strong teams, but who will win this year is anyone’s guess. Cuba’s situation is unique among the WBC field. The Cuban government places restrictions on emigration. Cuban-born major leaguers defected to play baseball in the United States. Consequently, Cuba uses only Cuba-based players. Still, it has regularly placed high in international competitions. Team USA manager Davey Johnson is optimistic about his team’s prospects this year, despite a disappointing finish in 2006 when the United States was knocked out early after back-to-back losses to Korea and Mexico. This time, Johnson told mlb.com, “I think the United States is the team to beat.” His players, he says, “are all fired up to want to represent [their country] … and have a good showing.”
By Dialogo April 15, 2009 Rogerio Ceni, the world’s top scoring goalkeeper, broke his left ankle in practice Monday and will be sidelined for about four months. The Sao Paulo goalkeeper will need surgery and will miss the rest of the Copa Libertadores, in addition to the final stage of the Sao Paulo state championship and part of the upcoming Brazilian league. The injury happened after Ceni fell awkwardly during Sao Paulo’s practice ahead of its match against Independiente de Medellin in Colombia on Wednesday. Ceni had already sustained two muscle injuries this season. The 36-year-old Ceni, a free kick and penalty kick specialist, has scored 83 goals in his 18-year career, more than any other goalkeeper. He had been heavily criticized recently after making mistakes in the past three matches for Sao Paulo, where he has played his entire career. He was a member of Brazil’s national team which won the 1997 Confederations Cup and the 2002 World Cup. He also participated in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Sao Paulo is in the semifinals of the Sao Paulo state championship and leads Group 4 of the Copa Libertadores, Latin America’s most important competition.
By Dialogo June 15, 2009 Bogotá, June 11 (EFE). – Former paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, who was extradited to the United States, asked Colombian President Álvaro Uribe to appoint him as peacemaker, while offering to mediate before the FARC and ELN guerrillas. According to a statement published in the daily El Tiempo website, Mancuso tells Uribe in a letter: “please allow me to move forward with my determination to be a man of peace.” In the letter from Washington dated March 22, 2009, the former leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) states that he is “the mirror on which the ‘Canos,’ ‘Jojoys,’ FARC, ELN, emerging groups, and ‘don Marios’ reflect.” Mancuso refers to Alfonso Cano, the chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); to drug trafficker and paramilitary soldier Daniel Rendón Herrera, aka “Don Mario,” who as captured in April by Colombian authorities; and to Jorge Briceño Suárez, aka “Mono Jojoy,” the FARC military chief. As well as other sectors, Mancuso says that the conflict won’t be ended “by the use of weapons or by the wiping out the adversary; on the contrary, it will be fulfilled through dialogue and political solutions regarding transitional justice.” He says that, as peacemaker, he could “mediate and hold political dialogues with all of them if he has political and government support.” Furthermore, he says that the connections between the Colombian Army and the paramilitary will lead to a stage “more traumatic and painful than that of parapolitics.” On the other hand, he criticizes President Uribe’s administration’s handling of the paramilitary demobilization process, since “the emerging groups are the sub-product of the failure of the “Ralito Agreement” negotiations, of not being able to manage the different stages of the peace process.” He points out that the territories he surrendered when demobilization occurred were taken by the so-called “emerging groups,” which constitute “new self-defense, the same old one, or a combination of both.” Mancuso also stated that he understands why Uribe’s government extradited him back in 2008, since, otherwise, he and his family would have already been murdered.” In the letter, the former soldier agrees with the referendum for President Uribe’s second re-election, and he points out that “if he had been asked, he would have joined.” Mancuso and other paramilitary leaders demobilized by the end of 2004 in a peace process in which 31,000 members surrendered their weapons and accepted the benefits offered by the Act of Justice and Peace. Mancuso, along with other 13 former paramilitary chiefs, was extradited to the United States in May 2008, where they were summoned by American courts that charged them with various crimes including drug trafficking.
By Dialogo November 09, 2009 Soldiers and townspeople dug through rock and debris Monday in hopes of finding dozens of people missing in a mudslide that swept down on a town, part of a wave of floods and landslides that killed at least 124 people in El Salvador. Days of heavy rains loosed mud and boulders that rolled down the slopes of the Chichontepec volcano before dawn Sunday, burying homes and cars in Verapaz, a town of about 3,000 people 30 miles (50 kilometers) outside the capital, San Salvador. Hurricane Ida’s presence in the western Caribbean late last week may have played a role in drawing the rain-packed Pacific low-pressure system toward El Salvador on the other side of Central America, said Dave Roberts, a Navy hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Soldiers, emergency workers and relatives resumed a search for the missing at daybreak Monday and ilitary helicopters flew in food for the searchers. Survivor Cruz Ayala described the slide as “something black, like a huge wave, a huge noise, and I heard screams of people asking for help.” She fled and climbed the roof of a neighbor’s house without knowing if her 71-year-old mother and teenage nieces escaped. She found her mother and one of girls, but the other, 14-year-old Evelyn, remains missing. Amid a persistent drizzle, rescuers dug frantically for survivors with shovels and even bare hands. But the search was made difficult by collapsed walls, boulders and downed power lines that blocked heavy machinery. A small church turned into an impromptu funeral home, with relatives waiting outside under the rain for loved ones to be prepared for burial. Mario Montoya said his sister, who was eight months pregnant, was among the dead. “A torrent of water grew and great boulders started to destroy homes. It was terrible,” said Montoya, 29. President Mauricio Funes declared a national emergency and called the damages incalculable. “The images that we have seen today are of a devastated country,” Funes said on local television. El Salvador’s Civil Protection agency raised the death toll by to 124 late Sunday, with another 60 people missing. It didn’t break down the deaths by location, but the deaths were concentrated in San Salvador and San Vicente province, where Verapaz is located. Red Cross spokesman Carlos Lopez Mendoza said earlier that 60 people were missing in Verapaz. Matias Mendoza, 26, was at home in Verapaz with his wife Claudia and their year-old son, Franklin, when the earth began moving. “It was about two in the morning when the rain started coming down harder, and the earth started shaking,” Mendoza recalled. “I warned my wife and grabbed my son, and all of a sudden we heard a sound. The next thing I knew I was lying among parts of the walls of my house.” “A few minutes later, I found my wife and my son in the middle of the rubble, and, thank God, we’re alive,” said Mendoza, who suffered cuts on his cheek that emergency workers stitched up. Almost 7,000 people saw their homes damaged by landslides or cut off by floodwaters following three days of downpours from a low-pressure system indirectly related to Hurricane Ida, which brushed Mexico’s Cancun resort on Sunday before steaming into the Gulf of Mexico. San Vicente Gov. Manuel Castellanos said workers were struggling to clear roadways and power and water service had been knocked out. At least 300 houses were flooded when a river in Verapaz overflowed its banks, Lopez Mendoza said. Ida’s presence in the western Caribbean may have played a role in drawing a Pacific low-pressure system toward El Salvador, causing the rains, said Dave Roberts, a Navy hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. He added, however, that “if there were deaths associated with this rainfall amount in El Salvador, I would not link it to Ida.”