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Global Warming on the Rise * Sustainable Development * SolarFest 2002

29 May 2002

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

- Nelson Mandela

1) Expert warns world is warming faster than forecast
2) Antarctic Ice Melt Poses Worldwide Threat
3) World Summit on Sustainable Development
4) SolarFest 2002
5) Help Flyby News

Editor's Notes:

This issue follows up on the critical area of global warming. Since the Larsen B ice shelf collapse in Antartica, scientists are becoming alarmed at the quickening rate of CO2 concentration and atmospheric global warming. Item 3 is on an upcoming world summit on sustainable development. There are many questions as to the effectiveness of such a summit, but each situation offers some opportunity. Information is linked at the end of this item on what you could do, learn, or share, in support of the development of a beneficial commercial-industrial energy technology. Item 4 is on SolarFest, which combines art, music, and sustainable learning, in a beautiful off-the-grid intimate homestead in Vermont.


1) Expert warns world is warming faster than forecast

INTERVIEW - Expert warns world is warming faster than forecast

UK: May 14, 2002

LONDON - Planet earth is warming up faster than previously expected, the head of a leading climate research institute said yesterday.

Dying forests, expanding deserts and rising sea levels would wreak havoc to human and animal lives sooner than anticipated as global warming was accelerating, said Geoff Jenkins, head of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

"It looks like it will be warmer by the end of the century than what we have predicted," he told Reuters in an interview.

Jenkins said recent revisions showed much greater output of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) than earlier estimated. These gases are blamed for global warming.

Warmer weather will generate more droughts, floods and rising sea levels which many fear will create millions of refugees from drowning island-nations and possible wars over increasingly scarce fresh water.

Economies are also likely to take a blow as farming, fishing and business will be affected by the change in climate.

A 2001 United Nations' report on climate change forecast that global temperatures will rise two to five degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

But recent data suggest temperatures could rise even higher as a worst case scenario shows four times as much emitted CO2 in the atmosphere from today's levels which Jenkins said is significantly higher than previously expected.

Carbon dioxide is blamed for two thirds of all global warming and is largely produced when burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal.


Despite efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent of 1990's levels during 2008-12 under a global Kyoto pact, the amount in the atmosphere is set to rise as warmer temperatures will curb nature's capacity to absorb the gases, Jenkins said.

Half of all CO2 emissions last in the atmosphere for about 100 years, while the rest is soaked up by seas, land and vegetation.

But the opposite effect may kick in as warmer weather and less rainfall in some places will dry out and kill trees which emit CO2 as they decompose, Jenkins said.

CO2-absorbing microbes in the soil are also set to boost emissions as higher temperatures will fuel their activities which produce the greenhouse gas.

"Instead of helping, they will make global warming worse," Jenkins said.

He echoed a warning from the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of science, that present
measures to cut greenhouse gases were not sufficient to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

He said temperatures in the UK could rise by seven to eight degrees by 2080 compared with an expected four degree increase.

"We would have to cut emissions by 60-70 percent by the end of the century to stabilise CO2 levels," Jenkins said.

The European Union has said it will ratify the Kyoto treaty this summer and if Russia and Japan also do
so the treaty can come into force without the world's largest producer of man-made CO2 emissions - the United States.

The U.S., which has the world's biggest economy, rejected the pact in 2001 over worries it would harm its industry.

Story by Eva Sohlman
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For more on the mounting evidences of Global Warming, visit:,10278,


2) Antarctic Ice Melt Poses Worldwide Threat

Published on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 by Reuters

by Michael Byrnes

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago.

The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs -- some the size of major cities -- is alarming scientists, who blame global warming.

The break-off last month of a 500 billion ton chunk of the Larsen Ice Shelf -- 650 feet thick and with a surface area of 1,250 sq. miles -- is the second big break since a giant iceberg broke away in 1995 and is well beyond normal activity, scientists say.

The production of vast amounts of icebergs is a threat to the world's climate and the way the ocean's function, they say. And the process, once started, cannot be reversed.

The fear is that a snowball effect will lead to disintegration of the vast West Antarctic ice shelf, kilometers thick in parts.

"The (first) break-off said 'this is not theory, it's real -- a rapid and dramatic collapse of an ice shelf can happen'," says Neal Young, glaciologist with the Antarctic Cooperative Research Center (CRC) in Hobart.

"This is saying 'that wasn't a one-off thing."'

Significant warming in parts of the pristine Antarctic wilderness is expected to continue to send huge icebergs into the Southern Ocean, and lead to the disintegration of other sections of ice shelves that fringe Antarctica's continental ice cover.

A longer-term effect would be if the disintegration led to a meltdown of the grounded West Antarctic ice sheet, which would cause the world's oceans to rise by up to five meters (17 feet).

As they delve deeper into the mysteries of the southern continent, scientists are finding a jigsaw on a gigantic scale.

The Antarctic Peninsula, which juts out into the Southern Ocean, has warmed by 2.5 degrees Celsius over the past 50 years, while some other areas have cooled. Some parts of West Antarctica have been losing ice, while, like shifting grains of sand on a beach, ice has built up elsewhere.


But the main message from the world's biggest concentration of Antarctic scientists in Hobart, in
Australia's southernmost city, is of retreating West Antarctic ice and massive break-offs.

Scientists are not too worried for the moment about rising sea levels. This is because floating ice shelves displace large amounts of sea water, and sea levels would effectively remain unchanged if the ice shelfs disappeared.

The real problems arise if the ice built up over millions of years on parts of Antarctica's land mass melts.

"We aren't too worried about the first 100 years or so when the ice shelves go, because there's no real effect on sea level and feedback on global climate is really rather small," said Bill Budd, Professor of Meteorology at the CRC.

The CRC is a co-operative body between Australia's Antarctic Division, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the University of Tasmania and other bodies.

But scientists believe that the expected loss of half the Antarctic's sea ice by the end of the century will have important consequences for Earth's entire natural system.

They are finding that the world's deep ocean circulation system will slow as the Antarctic produces smaller amounts of dense oxygen-rich seawater, possibly within 30 years, threatening marine life.

"We can't reverse it. Because the greenhouse gas levels are already up, we can't bring them down, they just get higher, and the (ocean) cutoff will be stronger at higher levels," Budd said.

The Antarctic is normally the source for a large part of the "bottom water" which feeds oxygen to global ocean depths. And computer modeling results indicate production of this dense, rich water has fallen by 20 percent from pre-industrial times.

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For more on the mounting evidences of Global Warming, visit:,10278,


3) World Summit on Sustainable Development

In his first major policy address on expectations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held this August, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan identified water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity as five key areas where concrete results can and must be obtained.

The Secretary-General proposed the following actions:

Water— Provide access to at least one billion people who lack clean drinking water and two billion people who lack proper sanitation.

Energy— Provide access to more than two billion people who lack modern energy services; promote renewable energy; reduce over-consumption; and ratify the Kyoto Protocol to address climate change.

Health— Address the effects of toxic and hazardous materials; reduce air pollution, which kills three million people each year, and lower the incidence of malaria and African guinea worm, which are linked with polluted water and poor sanitation.

Agricultural productivity— Work to reverse land degradation, which affects about two-thirds of the world's agricultural lands.

Biodiversity and ecosystem management— Reverse the processes that have destroyed about half of the world's tropical rainforest and mangroves, and are threatening 70 per cent of the world's coral reefs and decimating the world's fisheries.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September, bringing together world leaders, citizen activists and business representatives.

For more information, visit:

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Related Article:

Energy Emerges as a Key Issue for Johannesburg

New York, 8 May 2002 – Beyond the debates over energy use and efficiency that have featured during the preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development is the fact that more than a third of the world's population does not have clean and affordable energy services.

For this complete article, see:

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Related Article:


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Editor's Note:

As the title of the above article-link indicates, there is much debate whether this Summit will be effective. Yet if anyone on this list is attending, I would like your request your consideration in giving Kofi Annan, or his organization, the Stirling Advantage, Inc. business plan. It shows the potential results by improving an 1800's external combustion engine technology. The engine runs favorably with sustainable agricultural practices, and besides generating electricity, its final exhaust heat can be used to enhance water purification systems and other applications, serving humanity in harmony with ecosystems.

For more information, see

A Practical "Stirling" Solution for Onsite Power Production
Flyby News archive posting April 17, 2002 - Item 1

Jonathan Mark is a founder in both organizations: Flyby News and Stirling Advantage, Inc.


4) SolarFest 2002

Flyby News is a proud co-sponsor of SolarFest -- New England's Energy and Music Festival.

SolarFest combines superb family entertainment with presentations by some of the region's most knowledgeable renewable energy experts. Chelsea Green Publishing's eclectic offerings on sustainable living adds much to the mix, as does, home-grown Theater-in-the-Woods children's book author Frank Asch, and an assortment of craft, food, energy and sustainable living vendors. There is room for serendipitous encounters, learning, relaxation, and celebration of the sun on special land away from the grid, just southwest of Rutland, Vermont.

Saturday and Sunday
July 13 and 14, 2002
Daisy Hollow Road,
Middletown Springs, Vermont

For musical performer listings, workshops, maps, early bird special for tickets, etc. visit:


5) Help Flyby News

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