Monday, July 30, 2012

German renewables output hits another record high - 1/4 of all energy

Germany produced 67.9 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy in the first half of 2012, a record high and an increase of 19.5 percent from the same period last year, industry figures showed on Thursday. 

Renewables now account for 25 percent of energy production, up from 21 percent last year, the country's energy industry association (BDEW) said in a statement that reinforced Germany's position as a leader in green technology. 

Wind energy was the largest contributor of green power, accounting for 9.2 percent of all energy output, BDEW said. 

Biomass, or material acquired from living organisms, accounted for 5.7 percent and solar technology for 5.3 percent. 

Solar energy saw the biggest increase, up 47 percent from the previous year. Germany is the world's top market for power converted from solar radiation and its installed capacity accounts for more than a third of the global total. 

Germany aims to derive 35 percent of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2035.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

History made as uniformed military march in San Diego Pride!

I'm sorry I missed this but I'm happy it happened!

History made as uniformed military march in San Diego Pride

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI – It was a historical moment that moved an estimated 200,000-strong crowd to whistle, cheer and applaud as several hundred members of the military marched in San Diego's Pride parade July 21 —  the first time that the US Defense Department allowed personnel to wear their uniforms in a gay parade. 

The Los Angeles Times reports that all branches of the military were represented, led off by Marine Sergeant Bris Holland, who wore her dress blue uniform and carried the US flag. Walking behind Holland, who served two tours in Iraq, was her seven-year-old son, Kannon, and her partner, Jax Jacquez.

"It's been a long time coming," Holland told the Times.

Also in uniform was Navy Petty Officer Erica Tello, who was with her partner, Danielle Pinango, and their three-month-old son. "Being able to wear our uniforms says that we really are equal, at last," Tello said.

Many others observed that military service has changed significantly since the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that prevented gay people from serving openly.

There was some uncertainty in the leadup to parade day as to whether military personnel would be able to march in uniform. But a deputy assistant secretary of defense gave members the green light.

"Based on our current knowledge of the event and current policies, we hereby are granting approval for service members in uniform to participate in this year's parade." 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gun Violence In Colorado

How many more must die before we can have true gun control in America?    That is the question so many of us are asking now.

The shocking violence in Aurora, Colorado last night is a tragic reminder of one of the great faults in American society: the acceptance of gun ownership. The fact that any one person in America can obtain objects whose sole purpose is kill people makes no sense to us in the rational world.

If America had effective gun control laws no one would have been killed at the movie theater last night. To my dismay there are people are who actually saying that more gun would have prevented this horrific event. Such people who express such views may very well be beyond any hope of rational thought.

To make matters worse, the presence of the radical neo-con Tea Party remains a threat to ordinary people who wish to move forward in peace with the progress being created by President Obama. It was the hate rhetoric of the Tea Party that inspired the Tucson shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in 2011. Such hate still exists and no little reason not to believe that the current campaign against President Obama is a factor in the Colorado shooting. ABC News has reported that James Holmes is a member of the Tea party.

I hope President Obama will take necessary steps to protect himself and others from the very real danger of Tea Party violence.     A good first step would be a ban on all forms of gun and bomb ownership.