Quantcast
Connect with us

Pacific island nations pledge to wind, sun and coconut power

Published

on

Tiny Pacific nations which are most at threat from rising seas have vowed to dump diesel and other dirty expensive fuels blamed for causing global warming and replace them with clean sources.

Using coconut biofuel and solar panels, Tokelau — which consists of three island dots half way between New Zealand and Hawaii — plans to become self-sufficient in energy this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

The leaders of other so-called small island states around the world made commitments at a meeting this week organized by the UN Development Program and the Barbados government.

The Cook Islands and Tuvalu in the Pacific are aiming to get all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean is aiming for 60 percent from renewables by 2020.

And East Timor’s government vowed that no family in its capital, Dili, would be using firewood for cooking by 2015 and said half the country’s electricity would be from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

“I know we set ambitious targets, but it is actually exciting,” Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna told AFP.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We don’t see those targets as being difficult. It is very inspiring and that is what is motivating us to get going.”

Puna said about 15 percent of the New Zealand-dependency country’s budget is spent on importing diesel oil. He has called it a “crippling dependence”.

He wants those tens of millions of dollars spent on health and social services and education for the approximately 20,000 inhabitants of 15 islands spread over 2.2 million square kilometers (850,000 square miles) in the Pacific.

ADVERTISEMENT

The government plans to start converting to solar panels and wind turbines. Already nearly all houses have solar water heaters.
Work will start on Rakahanga in the northern group of islands next year with help from Japan. New Zealand is to fund the energy revolution in the southern islands.

Puna said the energy change was proposed while campaigning for a 2010 election. “We didn’t realize, it but we were tapping into a reservoir of environmental consciousness among our people. The reaction has been fantastic.

“Somewhere in our makeup we are environmentally conscious people, because we have learned to live off the land and off the sea, that is our heritage, that is our tradition and we are just tapping into that again.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In North America and many European countries there has been resistance to wind turbines sprouting up on land and sea.

“There may well be some in the Cook islands,” said Puna. “But I think once people realize and see the benefits from these instruments there will not be too many problems.”

UN studies show that oil imports account for up to 30 percent of gross domestic product in some Pacific countries, with prices bolstered by the huge distances it has to be carried.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ministers at this week’s meeting complained in a statement that despite their “significant actions” to help ease global climate change, international action has been “slow and grossly inadequate,” given the increasing threat to island nations from rising seas.

Their declaration — adopted ahead of next month’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro — called for the new energy sources to be made “accessible, affordable and adaptable,” so all threatened island states can take steps to adapt.

[A school boy escapes the heat by leaping into the lagoon on Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu, in 2004. AFP]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

CNN’s Toobin says all evidence points to Trump running an extortion scheme for political dirt

Published

on

On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin laid out how all the evidence points to President Donald Trump attempting to extort Ukraine for political dirt — even the evidence Trump himself has put forward to the public voluntarily.

"May 14th, Trump tells Vice President Pence not to attend Zelensky, the Ukrainian president's inauguration," said Cooper. "July 18th, Trump decides to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that's already been passed by Congress. July 25th is that Trump and Zelensky phone call. I mean, I don't know if it's, you know, if it begins with the call from Putin, but there certainly is a lot of activity, a lot of dominos falling."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Connecticut town’s KKK history recalled ahead of controversial upcoming GOP event

Published

on

The town of Shelton, Connecticut was brutally whacked for its history of racism ahead of a Connecticut Republican Party event.

"Fun fact. In the 1980s, the Imperial Wizard (the national leader) of the Ku Klux Klan lived in Connecticut," columnist Colin McEnroe noted in The Middletown Press.

The host of WNPR's "The Colin McEnroe Show" explained how James Farrands ran the KKK out of his garage in Shelton.

"This may be an unfair memory to bring up, right when Shelton is having another bad run. In recent weeks, the school system there had to deal with a Snapchat pic of a student in blackface lifting both middle fingers and using a common distasteful racial epithet," McEnroe explained.

Continue Reading
 

CNN

Trump’s attack on congressional legitimacy ‘boggles the mind’: Ex-Whitewater counsel

Published

on

On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Whitewater senior counsel Paul Rosenzweig and anchor Erin Burnett discussed how Alexander Hamilton warned about leaders like Trump in his writings — and the president's stunning declaration of the impeachment probe as "crap" and "illegitimate."

"Historian Ron Chernow, whose biography on Hamilton is the biography, the one used for the Broadway musical, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post," said Burnett. "He says Hamilton, who was a defender of executive power, would have supported impeaching Donald Trump. He cites one of his Federalist Papers, where Hamilton writes, in part, 'When a man unprincipled in his private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper ... when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity to take every opportunity of embarrassing the general government and bringing it under suspicion, it may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.' Hamilton warning such a leader will become a demagogue and a tyrant ... Does it sound like Hamilton, even so long ago, could have been warning about a person like President Trump, Paul?"

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image