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"SOS Amazon": 1st action of Amazon tribes, sending message "Wake Up, World!" at 2009 World Social Forum in Brazil

while world leaders are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, an alternative meeting is taking place in Brazil

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BELÉM, Brazil, Jan 27 (IPS) - A human banner made up of more than 1,000 people, seen and photographed from the air, sent the message "SOS Amazon" to the world, in the first action taken by indigenous people hours before the opening in northern Brazil on Tuesday of the 2009 World Social Forum (WSF).

gathering in Belém, a city at the mouth of the Amazon, for the six-day World Social Forum (WSF)

The mass message reflects "our concern about global warming, whose impact we will be the first to feel, although we, the peoples of the Amazon, have protected and cared for the forests," Francisco Avelino Batista, an Apurinán Indian from the Purus river valley in the Brazilian Amazon, told IPS.

September 1988, Rondonia State, Brazil: Newly cleared land. Soya farming is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Amazon  read more »

"SOS Amazon": every second we lose 1.5 acres of rainforests once covering 14% of earth land surface, now a mere 6%

SOS: save the Amazon

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The Disappearing Rainforests

We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

June 1989, Brazil: The forest burns

* One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

* Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.

left: walking leaves (Phyllidae) are closely related to stick insects. Crater Mountain, Papua New Guinea; right: only the inappropriate perch gives away these leaf bugs (Phromnia) in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar

* Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation.  read more »

Obama takes office, calling to join him "in the work of remaking America." Future history will see: in which way?

Barack Obama, joined by his wife Michelle, takes oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the US Capitol in Washington

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama was inaugurated yesterday as the 44th president of the United States, seizing the historic moment to invoke the "price and the promise of citizenship" and demand the participation of all Americans in restoring the country to greatness. He took the oath of office on Abraham Lincoln's Bible before a sea of more than 1 million people that stretched from the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial. He struck a solemn tone in warning of the challenges and sacrifices that lie ahead. Comparing the economic crisis and fight against terrorism to the trials faced by the Founding Fathers, Obama implored his fellow citizens to join him "in the work of remaking America."

President Barack Obama giving his inaugural address to the millions assembled spectators

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord," Obama said, his voice reverberating throughout the National Mall. "Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end - that we did not turn back, nor did we falter."  read more »

Around the world in 1460 days: Mike Horn navigates sustainable sailboat Pangaea on 4-year 7-continent eco-voyage

Sustainable Sea Craft: the 115-foot Pangaea is designed to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible. The hull is made of recyclable aluminum and the top of the cockpit is covered with solar panels

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For South African-born explorer Mike Horn, 42, navigating in sub-zero temperatures requires basic tools: chocolate for energy and mucus for wind-block. Horn has circumnavigated the Arctic Circle solo, circled the globe along the equator without motorized transport and completed the first-ever night expedition to the North Pole, without dogs and frequently swimming along the way.

Project Route: as the four-year expedition makes stops on all seven continents, Horn will periodically leave the boat to trek on land and meet the boat again at another location. Over the course of the journey, he will walk, kayak, cycle, paraglide, ski and sail

Back in 2002, Horn's expedition around the Arctic Circle involved skiing, sailing, kayaking and trekking in temperatures as low as -76 F (-60 C). This year, Horn embarks on his most ambitious expedition to date - Pangaea.  read more »

Brazil's plan bears vision of forest protector shot to death 20 years ago trying to save the Amazon rain forest

Amazonian landscape, with a shaft of light

“Development” or destruction of the planet? The value of a standing forest could be more than the value of a forest burned and logged in the name of development. How many more trees would be cut, forests burned down in the name of development in days not far behind us, and time ahead?

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Twenty years ago, a Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper was shot to death at his home in Acre State by ranchers opposed to his efforts to save the Amazon rain forest. After his death at age 44, Francisco Alves Mendes, better known as Chico, became a martyr for a concept that is only now gaining mainstream support here: that the value of a standing forest could be more than the value of a forest burned and logged in the name of development.

This month, Brazil took what environmentalists hope will be a big step forward in realizing Mr. Mendes’s vision. The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva introduced ambitious targets for reducing deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions in a nation that is one of the world’s top emitters of this heat-trapping gas.

Francisco Alves Mendes, pictured in 1988, was killed by ranchers opposed to his efforts to save the rain forest  read more »

Modec electric vans in UK: FedEx Express' fleet of >170 hybrid electric vehicles - zero tailpipe emission

the Fedex Modec Van

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12 December 2008

FedEx Express has ordered 10 Modec electric commercial vehicles for use in the United Kingdom. The zero tailpipe emission vehicles will be the first such to join the FedEx fleet in the UK and will operate in the greater London metropolitan area. The vehicles feature a large, removable battery pack and can travel up to 70 miles on one overnight charge.

FedEx Express and Iveco in joint diesel-electric hybrid Daily van trials

The new vehicles are part of a growing fleet of more than 170 hybrid electric vehicles in the FedEx fleet worldwide - the largest hybrid fleet in the transportation industry—and support the company’s commitment to improve the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet by 20% by 2020. FedEx has also committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its aircraft fleet by 20% per available ton mile by 2020.

Photos courtesy of greencarcongress.com and roadtransport.com

Original Source: Green Car Congress

Related Articles: FedEx Hybrid-Electric Fleet Passes Two Million Miles and FedEx Express and Iveco in joint diesel-electric hybrid Daily van trials. There's 'Green' says Biglorryblog

Solar Energy: Spain 4th in world, 2nd in Europe behind Germany; number of solar companies leapt from couple dozen to few hundred

Toledo Solar - Installation began in Feb 1993, completed in May 1994, on schedule & to budget. Production reached 1,270 MWh in 2000. This landmark project was a successful field demonstration of PV and European institutional cooperation

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As researchers continue to explore new ways to promote and improve solar power, Spain forges ahead with plans to build concentrating solar power plants, establishing the country and Spanish companies as world leaders in the emerging field. At the same time, the number of installed photovoltaic systems is growing exponentially, and researchers continue to explore new ways to promote and improve solar power. This is the seventh in an eight-part series highlighting new technologies in Spain and is produced by Technology Review, Inc.’s custom-publishing division in partnership with the Trade Commission of Spain.

mirrors focus the power of about 600 suns on a receiver at the top of the solucar tower  read more »

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