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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

IsraAid, Local Partner Prodev Rush to Help Haiti After Hurricane Matthew [video]

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

The death toll from Hurricane Matthew has spiked over the weekend to more than 870 victims, as the storm travels north into South Carolina, where 300,000 people evacuated ahead of the storm. Matthew had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with “only” 75 mile per hour (137 kilometer per hour) winds as of Saturday afternoon.

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But the hurricane bashed the island nation of Haiti last week. Immediately the day after, IsraAID and local partner Prodev rushed to help the stunned survivors. Responders from the two organizations were the first to provide food and water for 200 children at Cite Soleil, a densely populated and extremely impoverished community in Port-Au-Prince.

Most of the storm’s victims were killed in Haiti, where the storm had packed its hardest punch with winds of more than 233 kilometers per hour (140 mph).

The United Nations has reported that 350,000 Haitians need assistance and 80 percent of the homes in the island nation are damaged.

Property damage firm CoreLogic estimated that the total cost of storm surge and wind damage from the hurricane could cost between $4 and $6 billion on 1.5 million residential and insured residential and commercial properties in the southeastern United States, including Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Not included in the estimate was damage to business owners from loss of hours, power outages, additional flooding and other issues.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Exports 500 Million Predatory Insects, Bumblebees, to Russia

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Israel has sent Russia 500 million predatory insects as part of its assistance in developing an independent Russian agriculture.

Following the European boycott on Russian produce as a result of the Russian invasion of Crimea, Russian agriculture was abruptly cut off from its traditional economic base, and so the state is investing great efforts in developing and sustaining the local agriculture — which is where Israel’s superior agricultural know-how comes into the picture. Israeli companies are now working to construct hothouses for Russian farmers, and consult them on utilizing innovative methods, including using natural, non-toxic methods to get rid of pests.

BioBee Biological Systems, in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, just south of Beit She’an in northern Israel, is a unique company which breeds and implements beneficial insects and mites (swirskii, phytoseiulus persimilis) for agricultural purposes. These have proven priceless in pest control in tomatoes, cucumbers and roses.

BioBee also sent Russian farmers its home-grown bumblebees for pollination, without which there is no horticulture.

Part of the collaboration involves experiments being carried out by BioBee in using bumblebees to pollinate cherry orchards in Crimea. The company expects that should the trials prove a success this would open new markets for Israel in pollinating cherry trees around the world.

Crop pollination by insects has been estimated at $14.6 billion to the US economy, for instance, but bee diversity has declined considerably in the US and Europe, with many species disappearing from much of their former range, and some species going extinct. The UK alone has lost three species of native bumblebee, and six more are listed as endangered. Four bumblebee species have gone extinct from Europe, and similar declines are seen in China.

Chinese agricultural publications have described falling and increasingly unpredictable yields of insect-pollinated crops, particularly in the areas with the most intensive farming. Where crops are grown in vast fields, there are not enough insects to go around. And where insecticides are sprayed frequently, those vital little pollinators cannot survive.

Israeli innovation offers a viable solution to a major problem plaguing world agriculture, combining non-toxic pest control in a growing number of crops, with a complementary plan to revitalize the bumblebee hives around the world.

JNi.Media

How to Invest for Retirement in a Low-Interest Rate Environment

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

How can you invest for retirement in a low-interest rate environment? One answer is to invest in bonds. Learn why many retirees choose to invest in bonds, what the risks are, and how to buy them.

Investing in a bond fund can help diversify your portfolio. This week’s Goldstein on Gelt podcast gives a link for a video about bond laddering and an article that explains how bond funds can increase your portfolio’s diversification.

Professor Burton G. Malkiel of Princeton University, bestselling author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, takes the idea of investing at low risk further. He recommends three tools that may help you to invest for retirement in today’s low-interest environment and shares his predictions for inflation and interest rates.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Dead Sea to Yield 7 Million Oil Barrels

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The Hatrurim oil and gas exploration license in the Dead Sea area contains an oil reservoir worth $321 million, according to a resources report published Sunday morning by the companies holding the license, Globe reported. The report states with 100% geological certainty that the reservoir could contain between 7 and 11 million barrels of oil. Some oil has already been produced from the reservoir, according to Globes.

The Hatrurim Formation or Mottled Zone is a 36 sq. mile geologic formation with outcrops all around the Dead Sea Basin, including the Negev Desert, the Judaean Desert, and western Jordan. It includes impure limestone along with coal-bearing chalk and marl. The rocks have been subjected to pyrometamorphism resulting from combustion of contained or underlying coal or hydrocarbon deposits. The formation is named for exposures in the Hatrurim Basin which lies west of the Dead Sea.

In 1995, Delek Group Ltd. carried out an initial drilling in the license, to a depth of two kilometers, and found oil. It was decided at the time not to pursue drilling oil there because prices at the time were too low to justify the endeavor, and Delek and Avner Oil embarked on off-shore digging instead.

25% of the Hatrurim license was awarded last year to Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP and its partners.

David Israel

Deadly 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Ecuador

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake flattened numerous cities on the Ecuador coastline Saturday, killing at least 77 people and injuring more than 500 others.

Hana Levi Julian

Air Quality Improves With New Haifa Bay Environmental Project

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

The air quality in the area around the Haifa Bay has improved over the past year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The region saw an 11 percent drop in air pollution levels coming from the industrial sector, the agency announced Tuesday, reaching a 65 percent drop since 2009. The first quarter report of a new action plan for the region said 77 percent of the biggest Haifa Bay factories are also now mandated to comply with stricter emissions controls.

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav called it an “historical day.” For the first time in the history of the state, said the mayor, “a government representative has assumed not only the authority but also the responsibility of the state to correct the distortions and even the crimes committed in the Haifa Bay.”

The figures were presented in the first quarterly report of the National Action Plan for the Haifa Bay Area, a five year plan budgeted at NIS 330 million.

The government approved the project in September, tasking the program to improve the air quality in the region while reducing environmental risks. In addition, the program is being used to promote research, increase accessibility to data and beef up supervision, enforcement and monitoring of environmental issues in the area.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama to Meet Putin at Paris Climate Change Conference

Monday, November 9th, 2015

On the surface, it seems odd that U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin both are taking the time and trouble to attend a global climate change conference this month in Paris.

But both were asked to speak on the first day of a conference in which thousands from around the world are planning to participate. Both are also involved in a life-threatening battle in Syria that now appears to have spread to Egypt despite the best efforts of Western fighters.

It is possible — likely even — the two leaders may find time to discuss their mutual concerns while at the conference for climate control as well, albeit away from the very interested eyes of the media.

More than 100 other leaders of nations joined the two world leaders Sunday as they arrived in Paris to prepare the groundwork for the talks at the COP 21 event. The three-day conference is convened with the aim of reaching the most ambitious accord ever — aimed at limiting greenhouse emissions that cause global warming.

Despite being one of the driest nations in the world, has become a world leader in the management of precious ecological and environmental resources, particularly water.

The European Union Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen sat down with Avi Gabbay, Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister last week and ambassadors of EU member states for a working breakfast to prepare for the Paris conference.

Organizers are hoping to reach a new global climate deal at the conference by the time the event reaches its last day in December.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a win-win situation, for the environment and for the economy, in Israel and in the EU,” said Gabbay. “Governments and business leaders must work together to reduce emissions, and foster a global transition to a low-carbon economy. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the EU and its members on this issue,” he said.

“French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabian told international media that Putin accepted an invitation to speak on the first day of the conference, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 11. He is to be joined by Obama, as well as the leaders of India and China on that first day, but the Kremlin has yet to confirm his participation, according to the Associated Press.

Some 40,000 people are expected to attend the gathering in addition to thousands of activists from the fields of human, environmental and ecological rights.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-to-meet-putin-at-paris-climate-change-conference/2015/11/09/

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