World’s first carbon billionaire

Written by on May 31, 2011. Posted in Uncategorised

Al Gore, the former US vice president, could become the world’s first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies.

Last year Mr Gore’s venture capital firm loaned a small California firm $75m to develop energy-saving technology.

The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient.

The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants, the New York Times reports. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.

The move means that venture capital company Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.

Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy as Mr Gore. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes. Read full article here…

The Cost of Carbon Emmisions

Written by on May 20, 2011. Posted in Uncategorised

While it is generally an accepted fact that traditional fossil fuels are contributing to the high levels of  carbon emissions that exacerbate global warming, seeing its effects in action is still a very sobering thought.

After studying prehistoric ocean sediments, a team of researchers from Australia and the UK concluded that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the oceans will likely lead to massive die-offs of marine life.

The fossil record pinpoints a mass mortality in the oceans at a time when the Earth was experiencing a greenhouse effect. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising temperatures depleted oxygen in the oceans and created large-scale changes in a very short time span — within just a few hundred years.

That mass extinction of marine life in the oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the same could happen again due to high levels of greenhouse gases.

The study was conducted by professor Martin Kennedy from the University of Adelaide(School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) and professor Thomas Wagner from Newcastle University, UK, (Civil Engineering and Geosciences).

Professor Kennedy said that the doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere over the past 50 years is “like hitting our ecosystem with a sledge-hammer” compared to the very small changes in incoming solar energy (radiation) that was capable of triggering these events in the past.

Using core samples drilled from the ocean bed off the coast of western Africa, the geologists studied layers of sediment from the Late Cretaceous Period (85 million years ago) across a 400,000-year timespan. They found a significant amount of organic material – marine life – buried within deoxygenated layers of the sediment.

Wagner says the results of their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has relevance for our modern world.

“We know that ‘dead zones’ are rapidly growing in size and number in seas and oceans across the globe,” he said. “These are areas of water that are lacking in oxygen and are suffering from increases of CO2, rising temperatures, nutrient run-off from agriculture and other factors.

“What’s alarming to us as scientists is that there were only very slight natural changes that resulted in the onset of hypoxia in the deep ocean,” said Professor Kennedy. “This occurred relatively rapidly – in periods of hundreds of years, or possibly even less – not gradually over longer, geological time scales, suggesting that the Earth’s oceans are in a much more delicate balance during greenhouse conditions than originally thought, and may respond in a more abrupt fashion to even subtle changes in temperature and CO2 levels.”

“This could have a catastrophic, profound impact on the sustainability of life in our oceans, which in turn is likely to impact on the sustainability of life for many land-based species, including humankind,” he added.

However, the geological record offers a glimmer of hope thanks to a naturally occurring response to greenhouse conditions. After a hypoxic phase, oxygen concentration in the ocean seems to improve, and marine life returns.

This research has shown that natural processes of carbon burial kick in and the land comes to the rescue, with soil-formed minerals collecting and burying excess dissolved organic matter in seawater. Burial of the excess carbon ultimately contributes to CO2 removal from the atmosphere, cooling the planet and the ocean.

“This is nature’s solution to the greenhouse effect and it could offer a possible solution for us,” said Professor Wagner. “If we are able to learn more about this effect and its feedbacks, we may be able to manage it, and reduce the present rate of warming threatening our oceans.”

It is clear that the day of the fossil fuel must inherently come to an end. And soon.

(Source – courtesy of Summit County Citizens Voice)  http://summitcountyvoice.com/2011/05/20/global-warming-ancient-ocean-changes-are-warning-signs/

2000th Member Prize

Written by on May 20, 2011. Posted in Uncategorised

Anstiss Investments are offering the 2000th person to become an Anstiss member a free holiday for 2 – with return flights and accommodation for 4 nights – in southern Spain. The self-catering apartment will be on the Costa del Sol, in one of four popular tourist locations along the coast – including Marbella, Benalmadena or Fuengirola – to be confirmed when the winner is announced.

REGISTER HERE >>

The Costa del Sol is the most densely populated coastal region of Andalucía and is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. Evidence of the area’s popularity is the fact that there are more jet skis per capita than anywhere else in Europe. All year round, people favour its row of fine, sandy beaches and calm Mediterranean waters. The area’s mild climate is a major factor in enjoying the beaches and a wide variety of outdoor and water activities year round.

There are around 70 Costa del Sol golf courses on the “Costa del Golf” which can be played all year round as well as a whole range of other activities available such as sailing, scuba diving, horse riding, dolphin safaris, etc.

To have the opportunity to win, simply sign up free for membership at Anstiss Investment Groups. REGISTER HERE >>

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