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Archive for February 22nd, 2010

Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming(Hoax)

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming(Hoax)

by Richard Harris

January 26, 2010

Farmers in Thailand tend to a rice paddy in Yala province.

Farmers in Thailand tend to a rice paddy in Yala province. Rice paddies are one of the main sources of methane emissions worldwide.

Carbon dioxide is the gas we most associate with global warming, but methane gas also plays an important role. For reasons that are not well understood, methane gas stopped increasing in the atmosphere in the 1990s. But now it appears to be once again on the rise. Scientists are trying to understand why — and what to do about it.

Methane gas comes from all sorts of sources including wetlands, rice paddies, cow tummies, coal mines, garbage dumps and even termites. Drew Shindell, at NASA’s Goddard Institute in New York, says, “It’s gone up by 150 percent since the pre-industrial period. So that’s an enormous increase. CO2, by contrast, has gone up by something like 30 percent.”

More From This Series

Molecule for molecule, methane is much more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. And that’s just part of the trouble.

“Methane is much more complicated once it gets into the atmosphere than something like carbon dioxide is,” Shindell says, “and that’s because it reacts with a lot of different important chemicals.”

Bad For Climate And Health

For example, methane in the atmosphere also creates ground-level ozone. And ozone isn’t only bad for human health; it also contributes to global warming. Shindell recently totaled up all the effects of methane emissions and realized that the heating effect is more than 60 percent that of carbon dioxide’s.

“So that tells you that methane is a pretty big player.”

Methane in the atmosphere leveled off in the 1990s, so it seemed that efforts to control industrial emissions were keeping this problem gas in check. But since 2007, methane levels have been on the rise again.

Wetlands Cause Vicious Cycle

A study published last week in Science magazine suggests that at least part of this increase is coming from the vast wetlands in Canada, Russia and the Arctic. The methane in wetlands comes from naturally occurring bacteria. But study author Paul Palmer at the University of Edinburgh says the bacteria are producing more methane because the temperature is rising.

“The higher the temperature, the more efficient they are at producing methane,” he says. So global warming is causing these wetlands to produce more methane. And the methane is causing more global warming.

Global warming is causing these wetlands to produce more methane. And the methane is causing more global warming.

– Paul Palmer, University of Edinburgh

“This really does demonstrate the fact that we are having this vicious cycle in the climate system. And we’re seeing it now.”

It’s not yet to the stage where it’s a runaway warming effect, Palmer says. But climate scientists are worried that we could hit that tipping point.

There’s no obvious way to control methane from natural wetlands other than to keep them from overheating. But at least half of methane emissions are from human activities, ranging from cattle-rearing and natural gas exploration to coal mining.

Capturing Methane Cost-Effective

Since methane is the main ingredient of natural gas, efforts to capture it can actually pay for themselves. You use the gas for energy. And Shindell says there are other benefits of controlling methane. Methane contributes to ozone, which costs society real money because of its human health effects, and ozone also damages crops.

“So if you account for all the economics, all the gains that you get through the benefits of controlling methane that aren’t even related to climate, you find that many of the reductions you could make actually pay for themselves,” Shindell says.

Even so, there’s relatively little effort now to control methane. Mohamed El-Ashry at the United Nations Foundation says part of the reason has been a fear by governments and advocates that attacking methane would be a dangerous distraction.

“People are worried about diverting attention away from carbon dioxide,” he says. “But that shouldn’t really be the case at all.”

Restart Methane Projects

Both problems need to be solved sooner or later. But global methane projects practically ground to a halt last year.

El-Ashry says that was partly because of uncertainty over the outcome of the global warming talks in Copenhagen, and partly because of the global financial crisis. Credit wasn’t available to finance methane projects, even though they were ready to go.

El-Ashry is part of a group advocating for a new $200 million fund to help jump-start these methane programs again.

“Here is an opportunity to have an immediate effect in terms of impacts, particularly on the Arctic, and secondary impacts, like on health,” he says.

And the good thing about methane is that it stays in the air for only about a decade, so if you can reduce emissions, you can see quick results.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122638800

By the Admin —– The above theories and explanations offer clues as to how unjustified the claims of Global warming can be?!

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Why a price on carbon will not stop deforestation

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Why a price on carbon will not stop deforestation

By Chris Lang, 17th February 2010

Indonesia forest destruction palm oil, PHOTO: Greenpeace

Three straws in the wind: Two pieces of policy news and a new piece of research. Two weeks ago, a leaked document from the EU revealed that the European Commission and some member states hope to include oil palm plantations in the definition of forests. Yesterday, the Jakarta Post reported that Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry is drafting a decree to reclassify oil palm plantations as “forests”.

Last week, the European Commission’s Science for Environment Policy put out a News Alert with the headline “Pricing carbon insufficient to save tropical forests from deforestation”.

There are two related issues here. The first is the definition of “forest”. Currently, the UN defines a forest as any area larger than 500 square metres with crown cover of 10 per cent and trees capable of growing two metres high. Clearly, this definition fails to address the conversion of native forests to monoculture industrial tree plantations. (Incidentally, the UN has not yet attempted to agree a definition of forest degradation. The latest document from the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol, includes two alternative lists of definitions. But the word “degradation” is not included in either list, not even in square brackets.)

The second issue is whether deforestation (including conversion of forests to monocultures) can be prevented by putting a price on carbon. Recent research, published in Environmental Science and Technology found that putting a price on carbon is unlikely to prevent forests being cleared for oil palm plantations. Part of the problem is that a higher carbon price drives up demand for biofuels (as an alternative to expensive fossil fuels). This in turn increases both the price of biofuels and the likelihood that forests are converted to oil palm plantations.

Under the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, 10 per cent of all road transport fuel will have to be “renewable” by 2020. This directive has helped drive a massive expansion in the area of oil palm plantations for biofuel, which has resulted in the destruction of vast areas of forest (and therefore increased greenhouse gas emissions). Instead of addressing this problem, the EU seems determined to make matters worse. A draft communication (available here – pdf file 98 KB) from the European Commission was recently leaked. It is supposed to provide guidance to EU member states on the use of biofuels, but it includes the following extraordinary statement:

“Continuously forested areas are defined as areas where trees have reached, or can reach, at least heights of five metres, making up a crown cover of more than 30 percent. They would normally include natural forest, forest plantations and other tree plantations such as palm oil. . . . This means, for example, that a change from forest to oil palm plantation would not per se constitute a breach of the criteria.”

Rainforest Rescue and Friends of the Earth Europe are campaigning against this attempt to reclassify oil palm plantations as forests.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, with oil palm plantations covering an area of 7 million hectares. Currently these plantations are classified as an agricultural crop. But earlier this week, the head of research and development at the Forestry Ministry, Tachrir Fathoni, explained to the Jakarta Post that Indonesia wants to re-classify this area of monoculture as forest. “It is to anticipate the implementation of the REDD scheme,” he said.

Fathoni argued that Malaysia already includes oil palm plantations in its forest sector. “By doing so,” he said, “Malaysia can reap financial incentives from the UNFCCC [from] carbon trade.” Financial incentives, that is, to clear forests and replace them with oil palm monocultures. Obviously, providing carbon credits for oil palm plantations is not quite what most people have in mind when they think about REDD. Equally obviously, the UN needs to sort out its definition of forests in order to exclude industrial tree plantations.

A common “solution” put forward to prevent the conversion of forests to plantations is to make the forest worth more standing because of the carbon stored in it than the palm oil would be worth from the plantation that replaced the forest.

It sounds simple, but recent research by Martin Persson and Christian Azar at the Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden indicates that a price on carbon may not be enough:

“We estimate that deforesting for palm oil bioenergy production is likely to remain highly profitable, even in the fact of a price on the carbon emissions from forest clearing.” []

An important part of their findings is that increasing the price of carbon will not solve the problem. The European Commission’s Science for Environmental Policy summarises their argument as follows:

“Landowners anticipate gains in the future because they expect carbon prices to rise over time. This means that landowners can pay a relatively low price for carbon emissions from deforestation now and profit from a greater willingness to pay for bioenergy in the future as climate policy is strengthened and carbon and energy prices rise. As a consequence, the value of land will also rise. A higher carbon price will not only increase the cost of forest clearing but also the revenues from doing so.”

Persson and Azar are not arguing that tropical deforestation should be kept out of future international climate regimes. “That would only make matters worse,” they write. But their research has major implications for REDD, particular given the direction that REDD is currently heading – trading the carbon stored in forests and hoping that the magic of the markets will keep the profits from carbon trading higher than the profits from palm oil trading.


[] ^ Martin Persson and Christian Azar (2010) “Preserving the World’s Tropical Forests—A Price on Carbon May Not Do“, Environmental Science and Technology, 2010, 44 (1), pp 210–215, DOI: 10.1021/es902629x.

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Scrappage scheme ‘fails to cut pollution’

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Scrappage scheme ‘fails to cut pollution’

Trading in old bangers for new cars has been popular

Dan Trent and Laura Curtis

The scrappage scheme may save the car industry, but it won’t save the planet. New research shows that while car sales have leapt, as people trade in older vehicles for new ones, thanks to a £2,000 government incentive, the environmental impact of the scheme has been … nil or even negative.

Government figures suggest that the scheme reduces CO2 emissions: older cars scrapped in the scheme burnt an average of 233.6 gallons of petrol each year, compared with the average new car’s 172.4. That’s a decrease of about 26%, or just over 61 gallons of fuel per year.

But critics argue that the figure fails to take into account the energy used to build a new car in the first place. Research by the US Department of Energy calculates that the average new car sold in 2009 required the energy equivalent of 1,540 gallons of petrol to manufacture. The figure dwarfs the fuel savings of 61.2 gallons per year and means that it will take 25 years before the new car repays its “fuel debt”.

The true amount of energy used is likely to be higher still. The department’s figures refer to energy used to make all the parts of a car, such as rubber, fluids, glass, metal and battery as well as the energy required to mine and move those parts.

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It does not take into account the energy used in scrapping older cars. Nor does it take into account the cost of transporting the new car from the point of manufacture to the point of sale. For example, the carbon footprint of the 60,960 fuel-efficient cars sold under the scrappage scheme by the South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia was swelled by the fact that most arrived here on bulk carriers. Merchant shipping accounted for 870m tonnes of global CO2 emissions last year, according to the UN’s International Maritime Organisation.

The findings have caused consternation among green campaigners, many of whom initially welcomed the scrappage scheme as a way of reducing emissions by encouraging drivers to opt for newer, more fuel-efficient cars.

Friends of the Earth says it questions whether the scheme is really as green as painted and is lobbying the government to focus on high-polluting older cars, rather than any car that is more than 10 years old. “A fundamental aim of the scheme should have been to encourage motorists to scrap gas guzzlers and replace them with cleaner cars,” said a spokesman.

The economic success of the scheme, however, is unarguable: car sales rose 30% last month and the government has extended it to the end of March.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/news/article7033732.ece

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Associated Press spins more Climategate lies

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Associated Press spins more Climategate lies

by John O’Sullivan on February 20, 2010

8 comments

Over at tree-hugging apologist mouthpiece, Media Matters they’re getting their panties in a bunch over a Fox News story. It seems Fox was biased for a “stale retread” over Climategate data rapist, Professor Phil Jones’ shocking admission that there’s been no statistically significant global warming for 15 years. How outrageous of Fox, I hear you scoff. But try and see it from Media Matters’ point of view–little green journos all now go into apoplectic spasm at every mention of unpleasant and unarguable climate facts.

So, thanks to the prompting by Media Manglers, I’ll now prove that the Associated Press (AP) is complicit in perpetrating further Climategate hype and lies. Thereby, our readers may judge for themselves how deeply the green-loving press has sunk themselves into the greatest scandal in science.

First, keep in mind that Fox News is the only American TV news broadcaster that has reported the Climategate story from Day One. Media Matters tries to spin the lie that the AP has been reporting on this epoch-changing event in a ‘just-the-facts fashion.’ But, as we shall see, in AP’s case ‘just the facts’ means doling out hype and lies supportive of the global warming hysteria.

Astonishingly, it is the leaked Climategate emails themselves that expose the complicitness of the Associated Press in the Climategate scandal. Keen eyes at that excellent skeptic blog, Watts Up With That (WUWT), first uncovered the facts exposing media conspiracy in reporting Climategate. Blogger, Anthony Watts, found that AP had a ‘man on the inside’ of information from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit three months before the leaked emails surfaced.

It is those leaked emails that expose AP reporter, Seth Borenstein as a Climategate collaborator. So it came as no surprise to bloggers when AP ran the following in a ‘just-the-facts fashion’ on December 12, 2009 after the Climategate story broke:

“E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.” source

And whom did AP put in charge of their “exhaustive review”? Yes, you guessed it, Seth Borenstein.

Borenstein has long been known among climate commentators as an avid green sympathiser. As a sample of Borenstein’s affiliations look no further than the leaked email dated Jul 23, 2009 when Seth ‘just-the-facts’ Borenstein emailed his Climategate chums, Kevin Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt and Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann, three months before Climategate:

“It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that
Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Whatchya think?
Seth
Seth Borenstein, Associated Press Science Writer
sborenstein@xxxxxxxxx.xxx”

Michael Mann’s reply:

“hi Seth, you always seem to catch me at airports. only got a
few minutes. took a cursory look at the paper, and it has all
the worry signs of extremely bad science and scholarship.”

Thus speaketh Michael ‘bad science’ Mann always available for a buddy like Seth. Whatchya think of that? To quantify how far AP journalism has fallen off it’s integrity perch just take a look here at their own code of conduct

Laughably, AP claims that:

“we avoid behavior or activities that create a conflict of interest and compromise our ability to report the news fairly and accurately, uninfluenced by any person or action.”

So if readers are troubled by AP’s “exhaustive review” you can phone or write and ask in a just-the-facts fashion at the following address:

The Associated Press, 1100 13th St. NW, Suite 700,
Washington, DC
20005-4076
Tel: 202-641-9454

Possibly related posts:

  1. Climategate: AP asks believers to give the all clear
  2. Climategate inquiry under way
  3. BBC to investigate itself on climate change bias
  4. Biased reporting on Climategate? Say it ain’t so!
  5. The corrupted nature of Nature

Tagged as: AP, Media Matters, Michael Mann, Seth Borenstein

John O’Sullivan is a British writer, retired academic and legal advocate who has ten years’ of experience litigating against government corruption in the U.S. federal and state courts.

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IPCC biofuel blending – science ignored, or made up?

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

IPCC biofuel blending – science ignored, or made up?

by Graham on February 21, 2010

The list of unsupported and unscientific claims in the IPCC Climate Change Report 2007 grows ever longer.

Five senior scientists have written to the head of IPCC, Dr R K Pachauri, to highlight “serious and dangerous deficiencies” in the notes on biofuels in the recently released IPCC AR4 Mitigation book [1]. The IPCC Synthesis Report is expected to be approved by national delegations this month.

They highlight that no proof has been given, even when requested from the relevant Author, of the claim in the SPM (Summary for Policy Makers) that biofuel blending, as a policy, measure or instrument, had been “environmentally effective…in at least a number of national cases.”

They are now calling for the full basis for this claim in the SPM to be revealed, or for the claim to be withdrawn.

If they knew then what we know now, they wouldn’t have bothered.

This is how it appeared:

https://i2.wp.com/www.climategate.com/wp-content/uploads/biopact_ipcc_synthesis_biofuels.jpg
Possibly related posts:

  1. Save yourself! Andrew Weaver looks for a way out
  2. Climate pressure group, the WWF, writes IPCC “science”
  3. Former lead author of IPCC report says, “Oops”
  4. Two U.S. Congressmen go after EPA on reliance on UN’s climate panel
  5. Glaciergate: Another scientist rats on the IPCC’s fraudulent ways

Tagged as: biofuels, IPCC, UN

Grahams makes his home in the UK.

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Taj Mahal: The Hidden Truth

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Taj Mahal: The Hidden Truth

Location

India, Uttar Pradesh, Agra – Coordinates: 27° 10′ 0 N 78° 2′ 60 E

Image Source: Google Earth – Copyright Digital Globe

Introduction

The Taj Mahal (also “the Taj”) is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles.
In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”


In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site

While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The Persian architect, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer of the Taj Mahal.


The mausoleum of the Taj Mahal.
Image Source

Construction

The Taj Mahal was built on a parcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra. Shah Jahan presented Maharajah Jai Singh with a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land. An area of roughly three acres was excavated, filled with dirt to reduce seepage and leveled at 50 meters above riverbank. In the tomb area, wells were dug and filled with stone and rubble as the footings of the tomb. Instead of lashed bamboo, workmen constructed a colossal brick scaffold that mirrored the tomb. The scaffold was so enormous that foremen estimated it would take years to dismantle. According to the legend, Shah Jahan decreed that anyone could keep the bricks taken from the scaffold, and thus it was dismantled by peasants overnight. A fifteen kilometer tamped-earth ramp was built to transport marble and materials to the construction site. Teams of twenty or thirty oxen were strained to pull blocks on specially constructed wagons. An elaborate post-and-beam pulley system was used to raise the blocks into desired position. Water was drawn from the river by a series of purs, an animal-powered rope and bucket mechanism, into a large storage tank and raised to large distribution tank. It was passed into three subsidiary tanks, from which it was piped to the complex.

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Kailasa Temple

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

Kailasa Temple

Introduction

Ajanta and nearby Ellora are two of the most amazing archaeological sites in India. Although handcrafted caves are scattered throughout India’s western state of Maharashtra, the complexes at Ajanta and Ellora – roughly 300 kilometres northeast of Mumbai (Bombay) – are the most elaborate and varied examples known. The caves aren’t natural caves, but man-made temples cut into a massive granite hillside. They were built by generations of Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monks, who lived, worked, and worshipped in the caves, slowly carving out elaborate statues, pillars, and meditation rooms.

Temple

Although all of the caves at Ellora are stunning architectural feats, the Hindu Kailasa Temple is the jewel in the crown. Carved to represent Mt. Kailasa,
the home of the god Shiva in the Himalayas, it is the largest monolithic structure in the world, carved top-down from a single rock.  It contains the largest cantilevered rock ceiling in the world.


Mount Kailash.
Within the courtyard is the massive multi-level temple, its pyramidal form replicating the real Mount Kailasa, the Himalayan peak said to be the home of the Hindu god Siva.

The scale at which the work was undertaken is enormous. It covers twice the area of the Parthenon in Athens and is 1.5 times high, and it entailed removing 200,000 tonnes of rock. It is believed to have taken 7,000 labourers 150 years to complete the project.

The rear wall of its excavated courtyard 276 feet (84 m) 154 feet (47 m) is 100 ft  (33 m) high. The temple proper is 164 feet (50 m) deep, 109 feet (33 m) wide, and 98 feet (30 m) high.

Kailasa Temple, cave #16 at Ellora, India

It consists of a gateway, antechamber, assembly hall, sanctuary and tower. Virtually every surface is lavishly embellished with symbols and figures from the puranas (sacred Sanskrit poems). The temple is connected to the gallery wall by a bridge.

Described as Cave 16, the Kailasa Temple is considered
the pinnacle of Indian rock-cut architecture

The gigantic, 8th century Kailasa Temple at Ellora, Cave 16,
was chiselled from solid stone. Click for
bigger image

Kailasa Temple, cave #16 at Ellora, India
Dramatic sculptures fill the courtyard and the main temple, which is in the center.
It must have been quite a spectacular sight when it was covered with white plaster and elaborately painted.

Kailasa Temple, cave #16 at Ellora, India
© Courtney Milne

Unlike other caves at Ajanta and Ellora, Kailasa temple has a huge courtyard that is open to the sky, surrounded by a wall of galleries several stories high.

The Kailasa temple is an illustration of one of those rare occasions when men’s minds, hearts, and hands work in unison towards the consummation of a supreme ideal.

Caves

Ajanta Caves

Ajanta (more properly Ajujnthi), a village in the erstwhile dominions of the Nizam of Hyderabad in India and now in Buldhana district in the state of Maharashtra
(N. lat. 20 deg. 32′ by E. long. 75 deg. 48′) is celebrated for its cave hermitages and halls.
Located 99-km from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Ajanta encompasses 29 rock-cut rooms created between 200 BC and AD 650 using rudimentary hand tools. Most are viharas (living quarters), while four are chaityas (temples).

The Ajanta caves were discovered in the 19th century by a group of British officers on a tiger hunt.

Ajanta began as a religious enclave for Buddhist monks and scholars more than 2,000 years ago. It is believed that, originally, itinerant monks sought shelter in natural grottos during monsoons and began decorating them with religious motifs to help pass the rainy season. They used earlier wooden structures as models for their work.  As the grottos were developed and expanded, they became permanent monasteries, housing perhaps 200 residents.

The artisans responsible for Ajanta did not just hack holes in the cliff, though. They carefully excavated, carving stairs, benches, screens, columns, sculptures, and other furnishings and decorations as they went, so that these elements remained attached to the resulting floors, ceilings and walls.

They also painted patterns and pictures, employing pigments derived from natural, water soluble substances. Their achievements would seem incredible if executed under ideal circumstances, yet they worked only by the light of oil lamps and what little sunshine penetrated cave entrances.

The seventh century abandonment of these masterpieces is a mystery. Perhaps the Buddhists suffered religious persecution. Or perhaps the isolation of the caves made it difficult for the monks to collect sufficient alms for survival.

Some sources suggest that remnants of the Ajanta colony relocated to Ellora, a site closer to an important caravan route. There, another series of handcrafted caves chronologically begins where the Ajanta caves end.

Ellora Caves

Near Ellora , village in E central Maharashtra state, India, extending more than 1.6 km on a hill, are 34 rock and cave temples (5th–13th century).

Located about 30 Kilometres from Aurangabad, Ellora caves are known for the genius of their sculptors. It is generally believed that these caves were constructed by the sculptors who moved on from Ajanta. This cave complex is multicultural, as the caves here provide a mix of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religions. The Buddhist caves came first, about 200 BC – 600 AD followed by the Hindu 500 – 900 AD and Jain 800 – 1000 AD.

Cave 30: Chota (small) Kailasa Temple, Ellora

Of the 34 caves chiselled into the sloping side of the low hill at Ellora, 12 (dating from AD 600 to 800) are Buddhist (one chaitya, the rest viharas), 17 are Hindu (AD 600 to 900), and 5 are Jain (AD 800 to 1100).

As the dates indicate, some caves were fashioned simultaneously – maybe as a form of religious competition. At the time, Buddhism was declining in India and Hinduism regaining ground, so representatives of both were eager to impress potential followers.

Although Ellora has more caves than Ajanta, the rooms generally are smaller and simpler (with exception of Kailasa Temple).

Visiting Ajanta and Ellora

One of India’s greatest architectural treasures, the Kailasa temple attracts thousands of tourists annually.
Today, both Ajanta and Ellora are maintained by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. The sites are open daily from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., with guides available for hire. Visitors pay a small admission fee to enter the Ajanta site and extra to attendants for lighting cave details. Entry is free to all caves at Ellora except the Kailasa Temple.

A good base from which to visit Ajanta and Ellora is Aurangabad, serviced daily by Indian Airlines and East West Airlines flights from Mumbai (Bombay). The city has a variety of accommodations, ranging from a youth hostel to five-star hotels.

At least a three-night stay in Aurangabad is advised, because Ajanta
(100 kilometres northeast by road) requires a full-day excursion and Ellora
(30 kilometres northwest) a half-day.

Cover N/A Cave Temple of Ellora
by James Burgess
The book contains cave by cave discussion of cave temples at Ellora which are reowned worldwide for their architectural planning and beauty.


Cover N/A The Ellora monoliths : Rashtrakuta architecture in the Deccanby K. V. Soundara Rajan

Cover N/A Unfolding a Mandala: The Buddhist Cave Temples at Ellora (Suny Series in Buddhist Studies)
by Geri Hockfield Malandra
Describes the 12 Buddhist caves at Ellora, India, and places them in the context of Buddhist art and iconography. The cave temples, dating from the early 7th to the early 8th centuries, are interpreted as three-dimensional versions of traditional mandalas, through which the devotees walked during their worship. The chapters describe the caves in chronological order, then interpret them as a peripheral center of art and devotion. Photographs and diagrams occupy nearly 200 pages.


Cover N/A Ellora (Monumental Legacy)
by M. K. DhavalikarThis item will be published in November 2002, however you may order it now.

Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0195654587; (November 2002)


Great Architecture of the World
by John Julius Norwich (Editor), Nikolaus Norwich, Nikolaus Pevsner

Cover N/A Looking at Architecture
G. E. Kidder SmithNew York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990.
Kailasa Temple discussion, p38. photo, p38, 39.

Great Architecture of the World
John Julius Norwich, editor.London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. photo, p26.  An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations.
Book Description
A unique and sumptuously produced overview of architecture through the ages, with extraordinary one-of-a-kind cutaway drawings. Here is a brilliantly accessible chronicle of the greatest monuments created by mankind, told by fourteen of the most distinguished architectural historians and beautifully illustrated with more than 800 original diagrams, annotated drawings, and photographs-both a browser’s delight and a superb reference tool.


Cover N/A The Art and Architecture of India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain
by Benjamin RowlandPhoto of interior, Ravana shaking Mount Kailasa, p311.

The Sacred Earth
Courtney MilneKailasa Temple, cave #16 at Ellora, India
Page 23
These two stunning collections of photographs should carry a warning: incurable wanderlust may result from examining either one. Although different in format ( The Sacred Earth is in color, while Planet Peru is black and white) and subject matter (Milne traveled the Earth to photograph places he feels to be special, whereas Bridges concentrates solely on aerial photos of Peru), both author/photographers present a sweeping panoply of landscapes that, through the ages, have instilled wonder in the beholder. The authors have a deep sense of appreciation and responsibility for the natural splendors of the Earth; both use the word sacred in its broadest sense, meaning the feeling of transcendence experienced by those fortunate enough to have shared the same vistas. Bridges’s book is a vertical exploration of Peru, consisting of starkly dramatic black-and-white photos that capture the eerie, timeless beauty of such places as Machu Picchu and the dead city of Pacatnamu. Milne’s book is simply splendid. Glorious color, sensitive prose, and marvelous images fill every page. The reader cannot help but be moved by the simple grandeur and majesty of these 140 sacred places, and there is more to come; this ambitious work is the first volume in a projected series. Either titles would enhance any general collection; to have both would be ideal.Judith F. Bradley, Acad. of the Holy Cross Lib., Kensington, Md.

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The temples were built under the late Chandela kings between 950 and 1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity.

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The Iron Pillar from Delhi

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

The Iron Pillar from Delhi

Standing at the center of the Quwwatul Mosque the Iron Pillar is one of Delhi’s most curious structures. Dating back to 4th century A.D., the pillar bears an inscription which states that it was erected as a flagstaff in honour of the Hindu god, Vishnu, and in the memory of the Gupta King Chandragupta II (375-413). How the pillar moved to its present location remains a mystery. The pillar also highlights ancient India’s achievements in metallurgy. The pillar is made of 98 per cent wrought iron and has stood 1,600 years without rusting or decomposing.

The Iron Pillar from Delhi
7.3 m tall, with one meter below the ground; the diameter is 48 centimeters at the foot, tapering to 29 cm at the top, just below the base of the wonderfully crafted capital; it weighs approximately 6.5 tones, and was manufactured by forged welding.


Enigma of the Iron Pillar

B.N. Goswamy

The sight is so familiar: each time you are in the vicinity of the Qutab Minar in Delhi, you find groups of tourists gathered around a tall, sleekly tapering iron pillar in that complex, one person from the group standing with his or her back firmly against it, and trying to make the fingers of the two hands touch while holding the pillar in embrace. Very few succeed but, almost always, there is a feeling of merriment around, since terms are set within the group and each person is ‘tested’, as it were, for fidelity or truthfulness or loyalty, even longevity, it could be anything. When a person fails to make the contact between the fingers of the two hands wrapped around the pillar, squeals of delight go up. This has gone on for years, certainly ever since tourist guides came into being.

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World’s biggest coal company brings U.S. government to court in climate fraud

Posted by Admin on February 22, 2010

World’s biggest coal company brings U.S. government to court in climate fraud

John O’Sullivan

Feb. 17, 2010

The world’s largest private sector coal business, the Peabody Energy Company (PEC) has filed a mammoth 240-page “Petition for Reconsideration,” a full-blown legal challenge against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The petition must be answered and covers the entire body of leaked emails from ‘Climategate’ as well as those other ‘gate’ revelations including the frauds allegedly perpetrated under such sub-headings as ‘Himalayan Glaciers,’ ‘African Agricultural Production,’ ‘Amazon Rain Forests,’ ‘Melting Mountain Ice,’ ‘Netherlands Below Sea Level’ as well as those much-publicized abuses of the peer-review literature and so called ‘gray literature.’ These powerful litigants also draw attention to the proven criminal conduct by climate scientists in refusing to honor Freedom of Information law (FOIA) requests.

Peabody is, in effect, challenging the right of the current U.S. federal government to introduce cap and trade regulations by the ‘back door.’ In this article we summarize Peabody’s legal writ.

PEC has pulled out all the stops to overturn the EPA findings ‘Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act’ made on December 7, 2009. Those findings were in turn premised on the Supreme Court decision of April 2, 2007 of Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), where the court ruled that greenhouse gases are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act.

PEC argues inter alia that the law requires that the federal agency must articulate a “rational connection between the facts found and the choice made” as per the case of Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of the United States, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983).

The PEC arguments are based primarily on the release of email and other information from the University of East Anglia (“UEA”) Climatic Research Unit (“CRU”) in November of last year. Their civil action lists most of the principle scientists such as Professor Phil Jones, of the UK’s Climatic Research Unit, who recently admitted there has been no ‘statistically significant’ global warming for 15 years and agreed the Medieval Warm Period may have been just as warm, if not warmer than current global temperatures.

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