Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Israeli Exports

Drip irrigationIn a country with few natural resources and where the most famous body of water is the Dead Sea, Israel is looking beyond its arid landscape and taking the lead in water technology, the latest export-oriented industry to help it weather the effects of the global meltdown.

The force behind the Jewish state's entry into the budding multibillion dollar industry has been decades of expertise in satisfying local demand. Now, a growing number of Israeli firms are eyeing lucrative overseas markets, offering cutting-edge expertise in areas such as desalination technology, sewage-eating bacteria and wastewater treatment.

"Israel is definitely one of the leaders, if not the leader, when it comes to water. ... I think of Israel as the Silicon Valley of water," said Shawn Lesser, president of Sustainable World Capital, an Atlanta investment group that focuses on clean energy and water technology companies.

Reflecting the growing prominence of water technology, Israel's fastest growing technology company this year was Aqwise, a water treatment company that uses small, bacteria-dispensing plastic cubes to break down sewage, increasing treatment efficiency and capacity.

Another company, Israeli start-up TaKaDu, has found a high-tech solution to the age-old problem of leaky pipes. Instead of relying on heavy wrenches and machinery, the software firm uses advanced algorithms and mathematical models to monitor for small leaks and unusual activity that lead to costly pipe bursts. It's selling the technology to water companies. One of the first software-only solutions, TaKaDu is also conducting tests in Europe and Asia.

Water leaks cost utility companies $14 billion a year, according to a 2006 World Bank report. Halting these leaks could save enough water to meet the needs of an additional 200 million people a year, the report said.

Faced with the water shortage problem every day, Israel needs to develop technology that increases water conservation and production. Yearly consumption hovers around 200 cubic meters (7,000 cubic feet) per capita. That's about one-sixth the amount of water consumed by an average Californian.

Israel's push into water technology mirrors the aggressiveness of the resource-poor nation in other sectors. In a region where many of its neighbors hold some of the world's biggest oil reserves, Israel has none. Instead, it has long focused on high-tech development and environmental innovation.

Israeli company Netafim pioneered drip irrigation, a technique that can grow crops in harsh conditions, in the 1960s. It has since grown into a global company with $500 million in annual sales.

Thanks to advances in wastewater treatment, most of the country's agriculture is now cultivated with recycled water, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

Only recently has Israel begun to realize the enormous opportunities of exporting its technology.

Israel's Trade Ministry hopes the country can export $2.5 billion in water technology in 2011, a jump from $1.4 billion last year and $750 million two years earlier.

Source: U.S.News & World Report

Thursday, December 10, 2009

88 Billion Liters Of Water A Day

Pinhole leakEighty eight billion liters of water a day, day after day… This is how much water is lost to pinhole leaks in pipes all over the world, in rich courtiers and poor ones. And then there is oil and gas… Of course, when those leak, it’s not just about the money – environment is poisoned and wildlife is harmed.

Israeli company Curapipe, on Israel's southern coast in Ashkelon, has a new solution that can detect and repair a problem that hides below the radar of the water, oil and gas industries.

There is a known method of cleaning water mains: water maintenance teams suspend the water supply for a couple of hours while a small spongy object referred to as a 'pig' is pushed through the system using water pressure. As the pigs are propelled through the pipes they remove scale and other types of unwanted buildup. The pigs can do their work in pipes made of lead, cast iron and even concrete. Curapipe has found a way to "piggyback" on this system. It has developed a device that employs two pigs with a sealant material held between them. Pushed through the water pipes in the normal way, when the pigs encounter a crack or a leak, a composite material is squirted out to fill it in. The material then hardens in place. Once the pipe has been flushed with water to clean it, it returns to normal usage.

The company is waiting for the seal of approval from regulatory bodies and health officials attesting that the Curapipe sealant does not affect the quality of drinking water. Rough estimates are that 20 to 30 % of the water lost to leaks can be saved via the new technology.

Curapipe is now working with the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company, Israel's major oil pipeline company, to test the pigs in both water pipes and oil pipes. And after dealing with the water crisis the company hopes to be able to solve another disturbing problem, this time in natural gas mains transporting primarily methane that is about 20 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide spewed from vehicles.

Source: Israel21c

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rocket Đ•ngines Coming To Cars

With its jet turbine engines and lithium ion batteries, Israel's ETV Motors is producing clean, quiet, efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally sound personal transport.


Monday, November 30, 2009

An Award-Winning "Henhouse Of The Future"

ChickensChicken is a consumer favorite all over the world, but many people aren't happy with the way chicken arrives at their table - both from a humanitarian and an environmental point of view.

The new European Union (EU) regulations, which cover all fowl that are raised for food - and which Israel is planning to adopt as well - will go into effect in 2012. They will address concerns that most consumers, including those who don't consider themselves animal rights activists, have for the humane treatment of animals.

Henhouse cages will provide at least 116.25 square inches of space per bird (nearly double the current standard) and will allow enough space for birds to move around freely, with access to fresh air and natural light, enabling them to flap their wings, etc. Cages will be equipped with natural or artificial grass or sand, imitating the birds' natural environment, and each cage will even be equipped with soft material - a sort of 'mattress' or 'pillow' - for the birds to rest on.

To comply with the new regulations, farmers in the EU and in countries like Israel that sell poultry products in Europe will have to upgrade their henhouses. Israel's Agrotop is poised to help, with its award-winning "henhouse of the future." For Agrotop, "award-winning" isn't just corporate marketing fluff. The company really did win an award from the Ministry of Agriculture this year for its new industrial chicken coop design, which not only meets the new EU standards, but also is completely "green".

The coops are designed to physically match their surroundings, so that the natural beauty of the area where they are built will not be compromised. The coop is raised off the ground, ensuring that it remains a closed system that does not affect the surrounding environment - not even the grass or topsoil on which it stands.

The coops are built with recycled material wherever possible. Plus, they recycle the water, process the chicken waste to manufacture biofuels, and use wind and solar power to generate electricity.

Source: Israel21c

Sunday, November 29, 2009

No Hungry Cats in Tel Aviv!

Girl holding a catThe SOS Pet Association announced today that they would be launching a campaign to feed stray cats in Tel Aviv. Starting Monday, 350 feeding bowls will be distributed throughout the city to feed the hungry felines!

Initially, SOS Pet Association volunteers will be filling the bowls but the hope is that city residents will soon take over and fill the feeding bowls themselves.

Another goal of this campaign is to spay the cats so they won't continue to reproduce.

It's great to see Israelis taking the initiative to address a very important problem that seems to be happening everywhere.

Read the entire article here.

Off to feed my own felines, till next time!

J

Monday, November 23, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Treatment PlantLike death and taxes, garbage is inevitable. And with environmental concerns growing, cities across the globe are searching for smarter ways to dispose of their trash.

Sydney and Santa Barbara are among the cities that are now working with Arrow Ecology, an Israeli company whose revolutionary, ecologically sensible method sorts huge volumes of solid waste, salvages recyclables, and turns the rest into "green" biogas and rich agricultural compost.
The ArrowBio patented system takes trash directly from collection trucks and separates organic and inorganic materials through gravitational settling, screening, and hydro-mechanical shredding.

The process is similar to panning for gold. The water used by ArrowBio comes from the moisture in the trash. Any excess water is discharged into the public sewage system or biological treatment plant. Similarly, a small fraction of the resulting methane biogas powers the process itself and the rest is made available for municipal energy needs.

The system can handle any proportion of organic-to-inorganic waste. In the Middle East and Asia, biodegradable organic matter may comprise up to 90 percent of the waste stream, while European and North American municipal solid waste generally contains less than 50 percent organics. The flexibility of the system is the key to its success in locales as diverse as California, Australia, Greece, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Israel.

The facility in Sydney, for example, was installed in July 2008 and treats 270 tons of municipal solid waste every day - diverting the equivalent of 9,000 garbage trucks per year from landfills, and generating greenhouse gas savings equivalent to taking about 8,000 cars off the road. An ArrowBio plant that has been operational at the Hiriya landfill site since December 2003 serves the Tel Aviv area, and processes up to 150 tons of garbage a day.

Source: Israel21c

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bye Bye, Bacteria And Fungi!

BiofilmYissum, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduced a novel method for preventing and affecting biofilm of bacteria and fungi at the WATEC Conference, held in Tel Aviv, Israel on November 17-19, 2009. The invention, developed jointly by the Hadassah Medical Organization and Hebrew University of Jerusalem (the Faculty of Dental Medicine and the Institute of Drug Research), utilizes novel heterocyclic compounds that disrupt cell-cell communication, thereby interfering with the formation of biofilms. Unlike the use of antibiotics which often induce formation of resistant strains, the compounds do not need to kill the microorganisms that cause the biofilms.

The novel compounds will be used as a coating on pipes, filters, membranes, air conditioning ducts and other surfaces in contact with water prone to formation of biofilms. The coating is environmentally friendly and effective against both fungal and bacterial biofilms.

Biofilm-related problems cost industry tens of billions of dollars annually by corroding pipes, reducing heat transfer or hydraulic pressure in industrial cooling systems, plugging water injection jets, and clogging water filter and pipes. The novel invention can be used for industrial water treatment, prevention of biofilm formation on filtration membranes, paints and coatings, irrigation pipelines and swimming pools. It can be used for household cleaning, and more. It will also lower costs of desalination and water recycling processes by reducing energy consumption due to corroded or clogged pipes.

About Yissum

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialized by Yissum currently generate $1.2 Billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered over 6,100 patents covering 1,750 inventions; has licensed out 480 technologies and has spun-off 65 companies. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Teva, Intel, IBM, Phillips, Sygenta, Vilmorin, Monsanto and many more. For further information please visit www.yissum.co.il.

Source: Business Wire

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tel Aviv Municipality Bans Horse-Drawn Carts

Horse, cart and a heavy load in YaffoCHAI (Live) and HaKol Chai (They All Live) animal rights groups’ campaign to ban cart horses in Tel Aviv, and eventually around the country, achieved its first goal with the banning of horse-drawn carts from Tel Aviv streets. For over a decade, CHAI and its sister charity in Israel, Hakol Chai, pressured the Tel Aviv municipality to regulate, and later to ban, the practice of horses pulling heavily-laden carts through city streets. These animals are often starved, beaten, made to work in the hot sun without water, and not provided with veterinary care. CHAI was the first organization to raise this issue and the first to undertake a campaign to ban horse-drawn carts.

CHAI first presented its concerns to city officials in 1999. When they were rebuffed, CHAI repeatedly exposed incidents of horse abuse in Jaffa, the old part of Tel Aviv, and rescued and rehabilitated abused horses. In 2005, Hakol Chai’s attorney wrote letters to the Ministry of Transportation, the Tel Aviv Mayor, and other mayors around the country to raise awareness of the issue and to call for a ban on the practice. Hakol Chai also organized an international letter writing campaign to government officials. Hakol Chai’s formal written proposal to the City Council resulted in the Council holding a special meeting to discuss the issue. The municipal veterinarian at last sided with Hakol Chai in saying only a ban, not regulations, would work because the city lacks the funds to inspect horses and has no facility to house them when they are removed from their abusers. The Mayor, pressured by cart owners, continued to decline to impose a ban. In 2009, 350 supporters of Hakol Chai’s campaign crowded into a Tel Aviv venue featuring a protest concert at which popular Israeli singers volunteered to perform. This event was a part of an international coalition of organizations throughout the world called Horses Without Carriages International that seeks to end horse-drawn carts and carriages. At long last, Tel Aviv’s Mayor issued a ban. Hakol Chai is planning to continue to pressure mayors of other cities around the country into doing the same.

Source: CHAI / Hakol Chai press release

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Going Down The Drain

WastewaterSewage - human, agricultural and industrial - is an enormous untapped energy source. It represents some of the world's finest biological matter, and in America, as elsewhere, it is literally going down the drain.

Recognizing sewage as a resource and alternative source of energy, Israeli company Applied CleanTech is ready to commercialize its mechanical and chemical solution that separates sewage into raw materials like cellulose and oil. The company further aims to collect every bit of solid waste that ends up at the water treatment plant, and recycle it into valuable raw materials.

Applied CleanTech's sewage recycling system reduces a sewage treatment plant's solid waste output by about 60 percent. This means the company can increase treatment plant capacity so that towns and cities can handle population growth without building new plants.

Doing the math, about 40 to 50 percent of the solids in the sewage system are made from cellulose fibers. Taking into account that humans don't digest cellulose, and that numbers can change depending on whether the plant serves Manhattan or an industrial zone, about 10 to 15% of these cellulose fibers in sewage come from our excrement, while the rest - about 85% - come from toilet paper and other cloth fibers that are flushed away. Cellulose is a raw material that can undergo a chemical process to become a valuable biofuel known as ethanol.

Applied CleanTech also collects oil from water. The oil in the water poses a huge problem for farmers using recycled gray water for irrigation because it creates hydrophobic soil, which doesn't absorb water well.

The main issue with the wastewater industry is dealing with the formation of sludge. Sludge is costly to deal with and it limits the capacity of a treatment plant. The cellulose and the oil are the hard-to-digest materials in the treatment plant digesters. When they are extracted, the wastewater treatment becomes more efficient. This also means that carbon credits can be generated.

Applied CleanTech is based in Hadera, not far from Haifa, and employs a staff of six.

Source: Israel21c

Friday, November 13, 2009

Israel is No. 5 on Top 10 Cleantech List

CleantechIsrael is No. 5 on the top 10 list of cleantech countries of 2009 compiled by Sustainable World Capital's Shawn Lesser. His ranking is based on government initiatives and programs, large investment mandates, entrepreneurial innovation as well as cultural and social drivers:

1. Denmark
2. Germany
3. Sweden
4. The United Kingdom
5. Israel
6. Switzerland
7. The United States
8. United Arab Emirates
9. China
10. Canada

Israel, the 'Silicon Valley' of water technology, is fast becoming the cleantech incubator to the world (see Israel to export $2.5B in water technologies by 2011). Israel recycles 75 percent of its wastewater, invented drip irrigation, and is home to the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant (see Israel plans largest desal plant in $513M deal). Israel certainly isn't the world's biggest cleantech market, but it might just be one of the world's most important centers of cleantech innovation and R&D, with innovative companies such as CellEra, Aqwise, and Emefcy. Better Place is also making Israel the first test-market for a nationwide electric vehicle recharge network (see Electric cars are coming to Israel). Leading Israeli VCs include Israel Cleantech, Aqua Argo Fund and Terra Ventures.

Source: Cleantech Group LLC

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meet Taga

TagaUrban parents are all too familiar with the hassles of driving and parking in the city. Whether it's taking the kids to school or doing the daily round of errands, using a car isn't good for the environment or your peace of mind.

A new Dutch-Israeli company called Taga has come up with a solution that environmentally conscious families will love. Last fall, the company rolled out its new hybrid stroller-bicycle which it dubbed the Taga.

Four years in the making, and perfectly matched to city life, in a matter of seconds the three-wheeler can be smoothly folded into a new shape. One minute it's a comfortable bike with a child's seat in the front, and the next it's an attractive sturdy stroller. And the driver gets a health-enhancing workout while he or she enjoys the ride.

"A multifunctional urban vehicle for parents, not a bike or a stroller but a whole new concept," is how Taga's Hagai Barak describes this novel form of urban child transport, made chic.

After years of market research, the Taga is perfect for urban living, where people need to move from sidewalks to public transport to shops, with kids in tow, and where parking is scarce.

A winner of a number of prestigious European cycling awards - including the King-Jugend Innovation Award 2008, the Eurobike award and the Red Dot Design Award 2009, Taga should be on sale in the US in 2010.

The Taga team conducted a rigorous survey of parents from the US and Europe, to find out what they most want and need. Guided by responses, the Taga designers in Holland (where some of the major shareholders reside) and Israel meticulously designed the optimal newborn to teen transportation machine that has zero carbon emissions.

While at around $1,800 in the US and EU 1,800 in Europe it's more than double the price of its most serious competitor, the Dutch Bugaboo, the Taga is built to last - from birth through a child's teen years and beyond. It's clearly an easy resell on sites like eBay or Craig's List and is durable enough to be passed along to friends and relatives.

In Europe some people are buying the Taga instead of a second car, and in cities like New York it may replace the car altogether. So far, the Taga is available in 10 European countries, including France, Spain and the UK, where it can be bought in about 20 stores.

With no fuel costs, no parking fees, no carbon dioxide emissions and all the exercise you get while the kids are smiling, the company believes that the Taga will be a strong seller.

While it targets an upscale market, hopefully the Taga will inspire product designers to broaden the transport options for young urbanites.

Source: Israel21c

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Congratulations to Israeli scientist Ada Yonath!

Nobel PrizeZoya and I wanted to take this moment to congratulate Professor Yonath and all of Israel for this exciting turn of events--Professor Yonath is only the fourth woman to win the Nobel prize in Chemistry and the first woman since 1964. Professor Yonath's work offers a great deal of contribution to the development of more effective antibiotics which will have the potential to treat infections that were otherwise drug resistant.

While it's not exactly a matter of being Earth friendly and animal loving, we wanted to take a moment to say mazel tov and to express the hope that science can work with nature to make this world a little healthier and greener.

Btw, Zoya is a bit on the modest side so she'll never admit it but she too is a fellow chemist, complete with her doctorate in chemistry so I know she is especially excited for Professor Yonath.

Read the whole story here, and hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Till next time,

J

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh, How I Hope It’s A Girl!

Vespasian coin and Israeli coin depicting Judean date palmThe Kingdom of Judea was known as the land of Judean date palm just as my home state Illinois is known as the “Land of Lincoln“. Prized for its beauty, shade, and medicinal properties, Judean dates were famous throughout the civilized world. The tree so defined the local economy that Emperor Vespasian celebrated the conquest by minting the "Judaea Capta", a special bronze coin that showed the Jewish state as a weeping woman beneath a date palm. The date growing as a commercial fruit export stopped at the end of 70 CE, when the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans. From then, the tradition was lost and Judean date palms became extinct. This symbol of grace and elegance was lost, but not forgotten. It was featured on the 10-shekel coin of the New Israeli Shekel.

In the 1970s, during excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in Israel, two thousand year old Judean date palm seeds were recovered. The cache of seeds was contained in an ancient jar, in very dry conditions sheltered from the elements, which helped preserve the seeds. Radiocarbon dating at the University of Zurich confirmed the age of the seeds at 2000 ±50 years. After their discovery, the seeds were held in storage for 30 years at Bar-Ilan University.

On 25 January 2005, the Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat (Arbor Day), Dr. Elaine Solowey, a specialist in rare and medicinal plants at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies pretreated several of the seeds in a fertilizer and hormone-rich solution. She then planted three of the seeds at Kibbutz Ketura in the Arabah desert of southern Israel. One of the seeds sprouted six weeks later.

The plant has been nicknamed "Methuselah," after the longest-lived person in the Bible. Methuselah is remarkable in being the oldest known tree seed successfully germinated, and also in being the only living representative of the Judean date palm, a tree extinct for over 1800 years.

Researchers say it is still not clear whether the sprout is a male or female – but if it's a "girl", the research team led by Dr. Sarah Sallon at the Louis L. Borick Natural Medicine Research Center, part of the Hadassah medical organization, says "she" could bear fruit as early as 2010. Methuselah's seeds could then be used to cultivate additional date palm trees.

When compared with three other cultivars of date palm, genetic tests showed the plant to be most closely related to the old Egyptian variety Hayany, 13% of its DNA being different. They may have shared the same wild ancestor.

Dr. Sarah Sallon, the head of the project, wants to see if the ancient tree has any unique medicinal properties no longer found in today's date palm varieties. “The Judean date was used for all kinds of things from fertility, to aphrodisiacs, against infections, against tumors,” she said. “This is all part of the folk story.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spain Disqualifies Israeli Team From Bi-Annual Solar Decathlon

Logo of Ariel University Center of SamariaThe Spanish Government has disqualified the Israeli team from the bi-annual Solar Decathlon because the team is located in “occupied territory” - Samaria. Engineers, architects, solar experts and other visitors to the Solar Decathlon will thus be denied the opportunity to study and benefit from the solar-powered energy-economical “Stretch House” designed and built by students of the Ariel University Center of Samaria.

The Solar Decathlon, organized by the U.S. Department of Energy, has taken place until now in Washington, D.C., but is to take place next month in Spain under the terms of a 2007 agreement between the U.S. and Spain.

The competition features 20 teams from universities around the world that have worked for two years to design and build self-sufficient houses using solar power as their only source of energy. The Israeli team even received 100,000 Euros from the competition organizers to build a 75-square-meter model house in the final stage,

The Ariel University released a statement accusing Spain of violating international charters regarding academic freedom.

Ariel University announced in response that “together with the Foreign Ministry and the Organization of Universities Against Academic Boycotts, we will take all measures to liquidate this phenomenon, which stands in opposition to all standards of scientific and academic freedom.”

Prof. Pascal Rolette, Dean of the School of Architecture in Grenoble, France, wrote to Ariel, “I do not agree with the Spanish decision, because the activity of Ariel University is designed towards academic excellence on behalf of peace. Accept my utmost support in this difficult situation.”

The houses must compete in ten contests: Architecture, Market Viability, Engineering, Lighting Design, Communications, Comfort Zone, Hot Water, Appliances, Home Entertainment, and Net Metering (producing as much energy as the house needs or, preferably, more).

The Ariel University students designed a building they call the “Stretch House.” Inspired by the "Tent of Abraham," the Stretch House is modular, versatile, welcoming and expandable according to its owner's wishes. In its closed state, when additional space is not required, it uses only half the energy necessary to operate a regular house, and when needed, it opens up - much like a modern tent – to include an extra room and more.

The interdisciplinary team of Ariel University students that worked on the project study in various faculties of the university, including Civil and Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics, Economics and Business Administration, Mass Media and Architecture.

Original source - Israel National News

I am much too disgusted to comment. I will say, however, that Spain must not be allowed to host this competition anymore - or any other international event for that matter.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better Place to Market Renault Electric Cars in Israel

Renault Z.E. concept car at 2008 Paris Motor ShowThe first Renault electric cars will be available to Israelis beginning in 2008, after Shai Agassi's Better Place, which is building the infrastructure for electric cars in Israel, signed an agreement with Renault this week for the import of the Fluence ZE model. Better Place will handle the importing and sales, with motorists who buy electric cars "subscribing" to their battery refueling services. Better Place has committed to selling a total of 100,000 vehicles in Israel by 2016.
The FluenceZE is a family size sedan, capable of doing travelling up to 160 KM (100 miles) on single charge. Better Place has designed a battery changing system that can replace an empty battery with a full one within five minutes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Half of Cars Sold in 2020 to be Electric

Electric carBetter Place founder and CEO Shai Agassi, whose company will be providing services for electric cars in Israel and other countries, says he believes that at least half the cars that will be sold by 2020 will be electric cars. Agassi was speaking at a press conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show Tuesday.

According to the company, some 50 companies have already signed up to buy services from Better Place for electric cars they plan to purchase, representing some 35,000 vehicles. Among the companies planning to convert much of their Israeli fleets to electric cars are Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Fedex, and others.

Source: Israel National News

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Day in September

Remember 9/11Well, today is a bit of a melancholy day due to the significance of what happened in New York 8 years ago. It's hard to believe it's been 8 years, isn't it? At any rate, I had written a poem on 9/11/02 in the parking lot of a mechanic shop while I was waiting for them to change my oil. This poem was written on the back of a visitor parking pass I'd found in my car. It's not the greatest poem but remember that it was written in about 3 minutes in a parking lot. Just thought I'd share...please take a moment of silence to remember. This post is obviously not about Israel or any liberal issues but the moment to change the world is ours and days like this remind me of that.

One Day in September by Jennifer Newman

One day in September
We went about our day
Didn't know what was coming
Didn't know what to say

One day in September
We didn't suspect a thing
Didn't realize how much they hated us
Or foresee how much evil they could bring.

One day in September
They took everything we had
All our dreams and aspirations
A bizarre deed of the sick and the mad

One day in September
We didn't know just how strong we could be
We came together as a nation
In celebration of liberty

One day in September
A weapon became of a jet
We remember all the fallen
And we must never forget

One day in September
We stop to ponder and pray
We will overcome our enemies
And they won't take our freedom away

One day in September
I promise to remember
Nine eleven
One door away from Heaven....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Zionist Pigs

Wild pigI am thinking I may have to abandon the Zionist cause. Just look at what Israeli Jews are doing to animals! Picture a classroom full of wild pigs. Picture menacing-looking Jews telling them that they will not be allowed to leave until they master several halakhic intricacies. I bet you, they even make pigs sign something. Why, you ask? These wild pigs are terrorists in training, that's why! According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency closely associated with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, Israeli settlers in the West Bank are engineering wild pig attacks to prevent Arabs from making use of their harvest. The pigs are expected to differentiate between Jews and Arabs, which is hard enough for a human being – with all that Jewish mother and conversion mess. And they don’t even get a compass to find their way home!

Israeli Arutz Sheva also reports that there are allegations of Zionist use of rats and snakes that are trained to search out and attack Arabs. I couldn’t find corroborating information from other sources, but if I do, I might have to leave Judaism altogether!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Israeli Company Produces Biodegradable Bottle

Crushed plastic bottlesA biodegradable, environmentally-friendly plastic bottle made in Israel from corn could be hitting the market soon.

Instead of oil-based plastic, Kibbutz Ashdot Yakov’s Log plastics manufacturing company discovered a production method using a corn starch polymer to make the transparent disintegrating bottles. While there are several companies in the world currently producing disintegrating bottles, the Israeli version is believed to be the world’s first to also include a disintegrating label made from corn.

Only the bottle’s cap is made from regular plastic.

The bottles were produced by a joint venture between Eco Joe, an environmentally friendly disposable items distributor, the Log company, and the Mei Bat water company. The first 5,000 bottles are scheduled to be distributed to guests of next week’s Plasto Ispak plastics exhibition at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.

Despite being of slightly harder consistency, the company says it is difficult to tell the difference between the corn bottles and their regular plastic counterparts. Following consumer use of the bottle, the corn bottles disintegrate without a trace within 90 days if placed in compost (organic fertilizer). The bottle’s only drawback is that only a small percentage of Israelis currently take appropriate household waste to a composting facility.

As a result, marketing will begin on a small scale. "There’s no point in flooding the market when anyway it won’t decompose since most Israelis still don’t compost their waste in the house or yard,” said Eco Joe Chairman Avner Inbar.

"We hope that Israel will start pushing advanced waste treatment methods which are more environmentally safe. Then we will be able to widely market the bottle,” Inbar said, promising that the biodegradable water bottles would only be slightly more expensive than regular bottles.

Source: Israel National News

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here Comes The Rain Again

Rainbow
As the saying goes, Israelis made the desert bloom. In spite of that, there is no abundance of water in the desert and there is a water shortage altogether throughout the entire Middle East. So what's an Israeli to do? Fly a kite, er, I mean an airplane! More specifically, a solar powered drone that coasts through the atmosphere, pulling in water and dropping it to the ground in the form of man-made rainfall.

Who said a man can't play Mother Nature? Certainly not Mayer Fitoussi, CEO of Aqua Soft, an Israeli company in Haifa that solves our normal, day to day problems with the greenest of notions. And the best part is that the higher it flies, the wetter things get on the ground.

Get the entire scoop here.

Off to chase some rainbows of my own, till next time!

J

Solar Energy Systems Installed on Tel Aviv Schools

The coat of arms of the municipality of Tel Aviv YafoInstallation of photovoltaic solar energy systems on the roofs of the Golomb and Rokach schools in Tel Aviv has been completed. Sunday Solar Energy and Rand Metal and Enamel Industries finished the project three months after winning a Tel Aviv-Jaffa Economic Development Authority tender.

The project represents Israel's first tender for public school solar installation. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality said it intends to expand the program to more schools in the city.

Source: Israel National News

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ben Gurion Airport to install solar energy systems

Ben Gurion International AirportThe Israel Airports Authority plans to install a pilot 50-kilowatt solar energy system on a 500 square meters area at the long-term parking lot. The size of the project is limited to the amount of electricity that can be sold by private power producers to Israel Electric Corporation (IEC).

The Airports Authority aims to earn NIS 400,000 a year from the system, which will provide electricity to the airport. The Airports Authority has not yet estimated the investment needed in the pilot project, which if successful, will be expanded to border terminals.

Planning for the solar energy project should last through the end of the year. At the same time, the Airports Authority is undertaking energy conservation measures to reduce its NIS 60 million energy cost by 15%, or NIS 7.5 million, in 2009.

The plan aims to turn Ben Gurion Airport into an environmental leader.

Source: Globes [online]

Monday, August 17, 2009

Globe Ecological Hub Coming Soon to an Israeli City

Israeli architect Zvika Tamari has his visions set on a rather unusual and unconventional project -- an eco-dome located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, surrounded by green spaces and designed to promote sustainable living. Reusing water for irrigation, natural ventilation and solar energy are among the ways this eco-dome would bring the concept of modern, green living to a whole new level.

Get all the juicy, green details here.

The closest I'll come to an eco-dome is my caterpillar hatching into butterflies ecosystem I created (sounds hard but it's really easy) so I'm off to seek out more caterpillars, till next time!

J

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Why There Is No Peace Under The Olive Trees

Gaza sewage lake
I still remember the September '05 news lines announcing that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza. Palestinians were celebrating by ravaging synagogues and greenhouses and splashing in the crystal-blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Every news article I read spoke of those crystal-blue waters. If you look at the map, you will not find rivers or lakes in Gaza. But there are rivers and lakes – rivers and lakes of raw sewage that are making people sick. Raw sewage is flowing freely into the sea that is not crystal blue anymore.

Ilan Juran, an American-Israeli specialist in urban infrastructure, proposed a joint project to build a new recycling and water management system for Gaza City and its surrounding villages modeled on the water treatment facility in Ashkelon.

Mayor of Ashkelon Benny Vaknin went to Brazil to present the idea to the XVII International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, a conference on Middle East peacemaking co-hosted by the United Nations' Department of Public Information and the Brazilian government at the end of July.

It was hoped that officials from both sides would sign the agreement in Rio de Janeiro, but despite permits to travel being arranged by the Israeli side, two days before the conference, Mayor of Gaza City Maged Abu Ramadan and his officials were refused permission to travel by Hamas.

Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem did attend the event, however, and they signed their names on the water works plan, without the consent of Hamas officials.

Israel will raise more than $50 million needed for the project. Israel will provide the blueprints and specialists. All that is required of Hamas government in Gaza is to accept, no strings attached. But they will not.

And this is, in a nutshell, why there is no peace under the olive trees, 61 years and counting.

Original report: Israel21c

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ban On Force-Feeding Of Animals

GoslingFoie gras production methods, and force-feeding in particular, really do constitute an awful mistreatment of animals. Animal rights groups have been fighting to ban the practice of force-feeding for years, and I wouldn’t call the current results a great success. Here is what we have so far:

Europe
The force feeding of animals for non-medical purposes, essential to current foie gras production practices, is explicitly prohibited by specific laws in 6 of 9 Austrian provinces, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, or following interpretation of general animal protection laws in Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. However, foie gras can still be imported into and purchased in these countries. Most of these countries aren't currently producing foie gras, nor have they been in the past.

Turkey has also banned the force-feeding of animals on June 24, 2004 by the enactment of the animal protection law.

Since 1997, the number of European countries producing foie gras has been cut in half. Five countries still produce foie gras: Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, France and Hungary.


United States
State of California: The California Health and Safety Code, enacted in 2004 and to become effective July 2012, prohibits force-feeding as well as the sale of foie gras.
City of Chicago: The Chicago City Council voted to ban the sale of foie gras, effective 22 August 2006. Following Mayor Richard Daley’s objections the City Council overwhelmingly repealed Chicago's ban on May 14, 2008.

Elsewhere in the world
Argentina: Foie gras production is illegal as a mistreatment or act of cruelty to animals.

Israel: In August 2003, the Supreme Court of Israel ordered the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture to ban the force-feeding, effective March 31, 2005.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Made In Israel To Save Animals Everywhere

A dog at an animal shelterI strongly believe that concern for the wellbeing of animals is a necessary attribute of a civilized person – or a civilized country. Israelis certainly subscribe to this notion. In fact, Israel can share with the world its success story in animal adoption efforts. What they did was simple yet effective – a national database of animals needing adoption. True, maybe a country that is more substantial than a tiny speck on the world map doesn’t need a nationwide database. Maybe all we need is something on a smaller scale…

As I was browsing the web, I stumbled on a product built in Israel and offered free of charge to anyone who cares enough to use it. MyPetAdopt is a new solution for a community-based pet adoption website built on Joomla 1.5.x content management system foundation. To quote the El-Tech Elharar Techonology company website, “the main goal of this project is to save as many souls as possible”.

Please visit El-Tech Elharar Techonology to see a demo or to download the software.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Joint Israeli-Jordanian Biofuel Project

Collecting agricultural wasteIsrael and Jordan are joining forces to produce biofuel from agricultural waste in a project which will be showcased at Israel’s Water Technologies and Environmental Control Exhibition (WATEC) this November. Run in cooperation with the Peres Center for Peace and using German technology, the project produces biofuel energy without harming food production and offers an alternative for removal and treatment of agricultural waste.
According to a report published on Green Prophet, the proposed project aims to naturally generate 8 million liters of biofuel from over 15,000 tons of dry organic waste, while running exclusively on its own independently produced energy and emitting no pollutants. Biofuels received negative publicity last year after farmers began growing crops solely for the production of bio-fuel rather than food, and were blamed with sparking the global food crisis.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Negev Desert: Strawberry Fields Forever

Greenhouses in NegevWhenever I think of them, I can’t resist that Homer Simpson-style exclamation “Mmmm, strawberries….” But do strawberry fields and the desert go together? I guess so, surprising as it is! Here are some details for the technically inclined:

General description of the method: Strawberries are grown in detached, small volume plastic foam containers in beds hanging on the greenhouse construction above the soil surface. The container is placed on a drainpipe, which enables drainage and collection of the drained water. The greenhouses are highly computerized and powered with solar energy.
Advantages of the method: Extremely high yields, optimal utilization of greenhouse area, maximum work convenience, relatively disease-free crops, relatively low costs, collection and recycling of drainage water.
Disadvantage of the method: The greenhouse construction requires special support.

And here are some pictures for the visually/romantically inclined:
Strawberries in Negev desert
Strawberries in Negev desert
Strawberries in Negev desert

Golda Meir once said, “We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.“ And so they grow in the sand just about year round. I think I know exactly how Golda felt.

Please visit the web site of The Negev Foundation to learn more about sustainable desert development efforts.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Electricity Initiative: Use Less, Save More

A new National Infrastructure Ministry plan to address the shortage of electricity and reduce air pollution will offer a 20 percent discount on electricity used to households that lower their electricity consumption by 20 percent. The ministry hopes to launch the initiative in August on a trial basis.

"Implementing such a move would help the consumer and the Israel Electric Corp save money and benefit the environment," said the ministry's Director General Shaul Zemach. The model is based on a plan successfully implemented in California since 2001 in which 34 percent of consumers have been able to reduce at least 20 percent of their electricity consumption.

Source: Israel National News

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chief Scientist instructed to give cleantech priority

CleantechMinister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has instructed the Chief Scientist Dr. Eli Opper and Investment Promotion Center director Hezi Zaieg to give priority to cleantech.
Ben-Eliezer was prompted by the severe water crisis, and the realization that Israel must join developed countries to develop clean energy sources to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Ben-Eliezer's instructions will mainly affect funding applications submitted to the Chief Scientist for cleantech projects, such as renewable energy, carbon storage, energy saving, and water solutions. The Investment Center will also review applications for recycling projects.
Until now, the Ministry of Industry has given priority to nanotechnology and biomedical projects. The new priority for cleantech is not supposed to come at the expense of these two fields, but in addition to them.
The main significance of the decision is that cleantech projects worthy of support will be eligible for the maximum grants. Chief Scientist grants cover 20-50% of a project's cost, and Investment Center grants cover up to 24% of a project's cost.
Israel has already demonstrated itself to be an up-and-coming cleantech developer. The United Nations recently recognized the Jewish state as the world leader in water recycling.
A May 2009 Businessweek article entitled "Israel's Clean Technology Pioneers" emphasized various cleantech businesses which have caught the eye of U.S. venture capitalists, including a geothermal energy plant, solar technology works, and a desert fish farm using recycled spa water, which then channels the used water to an olive grove.
Source: GLOBES[online]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some good news for bees!


Bees may sting but we couldn't survive without them--they pollinate nearly everything we plant and we'd have no agriculture and no way of growing food without them. Kudos to Israel for saving the bees!

Off to grab some milk and honey, till next time!

J

"Garbage Power" to Turn on the Lights at Sharon Park

HiriyaThe largest and most ambitious "green" project in Israel – and ranking up with the top urban reclamation projects worldwide – gets a huge boost Sunday night, when the lighting system at Sharon Park will be turned on for the first time. But the lights won't use power from the electrical grid. The system will instead be powered by the recycled trash upon which Sharon Park is being built, with bio-gasses that have been festering on the site for decades to be used to power the lights.

Development at Sharon Park, also known as the former site of the Hiriya Dump, has been underway since 2007. At 8,000 dunams, it is the largest urban green space in the country, and one of the largest in the world. Current estimates say the park will be completed only between 2015 and 2020, but various sections of the park, including the Menachem Begin Park section, have been opening slowly as development continues. Visitors can already hike or ride bikes on several footpaths and bike paths, and a recycling museum and a small zoo are also currently open.

Hiriya was used as a dump between 1952 and 1998, and grew to encompass 112 acres, with its centerpiece a "garbage mountain" that reached 200 feet at its highest, with some 565 million cubic feet of garbage slowly decomposing underneath.

The park itself is also being developed with trash, which is being converted into mulch after recycling (and the removal of all dangerous components). According to officials in the Dan Region, the park will eventually save the Israel tens of millions of shekels, as hard-to-dispose-of items, such as building materials, will be recycled into sidewalks, pathways, and buildings in the park.

To learn more, please visit Ayalon-Park web site.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Got Hybrid?

Prius HybridIf you drive a hybrid, you are undoubtedly paying less at the pump than your SUV driving counterparts. Here in the US, that is a tremendous incentive. But what if Uncle Sam also gave you a tax break just because you're giving the planet a pollution break? That's the intention of the Israel Finance Ministry--offering special discounts on hybrids and in turn adding additional taxes and duties on gas guzzlers. The Ministry hopes that this will encourage Israelis to love the Earth even more by buying eco friendly cars and hopefully dumping their older, less efficient, more pollution inducing cars. Let's hope it works, keep it green, Israel!

Israeli FlagA special thanks to Kendall Toyota in Miami, FL for letting me use this red Prius in the picture as a model for this post. They even have an Israeli flag among their flag display in their showroom! Please check out their website!

To learn more about Israel's incentives toward eco-friendly cars, please check out this article.

I'm off to seek out a Prius of my own, or at least to find some more flowers to photograph, till next time!

J

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Reversible, Green Window Technology

Reversible WindowsBen-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have developed a new, highly energy-efficient window technology, featuring two reversible panes that will save energy all year round in homes and office buildings.

The "Seasons Window" features the only glazing system that permits effective passive heating in winter without glare or high radiant temperature near a window and reduces unwanted solar gains in summer without obstructing the view outdoors.

The reversible window system technology features two panes: one clear, airtight pane, and a smaller, tinted glass with an opening on top and bottom, which allows air to circulate between the panes. The window panes are fixed to a single frame and can be swiveled easily in response to changing weather. The window system is intended for buildings in sunny regions with distinct hot and cold seasons.

In winter, short wave solar radiation is transmitted through the clear glass, and is absorbed by the tinted glass which faces indoors. The interior is heated in two ways: by long wave radiation emitted from the warm tinted pane, and by heating of the air in contact with the warm glass, which flows through the gap between the panes and returns to a room as much a 20°c. warmer. The clear pane -- preferably double-glazed with a low-E (emittance) coating -- traps heat inside the building.

In summer, the glass panes are easily rotated so the tinted glass faces outward and absorbs the warm solar rays. This pane is then cooled by the outside air circulating between the two panes. The clear glass pane, which is on the interior, absorbs unwanted infrared radiation from the warmer exterior pane and helps to reduce a building's cooling loads.

Source: EurekAlert!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Generating Electricity from Road Traffic

Researchers at Haifa's Technion Institute of Technology have started testing a new system for generating electricity from road traffic on a 30-meter strip of highway near Tel Aviv.

The system is based on piezo electricity, which uses pads of metallic crystals buried over hundreds of meters of road to generate electricity when put under the pressure of quickly moving traffic.

While the concept is not new, the application is a novelty. One truck can generate 2,000 volts which could already be used to power traffic lights or street lamps. A kilometer of “electric road” could generate enough power for 40 houses, and progress in the technology could generate enough electricity to feed the national power grid.

A company called Innowattech is working with the team to develop the technology.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

IDF goes green in bid to protect Hermon wildlife

FlowersYou gotta love the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)...they are like no other army in this world. But to be fair, Israel is like no other country in the world -- their military is a big part of the spirit of the nation, a nation that prides itself on planting trees as a national pastime that is essentially, the heart and soul of the nation.

When one thinks of a mighty military, images are conjured up of bombings, artillery spewing rounds all over the place and smoke encompassing the atmosphere that is so thick that no one can quite see through it. The military is an establishment that is generally not thought to be particularly environmentally conscious.

Except in Israel.

The IDF is opting to coexist with Mount Hermon wildlife so it can flourish and so that flowers that bloomed in the spring can spread their seeds this summer for new flowers to grow and blossom in the future. That's all we can ask for--more nations on this planet who stop to focus on what will bloom and grow next year and in the many next years to come.

Read the whole story here.

Off to plant a few seeds of my own in my little garden, till next time!

J.

Tel Aviv Univ. Research: Cellphone Towers Can Predict Next Flood

Researchers from Tel Aviv University say they have found a novel, cheap, effective, and reliable way to help predict the intensity of the next big flood, using common cell phone towers across the United States. Their model, which analyzes cell phone signals, adds a critical component to weather forecasting never before available.

Cell phone towers emit radio waves that are diminished by moisture in the air, a factor that can be used to improve model warnings on flood levels. In addition, the researchers measured the rainfall distributions and were able to accurately estimate the size of impending floods before they struck. This was demonstrated in post-analysis of two case-studies of floods in the Judean Desert in Israel, where cell phone towers ― and flash floods ― are abundant.

Using real data measurements collected from the towers, the researchers demonstrated how microwave links in a cellular network correlated with surface station humidity measurements. The microwave data used in this study was supplied by two cellular providers Cellcom and Pelephone in Israel.

“Our method provides reliable measurement of moisture fields near the flood zone for the first time,” notes Prof. Pinhas Alpert, a geophysicist and head of Tel Aviv University’s Porter School for Environmental Education, who also works with NASA on developing models to study global warming weather patterns. This new tool, he says, can add to the bigger picture of understanding climate change patterns in general.

Because hundreds of thousands of cell phone towers are already in place, the Tel Aviv University invention can be adopted quickly, and cell phone companies are already collecting the data anyway.

Source: Israel National News

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Self-watering plant" Discovered in Israel

Desert rhubarbThe world’s first "self-watering" plant has been discovered in Israel’s Negev desert – one of the driest regions on earth. The Desert Rhubarb can hold 16 times more water than its rivals and has developed a unique ability to effectively water itself in its barren habitat.

Researchers were confounded by the metre-wide plant’s giant leaves, compared to its desert counterparts, whose tiny leaves stop dangerous moisture loss. But they found the plant’s large leaves are the key to its success, because they are covered in microscopic streams through which water can be channelled. Scientists claim ridges in the leaves act like mountain valleys, funnelling the water slowly and directly into the plant while stopping it evaporating.

A team from the University of Haifa-Oranim, in Israel, said the leaves act like a mini irrigation system, the Daily Telegraph reported. "We know of no other plant
in the deserts of the world that functions in this manner," lead researcher Gidi Ne’eman said. "We have managed to make out the "self-irrigating" mechanism of the desert rhubarb, which enables it to harvest 16 times the amount of water than otherwise expected for a plant in this region based on the quantities of rain in the desert", he added.

Results of analysis of the plant’s growth — in an area with an average annual rainfall of 75mm — showed that the desert rhubarb is able to harvest quantities of water that are closer to that of Mediterranean plants, reaching up to 426mm per year.

Source: The Times of India

Come Alive at the Dead Sea

Dead SeaThe Dead Sea is currently ranked in seventh place in the “Lakes, Rivers and Waterfalls” category of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World Contest, which would earn it a spot in the next stage of the competition. The Dead Sea is listed as being situated in Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. According to the contest rules, the nominee cannot participate in the next stages of the New7Wonders of Nature campaign without an official supporting committee from each country. Until recently, PA refused to join a committee of support for the lake’s nomination. Intervention from Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and Civil Administration Chief General Yoav Mordechai succeeded in convincing Mahmud Abbas to sign on to the contest. As of today, the competition’s website had not been updated to reflect the decision, but officials said that it would take a few days for the proper forms to be filled out and submitted. Anyone can vote for his or her favorite natural wonders in the remaining 5 days of the contest at www.new7wonders.com. Please hurry and vote for the Dead Sea!

P.S. For the record, I strongly object to New7Wonders’ taking sides in the political conflict and listing Palestine as a sovereign country. If you agree, please
contact New7Wonders and protest.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Israel Says No To Animal Testing

I must admit, I never leave my house during daylight hours without a coat of Ahava sunscreen covering my skin. Why pay twice the price for Ahava (an Israeli company), you ask? Simple, Ahava, along with any Israeli made skincare and cleaning product is cruelty free. This is not merely the custom in Israel, it's the law. Believe it or not, a Likud (right wing) lawmaker proposed it to the Knesset. So don't forget your sunscreen, just make sure it's not tested on animals!

Read the article about Israel's cruelty free product law here and get your Ahava products here.

Off to enjoy another sunny day, till next time,

J.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

World Bank to Fund Dead Sea-Red Sea Canal Test Project

By David Shamah (IsraelNN.com)

Dead Sea The World Bank has agreed to fund a pilot program of what could turn out to be one of the most ambitious water projects in the world – the Dead Sea Canal Project, which would see the construction of waterworks 112 miles in length, connecting the Red Sea and Dead Sea.

The project would help replenish the Dead Sea, which is in danger of major ecological damage, according to many scientists, as well as provide a new source of fresh water for the region, with large desalination plants treating water that would be provided for Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

The deal for the pilot project, which would see the construction of a pipeline between the two bodies of water, was closed Friday between Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom and World Bank President Robert Zoellick. The pipeline, to be built by 2011, will function as a study to decide the feasibility of the project.

Besides helping to replenish the Dead Sea, the project could also ease energy costs for participants. The Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, is 400 meters below the Red Sea, and the drop in altitude as the water flows could be used to generate hydroelectric power. The water would then be treated in a companion desalination plant, making it fit for agricultural or industrial use and easing the strain on fresh water resources in the region.

Eventually, the full project could see as much as 1.8 billion cubic meters of water pumped through the system. One billion cubic meters would be pumped into the Dead Sea, and the rest would be treated at a desalination plant, to be split between Israel, Jordan and the PA. The project has been much discussed for decades – it was first proposed by the British in the 1880s, according to historians.

According to the World Bank, the desalination plant attached to the project would be the biggest in the world, with a final bill of around $7 billion. The pilot project, which the World Bank has agreed to fund, will cost around $15 million. Shalom is working on developing funding for the full project, from both the World Bank and countries around the world. Speaking to reporters, Shalom said that the initial funding was "a dramatic, important move that can lead to a breakthrough. This project has been delayed for years. We see it as a staple for financial peace."

Source: Israel National News

Thursday, June 25, 2009

About Us

Let us introduce ourselves. We are Zoya and Jennifer, liberal American girls who also strongly support Israel. It's disheartening that these days, the only people on Israel’s side are die-hard conservatives, people whose opinions we respect but with whom we have little in common, ideologically. Sadly, most of our fellow liberals are rooting for Israel's enemies even though they spit on every liberal ideal. So we decided to create this blog, mainly to discuss how Israel upholds liberal morals and ethics and with each progressive day strives to make our planet a better place.

We named our blog Garden State. These words may seem odd being applied to a place that is 60% desert and located quite a bit outside the boundaries of New Jersey. Yet we thought the name was remarkably fitting. The territory of Israel is just a little smaller than that of the Garden State, our 4th smallest state; nonetheless, many feel it is still too large. Although it is mostly desert, Israel’s groves and gardens leave visitors awestruck. Certainly, for its core democratic values that are shared by millions of Americans Israel might as well be in New Jersey.

Just for a quick rundown, these are a few reasons why a liberal's heart can be found and nurtured in Israel:

1. Israel is the only nation on Earth that ended last century with more trees than it started with.
2. Israelis love their animals! No animal rights groups in the world bring about better results and better conditions for animals than Israeli animal rights groups.
3. Cutting edge stem cell research is legal and common practice in Israel. People from all over the world, including Arab countries that don't recognize Israel's right to exist, travel to Israel for medical treatments that are pioneered by Israeli doctors and are available only in Israel. Israel leads the world in medical breakthroughs.
4. Earth-friendly energy sources are just breaking ground here in the USA, but are common practice in Israel.
5. Israel is renowned for its progress in establishing equality for homosexuals and providing refuge to them from neighboring hostile countries where being gay is punishable by death.

Our blog's main focus will be on environmentalism and animal rights in Israel as those are our primary points of interest, but if you have additional information on any topics relevant to Israel regardless of your political views, or would like to write a guest spot on our blog on any of these topics, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

We would like to encourage a free exchange of information and opinions on all topics relevant to Israel and Middle East conflict in general, which is why we have also created Garden State forum.

Welcome to Garden State!