An employee walking along a thermal pipe at the Kamojang geothermal
power plant near Garut, West Java, on March 18. State utility provider
 Perusahaan Listrik Negara is targeting an additional 135 megawatts of
electricity from three new geothermal plants. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,.. etc.)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“.. Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time. …”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Land subsidence prompts calls for audits

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 04/29/2010 11:13 AM

Experts warned building managers to beware of cracks and lopsided structures in buildings in areas greatly affected by land subsidence as this could indicate the need of further reinforcement.

They also called for audits into the construction work.

“If cracks are found, the structures must injected with epoxy,” Puguh Winanto, a technical structure expert at the Assessment and Application of Technology Agency (BPPT), said.

Puguh said cracks of widths between 0.2 millimeter and 0.4 millimeter were especially concerning.

A study recently found that massive development in the capital has caused Jakarta to sink up to 10 centimeters per year due to extensive ground water extraction and pressure from high-rise buildings in the city.

The highest rate of subsidence was recorded in coastal areas in North Jakarta including Muara Kapuk and Ancol, where extensive development had increased pressure on the relatively young and porous soil beneath.

As for lopsided buildings, Puguh said the BPPT had not ascertained the degree of tilt that could be considered dangerous as there were no studies on the matter.

“A direct effect might be an uncomfortable sensation inside the building,” he said.

However, Puguh underlined that subsidence would not contribute significantly to damage to buildings.

“If the piling are embedded in hard and solid rock, then subsidence would have no relatively significant impact,” he said.

As long as the piles, floor and girder of the main building were not cracked, the building was relatively safe, Puguh said.

A former member of high-rise buildings investigation division at the BPPT, Mulyo Haris Pradono, also said that high-rise buildings were normally built on pilings implanted in solid rock up to 30 meters beneath the ground.

“So they are strong enough to support the buildings and will not be affected by subsidence,” he told The Jakarta Post.

BPPT’s head of disaster mitigation technology, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said the agency had the technology and human resources to audit the structural integrity of high-rise buildings.

Unfortunately, he said, no building managers or even the city administration, were interested in using the technology.

“We have sent proposals to the city administration and some building owners but none of them responded,” he said.

He said he assumed it might be because of the prohibitively high cost of the audit.

“An audit can cost up to Rp 200 million [US$22,000],” he said.

He said an audit was a one-time evaluation and only needed to be repeated following a strong earthquake.

As long as the piles, floor and girder of the main building were not cracked, the building was relatively safe.

Related Article:

Jakarta sinking as fast as 10cm per year

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

President opens development planning Congress 2010

Antara News, Wednesday, April 28, 2010 14:03 WIB

Giving direction: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gestures during his opening speech at a national development planning meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday. Antara/ Widodo S. Jusuf

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here on Wednesday opened the National Development Planning Congress 2010 which will last until May 1.

Aimed at drafting the government`s Work Plan for 2011, the congress is being participated in by around 2,000 people consisting of, among others, governors, district heads, mayors from all over Indonesia.

The congress` theme is "Acceleration of Just Economic Growth Supported by Consolidation of Central-Regional Government Relations".

The theme is translated into 11 national development priorities in 2011, namely bureaucratic and administration reform, education, health, poverty eradication, food resilience, infrastructures, business and investment climate, energy, the environment, natural disasters, least developed regions, the most outer and inner islands, post-conflicts, culture, creativity and technology innovation.

The results of the earlier two working meetings led by the President and attended by governors from the country`s all provinces at Cipanas (West Java) and Tampaksiring (Bali Province), became inputs in drafting the government`s work plan 2011.

The congress is also expected to synchronize programs, main activities, venues and budgets prepared by the ministries and government institutions, which are considered urgent and need to be implemented immediately.

After delivering his opening remarks, President Yudhoyono is expected to present copies of two books titled "Guarding the Momentum for Change: Evaluation of the Five-Year Implementation of the National Middle-Term Development Plan 2004-2009" and "The Administration and Regional Development Implementation: Strengthening Synergy between the Central and Regional governments and Among Regions," to three representatives, namely Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo in his capacity as chairman of the All Indonesian Provincial Governments Association (APPSI), Pacitan District Head Sujono in his capacity as chairman of the All Indonesia District Government Association (APKASI), and Palembang Mayor Eddy Santana Putra in his capacity as chairman of the All Indonesia City Administration Association (APEKSI).

Related Article:

SBY warns officials against sleepiness

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indonesia aims to tap volcano power

Google-AFP, by Alvin Darlanika Soedarjo (AFP)

Geothermal plants can convert the endless free supplies of volcanic heat into electricity

KAMOJANG, Indonesia — Indonesia has launched an ambitious plan to tap the vast power of its volcanoes and become a world leader in geothermal energy, while trimming greenhouse gas emissions.

The sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands stretching from the Indian to the Pacific Oceans contains hundreds of volcanoes, estimated to hold around 40 percent of the world's geothermal energy potential.

But so far only a tiny fraction of that potential has been unlocked, so the government is seeking help from private investors, the World Bank and partners like Japan and the United States to exploit the power hidden deep underground.

"The government's aim to add 4,000 megawatts of geothermal capacity from the existing 1,189 megawatts by 2014 is truly challenging," Indonesian Geothermal Association chief Surya Darma said.

One of the biggest obstacles is the cost. Indonesia currently relies on dirty coal-fired power plants using locally produced coal. A geothermal plant costs about twice as much, and can take many more years in research and development to get online.

But once established, geothermal plants like the one built in Kamojang, Java, in 1982 can convert the endless free supplies of volcanic heat into electricity with much lower overheads -- and less pollution -- than coal.

This is the pay-off the government is hoping to sell at the fourth World Geothermal Congress opening Sunday on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. The six-day event will attract some 2,000 people from more than 80 countries.

"An investment of 12 billion dollars is needed to add 4,000 MW capacity," energy analyst Herman Darnel Ibrahim said, putting into context the recent announcement of 400 million dollars in financing from lenders including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

"Field exploration can take from three to five years, suitability studies for funding takes a year, while building the plant itself takes three years," he added.

If there is any country in the world where geothermal makes sense it is Indonesia. Yet despite its natural advantages, it lags behind the United States and the Philippines in geothermal energy production.

Southeast Asia's largest economy and the world's third biggest greenhouse gas emitter exploits only seven geothermal fields out of more than 250 it could be developing.

The case for geothermal has become stronger with the rapid growth of Indonesia's economy and the corresponding strain on its creaking power infrastructure.

The archipelago of 234 million people is one of the fastest growing economies in the Group of 20 but currently only 65 percent of Indonesians have access to electricity.

The goal is to reach 90 percent of the population by the end of the decade, through a two-stage plan to "fast-track" the provision of an extra 10,000 MW by 2012, mostly through coal, and another 10,000 MW from clean sources like volcanoes by 2014.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent against 2005 levels by 2020 has also spurred the push to geothermal.

Many of the best geothermal sources lie in protected forests, so the government aims to allow the drilling of wells inside conservation areas while insisting that the power plants themselves be outside.

Geothermal fans welcomed the recent completion of negotiations between a consortium of US, Japanese and Indonesian companies and the state electricity company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara, over a 340 MW project on Sumatra island.

The Sarulla project will be Indonesia's second biggest geothermal plant, after the Wayang Windu facility in West Java.

"The Sarulla project is a perfect example of how Indonesia can realise its clean energy and energy security goals by partnering with international firms," US Ambassador Cameron Hume wrote in a local newspaper.

Several firms such as Tata and Chevron have submitted bids to build another geothermal plant in North Sumatra, with potential for 200 MW.

Bali to turn garbage into fertilizer

Antara News, Saturday, April 24, 2010 15:41 WIB

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA News) - Bali provincial administration is exploring ways to turn garbage into non-organic fertilizer in a bid to promote environmental cleanliness on the island of paradise.

"In the 2010 amended regional budget (APBD) the local government will allocate funds to build three garbage management factories," Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said at a meeting with various public elements here on Saturday.

The governor said the first phase of small scale garbage management factories would be built around the area of Besakih temple in Karangasem, Goa Lawah in Klungkung, and Kintamani Batur temple in Bangli.

The environmentally-friendly factories at the three locations are expected to manage and turn the garbage in those areas into non-organic fertilizer.

"We want to turn the garbage there to have economic value for the local people," the governor said in the company of his deputy Aan Puspayoga.

On the occasion, Governor Made Mangku Pastika said the garbage management into non-organic fertilizer was in line with the local government target to make Bali a green province.

"If such a pioneer project yields a good result, the number of small scale garbage management factory will be increased," the governor said.

Jakarta sinking as fast as 10cm per year

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 04/23/2010 10:46 PM | Jakarta

Jakarta, the nation’s capital and largest city, is sinking at a rate of 10 centimeters a year, a recent study has found.

The main causes for this phenomenon, which has been evidenced in recent years by several major floods, are extensive land extraction due to groundwater exploration and pressure from high-rise buildings, which is pushing parts of the city into the underlying water table.

“The land has been sinking for a long time, and the coastline is now encroaching on the heart of the city,” a geodynamics researcher from the Bandung Institute of Technology Irwan Gumilar told The Jakarta Post.

Irwan was a member of a research team led by Professor Hasanuddin Z Abidin that monitored Jakarta from 1997-2009.

“Few people may realize that the land is sinking by 10 centimeters to 12 centimeters a year,” Irwan said.

The highest rate of subsidence was recorded in coastal areas in North Jakarta, including Muara Kapuk and Ancol, where extensive development had increased pressure on the relatively young and porous soil beneath.

Related Articles:

City to build dikes

North Jakarta Allocates Rp25 Billion for Coastal Areas

Jakarta Predicted to be Underwater By 2012

Friday, April 23, 2010

Micro hydro technology overcomes water crisis

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Gunung Kidul | Fri, 04/23/2010 9:21 AM

Close inspection: Two men inspect the pipes belonging to the Bribin II project located 104 meters underground in Bantul, Yogyakarta. JP/Slamet Susanto

Tens of thousands of Gunungkidul people’s dreams of freedom from dry-season water shortages are coming true, as the Bribin II project is now capable of lifting water from an underground river to the ground surface by means of micro hydro technology.

Eighty liters of water per second can now be brought up to the surface from an underground source, which is expected to meet the clean water demand of more than 75,000 people in part of this regency.

For decades, the clean water crisis — particularly in the dry season — has affected 120,000 residents of Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta. Locals have had to buy water or seek water springs some kilometers away, often walking for hours.

For a tank of 5,000 liters of water, they had to pay up to Rp 125,000 (US$13.87) to Rp 250,000. Every dry season, each family spent Rp 700,000 to Rp 2 million on average on water.

“We’ve sold everything we have to purchase water and survive,” said Lasinem, 65, a resident of Semanu, Gunungkidul. With the Bribin II project, Lasinem hoped piping installations would soon be built to distribute water at an affordable price for residents.

“The water doesn’t reach our homes yet, but has reached our village during tests,” added Lasinem, whose house is located 2 kilometers from the project. The government of Indonesia funded Rp 35 billion of the project while Germany contributed ¤3.2 million.

The parties engaged in the project included Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Yogyakarta, the Indonesian Islamic University (UII), Yogyakarta, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and Sebelas Maret State University (UNS), Surakarta.

To raise water from the underground river, holes were drilled 104 meters deep with a diameter of 2.50 meters. Thereafter, an underground dam was built, as well as pipes for the flow of water to the ground level.

“Water management in Bribin is the first of the kind in the world, though in the beginning it frustrated us,” said Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s professor, Franz Nestmann, who worked on the project.

Nestmann presented his plan for the area of Gunungkidul to Yogyakarta’s Sultan Hamengkubuwono X in 1998.

Drilling started in 2004, now and again causing frustration as the drills used were damaged on several occasions by rocks.

“It was frustrating but we kept trying. We are no longer under stress and Gunungkidul residents are now happy,” said Nestmann at the inauguration of Bribin II in early March 2010.

The Bribin II project was also delayed for over two years due to the May 2006 earthquake. The disaster that killed about 5,700 people and destroyed over 200,000 houses made some of the pit walls cave in and cover the cavity. Using dynamites, the wall ruins were finally removed and cleared.

In early 2010, after different tests, the Bribin II project was declared successful in March and its management was transferred to the Center of Serayu-Opak River zone.

Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto hoped Bribin II would function not only as a water supply but also a natural laboratory where experts could conduct research. “Results of their research are expected to bring about bright ideas to promote the welfare of people living in karst [irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns] regions, so far associated with dryness and poverty,” said Djoko Kirmanto.

The project aims to overcome water shortage problems faced by people living in karst regions. He said Indonesia at present had 15.4 million hectares of karst zones inhabited by millions experiencing the same difficulties accessing drinking water.

In terms of operational cost, micro hydro technology is far more economical because it uses no fuel. The water produced is expected to be distributed at a reasonable price without adding any financial burdens local people.

In 1984, Bribin I actually managed to raise water to the surface, but the process was expensive because the diesel oil generators used consumed 200 liters per hour.

Bambang Hargono, the head of the Serayu-Opak River Zone Center, stated his center would only be responsible for the management of equipment and the lifting of water to the ground level. “Water distribution to village homes and its operational cost are handled by the Regional Drinking Water Company [PDAM],” he said.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jail terms for Shanghai collapse

Underground digging eroded the foundations of the apartment building.

Two men have been jailed in China for corruption linked to the collapse of a building that left one worker dead.

Que Jingde and Zhang Zhiqin of Shanghai Meidu Real Estate both received life terms for the June 2009 collapse.

According to China Daily, Zhang had allowed an unqualified contractor to build an underground car park.

This, combined with a large pile of excavated earth on the other side of the building, caused it to topple to one side, the paper said.

The building, a large apartment complex in Shanghai's "Lotus Riverside" development, fell over almost intact.

It was empty at the time of the collapse, but a worker who had returned to the site to collect his tools was killed.

Zhang was convicted of corruption, embezzlement and causing an accident, and Que on one count of corruption.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hundreds of houses in n Maluku submerged

Antara News, Wednesday, April 21, 2010 01:22 WIB

Ternate, N Maluku (ANTARA News) - Several hundred houses in North Maluku have been inundated over the past week after torrential rains showered some sub-districts in the province.

Among the flooded sub-districts were South Jailolo, West Halmahera district, and Oba in Tidore Kepulauan district.

According to North Maluku province`s natural disaster management agency here Tuesday, several hundred houses in three villages of South Jailolo sub-district were submerged.

The flood was caused by the overflowing of South Jailolo rivers following the heavy rainfall over the past week. As a result, tens of local residents` houses were reportedly damaged.

In helping the flood victims in South Jailolo sub-district, Head of West Halmahera district`s social welfare office, Kurnia Duwila, said his men had distributed food and kitchen utensils among the flood victims.

The flood also inundated tens of local residents` houses and farms in Oba sub-district, Tidore Kepulauan district.

The one-meter-high flood also damaged residents` fish ponds.

The torrential rains showering various parts of Tidore Kepulauan district over the past week had also triggered landslides but there were no fatalities in the natural disaster.

The North Maluku meteorology and geophysics office had warned local residents of the high intensity of rains in the province between April and May.

A local environmentalist, Djafar, said the floods that inundated several hundred houses in North Maluku should be warning to the government about the degraded environmental condition and deforestation.

Therefore, the local government needed immediately to plant trees and take firm action against illegal loggers in North Maluku, he said.

West Java administration to tear down hundreds of villas in Puncak

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 04/20/2010 8:54 PM

West Java deputy governor Dede Yusuf said Tuesday that authorities would continue demolishing illegal villas in Puncak, West Java.

“Last year, we have destroyed almost 120 villas,” said Dede in Bandung, West Java, as quoted by "This year, we are eyeing to tear down around 100 illegal villas."

The West Java administration has ordered the demolition of illegal villas since 2008.

Land conversion from tea plantation to villas had become a trend in Puncak area over the past few years, said Dede.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Swallow factory produced dangerous waste

The Jakarta Post, Thu, 04/15/2010 12:54 PM

JAKARTA: Swallow sandal factory in West Jakarta was under investigation for alleged environmental violations when it was razed by fire last month, West Jakarta, environment office said Wednesday.

"The investigation process was almost final. As the factory no longer exists due to the fire, our efforts to file the case to court has halted," head the environment office sub division of environmental dispute mediation, Dulles Manurung, said as quoted by

The dossier has been completed and would be submitted to the Attorney General's Office in order to issue an indictment letter and bring the case to court.

The fire razed the factory on March 11, killing four people.

"The factory didn't have waste treatment installations.

"We checked sample of the waste in January last year and confirmed that the factory dumped hazardous waste in public waterways," he said as quoted by -JP

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Residents forced to drink river water

Markus Makur, The Jakarta Post, Timika | Wed, 04/14/2010 10:39 AM

Kokonao residents are currently becoming dependant on the nearby river for bathing, washing, drinking and cooking.

The findings were revealed recently by local councilors. Kokonao is part of West Mimika district, Mimika regency, Papua.

During the dry season, the people are said to often drink dirty river water because the well, built by the government, cannot be used.

“Water from the well, built by the Papua provincial administration, cannot be consumed because it is salty,” Kokonao resident Viktor Kiloona told The Jakarta Post.

“It is difficult to obtain clean water during the dry season so residents fetch water from the river to drink.”

Kiloona said children in Kokonao usually drank water from the river during the drought.

He also said the clean water facility built by the government contained salt so people could not use it for drinking.

“The residents drink coconut water instead, but this is not sufficient.”

Former Mimika councilor from the Kamoro tribe Marianus Maknepeko told the Post that the clean water facility in Kokonao was no longer functioning because the well produced brackish water.

“I hope the Mimika regency administration restores it so it functions to meet residents’ daily needs. Kokonao residents apparently are used to drinking unclean water during the drought,” he said.

“We are concerned about the condition Kokonao residents are facing now due to a stalled project.

People have so far been depending on Mimika River to meet their basic needs, Kiloona said.

This is hazardous to their health and this must be addressed immediately,” added Mimika legislative Commission C vice head M. Nurman S. Karupukaro.

Pipes and taps are no longer working because they are rusty, he said. Based on residents’ accounts, people have faced water shortages for more than a month due to a lack of rainfall.

In response to the finding, Karupukaro said that his office would immediately urge the government to address the issue. He added that some residents had contracted respiratory diseases, which can develop into tuberculosis.

“We don’t want this to happen, so the government should immediately take stern measures. Inspect Kokonao and immediately improve the condition.”

Kokonao played a part in a missionary in the past.

When Dutch missionaries arrived in Kokonao, the people of Kokonao were said to have excelled in various fields such as education.

However, when the Mimika regency administration was established, the living conditions of the people was reported to be of grave concern, especially in terms of education, infrastructure and facilities.

Now, the people’s condition in Kokonao remains unfavorable due to its various disadvantages.

Residents’ livelihoods are dependant on marine resources such as fish, crabs and shrimp, but the government has failed to pay attention to the available wealth.

Alright for some

The Jakarta Post, Tue, 04/13/2010 8:28 AM

A woman bathes and washes clothes near flood control outlets on the East Flood Canal in Central Jakarta on Monday. According to the results of a recent nationwide survey, only 55 percent of Indonesians have access to clean water. The government is targeting to increase this to 72.5 percent by 2015. (JP/J. ADIGUNA)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tenants to get quake safety measures

Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 04/13/2010 9:39 AM

Amid a recent string of earthquakes pounding several cities, some high-rise managements have taken precautionary efforts to introduce safety-and-rescue procedures for tenants.

Diar Kuntojati, technical support officer of building management company PT Yacolt Graha, said that the guideline for safety procedures was not as clear as fire safety standards.

“Unlike [fire safety standards], there is no safety measure implemented for earthquakes,” said Diar whose company manages Permata Bank Tower I in Central Jakarta.

“We create our own [safety procedure] by adopting practices common in Japan.”

The fire safety standard has been regulated in the 2000 Public Works Ministerial Decree on Technical Guidance for Fire Safety on Buildings and is further implemented in the Technical Guidance for Emergency Action Plan on Buildings, issued in 2002 by the Directorate General of Housing and Settlement with the Public Works Ministry.

The regulations require building management to carry out regular fire drills and establish teams to anticipate situations in the event of fire.

Diar said his company decided to adopt quake precautionary practice from Japan since the country was more experienced in dealing with the disaster.

“So far, we are familiarizing ourselves with the procedure tenants need to undertake when a jolt strikes,” he said.

“We’ve prepared areas [outside the building] where tenants can protect themselves during a quake. Each floor is designated a different area to keep better track of tenants.”

He also added the meeting points are located around 20-30 meters behind the 24-story building.

Operational manager of PT Budiman Sejahtera Development, S. Dodi Indraswanto, said his company had built assembly points for tenants in the 25-story ANZ Tower on Jl. Jend. Sudirman.

“The location, usually a parking space, is only 300 meters from the main tower,” Dodi said.

The company marks the locations with red-painted letters. He said that his company also provided a guidance book on emergency precautions for tenants besides conducting regular drills every year.

The book contains many measures for emergency incidences including fires, bomb threats and earthquakes.

Meanwhile, an officer at the information division with the city’s Building Supervisory Agency, Vivi, confirmed that her agency did not control every building’s disaster management.

However, Vivi, who declined to be identified by her full name, said that the 2000 gubernatorial decree on building permits requires all buildings meet certain building standards.

The building management must submit reports to the agency on the proper use of the building.

Wild West under Dutch soil

By 2050, it will be incredibly busy underground in the Netherlands. Pipelines, motorways, electric cables, buildings and car parks, train and metro tunnels, heating and cooling systems, CO2 storage, everything will go underground.

And the ground under Dutch feet is pretty crowded as it is. Gas extraction, production of drinking water and archaeological sites are already competing for space. To organise all this, the specialist Knowledge Development and Distribution Foundation for Ground Matters (SKB) has recently been revitalised.


In the otherwise over-regulated Netherlands there is, surprisingly, no such thing as spatial planning and underground and subterranean property rights are vague at best. At the same time, leaving the matter to sort itself out is not an option, says the foundation's new managing director, Frank Agterberg:

"We want a certain quality of life, for which we need energy. We use materials giving rise to waste, and the ground has an important role to play in this. For instance if you take energy, it's a matter of guaranteeing a sufficient supply first and foremost, but later it's about sustainable energy, so that whatever you do does not have a lasting net effect."

Graphic: SKB

There are other reasons why we have to starting thinking about going underground besides energy. There is simply no more room in the inner cities for extra infrastructure. Trains, metros and car parks will have to go underground. We don't want to lose the scarce urban green spaces we have by building motorways over them; so in Maastricht in the south and in Utrecht, in central Netherlands, they're going underground.

Green Heart

Outside the cities, beauty spots like the so-called Green Heart, within the agglomeration of towns and cities in the West known as the Randstad, are protected; as a result the seven-kilometre HSL tunnel has been built for a new high speed rail link. And, however controversial the storage of CO2 might be, it will have to go in the old gas fields. It's the only place deep enough and safe enough to put it.

Subterranean life

At the same time little is known about what effect this will have on subterranean life. The company Bioclear generates clean energy using the ground, but in a way that disturbs subterranean life as little as possible. Managing director Sietze Koening, explains the problems:

"More than 95 percent of all biodiversity on earth is in the ground, All kinds of things go on up to 10 kilometres underground. But we only know about a fraction of it."

Graphic: SKB


One of the main objectives of the resurrected SKB is to draw up special regulations. Generally there is no legislation covering this area, and someone has to take it upon themselves to determine who owns the ground for example.

Arno Peekel from the SKB, explains where the problem lies:

"Generally, when you own a piece of land, it is yours down to the depths. But if your neighbour decides to install something underground which uses underground water for instance, then he is allowed to use the water under your land too."

And that can have bizarre consequences. If two companies which have buildings next to one another decide to install a ground source heat pump (GSHP) - which is fast becoming popular - then the heat supply to one company may render the neighbouring company's system useless, if that system is meant to cool the building.

Legislation is also important because when things are built underground, they are usually permanent structures. If the construction of the high-speed rail tunnel had disrupted the level of underground water in the surrounding area, farmers would not have had anyone to complain to if they had been out of pocket as a result.

Whichever way you look at it and however unclear the situation is, the Netherlands will become a three-dimensional country in the decades to come. In Arno Peekel's words: "It is a bit like a Swiss cheese. And, however crazy it sounds, that is a good thing because we really need the ground."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Special Report: Creating Clean, Green Cities of the Future

Jakarta Globe, April 11, 2010, Dody Rochadi

Jakarta is far from being classified as a green city.

On 16 February 2005, an international agreement on how to tackle climate change, the Kyoto Protocol, was ratified by over 140 countries. At that time, the mayor of Seattle, Greg Nickels, decided to promote the aspirations of the Kyoto Protocol in Seattle. He also encouraged other cities in the United States to follow suit by urging those in positions of leadership to consider adopting the principles of the Kyoto Protocol through the Climate Protection Agreement and creating green cities.

By June 2005, 141 mayors had signed on. By early 2009, the agreement had been signed by 935 mayors, in cities with a combined population of 83 million.

Today, many city mayors are working to get their cities focused on the environment. Though trying to achieve green city status, leaders are acting to improve the quality of the air, lower the use of non-renewable resources, encourage the building of green homes, offices, and other structures, create more green spaces, support environmentally friendly methods of transportation, and offer recycling programs.

The United Arab Emirates and China are two vastly different countries. But several years from now, they will have one thing in common — they both will have the first green cities in the world. Yes, China and the United Arab Emirates are currently preparing cities that have everything human beings could ever dream of such as clean air and clean water.

China is a country know for being polluted. No visitor returns without remarking on it. Car headlights gleam through the smog.

In April 2007, the government twice issued its most severe Air Pollution Index rating, which advises that the aged and ill should stay indoors.

This condition has been going on for a very long time, until the government embarked on a bold, expensive experiment to see whether pollution and waste – of all forms, not just the kind that taints the air – can be drastically reduced or even eliminated.

In March 2007, the government broke ground on what it called the world’s first eco-city. Designed by the London-based global consulting firm Arup Group, Dongtan is to be built on an island that is just a ferry ride away from central Shanghai. The government expects that by the time of the Expo, the new enclave would be a showcase city of 8,000 and it would have 1 million residents by 2050.

Dongtan will ban all polluting cars, even the most advanced hybrids. It will dig canals for waterways. On its streets, people will get around using electric cars, bicycles or just their legs.

The city would recycle as much as possible, including all its wastewater, grow food on its own environmentally-sensitive farms, and create all its own energy in non-polluting ways — wind, solar, and the burning of human and animal waste.

Most of these technologies are not new, and many are commonly used in Western Europe, Asia or the United States. What will make Dongtan unique is the integration of environmentally friendly practices and the strict exclusion of older, polluting ones.

If it is unusual for a business deal to be witnessed by the heads of two of the world’s most powerful nations, so too is the idea of creating from scratch an eco-city as large as Manhattan and more populous than Edinburgh or Atlanta.

But building cities virtually overnight is nothing new for the Chinese. In 1980, the central government created a special economic zone for Shenzhen, at the time a small fishing village about an hour from Hong Kong. These days, it’s a sprawling metropolis of 9 million.

While China will have Dongtan, the United Arab Emirates will have its own green city which will be named Masdar City. It is a city which is designed to have no carbon emissions, cars, or waste. It will cost $22 billion and take eight years to build. It will be able to hold a population of 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses. The city will cover 1,483 acres. Masdar City is being designed by Foster and Partners, a British company.

The city will have a personal electrical power supply mainly from two renewable energy sources — wind turbines and solar panels. Water will be provided through a solar-powered desalination plant and air conditioning will be provided naturally from wind towers.

It is forecast to save more than $2 billion in oil costs over the next 25 years along with creating more than 70,000 jobs.

The immense project will be supported by a company created for it called “Masdar Initiative”, which will develop and commercialize clean energy technologies. It will also be supported by the World Wildlife Fund, a global conservation charity, and it is hoped that international joint ventures will bring in more money.

Both Dongtan and Masdar are currently still undergoing development and we won’t see the results for at least 8 years. So, are we saying that we can only start having green cities many years from now? Is there any chance that we could start today?

A sustainability ranking of 30 major European cities was released in December 2009 in Copenhagen, the Scandinavian city that besides hosting the recent United Nations climate change talks, has been ranked in first place in the new European Green City Index.

The study, sponsored by Siemens and developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked 30 major cities across Europe relative to one another in eight categories with 30 underlying qualitative and quantitative indicators.

The top cities are, in order — Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Vienna and Amsterdam.

Don’t think that this ranking is of the “Greenest Cities” in Europe, even though it’s called the European Green City Index. Such an assumption is made by many about city sustainability indexes.

Some of our biggest challenges in cutting carbon to reduce global climate change will be in understanding the system dynamics that cities and other complex entities such as corporations, neighborhoods or even our households comprise. We no longer have the luxury of viewing our energy sources, food, water, buildings and land as separate, unrelated systems, even if business, government and academic institutions have been formulated according to this silo-type way of thinking.

Now that we have seen examples and pictures of how a green city can actually be realized, it leave us with a question — “what has your government done to make your city green?”

Broken bridge

The Jakarta Post, South Sulawesi | Sun, 04/11/2010 4:40 PM

Broken bridge: Two villagers walk on a broken bridge over floods in Beringin village of North Luwu regency, South Sulawesi. Three villages were isolated. Antara/Sahrul Manda Tikupadang

Cities in dire need of better sanitation

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 04/08/2010 8:38 AM

The Health Ministry renewed calls Wednesday for cities to focus on health concerns attributed to rapid urbanization, in line with celebrations to commemorate World Health Day, which this year is themed “Urban Health Matters”.

The Health Ministry’s Director General of Disease Control and Environmental Health Tjandra Yoga Aditama said the government would accelerate sanitation development for settlement programs across 330 cities and urban areas in the country to meet a 2014 deadline.

Of that number, 63 areas are vulnerable to water waste problems, 80 suffer garbage or solid waste problems and eight are vulnerable to drainage problems.

The targets for the 2010-2014 mid-term national development plan for sanitation development include improving solid waste management for 80 percent of the households in urban areas.

The ministry is also offering awards for healthy cities and healthy traditional market, Tjandra said.

“Currently there are 77 cities in the country that are receiving guidance on improving their health condition, 33 of that number have gained the ‘healthy city’ award,” he said.

According to Tjandra there are several criteria used to judge whether a city is “healthy”, including housing conditions, public facilities, the availability of healthy food and healthy recreational or tourism areas.

Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih said Wednesday that addressing the urban health issue required extra effort due to the unique nature of the issue.

“Urban health problems are more complex and varied because they are a combination of conventional and modern problems,” she said.

Conventional health problems, she said, included infectious diseases, malnutrition and environmental diseases, and that “modern” problems included degenerative diseases, obesity, drug abuse and pollution.

“There needs to be a commitment from the cities’ authorities for development that includes health awareness,” Endang said.

The government’s previous efforts to provide important infrastructure, access to social and health services, as well as education opportunities, have failed to keep up with urbanization and its associated problems, she said.

This year’s 62nd commemoration of the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to highlight urban health matters associated with worldwide rapid urbanization.

“About one-third of the total population of Southeast Asia lives in cities,” he said.

“This figure increases to more than one-half worldwide and is expected to grow to 60 percent by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050,” Indonesia’s WHO representative Kanchit Limpakarnjanarat said.

“Urbanization is increasing quickly in Indonesia. The national health agenda should make urban health one of its primary concerns,” he said. (dis)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

60-meter tower collapses, killing one

Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, Badung, Bali, Thu, 04/08/2010 6:32 PM

A 60-meter tower collapsed Thursday, killing worker Muhammad Robil, 26, in Kutuh Village of Badung, Bali.

South Kuta Police chief Adj. Comr. Nanang Prihasmoko said that several workers were about to break the tower into pieces after a private television station ended its leasing contract when the accident occurred.

“The tower fell down all of a sudden because of rusty and porous tower pillars,” said Nanang.

Robil, who hailed from Batu of East Java, failed to secure himself from the incident as he was the only worker to work at the top of the tower.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cideng operates water recycling system

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 04/07/2010 11:01 AM

JAKARTA: Cideng subdistrict in Central Jakarta has established a water recycling system, enabling it to reuse wastewater from 44 food street vendors around the area.

They use a technology called the Ecotechnology Park that separates poisonous and dangerous substances in waste so it no longer poses a threat to the environment.

Cideng subdistrict head Siti Nurbaiti said the liquid waste management system could produce 12 cubic meters of clean water and save on water costs.

“Now we have wastewater management we depend on recycled water to irrigate plants around the district,” she said Tuesday as quoted by — JP

Solar power ends village’s drought woes

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta | Wed, 04/07/2010 10:06 AM

Residents of Gunungkidul have been liberated from chronic clean-water shortages due to droughts thanks to a new solar-powered water pump developed and installed by students.

The technology was developed by students from Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University’s (UGM) School of Physics grouped in the Energy Center Students Community, in cooperation with Curtin University of Australia

The new clean-energy system pumps water from the Tuk Kaligede River located more than 2 kilometers away at the foot of a hill.

The students installed a submersible pump into a spring near the village that is fed by the river and powered it with 12 solar panels.

Together, the solar panels produce 1,200 watts of electricity, which powers the pump to deliver 1,800 liters of water per day to a reservoir located 88 meters up the hill and 1,600 meters away from the river.

The water is then distributed to six smaller reservoirs, each with a capacity of 5,000 liters, built in the middle of the village.

To meet their needs, 52 families in Banyumeneng hamlet, Giriharjo village, Panggang district, can

now fetch clean water from the reservoirs.

They no longer have to buy water during droughts or spend hours traveling to buy water.

“We live in a hilly limestone area. We depend on rain water, which we retain. If it doesn’t rain for a month, we have to buy water to survive,” said villager Suryanto, who is also the leader of the Kaligede Water Management Organization, formed by the residents.

He said the Tuk Kaligede never dried up but was located far from the village.

“It takes at least one-and-a-half hours to fetch two containers of water due to the rough terrain,” he said.

“Solar cell technology has been around for a long time already, but its application, which is really beneficial to people, must be developed further,” said UGM’s Engineering School lecturer and initiator of the clean water facility, Ahmad Agus Setiawan.

According to Agus, the disadvantage of the system was that it did not incorporate a reserve energy system meaning the pump would stop working in the absence of sunlight.

“Installing the equipment was actually very easy and quick, but the willingness to manage water independently is more important and that requires a long time to develop,” Agus said.

The equipment cost or Rp 250 million (US$25,000), part of which was provided by the Curtin University as a prize for the student group’s victory at the Mondialogo Engineering Award in 2007.

The new system is fully managed by Kaligede’s Water Management Organization. Each month residents pay a Rp 15,000 maintenance fee to the organization.

That is less than the Rp 35,000 per family per month fee charged by the state-run tap water company, Suryanto said.

Blackout in Aceh after major quake

Hotli Simanjuntak, The Jakarta Post, Lhokseumawe, Aceh | Wed, 04/07/2010 8:10 AM

Morning shock: Residents sit on a truck outside their homes as they prepare to flee after an earthquake in Banda Aceh, Aceh, Wednesday. A 7.2 earthquake shook the northern part of Sumatra Island early Wednesday, prompting a brief tsunami warning and sending residents rushing for higher ground. AP/Heri Juanda

A blackout has hit several areas in Aceh following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that jolted the province and surrounding areas on the northern part of Sumatra Island.

Electricity was not available along Aceh's east coast, in Lhokseumawe, in East Aceh and in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

Authorities have yet to announce the cause of blackout and when power will be restored.

The major earthquake struck at 5:15 a.m. local time at around 60 kilometers southwest of Sinabang, Aceh, at 24 kilometers beneath the surface, prompting a tsunami watch which was revoked a few hours later. There were no reports of significant damage from the quake.

In Lhokseumawe and Banda Aceh, the quake prompt residents to leave their homes, but the situation returned to normal within hours.

The quake was also felt in Medan, North Sumatra and Riau, Antara state news agency reported.

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