This issue of our newsletter sees the first appearance of "Member News", which is a terrific way to pass along news to our readers. We ask that entries be brief, specific, and timely news (not just generic PR) about your company. This can include newly introduced products, valuable promotions, contests, and special deals available to readers of the newsletter. Submissions may be edited for brevity and content. Any member can login to their PristinePlanet.com account, click the "Monthly Newsletter News" link, and submit a request for information to be posted in a future issue of the newsletter.
The year 2005 proved to be a tumultuous one for global energy, on both sides of the supply/demand equation. Energy resource availability was devastated on several fronts, and not just in the form of hurricanes knocking out more than half of the oil processing capacity in the southern United States. In the oil sector alone, several countries announced that their total oil production had maxed out, and is now in unstoppable decline. In addition to overall country output, individual fields have peaked, such as the Cantarell field in Mexico, which is their largest, the eighth largest in the world, and a major source for the United States. Natural gas is in similar straits, as an estimated 65% of worldwide production is in decline. The year 2006 is not looking any more encouraging, as in February, Kuwait admitted that their reserves are only half of previous claims, and its Burgan field has already peaked. On the other side of the equation, global demand is increasing, largely fueled by the industrialization of China and India. These enormous pressures on supply and demand have naturally led to the highest prices in oil and natural gas ever seen, at the same time that other energy resources are becoming more expensive. For instance, the yellowcake needed for nuclear power doubled in price last year.
With all of these nonrenewable energy sources becoming less available and more expensive, there is growing interest in environmentally responsible alternatives, including wind energy. In 2005, more than $14 billion worth of new wind energy equipment was installed globally, representing a 25% increase versus 2004, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). To those of us stunned by the continued use of fuel inefficient SUVs by lone commuters on our clogged freeways, it was encouraging to hear that the United States installed more new capacity than any other country — over 2400 MW (megawatts), which is enough to power over 680,000 typical U.S. homes every year. Wind energy veterans Germany and Spain took second and third place, respectively. Also encouraging is India appearing in fourth place, and China in sixth. Despite the United States leading the pack in new capacity, it is still a bit behind Spain in total installed capacity, and far behind Germany, whose 18,428 MW is over double America's capacity, of 9149 MW.
Europe in general continues to be the leader, and has already surpassed its 2010 goal of 40,000 MW, five years ahead of schedule. Nonetheless, other countries are beginning to catch up, particularly those that have made concrete and substantial commitments to increasing their use of wind energy. For example, China installed almost 500 MW of new capacity in 2005 (more than double their 2004 amount), largely in response to that country's Renewable Energy Law, which went into effect on 1 January 2006. Australia and Canada both doubled their installed capacity, as did the countries of Africa combined — led by Egypt and Morocco.
Yet while the technology for harnessing the power offered by wind has improved tremendously in the recent past, the adoption and usage of such power is not nearly where it could be. This could largely be due to a lack of support by government and society in general, for alternative energy sources, including wind power. The Chairman of GWEC, Arthouros Zervos, noted that "...the right political framework is crucial to sustain the growth of wind power around the world and to open new markets." This is essential to help counterbalance the huge disadvantage that wind power has when competing with more firmly established energy technologies, which have enjoyed decades if not centuries of infrastructure investment, government support, and consumer payment for services.
Another hurdle, at least within the United States, is the attitude of countless Americans that gas-guzzling "land yachts" are beautiful, that oil fields are eternal, and that wind farms are ugly. Even though such people can apparently ignore the ugliness of smog and smokestacks, it may take a collapse of their petroleum-based suburban lifestyles to really wake them up. Let's hope that more people will see the beauty of wind energy, before the oil and natural gas supplies become prohibitively expensive, and life in the United States gets really ugly.
January 2000 saw the birth of a new year, and in the eyes of most people, the births of a new decade, a new century, and even a new millennium. It also saw the birth of The Vegetarian Site, an online retailer of environmentally friendly vegan products.
Based in Tucson, Arizona, the organization was founded by David Sudarsky, who has been an unwavering supporter of healthy living, animal rights, and protection of the environment. Like many similar Web-based businesses, The Vegetarian Site first got started solely providing information on vegetarianism,
health, and the environment, but within a year began carrying the worthy selection of vegan footwear and accessories that David noticed was missing from the Internet. He also comments that even today he is serving a niche market, which means that prospective customers still must go online in order to find
a decent selection of such products. In addition to offering clothing and accessories made from hemp, flax, and recycled materials, The Vegetarian Site has organic groceries, juicers, cruelty-free personal care products, and books and DVDs covering a wide range of topics, such as agriculture, animal rights,
and vegan cooking. Nowadays there are more online eco-focused retailers; what makes David's business unique is David's steadfast commitment to donating no less than 10% of all sales — not just profits — to nonprofit vegetarian, environmental, and animal rights organizations. This kind of financial
support is in turn greatly appreciated by the countless customers whom David hears from. Also, no corners are cut in selecting footwear manufacturers that are socially responsible. PristinePlanet.com extends a hearty welcome to David and his laudable efforts!
"Name that Sunscreen" Contest: Garden of Eve has developed a sunscreen product made from all natural sunscreen ingredients, and is looking for a fun name for it. Whoever comes up with the winning name, will receive a sunscreen product free.
March Bonus: All orders will receive a $15 - $20 value bonus product. Enter code MAR06 in the comment box, and specify your choice of face creme or eye creme.
During 22-30 April 2006, get outside and celebrate National Wildlife Week, by joining thousands of people nationwide as they make a difference for wildlife! There will be fun service and volunteer projects, top 10 books, and nature activities for kids aged 3-12.
Letters and guest articles posted in the Newsletter section of the Forum or sent to the publisher become the property of PristinePlanet.com, and may be edited for brevity or clarity prior to publication.
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