Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
- Listen to your guide. If you have one.
- Stand still (I can't actually recommend this strategy, but in most cases elephants "mock charge")
- Watch the ears. If they are out, chances are it's a mock charge. Respect the elephant and move away. If ears are back, then you should be worried.
- Ignore our example. Don't run, but move away slowly
- Try "shooing" the elephant by making lots of noise. This works best if you are in a vehicle.
- Climb a large tree. Preferably one without thorns, stinging ants, or lions
- Throw a decoy for the elephant to attack
- When fleeing or hiding, try to be downwind of the elephant
- Run faster than the slowest person in your group
When elephants attack. Surviving an elephant charge in the Congo rainforest of Gabon
By Brian Kenety
PRAGUE. SEPTEMBER 24. INTERFAX CENTRAL EUROPE - Prague-based carbon asset management firm Blackstone Global Ventures (BGV) expects to raise EUR 100 mln by year's end to invest in emissions-reduction projects in the CEE region via its new fund, BGV managing director Stanislav Kolar told Interfax in an exclusive interview.
"We have pre-commitments from two organizations - I cannot name them, but one is a global hedge fund and the other a major European electric utility - and they will come in at EUR 5-10 mln each," Kolar said, adding that his firm is in negotiations with potential seeding organization. "We are now introducing the concept to [other] key players in the market in a pre-road show."
The firm's BGV JI Focus Fund will primarily target the creation of emissions credits through so-called Joint Implementation (JI) projects, one of a number of ways that Kyoto Protocol "Annex 1" signatories - such as European Union member states - can partly meet their obligations under the treaty to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
"Ours will be the first such carbon fund based in the CEE region, and among the first to invest in JI projects in Russia, after the Danish-based Russian Carbon Fund," Kolar said, referring to the investment vehicle backed by Merrill Lynch and renamed the Core Carbon Group in July. "There is an appetite for JI because - with the exception, I think, of Merrill Lynch - all major investment banks have too large an exposure to CDM projects and none in JI."
Unlike projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) - assessed and approved under the Bonn-based CDM Executive Board, and actively traded on over-the-counter exchanges for two years now - JI projects apply to transitional economies, mainly covering the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the related processes and procedures vary greatly from country to country.
JI credits are known as Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) and CDM credits are called Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Like other carbon asset firms, BGV looks to develop JI and CDM projects that generate the credits more cheaply than the price of the European allowances, and even CERs.
BGV trade director Daniel Butler told Interfax that the company has about 3 mln ERUs - or 3 mln tonnes of CO2 - under contract in its current portfolio, mostly in the Czech Republic, while BGV manages assets worth EUR 10 mln as part of its "carbon pool," a compliance instrument for companies participating in the EU emission trading scheme (EU ETS).
"JI is relatively new and smaller; the majority of investment has been going into CDM," Butler said, adding that BGV's new JI fund expects a seeding organization, which will provide prime broker services, would come in at about EUR 25 mln.
Butler said BGV's road show will look to convince potential investors that the JI projects in which BGV is looking to invest in can translate into big profits by taking advantage of sizeable price differences between different emission "currencies."
"European Union allowances, or EUAs, already traded on a several exchanges in Europe are at EUR 21," Butler said. "If you go to a bank in London they will give you a guaranteed CER for a price of about EUR 16.5. But if a developer like us goes out to Ukraine in the early days until now, perhaps the range - the cost to us - was somewhere between EUR 5-8."
JI and CDM credits are interchangeable for the purposes of compliance under the EU's trading scheme for up to a 10% limit in the Czech Republic and Poland, for example, and over 20% in Germany.
Kolar said currently BGV's greatest potential is in Ukraine, adding that he will travel to Kiev this week to establish a subsidiary.
In the longer run, BGV intends to get into Russia and the firm has already established contacts and potential partners there, Kolar said.
"Russia presently does not have a clear and transparent system for approval of JI projects - in fact, they do not have a system at all," Kolar said. "But when our fund is set up, definitely, we will move into Russia because [the fund] will provide us with the resources to be there permanently, full-time, and we can begin looking for projects."
For further information please contact the reporter by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: (+420) 222 874 430.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So, the question I want answered is, what is the infighting sstory? I mean, here is a story about 1. the Clintons having the power to kill a negative story and 2. the original story that was killed. Well, I want to hear or read about 2.
Inquiring minds want to know.
Well today I am trying the blipback program. It is where you just click and record a quick message to me. Try it out.
oh... you need a web cam. Go out, now, right now, and buy one. Come on.. they are cheap.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The owner of the company is quite enigmatic. He never sold shares, never did all the usual stuff, all to keep control. He does things that would infuriate investors, like pumping ridiculous amounts of money into things no matter what. All to make what are arguably the best in their category.
Yes, this is Bose of the radio name. But look at this video. I heard about this suspension system some time ago and now here it is. Look at the last scene. The jump is magic. And I like the bow the guy takes at the end.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Was just in London for two days. We had to fly EasyJet since we booked the day before.
What a horrid experience. I have to be honest, I had overheard a woman behind me in the check-in line saying that the line was horrendously long and I though to myself, 'what a snobby bitty, never had to travel cattle-class before?'
Well, now I will be the bitty.
The hallways, the lines, the snotty people, the rubbish strewn all about in the waiting lounges... grrrous! I cannot help but think of the stories about the poor souls crowded into the dome in Louisiana and the unsanitary conditions due to the George-Bush caused hurricane Katrina. (It was Bush, wasn't it? I mean that's what I read and keep reading).
After all the criticism that eastern European locations have suffered over the years, I cannot help but marvel at how pleasant the flying experience can really be when you fly out of or in to, places like Prague, Budapest or even Bucharest... compared to Heathrow, or Gatwick.
Even in the USA, the flying experience has deteriorated decidedly. Lines, and especially cancellations, are horrible. And the access to information about flight status, something that would help immeasurably, is rarely forthcoming.
Compare a trip from say, Chicago to DC to a trip from Budapest to Prague, or perhaps, Vienna to Athens, (yes, even that haven of arrogant bastards with holier than thou attitudes and smelly bodies). The latter two are much more pleasant.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
September 17 2007
(HedgeCo.Net)- Daniel Butler, the Trade Director for Czech carbon asset fund manager Blackstone Global Ventures sent us at HedgeCo this much needed Carbon Market simplification;
It could be said that when the average man on the street hears about a new Environmental Fund or Climate Change Funds its easy to imaging the observer visualizing a member of Greenpeace flogging and IPO prospectus on Wall Street. Perhaps destined to be a most undersubscribed offering.
In reality many of these carbon fund raisings are employing tried-and-true investment principals such as: origination of new stock, arbitration of differing instruments, the capture of significant discounts, all to ultimately return a capital gain to the investor. But how could this possible considering Climate Change-Global Warming is a greenie issue? Hardly the type of thing that would interest the professional financial markets community, an observer might opine.
In reality it is not too far fetched to imagine the near future where even investors lacking a renewable energy brief (or an environmental conscience) might consider the world of carbon trading simply a new commodities type market where variables such as the supply of the existing underlying, new origination efforts, and even a tight relation to the energy markets, will be enough to consider before investing.
But wait; did someone just explain the carbon market without spending multiple paragraphs on the issues causing Global Warming, the long process of negotiations between green house gas emitting countries and the acceptance of many said governments to curtail their harmful emissions to the detriment of their gross national product? Isn't that a bit too brief?
Well, that is why it is, for many, still in unexplored and unfathomable territory. Many would-be investors never read through those paragraphs because, while the basis for this new market is a paradigm of inter-governmental coordination and mother of all surprises - an 'agreement' between the majority of nations (the Kyoto Protocol) - the concepts employed tend to be explained in excruciatingly painful detail.
If however, the market of carbon instruments is explained from a different approach, an inside-out approach, perhaps investors would see how it works first and learn the why’s later.
The European market (yes, there are many locality based variables) market can be explained as a place where the right to emit greenhouse gases is securitized into ‘permissions’ or ‘allowances’ to emit, where less of these allowance credits are issued over time in a concept not unlike musical chairs; a simple concept for a serious issue whereby fewer emission allowance credits in circulation means less greenhouse gases actually emitted into the atmosphere. To police this, the participants “governments and companies face severe fines for ‘non-compliance’. These participants can, however, buy cheaper, newly created credits.
This next concept of newly created or ‘originated’ credits is the one that forms the basis for the lion’s share of new carbon funds and unfortunately becomes a bit wordier. This involves the principal of originating new credits based on causing the reductions of GHG emissions in places around the world were it would be much less expensive.*
After all, implementing reductions, (cleaning up, capturing), elsewhere in the world benefits the globe as a whole. And the agent implementing the reduction is then awarded a carbon credit that is usually shared with the site where the emissions were reduced (the factory, the installation, etc).
This is quite frankly not unlike a new IPO offering or the mining of a new commodity. And the effort and expertise expended to bring the new security to market is recouped by the agent because the origination might take place at prices much lower than where the agent can sell them on the world market. Now it should be clear that with the capture of sizeable discounts, there is in fact room for larger financing. And with the growing surge of climate change understanding, the resultant political willpower, the sheer power of the financial market is brought to the cause. This power should be compared to other attempts at taxation where the application is usually up to individual governments and subject to changes as governments change; not nearly as affective as the financial incentive.
It must be made clear, however, that an investor to a fund that captures discounts in the generation of greenhouse gas emissions must be cognizant of important issues such as the risks involved in the creation of new credits: the lengthy and tedious administrative processes to establishing a carbon credit-worthy project, the verification and validation of real emission reductions, as well as the more obvious macro components affecting the supply and demand and ultimately the prices of credits. And also the investor must critically judge the fund manager (agent) to navigate the by-ways of the new credit approval process.
Indeed, perhaps it is here that the investor might best value a the fund since profitability mostly relies on the abilities of the manager to source discounted projects, manage the extraction process from the identification up to perhaps 5 years later when credits are issued: the fund manager must be a master of the carbon credit origination process.
Of course there is criticism. A cynic might say that with all those financial types involved, banks that need to earn large margins to stay afloat, it seems that the real greenhouse gas reductions may take a lesser import. On the other hand, many other previous attempts to apply environmental remedies have fallen short of their goals because the free market was not involved.
The carbon market now however, seems to have surpassed this criticism and is now firmly established as its own financial market. The carbon market and pricing is related closely to energy movements, subject to international acceptance (USA and Australia have not signed the Kyoto Protocol), and even another important factor when it comes to industrial prices. It is nevertheless a growing market confirmed by the appetite for growing fund investment.
*These less expensive locations (countries where emissions reductions are cheaper to implement, might have accepted emissions limits such as the Ukraine or Romania, or possess no limits at all such as in India or China; they benefit in the long run since the creation of new credits benefit the installation ‘host’ and host government implicitly, since they share in the sale of new credits.Daniel Butler is the Trade Director for carbon asset fund manager Blackstone Global Ventures, a.s. in Prague, Czech Reublic.
For more information, contact;
Editor for HedgeCo.Net
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By DAVE BARRY, Herald Columnist
No humor column today. I don't want to write it, and you don't want to read
No words of wisdom, either. I wish I were wise enough to say something that
would help make sense of this horror, something that would help ease the
unimaginable pain of the victims' loved ones, but I'm not that wise. I'm
barely capable of thinking. Like many others, I've spent the hours since
Tuesday morning staring at the television screen, sometimes crying,
sometimes furious, but mostly just stunned.
What I can't get out of my mind is the fact that they used our own planes. I
grew up in the Cold War, when we always pictured the threat as coming in the
form of missiles - sleek, efficient death machines, unmanned, hurtling over
the North Pole from far away. But what came, instead, were our own
commercial airliners, big friendly flying buses coming from Newark and
Boston with innocent people on board. Red, white and blue planes, with
``United'' and ``American'' written on the side. The planes you've flown in
and I've flown in. That's what they used to attack us. They were able to do
it in part because our airport security is pathetic. But mainly they were
able to do it because we are an open and trusting society that simply is not
set up to cope with evil men, right here among us, who want to kill as many
Americans as they can.
That's what's so hard to comprehend: They want us to die just for being
Americans. They don't care which Americans die: military Americans, civilian
Americans, young Americans, old Americans. Baby Americans. They don't care.
To them, we're all mortal enemies. The truth is that most Americans, until
Tuesday, were only dimly aware of their existence, and posed no threat to
them. But that doesn't matter to them; all that matters is that we're
Americans. And so they used our own planes to kill us.
And then their supporters celebrated in the streets.
I'm not naive about my country. My country is definitely not always right;
my country has at times been terribly wrong. But I know this about
Americans: We don't set out to kill innocent people. We don't cheer when
innocent people die.
A DECENT PEOPLE
The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have
hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would
never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a
thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will
try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly
wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.
And now we are a traumatized people. The TV commentators keep saying that
the attacks have awakened a ``sleeping giant.'' And I guess we do look like
a giant, to the rest of the world. But when I look around, I don't see a
giant: I see millions of individuals - the resilient and caring citizens of
New York and Washington; the incredibly brave firefighters, police officers
and rescue workers risking their lives in the dust and flames; the
politicians standing on the steps of the Capitol and singing an off-key
rendition of God Bless America that, corny as it was, had me weeping; the
reporters and photographers who have not slept, and will not sleep, as long
as there is news to report; the people in my community, and communities
across America, lining up to give blood, wishing they could do more.
A GOOD COUNTRY
No, I don't see a giant. What I see is Americans. We may have the power of a
giant, but we also have the heart of a good and generous people, and we will
get through this. We will grieve for our dead, and tend to our wounded, and
repair the damage, and tighten our security, and put our planes back in the
air. Eventually most of us, the ones lucky enough not to have lost somebody,
will resume our lives. Some day, our country will track down the rest of the
monsters behind this, and make them pay, and I suppose that will make most
of us feel a little better. But revenge and hatred won't be why we'll go on.
We'll go on because we know this is a good country, a country worth keeping.
Those who would destroy it only make us see more clearly how precious it is.
Source is Dave Barry' Blog. I hope this is sufficient referral crediting, etc.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
75% of child murders are resulting from the parents hitting the child too hard and then trying to hide the body. Maybe I have made a mistake on the finer details, but it was close. Nevertheless, it is a high percentage and it is shocking.
Also, the parents McCann are both doctors. If they hit too hard, they would certainly know what harm it could cause.
This talking head doctor also mentioned that if the body of Madeline was deposited at see, it would be "skeletonized" so much that any cause of death would be very difficult to establish if the body were found.
(I am embarrassed by being stuck into a gossipy-news, but I was travelling and it kept reappearing in office reception televisions).