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Hurting the environment: the palm oil paradox
At the beginning of the 2010s, big companies such as Dove, Mars and Nestlé were publicly shamed for their continued use of palm oil. Not because it is a product that harms our health directly, or because it contains hidden substances - but rather because its production really hurts our environment. And while they pledged at the time to stop their purchase of “dirty” palm oil and make serious efforts to alleviate the damage that they caused; a story recently hit the news that most of them are allegedly ignoring these promises made and continue to use protected land for the growth of palm oil. According to the whistleblower, these companies have largely set aside the plans in favour of gearing up their production. “ For too many years, Nestlé, Mars and Hershey have cherry-picked their [palm oil] targets and then moved the goalposts when they don’t achieve them. There’s just no further room for error to prevent the extinction of tigers, orang-utans and elephants .” Why is palm oil so important to those companies? Clearly there must be something rather important to this illustrious substance, for these large multinationals to risk seriously damaging their reputation. And sure enough, it is. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil harvested from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm. It is one of the world’s most adaptable and frequently used commodities.   Besides, it is quite cheap - while posing unique characteristics that make it desirable for its lubricating, cleansing and vitamin-rich nature. This combination of low costs and high effectiveness make it very appealing for those companies who want to keep their costs down while maintaining their product quality. Despite the negative attention that it may draw to them. Who uses palm oil and what are the alternatives? In large areas of the world, palm oil is used as a common cooking ingredient - not only as an ingredient, but also as oil. Large parts of Africa and Brazil and the whole of Southeast Asia heavily rely on it for their daily diet. This appeal largely comes from the low cost and high saturation when used for frying. Thus, a huge portion of products that they use on a daily basis will contain palm oil in one form or the other. This ranges from chips, chocolate and instant noodles to toothpaste, lipstick and body lotions.   India is one of those countries where it is still frequently used. Latest estimates put the number of Indians that use palm oil on a daily basis at a staggering 50%. And this is still growing: the rapidly developing country is only just now moving on from other sources, such as oils based on groundnut and coconut. And with the country growing rapidly and becoming richer (consumption has doubled in recent decades), palm oil has become indispensable in feeding its 1.3 million population. The country is facing a huge challenge in finding ways of bringing cheap sources of  food to their rapidly expanding population, while facing an alarmingly high poverty rate and very limited use of land. At the same time, India really wants to boost its domestic production and reduce its reliance on imports. For this, palm oil seems to be the only solution that ticks all the boxes, and as such, the Asian country is working hard to ramp up its domestic production, freeing up huge amounts of land for this purpose. Why is palm oil getting so much negative attention? So far, so good: it looks as if this raw material can solve a stringent issue. However, there is a flip side; and a reason why there has been such a public outcry against the use of palm oil. Its production causes severe environmental damage ( deforestation, habitat, degradation, climate change, animal cruelty ) and often violates human rights. Sustainability is something that most producers are not concerned with, nor about traceability.   The production has singlehandedly endangered species, such as the orang-utan and Sumatran tiger, and pushed those to the brink of extinction. And while some might say that India freeing up available land will lead to a more sustainable way of production, this could not be further from the truth. The harsh reality is that India does - and will - only produce a fraction of the palm oil needed to meet the growing demand.   The remainder is - and will be - imported from other countries, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia. And these rising imports will put more pressure on those countries, which in turn leads to worse circumstances; once again encouraging “dirty palm oil” producers to benefit - without due cause for the damage done to the environment. There you have it, a doubled-edged sword. In order to feed the growing population of India, they will have to import significant amounts of palm oil - the core component of their people’s diet. The strain that this puts on our environment is tremendous and causing irreparable damage.   Feeding ànd saving the planet simultaneously appears to be a trickier issue than most will think, although it will be a crucial one to solve if we are to even take a remote shot at saving our world. https://www.whatsorb.com/gardening---agriculture/the-environment-is-our-economy  
At the beginning of the 2010s, big companies such as Dove, Mars and Nestlé were publicly shamed for their continued use of palm oil. Not because it is a product that harms our health directly, or because it contains hidden substances - but rather because its production really hurts our environment. And while they pledged at the time to stop their purchase of “dirty” palm oil and make serious efforts to alleviate the damage that they caused; a story recently hit the news that most of them are allegedly ignoring these promises made and continue to use protected land for the growth of palm oil. According to the whistleblower, these companies have largely set aside the plans in favour of gearing up their production. “ For too many years, Nestlé, Mars and Hershey have cherry-picked their [palm oil] targets and then moved the goalposts when they don’t achieve them. There’s just no further room for error to prevent the extinction of tigers, orang-utans and elephants .” Why is palm oil so important to those companies? Clearly there must be something rather important to this illustrious substance, for these large multinationals to risk seriously damaging their reputation. And sure enough, it is. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil harvested from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm. It is one of the world’s most adaptable and frequently used commodities.   Besides, it is quite cheap - while posing unique characteristics that make it desirable for its lubricating, cleansing and vitamin-rich nature. This combination of low costs and high effectiveness make it very appealing for those companies who want to keep their costs down while maintaining their product quality. Despite the negative attention that it may draw to them. Who uses palm oil and what are the alternatives? In large areas of the world, palm oil is used as a common cooking ingredient - not only as an ingredient, but also as oil. Large parts of Africa and Brazil and the whole of Southeast Asia heavily rely on it for their daily diet. This appeal largely comes from the low cost and high saturation when used for frying. Thus, a huge portion of products that they use on a daily basis will contain palm oil in one form or the other. This ranges from chips, chocolate and instant noodles to toothpaste, lipstick and body lotions.   India is one of those countries where it is still frequently used. Latest estimates put the number of Indians that use palm oil on a daily basis at a staggering 50%. And this is still growing: the rapidly developing country is only just now moving on from other sources, such as oils based on groundnut and coconut. And with the country growing rapidly and becoming richer (consumption has doubled in recent decades), palm oil has become indispensable in feeding its 1.3 million population. The country is facing a huge challenge in finding ways of bringing cheap sources of  food to their rapidly expanding population, while facing an alarmingly high poverty rate and very limited use of land. At the same time, India really wants to boost its domestic production and reduce its reliance on imports. For this, palm oil seems to be the only solution that ticks all the boxes, and as such, the Asian country is working hard to ramp up its domestic production, freeing up huge amounts of land for this purpose. Why is palm oil getting so much negative attention? So far, so good: it looks as if this raw material can solve a stringent issue. However, there is a flip side; and a reason why there has been such a public outcry against the use of palm oil. Its production causes severe environmental damage ( deforestation, habitat, degradation, climate change, animal cruelty ) and often violates human rights. Sustainability is something that most producers are not concerned with, nor about traceability.   The production has singlehandedly endangered species, such as the orang-utan and Sumatran tiger, and pushed those to the brink of extinction. And while some might say that India freeing up available land will lead to a more sustainable way of production, this could not be further from the truth. The harsh reality is that India does - and will - only produce a fraction of the palm oil needed to meet the growing demand.   The remainder is - and will be - imported from other countries, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia. And these rising imports will put more pressure on those countries, which in turn leads to worse circumstances; once again encouraging “dirty palm oil” producers to benefit - without due cause for the damage done to the environment. There you have it, a doubled-edged sword. In order to feed the growing population of India, they will have to import significant amounts of palm oil - the core component of their people’s diet. The strain that this puts on our environment is tremendous and causing irreparable damage.   Feeding ànd saving the planet simultaneously appears to be a trickier issue than most will think, although it will be a crucial one to solve if we are to even take a remote shot at saving our world. https://www.whatsorb.com/gardening---agriculture/the-environment-is-our-economy  
Hurting the environment: the palm oil paradox
Hurting the environment: the palm oil paradox
Solar geo-engineering as the ultimate answer to climate change
It sounds like the concept of a super futuristic, sci-fi blockbuster movie starring a handful of the earth’s most brilliant geniuses as well as a few brave, daring astronauts and engineers. Solar geo-engineering is a fancy term for spreading particles in our earth’s stratosphere, that will effectively block the sun from ‘breaking through’. Although in all of these movies, it usually goes wrong whenever one country tries to take over control of the system. What better weapon could there be, after all, than the mighty sword of playing God and changing the global climate for good? Rather unfounded fears, thankfully, as scientists that are hoping to one day make this dream a reality now claim.   How does solar geo-engineering work? The process of solar geo-engineering most closely resembles major volcanic eruptions, that effectively reduces the temperature on earth through the release of small sulphate particles. Perhaps surprisingly so, it actually adds up to be a rather affordable solution for climate change.   In the most cost-effective way, specially designed aircrafts are used to release the sulphate particles in the atmosphere, at a altitude of about 20 km. Releasing it from regular commercial jets would not be effective enough, as it will lead to the particles falling out of the sky within a very short time. These modified airplanes will be able to carry a huge amount of particles to the 20 km mark, at which the particles can remain afloat for at least a year. For this, it needs four engines instead of two and substantially larger wings. Nothing that science hasn’t invented yet, and therefore fairly simple. Estimations as made by Harvard University, based on a hypothetical deployment program, show that it could come in at a remarkably low 2 million dollar per year. When compared to the annual budget currently spent on green technologies - an amazing 500 billion dollar - it seems to be a no-brainer. Why, then, has it not been implemented yet? Facing the opponents of geo-engineering Well, for starters, the entire topic of geo-engineering is very controversial. First of all, for the argument given before, where hostile countries or persons could attempt to gain control of the system and eventually harness its power for bad intentions. Although experts are stating that this is theoretically impossible to do, as it would require thousands and thousands of high-altitude flights in order to affect the global temperature significantly - something that would not go by unnoticed. A second argument that opponents frequently bring to the table is the effect that it would have on people’s attitude towards global warming and sustainability. After all, it does sound and feel like a quick, easy fix for global warming. As such, it would drastically weaken any attempts made to actually tackle the root causes for global warming in the first place. Why should we try so hard to cut back on our emissions if we can neutralise them in this way? Finally, there are some side-effects that it could have on the planet, including lengthy  droughts and damage to crops. This effect of the particles on the land have not been properly investigated yet, adding fuel to the fire of those fears. Geo-engineering: a long-term solution or a last resort? The effects of geo-engineering are suspected to be quick and quite significant. Projections of its impact are that it will reduce global warming by 0.1 degrees Celsius per year, with a total reduction of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would be sufficient according to recent reports, that indicated that there will be an increase in temperature of 3 degrees Celsius if emissions will continue to rise - which would be catastrophic - and naming a maximum increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius as much more desirable.   Hence, geo-engineering would be capable of bringing the earth’s climate back down from the brink of disaster to a much more manageable level. The advocates of this technology claim that it is definitely worth investigating, as it has the power to serve as the ‘last resort’ for nations if climate change becomes too bad. Yet they are also quick to emphasise that it should only be used - if ever - in combination with a climate change policy that includes hefty cuts in emissions, adaptation and carbon removal from the atmosphere. And this is probably what it is. Geo-engineering seems suitable as a final lifeline, yet it is not a solution in itself. It merely combats the symptoms of an underlying illness and does not, nor will it ever be, a cure of its own. Therefore, nations should - while taking it seriously as an option - never see it as a quick way out, allow them to sit back and relax.   The only way to combat climate change is by permanently changing our behaviour. As for geo-engineering: it will only be a feasible plan of action if it serves an ultimate goal, rather than being the goal in itself. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
It sounds like the concept of a super futuristic, sci-fi blockbuster movie starring a handful of the earth’s most brilliant geniuses as well as a few brave, daring astronauts and engineers. Solar geo-engineering is a fancy term for spreading particles in our earth’s stratosphere, that will effectively block the sun from ‘breaking through’. Although in all of these movies, it usually goes wrong whenever one country tries to take over control of the system. What better weapon could there be, after all, than the mighty sword of playing God and changing the global climate for good? Rather unfounded fears, thankfully, as scientists that are hoping to one day make this dream a reality now claim.   How does solar geo-engineering work? The process of solar geo-engineering most closely resembles major volcanic eruptions, that effectively reduces the temperature on earth through the release of small sulphate particles. Perhaps surprisingly so, it actually adds up to be a rather affordable solution for climate change.   In the most cost-effective way, specially designed aircrafts are used to release the sulphate particles in the atmosphere, at a altitude of about 20 km. Releasing it from regular commercial jets would not be effective enough, as it will lead to the particles falling out of the sky within a very short time. These modified airplanes will be able to carry a huge amount of particles to the 20 km mark, at which the particles can remain afloat for at least a year. For this, it needs four engines instead of two and substantially larger wings. Nothing that science hasn’t invented yet, and therefore fairly simple. Estimations as made by Harvard University, based on a hypothetical deployment program, show that it could come in at a remarkably low 2 million dollar per year. When compared to the annual budget currently spent on green technologies - an amazing 500 billion dollar - it seems to be a no-brainer. Why, then, has it not been implemented yet? Facing the opponents of geo-engineering Well, for starters, the entire topic of geo-engineering is very controversial. First of all, for the argument given before, where hostile countries or persons could attempt to gain control of the system and eventually harness its power for bad intentions. Although experts are stating that this is theoretically impossible to do, as it would require thousands and thousands of high-altitude flights in order to affect the global temperature significantly - something that would not go by unnoticed. A second argument that opponents frequently bring to the table is the effect that it would have on people’s attitude towards global warming and sustainability. After all, it does sound and feel like a quick, easy fix for global warming. As such, it would drastically weaken any attempts made to actually tackle the root causes for global warming in the first place. Why should we try so hard to cut back on our emissions if we can neutralise them in this way? Finally, there are some side-effects that it could have on the planet, including lengthy  droughts and damage to crops. This effect of the particles on the land have not been properly investigated yet, adding fuel to the fire of those fears. Geo-engineering: a long-term solution or a last resort? The effects of geo-engineering are suspected to be quick and quite significant. Projections of its impact are that it will reduce global warming by 0.1 degrees Celsius per year, with a total reduction of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This would be sufficient according to recent reports, that indicated that there will be an increase in temperature of 3 degrees Celsius if emissions will continue to rise - which would be catastrophic - and naming a maximum increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius as much more desirable.   Hence, geo-engineering would be capable of bringing the earth’s climate back down from the brink of disaster to a much more manageable level. The advocates of this technology claim that it is definitely worth investigating, as it has the power to serve as the ‘last resort’ for nations if climate change becomes too bad. Yet they are also quick to emphasise that it should only be used - if ever - in combination with a climate change policy that includes hefty cuts in emissions, adaptation and carbon removal from the atmosphere. And this is probably what it is. Geo-engineering seems suitable as a final lifeline, yet it is not a solution in itself. It merely combats the symptoms of an underlying illness and does not, nor will it ever be, a cure of its own. Therefore, nations should - while taking it seriously as an option - never see it as a quick way out, allow them to sit back and relax.   The only way to combat climate change is by permanently changing our behaviour. As for geo-engineering: it will only be a feasible plan of action if it serves an ultimate goal, rather than being the goal in itself. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Solar geo-engineering as the ultimate answer to climate change
Solar geo-engineering as the ultimate answer to climate change
New foodscape alternatives get lots of attention in the Netherlands
Degraded landscapes, increasing droughts and floods. Food supply is under pressure. Ecosystem Restoration experts John Liu and Daniel Halsey are acting worldwide to restore ecosystems and making fields fertile again. On November the 15th, they gave a lecture about ecosystem restoration at Wageningen university, organised by The Plant/Marieke Karssen. The Netherlands had just like other European countries heavy droughts, which affected the harvest. Not surprisingly that the university hall was thus fully packed to hear about solutions. Permaculture, food forests, nature inclusive agriculture. In the Netherlands these words seem to have a magical meaning. Main media publish articles about these attempts to secure our future food production and to salvage our biodiversity. All the named systems work with different layers of plants and give trees an important role. What did Liu and Halsey tell about the new ways? Liu started the evening by emphasising the need to change. “We are developing alternatives too slowly and especially too theoretical. Only when you practise restoration in the field, you really learn. Therefore I invite every student here to visit Ecosystem Restoration Camps.” He added: “Humanity is the only kind on earth who can consciously restore ecosystems. We can displace organic material.” Change comes through troubles Also Daniel Halsey sees the big challenges that we stand for. He also sees possibilities. “Real change only comes through trouble.” He travelled a lot around the world and saw the same problems everywhere. “We extracted life out of the earth. We can return this by feeding the earth with its own organic waste. Not with fertilizers and pesticides, but with organic material. That is the way nature works.” Halsey loves to work with local farmers. “They know about natural vegetation in their area. Female farmers from California noticed the difference in temperature between healthy soil with organic material and poor degraded soils. They learned in a few days to feed the ground with organic waste material and lowered the temperature in the soil with a few degrees.” Halsey showed different designs of permaculture landscape designs, where permanent landscape elements like shrubs and trees are combined with annual crops and animals. “If you see insects, butterflies and birds come back, you know you are doing the right thing.” Ecosystem restoration is not only profitable for these animal species, also for the farmer. “With chicken under hazelnuts, the trees gave three times as much nuts as before”, said Halsey. Rethink: what is a community? For such new steps people have to rethink their ideas of a community. “Once I visited a farmer who had 1800 cows. He was proud he alone replaced the work of 60 small scale farmers who formerly were needed to milk 1800 cows. I only thought: with only one family there is no bakery, no café and no school. Is that progress? Whole communities have disappeared.” No division between agriculture or nature, only between working or not working systems After the lecture, three cases followed. One about the heather grounds. How to combine this type of nature with animals, since every nature conserver in this case is afraid of nutrients as they will change the heather into the next phase of succession, a forest. While in former times it was most natural to let graze animals like sheep. “Do things bit by bit. Too much is always wrong. We can accept animals and exotics in nature. If only we watch the system: how does it affect the system?”,  Halsey responded. Another casus was about the Ecosystem Restoration Camp in Spain. More biodiversity is coming slowly, but there is almost no economic base. “Maybe we should redefine economics. As a place to learn it is super valuable”, Halsey said. A third casus from California was very actual, since the forest fires caused disasters. The big challenge to feed a big city, preserve nature and produce enough food makes it difficult to choose alternative systems like permaculture. “I see nature not as different from agriculture. I only see systems that work, or not”, Halsey said. He added that he thinks that western farmers are the first to change their habits. “It is not about who has to be the first investor, in the meaning of being less profitable. Harvest will only rise when you take care of the whole system”, Liu added. See for more information: https://permaculture.org/,  https://ecosystemrestorationcamps.org http://www.southwoodscenter.com/ https://www.whatsorb.com/category/gardening---agriculture
Degraded landscapes, increasing droughts and floods. Food supply is under pressure. Ecosystem Restoration experts John Liu and Daniel Halsey are acting worldwide to restore ecosystems and making fields fertile again. On November the 15th, they gave a lecture about ecosystem restoration at Wageningen university, organised by The Plant/Marieke Karssen. The Netherlands had just like other European countries heavy droughts, which affected the harvest. Not surprisingly that the university hall was thus fully packed to hear about solutions. Permaculture, food forests, nature inclusive agriculture. In the Netherlands these words seem to have a magical meaning. Main media publish articles about these attempts to secure our future food production and to salvage our biodiversity. All the named systems work with different layers of plants and give trees an important role. What did Liu and Halsey tell about the new ways? Liu started the evening by emphasising the need to change. “We are developing alternatives too slowly and especially too theoretical. Only when you practise restoration in the field, you really learn. Therefore I invite every student here to visit Ecosystem Restoration Camps.” He added: “Humanity is the only kind on earth who can consciously restore ecosystems. We can displace organic material.” Change comes through troubles Also Daniel Halsey sees the big challenges that we stand for. He also sees possibilities. “Real change only comes through trouble.” He travelled a lot around the world and saw the same problems everywhere. “We extracted life out of the earth. We can return this by feeding the earth with its own organic waste. Not with fertilizers and pesticides, but with organic material. That is the way nature works.” Halsey loves to work with local farmers. “They know about natural vegetation in their area. Female farmers from California noticed the difference in temperature between healthy soil with organic material and poor degraded soils. They learned in a few days to feed the ground with organic waste material and lowered the temperature in the soil with a few degrees.” Halsey showed different designs of permaculture landscape designs, where permanent landscape elements like shrubs and trees are combined with annual crops and animals. “If you see insects, butterflies and birds come back, you know you are doing the right thing.” Ecosystem restoration is not only profitable for these animal species, also for the farmer. “With chicken under hazelnuts, the trees gave three times as much nuts as before”, said Halsey. Rethink: what is a community? For such new steps people have to rethink their ideas of a community. “Once I visited a farmer who had 1800 cows. He was proud he alone replaced the work of 60 small scale farmers who formerly were needed to milk 1800 cows. I only thought: with only one family there is no bakery, no café and no school. Is that progress? Whole communities have disappeared.” No division between agriculture or nature, only between working or not working systems After the lecture, three cases followed. One about the heather grounds. How to combine this type of nature with animals, since every nature conserver in this case is afraid of nutrients as they will change the heather into the next phase of succession, a forest. While in former times it was most natural to let graze animals like sheep. “Do things bit by bit. Too much is always wrong. We can accept animals and exotics in nature. If only we watch the system: how does it affect the system?”,  Halsey responded. Another casus was about the Ecosystem Restoration Camp in Spain. More biodiversity is coming slowly, but there is almost no economic base. “Maybe we should redefine economics. As a place to learn it is super valuable”, Halsey said. A third casus from California was very actual, since the forest fires caused disasters. The big challenge to feed a big city, preserve nature and produce enough food makes it difficult to choose alternative systems like permaculture. “I see nature not as different from agriculture. I only see systems that work, or not”, Halsey said. He added that he thinks that western farmers are the first to change their habits. “It is not about who has to be the first investor, in the meaning of being less profitable. Harvest will only rise when you take care of the whole system”, Liu added. See for more information: https://permaculture.org/,  https://ecosystemrestorationcamps.org http://www.southwoodscenter.com/ https://www.whatsorb.com/category/gardening---agriculture
New foodscape alternatives get lots of attention in the Netherlands
Robot bees are all the buzz
It is no secret that human activity has had a profound impact on our planet. We’ve destroyed large parts of Malaysian forests , polluted our oceans and turned one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World into a dump , but it all pales in comparison with our impact on some of the most important beings on Earth – bees. Bees are vital for food production, as according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States bees pollinate 71% of the 100 crop species that provide us with 90% of our food . Being the most efficient pollinators amongst insects, bees allow us to enjoy a great variety of fruits, vegetables, berries and many other plants that would all disappear if the bees were to go extinct. The effect of this would be far too great to imagine and our planet would look very different to what it does now. Since 2006 US has lost 40% of its commercial honeybees, while in the UK the situation is even more drastic – their population of honeybees has decreased by 45% since 2010; beekeepers around Europe have been reporting unusual weakening and mortality in their bee colonies since 1998. So why are we blaming human activity for this? The answer is quite predictable – pesticides. Many studies suggested that use of neonicotinoids (neuro-active insecticides meant to keep away pests) poses a threat to honeybee colonies. Based on an analysis of more than 1500 studies, European Union has decided to ban three main neonicotinoids earlier this year. It’s time to talk about the birds and… the robots? While protective measures are being taken, some scientists are preparing for the worst-case scenario and are developing new ways to pollinate plants that don’t require the hands on approach that some Chinese farms currently employ . A team from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created a drone called DelFly Nimble that replicates the wing motions of fruit flies and will be able to help the bees do their job (or, worst come to worst, replace them). Image credit: DelFly Project The wing motion is the large part of what makes these drones unique. The robot bees can hover on the spot, flip 360 degrees and fly in any direction – all courtesy of fruit fly’s evasive techniques.  This wing motion is also much more efficient than the more traditional helicopter-style blades, which allows the robot bees to stay airborne for longer. And with addition of spatial sensors they will be able to avoid obstacles and each other, much like their real life inspirations. Currently, the drones are quite big – DelFly Nimbles have a 33cm wingspan – and are only able to fly for about 6 minutes, which allows them to cover the distance of 1 km (or 0.6 miles) on a single charge. However, Matej Karásek, a researcher working on the project, says that the goal is to get the drone to be as small as the real honeybees. DelFly Project aren’t the first to attempt to create a robot bee. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees , that could not only pollinate crops, but also assist in environmental monitoring and search-and-rescue operations. RoboBees are much smaller than their Dutch counterparts, being roughly half the size of a paper clip, but they don’t have batteries, instead relying on an external power source, and are currently unable to fit even the smallest microchip, which means that the robots aren’t able to make decisions on their own. The ultimate goal of the project is to find a way to make RoboBees wireless and allow them to respond to the environment and act as a single unit. Image credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University Another interesting approach to creating robot bees comes from Japan. A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology engineered their version of a device using a $100 drone, horsehair and sticky ion gel. The idea is very simple – the drone flies into a flower, the pollen from this flower gets stuck to the ion gel and horsehair and then the drone shakes it off at the next flower. This is certainly a project in an early stage of development, but hopefully one that will become a success. Image credit: Eijiro Miyako As you can see, there isn’t a perfect robot bee out there just yet, but these projects are definitely showing a lot of promise and we wouldn’t be surprised to see tiny artificial bees in the near future. Do you think robot bees are the way to save us all from sure extinction or should we focus on saving the real bees instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
It is no secret that human activity has had a profound impact on our planet. We’ve destroyed large parts of Malaysian forests , polluted our oceans and turned one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World into a dump , but it all pales in comparison with our impact on some of the most important beings on Earth – bees. Bees are vital for food production, as according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States bees pollinate 71% of the 100 crop species that provide us with 90% of our food . Being the most efficient pollinators amongst insects, bees allow us to enjoy a great variety of fruits, vegetables, berries and many other plants that would all disappear if the bees were to go extinct. The effect of this would be far too great to imagine and our planet would look very different to what it does now. Since 2006 US has lost 40% of its commercial honeybees, while in the UK the situation is even more drastic – their population of honeybees has decreased by 45% since 2010; beekeepers around Europe have been reporting unusual weakening and mortality in their bee colonies since 1998. So why are we blaming human activity for this? The answer is quite predictable – pesticides. Many studies suggested that use of neonicotinoids (neuro-active insecticides meant to keep away pests) poses a threat to honeybee colonies. Based on an analysis of more than 1500 studies, European Union has decided to ban three main neonicotinoids earlier this year. It’s time to talk about the birds and… the robots? While protective measures are being taken, some scientists are preparing for the worst-case scenario and are developing new ways to pollinate plants that don’t require the hands on approach that some Chinese farms currently employ . A team from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created a drone called DelFly Nimble that replicates the wing motions of fruit flies and will be able to help the bees do their job (or, worst come to worst, replace them). Image credit: DelFly Project The wing motion is the large part of what makes these drones unique. The robot bees can hover on the spot, flip 360 degrees and fly in any direction – all courtesy of fruit fly’s evasive techniques.  This wing motion is also much more efficient than the more traditional helicopter-style blades, which allows the robot bees to stay airborne for longer. And with addition of spatial sensors they will be able to avoid obstacles and each other, much like their real life inspirations. Currently, the drones are quite big – DelFly Nimbles have a 33cm wingspan – and are only able to fly for about 6 minutes, which allows them to cover the distance of 1 km (or 0.6 miles) on a single charge. However, Matej Karásek, a researcher working on the project, says that the goal is to get the drone to be as small as the real honeybees. DelFly Project aren’t the first to attempt to create a robot bee. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees , that could not only pollinate crops, but also assist in environmental monitoring and search-and-rescue operations. RoboBees are much smaller than their Dutch counterparts, being roughly half the size of a paper clip, but they don’t have batteries, instead relying on an external power source, and are currently unable to fit even the smallest microchip, which means that the robots aren’t able to make decisions on their own. The ultimate goal of the project is to find a way to make RoboBees wireless and allow them to respond to the environment and act as a single unit. Image credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University Another interesting approach to creating robot bees comes from Japan. A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology engineered their version of a device using a $100 drone, horsehair and sticky ion gel. The idea is very simple – the drone flies into a flower, the pollen from this flower gets stuck to the ion gel and horsehair and then the drone shakes it off at the next flower. This is certainly a project in an early stage of development, but hopefully one that will become a success. Image credit: Eijiro Miyako As you can see, there isn’t a perfect robot bee out there just yet, but these projects are definitely showing a lot of promise and we wouldn’t be surprised to see tiny artificial bees in the near future. Do you think robot bees are the way to save us all from sure extinction or should we focus on saving the real bees instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Robot bees are all the buzz
Robot bees are all the buzz
Go with the wind: patent pending for small spherical wind turbine
Recently, I came across an article that discussed a new patent that is pending for the so-called O-Wind concept. This is explained by its developers as being a omnidirectional wind turbine. Say what? Yes, that is right - a wind turbine that can catch winds coming in from all directions and will no longer depend on the good graces of Mother Nature or expensive and time-consuming ways of letting the turbine face the right direction.   The O-Wind turbine was developed as part of the challenge set by the organisation behind the James Dyson Award. This annual award, bringing along a monetary prize of € 35,000, seeks to encourage young inventors and developers to come up with solutions that might make the world a better place.   The futuristic O-Wind turbine captures wind from all directions This year, British entrepreneurs Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani saw themselves victorious on the award night with their concept for a spherical, small  wind turbine that is able to capture wind, no matter what direction it is coming from. It is futuristic, slick, unconventional and only measures a incredible 25 cm in diameter. Through geometric ports, it takes in wind; that it subsequently converts to energy that can directly be used in the surrounding area. Photo by:  James Dyson Award The applications for this invention seem endless and very promising: it is small and functional enough to serve crowded, urban areas, while it makes optimal use of the often unpredictable wind in those large cities. When attached to someone’s balcony, it might just serve to deliver at least a significant portion of that household’s needs - or feed the energy needs of the larger community. As explained by inventor Orellana: “We hope that O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world. Cities are windy places but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger own role in conserving our planet.” Combining science and great engineering The basic idea of the O-Wind is pretty nifty. For its mechanical motion, it effectively employs Bernoulli’s principle, where the sphere-shaped turbine relies on differences in air pressure to generate its momentum. It has a large number of vents that the wind could run through, using three dimensions. These vents are placed all across the sphere, allowing it to function no matter what direction the wind is coming from.   And once the wind reaches the turbine, it will enter through larger entrances and use smaller exits. When it is windy, the pressure difference between those two terminals will lead to movement in the form of rotation. The movement, in turn, will be used to feed a generator. This produces electricity that can be used locally or fed back to the regional or national grid, to be used at a time of shortage. For this, the owners of the turbines will receive a financial reward - another incentive for installing such a nifty turbine, while increasing the share of sustainable energy. Its functionality makes it particularly suitable for, for instance, apartment buildings in urban areas, where winds can be erratic due to tall architectural buildings throwing it in chaos. The small size, probably best compared to a balloon or Chinese lantern, requires very little maintenance, while very little space is required for its installation. Another plus for urban use. It could quite literally be perched on top of anyone’s roof or the side of a building. Next steps in  wind energy Innovations such as the O-Wind can bring urban energy harvesting to the next level. While Orellana and Noorani are currently developing and prototyping their spherical turbine and lining up investors, there are multiple other start-ups working hard to bring new, feasible alternatives to the market as well. A fascinating initiative would be that of Maya Power, a fellow British company, that uses the wind in the tunnels of the London Underground to generate energy, using a flexible fabric. Or the smart wind turbine of Italian-based start-up Enessere, that learns from the wind patterns to optimise the power generated. Wind energy is something that most people will find themselves drawn to, yet not many will applaud the idea of having a huge turbine in their backyard. This is why these smaller initiatives should be encouraged and cheered on: they are looking into ways of making wind energy accessible for all, whether it is from the use of tiny wind turbines, the O-Wind’s spherical turbines or other creative ways of harnessing the power of the wind. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Recently, I came across an article that discussed a new patent that is pending for the so-called O-Wind concept. This is explained by its developers as being a omnidirectional wind turbine. Say what? Yes, that is right - a wind turbine that can catch winds coming in from all directions and will no longer depend on the good graces of Mother Nature or expensive and time-consuming ways of letting the turbine face the right direction.   The O-Wind turbine was developed as part of the challenge set by the organisation behind the James Dyson Award. This annual award, bringing along a monetary prize of € 35,000, seeks to encourage young inventors and developers to come up with solutions that might make the world a better place.   The futuristic O-Wind turbine captures wind from all directions This year, British entrepreneurs Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani saw themselves victorious on the award night with their concept for a spherical, small  wind turbine that is able to capture wind, no matter what direction it is coming from. It is futuristic, slick, unconventional and only measures a incredible 25 cm in diameter. Through geometric ports, it takes in wind; that it subsequently converts to energy that can directly be used in the surrounding area. Photo by:  James Dyson Award The applications for this invention seem endless and very promising: it is small and functional enough to serve crowded, urban areas, while it makes optimal use of the often unpredictable wind in those large cities. When attached to someone’s balcony, it might just serve to deliver at least a significant portion of that household’s needs - or feed the energy needs of the larger community. As explained by inventor Orellana: “We hope that O-Wind Turbine will improve the usability and affordability of turbines for people across the world. Cities are windy places but we are currently not harnessing this resource. Our belief is that making it easier to generate green energy, people will be encouraged to play a bigger own role in conserving our planet.” Combining science and great engineering The basic idea of the O-Wind is pretty nifty. For its mechanical motion, it effectively employs Bernoulli’s principle, where the sphere-shaped turbine relies on differences in air pressure to generate its momentum. It has a large number of vents that the wind could run through, using three dimensions. These vents are placed all across the sphere, allowing it to function no matter what direction the wind is coming from.   And once the wind reaches the turbine, it will enter through larger entrances and use smaller exits. When it is windy, the pressure difference between those two terminals will lead to movement in the form of rotation. The movement, in turn, will be used to feed a generator. This produces electricity that can be used locally or fed back to the regional or national grid, to be used at a time of shortage. For this, the owners of the turbines will receive a financial reward - another incentive for installing such a nifty turbine, while increasing the share of sustainable energy. Its functionality makes it particularly suitable for, for instance, apartment buildings in urban areas, where winds can be erratic due to tall architectural buildings throwing it in chaos. The small size, probably best compared to a balloon or Chinese lantern, requires very little maintenance, while very little space is required for its installation. Another plus for urban use. It could quite literally be perched on top of anyone’s roof or the side of a building. Next steps in  wind energy Innovations such as the O-Wind can bring urban energy harvesting to the next level. While Orellana and Noorani are currently developing and prototyping their spherical turbine and lining up investors, there are multiple other start-ups working hard to bring new, feasible alternatives to the market as well. A fascinating initiative would be that of Maya Power, a fellow British company, that uses the wind in the tunnels of the London Underground to generate energy, using a flexible fabric. Or the smart wind turbine of Italian-based start-up Enessere, that learns from the wind patterns to optimise the power generated. Wind energy is something that most people will find themselves drawn to, yet not many will applaud the idea of having a huge turbine in their backyard. This is why these smaller initiatives should be encouraged and cheered on: they are looking into ways of making wind energy accessible for all, whether it is from the use of tiny wind turbines, the O-Wind’s spherical turbines or other creative ways of harnessing the power of the wind. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Go with the wind: patent pending for small spherical wind turbine
Go with the wind: patent pending for small spherical wind turbine
A solar powered car made from plastic waste. Follow Clean2Antartca on Antartica
WhatsOrb is an official partner from Clean2Antartica Since November 2018, WhatsOr is an official sponsor from the Clean2Antartica project. Adventure for Change. Waste meets adventure Two people are heading for the South Pole in a vehicle made of plastic waste, powered by the sun. Join us, because creating a cleaner world is an adventure for everyone. How did the Clean2Antartica challenge start? Liesbeth and Edwin (Netherlands) were making dinner, when they tossed away another plastic packaging. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They turned around their trashcan and their mindset. Why is plastic suddenly worthless? Why do we blame the government or the supermarket? Leaving your comfort zone all the way to Antartica The next day they went to the butcher with their own reusable packaging. An uncomfortable situation, but a moment of success that set off a personal adventure. Liesbeth and Edwin went from the discomfort of their own trash to taking on the freezing challenge of Antarctica. Start small, but start today to ‘recycle plastic waste How do you go from the kitchen table to Antarctica? By starting, failing, and adjusting. People said it's impossible. They said plastic waste wouldn't be good enough, the car would fail. But here we are, ready to be the first to reach the South Pole with clean technology. Liesbeth and Edwin don't want to set a record. They want to inspire you to take your own step for a better a world. Expedition to Antarctica by ‘plastic waste car powered by solar An expedition for a cleaner world on the coldest continent on earth. A test of man and machine, to inspire a personal adventure at home. Photo by: Clean2Antartica Leaving the comfort zone From Antarctica’s base camp, Liesbeth and Edwin will drive to the South Pole and back. A journey of 2400 km through an icy desert where the sun never sets. In -30°C, man and machine will be tested on the driest, coldest, and highest continent on the planet. This is about the power of embracing discomfort. Whether it's about an expedition or taking the first steps to reduce your plastic . A zero waste continent: Antartica Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice and belongs to no one. It is zero waste by law, making it the perfect destination for a zero waste adventure. We can learn from Antarctica and make sure it stays that way. We also want to raise awareness for the Antarctic treaty. If not extended in 2048, the continent will be opened for commercial exploitation. Adventure with purpose We want people to rediscover their world. To experiment with plastic waste and explore a world of possibilities. Our expedition is a spark for personal adventure. It has all the charm of a classical expedition and the purpose of creating a better world. Going on an adventure, at home or far away, can make us better humans. We arrived on the South pole. -27 °C. The expedition with the  solar powered car has started! “We got a little impatient here in our Mission Control Center. Rumors went that the expedition team had already landed on Monday and that turned out to be true. Nevertheless, we had contact with them for the first time on Wednesday. Exciting! Photo by: Clean2Antartica Bad weather and a small incident with the wheel of the Solar Voyager caused some delay, but we have good news. We see movement in our Mission Control Center, it looks like they are going to drive today! Yes, that did not look too good. The suspension of the front wheel had been shot off. Probably because two rings were not installed properly. Fortunately everything was still complete and the Solar Voyager could continue. This accident has ensured that the team is even sharper. Hopefully this will not cause any further problems in the expedition.” Episodes Antarctica: Our start and many more adventures with the solar waste car Rough start! Strong wind and a crash, but they arrived at Union Glacier. Episode 3, the arrival on Union Glacier. And as Liesbeth says, we’re ready to rock and roll! All systems work. Panels are tested. Food is packed. On Monday, we leave for Union Glacier, for our first steps on Antartica. Follow the mission our Antarctica. Check out the expedition videos and stay tuned for new updates about this adventure. https://www.clean2antarctica.nl/en https://www.whatsorb.com/news/electric-car-sion-attracts-5-000-reservations-for-it-s-unique-solar-battery-concept
WhatsOrb is an official partner from Clean2Antartica Since November 2018, WhatsOr is an official sponsor from the Clean2Antartica project. Adventure for Change. Waste meets adventure Two people are heading for the South Pole in a vehicle made of plastic waste, powered by the sun. Join us, because creating a cleaner world is an adventure for everyone. How did the Clean2Antartica challenge start? Liesbeth and Edwin (Netherlands) were making dinner, when they tossed away another plastic packaging. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They turned around their trashcan and their mindset. Why is plastic suddenly worthless? Why do we blame the government or the supermarket? Leaving your comfort zone all the way to Antartica The next day they went to the butcher with their own reusable packaging. An uncomfortable situation, but a moment of success that set off a personal adventure. Liesbeth and Edwin went from the discomfort of their own trash to taking on the freezing challenge of Antarctica. Start small, but start today to ‘recycle plastic waste How do you go from the kitchen table to Antarctica? By starting, failing, and adjusting. People said it's impossible. They said plastic waste wouldn't be good enough, the car would fail. But here we are, ready to be the first to reach the South Pole with clean technology. Liesbeth and Edwin don't want to set a record. They want to inspire you to take your own step for a better a world. Expedition to Antarctica by ‘plastic waste car powered by solar An expedition for a cleaner world on the coldest continent on earth. A test of man and machine, to inspire a personal adventure at home. Photo by: Clean2Antartica Leaving the comfort zone From Antarctica’s base camp, Liesbeth and Edwin will drive to the South Pole and back. A journey of 2400 km through an icy desert where the sun never sets. In -30°C, man and machine will be tested on the driest, coldest, and highest continent on the planet. This is about the power of embracing discomfort. Whether it's about an expedition or taking the first steps to reduce your plastic . A zero waste continent: Antartica Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice and belongs to no one. It is zero waste by law, making it the perfect destination for a zero waste adventure. We can learn from Antarctica and make sure it stays that way. We also want to raise awareness for the Antarctic treaty. If not extended in 2048, the continent will be opened for commercial exploitation. Adventure with purpose We want people to rediscover their world. To experiment with plastic waste and explore a world of possibilities. Our expedition is a spark for personal adventure. It has all the charm of a classical expedition and the purpose of creating a better world. Going on an adventure, at home or far away, can make us better humans. We arrived on the South pole. -27 °C. The expedition with the  solar powered car has started! “We got a little impatient here in our Mission Control Center. Rumors went that the expedition team had already landed on Monday and that turned out to be true. Nevertheless, we had contact with them for the first time on Wednesday. Exciting! Photo by: Clean2Antartica Bad weather and a small incident with the wheel of the Solar Voyager caused some delay, but we have good news. We see movement in our Mission Control Center, it looks like they are going to drive today! Yes, that did not look too good. The suspension of the front wheel had been shot off. Probably because two rings were not installed properly. Fortunately everything was still complete and the Solar Voyager could continue. This accident has ensured that the team is even sharper. Hopefully this will not cause any further problems in the expedition.” Episodes Antarctica: Our start and many more adventures with the solar waste car Rough start! Strong wind and a crash, but they arrived at Union Glacier. Episode 3, the arrival on Union Glacier. And as Liesbeth says, we’re ready to rock and roll! All systems work. Panels are tested. Food is packed. On Monday, we leave for Union Glacier, for our first steps on Antartica. Follow the mission our Antarctica. Check out the expedition videos and stay tuned for new updates about this adventure. https://www.clean2antarctica.nl/en https://www.whatsorb.com/news/electric-car-sion-attracts-5-000-reservations-for-it-s-unique-solar-battery-concept
A solar powered car made from plastic waste. Follow Clean2Antartca on Antartica
A solar powered car made from plastic waste. Follow Clean2Antartca on Antartica
Nuclear power: will it destroy or save the world?
The cold hard facts One billion people go to sleep every night without access to electricity. Two and a half billion people do not have access to clean cooking fuels or heating fuels to take care of their families. These statistics, highlighted in a TED-talk by energy scholar Joe Lassiter, are absolutely staggering. It is shocking to realise for us, in the western world, that there are many in developing countries living without things that we would consider a basic need. Just imagine telling your teenage son that there will be no more television at night. Or your 14-year-old daughter that there’ll be no more internet at home. Yet the issue of expanding the power grids and guaranteeing access to electricity or fuels is a double-edged sword that cuts much deeper than the simple logistics of increasing coverage. As it stands, the world is already pushing the envelope of what we can actually generate. The exploitation of fossil fuels and scarce resources have brought us to the edge of a deadly cliff. We are waging a war with Mother Nature that we are bound to lose - if the increasing volume and severity of natural disasters is anything to go by. Building  nuclear reactors There are solutions. One of the most frequently mentioned - and definitely most debated - being the construction of new nuclear reactors. Wait, hold on. The same nuclear reactors that we are working so hard to get rid of? That we, ever since disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima, have vowed to replace by safer and greener alternatives? Yes. Those. In order to understand this movement, some key elements have to be understood. First of all, modern reactors are much safer than their notorious counterparts. At the same time, they are cleaner than most of the alternatives involving coal or other fossil fuels while generating much more energy at a lower cost. Their major downside is its negative image, fuelled by fears for nuclear mishaps leaving large areas uninhabitable. Nuclear reactors around the world Some of the world’s largest nations still heavily depend on nuclear power for their electricity needs, including the United States, France, Russia and Spain. Growth economies are in the process of constructing a large number of new plants, including in the Middle East, India, China and Pakistan. The sheer number of people living in those countries that require energy, plus the promises made in the Paris treaty towards fighting global warming and drastically reducing harmful emissions, have swayed their political leaders to be in favour of those nuclear giants. But who can blame them? They are doing what is best for their people. As the billions of people that previously lived in poverty move towards a more prosperous life, this inevitably includes access to gas, to electricity, to resources. We are struggling to live up to the demand as it is today, let alone what would happen if all 7,7 billion of us would want to turn on the light at the same time. Break the nuclear taboo Just as we are unwilling to let go of our newfound luxuries that run on  electricity or other scarce resources, so will those billions who are just now being introduced to it. Demand will double, triple, you name it - while we are fussing about sustainable ways of meeting it. And the best part? We will only start using more energy as we get access to more. Increased supply will drive up demand. It is a cycle that we cannot break free from. Nor will it be realistic to assume that it can fully be met through renewable sources like solar, wind and water energy. Coming back to the issue of nuclear power. It is understandable that many, especially those who lived through the disasters in the past, are hesitant to embrace the idea of more nuclear power plants. Experts largely agree that they have become safer and more reliable, yet do not rule out the potential for disaster at this time. Not to mention the costs and time associated with their construction and maintenance and the headache of decommissioning. But it might just be time to put our heads together and break through the nuclear taboo. Coming together and finding ways of tackling those issues, working towards a safe and clean implementation of nuclear energy, might be our best shot at preserving our world while getting all of us the resources we need in this day and age. https://www.whatsorb.com/waste/finlands-solution-to-nuclear-waste-storage-may-set-an-example-for-the-world
The cold hard facts One billion people go to sleep every night without access to electricity. Two and a half billion people do not have access to clean cooking fuels or heating fuels to take care of their families. These statistics, highlighted in a TED-talk by energy scholar Joe Lassiter, are absolutely staggering. It is shocking to realise for us, in the western world, that there are many in developing countries living without things that we would consider a basic need. Just imagine telling your teenage son that there will be no more television at night. Or your 14-year-old daughter that there’ll be no more internet at home. Yet the issue of expanding the power grids and guaranteeing access to electricity or fuels is a double-edged sword that cuts much deeper than the simple logistics of increasing coverage. As it stands, the world is already pushing the envelope of what we can actually generate. The exploitation of fossil fuels and scarce resources have brought us to the edge of a deadly cliff. We are waging a war with Mother Nature that we are bound to lose - if the increasing volume and severity of natural disasters is anything to go by. Building  nuclear reactors There are solutions. One of the most frequently mentioned - and definitely most debated - being the construction of new nuclear reactors. Wait, hold on. The same nuclear reactors that we are working so hard to get rid of? That we, ever since disasters in Chernobyl and Fukushima, have vowed to replace by safer and greener alternatives? Yes. Those. In order to understand this movement, some key elements have to be understood. First of all, modern reactors are much safer than their notorious counterparts. At the same time, they are cleaner than most of the alternatives involving coal or other fossil fuels while generating much more energy at a lower cost. Their major downside is its negative image, fuelled by fears for nuclear mishaps leaving large areas uninhabitable. Nuclear reactors around the world Some of the world’s largest nations still heavily depend on nuclear power for their electricity needs, including the United States, France, Russia and Spain. Growth economies are in the process of constructing a large number of new plants, including in the Middle East, India, China and Pakistan. The sheer number of people living in those countries that require energy, plus the promises made in the Paris treaty towards fighting global warming and drastically reducing harmful emissions, have swayed their political leaders to be in favour of those nuclear giants. But who can blame them? They are doing what is best for their people. As the billions of people that previously lived in poverty move towards a more prosperous life, this inevitably includes access to gas, to electricity, to resources. We are struggling to live up to the demand as it is today, let alone what would happen if all 7,7 billion of us would want to turn on the light at the same time. Break the nuclear taboo Just as we are unwilling to let go of our newfound luxuries that run on  electricity or other scarce resources, so will those billions who are just now being introduced to it. Demand will double, triple, you name it - while we are fussing about sustainable ways of meeting it. And the best part? We will only start using more energy as we get access to more. Increased supply will drive up demand. It is a cycle that we cannot break free from. Nor will it be realistic to assume that it can fully be met through renewable sources like solar, wind and water energy. Coming back to the issue of nuclear power. It is understandable that many, especially those who lived through the disasters in the past, are hesitant to embrace the idea of more nuclear power plants. Experts largely agree that they have become safer and more reliable, yet do not rule out the potential for disaster at this time. Not to mention the costs and time associated with their construction and maintenance and the headache of decommissioning. But it might just be time to put our heads together and break through the nuclear taboo. Coming together and finding ways of tackling those issues, working towards a safe and clean implementation of nuclear energy, might be our best shot at preserving our world while getting all of us the resources we need in this day and age. https://www.whatsorb.com/waste/finlands-solution-to-nuclear-waste-storage-may-set-an-example-for-the-world
Nuclear power: will it destroy or save the world?
Setback for Boyan Slat: plastic waste escapes from System 001
In the four weeks that Ocean Cleanup's System 001 is working in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), the organization of Boyan Slat has suffered a setback. The waste plastic collected by the system escapes from the system again. "We are working on the causes and the solutions to solve this," says Slat. Because this is the first test, Ocean Cleanup was prepared for 'surprises'. The organization itself says that, although no waste plastics are currently being harvested, they are positive and expected to be close to a solution. {youtube} First observations of Boyan Slat's 'System 001' After System 001 (named ‘Wilson’) arrived in the GPGP it was immediately put into the operational U-form. Since then there has been a change of crew and that change brought a new group of team members to the system that had a different purpose. Team 1 had as its main task to get ‘Wilson’ in its U-shape and Team 2 now focuses on the observations, on data analysis and on the collection of plastics. The most important first observations were: For the most part, the system behaves as predicted; The density of the plastic in the GPGP is in line with the expectations, but due to the short period in the GPGP this is too limited a dataset, so this cannot yet be fully verified. No interaction with sea creatures has been observed. Small particles are also floating in the system, but measurements of their quantity are still required. Plastic remains in the system for a relatively short time. Simple sustainable solution but complex The technique is based on simple principles, but the dynamics are complex. There may be several reasons why the plastic does not stay within the system. "We have concluded that the system sometimes seems to go too slowly (to be able to catch plastic there must be a difference in speed, the system has to move faster than the plastic, ed.) And sometimes the movement is opposite and the plastic goes harder than the system. Even if only with a very small difference, the system must always go faster than the plastic to be able to function. " An assumption now is that the forces of the wind on the system oscillate the two ends of floater (the long floating tube) like the fins of a fish. This leads to a movement against the wind, which slows the system down. It is also possible that the vibrations at the ends of the U-shape create a kind of ripple that repels the waste plastic as it approaches the mouth of the U-shape. Slat: "We think that the first solution we try might solve both causes, we tested a scale model and made computer models, but because this phenomenon was never observed before, we did not have a ready-made solution to be carried out because the materials are on board the ship on the site and we will tackle the speed difference by making the U-shape sixty to seventy meters wider." "Theoretically, this will have two effects on the speed of the system: first, the surface of the system is exposed to wind and waves, which are the driving forces. due to the moving ends, "says Slat. In order to achieve the increase of the wingspan, the connection cables of the system are made longer. "We are going to run it at different stages until we hopefully achieve the desired effect." Because a larger span is likely to have a negative effect on the system's ability to rotate quickly when the wind direction changes, we don’t want to increase the span to much. Before it can be scaled up, System 001 must first function. While working outside with the implementation of the first possible solution, the team is working on data analysis and testing alternative solutions. https://www.whatsorb.com/waste/combing-plastic-waste-out-of-polluted-oceans--will-boyan-slat-face-competition- By: engineersonline.nl
In the four weeks that Ocean Cleanup's System 001 is working in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), the organization of Boyan Slat has suffered a setback. The waste plastic collected by the system escapes from the system again. "We are working on the causes and the solutions to solve this," says Slat. Because this is the first test, Ocean Cleanup was prepared for 'surprises'. The organization itself says that, although no waste plastics are currently being harvested, they are positive and expected to be close to a solution. {youtube} First observations of Boyan Slat's 'System 001' After System 001 (named ‘Wilson’) arrived in the GPGP it was immediately put into the operational U-form. Since then there has been a change of crew and that change brought a new group of team members to the system that had a different purpose. Team 1 had as its main task to get ‘Wilson’ in its U-shape and Team 2 now focuses on the observations, on data analysis and on the collection of plastics. The most important first observations were: For the most part, the system behaves as predicted; The density of the plastic in the GPGP is in line with the expectations, but due to the short period in the GPGP this is too limited a dataset, so this cannot yet be fully verified. No interaction with sea creatures has been observed. Small particles are also floating in the system, but measurements of their quantity are still required. Plastic remains in the system for a relatively short time. Simple sustainable solution but complex The technique is based on simple principles, but the dynamics are complex. There may be several reasons why the plastic does not stay within the system. "We have concluded that the system sometimes seems to go too slowly (to be able to catch plastic there must be a difference in speed, the system has to move faster than the plastic, ed.) And sometimes the movement is opposite and the plastic goes harder than the system. Even if only with a very small difference, the system must always go faster than the plastic to be able to function. " An assumption now is that the forces of the wind on the system oscillate the two ends of floater (the long floating tube) like the fins of a fish. This leads to a movement against the wind, which slows the system down. It is also possible that the vibrations at the ends of the U-shape create a kind of ripple that repels the waste plastic as it approaches the mouth of the U-shape. Slat: "We think that the first solution we try might solve both causes, we tested a scale model and made computer models, but because this phenomenon was never observed before, we did not have a ready-made solution to be carried out because the materials are on board the ship on the site and we will tackle the speed difference by making the U-shape sixty to seventy meters wider." "Theoretically, this will have two effects on the speed of the system: first, the surface of the system is exposed to wind and waves, which are the driving forces. due to the moving ends, "says Slat. In order to achieve the increase of the wingspan, the connection cables of the system are made longer. "We are going to run it at different stages until we hopefully achieve the desired effect." Because a larger span is likely to have a negative effect on the system's ability to rotate quickly when the wind direction changes, we don’t want to increase the span to much. Before it can be scaled up, System 001 must first function. While working outside with the implementation of the first possible solution, the team is working on data analysis and testing alternative solutions. https://www.whatsorb.com/waste/combing-plastic-waste-out-of-polluted-oceans--will-boyan-slat-face-competition- By: engineersonline.nl
Setback for Boyan Slat: plastic waste escapes from System 001
CO2 emissions on the rise for first time in four years, UN agency warns
A new report released on 27-11-2018 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose again during 2017 after a three year hiatus, highlighting the imperative for countries to deliver on the historic  Paris Agreement  to keep global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The report comes just days before the key UN climate change conference known as COP 24, taking place in Katowice, Poland, with the agency urging nations to triple their efforts to curb harmful emissions. {youtube} For all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen, governments need to move faster The UNEP report comes hot on the heels of the watershed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  report on global warming , released in October, which cautioned that emissions had to stop rising now, in order to keep temperature increases below 1.5°C, and reduce the risks for the well-being of the planet and its people. “If the IPCC report represented a global fire alarm, this report is the arson investigation,” said UNEP’s Deputy Executive Director Joyce Msuya. “The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen – governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We’re feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach.” Global emissions have reached historic levels. Heat-trapping CO2 gas in the atmosphere is largely responsible for rising global temperatures, according to the overwhelming body of scientific evidence. UNEP’s 2018 Global Emissions Report, show global emissions have reached historic levels. Total annual greenhouse gases emissions, including from land-use change, reached a record high of 53.5 Gigatons in 2017, an increase of 0.7 compared with 2016. “In contrast, global GHG emissions in 2030 need to be approximately 25 per cent and 55 per cent lower than in 2017 to put the world on a least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to 2°C and 1.5°C respectively,” said the report. What’s worse, the report notes that there is no sign of reversal of this trend and that only 57 countries (representing 60 per cent of global emissions) are on track to bridge their “emissions gap” – meaning the gap between where we are likely to be and where we need to be. Increased emissions and lagging action means the gap published in this year’s report is larger than ever. Nations would need to triple their efforts on climate action UNEP stresses that while “surging momentum from the private sector” and “untapped potential from innovation and green-financing” offer “pathways” to bridge the emissions gap globally, the “technical feasibility” of limiting global warming to 1.5°C “is dwindling”. The authors of the report note that nations would need to triple their efforts on climate action without further delay, in order to meet the 2°C-rise limit by mid-century.  To meet the 1.5°C limit, they would have to quintuple their efforts. A continuation of current trends will likely result in global warming of around 3°C by the end of the century, with continued temperature rises after that, according to the report findings. “The kind of drastic, large-scale action we urgently need has yet to been seen,” said UNEP. The report offers concrete ways for Governments to bridge their emissions gap, including through fiscal policy, innovative technology, non-state and subnational action, and more. This ninth UNEP emissions report has been prepared by an international team of leading scientists, assessing all available information. “When governments embrace fiscal policy measures to subsidize low-emission alternatives and tax fossil fuels, they can stimulate the right investments in the energy sector and significantly reduce carbon emissions,” said Jian Liu, UNEP’s Chief Scientist. Global carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 10 per cent by 2030 “Thankfully, the potential of using fiscal policy as an incentive is increasingly recognized,” said Dr. Liu, referring to the 51 initiatives already in place or planned across the world to charge for carbon emissions (called “carbon pricing”). “If all fossil fuel subsidies were phased out, global carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 10 per cent by 2030,” he added, explaining that “setting the right carbon price is also essential. At US$70 per ton of CO2, emission reductions of up to 40 per cent are possible in some countries.” The 2018 Global Emissions Report report adds yet another building block of scientific evidence to inform decision-making at the upcoming UN climate change conference – the COP 24 in Poland – which starts on Sunday and will last for two weeks. The key objective of the meeting will be to adopt an implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement. Cover photo: Havard.udo By: news.un.org
A new report released on 27-11-2018 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows that global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose again during 2017 after a three year hiatus, highlighting the imperative for countries to deliver on the historic  Paris Agreement  to keep global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The report comes just days before the key UN climate change conference known as COP 24, taking place in Katowice, Poland, with the agency urging nations to triple their efforts to curb harmful emissions. {youtube} For all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen, governments need to move faster The UNEP report comes hot on the heels of the watershed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  report on global warming , released in October, which cautioned that emissions had to stop rising now, in order to keep temperature increases below 1.5°C, and reduce the risks for the well-being of the planet and its people. “If the IPCC report represented a global fire alarm, this report is the arson investigation,” said UNEP’s Deputy Executive Director Joyce Msuya. “The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen – governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We’re feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach.” Global emissions have reached historic levels. Heat-trapping CO2 gas in the atmosphere is largely responsible for rising global temperatures, according to the overwhelming body of scientific evidence. UNEP’s 2018 Global Emissions Report, show global emissions have reached historic levels. Total annual greenhouse gases emissions, including from land-use change, reached a record high of 53.5 Gigatons in 2017, an increase of 0.7 compared with 2016. “In contrast, global GHG emissions in 2030 need to be approximately 25 per cent and 55 per cent lower than in 2017 to put the world on a least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to 2°C and 1.5°C respectively,” said the report. What’s worse, the report notes that there is no sign of reversal of this trend and that only 57 countries (representing 60 per cent of global emissions) are on track to bridge their “emissions gap” – meaning the gap between where we are likely to be and where we need to be. Increased emissions and lagging action means the gap published in this year’s report is larger than ever. Nations would need to triple their efforts on climate action UNEP stresses that while “surging momentum from the private sector” and “untapped potential from innovation and green-financing” offer “pathways” to bridge the emissions gap globally, the “technical feasibility” of limiting global warming to 1.5°C “is dwindling”. The authors of the report note that nations would need to triple their efforts on climate action without further delay, in order to meet the 2°C-rise limit by mid-century.  To meet the 1.5°C limit, they would have to quintuple their efforts. A continuation of current trends will likely result in global warming of around 3°C by the end of the century, with continued temperature rises after that, according to the report findings. “The kind of drastic, large-scale action we urgently need has yet to been seen,” said UNEP. The report offers concrete ways for Governments to bridge their emissions gap, including through fiscal policy, innovative technology, non-state and subnational action, and more. This ninth UNEP emissions report has been prepared by an international team of leading scientists, assessing all available information. “When governments embrace fiscal policy measures to subsidize low-emission alternatives and tax fossil fuels, they can stimulate the right investments in the energy sector and significantly reduce carbon emissions,” said Jian Liu, UNEP’s Chief Scientist. Global carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 10 per cent by 2030 “Thankfully, the potential of using fiscal policy as an incentive is increasingly recognized,” said Dr. Liu, referring to the 51 initiatives already in place or planned across the world to charge for carbon emissions (called “carbon pricing”). “If all fossil fuel subsidies were phased out, global carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 10 per cent by 2030,” he added, explaining that “setting the right carbon price is also essential. At US$70 per ton of CO2, emission reductions of up to 40 per cent are possible in some countries.” The 2018 Global Emissions Report report adds yet another building block of scientific evidence to inform decision-making at the upcoming UN climate change conference – the COP 24 in Poland – which starts on Sunday and will last for two weeks. The key objective of the meeting will be to adopt an implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement. Cover photo: Havard.udo By: news.un.org
CO2 emissions on the rise for first time in four years, UN agency warns
Gratis compensatie CO2-uitstoot van reis en verblijf
Klimaattafels en klimaatakkoorden? Hoewel het terugdringen van de CO2-uitstoot in de wereld op de eerste plaats een zaak is van overheden en multinationals, is inmiddels duidelijk geworden dat uit het overleg aan de klimaattafels weinig zal voortkomen. We kunnen immers niet verwachten dat dezelfde organisaties, en veelal dezelfde mensen, die elkaar al tien jaar in een houdgreep hebben aan de vergadertafels, nu doorbraken gaan maken. De combinatie van vastgeroeste raamwerken en kolomdenken kan bijna niet tot een oplossing leiden. De maatschappelijke organisaties, overheden en multinationals zijn simpelweg niet bij machte om  adequaat te reageren op de gevolgen van klimaatverandering. Een gedegen plan voor een structurele aanpak waarmee klimaatverandering een halt toe geroepen kan worden is nog steeds niet gemaakt.  Bij de besprekingen aan klimaattafels lopen de belangen van de deelnemende partijen te veel uiteen. Daarom zullen de voorgestelde oplossingen veelal slechts een mager compromis omvatten en daardoor slechts tot deel-oplossingen leiden. De kracht van de massa Zoals in het verleden vaker is voorgekomen bij het nemen van belangrijke beslissingen, zal ook nu weer van onderaf door allerlei kleine acties van individuen, kleine bedrijven en belangengroepen de impasse doorbroken moeten worden.  De CO2-uitstoot zal hoe dan ook gereduceerd moeten worden. Bijvoorbeeld 'de toeristen', zij kunnen als groep een zeer krachtig statement maken. Een statement van deze kolossale internationale groep, bestaande uit miljarden mensen uit alle mogelijke windstreken van de wereld, zal een daverende indruk maken bij de beleidsbepalers. Als de toeristen en masse laten zien dat zij CO2-uitstoot van reis en verblijf willen compenseren en dat zij verblijfsaccommodaties en vervoerders waarderen die volledige CO2-neutraliteit nastreven , dan ontstaat een onvoorstelbaar sterk internationaal signaal richting de grote spelers in de wereld. Wat kunt u doen? Het compenseren van uw reis is geen altruïstische aangelegenheid meer, maar keiharde noodzaak geworden. Om een begin te maken, hoeft u in principe niet meer te doen dan een aanvraag voor 'gratis compensatie van CO2-uitstoot' naar ons toe te zenden. Wij doen dan vervolgens voor u de donaties die benodigd zijn voor de compensatie van uw reis en verblijf. Omdat wij de opbrengst van onze website 'Hotelload.com' gebruiken voor het doen van donaties aan klimaatorganisaties, hoeft u niets te betalen. Compenseren kost u dus niets! Voorwaarde is wel dat u uw laatste of uw eerstvolgende vakantie/reis rechtstreeks boekt bij uw verblijfsaccommodatie. Iedere toerist mag aanvragen Invullen mag en loont overigens altijd. Ook wanneer u niet rechtstreeks bij uw verblijfsaccommodatie boekt, maar bijvoorbeeld boekt via Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com of via een van de reisorganisaties, is uw deelname door middel van het invullen van de aanvraag zeer waardevol.  U laat dan zien dat u compensatie of vermijding van CO2-uitstoot belangrijk vindt. Samen met vele duizenden, hopelijk miljarden, andere toeristen/reizigers laat u uw stem horen. Wanneer de toeristen/reizigers, een internationale groep die qua omvang zijn gelijke niet kent in deze wereld, gezamenlijk aangeven dat zij een oplossing wil, kunnen de overheden, internationale instellingen en multinationals er niet meer om heen. Zij kunnen het beschouwen als een ultiem signaal om daadkrachtig de klimaatproblemen op te gaan lossen. Negeren gaat heel veel kosten. Niet alleen veel geld, maar vooral veel natuur en levens van mens en dier. De klimaatorganisaties selecteren wij op basis van de effectiviteit van de initiatieven die zij opzetten of ondersteunen. Bij de beoordeling van de initiatieven proberen wij zo nauwkeurig mogelijk de hoeveelheid vermeden- of gecompenseerde CO2-uitstoot per gedoneerde euro te bepalen. Resultaat Op de eerste plaats wordt het veel gehoorde probleem over de compensatie van CO2-uitstoot van met name het vliegverkeer voor de reizigers opgelost. Echter, dit vormt slechts een klein deel van 'het beoogde resultaat'. Het tweede resultaat, veel belangrijker nog dan het eerste, zal 'het effect' zijn van de massale hoeveelheid aanvragen die toeristen bij ons indienen. Wij zullen het signaal van hopelijk straks alle toeristen in de wereld dat zij graag CO2-uitstoot willen compenseren, zenden richting de regeringen van alle landen in de wereld en alle internationale instanties. https://www.whatsorb.com/travel/refuge-du-gouter--sustainable-way-to-the-top
Klimaattafels en klimaatakkoorden? Hoewel het terugdringen van de CO2-uitstoot in de wereld op de eerste plaats een zaak is van overheden en multinationals, is inmiddels duidelijk geworden dat uit het overleg aan de klimaattafels weinig zal voortkomen. We kunnen immers niet verwachten dat dezelfde organisaties, en veelal dezelfde mensen, die elkaar al tien jaar in een houdgreep hebben aan de vergadertafels, nu doorbraken gaan maken. De combinatie van vastgeroeste raamwerken en kolomdenken kan bijna niet tot een oplossing leiden. De maatschappelijke organisaties, overheden en multinationals zijn simpelweg niet bij machte om  adequaat te reageren op de gevolgen van klimaatverandering. Een gedegen plan voor een structurele aanpak waarmee klimaatverandering een halt toe geroepen kan worden is nog steeds niet gemaakt.  Bij de besprekingen aan klimaattafels lopen de belangen van de deelnemende partijen te veel uiteen. Daarom zullen de voorgestelde oplossingen veelal slechts een mager compromis omvatten en daardoor slechts tot deel-oplossingen leiden. De kracht van de massa Zoals in het verleden vaker is voorgekomen bij het nemen van belangrijke beslissingen, zal ook nu weer van onderaf door allerlei kleine acties van individuen, kleine bedrijven en belangengroepen de impasse doorbroken moeten worden.  De CO2-uitstoot zal hoe dan ook gereduceerd moeten worden. Bijvoorbeeld 'de toeristen', zij kunnen als groep een zeer krachtig statement maken. Een statement van deze kolossale internationale groep, bestaande uit miljarden mensen uit alle mogelijke windstreken van de wereld, zal een daverende indruk maken bij de beleidsbepalers. Als de toeristen en masse laten zien dat zij CO2-uitstoot van reis en verblijf willen compenseren en dat zij verblijfsaccommodaties en vervoerders waarderen die volledige CO2-neutraliteit nastreven , dan ontstaat een onvoorstelbaar sterk internationaal signaal richting de grote spelers in de wereld. Wat kunt u doen? Het compenseren van uw reis is geen altruïstische aangelegenheid meer, maar keiharde noodzaak geworden. Om een begin te maken, hoeft u in principe niet meer te doen dan een aanvraag voor 'gratis compensatie van CO2-uitstoot' naar ons toe te zenden. Wij doen dan vervolgens voor u de donaties die benodigd zijn voor de compensatie van uw reis en verblijf. Omdat wij de opbrengst van onze website 'Hotelload.com' gebruiken voor het doen van donaties aan klimaatorganisaties, hoeft u niets te betalen. Compenseren kost u dus niets! Voorwaarde is wel dat u uw laatste of uw eerstvolgende vakantie/reis rechtstreeks boekt bij uw verblijfsaccommodatie. Iedere toerist mag aanvragen Invullen mag en loont overigens altijd. Ook wanneer u niet rechtstreeks bij uw verblijfsaccommodatie boekt, maar bijvoorbeeld boekt via Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com of via een van de reisorganisaties, is uw deelname door middel van het invullen van de aanvraag zeer waardevol.  U laat dan zien dat u compensatie of vermijding van CO2-uitstoot belangrijk vindt. Samen met vele duizenden, hopelijk miljarden, andere toeristen/reizigers laat u uw stem horen. Wanneer de toeristen/reizigers, een internationale groep die qua omvang zijn gelijke niet kent in deze wereld, gezamenlijk aangeven dat zij een oplossing wil, kunnen de overheden, internationale instellingen en multinationals er niet meer om heen. Zij kunnen het beschouwen als een ultiem signaal om daadkrachtig de klimaatproblemen op te gaan lossen. Negeren gaat heel veel kosten. Niet alleen veel geld, maar vooral veel natuur en levens van mens en dier. De klimaatorganisaties selecteren wij op basis van de effectiviteit van de initiatieven die zij opzetten of ondersteunen. Bij de beoordeling van de initiatieven proberen wij zo nauwkeurig mogelijk de hoeveelheid vermeden- of gecompenseerde CO2-uitstoot per gedoneerde euro te bepalen. Resultaat Op de eerste plaats wordt het veel gehoorde probleem over de compensatie van CO2-uitstoot van met name het vliegverkeer voor de reizigers opgelost. Echter, dit vormt slechts een klein deel van 'het beoogde resultaat'. Het tweede resultaat, veel belangrijker nog dan het eerste, zal 'het effect' zijn van de massale hoeveelheid aanvragen die toeristen bij ons indienen. Wij zullen het signaal van hopelijk straks alle toeristen in de wereld dat zij graag CO2-uitstoot willen compenseren, zenden richting de regeringen van alle landen in de wereld en alle internationale instanties. https://www.whatsorb.com/travel/refuge-du-gouter--sustainable-way-to-the-top
Gratis compensatie CO2-uitstoot van reis en verblijf
The Devasa tiny house raises the roof
What about a tiny house which you can expand in minutes to add a new room. When parked, it is possible to change the size of the Devasa, when on the road it fits below all bridges. Before we have shown you the Cécile from the French company ‘Optinid’, a tiny house with a sliding roof. When open you can watch the stars from your bed or take a sunbath without moving to your terrace. A tiny house which ‘slides up its roof’ Now on www.whatsorb.com the Devasa which ‘slides up its roof’. It’s a model from Tiny House NYC, which can increase in height to provide more space when staying in it. You can compare this technique with a European Alpen Kreuzer or Paradise, which was used by camping enthusiast especially in the 70 th and 80 th from the last century. Nowadays you could compare it with a camper van with a pop-up roof. Image by: Tiny House NYC, mediadrumimages Most tiny houses have a crampy low loft where you have to crawl to get in your bed. The Devasa  tiny house solves this problem just by the possibility to expand upward. When on the road in a lower position it meets legal standards to tow. The Devasa tiny house measures 7,20-meter-long and 3.80 meter high. By raising the ‘roof’ the height will be total a little more than 5 meters. Upstairs you will have an impressive 2-meter-high ceiling. The floorspace of the Devasa tiny house Floorspace is about 28 m2 with a standard outfit for tiny houses. There is a living room, kitchen, a bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms which is very unusually. They can be reached by a staircase which also is part of a storage. Image by: Tiny House NYC, mediadrumimages Having your bed(s) ready for a good night rest is all what is possible on the ‘top-floor’. Of course, some small furniture which does not extent the height of your bed. When the roof is lowered you would otherwise have to move all what is higher than your bed or it will be squeezed to a size which probably is not what you want! The lifting part of the roof runs on a 12 V car battery which powers 4 screw jacks which are fit in each corner of the Devasa tiny house. It is also possible to operate it manually in case of the system would fail. The price from the Devasa tiny house will be around €110.000 or $ 125.000 (with no appliances yet installed in the kitchen). Source:  Tiny Houses NYC https://www.whatsorb.com/architecture/sunbathing-in-your-tiny-house-with-a-sliding-roof--try-it-with-the-c-cile
What about a tiny house which you can expand in minutes to add a new room. When parked, it is possible to change the size of the Devasa, when on the road it fits below all bridges. Before we have shown you the Cécile from the French company ‘Optinid’, a tiny house with a sliding roof. When open you can watch the stars from your bed or take a sunbath without moving to your terrace. A tiny house which ‘slides up its roof’ Now on www.whatsorb.com the Devasa which ‘slides up its roof’. It’s a model from Tiny House NYC, which can increase in height to provide more space when staying in it. You can compare this technique with a European Alpen Kreuzer or Paradise, which was used by camping enthusiast especially in the 70 th and 80 th from the last century. Nowadays you could compare it with a camper van with a pop-up roof. Image by: Tiny House NYC, mediadrumimages Most tiny houses have a crampy low loft where you have to crawl to get in your bed. The Devasa  tiny house solves this problem just by the possibility to expand upward. When on the road in a lower position it meets legal standards to tow. The Devasa tiny house measures 7,20-meter-long and 3.80 meter high. By raising the ‘roof’ the height will be total a little more than 5 meters. Upstairs you will have an impressive 2-meter-high ceiling. The floorspace of the Devasa tiny house Floorspace is about 28 m2 with a standard outfit for tiny houses. There is a living room, kitchen, a bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms which is very unusually. They can be reached by a staircase which also is part of a storage. Image by: Tiny House NYC, mediadrumimages Having your bed(s) ready for a good night rest is all what is possible on the ‘top-floor’. Of course, some small furniture which does not extent the height of your bed. When the roof is lowered you would otherwise have to move all what is higher than your bed or it will be squeezed to a size which probably is not what you want! The lifting part of the roof runs on a 12 V car battery which powers 4 screw jacks which are fit in each corner of the Devasa tiny house. It is also possible to operate it manually in case of the system would fail. The price from the Devasa tiny house will be around €110.000 or $ 125.000 (with no appliances yet installed in the kitchen). Source:  Tiny Houses NYC https://www.whatsorb.com/architecture/sunbathing-in-your-tiny-house-with-a-sliding-roof--try-it-with-the-c-cile
The Devasa tiny house raises the roof
The Devasa tiny house raises the roof
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