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Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise
So, how have you been doing on your new year’s resolutions? Chances are that you are frowning even when reading this, having difficulties just remembering what exactly it was that you vowed to change in your life, just some weeks ago. Well, let us help you to jog your memory. It probably included some random measures to improve your personal wellbeing, such as exercising more or eating healthier. Getting healthier and happier through some life-improving habits Is it coming back yet? Well, it might be good to keep reading. We fully understand that it has been hard to get up at 6am to squeeze in an hour of exercise before starting your day, or to stick to your commitment of bringing packed, fresh salads to work for lunch. There are, however, ways to make it easier to become a healthier person.  So stick with us as we run through some quick and foolproof ways of making  sustainable changes to your lifestyle, that are bound to last for a longer period of time. Curb junkfood into  healthy food An important first change could be to cut back on your favourite guilty-pleasures. Junk food can be our favourite go-to piece of comfort when we are busy, tired, or not feeling well. Whether it is ice cream, sweets, fried chicken, cheeseburgers or choc chip cookies: most of them will not add much in terms of nutritional value, while providing a steep intake of sugars and fats.  It could be as easy as ignoring those items while doing your grocery shopping, instead opting to fill your pantry with healthier options such as nuts, fruits, veggie chips, yoghurt or hummus. Once you get used to cracking open the avocado instead of that bag of chips, you will notice how it is actually more filling, while it sets you up with much needed nutrients. Sugary drinks, say them farewell Few people realise just how many ‘bad’ sugars and empty calories are added to our daily diet by drinking some of the sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, flavoured coffees of iced teas that have quickly become a fixture in our fridges. And yes, we understand that these are quite hard to replace, but it will definitely be worth your effort. You could opt for fresh water, unsweetened tea and coffee, low-fat milk, or flavoured calorie-free water drinks instead - and notice an instant drop in your blood glucose levels. Find suitable bread and pasta substitutes Most people who have attempted a diet in the past will know that some of these much hated carbs are hiding in the bread and pasta products that we so readily enjoy on a daily basis. Therefore, a first step towards becoming a healthier person might entail the exclusion of those foods from our lives. Bread is actually quite easily replaced by veggies. You could, for instance, use iceberg, green leaf or butter lettuce instead of bread when preparing your sandwich or a delicious burger. Simply pile it all together and wrap the lettuce around it, then wrap it up in some paper and a piece of tape - and tear away the paper as you take bites out of your delicious, low-calorie sub or burger. It’s not just bread, though. Pasta could just as easily be replaced by all kinds of veggies. Noodles from zucchini, sweet potato or carrots are just as delicious when whipping up a mean pasta, while squash has proven to be a perfect substitute for ‘traditional’ spaghetti. If you really want to go all the way, try using cauliflower, broccoli or butternut as the main ingredient for your rice dish. Befriend the local butcher While most diets will not require you to cut back on your meat intake, you can do something here to improve your health as well. Just head over to the butcher and kindly ask for the leanest cuts of meat that he has available. Why? Well, some of the lard, fatback and high-fat meats contain high amounts of saturated fat - a well-known contributor to high cholesterol levels. This includes favourites like ground beef, hot dogs, sausages, bacon and spareribs. Leaner meats, on the other hand, will be much healthier. This includes fish, turkey and chicken options (provided that it is skinless!), as well as some beef options that have been trimmed of fat. Your butcher will be able to point out some great options, that could include round, sirloin, flank and tenderloin. Get out in nature more and move, move, move! Finally, it may seem like an obvious point, but it really makes a world of difference: start moving more. Especially if your workday is mostly spent sedentary, you should find ways of getting out more. Even for as short as a 15-minute walk during your lunchbreak, or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator when riding the subway: the ‘hardcore’ exercise would be a great extra, although simple changes in your daily routine can go a long way as well. Especially by performing some of those activities outdoors, will you soon feel that the extra fresh air and rush of being outside - which could encourage you to frequently repeat such activities. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
So, how have you been doing on your new year’s resolutions? Chances are that you are frowning even when reading this, having difficulties just remembering what exactly it was that you vowed to change in your life, just some weeks ago. Well, let us help you to jog your memory. It probably included some random measures to improve your personal wellbeing, such as exercising more or eating healthier. Getting healthier and happier through some life-improving habits Is it coming back yet? Well, it might be good to keep reading. We fully understand that it has been hard to get up at 6am to squeeze in an hour of exercise before starting your day, or to stick to your commitment of bringing packed, fresh salads to work for lunch. There are, however, ways to make it easier to become a healthier person.  So stick with us as we run through some quick and foolproof ways of making  sustainable changes to your lifestyle, that are bound to last for a longer period of time. Curb junkfood into  healthy food An important first change could be to cut back on your favourite guilty-pleasures. Junk food can be our favourite go-to piece of comfort when we are busy, tired, or not feeling well. Whether it is ice cream, sweets, fried chicken, cheeseburgers or choc chip cookies: most of them will not add much in terms of nutritional value, while providing a steep intake of sugars and fats.  It could be as easy as ignoring those items while doing your grocery shopping, instead opting to fill your pantry with healthier options such as nuts, fruits, veggie chips, yoghurt or hummus. Once you get used to cracking open the avocado instead of that bag of chips, you will notice how it is actually more filling, while it sets you up with much needed nutrients. Sugary drinks, say them farewell Few people realise just how many ‘bad’ sugars and empty calories are added to our daily diet by drinking some of the sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, flavoured coffees of iced teas that have quickly become a fixture in our fridges. And yes, we understand that these are quite hard to replace, but it will definitely be worth your effort. You could opt for fresh water, unsweetened tea and coffee, low-fat milk, or flavoured calorie-free water drinks instead - and notice an instant drop in your blood glucose levels. Find suitable bread and pasta substitutes Most people who have attempted a diet in the past will know that some of these much hated carbs are hiding in the bread and pasta products that we so readily enjoy on a daily basis. Therefore, a first step towards becoming a healthier person might entail the exclusion of those foods from our lives. Bread is actually quite easily replaced by veggies. You could, for instance, use iceberg, green leaf or butter lettuce instead of bread when preparing your sandwich or a delicious burger. Simply pile it all together and wrap the lettuce around it, then wrap it up in some paper and a piece of tape - and tear away the paper as you take bites out of your delicious, low-calorie sub or burger. It’s not just bread, though. Pasta could just as easily be replaced by all kinds of veggies. Noodles from zucchini, sweet potato or carrots are just as delicious when whipping up a mean pasta, while squash has proven to be a perfect substitute for ‘traditional’ spaghetti. If you really want to go all the way, try using cauliflower, broccoli or butternut as the main ingredient for your rice dish. Befriend the local butcher While most diets will not require you to cut back on your meat intake, you can do something here to improve your health as well. Just head over to the butcher and kindly ask for the leanest cuts of meat that he has available. Why? Well, some of the lard, fatback and high-fat meats contain high amounts of saturated fat - a well-known contributor to high cholesterol levels. This includes favourites like ground beef, hot dogs, sausages, bacon and spareribs. Leaner meats, on the other hand, will be much healthier. This includes fish, turkey and chicken options (provided that it is skinless!), as well as some beef options that have been trimmed of fat. Your butcher will be able to point out some great options, that could include round, sirloin, flank and tenderloin. Get out in nature more and move, move, move! Finally, it may seem like an obvious point, but it really makes a world of difference: start moving more. Especially if your workday is mostly spent sedentary, you should find ways of getting out more. Even for as short as a 15-minute walk during your lunchbreak, or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator when riding the subway: the ‘hardcore’ exercise would be a great extra, although simple changes in your daily routine can go a long way as well. Especially by performing some of those activities outdoors, will you soon feel that the extra fresh air and rush of being outside - which could encourage you to frequently repeat such activities. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise
The Earth As An Inexhaustible Clean Geothermal Energy Source
Europe can score with geothermal energy, says geologist Jon Limberger. Recently he got awarded a PhD in Utrecht (the Netherlands) for a study on this subject. Good news. Alternative energy, can we exchange gas for geothermal energy? The wind, you feel when you have to struggle against it on the bike. The sun glows on the skin in the summer. Logically, therefore, windmills and solar panels appear all over the world. The forces of nature report themselves, as an inexhaustible clean source of energy. They replace dirty coal, oil and natural gas. "What fascinates me," says geologist Jon Limberger (31), "is that there is still another great renewable energy source." It's under our feet, miles in the bottom. Heat, stored in water reservoirs. Even if companies would only pump a fraction of it up, the PhD student discovered that this would provide enough energy for the entire world. In this the soil does not differ much from wind and sunshine. Geothermal alternative energy is still in its infancy "The pinch is in the actual winning of the energy," says Limberger. How this can be done with geothermal heat, also known as geothermal energy, he describes in the study with which he is currently awarded a PhD at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). The deeper the heat is hidden, the higher the costs. The best opportunities are there in countries with active, preferably volcanic soil. The Geysirs of the Haukadalur Geothermal Area (Geysir Strokkur) - Island/ Iceland {youtube} Iceland therefore counts as the Mecca of geothermal energy. Nearly all households are already warming themselves with soil energy, says Limberger, who made a study trip with knowledge institute TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research). The Italian volcano region of Tuscany also belongs to the top scouts with geothermics. "Turkey is the rising star with geothermal energy," says Limberger. Just like the border area between France and Germany, because there are fault lines that are favorable for soil energy. Geothermal area Toscana (Italy) The PhD research of Limberger contains nice prospects for the Netherlands. Based on his calculations, the geologist estimates that the Netherlands is ideally suited for geothermal energy. "We are in a favorable delta." There seems to be heat in the soil, about 100 degrees Celsius at three kilometers depth. Also important: the Netherlands is densely populated. The costs of transporting geothermal energy to homes, horticultural greenhouses and offices are therefore relatively low. Geothermal area Pamukkale (Turkey) There are already heat networks in various places in the Netherlands. They are still getting heat from polluting factories. Geothermal energy can replace this. The Netherlands also benefits from all previous drilling for natural gas. "There is extraordinary knowledge of the subsurface," says Limberger. Other European countries have less soil information, or only strict secrecy. Dutch companies can easily request it. The first geothermal heat projects are already in the Netherlands. Furthermore, 48 companies now have permission to search for heat. They have an official search license for that. It always remains to be seen whether there really is a source of heat where you expect. The earthquake-ridden Groningen wants geothermal energy instead of natural gas The government also provides a guarantee for mis-drilling. "A good thing," says Limberger. According to him, teething problems occur with every new technique. A bankruptcy, as happened with the pioneering compagny ‘Aardwarmte’ Den Haag, is, according to Limberger, no reason to lose faith in geothermal energy. The costs must be reduced. That will happen, predicts the PhD student, through experience and better technology. Geothermal energy is still expensive in Europe, but in 2030 and 2050 it looks bright. It was scaring, but not baffling that oil and gas were coming up at the very first drillings. Technically speaking, a heat drilling appears to be a gas drilling. The earthquake-ridden Groningen wants geothermal energy instead of natural gas. Solar panels  and  wind turbines PhD student Limberger thinks that geothermal energy can be a wonderful addition to clean energy from solar panels and wind turbines. The sun only shines during the day, especially in the summer. The wind does not always blow. "That is the nice thing about geothermal heat: you can use it 24 hours a day." Bottom water where the heat has been extracted goes back into the soil, where it can warm up again. Geothermal power plant graphic Those who drill deeper than four kilometers officially do 'ultra-deep geothermal energy'. That is more expensive than a normal bore, which also costs a few million euros. The yield is higher. The rule of thumb for Dutch soil is: with every kilometer the temperature rises by 30 degrees Celsius. Ultradiep is the heat source about 130 to 250 degrees Celsius. That is so hot that you can do more with it than just heat heat a greenhouse or house . "You can also make electricity from ultra-deep heat," says Limberger. The heat can make a generator run, which produces power. It is therefore conceivable that clean electricity from the socket will not only come from the wind or the sun in the future, but deep from the bottom. Technically it is possible, says the geologist. And maybe it does not take a long time. It seems to Limberger something, to use such a current at home. Now it becomes even more technical, but perhaps even more interesting. What is also possible is to convert the energy the other way around. So: from electricity from the energy grid to heat. Then you can convert wind and solar energy into heat. "So you can keep it in the groundwater and pump it up if necessary," says Limberger. There is still a lot of energy loss. There are more technical hooks and eyes that might be solved. The energy sector would jump a hole in the air. Green electricity is still difficult to store. In the summer, the Netherlands produces the most solar power, while the demand for energy in the winter is high. Companies build large batteries to store energy. But, says the PhD student, perhaps the very best, natural buffer vessel for energy is now under our feet. By: Frank Strave https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
Europe can score with geothermal energy, says geologist Jon Limberger. Recently he got awarded a PhD in Utrecht (the Netherlands) for a study on this subject. Good news. Alternative energy, can we exchange gas for geothermal energy? The wind, you feel when you have to struggle against it on the bike. The sun glows on the skin in the summer. Logically, therefore, windmills and solar panels appear all over the world. The forces of nature report themselves, as an inexhaustible clean source of energy. They replace dirty coal, oil and natural gas. "What fascinates me," says geologist Jon Limberger (31), "is that there is still another great renewable energy source." It's under our feet, miles in the bottom. Heat, stored in water reservoirs. Even if companies would only pump a fraction of it up, the PhD student discovered that this would provide enough energy for the entire world. In this the soil does not differ much from wind and sunshine. Geothermal alternative energy is still in its infancy "The pinch is in the actual winning of the energy," says Limberger. How this can be done with geothermal heat, also known as geothermal energy, he describes in the study with which he is currently awarded a PhD at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). The deeper the heat is hidden, the higher the costs. The best opportunities are there in countries with active, preferably volcanic soil. The Geysirs of the Haukadalur Geothermal Area (Geysir Strokkur) - Island/ Iceland {youtube} Iceland therefore counts as the Mecca of geothermal energy. Nearly all households are already warming themselves with soil energy, says Limberger, who made a study trip with knowledge institute TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research). The Italian volcano region of Tuscany also belongs to the top scouts with geothermics. "Turkey is the rising star with geothermal energy," says Limberger. Just like the border area between France and Germany, because there are fault lines that are favorable for soil energy. Geothermal area Toscana (Italy) The PhD research of Limberger contains nice prospects for the Netherlands. Based on his calculations, the geologist estimates that the Netherlands is ideally suited for geothermal energy. "We are in a favorable delta." There seems to be heat in the soil, about 100 degrees Celsius at three kilometers depth. Also important: the Netherlands is densely populated. The costs of transporting geothermal energy to homes, horticultural greenhouses and offices are therefore relatively low. Geothermal area Pamukkale (Turkey) There are already heat networks in various places in the Netherlands. They are still getting heat from polluting factories. Geothermal energy can replace this. The Netherlands also benefits from all previous drilling for natural gas. "There is extraordinary knowledge of the subsurface," says Limberger. Other European countries have less soil information, or only strict secrecy. Dutch companies can easily request it. The first geothermal heat projects are already in the Netherlands. Furthermore, 48 companies now have permission to search for heat. They have an official search license for that. It always remains to be seen whether there really is a source of heat where you expect. The earthquake-ridden Groningen wants geothermal energy instead of natural gas The government also provides a guarantee for mis-drilling. "A good thing," says Limberger. According to him, teething problems occur with every new technique. A bankruptcy, as happened with the pioneering compagny ‘Aardwarmte’ Den Haag, is, according to Limberger, no reason to lose faith in geothermal energy. The costs must be reduced. That will happen, predicts the PhD student, through experience and better technology. Geothermal energy is still expensive in Europe, but in 2030 and 2050 it looks bright. It was scaring, but not baffling that oil and gas were coming up at the very first drillings. Technically speaking, a heat drilling appears to be a gas drilling. The earthquake-ridden Groningen wants geothermal energy instead of natural gas. Solar panels  and  wind turbines PhD student Limberger thinks that geothermal energy can be a wonderful addition to clean energy from solar panels and wind turbines. The sun only shines during the day, especially in the summer. The wind does not always blow. "That is the nice thing about geothermal heat: you can use it 24 hours a day." Bottom water where the heat has been extracted goes back into the soil, where it can warm up again. Geothermal power plant graphic Those who drill deeper than four kilometers officially do 'ultra-deep geothermal energy'. That is more expensive than a normal bore, which also costs a few million euros. The yield is higher. The rule of thumb for Dutch soil is: with every kilometer the temperature rises by 30 degrees Celsius. Ultradiep is the heat source about 130 to 250 degrees Celsius. That is so hot that you can do more with it than just heat heat a greenhouse or house . "You can also make electricity from ultra-deep heat," says Limberger. The heat can make a generator run, which produces power. It is therefore conceivable that clean electricity from the socket will not only come from the wind or the sun in the future, but deep from the bottom. Technically it is possible, says the geologist. And maybe it does not take a long time. It seems to Limberger something, to use such a current at home. Now it becomes even more technical, but perhaps even more interesting. What is also possible is to convert the energy the other way around. So: from electricity from the energy grid to heat. Then you can convert wind and solar energy into heat. "So you can keep it in the groundwater and pump it up if necessary," says Limberger. There is still a lot of energy loss. There are more technical hooks and eyes that might be solved. The energy sector would jump a hole in the air. Green electricity is still difficult to store. In the summer, the Netherlands produces the most solar power, while the demand for energy in the winter is high. Companies build large batteries to store energy. But, says the PhD student, perhaps the very best, natural buffer vessel for energy is now under our feet. By: Frank Strave https://www.whatsorb.com/category/energy
The Earth As An Inexhaustible Clean Geothermal Energy Source
The Earth As An Inexhaustible Clean Geothermal Energy Source
Solar And Hydrogen Boats Win The Future: France, Monaco
The dozens of tiny, handmade boats looked out of place among the super yachts moored at the Monaco Yacht Club. It wasn’t a mistake that the little ships were in this particular harbor at this particular time. No, these little watercraft were slipping silently between the billionaire boats to promote cleaner water transportation under the idea that our green mobility future includes common technologies between cars, bikes, airplanes and boats. The fleet had gathered from around the world to participate in the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge. There were over 200 students representing 34 teams from 14 nations, mostly within Europe. Holland was represented by more teams than any other country, with 12. All of the boats were powered by green energy (i.e., solar, batteries or hydrogen fuel cells) and competed in one of three classes - Solar, Offshore or Energy - over five days.  The most popular category is the Solar class, which attracted 19 teams. This class allowed the teams to design their own ship, strap it full of solar panels and then participate in slalom and endurance races to see which performed the best. The eight teams participating in the Energy class were each given the same hull and had to design a durable and powerful propulsion system using whatever clean energy they choose. The Offshore class was made up of 7 teams this year, mostly by companies that are already selling their green-energy boats or are about to. The challenge was two different long-distance races (around 30 and then 60 kilometers, or 16 and 36 nautical miles, respectively) between Monaco and Ventimiglia, Italy. Monaco Yacht Club {youtube} The 2019 edition was the sixth annual Challenge and was organized by the International Powerboating Federation (UIM) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. To make the teams feel at home, the exclusive Monaco Yacht Club was opened up to young people wearing board shorts and flip-flops, discussing hydrodynamics and green propulsion with the energy of friendly competition. It’s cliche to say that everyone can be a winner at an event like this, but that’s exactly what it felt like on the docks.  Take Team Indonesia as an example. As the only representatives from outside of Europe, the 14-member team faced unusual challenges as they traveled to the Mediterranean Sea. Just getting their boat to Monaco was a 15,000-plus-euro endeavor. Also, even though Indonesia has over 30,000 miles of coastline, the team is based out of the University of Indonesia, which is located south of Jakarta, many miles from the ocean. That’s why the team had to test their prototypes in an artificial lake, team member Fadhil Nuffohman told me.  The team’s problems didn’t end when the 13 members arrived in Monaco (one stayed home). The boat’s steering system had to be changed on site, and their battery management system blew up, Nuffohman said, so the students started scrambling for a replacement. They mentioned their problem to one or two other teams, and word quickly spread throughout the whole community until HEIG-VD-1, one of the two Swiss teams, heard about it and gave them an extra BMS. The distance, lack of ocean access at home and last-minute fixes meant that the complete boat wasn’t tested until the team arrived in Monaco. 'It's like Mission Impossible', Nuffohman said.  Mission Impossible Even so, the education that the students got during the race were not limited to the engineering questions. Team member Narendra Dipta said that one of the big lessons was to function under pressure. "We tried to work with no stress,” Dipta said. “We wanted to work more efficiently.” While the team didn’t win any actual races, it was awarded the Spirit Prize.  This sort of can-do attitude was prevalent throughout the competition. Taking a water-based approach to watercraft, the SBM Offshore E-Racing Team, located in Monaco, thinks that hydrogen fuel cell boats are the future. SBM Offshore is a company that provides floating production solutions to the offshore energy industry and had a boat in the Monaco Energy Class. SBM Offshore was also a sponsor of the event.  Caroline Epp, a hydrodynamics engineer for the SBM Offshore team, said that putting a fuel cell on a boat meant finding a compromise between protecting the fuel cell stack from water entry and overheating. The solution the team came up with in a hurry - they only started working on the boat four months ago - was a splash-proof box that wasn’t waterproof but met all of the requirements the engineers needed. Epp said it was a challenge to find the right parts for their boat, and the team’s first full boat test was the Sunday before the race began. Things worked out well for the team, which won the Innovation Prize at last Saturday’s closing night gala event.  Cleaner water mobility efforts took place outside of the competition as well. Companies like FinX and the group AA/ROK were on hand to show off their products. FinX’s tech replaces boat’s propellor with undulating membranes - basically fish-like fins - that are easy to maintain and 30 percent more efficient, a representative told me. The technology has been used in the medical field in heart pump assisting devices and FinX has been investigating using the membranes for water propulsion, under license, since 2018. AA/ROK, on the other hand, was offering rides in its solar-powered autonomous boat, the SunWave S2, which it hopes to develop into a solar-hybrid passenger shuttle.  Electric Boat  Anvera Elab Or take the Anvera Elab prototype, which was brought to Monaco by a team based in Italy that wanted to show off its carbon fiber, all-electric speed boat. The main focus of the concept vehicle is to remove as much weight as possible through advanced composite materials and a specially designed propellor.  The lessons learned in the races were meant to be taken far beyond the horizon. The public was invited to daily tech talks by the various teams as they described their technological challenges and successes and there was also a networking job fair set up to introduce the students to potential employers.  In the end, there were indeed actual winners in the three classes. Vita Yachts won the shorter Offshore race, but they were bested by the TU Delft Solar Boat Team in the longer challenge.  Wave Estaca won the Energy Class, and there were two winners in the solar categories. The Sunflare Solar team won the A Class Solar category while the New Nexus Solar Boat Racing Team won the Open Solar Class. At the awards gala, these teams were somewhat more happy than the rest, posing with their trophies and giant award checks against the backdrop of those huge yachts in the harbor, but I didn’t see anyone not having a good time. It just felt like the actual event winners were not the only ones who were, well, winning that night. Cliches do work. By: Sebastian Blanco https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/solar
The dozens of tiny, handmade boats looked out of place among the super yachts moored at the Monaco Yacht Club. It wasn’t a mistake that the little ships were in this particular harbor at this particular time. No, these little watercraft were slipping silently between the billionaire boats to promote cleaner water transportation under the idea that our green mobility future includes common technologies between cars, bikes, airplanes and boats. The fleet had gathered from around the world to participate in the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge. There were over 200 students representing 34 teams from 14 nations, mostly within Europe. Holland was represented by more teams than any other country, with 12. All of the boats were powered by green energy (i.e., solar, batteries or hydrogen fuel cells) and competed in one of three classes - Solar, Offshore or Energy - over five days.  The most popular category is the Solar class, which attracted 19 teams. This class allowed the teams to design their own ship, strap it full of solar panels and then participate in slalom and endurance races to see which performed the best. The eight teams participating in the Energy class were each given the same hull and had to design a durable and powerful propulsion system using whatever clean energy they choose. The Offshore class was made up of 7 teams this year, mostly by companies that are already selling their green-energy boats or are about to. The challenge was two different long-distance races (around 30 and then 60 kilometers, or 16 and 36 nautical miles, respectively) between Monaco and Ventimiglia, Italy. Monaco Yacht Club {youtube} The 2019 edition was the sixth annual Challenge and was organized by the International Powerboating Federation (UIM) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. To make the teams feel at home, the exclusive Monaco Yacht Club was opened up to young people wearing board shorts and flip-flops, discussing hydrodynamics and green propulsion with the energy of friendly competition. It’s cliche to say that everyone can be a winner at an event like this, but that’s exactly what it felt like on the docks.  Take Team Indonesia as an example. As the only representatives from outside of Europe, the 14-member team faced unusual challenges as they traveled to the Mediterranean Sea. Just getting their boat to Monaco was a 15,000-plus-euro endeavor. Also, even though Indonesia has over 30,000 miles of coastline, the team is based out of the University of Indonesia, which is located south of Jakarta, many miles from the ocean. That’s why the team had to test their prototypes in an artificial lake, team member Fadhil Nuffohman told me.  The team’s problems didn’t end when the 13 members arrived in Monaco (one stayed home). The boat’s steering system had to be changed on site, and their battery management system blew up, Nuffohman said, so the students started scrambling for a replacement. They mentioned their problem to one or two other teams, and word quickly spread throughout the whole community until HEIG-VD-1, one of the two Swiss teams, heard about it and gave them an extra BMS. The distance, lack of ocean access at home and last-minute fixes meant that the complete boat wasn’t tested until the team arrived in Monaco. 'It's like Mission Impossible', Nuffohman said.  Mission Impossible Even so, the education that the students got during the race were not limited to the engineering questions. Team member Narendra Dipta said that one of the big lessons was to function under pressure. "We tried to work with no stress,” Dipta said. “We wanted to work more efficiently.” While the team didn’t win any actual races, it was awarded the Spirit Prize.  This sort of can-do attitude was prevalent throughout the competition. Taking a water-based approach to watercraft, the SBM Offshore E-Racing Team, located in Monaco, thinks that hydrogen fuel cell boats are the future. SBM Offshore is a company that provides floating production solutions to the offshore energy industry and had a boat in the Monaco Energy Class. SBM Offshore was also a sponsor of the event.  Caroline Epp, a hydrodynamics engineer for the SBM Offshore team, said that putting a fuel cell on a boat meant finding a compromise between protecting the fuel cell stack from water entry and overheating. The solution the team came up with in a hurry - they only started working on the boat four months ago - was a splash-proof box that wasn’t waterproof but met all of the requirements the engineers needed. Epp said it was a challenge to find the right parts for their boat, and the team’s first full boat test was the Sunday before the race began. Things worked out well for the team, which won the Innovation Prize at last Saturday’s closing night gala event.  Cleaner water mobility efforts took place outside of the competition as well. Companies like FinX and the group AA/ROK were on hand to show off their products. FinX’s tech replaces boat’s propellor with undulating membranes - basically fish-like fins - that are easy to maintain and 30 percent more efficient, a representative told me. The technology has been used in the medical field in heart pump assisting devices and FinX has been investigating using the membranes for water propulsion, under license, since 2018. AA/ROK, on the other hand, was offering rides in its solar-powered autonomous boat, the SunWave S2, which it hopes to develop into a solar-hybrid passenger shuttle.  Electric Boat  Anvera Elab Or take the Anvera Elab prototype, which was brought to Monaco by a team based in Italy that wanted to show off its carbon fiber, all-electric speed boat. The main focus of the concept vehicle is to remove as much weight as possible through advanced composite materials and a specially designed propellor.  The lessons learned in the races were meant to be taken far beyond the horizon. The public was invited to daily tech talks by the various teams as they described their technological challenges and successes and there was also a networking job fair set up to introduce the students to potential employers.  In the end, there were indeed actual winners in the three classes. Vita Yachts won the shorter Offshore race, but they were bested by the TU Delft Solar Boat Team in the longer challenge.  Wave Estaca won the Energy Class, and there were two winners in the solar categories. The Sunflare Solar team won the A Class Solar category while the New Nexus Solar Boat Racing Team won the Open Solar Class. At the awards gala, these teams were somewhat more happy than the rest, posing with their trophies and giant award checks against the backdrop of those huge yachts in the harbor, but I didn’t see anyone not having a good time. It just felt like the actual event winners were not the only ones who were, well, winning that night. Cliches do work. By: Sebastian Blanco https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/solar
Solar And Hydrogen Boats Win The Future: France, Monaco
Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected
Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected is the third article in a series of 6 on the topic of climate change. One of the most important consequences of climate change is the capability that it has to irreversibly change the world around us. This statement should not be news to you, nor should it be surprising. Yet it never hurts to emphasise just how much the world is affected by the actions that we take today. Climate change is moving ahead at a rapid pace, with various animals, plants and even microbiota scrambling to catch up. All around the world, species are being displaced, forced to move to different lands that are safe(r) and provide (more) sufficient nutrition. We are facing a true Diaspora of not just species, but businesses, people and diseases being spread out around the world as well.   This trend was, most likely, first recognised in shrubs. In the 19th century, willows in the Alaskan Arctic did not get much taller than a small child. They were perfectly suited for their environment and managed to balance the ecosystem. However, as temperatures rose as a result of increased fossil fuel emissions, effectively lengthening the growing seasons, shrubs grew spectacularly - up to double their original size. Now, there were some moose who considered these shrubs to be a particularly tasty meal. Before the 20th century, they did not bother to cross the Brooks Range, the mountain range stretching from northern Alaska to Canada’s Yukon Territory. They knew that the lands to the north did not have much to offer. That is, until they slowly started migrating over the range less than a century ago. Today, they can be found meandering all along the Arctic rivers - now that the vegetation is tall enough to withstand layers of snow and able to withstand the more moderate temperatures. Not much later, the hares followed - snacking on the same plants and enjoying the same new lands. Moose and hares are now becoming a fixture in the diet of indigenous Alaskan hunters, as they are facing difficulties hunting for their ‘original’ meal - consisting of seals, that have now been driven away by the melting ice. It is a cycle that is easily recognised as the so-called butterfly effect: a relatively minor adjustment has had far-reaching consequences and is impacting the local environment on an increasingly larger scale. Thousands of those effects put in motion by climate change can be pointed out, with human-caused climate change radically changing the life of all beings inhabiting this earth. Plant and animal species tend to find that place where they are most likely to thrive, and with changing temperatures and environments, this may be in a completely different place than before.   We, as humans, also have to deal with this changing ‘diet’ of animals and plants; while they bring along diseases and pests previously unknown to the areas that we live in. Similarly, our carefully built up businesses and industries, often relying on certain natural resources, have to shift accordingly. The term Diaspora that I used before might not even fully cover this drastically changing global landscape.   Germs and Pests on the March   Today, we are battling outbreaks of malaria in areas further north and at higher altitudes in countries such as Colombia and Ethiopia, with mosquitos being able to survive the milder temperatures uphill. In northern Texas, the potentially fatal tropical disease leishmaniasis has claimed its first victims - having been carried up north by sand-flies hosting the parasite. It is not just our health that is suffering these adverse effects. Agriculture is suffering as well, with crop pests expanding their territories. There are diamondback moths, feasting on the vegetables grown by urban farmers, who have recently moved into South Africa. Then there are the numerous funguses and pests creating havoc on Latin America’s coffee plantations. France is facing a similar problem, with their olives, wines and lavender under siege.   Not everyone is losing, though. A number of those migration patterns have led to more favourable circumstances for some: the Atlantic mackerel, for instance, has moved so far up north that it entered the Icelandic waters. Now, the country is enjoying a large share of the market previously held by Europe alone.   So we cannot really say that it is all bad. It is just changing - and requiring us to change and adapt along with it, good or bad as it may be. The point is that wildlife is, in fact, feeling the effects of climate change; impacting us humans in ways we are only starting to see the first motions of. Watch out for oak processionary caterpillars The oak processionary caterpillar has made headlines in The Netherlands in recent weeks. For an insect this small, it is rather surprising to see how quickly it has become the subject of a national crisis. It first set foot in the small European country in 1991, in the far south. Over the years, it has steadfastly increased its geographical range, with climate change nudging it further north-east. There are a lot of oak trees in the south of the Netherlands, which coincidentally make up its favourite snack. From mid-May to mid-July, this has prompted a rather strange sight: oak trees all wrapped in red-white warning tape. These trees are, in fact, infested with the oak processionary moth (or ‘eikenprocessierups’, as it is known locally). These are poisonous, capable of causing significant discomfort to humans and animals alike - its most prominent symptom being severe itching. The affected trees will find themselves being woven in silky nests surrounding their branches and trunks, which does not just occur in forest areas but also in densely populated areas, including those lining streets in cities and towns. Even if you avoid those trees altogether, you might still feel their literal sting: the caterpillar has bristles that can be fired when a threat is perceived, and which can be carried by the wind for up to 500 meters. Enough to affect those living around it. This only goes to show how a tiny species, previously unknown to an area, can start to dominate a defenceless ecosystem within some short decades. Half of All Life Is Moving The oak processionary crisis is not an exception. The general consensus is that species will move when facing a radical shift in their environment. It has been this way for centuries. Our ancestors already knew that they had to find different hunting grounds when seasons would change. So it is not necessarily surprising that species are moving or changing their range as climate change moves along. What is surprising, though, is its pace. Recently, an inventory was made of over 4,000 species all around the world. The results amazed friend and foe: over half of those were actively ‘on the move’. Land-living creatures are moving at 10 miles per decade, while marine species tend to move up to four times quicker. These are just averages. Some individual species are moving a lot faster. The Atlantic cod, for instance, moves more than 125 miles per decade. It is not just the physical location that is changing. The biological cycles are quick to follow suit as well. Amphibians, like frogs, have been found to be breeding about eight days earlier with each passing decade. Birds and butterflies are shifting their cycles in a similar fashion, with about four days per decade. Historical research has shown that in Concord, Massachusetts, plants are now flowering some 18 days earlier than they did in the 1850s.   While those might be too subtle to perceive, people all over - from Asia to Europe and over the Atlantic to America - are finding that springtime jumps upon us sooner than it used to, with trees and shrubs leafing out and animals initiating mating rituals earlier in the season. Something like this can change our ecology as a whole. Another striking conclusion is that we cannot possibly predict where this will lead us. Although we are able to connect the dots on the majority of changes, we cannot possibly predict all the ways in which species are to respond to the changing environment. Shifts occur at different paces and are triggered by different signals.   Some species respond favourably to rising temperatures, while others are more in tune with the change in sunlight or precipitation: Californian mountain plants have been observed moving downhill as climate change has brought more precipitation to the valleys. It is not just the existing species that are adapting to the changing circumstances. New hybrid species are developing as well: having already been found in toads, sharks, butterflies, bears and trout, just to name a few. Climate change is changing ecosystems and throwing species together that were previously kept separate, allowing them to interbreed.   Other species are put at risk of extinction, with them unable to find a good new ecosystem and/or their favourite food supplies having moved out of reach or dwindling altogether. In West Greenland, for instance, young caribou are dying in large numbers as their mothers are unable to eat sufficient plants during the calving season, leaving them weak and vulnerable. Bumblebees find that their favourite plants have already flowered before they emerge, leaving them scrambling to find their food supplies and unable to pollinate. In nature, timing is crucial - and these examples point out where exactly timing is threatening species in their very survival. Eventually, this will become visible on a larger scale - possibly even leaving us, humans, with shortages and ecological issues that cannot easily be resolved.   Some more animals threatened by climate change All in all, predictions have been made that by the year 2100, about 50% of all the species inhabiting our world could go extinct as the result of climate change - be it through one of the ways described above, or novel ways that we have not even began to observe just yet. Animals that may depend on us taking action today include bumblebees, whales, elephants, giraffes, insects, marine birds, sharks, coral reefs, butterflies and apes. All innocent victims of our lust for more energy and power, who will find themselves in a shrinking or polluted habitat with dwindling food supplies.   No matter where you live, you will undoubtedly find that the species that occupy your habitat are struggling as well; as are the farmers, who are dealing with pests, infected crops and other diseases affecting their businesses. Eventually, we will all suffer the consequences. The world has already been affected and will, if you were to travel 200 years in time, ultimately become utterly unrecognisable.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected is the third article in a series of 6 on the topic of climate change. One of the most important consequences of climate change is the capability that it has to irreversibly change the world around us. This statement should not be news to you, nor should it be surprising. Yet it never hurts to emphasise just how much the world is affected by the actions that we take today. Climate change is moving ahead at a rapid pace, with various animals, plants and even microbiota scrambling to catch up. All around the world, species are being displaced, forced to move to different lands that are safe(r) and provide (more) sufficient nutrition. We are facing a true Diaspora of not just species, but businesses, people and diseases being spread out around the world as well.   This trend was, most likely, first recognised in shrubs. In the 19th century, willows in the Alaskan Arctic did not get much taller than a small child. They were perfectly suited for their environment and managed to balance the ecosystem. However, as temperatures rose as a result of increased fossil fuel emissions, effectively lengthening the growing seasons, shrubs grew spectacularly - up to double their original size. Now, there were some moose who considered these shrubs to be a particularly tasty meal. Before the 20th century, they did not bother to cross the Brooks Range, the mountain range stretching from northern Alaska to Canada’s Yukon Territory. They knew that the lands to the north did not have much to offer. That is, until they slowly started migrating over the range less than a century ago. Today, they can be found meandering all along the Arctic rivers - now that the vegetation is tall enough to withstand layers of snow and able to withstand the more moderate temperatures. Not much later, the hares followed - snacking on the same plants and enjoying the same new lands. Moose and hares are now becoming a fixture in the diet of indigenous Alaskan hunters, as they are facing difficulties hunting for their ‘original’ meal - consisting of seals, that have now been driven away by the melting ice. It is a cycle that is easily recognised as the so-called butterfly effect: a relatively minor adjustment has had far-reaching consequences and is impacting the local environment on an increasingly larger scale. Thousands of those effects put in motion by climate change can be pointed out, with human-caused climate change radically changing the life of all beings inhabiting this earth. Plant and animal species tend to find that place where they are most likely to thrive, and with changing temperatures and environments, this may be in a completely different place than before.   We, as humans, also have to deal with this changing ‘diet’ of animals and plants; while they bring along diseases and pests previously unknown to the areas that we live in. Similarly, our carefully built up businesses and industries, often relying on certain natural resources, have to shift accordingly. The term Diaspora that I used before might not even fully cover this drastically changing global landscape.   Germs and Pests on the March   Today, we are battling outbreaks of malaria in areas further north and at higher altitudes in countries such as Colombia and Ethiopia, with mosquitos being able to survive the milder temperatures uphill. In northern Texas, the potentially fatal tropical disease leishmaniasis has claimed its first victims - having been carried up north by sand-flies hosting the parasite. It is not just our health that is suffering these adverse effects. Agriculture is suffering as well, with crop pests expanding their territories. There are diamondback moths, feasting on the vegetables grown by urban farmers, who have recently moved into South Africa. Then there are the numerous funguses and pests creating havoc on Latin America’s coffee plantations. France is facing a similar problem, with their olives, wines and lavender under siege.   Not everyone is losing, though. A number of those migration patterns have led to more favourable circumstances for some: the Atlantic mackerel, for instance, has moved so far up north that it entered the Icelandic waters. Now, the country is enjoying a large share of the market previously held by Europe alone.   So we cannot really say that it is all bad. It is just changing - and requiring us to change and adapt along with it, good or bad as it may be. The point is that wildlife is, in fact, feeling the effects of climate change; impacting us humans in ways we are only starting to see the first motions of. Watch out for oak processionary caterpillars The oak processionary caterpillar has made headlines in The Netherlands in recent weeks. For an insect this small, it is rather surprising to see how quickly it has become the subject of a national crisis. It first set foot in the small European country in 1991, in the far south. Over the years, it has steadfastly increased its geographical range, with climate change nudging it further north-east. There are a lot of oak trees in the south of the Netherlands, which coincidentally make up its favourite snack. From mid-May to mid-July, this has prompted a rather strange sight: oak trees all wrapped in red-white warning tape. These trees are, in fact, infested with the oak processionary moth (or ‘eikenprocessierups’, as it is known locally). These are poisonous, capable of causing significant discomfort to humans and animals alike - its most prominent symptom being severe itching. The affected trees will find themselves being woven in silky nests surrounding their branches and trunks, which does not just occur in forest areas but also in densely populated areas, including those lining streets in cities and towns. Even if you avoid those trees altogether, you might still feel their literal sting: the caterpillar has bristles that can be fired when a threat is perceived, and which can be carried by the wind for up to 500 meters. Enough to affect those living around it. This only goes to show how a tiny species, previously unknown to an area, can start to dominate a defenceless ecosystem within some short decades. Half of All Life Is Moving The oak processionary crisis is not an exception. The general consensus is that species will move when facing a radical shift in their environment. It has been this way for centuries. Our ancestors already knew that they had to find different hunting grounds when seasons would change. So it is not necessarily surprising that species are moving or changing their range as climate change moves along. What is surprising, though, is its pace. Recently, an inventory was made of over 4,000 species all around the world. The results amazed friend and foe: over half of those were actively ‘on the move’. Land-living creatures are moving at 10 miles per decade, while marine species tend to move up to four times quicker. These are just averages. Some individual species are moving a lot faster. The Atlantic cod, for instance, moves more than 125 miles per decade. It is not just the physical location that is changing. The biological cycles are quick to follow suit as well. Amphibians, like frogs, have been found to be breeding about eight days earlier with each passing decade. Birds and butterflies are shifting their cycles in a similar fashion, with about four days per decade. Historical research has shown that in Concord, Massachusetts, plants are now flowering some 18 days earlier than they did in the 1850s.   While those might be too subtle to perceive, people all over - from Asia to Europe and over the Atlantic to America - are finding that springtime jumps upon us sooner than it used to, with trees and shrubs leafing out and animals initiating mating rituals earlier in the season. Something like this can change our ecology as a whole. Another striking conclusion is that we cannot possibly predict where this will lead us. Although we are able to connect the dots on the majority of changes, we cannot possibly predict all the ways in which species are to respond to the changing environment. Shifts occur at different paces and are triggered by different signals.   Some species respond favourably to rising temperatures, while others are more in tune with the change in sunlight or precipitation: Californian mountain plants have been observed moving downhill as climate change has brought more precipitation to the valleys. It is not just the existing species that are adapting to the changing circumstances. New hybrid species are developing as well: having already been found in toads, sharks, butterflies, bears and trout, just to name a few. Climate change is changing ecosystems and throwing species together that were previously kept separate, allowing them to interbreed.   Other species are put at risk of extinction, with them unable to find a good new ecosystem and/or their favourite food supplies having moved out of reach or dwindling altogether. In West Greenland, for instance, young caribou are dying in large numbers as their mothers are unable to eat sufficient plants during the calving season, leaving them weak and vulnerable. Bumblebees find that their favourite plants have already flowered before they emerge, leaving them scrambling to find their food supplies and unable to pollinate. In nature, timing is crucial - and these examples point out where exactly timing is threatening species in their very survival. Eventually, this will become visible on a larger scale - possibly even leaving us, humans, with shortages and ecological issues that cannot easily be resolved.   Some more animals threatened by climate change All in all, predictions have been made that by the year 2100, about 50% of all the species inhabiting our world could go extinct as the result of climate change - be it through one of the ways described above, or novel ways that we have not even began to observe just yet. Animals that may depend on us taking action today include bumblebees, whales, elephants, giraffes, insects, marine birds, sharks, coral reefs, butterflies and apes. All innocent victims of our lust for more energy and power, who will find themselves in a shrinking or polluted habitat with dwindling food supplies.   No matter where you live, you will undoubtedly find that the species that occupy your habitat are struggling as well; as are the farmers, who are dealing with pests, infected crops and other diseases affecting their businesses. Eventually, we will all suffer the consequences. The world has already been affected and will, if you were to travel 200 years in time, ultimately become utterly unrecognisable.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected
Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected
Millennials Live More Eco-Friendly To Protect The Planet
Millennials are criticized for being selfish and entitled, but many are leading the way with the current eco-friendly trends. From owning tiny houses to eco-friendly tourism, millennials are proving to be an environmentally-conscious generation. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. Millennials adapt their lives to more eco-friendly living to protect the health of the planet Some older generations view millennials through a less-than-favourable lens. They might consider them self-centered, obsessed with technology, unwilling to conform to societalnorms or maybe all of the above. But this view of millennials isn’t necessarily accurate or fair. Take, for example, the steps millennials have taken to ensure the environment remains healthy for many years to come. It’s hard to argue current eco-friendly trends — see: tiny houses and thrift store shopping — stem largely from 20- and 30-somethings. But does that outweigh some of the potentially harmful habits of millennials? Sustainable living If you stack up the facts, it does. People in this age group are making great strides to reclaim the earth and keep it healthy for future generations. Read on to learn how millennials are saving the environment. Just check out the Instagram feed of any 20-something, and it’ll quickly become clear millennials love to travel the world. Perhaps that’s why they want to preserve it. Unlike previous generations, which largely preferred to stay close to home, millennials understand how far-reaching their actions are on the globe because they’ve seen and appreciated more of it. Many advances in modes of transportation have made it easier than ever for millennials to both explore and appreciate the world, which leads them toward focusing more on eco-tourism. Millennials also love anything that’s trending. And right now, all things eco-friendly are bang on-trend. Reusable grocery bags, upcycled home décor and thrifted clothing are all trending topics that have made a tremendous impact on the way millennials live. Positive habits like these can become a seismic shift when an entire generation starts to practice them, and that’s the direction millennials are starting to head. More and more millennials have made substantial changes to their lifestyles to create and sustain a healthier earth. For instance, many 20-somethings have embraced a vegan lifestyle. By eliminating animal products from their diet, vegan eaters help reduce their negative impact on the earth. The cultivation of plant-based food uses less fuel and creates less carbon than animal products — by a long shot. This shift in lifestyle is indicative of a larger change in millennials’ point of view in general. Social Outreach Millennials aren’t afraid to stand up to fight for what they believe in. They’re willing to march against an initiative they don’t believe in, environmentally related or otherwise. They’re committed not only to voting, but also to voting consciously for politicians who share their belief that the earth is a precious asset. This willingness to go up against longstanding systems makes millennials the perfect advocate for nature, and certainly a vocal one, particularly on social platforms. Although older generations may see the Internet as something that gets in the way of real human interaction, millennials have a much different outlook. They rally around issues using platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. It’s easy for millennials to share the ways they’re living sustainably and get new ideas from fellow eco-minded friends. If you’re still not convinced that millennials are moving toward real, measurable change, just look at what the generation has already accomplished. Consider projects like Reforest Sri Lanka, led by young MBA students. Food to fashion It took them only 10 months to plant more than 26,000 trees in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, in the US, online platform iMatterNow has been spurring change. It encourages young people to take action regarding environmental policy or, at the very least, to get informed. These are just a few of the collective ways millennials have started pushing for a lasting shift in the way the world operates. There are also some movements that aren’t formally organized, and therefore fly under the radar. For instance, millennials tend to spend their dollars on products from environmentally conscious companies. This trend is directly affecting the way big companies market their goods and services. Many have even added pages to their websites that lay out their policies on sustainability. With millennials making so many moves to help nature not only survive, but thrive, it’s clear this generation has no ill will toward the environment. To the contrary, they’re seizing the opportunity to be the generation that makes a real long-lasting change in terms of eco-friendly living. As trends continue to move toward sustainability, in everything from food to fashion, you can expect millennials to only grow in their collective strength. Watch out for ways young people will change the world in years to come! By: Emily Folk https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Millennials are criticized for being selfish and entitled, but many are leading the way with the current eco-friendly trends. From owning tiny houses to eco-friendly tourism, millennials are proving to be an environmentally-conscious generation. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. Millennials adapt their lives to more eco-friendly living to protect the health of the planet Some older generations view millennials through a less-than-favourable lens. They might consider them self-centered, obsessed with technology, unwilling to conform to societalnorms or maybe all of the above. But this view of millennials isn’t necessarily accurate or fair. Take, for example, the steps millennials have taken to ensure the environment remains healthy for many years to come. It’s hard to argue current eco-friendly trends — see: tiny houses and thrift store shopping — stem largely from 20- and 30-somethings. But does that outweigh some of the potentially harmful habits of millennials? Sustainable living If you stack up the facts, it does. People in this age group are making great strides to reclaim the earth and keep it healthy for future generations. Read on to learn how millennials are saving the environment. Just check out the Instagram feed of any 20-something, and it’ll quickly become clear millennials love to travel the world. Perhaps that’s why they want to preserve it. Unlike previous generations, which largely preferred to stay close to home, millennials understand how far-reaching their actions are on the globe because they’ve seen and appreciated more of it. Many advances in modes of transportation have made it easier than ever for millennials to both explore and appreciate the world, which leads them toward focusing more on eco-tourism. Millennials also love anything that’s trending. And right now, all things eco-friendly are bang on-trend. Reusable grocery bags, upcycled home décor and thrifted clothing are all trending topics that have made a tremendous impact on the way millennials live. Positive habits like these can become a seismic shift when an entire generation starts to practice them, and that’s the direction millennials are starting to head. More and more millennials have made substantial changes to their lifestyles to create and sustain a healthier earth. For instance, many 20-somethings have embraced a vegan lifestyle. By eliminating animal products from their diet, vegan eaters help reduce their negative impact on the earth. The cultivation of plant-based food uses less fuel and creates less carbon than animal products — by a long shot. This shift in lifestyle is indicative of a larger change in millennials’ point of view in general. Social Outreach Millennials aren’t afraid to stand up to fight for what they believe in. They’re willing to march against an initiative they don’t believe in, environmentally related or otherwise. They’re committed not only to voting, but also to voting consciously for politicians who share their belief that the earth is a precious asset. This willingness to go up against longstanding systems makes millennials the perfect advocate for nature, and certainly a vocal one, particularly on social platforms. Although older generations may see the Internet as something that gets in the way of real human interaction, millennials have a much different outlook. They rally around issues using platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. It’s easy for millennials to share the ways they’re living sustainably and get new ideas from fellow eco-minded friends. If you’re still not convinced that millennials are moving toward real, measurable change, just look at what the generation has already accomplished. Consider projects like Reforest Sri Lanka, led by young MBA students. Food to fashion It took them only 10 months to plant more than 26,000 trees in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, in the US, online platform iMatterNow has been spurring change. It encourages young people to take action regarding environmental policy or, at the very least, to get informed. These are just a few of the collective ways millennials have started pushing for a lasting shift in the way the world operates. There are also some movements that aren’t formally organized, and therefore fly under the radar. For instance, millennials tend to spend their dollars on products from environmentally conscious companies. This trend is directly affecting the way big companies market their goods and services. Many have even added pages to their websites that lay out their policies on sustainability. With millennials making so many moves to help nature not only survive, but thrive, it’s clear this generation has no ill will toward the environment. To the contrary, they’re seizing the opportunity to be the generation that makes a real long-lasting change in terms of eco-friendly living. As trends continue to move toward sustainability, in everything from food to fashion, you can expect millennials to only grow in their collective strength. Watch out for ways young people will change the world in years to come! By: Emily Folk https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Millennials Live More Eco-Friendly To Protect The Planet
Millennials Live More Eco-Friendly To Protect The Planet
Volkswagen Type 20 EV Microbus Concept Is The Hippie Classic
Built to celebrate 20 years of VW's presence and technology in Silicon Valley, this electric VW Bus is a showcase for tech and packs a lot more horsepower than the original Type 2. Volkswagen Type 2 from 1962 gets Type 20 Microbus fully electric The Volkswagen Type 20 Microbus concept looks a whole lot like the classic 1962 Type 2 11-window bus on which it's based. Featuring a fully electric drivetrain, the Type 20 concept utilizes a single electric motor rated at 120 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. It's the product of VW's newly renamed Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC), which is now the maker's largest vehicle research facility outside Germany. The almost poetic attraction of the Sixties-era Volkswagen Microbus  is born again in this Type 20 Microbus concept, but it was actually made for a completely different, much more prosaic reason: to mark the new focus and direction of VW's engineering and research center in California. It will be a platform, not just for the EV drivetrain, but for various experimental purposes. This is not, of course, the first electric VW Bus—the I.D. Buzz concept from 2018 comes to mind—but it looks a lot more like the 1962 model than that futuristic-looking concept did. {youtube} The Innovation and Engineering Center comprises two entities, one for engineering and one for "innovation," and will focus on connected and autonomous driving projects along with R&D for Volkswagen Group brands. To mark the new focus and direction of the IECC, Volkswagen created the Type 20 Microbus–a vehicle that has been called variously Transporter, Kombi, Van, camper, or simply forward control–concept from the bones of a 1962 Type 2 11-window Microbus. On this concept, a 10.0-kWh battery teams with a 2500-watt onboard charger to provide energy for the 120-hp, 173 lb-ft electric motor. If that sounds a little on the soft side in this era of inexpensive horsepower, remember that the air-cooled 1.6-liter flat-four that powered the original Type 2 was good for less than 50 horsepower when new. Likewise, a custom-designed active pneumatic suspension developed with Porsche improves on the original's rudimentary setup and allows the Type 20 to rise as the driver approaches. Included software allows the vehicle’s ride height to be adjusted. VW used Autodesk "generative design" software which, in one of the most stereotypical California processes ever, "mimics natural evolution to create organic shapes." The software helped create the custom wheels, rearview-mirror supports, and interior support elements that maximize strength while minimizing weight. Three-zone speech-recognition system High-tech features include 20 integrated directional microphones that interact with an advanced three-zone speech-recognition system to be more "natural" and provide LED feedback to exterior commands through the headlights and the front VW logo. There's also biometric identification with real-time facial recognition thanks to a wide-angle camera integrated into the driver's-side second window. 3D A holographic display is integrated into the Type 20’s dashboard to generate 3D images without the need for specialized glasses, which we're sure will disappoint fashion-forward tech heads everywhere. The Microbus concept will go on display at the IECC in Silicon Valley as part of the facility's celebration of two decades in the high-tech mecca. By: Andrew Wendler https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
Built to celebrate 20 years of VW's presence and technology in Silicon Valley, this electric VW Bus is a showcase for tech and packs a lot more horsepower than the original Type 2. Volkswagen Type 2 from 1962 gets Type 20 Microbus fully electric The Volkswagen Type 20 Microbus concept looks a whole lot like the classic 1962 Type 2 11-window bus on which it's based. Featuring a fully electric drivetrain, the Type 20 concept utilizes a single electric motor rated at 120 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. It's the product of VW's newly renamed Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC), which is now the maker's largest vehicle research facility outside Germany. The almost poetic attraction of the Sixties-era Volkswagen Microbus  is born again in this Type 20 Microbus concept, but it was actually made for a completely different, much more prosaic reason: to mark the new focus and direction of VW's engineering and research center in California. It will be a platform, not just for the EV drivetrain, but for various experimental purposes. This is not, of course, the first electric VW Bus—the I.D. Buzz concept from 2018 comes to mind—but it looks a lot more like the 1962 model than that futuristic-looking concept did. {youtube} The Innovation and Engineering Center comprises two entities, one for engineering and one for "innovation," and will focus on connected and autonomous driving projects along with R&D for Volkswagen Group brands. To mark the new focus and direction of the IECC, Volkswagen created the Type 20 Microbus–a vehicle that has been called variously Transporter, Kombi, Van, camper, or simply forward control–concept from the bones of a 1962 Type 2 11-window Microbus. On this concept, a 10.0-kWh battery teams with a 2500-watt onboard charger to provide energy for the 120-hp, 173 lb-ft electric motor. If that sounds a little on the soft side in this era of inexpensive horsepower, remember that the air-cooled 1.6-liter flat-four that powered the original Type 2 was good for less than 50 horsepower when new. Likewise, a custom-designed active pneumatic suspension developed with Porsche improves on the original's rudimentary setup and allows the Type 20 to rise as the driver approaches. Included software allows the vehicle’s ride height to be adjusted. VW used Autodesk "generative design" software which, in one of the most stereotypical California processes ever, "mimics natural evolution to create organic shapes." The software helped create the custom wheels, rearview-mirror supports, and interior support elements that maximize strength while minimizing weight. Three-zone speech-recognition system High-tech features include 20 integrated directional microphones that interact with an advanced three-zone speech-recognition system to be more "natural" and provide LED feedback to exterior commands through the headlights and the front VW logo. There's also biometric identification with real-time facial recognition thanks to a wide-angle camera integrated into the driver's-side second window. 3D A holographic display is integrated into the Type 20’s dashboard to generate 3D images without the need for specialized glasses, which we're sure will disappoint fashion-forward tech heads everywhere. The Microbus concept will go on display at the IECC in Silicon Valley as part of the facility's celebration of two decades in the high-tech mecca. By: Andrew Wendler https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
Volkswagen Type 20 EV Microbus Concept Is The Hippie Classic
Volkswagen Type 20 EV Microbus Concept Is The Hippie Classic
Global Warming By CO2 Or Cooling By A Grand Solar Minimum
An approaching Grand Solar Minimum is gaining ever more support. Even NASA appears to be on-board, with their recent SC25 (solar cycle every 11 years) prediction. NASA’s forecast for the next solar cycle (25) reveals it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one. The agency’s results show that the next cycle will start in 2020 and reach its maximum in 2025. Three sources of sun observations The new research was led by Irina Kitiashvili, a researcher with the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Centre, in California’s Silicon Valley. It combined observations from two NASA space missions the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and the Solar Dynamics Observatory with data collected since 1976 from the ground-based National Solar Observatory. Kitiashvili’s method differs from other prediction tools in terms of the raw material for its forecast. Previously, researchers used the number of sunspots to represent indirectly the activity of the solar magnetic field. The new approach takes advantage of direct observations of magnetic fields emerging on the surface of the Sun data which has only existed for the last four solar cycles. According to the Actuaries Institute, in a solar minimum, when solar flares hit Earth, they have the ability to temporarily significantly change climatic conditions, earthquake and volcanic risks Mathematically combining the data from the three sources of Sun observations with the estimates of its interior activity generated a forecast designed to be more reliable than using any of those sources alone. In 2008 the researchers used this method to make their prediction, which was then put to the test as the current solar cycle unfolded over the last decade. It has performed well , with the forecast strength and timing of the solar maximum aligning closely with reality. Implications fort the earth and humanity NASA is effectively forecasting a return to the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) but gives no mention of the brutal cold, crop loss, famine, war and powerful Volcanic eruptions associated with it. Like the deeper Maunder and Spörer Minimums preceding it, the Dalton brought on a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2C decline over 20 years, which devastated the country’s food production. The Year Without a Summer also occurred during the Dalton Minimum, in 1816. It was caused by a combination of already low temperatures plus the aftereffects of the second largest volcanic eruption in 2000 years: Mount Tambora’s VEI 7 on April 10, 1815. {youtube} https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
An approaching Grand Solar Minimum is gaining ever more support. Even NASA appears to be on-board, with their recent SC25 (solar cycle every 11 years) prediction. NASA’s forecast for the next solar cycle (25) reveals it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one. The agency’s results show that the next cycle will start in 2020 and reach its maximum in 2025. Three sources of sun observations The new research was led by Irina Kitiashvili, a researcher with the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Centre, in California’s Silicon Valley. It combined observations from two NASA space missions the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and the Solar Dynamics Observatory with data collected since 1976 from the ground-based National Solar Observatory. Kitiashvili’s method differs from other prediction tools in terms of the raw material for its forecast. Previously, researchers used the number of sunspots to represent indirectly the activity of the solar magnetic field. The new approach takes advantage of direct observations of magnetic fields emerging on the surface of the Sun data which has only existed for the last four solar cycles. According to the Actuaries Institute, in a solar minimum, when solar flares hit Earth, they have the ability to temporarily significantly change climatic conditions, earthquake and volcanic risks Mathematically combining the data from the three sources of Sun observations with the estimates of its interior activity generated a forecast designed to be more reliable than using any of those sources alone. In 2008 the researchers used this method to make their prediction, which was then put to the test as the current solar cycle unfolded over the last decade. It has performed well , with the forecast strength and timing of the solar maximum aligning closely with reality. Implications fort the earth and humanity NASA is effectively forecasting a return to the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) but gives no mention of the brutal cold, crop loss, famine, war and powerful Volcanic eruptions associated with it. Like the deeper Maunder and Spörer Minimums preceding it, the Dalton brought on a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2C decline over 20 years, which devastated the country’s food production. The Year Without a Summer also occurred during the Dalton Minimum, in 1816. It was caused by a combination of already low temperatures plus the aftereffects of the second largest volcanic eruption in 2000 years: Mount Tambora’s VEI 7 on April 10, 1815. {youtube} https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Global Warming By CO2 Or Cooling By A Grand Solar Minimum
Energy Miracle Algae. 10.000 Barrels A Day, Less CO2: 2025
Biofuel is currently one of the solutions for saving CO2 emissions. But did you know that we can extract fuel from algae now? Algae biofuel is new on the market, and there are already a lot of investors directing millions of dollars into dozens of startups. One of those companies, supported by genomics pioneer Craig Venter, says it is on schedule to produce 10,000 barrels of biofuel a day by 2025.  The biofuel generations Algae-based biofuel is considered to be a third-generation biofuel. What are the biofuels in the first and second generation? First-generation biofuels are based on sugars, starch, vegetable oil or animal fats. These biofuels are usually food crops used as fuel, for example, corn, soy, sugar cane, oil palm. The second-generation biofuels are not related to food, but plants. They are produced as energy crops, for example, willows, straws, wood chips, and residual waste. And now the third-generation makes an appearance: biofuel extracted from algae. The benefits of algae biofuel Like mentioned above, algae biofuel is known as the third-generation biofuel, it can grow in salty water, unlike feedstocks like soy, corn and cane. Algae grows in water, and therefore, they do not need extra water like other plants do. So, algae do not compete with feedstocks or other use of plants for the need for water and arable land. Algae is not something we eat all the time, it does not fit in our daily diet, so the use of algae as a biofuel does not directly lead to food shortage. Another advantage of algae is that it grows throughout the year and not only in a specific season such as wheat and corn. Why the target of 10,000 barrels of biofuel a day by 2025? Synthetic Genome Inc. (SGI) is a biotech firm formed by, among others, Craig Venter. The company's target for 2025 is based on a breakthrough in Research and Development (R&D), where genetically modified algae is changed to encourage single-cell organisms to continue to produce fat without stopping their growth. SGI did an investigation into the genome and metabolism of the marine algae Nannochloropsis gaditana and published it in the journal from Natura Biotechnology. The researchers revealed a group of genes responsible for regulating oil production. By fine-tuning one of these genes with the powerful CRISPR editing tool, the team eventually doubled the amount of oil that the algae produced without significantly interfering with their growth. This breakthrough provided a glimpse of a scalable algae biofuel. What will the future bring us? The company is looking for outdoor ponds to grow the algae. So wherever salty water is available, and the water is consistently warm, algae can evolve. The developers are also looking at algae vats as a possible solution to CO2 emissions. The problem of increasing oil production has been solved, and making petrochemical products, ranging from fertilizers to plastics, should be relatively simple by then. One of the other founders of SGI, Juan Enriquez, sees a great future for algae, “you can make vaccines out of this substance, you can make medicines out of the substance, and you can make food out of this substance”. Biocrude oil to power vehicles, ships and even jets Engineers at the University of Utah have developed a way to change algae to biocrude. They created a new kind of 'jet mixer' which can turn algae into biomass, that extracts the fats with way less energy than the former extraction method. This way will also be less expensive than other alternatives. The research team is optimistic that their discovery of biomass itself will become a feasible, cost-effective alternative fuel . Biofuel experts and other (scientific) experts have sought a more economical way to turn algae into biocrude oil to power ships, vehicles and even jets. And now there might be a solution with the development of the "jet mixer". What changed? In a pond, lake or river, there are so-called lipids. These lipids are fatty acid molecules which contain oil. The oil can be extracted to use for power Diesel engines. The extraction of the lipids is called biocrude. That is why microalgae is an exciting form of biomass because it can be used as a sustainable fuel source. So far there has been one big problem: the use of algae for biomass, because it took a lot of energy to pull the lipids, the fat, from the algae. With the development of the 'jet mixer', things could change rapidly. It requires a lot of energy to extract the water from the plants at the start of the process, which was not practical, efficient or economical at all to turn algae into biofuel. A lot of people have researched new methods, but now there is a real chance to extract biofuel from algae with this new mixing extractor. The 'jet mixer' shoots streams of solvent at algae streams, so there will be some turbulence and the lipids "jump" into the flow of solvent. The solvent is letting go and can be recycled and can be used again in the process.   Is there more? Well, there could be more. This new technology could be used for other microorganisms as well, such as fungi, bacteria or any other microbial-derived oil. Soon, we could be using these third-generation biofuels to provide for our needs. By growing algae in such a large quantity (in ponds, raceways, bioreactors), it could have a positive effect at the atmosphere as well, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (Co2) in the air . Is this the revolution we are all waiting for?  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/general  
Biofuel is currently one of the solutions for saving CO2 emissions. But did you know that we can extract fuel from algae now? Algae biofuel is new on the market, and there are already a lot of investors directing millions of dollars into dozens of startups. One of those companies, supported by genomics pioneer Craig Venter, says it is on schedule to produce 10,000 barrels of biofuel a day by 2025.  The biofuel generations Algae-based biofuel is considered to be a third-generation biofuel. What are the biofuels in the first and second generation? First-generation biofuels are based on sugars, starch, vegetable oil or animal fats. These biofuels are usually food crops used as fuel, for example, corn, soy, sugar cane, oil palm. The second-generation biofuels are not related to food, but plants. They are produced as energy crops, for example, willows, straws, wood chips, and residual waste. And now the third-generation makes an appearance: biofuel extracted from algae. The benefits of algae biofuel Like mentioned above, algae biofuel is known as the third-generation biofuel, it can grow in salty water, unlike feedstocks like soy, corn and cane. Algae grows in water, and therefore, they do not need extra water like other plants do. So, algae do not compete with feedstocks or other use of plants for the need for water and arable land. Algae is not something we eat all the time, it does not fit in our daily diet, so the use of algae as a biofuel does not directly lead to food shortage. Another advantage of algae is that it grows throughout the year and not only in a specific season such as wheat and corn. Why the target of 10,000 barrels of biofuel a day by 2025? Synthetic Genome Inc. (SGI) is a biotech firm formed by, among others, Craig Venter. The company's target for 2025 is based on a breakthrough in Research and Development (R&D), where genetically modified algae is changed to encourage single-cell organisms to continue to produce fat without stopping their growth. SGI did an investigation into the genome and metabolism of the marine algae Nannochloropsis gaditana and published it in the journal from Natura Biotechnology. The researchers revealed a group of genes responsible for regulating oil production. By fine-tuning one of these genes with the powerful CRISPR editing tool, the team eventually doubled the amount of oil that the algae produced without significantly interfering with their growth. This breakthrough provided a glimpse of a scalable algae biofuel. What will the future bring us? The company is looking for outdoor ponds to grow the algae. So wherever salty water is available, and the water is consistently warm, algae can evolve. The developers are also looking at algae vats as a possible solution to CO2 emissions. The problem of increasing oil production has been solved, and making petrochemical products, ranging from fertilizers to plastics, should be relatively simple by then. One of the other founders of SGI, Juan Enriquez, sees a great future for algae, “you can make vaccines out of this substance, you can make medicines out of the substance, and you can make food out of this substance”. Biocrude oil to power vehicles, ships and even jets Engineers at the University of Utah have developed a way to change algae to biocrude. They created a new kind of 'jet mixer' which can turn algae into biomass, that extracts the fats with way less energy than the former extraction method. This way will also be less expensive than other alternatives. The research team is optimistic that their discovery of biomass itself will become a feasible, cost-effective alternative fuel . Biofuel experts and other (scientific) experts have sought a more economical way to turn algae into biocrude oil to power ships, vehicles and even jets. And now there might be a solution with the development of the "jet mixer". What changed? In a pond, lake or river, there are so-called lipids. These lipids are fatty acid molecules which contain oil. The oil can be extracted to use for power Diesel engines. The extraction of the lipids is called biocrude. That is why microalgae is an exciting form of biomass because it can be used as a sustainable fuel source. So far there has been one big problem: the use of algae for biomass, because it took a lot of energy to pull the lipids, the fat, from the algae. With the development of the 'jet mixer', things could change rapidly. It requires a lot of energy to extract the water from the plants at the start of the process, which was not practical, efficient or economical at all to turn algae into biofuel. A lot of people have researched new methods, but now there is a real chance to extract biofuel from algae with this new mixing extractor. The 'jet mixer' shoots streams of solvent at algae streams, so there will be some turbulence and the lipids "jump" into the flow of solvent. The solvent is letting go and can be recycled and can be used again in the process.   Is there more? Well, there could be more. This new technology could be used for other microorganisms as well, such as fungi, bacteria or any other microbial-derived oil. Soon, we could be using these third-generation biofuels to provide for our needs. By growing algae in such a large quantity (in ponds, raceways, bioreactors), it could have a positive effect at the atmosphere as well, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (Co2) in the air . Is this the revolution we are all waiting for?  https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/energy/general  
Energy Miracle Algae. 10.000 Barrels A Day, Less CO2: 2025
Energy Miracle Algae. 10.000 Barrels A Day, Less CO2: 2025
Climate Change Natural Man Made: Marching Towards Extinction
Climate Change Natural Man Made: Marching Towards Extinction is the second article in a series of 6 on the topic of climate change.   In Climate Change Natural Man Made: Causes and Facts , we took a deep-dive in the history, science and geography surrounding climate change. Now that we have gotten a basic understanding of what factors play an important role in the changing of our climate, we must look beyond the CO2. Yes, climate change is a complex issue that is never easy to discuss. Although it should be discussed frequently and fervently to avoid the ‘end of days’ so often cited by activists. This second article looks at the playing field that we, humans, created. It will discuss the forces within the world population itself that drive or hinder any efforts to counter climate change. It will look at the different societies, differing opinions across different geographic regions.   It will also look at groups who have a specific vested interest in the topic - like the fossil fuel industry, governments, the food and sugar industry, and lobbyists. But also at environmental groups, activists and innovators. Both sides of the board will be heard and assessed to get the answer to the most important question: who is on board to tackle climate change? Ignoring climate change? Is it too heavy?       The answer to the question above should be obvious. After all, who would not be on board to tackle a potentially catastrophic, mass-life-wiping-out event? Yet somehow, it has not been as straightforward. This funny thing called human psychology is really messing up what would be a clear plan moving forward.   It looks as if we have become immune to people telling us that we have just boarded a train that is racing down an unfinished track to eventually plummet off a deadly cliff. Yes, we know there are a bunch of stations in-between, where we can get off and ensure our safety. But after the fifth call announcing this sure and imminent death, we just do not feel as alarmed anymore.   In the past, this inconvenient little switch in our brain was actually quite helpful. Do you think cavemen ever worried about the next month? The next year? Or even a couple of years down the road? Chances are they were more concerned with finding food and shelter for the next few nights instead.   Survival instincts, which have always been a key element of our evolution, dictate that we look at the danger right in front of us - be it a sable tooth tiger or a taxi swerving towards us when crossing the street - and prioritise this over perhaps more significant dangers down the road. ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we get there’ has become an international motto, it seems, indicating that we leave any problem solving of pressing issues to the last possible moment. And while it may have indeed been a good idea to run away and hide when faced with a mad woolly mammoth instead of worrying about next year’s crops, this rarely ever applies today. We actually tend to avoid situations that scare us or make us uncomfortable as much as possible.   The truth is, we just do not like talking about ‘bad’ things. This thing called the probability bias is letting us ‘rationalise’ (or, more accurately, ‘irrationalise’) away things that we just want to avoid. We estimate the chances of it impacting us personally as too low to really care about. This leads to us being utterly helpless when it does in fact really happen. Whether it is us not being insured for floods or tornadoes (‘what are the odds of that happening to me’) or not taking action against climate change (‘it will surely last my lifetime’) - we just do not seem to care enough until it is too late. According to Norwegian psychologist Per Espen Stoknes, the level of concern regarding climate change has never been lower in rich Western democracies - dropping steadily as the pile of climate science-related research actually grew larger. He blamed this on five barriers that explain this seemingly irrational behaviour: distance, dissonance, doom, denial and identity. Climate change is simply too distant (in both actual proximity and time).   And while we know that we ought to save the polar bears and really care about these poor animals losing their habitat, we just cannot bring ourselves to really do something about it - even though we know we should. This is the dissonance that, coupled with the feeling of distance, lets us ignore the issue rather than take a stand. What are the conditions where the transit must take place? There is, however, a scientific way around this. Or so George Marshall thinks, specialist in climate change communications and writer of ‘ Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change ’. His claim is that we are much more likely to accept information if we are given a certain narrative. We should feel like it matters to us personally, it should be relatable.   Giving people a personal interest in climate change will rapidly change both their attitudes and actions. Scientific blah-blahs and statistics are just not rocking our boat. Instead, we must get in the minds of people and find out how they are thinking. What they are thinking. We should look at the people that they like, their leaders, and get them to transmit a message that is both accurate as well as relatable to their followers. Yes, this is already quite the job. After all, the world seems more polarised than ever before, with countries, religions, cultures, individuals, political parties and organisations occupying opposite ends of pretty much any spectrum. Opinions are seemingly becoming more extreme, often leaving little room for finding the ‘middle ground’.   This growing difference in opinion is often strictly correlated to the role someone plays in society. The wealth gap between the poorest and the richest is growing at an alarming pace, creating the ideal habitat for unrest. Those in the upper classes are mainly looking out to protect their share, while those who are not as lucky are screaming for more.   Inequality has increased anywhere in the world despite substantial geographical differences, with the richest 1% twice as wealthy as the poorest 50%. The results of the World Inequality Report 2018 This occurs both within as well as between countries. The rich, western countries are protecting their standard of life at all costs, even if this means exploiting other countries, natural resources or the environment at large. At the same time, developing countries are eager to obtain a similar life standard and will not hesitate to follow similar practices. Between the 7.7 billion of us walking this planet, surely enough people should care enough to actually make a tangible difference. Right? Well, let’s break down our potential troops. Facts are that half of the world population has to make do with a daily income below $ 5.50.   Putting aside the obvious fact that perhaps the countries that they live in will be able to get you more bang for this buck, it is still unreasonable to assume that those people are able to do more than just survive. If they are not even sure whether they have enough water to last the night, how can you expect them to care about clean drinking water? If they live in appalling conditions, how can you expect them to take a stance on climate change? That leaves us the other half of the world population, including most of the western world. Within this group, there are some 26 people who together earn more than the bottom half I mentioned before. Surely they will have enough resources to care about the world? Well, yes, although they - and along with them, most of the western countries - claim to be more social and sustainable than ever before, the reality is that they just aren’t moving enough sand. Let’s look at one example. Europe is battling a never-ending wave of extremist politicians, dividing their respective countries to the bone on issues like the European Union, socialism, refugees and - yes - climate change. Politicians seem more concerned with their own image and pleasing their supporters than they are with actually governing. The end result is a frightening lack of strong commitment: the voters do not care enough, which means that they do not. Vague long-term commitments and unclear timelines follow suit. Some might look at the Paris Agreement and say that this must surely be that raised fist that we were waiting for. Yet instead of spending this kind of money on cold-hard action, the five largest publicly listed oil and gas companies have since allocated a $1 billion budget on public relations and lobbying efforts. All meant to actively control, delay or block some of the policies that might hurt them. They are not alone. With them, companies and trade associations running the sugary food and drinks industry are spending nearly $25 million per year to lobby against similar policies; while car manufacturers are handing out a shabby $20 million per year on lobbying efforts. This is still nothing compared to the plastics industry, rallying vehemently against the plastics ban and having delayed it for several years.   It may be clear that our current governing system is heavily influenced by corporate interests. The all-mighty big corporations have plenty of money to spend on lawyers and PR campaigns, as well as personal gifts and all-expenses-paid trips to tropical resorts for politicians.   Lobbyists hold a great influence in Brussels and, well, pretty much anywhere else in the world. And those who do not have the money to spend - including NGO’s and corporations truly concerned about the environment - will find themselves unable to sway the political opinion.   European Union alternative energy investments Although, to say something positive about the European Union as well, they have gotten their renewable energy investments off in a pretty solid manner. At this time, more than 30% of electricity is generated by renewable sources, a vast increase from the 12% it was back in 2000. If this growth rate can be kept up, expectations are that the share of renewables in the total energy mix will be up to 50% by 2030.   The Netherlands: lagging In order to meet this number, some countries will have to take a good, hard look at their current policies. Within the EU, two countries that you might not expect to be are in fact severely lagging behind. Luxembourg (6.4%) and the Netherlands (6.6%) are at the bottom of the list when it comes to consumption of energy generated by renewable sources.   Despite several high-profile windfarm projects on the North Sea, the Netherlands is particularly far away from reaching its targets. Surprising, considering that this country will be hit hard by climate change due to the fact that a large part of the country is below sea level. United States of America Moving across the ocean, things aren’t all peachy either. While Europeans do not have much faith in their representatives, Americans are not feeling the love either. Evidence has pointed to Americans overwhelmingly disapproving of their Congress.   This is mainly the result of politicians not sharing their interests and priorities - and Congress not being a true representation of society. For instance, a majority of Congress and Senate members are millionaires, despite only about 1% of Americans having this kind of money in their bank account. How can these governing bodies even aspire to be a blueprint of society, representing all Americans equally, when their interests are so obviously skewed to those of the upper classes? United States alternative energy investments As an example of this, even though a majority of the US population might be in favour of more renewable energy sources, this is proving to be pretty hard to realise. Throughout the first half of 2016, about 13% of electricity was generated by renewable sources - a number that should not satisfy you for a number of reasons.   Despite President Trump claiming that the US has one of the ‘cleanest climates’, whatever that means, the facts are still worrying.   US greenhouse gas emissions In absolute numbers, the United States is no longer the single largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, having lost this position to China some time ago. It does, however, still rank extremely high in terms of per capita emissions. Higher than China and most other developed and industrialised countries.   And yes, the policies that were initiated by Barack Obama to switch from coal to gas have resulted in a decline of carbon emissions; yet experts estimate that the country will not even come close to meeting the target levels of cutting emissions by 26-28% compared to the 2005 levels by 2025. The election of a certain Donald J. Trump certainly has not improved this outlook, for several reasons. Fracking Thanks to practice of fracking - the blasting of dense shale rock with water, sand and chemicals to release tiny bubbles of fossil fuel - the United States has revved up its gas industry. It brought along a lot of pollution and water shortages. Not to mention leaks of methane, a huge contributor to climate change. A new study of water in Texas’ Barnett Shale area reveals "incredibly alarming" levels of contamination, with fracking the prime suspect Fossil fuel exploration Trump has made it his mission to loosen regulations regarding National Parks and protected areas, in doing so freeing up more land for expanding both the oil and gas industries. Drilling in the pristine wilderness of Alaska has been one of his spearheads, enraging many for destroying valuable nature areas while once again increasing the reliance on fossil fuels. Fuel efficiency standards Another hotly debated issue championed by Trump is the loosening of regulations on the automotive industry, reducing the need for higher fuel efficiency. A big thing, as fuel efficiency in the US has historically already been much lower than in other countries. Less fuel efficient cars, vans and trucks will once again increase emissions and pollution. International cooperation The list of potentially climate-wrecking policies and plans as initiated by the Donald does not stop there. His decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has, although it cannot be implemented during his term, already left a wake of destruction; with several other countries considering a withdrawal as well and fossil fuel companies and lobbyists regaining some of their power.   Climate denial Most will have heard the illustrious U.S. President flat out denying climate change , having called it a Chinese hoax and a Democratic plot to hurt the Republicans. It is not hard to see why such a statement of such an influential person will leave many of his followers in doubt as well. Hence, the United States boasts a much higher rate of climate change deniers than any other Western nation.   Water ‘ We have the cleanest water, it's crystal clean ,’ or so Mr. Trump has claimed, continuously emphasising how much he values this. His actions seem to point to the contrary, though, with policies aimed at cleaning up the U.S. water supply being rolled back and opening up protected streams and wetlands to potentially damaging pesticides and pollutants.   Air At the same time the very same businessman-turned-president exclaimed his desire for ‘the cleanest air’, he actually rolled back Obama’s plans to cut back greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants. Instead, he is hoping to open up more coal power plants and stations. Safe to say this will not get him the clean air he is hoping for. India Moving on to one of the more developing nations in the world, India, where we unfortunately see the same pattern of the rich and corrupt few governing the many. As India has a huge population of dirt-poor people, they are likely to be hit the hardest when it comes to climate change-initiated hits to their food sources, living accommodations and income.   Yet these people do not have a say in the matter, as the politicians deciding on climate change matters are worth millions and millions of dollars and, frankly, keep on raking in the dough by accepting huge cash donations from the ‘sponsors’ - who have a vested interest in keeping impactful measures at bay.   India’s alternative energy investments Besides China, India is the largest builder of renewable energy projects - mainly solar and wind, having resulted in some 75 gigawatts of solar, wind and other renewable sources having already been built and another 45 gigawatts well underway. A promising leap forward, although it has to be noted that the country still heavily relies on its coal industry - generating about 57% (2018) of the nation’s electricity needs.   As the country is growing and urbanising fast, it is unlikely to assume that the share of renewables is going to increase. China At the risk of sounding repetitive, China’s parliament is very out of touch with the regular people on the street as well. The 209 richest delegates together have a net worth exceeding the annual GDP of Sweden, a fortune that has often been made through corporate investments. They do not really hold any legislative sway within the Communist country, although their preference for keeping industry ‘as is’ is pretty obvious. China’s alternative energy investments In 2018 alone, China connected close to 21 gigawatts of wind capacity and 44 gigawatts of solar capacity to its grid. Staggering numbers from a nation that is committed to making renewable energy work, through its energy revolution. Unfortunately, the country is also investing heavily in coal, which is still the primary source of energy - despite claims of the government that it is produced using ‘ultra-low emission technology’.   Coal-fired power plants built in other countries Another proven tactic of China has been to build coal-fired power plants in other countries, using equipment that is no longer permitted within China’s borders. Countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia are overseeing builds of Chinese-funded and owned power plants - hardly a way of showing sustainable intent.   China's overseas ventures include hundreds of electric power plants that burn coal, which is a significant emitter of the carbon scientifically linked to climate change. Edward Cunningham, a specialist on China and its energy markets at Harvard University, tells NPR that China is building or planning more than 300 coal plants in places as widely spread as Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt and the Philippines Are we really motivated to change? Looking at all of those countries, it might come across as if they are not really motivated to change. All governments are unanimously proclaiming that they really want to change and care about the environment, but when looking at the numbers, it does not seem to match up. Most countries still subsidise the fossil fuel industry and allow lobbyists and corporations to take their seat at the table. Tax cuts for clean energy and production are stil minimal, while Western countries are not really eager to help the developing nations through their knowledge and expertise of clean technologies. Quite the contrary, they seem more concerned with preservering their own life standard rather than worrying about their environmental footprint across the border.   It are often the wealthy who govern, with the poor suffering the worst consequences of their actions. The poor live in the areas that will be affected badly and are unable to prepare for the negative effects. They will be the first to lose access to land, food and energy. So while the rich are largely responsible for climate change, they will be more likely to survive it and suffer the least.   Scientists and politicians We are actually looking at a battle between science and politics. While the latter is tainted by bribery, lobbying and bureaucracy, scientists are actively trying to apply their knowledge of engineering, technology and physics. But before they can do so, they first have to find a way of navigating this minefield called politics, that mainly seems to serve the self-interests of the wealthiest.   Worrisome prognoses Realistically, chances aren’t great of any world leader turning to a big corporation like Shell and telling them to completely change their business model or shut down altogether. And, let’s be honest, we cannot truly expect those kind of multinationals to radically change course overnight. What we can do, however, is to provide incentives to make this change more appealing. Financially attractive. Feasible, from a business point of view. It can be done. Some countries have already successfully cut back their carbon dioxide emissions. It requires legislation, regulation, persuasion and conviction - but it can be done. Even then we will not be able to save ‘all’, but at least we can still take care of a good chunk of it.   This will prevent a potentially disastrous butterfly effect, where poor countries will become even poorer as a result of fewer resources available to the many and where climate refugees will become a hot issue - one that, I am afraid, will not be handled well when looking at the current refugee crises in Europe and Central America.   ‘Last call’ for our politicians. The protests around the world Perhaps what the world needs first is a change in mindset. Not of the leaders, but from the bottom up. Recent protests have shown how loud the voice of the people can be, if only they are convinced of their own right. Media has jumped on these protests, amplifying the message that enough is enough - and climate change can no longer be ignored by those in power.   An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school on the 15th of March 2019 to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history We are entering the end-game of climate change. Either we keep on marching towards our own extinction, or we take action and hold those in power accountable.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Climate Change Natural Man Made: Marching Towards Extinction is the second article in a series of 6 on the topic of climate change.   In Climate Change Natural Man Made: Causes and Facts , we took a deep-dive in the history, science and geography surrounding climate change. Now that we have gotten a basic understanding of what factors play an important role in the changing of our climate, we must look beyond the CO2. Yes, climate change is a complex issue that is never easy to discuss. Although it should be discussed frequently and fervently to avoid the ‘end of days’ so often cited by activists. This second article looks at the playing field that we, humans, created. It will discuss the forces within the world population itself that drive or hinder any efforts to counter climate change. It will look at the different societies, differing opinions across different geographic regions.   It will also look at groups who have a specific vested interest in the topic - like the fossil fuel industry, governments, the food and sugar industry, and lobbyists. But also at environmental groups, activists and innovators. Both sides of the board will be heard and assessed to get the answer to the most important question: who is on board to tackle climate change? Ignoring climate change? Is it too heavy?       The answer to the question above should be obvious. After all, who would not be on board to tackle a potentially catastrophic, mass-life-wiping-out event? Yet somehow, it has not been as straightforward. This funny thing called human psychology is really messing up what would be a clear plan moving forward.   It looks as if we have become immune to people telling us that we have just boarded a train that is racing down an unfinished track to eventually plummet off a deadly cliff. Yes, we know there are a bunch of stations in-between, where we can get off and ensure our safety. But after the fifth call announcing this sure and imminent death, we just do not feel as alarmed anymore.   In the past, this inconvenient little switch in our brain was actually quite helpful. Do you think cavemen ever worried about the next month? The next year? Or even a couple of years down the road? Chances are they were more concerned with finding food and shelter for the next few nights instead.   Survival instincts, which have always been a key element of our evolution, dictate that we look at the danger right in front of us - be it a sable tooth tiger or a taxi swerving towards us when crossing the street - and prioritise this over perhaps more significant dangers down the road. ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we get there’ has become an international motto, it seems, indicating that we leave any problem solving of pressing issues to the last possible moment. And while it may have indeed been a good idea to run away and hide when faced with a mad woolly mammoth instead of worrying about next year’s crops, this rarely ever applies today. We actually tend to avoid situations that scare us or make us uncomfortable as much as possible.   The truth is, we just do not like talking about ‘bad’ things. This thing called the probability bias is letting us ‘rationalise’ (or, more accurately, ‘irrationalise’) away things that we just want to avoid. We estimate the chances of it impacting us personally as too low to really care about. This leads to us being utterly helpless when it does in fact really happen. Whether it is us not being insured for floods or tornadoes (‘what are the odds of that happening to me’) or not taking action against climate change (‘it will surely last my lifetime’) - we just do not seem to care enough until it is too late. According to Norwegian psychologist Per Espen Stoknes, the level of concern regarding climate change has never been lower in rich Western democracies - dropping steadily as the pile of climate science-related research actually grew larger. He blamed this on five barriers that explain this seemingly irrational behaviour: distance, dissonance, doom, denial and identity. Climate change is simply too distant (in both actual proximity and time).   And while we know that we ought to save the polar bears and really care about these poor animals losing their habitat, we just cannot bring ourselves to really do something about it - even though we know we should. This is the dissonance that, coupled with the feeling of distance, lets us ignore the issue rather than take a stand. What are the conditions where the transit must take place? There is, however, a scientific way around this. Or so George Marshall thinks, specialist in climate change communications and writer of ‘ Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change ’. His claim is that we are much more likely to accept information if we are given a certain narrative. We should feel like it matters to us personally, it should be relatable.   Giving people a personal interest in climate change will rapidly change both their attitudes and actions. Scientific blah-blahs and statistics are just not rocking our boat. Instead, we must get in the minds of people and find out how they are thinking. What they are thinking. We should look at the people that they like, their leaders, and get them to transmit a message that is both accurate as well as relatable to their followers. Yes, this is already quite the job. After all, the world seems more polarised than ever before, with countries, religions, cultures, individuals, political parties and organisations occupying opposite ends of pretty much any spectrum. Opinions are seemingly becoming more extreme, often leaving little room for finding the ‘middle ground’.   This growing difference in opinion is often strictly correlated to the role someone plays in society. The wealth gap between the poorest and the richest is growing at an alarming pace, creating the ideal habitat for unrest. Those in the upper classes are mainly looking out to protect their share, while those who are not as lucky are screaming for more.   Inequality has increased anywhere in the world despite substantial geographical differences, with the richest 1% twice as wealthy as the poorest 50%. The results of the World Inequality Report 2018 This occurs both within as well as between countries. The rich, western countries are protecting their standard of life at all costs, even if this means exploiting other countries, natural resources or the environment at large. At the same time, developing countries are eager to obtain a similar life standard and will not hesitate to follow similar practices. Between the 7.7 billion of us walking this planet, surely enough people should care enough to actually make a tangible difference. Right? Well, let’s break down our potential troops. Facts are that half of the world population has to make do with a daily income below $ 5.50.   Putting aside the obvious fact that perhaps the countries that they live in will be able to get you more bang for this buck, it is still unreasonable to assume that those people are able to do more than just survive. If they are not even sure whether they have enough water to last the night, how can you expect them to care about clean drinking water? If they live in appalling conditions, how can you expect them to take a stance on climate change? That leaves us the other half of the world population, including most of the western world. Within this group, there are some 26 people who together earn more than the bottom half I mentioned before. Surely they will have enough resources to care about the world? Well, yes, although they - and along with them, most of the western countries - claim to be more social and sustainable than ever before, the reality is that they just aren’t moving enough sand. Let’s look at one example. Europe is battling a never-ending wave of extremist politicians, dividing their respective countries to the bone on issues like the European Union, socialism, refugees and - yes - climate change. Politicians seem more concerned with their own image and pleasing their supporters than they are with actually governing. The end result is a frightening lack of strong commitment: the voters do not care enough, which means that they do not. Vague long-term commitments and unclear timelines follow suit. Some might look at the Paris Agreement and say that this must surely be that raised fist that we were waiting for. Yet instead of spending this kind of money on cold-hard action, the five largest publicly listed oil and gas companies have since allocated a $1 billion budget on public relations and lobbying efforts. All meant to actively control, delay or block some of the policies that might hurt them. They are not alone. With them, companies and trade associations running the sugary food and drinks industry are spending nearly $25 million per year to lobby against similar policies; while car manufacturers are handing out a shabby $20 million per year on lobbying efforts. This is still nothing compared to the plastics industry, rallying vehemently against the plastics ban and having delayed it for several years.   It may be clear that our current governing system is heavily influenced by corporate interests. The all-mighty big corporations have plenty of money to spend on lawyers and PR campaigns, as well as personal gifts and all-expenses-paid trips to tropical resorts for politicians.   Lobbyists hold a great influence in Brussels and, well, pretty much anywhere else in the world. And those who do not have the money to spend - including NGO’s and corporations truly concerned about the environment - will find themselves unable to sway the political opinion.   European Union alternative energy investments Although, to say something positive about the European Union as well, they have gotten their renewable energy investments off in a pretty solid manner. At this time, more than 30% of electricity is generated by renewable sources, a vast increase from the 12% it was back in 2000. If this growth rate can be kept up, expectations are that the share of renewables in the total energy mix will be up to 50% by 2030.   The Netherlands: lagging In order to meet this number, some countries will have to take a good, hard look at their current policies. Within the EU, two countries that you might not expect to be are in fact severely lagging behind. Luxembourg (6.4%) and the Netherlands (6.6%) are at the bottom of the list when it comes to consumption of energy generated by renewable sources.   Despite several high-profile windfarm projects on the North Sea, the Netherlands is particularly far away from reaching its targets. Surprising, considering that this country will be hit hard by climate change due to the fact that a large part of the country is below sea level. United States of America Moving across the ocean, things aren’t all peachy either. While Europeans do not have much faith in their representatives, Americans are not feeling the love either. Evidence has pointed to Americans overwhelmingly disapproving of their Congress.   This is mainly the result of politicians not sharing their interests and priorities - and Congress not being a true representation of society. For instance, a majority of Congress and Senate members are millionaires, despite only about 1% of Americans having this kind of money in their bank account. How can these governing bodies even aspire to be a blueprint of society, representing all Americans equally, when their interests are so obviously skewed to those of the upper classes? United States alternative energy investments As an example of this, even though a majority of the US population might be in favour of more renewable energy sources, this is proving to be pretty hard to realise. Throughout the first half of 2016, about 13% of electricity was generated by renewable sources - a number that should not satisfy you for a number of reasons.   Despite President Trump claiming that the US has one of the ‘cleanest climates’, whatever that means, the facts are still worrying.   US greenhouse gas emissions In absolute numbers, the United States is no longer the single largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, having lost this position to China some time ago. It does, however, still rank extremely high in terms of per capita emissions. Higher than China and most other developed and industrialised countries.   And yes, the policies that were initiated by Barack Obama to switch from coal to gas have resulted in a decline of carbon emissions; yet experts estimate that the country will not even come close to meeting the target levels of cutting emissions by 26-28% compared to the 2005 levels by 2025. The election of a certain Donald J. Trump certainly has not improved this outlook, for several reasons. Fracking Thanks to practice of fracking - the blasting of dense shale rock with water, sand and chemicals to release tiny bubbles of fossil fuel - the United States has revved up its gas industry. It brought along a lot of pollution and water shortages. Not to mention leaks of methane, a huge contributor to climate change. A new study of water in Texas’ Barnett Shale area reveals "incredibly alarming" levels of contamination, with fracking the prime suspect Fossil fuel exploration Trump has made it his mission to loosen regulations regarding National Parks and protected areas, in doing so freeing up more land for expanding both the oil and gas industries. Drilling in the pristine wilderness of Alaska has been one of his spearheads, enraging many for destroying valuable nature areas while once again increasing the reliance on fossil fuels. Fuel efficiency standards Another hotly debated issue championed by Trump is the loosening of regulations on the automotive industry, reducing the need for higher fuel efficiency. A big thing, as fuel efficiency in the US has historically already been much lower than in other countries. Less fuel efficient cars, vans and trucks will once again increase emissions and pollution. International cooperation The list of potentially climate-wrecking policies and plans as initiated by the Donald does not stop there. His decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has, although it cannot be implemented during his term, already left a wake of destruction; with several other countries considering a withdrawal as well and fossil fuel companies and lobbyists regaining some of their power.   Climate denial Most will have heard the illustrious U.S. President flat out denying climate change , having called it a Chinese hoax and a Democratic plot to hurt the Republicans. It is not hard to see why such a statement of such an influential person will leave many of his followers in doubt as well. Hence, the United States boasts a much higher rate of climate change deniers than any other Western nation.   Water ‘ We have the cleanest water, it's crystal clean ,’ or so Mr. Trump has claimed, continuously emphasising how much he values this. His actions seem to point to the contrary, though, with policies aimed at cleaning up the U.S. water supply being rolled back and opening up protected streams and wetlands to potentially damaging pesticides and pollutants.   Air At the same time the very same businessman-turned-president exclaimed his desire for ‘the cleanest air’, he actually rolled back Obama’s plans to cut back greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants. Instead, he is hoping to open up more coal power plants and stations. Safe to say this will not get him the clean air he is hoping for. India Moving on to one of the more developing nations in the world, India, where we unfortunately see the same pattern of the rich and corrupt few governing the many. As India has a huge population of dirt-poor people, they are likely to be hit the hardest when it comes to climate change-initiated hits to their food sources, living accommodations and income.   Yet these people do not have a say in the matter, as the politicians deciding on climate change matters are worth millions and millions of dollars and, frankly, keep on raking in the dough by accepting huge cash donations from the ‘sponsors’ - who have a vested interest in keeping impactful measures at bay.   India’s alternative energy investments Besides China, India is the largest builder of renewable energy projects - mainly solar and wind, having resulted in some 75 gigawatts of solar, wind and other renewable sources having already been built and another 45 gigawatts well underway. A promising leap forward, although it has to be noted that the country still heavily relies on its coal industry - generating about 57% (2018) of the nation’s electricity needs.   As the country is growing and urbanising fast, it is unlikely to assume that the share of renewables is going to increase. China At the risk of sounding repetitive, China’s parliament is very out of touch with the regular people on the street as well. The 209 richest delegates together have a net worth exceeding the annual GDP of Sweden, a fortune that has often been made through corporate investments. They do not really hold any legislative sway within the Communist country, although their preference for keeping industry ‘as is’ is pretty obvious. China’s alternative energy investments In 2018 alone, China connected close to 21 gigawatts of wind capacity and 44 gigawatts of solar capacity to its grid. Staggering numbers from a nation that is committed to making renewable energy work, through its energy revolution. Unfortunately, the country is also investing heavily in coal, which is still the primary source of energy - despite claims of the government that it is produced using ‘ultra-low emission technology’.   Coal-fired power plants built in other countries Another proven tactic of China has been to build coal-fired power plants in other countries, using equipment that is no longer permitted within China’s borders. Countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia are overseeing builds of Chinese-funded and owned power plants - hardly a way of showing sustainable intent.   China's overseas ventures include hundreds of electric power plants that burn coal, which is a significant emitter of the carbon scientifically linked to climate change. Edward Cunningham, a specialist on China and its energy markets at Harvard University, tells NPR that China is building or planning more than 300 coal plants in places as widely spread as Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt and the Philippines Are we really motivated to change? Looking at all of those countries, it might come across as if they are not really motivated to change. All governments are unanimously proclaiming that they really want to change and care about the environment, but when looking at the numbers, it does not seem to match up. Most countries still subsidise the fossil fuel industry and allow lobbyists and corporations to take their seat at the table. Tax cuts for clean energy and production are stil minimal, while Western countries are not really eager to help the developing nations through their knowledge and expertise of clean technologies. Quite the contrary, they seem more concerned with preservering their own life standard rather than worrying about their environmental footprint across the border.   It are often the wealthy who govern, with the poor suffering the worst consequences of their actions. The poor live in the areas that will be affected badly and are unable to prepare for the negative effects. They will be the first to lose access to land, food and energy. So while the rich are largely responsible for climate change, they will be more likely to survive it and suffer the least.   Scientists and politicians We are actually looking at a battle between science and politics. While the latter is tainted by bribery, lobbying and bureaucracy, scientists are actively trying to apply their knowledge of engineering, technology and physics. But before they can do so, they first have to find a way of navigating this minefield called politics, that mainly seems to serve the self-interests of the wealthiest.   Worrisome prognoses Realistically, chances aren’t great of any world leader turning to a big corporation like Shell and telling them to completely change their business model or shut down altogether. And, let’s be honest, we cannot truly expect those kind of multinationals to radically change course overnight. What we can do, however, is to provide incentives to make this change more appealing. Financially attractive. Feasible, from a business point of view. It can be done. Some countries have already successfully cut back their carbon dioxide emissions. It requires legislation, regulation, persuasion and conviction - but it can be done. Even then we will not be able to save ‘all’, but at least we can still take care of a good chunk of it.   This will prevent a potentially disastrous butterfly effect, where poor countries will become even poorer as a result of fewer resources available to the many and where climate refugees will become a hot issue - one that, I am afraid, will not be handled well when looking at the current refugee crises in Europe and Central America.   ‘Last call’ for our politicians. The protests around the world Perhaps what the world needs first is a change in mindset. Not of the leaders, but from the bottom up. Recent protests have shown how loud the voice of the people can be, if only they are convinced of their own right. Media has jumped on these protests, amplifying the message that enough is enough - and climate change can no longer be ignored by those in power.   An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school on the 15th of March 2019 to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history We are entering the end-game of climate change. Either we keep on marching towards our own extinction, or we take action and hold those in power accountable.   https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
Climate Change Natural Man Made: Marching Towards Extinction
Climate Change Natural Man Made: Marching Towards Extinction
Electric Bicycles And Cars Were Ones Classic Models: Retro
Does your heart skip a beat when you spot a vintage car, for example, a Volkswagen Beetle or a Fiat 500? Or do you like riding your traditional bike? Good news for the retro fanatic: with an e-bike conversion kit you can easily transform your retro two-wheeler into a high-performance power-assisted bike. The next step? More and more environment friendly classical cars are being made. In this article, we tell you all about the most recent developments around electric transport – retro style. The increasingly popularity of e-bikes E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular all over the globe. If you look at Europe alone, electric bicycles account for almost half of all bicycle sales. For some time now, the number of e-bike manufacturers has exploded to satisfy each and every customer demand and to propose a model adapted to all possible tastes and uses – like the love for retro transport. We get why the Europeans are so enthusiastic about the e-bike: cycling on an e-bike is comfortable and well suited for long distances. You can move very quickly with very little effort. An e-bike can easily replace a car or scooter in a sustainable way. Even the traditional manufacturers of scooters, motorcycles or cars such as Lamborghini, Peugeot and BMW have started to propose their own models of e-bikes. Today, anyone can buy a brand new e-bike: the prices start around a 1.000 euros. In different cities all over the world an e-bike can also be rented via various sharing services. Turn your traditional two-wheeler into an e-bike Are you just too attached to your old and trusted two-wheeler? The purchase of a brand new electric bicycle is no longer necessary: with an e-bike conversion kit, you can transform your bike into an e-bike. And not just an e-bike: a high-performance power-assisted bike connected to your smartphone. Cool! When you are done with installing the conversion kit, your traditional bike will work the same as a ´normal´ e-bike, the engine is activated by pedalling and will stop when the brakes are activated or if the pedalling stops. Without too much effort, the newly made e-bike will be able to reach 25 km per hour - even with the most basic setup. There are even conversion kits that can allow exceeding 80 km per hour. Before ordering those, it makes good sense to pay close attention to the legislation in your country to necessary insurance coverage in order to be prepared in case of an accident or a fall. In most cases, the e-bike should have a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which “the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) or if the cyclist stops pedalling." {youtube} Motorized wheels or a motor in the pedal block The simplest for these e-bike transformations is to replace one of the wheels with a new wheel, equipped with a motor and a battery. The French start-up Rool'in, for example, offers these motorized wheels. The provided battery recharges in four hours via a standard electrical outlet and will provide power for a range of 50 to 60 kilometers. Since 2015, Rool'in sells motorized wheels of all sizes that fit all types of bicycles. The pricetag? A 26-inch wheel costs around 400 euros, the price for a 28-inch wheel is 800 euros. If you want to connect your self-converted electric bicycle to your smartphone, the best choice is the VeloKit. This wheel, which will cost you 900 euro, comes with five gears that you can operate via your telephone. A popular brand that offers these kind of models for city bikes, mountain biking, cross-country or racing bikes is Befang. Some of the models are comptatible with different kind of smartphones. Several riding modes of driving are available. These include a pedestrian mode to circulate at low speed without pedalling or to advance at full speed without pedalling, and to vary the gears according to the road. Give your familiar traditional bike an electric upgrade with these conversion kits! Rechargeable classic rides What´s next? Well, if you just fitted your retro classical bicycle with an E-bike conversion kit you could start thinking about the next step: an environment friendly and groovy electric classical car. You are lucky - more and more classic electric cars are turned electric. Many manufacturers are working on environmentally friendly version of classics. Fiat, for example, has already promised an electric Fiat 500 in 2020. Also, Volkswagen is rumoured to be working on an electric VW Beetle . Curious which of the coolest electric retro cars you can take out for a sustainable drive in the near future? Nobe 100: a beautiful retro three-wheeled electric "car"  The electric Luka EV will take you to the sixties Like the 1960’s? This is the electric car for you. The Luka EV by MV Motors was influenced by the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Volvo P1800. The retro style takes you right to the sixties. A combination of a lightweight car and the battery pack means up to 300km (186 miles) driving range - and the battery can also charge up to 80 per cent in around an hour.  Electric Carice Mk1: the perfect electric car for a sporty ride Inspired by the 50's vintage Porsche models, this electric car is cooler than cool. And also unique. Initially, only 10 are being made (but more will roll off the production line if demand is there). We can already see ourselves drive this two-seater sports car! This cool E-Type Jaguar is E-lectric Jaguar has also brought an electric car on the market: the stylish E-Type Jaguar. This electric Jaguar has a driving range up to 170 miles using a 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which will be fully recharged in around six or seven hours. Note that you can choose from various options, like a modern or a  vintage interior . That is why there is no list price for this car. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
Does your heart skip a beat when you spot a vintage car, for example, a Volkswagen Beetle or a Fiat 500? Or do you like riding your traditional bike? Good news for the retro fanatic: with an e-bike conversion kit you can easily transform your retro two-wheeler into a high-performance power-assisted bike. The next step? More and more environment friendly classical cars are being made. In this article, we tell you all about the most recent developments around electric transport – retro style. The increasingly popularity of e-bikes E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular all over the globe. If you look at Europe alone, electric bicycles account for almost half of all bicycle sales. For some time now, the number of e-bike manufacturers has exploded to satisfy each and every customer demand and to propose a model adapted to all possible tastes and uses – like the love for retro transport. We get why the Europeans are so enthusiastic about the e-bike: cycling on an e-bike is comfortable and well suited for long distances. You can move very quickly with very little effort. An e-bike can easily replace a car or scooter in a sustainable way. Even the traditional manufacturers of scooters, motorcycles or cars such as Lamborghini, Peugeot and BMW have started to propose their own models of e-bikes. Today, anyone can buy a brand new e-bike: the prices start around a 1.000 euros. In different cities all over the world an e-bike can also be rented via various sharing services. Turn your traditional two-wheeler into an e-bike Are you just too attached to your old and trusted two-wheeler? The purchase of a brand new electric bicycle is no longer necessary: with an e-bike conversion kit, you can transform your bike into an e-bike. And not just an e-bike: a high-performance power-assisted bike connected to your smartphone. Cool! When you are done with installing the conversion kit, your traditional bike will work the same as a ´normal´ e-bike, the engine is activated by pedalling and will stop when the brakes are activated or if the pedalling stops. Without too much effort, the newly made e-bike will be able to reach 25 km per hour - even with the most basic setup. There are even conversion kits that can allow exceeding 80 km per hour. Before ordering those, it makes good sense to pay close attention to the legislation in your country to necessary insurance coverage in order to be prepared in case of an accident or a fall. In most cases, the e-bike should have a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which “the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) or if the cyclist stops pedalling." {youtube} Motorized wheels or a motor in the pedal block The simplest for these e-bike transformations is to replace one of the wheels with a new wheel, equipped with a motor and a battery. The French start-up Rool'in, for example, offers these motorized wheels. The provided battery recharges in four hours via a standard electrical outlet and will provide power for a range of 50 to 60 kilometers. Since 2015, Rool'in sells motorized wheels of all sizes that fit all types of bicycles. The pricetag? A 26-inch wheel costs around 400 euros, the price for a 28-inch wheel is 800 euros. If you want to connect your self-converted electric bicycle to your smartphone, the best choice is the VeloKit. This wheel, which will cost you 900 euro, comes with five gears that you can operate via your telephone. A popular brand that offers these kind of models for city bikes, mountain biking, cross-country or racing bikes is Befang. Some of the models are comptatible with different kind of smartphones. Several riding modes of driving are available. These include a pedestrian mode to circulate at low speed without pedalling or to advance at full speed without pedalling, and to vary the gears according to the road. Give your familiar traditional bike an electric upgrade with these conversion kits! Rechargeable classic rides What´s next? Well, if you just fitted your retro classical bicycle with an E-bike conversion kit you could start thinking about the next step: an environment friendly and groovy electric classical car. You are lucky - more and more classic electric cars are turned electric. Many manufacturers are working on environmentally friendly version of classics. Fiat, for example, has already promised an electric Fiat 500 in 2020. Also, Volkswagen is rumoured to be working on an electric VW Beetle . Curious which of the coolest electric retro cars you can take out for a sustainable drive in the near future? Nobe 100: a beautiful retro three-wheeled electric "car"  The electric Luka EV will take you to the sixties Like the 1960’s? This is the electric car for you. The Luka EV by MV Motors was influenced by the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Volvo P1800. The retro style takes you right to the sixties. A combination of a lightweight car and the battery pack means up to 300km (186 miles) driving range - and the battery can also charge up to 80 per cent in around an hour.  Electric Carice Mk1: the perfect electric car for a sporty ride Inspired by the 50's vintage Porsche models, this electric car is cooler than cool. And also unique. Initially, only 10 are being made (but more will roll off the production line if demand is there). We can already see ourselves drive this two-seater sports car! This cool E-Type Jaguar is E-lectric Jaguar has also brought an electric car on the market: the stylish E-Type Jaguar. This electric Jaguar has a driving range up to 170 miles using a 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which will be fully recharged in around six or seven hours. Note that you can choose from various options, like a modern or a  vintage interior . That is why there is no list price for this car. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
Electric Bicycles And Cars Were Ones Classic Models: Retro
Electric Bicycles And Cars Were Ones Classic Models: Retro
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hospitality Influencers: Tourism Damage
The sand between your toes, the sun on your face, a light ocean breeze through your hair… For a lot of people this is the perfect description of a perfect holiday. The view of the ocean guarantees that sunny holiday feeling. Therefore, millions of people each year will go on a trip to the sea. But the ocean is of course much more than just a nice place of interest for tourists: it is a source of income for people that work in sea fishing, who provides us with the inhabitants of the ocean, fish, in other words: proteins. But first of all, the ocean is the home of billions of species - it is the source of life. And tourism is destroying that source. Sustainable tourism: here to rescue our oceans The majority of our earth's surface consists of water: the ocean is enormous and is needed for humanity to survive. World Economic Forum wonders: ‘what happens when it is facing a crisis and cannot revitalize its own wounds?’ Through human activities, according to scientists, 90% of the coral reefs in the ocean will have died in 2050. It doesn't help that more and more people can and will travel: World Economic Forum writes that according to United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourist trips worldwide reached 1.3 billion in 2017 and is predicted to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. All that traveling and the accompanying economic growth puts enormous pressure on natural resources and biodiversity. Tourism can therefore be disastrous for the ocean and nature, but sustainable tourism can also be a solution to various problems concerning the wellbeing of the ocean. Awareness through an eco-promise Well-known cities, like Amsterdam or Barcelona, must deal with a growing flow of tourists. Touristic-driven gentrification has major consequences for the inhabitants of the cities, such as higher house prices, but the impact on nature is massive: in coastal areas, for example, there is a higher level of coastal erosion, for example. Palau and New Zealand came up with a smart solution for this problem: they had visitors to their country sign an eco-promise. Awareness is the key word to be able to preserve nature for future generations: especially now that pictures on social media like Instagram and Facebook, but also digital platforms as AirBnB and Tripadvisor are boosting tourism more and more. Photo by: Hans van der Broek. Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam Biodegradable sunscreen lotions Another major danger to the ocean is sunscreen. Did you know The more beach-goers, the more toxic sunscreen gets into our seas. According to research, the toxic pathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, oxybenzone, are disastrous for the ocean. It causes water pollution, coral mortality and rising sea temperatures. In Mexico, Aruba and Hawaii there is a ban on non-biodegradable sunscreen lotions. Also in this case, awareness is very important: you can buy biodegradable sunscreen for a few extra euros - and the result is priceless. Strategic partnerships to save our oceans Plastic is a big problem for the ocean . Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this fact: not only plastic bags, straws and cigarette butts are a danger, but also micro plastic from care products. There is so much plastic in the sea that it is almost impossible to clean up. You may know the Thai Maya Beach, where the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot. That is now one of the best-known hot spots in Thailand. Unfortunately, the bounty island was contaminated by more and more plastic. In October 2018, Thailand closed the beach to clean up the enormous havoc of plastic. To be able to do this globally, cooperation between countries and regions is needed, but strategic partnerships are crucial. This also applies to packaging products in order to reduce the pollution of the oceans. Sustainable tourism can save the ocean from a collapse: we just have to do it together. Awareness is therefore more important than ever. Do you still want to go on those beautiful beach vacations? Make these vacations green! Adjust your travel behaviour and make sure that your grandchildren can still enjoy the beaches with their children. The ocean needs our help! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
The sand between your toes, the sun on your face, a light ocean breeze through your hair… For a lot of people this is the perfect description of a perfect holiday. The view of the ocean guarantees that sunny holiday feeling. Therefore, millions of people each year will go on a trip to the sea. But the ocean is of course much more than just a nice place of interest for tourists: it is a source of income for people that work in sea fishing, who provides us with the inhabitants of the ocean, fish, in other words: proteins. But first of all, the ocean is the home of billions of species - it is the source of life. And tourism is destroying that source. Sustainable tourism: here to rescue our oceans The majority of our earth's surface consists of water: the ocean is enormous and is needed for humanity to survive. World Economic Forum wonders: ‘what happens when it is facing a crisis and cannot revitalize its own wounds?’ Through human activities, according to scientists, 90% of the coral reefs in the ocean will have died in 2050. It doesn't help that more and more people can and will travel: World Economic Forum writes that according to United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourist trips worldwide reached 1.3 billion in 2017 and is predicted to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. All that traveling and the accompanying economic growth puts enormous pressure on natural resources and biodiversity. Tourism can therefore be disastrous for the ocean and nature, but sustainable tourism can also be a solution to various problems concerning the wellbeing of the ocean. Awareness through an eco-promise Well-known cities, like Amsterdam or Barcelona, must deal with a growing flow of tourists. Touristic-driven gentrification has major consequences for the inhabitants of the cities, such as higher house prices, but the impact on nature is massive: in coastal areas, for example, there is a higher level of coastal erosion, for example. Palau and New Zealand came up with a smart solution for this problem: they had visitors to their country sign an eco-promise. Awareness is the key word to be able to preserve nature for future generations: especially now that pictures on social media like Instagram and Facebook, but also digital platforms as AirBnB and Tripadvisor are boosting tourism more and more. Photo by: Hans van der Broek. Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam Biodegradable sunscreen lotions Another major danger to the ocean is sunscreen. Did you know The more beach-goers, the more toxic sunscreen gets into our seas. According to research, the toxic pathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, oxybenzone, are disastrous for the ocean. It causes water pollution, coral mortality and rising sea temperatures. In Mexico, Aruba and Hawaii there is a ban on non-biodegradable sunscreen lotions. Also in this case, awareness is very important: you can buy biodegradable sunscreen for a few extra euros - and the result is priceless. Strategic partnerships to save our oceans Plastic is a big problem for the ocean . Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this fact: not only plastic bags, straws and cigarette butts are a danger, but also micro plastic from care products. There is so much plastic in the sea that it is almost impossible to clean up. You may know the Thai Maya Beach, where the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot. That is now one of the best-known hot spots in Thailand. Unfortunately, the bounty island was contaminated by more and more plastic. In October 2018, Thailand closed the beach to clean up the enormous havoc of plastic. To be able to do this globally, cooperation between countries and regions is needed, but strategic partnerships are crucial. This also applies to packaging products in order to reduce the pollution of the oceans. Sustainable tourism can save the ocean from a collapse: we just have to do it together. Awareness is therefore more important than ever. Do you still want to go on those beautiful beach vacations? Make these vacations green! Adjust your travel behaviour and make sure that your grandchildren can still enjoy the beaches with their children. The ocean needs our help! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hospitality Influencers: Tourism Damage
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hospitality Influencers: Tourism Damage
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