Some News, Some Information

By Daniel de la Calle

Our poor blog has remained silent for over two weeks.  I do not know how to make excuses sound like explanations, so my excuses are that I was busy showing Barbara Ettinger (our director) and Sven Huseby (our protagonist) my side of the world and after their departure I suffered a week long case of “Cancun Blues”.  As a consequence, some of the news I had for you has turned into plain information, but I hope it is still of some value:

¤ By now you must all know that the Environmental Protection Agency has released a memo on Ocean Acidification.  This memo is part of settling a lawsuit that challenges the EPA’s failure to address the issue in the context of the Clean Water Act.
A PBS video about the news:

¤ Ambivalent news from the UK.
I read a Reuters article that talked about Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond’s hopes to produce by the year 2025 100% of their energy needs from renewable resources (wind, wave and tidal).  In a world of ever shrinking and pathetically distant in time environmental aspirations, the talk of becoming a clean self sufficient nation in less than 15 years deserves a pinch in the arm to make sure we are not dreaming.
On the other hand, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has noted that a possible economic recovery of the UK poses a serious threat to the environment.  This potential emergence might erode a shift towards more sustainable lifestyles that has began to take place the last few years.  In a report released last month, the EEA also points to the trend of increased “off-shoring of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts through the consumption of products and services produced outside the UK”.  They believe that another cause for alarm is the risk that younger generations and people living in towns and cities and that have no “experience of the natural world” might be less [even less, I would say] interested in green issues.

¤ China is installing the world’s largest electricity generating system that uses methane gas coming from fermenting cow manure.  This source of power has a double positive effect: it does not come from the stored fossil energy sources in the planet and it uses up methane, a product 23 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2.
The GE engine:

¤ Highly amusing and fascinating video of a scientist from the Royal Society, currently celebrating its 350th anniversary (the Royal Society, that is), talking about terrestrial and extraterrestrial life.

¤ OCEANA, in conjunction with Google Earth, has created a useful tour that illustrates how CO2 in the atmosphere changes the pH in the oceans.  Jeffrey Short gives voice to this video that was released in Cancún’s COP 16 a few days back.

¤ Two ways of facing the future.
I stumbled upon two separate Youtube videos about the house of the future and the contrast was so stark, the picture painted so fascinating, that I could not resist sharing them on this post.  Unfortunately, it was impossible to embed them, so, click on this text if you want to see the FRENCH eco friendly homes of the present and future and click on this text if you are curious about the COREAN house of the future.
Oh well, since we are at it, in case you feel like having nightmares about Armageddon, read about this house, part of the abominable present in INDIA.

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