80+1 » Climate Change http://www.80plus1.org A Journey Around the World Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:24:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 Different countries, different BBQ http://www.80plus1.org/blog/different-countries-different-bbqandere-lander-anders-grillen http://www.80plus1.org/blog/different-countries-different-bbqandere-lander-anders-grillen#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2009 10:21:15 +0000 Sigrid http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3237

The keyplace of the topic “Climate Change” of 80+1 is Finland. People there eat reindeer. Since one should at least try, we tried! And the guests aof 80+1 liked it!

]]>
http://www.80plus1.org/blog/different-countries-different-bbqandere-lander-anders-grillen/feed
(Deutsch) Die Formel E - eine Schnitzljagd mit modernster Technik http://www.80plus1.org/blog/die-formel-e-eine-schnitzljagd-mit-modernster-technik http://www.80plus1.org/blog/die-formel-e-eine-schnitzljagd-mit-modernster-technik#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2009 12:40:43 +0000 Sigrid http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2491 Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

]]>
Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

]]>
http://www.80plus1.org/blog/die-formel-e-eine-schnitzljagd-mit-modernster-technik/feed
Experts Debate Energy Usage of the Lesser Evil: Nuclear vs. Coal http://www.80plus1.org/blog/experts-debate-energy-usage-of-the-lesser-evil-nuclear-vs-coal http://www.80plus1.org/blog/experts-debate-energy-usage-of-the-lesser-evil-nuclear-vs-coal#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2009 16:10:42 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2373 Earlier this month, the American science magazine Seed conducted an online panel discussion on which energy source is the least evil.

In the United States, unlike Europe, there are only 104 nuclear reactors — representing about 20 percent of all domestic energy…

]]>
Earlier this month, the American science magazine Seed conducted an online panel discussion on which energy source is the least evil.

In the United States, unlike Europe, there are only 104 nuclear reactors — representing about 20 percent of all domestic energy output. Despite some recent activity of energy plants applying to build new nuclear stations, there hasn’t been construction of a new nuclear plant in nearly three decades.

Coal, of course, is a dirty fuel. It pollutes, and contributes to global climate change. In short, it’s a 19th century technology in a 21st century world. But what if we sequester the carbon from it — there’s not-so-great side effects, too.

So, what do the experts say?

One writer, Gwyneth Cravens, who has done extensive research on the nuclear industry argues for going nuclear:

“Nuclear has about the same carbon footprint as wind but is astronomically more compact and efficient and operates at 90 percent capacity (coal: 53 percent capacity; wind: 34 percent). Nuclear waste is therefore tiny in volume. The world’s entire annual inventory could fit in one large townhouse. Nuclear waste recycling, done abroad, drastically reduces volume, radioactivity, and the need for long-term disposal. Civilian nuclear plants have never produced atomic bombs.”

K.J. Reddy teaches at the University of Wyoming and argues for clean coal:

We need tangible technologies to simultaneously capture and trap flue gas in minerals at point sources and to become part of a wider carbon capture/storage portfolio, helping in immediate reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. For example, we are working on a process that captures and stores flue gas CO2 and other pollutants (SO2 and Hg) at a coal-fired plant. In this process we directly trap flue gas CO2, SO2, and Hg permanently in ash, which is produced by the combustion process itself. This process is easy to apply to existing or new coal-fired power plants as a post-combustion unit. In our preliminary studies we were able to demonstrate instantaneous capture and storage of partial flue gas CO2, the first step towards large-scale demonstration projects.

Edwin Lyman, a physicist, and senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Global Security Program in Washington, DC., argues for neither:

The true costs of both nuclear energy and coal have been concealed by government subsidies and lax safety standards. We should not expand use of either unless both technologies comply with far more stringent requirements for safety, security, and environmental protection than those in place today. The cost of such measures for nuclear power (including enhanced protection against terrorist attacks) and coal (including full capture of carbon dioxide and other hazardous emissions) would make these options even less competitive with efficiency and renewable energy sources than they are today.

Benjamin Sovacool, a former advisor and researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the NSF’s Electric Power Networks Efficiency and Security Program, and current assistant professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, calls for Americans to be more energy efficient:

In short, we don’t need to burden ourselves with polluting and hazardous power plants dependent on dirty, dangerous, and depletable supplies of coal and uranium. We can instead harness the power of energy efficiency and renewable power, sources of energy that are clean, safe, domestically available, nondepletable, and avoid making any sort of Faustian bargain.

Finally, Victor Rudolph, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Queensland, argues for sticking with coal, but not for the reason you might think:

In this sense, “clean coal” at the power station can be made to work. Realistically, we need to recognize that we have trillions of dollars already invested in coal-based electrical plants and it is illogical to trash this, as it is also logistically impossible to replace it—with anything—in the medium term.

]]>
http://www.80plus1.org/blog/experts-debate-energy-usage-of-the-lesser-evil-nuclear-vs-coal/feed
Greenland to become the Dubai of the North? http://www.80plus1.org/blog/greenland-to-become-the-dubai-of-the-north http://www.80plus1.org/blog/greenland-to-become-the-dubai-of-the-north#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:47:42 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1984 So while the world was watching Iran’s chaos this weekend, there was a new state in the process of being born: Greenland.

Yes, that massive ice sheet that takes up an unfathomable part of your world map is well on…

]]>
So while the world was watching Iran’s chaos this weekend, there was a new state in the process of being born: Greenland.

Yes, that massive ice sheet that takes up an unfathomable part of your world map is well on its way to becoming an independent country, shaking off the 300-year-old colonial yoke of Denmark.

On Sunday, Denmark handed over responsibility of the island’s internal affairs including potentially vast oil reserves to Greenland.

In addition, the judicial system will also now be run locally. Further, the official language will switch from Danish and Greenlandinc to solely Greenlandic (a variant of Canadian Inuit). The island has 100 percent literacy.

In an report by Joshua Kucera in the The Washington Times:

Self-government is “a symbol of the dreams of the Greenlandic people,” Mr. Motzfeldt said at the ceremony. “We have achieved the right of control of our subsoil, and we expect in the years to come that this will be a supplement to lay the foundation for an economically independent Greenland.”

Serious oil exploration has only recently begun off Greenland’s coast, aided in part by the melting of the sea ice due to global warming. Oil has not been found, but estimates, including those of the U.S. Geological Survey, suggest that Greenland could have about 50 billion barrels of oil.

Greenland’s population is 56,000, so if the oil estimates prove correct, the island would control nearly 1 million barrels of oil per person. It would be a staggering leap for a people who, until World War II, were subsisting almost entirely as seal hunters and fishermen.

Today, Greenland has limited economic options, and commercial shrimping accounts for the bulk of its exports.

Denmark currently provides a large subsidy to Greenland’s government — about $700 million this year or more than $10,000 for every person in Greenland. The subsidy makes up about 60 percent of the government budget.

But when and if oil revenues start to come in, Denmark will reduce the subsidy accordingly. When the subsidy is fully paid off, Greenland officials say, they will begin to seriously discuss the possibility of becoming an independent country.

Denmark, which had to approve the self-government act and would also have to approve independence for Greenland, has not objected.

“For several hundred years, we’ve had a strong relationship between Greenland and Denmark, and we’re looking forward to continuing that relationship,” said Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister, in a press conference after the ceremony. “The question of independence is not the issue today, but it is totally up to the Greenlandic people.”

Or, as Kucera put it on his blog:

That means each Greenlander will own about 900,000 barrels of oil.

Compare that to some other oil powers. These are the top three countries in terms of oil reserves per capita:

Kuwait: 39,900 barrels per person
UAE: 37,576 barrels per person
Qatar: 18,071 barrels per person

Yes, Greenland could have 50 times more oil per capita than Kuwait.

[via FP Passport]

]]>
http://www.80plus1.org/blog/greenland-to-become-the-dubai-of-the-north/feed
Kilpisjärvi http://www.80plus1.org/projects/kilpisjarvi-project http://www.80plus1.org/projects/kilpisjarvi-project#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:56:31 +0000 Admin http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1922 Credits: The Finnish Bio Art Society, Laura Beloff, Erich Berger, Prof.
Antero Järvinen, Anu Osva
Supported by: The Finnish Bio Art Society and the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, Helsinki University
www.kilpiscope.net
Topic: Climate Change
Place: Kilpisjärvi Finnland / Finland

Kilpisjärvi is the site of a field research station whose aim…

]]>
Credits: The Finnish Bio Art Society, Laura Beloff, Erich Berger, Prof.
Antero Järvinen, Anu Osva
Supported by: The Finnish Bio Art Society and the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, Helsinki University
www.kilpiscope.net
Topic: Climate Change
Place: Kilpisjärvi Finnland / Finland

Kilpisjärvi is the site of a field research station whose aim is to promote biological and geographical research in the north and monitor meteorological, geographical and biological changes in this sub-arctic region. The station cooperates with many national and international research projects and other biological stations. Together with the Finnish Bioart Society, the University of Helsinki’s Biological Station have produced the following projects for 80+1.

A four day conference (July 15th-18th), which will be open for participation via the Global Window in Linz and via stream online  at www.kilpiscope.net. During the four days researchers will present variety of issues about climate change in the arctic and globally. The themes vary from animal adaptability to societies’ preparedness to changing environment. The audience has a possibility to pose questions and discuss climate change with the experts.

The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs only within the Arctic and Antarctic Circles at the respective hemisphere’s Summer Solstice. Throughout the summer months the sun shines even at midnight.  In conjunction with 80+1, this event can be viewed via live stream in Linz—or, to be more precise, on the façade of the Ars Electronica Center. Following sundown on seven consecutive nights (July 15th – 21st), the midnight sun will be reflected on the Museum of the Future’s shell. Live images from Kilpisjärvi will also remain on display at www.80plus1.org and www.kilpiscope.net until August 10th, 2009.

Now then, what do water fleas have to do with climate change? German researcher Iris Zellmer has spent years investigating the impact of climate change on water fleas in this sub-arctic region. Performance director Merja Talvela has linked with Zellmer to look at water flees with a view to engaging with the research through an artistic perspective. The scrutiny that water fleas undergo when under the microscope is turned on humans by posing questions about our human misconceptions and delusions when we examine nature. On July 16th, 2009 Merja Talvela will present Water Flea Circus - a performative peepshow on ecology, a collaborative work between the artist and the scientist Iris Zellmer.

The undergoing work of developing this event has generated another long-term initiative about climate change and climate issues directed for wide audiences. Climatescope is a Web 2.0 project that calls upon all internet denizens to take an active approach to the subject of climate change. For instance, you can post “Citizen Stories”—personal accounts, experiences, photos and videos having to do with climate change. “Citizen Science” goes into field research and assembles data yielded by the project’s own measurements or observations on the basis of recreated natural examples. And in “Citizen Sensor,” real-time data from throughout the world are collected, exchanged and disseminated. www.climatescope.net

The live video stream of the project can be viewed with the following player or from this link (using an external player):

]]>
http://www.80plus1.org/projects/kilpisjarvi-project/feed
Small-time bike sharing hits Collingswood, New Jersey (USA) http://www.80plus1.org/blog/small-time-bike-sharing-hits-collingswood-new-jersey-usa http://www.80plus1.org/blog/small-time-bike-sharing-hits-collingswood-new-jersey-usa#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2009 21:19:01 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1519 While bike sharing began in Europe and has recently spread to North America, its largely only exists in big cities like Lyon or Montreal.

However, a Philadelphia suburb, Collingswood, is now well into its first year of a small bike-sharing program…

]]>
While bike sharing began in Europe and has recently spread to North America, its largely only exists in big cities like Lyon or Montreal.

However, a Philadelphia suburb, Collingswood, is now well into its first year of a small bike-sharing program at the cost of $25 per year.

What’s interesting about this program is that it was started independently of any large-scale infrastructure that would normally be required, like in-street bike locks or electronic kiosks.

The Philadelphia Inquirer explains:

In October, about 40 riders circled the borough’s Knight Park on the rejuvenated bicycles - spray-painted an easily identifiable lime green - and their own wheels to introduce the program.

Since then, about 65 residents have signed up, paying the $25 annual fee to “check out” one bike for up to a year or to exchange cycles as often as they like. They’re encouraged to wear a helmet and offered discounts on locks and water bottles. Everill e-mails reminders about tune-ups. In all, Leonard estimates, about 250 people have participated.

Bike sharing - generally geared toward short-term use - is popular all over Europe. Sturdy cycles are locked to kiosks spread throughout cities such as Oslo, Barcelona, and Vienna. Paris launched one of the largest programs in 2007 with 20,000 bicycles. Programs are run by nonprofit groups and city governments, as well as for-profit companies such as Clear Channel Outdoor, that participate in exchange for advertising on shelters or benches.

At least 70 U.S. universities, including Drexel, run free and rental programs, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Washington, D.C., launched SmartBike last summer. Boston and San Francisco are investigating proposals, as is Philadelphia. A feasibility study is due to Mayor Nutter by fall.

]]>
http://www.80plus1.org/blog/small-time-bike-sharing-hits-collingswood-new-jersey-usa/feed