Posts tagged france.
Gorgeous painting of a shantytown. Strong technique.Did not know the word “bidonville” until today.
Florent Espana, Bidonville d’Afrique, oil on canvas, 2011
These wind turbines were the runway centerpiece of the über-chic fashion Chanel Show at the Grand Palais, Paris, October 2nd. More pictures and videos of fashion models and their trainers, here.
Stop everything you are doing right now.
My god, I think they’ve done it. The trailer for Les Misérables is here.
Good god. How did they pull this off!!!?
World Water Forum: Fight Against Privatization Continues & UN Says to Value Ecosystems, Not Just Agriculture ›
—but unless there are some changes to who controls the decisions made about managing the world’s water supplies, as well as to how they do so, the Forum is likely to either make things worse for many of the approximately billion people who lack access to clean water around the world, or at best be just another “elitist” meeting in another lush setting that has little to show for itself.
31 wild boars found dead on toxic algae beach in France. Caused by millions of tons of farming effluent dumped into ocean. Agriculture lobby denies. Sarkozy taking heat. More here.
A round up of headlines about nasty algae breakouts in France caused by farm poop.
- 31 wild boars dead on algae coated beach
- Farm effluent dumped in ocean: Millions of tons of cattle manure cause toxic algal bloom
- Sarkozy’s Denial
- Toxic Seaweed tangles with Brittany
- Seaweed sparks health fears in France coastal beach communities
Photo credit: Telegraph
What about homes in Dubai, China, and Russia?
Vote was: Conservatives for, socialists against. Not a typo. The bill allows gas drilling, but bans hydraulic fracking. Thus, it’s a comprise between sides - the socialists wanted a 100% ban on all drilling to protect the environment.
The French parliament voted on June 30 to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the web sites of Le Monde and other French media reported.
The bill had already passed the National Assembly, the country’s lower chamber, on June 21, and on June 30 a Senate vote of 176 to 151 made France the first country to enact such a ban, just as New York State is preparing to lift a moratorium on the same method.
Reminds me of the Centrale Montemartini museum in Rome, where they converted a diesel electric power station into a beautiful space to display ancient roman statues. (I also met my amazing girlfriend there).
“In the last few years of the twentieth century the Mayor of Lille in northern France had a quandary. The old swimming pool in the small town of Roubaix had been closed in 1985 due to safety problems.
So, why not simply knock the old building down? What was the problem?
The swimming pool just happened to be a stunningly beautiful example of Art Deco architecture. Time for a peculiarly French solution.”
I want to go to there.
Annecy, France (by yvon Merlier )
Africa is so HUGE. Click for large map. Countries that fit: China, United States, India, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Japan. Like illiteracy, I guess I suffer from immappancy. Also, I forget that China and the US are about the same geographic size!
LAST month Kai Krause, a computer-graphics guru, caused a stir with a map entitled “The True Size of Africa”, which showed the outlines of other countries crammed into the outline of the African continent. His aim was to make “a small contribution in the fight against rampant Immappancy”—in particular, the fact that most people do not realise how much the ubiquitous Mercator projection distorts the relative sizes of countries.
A sphere cannot be represented on a flat plane without distortion, which means all map projections distort in one way or another. Some projections show areas accurately but distort distances or scales, for example; others preserve the shapes of countries but misrepresent their areas. You can read all the gory details on Wikipedia.
Source: The Economist (via Chuppy)
CDC Climat helps governments, utilities, and businesses reduce their CO2 emissions. They’ve been around since 2004, and have been at the forefront of the EU’s carbon trading scheme.
Now they’re entering the realm of adaptation. Quick primer, then I’ll get back to CDC. Recall that there are two responses to climate change:
- Al Gorian carbon emissions reduction (eg fiddle with energy, buy a Prius, cap carbon, solar panels, etc.)
- Adapt to impacts. If there’s drought, find water. More rain? Build bigger storm water pipes. Sea level rise and beach erosion? Build a sea wall, move some homes. Nothing to do with carbon, just infrastructure, planning, and engineering.
The difference is that Al Gorians try to “save the world” and stop climate from changing. Adaptatrons accept reality, and adjust to it. They’re very different schools of thought, and there’s little overlap. One is preventative, the other plays clean up.
The CDC Climat group are made up of Al Gorians carbon eaters. For years they’ve believed that carbon reduction was the only answer to climate change. They trade carbon in pretty much the same way as bankers trade shares of stock. Now they’re thinking about adaptation (probably as a source of revenue, but I can’t cover that here). Briefly, this is how climate adaptation policy is formed:
- Run computer models for various weather scenarios. This helps discover where future problems will occur. It helps locate heat waves, drought, storms, sea level rise, wildfires, etc.
- Assess vulnerabilities. Once you know where droughts and sea levels will rise, document vulnerabilities. Which town is susceptible to sea level rise? Which farms will experience drought? Etc.
- Evaluate existing policies and start to source funding. This is tricky. Decision makers have to figure out which policies conflict with vulnerabilities. For example, if there is expected sea level rise, it may not be a good idea to re-develop board walks, or build new homes on the coasts.
- Reduce vulnerabilities by changing policies. This making adjustments to policies in order to reduce problems like those found above.
- Implement policy changes via legislation and regulation changes.
- Wash, rinse, repeat. Decision makers need monitor their work and tweak along the way. This is tough due to the political cycle and immediate needs of shifting economies.
With that in mind, the CDC Climat group evaluated 5 country’s climate adaptation plans, Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, and UK. The study is short and easy to read. Take a look, here. Strongly recommend you read it if you’re into anything climate or enviro policy oriented.
So, for example, the Netherlands, which is below sea level, is expecting even higher seas and more floods. They’re spending billions building new levees and pump systems to control water and protect cities and habitat. The UK government is providing individual financial assistance to home and land owners who are vulnerable to impacts, such as flooding. And in Germany, they’re reevaluating flood insurance subsidies and premiums.
Read the study: DRAWING UP A NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION POLICY: FEEDBACK FROM FIVE EUROPEAN CASE STUDIES (pdf).