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Posts tagged "germany"

Remember this invention? 19 year-old student proposed this design to clean up plastics in the oceans. The idea was picked up by TED, and green blogs exploded with glee.

I criticized the project as ineffective buffoonery and likely illegal. And several others also panned the invention as foolish and naive. Well, now the student is back with a revised version of the plastic’s clean up machine. He’s partnered with some serious engineers and PR and he formed a new company, “The Ocean Cleanup.” Video here.

A science journalist in Germany, Sarah Zierul, interviewed me and a few other experts who also criticized the machine. Sarah’s article really got to the heart of the story and you can see researched for several months to get to the facts. She re-tells the story of the young inventor, and describes the original machine and its problems, as well as the new machine and the engineering behind it. She also interviews several critics, noting how their complaints have evolved into support.

Excellent science reporting!

Read Sarah’s excellent article, here. If you don’t read German, go here.

Everyone knows the climate is changing throughout the world. As the climate changes so do mankind’s living conditions - and Germany is no exception. Germany has based it’s adaptation plan on the recommendations of the UNFCCC’s IPCC 2007 report. It is implemented at the local, regional, and national levels. While it’s been slow to implement the programs, Germany’s plan serves as a model for other western states. For example, some of the bigger engineering and urban planning projects are required to take an approach that considers climate impacts over 100 years. 

See German Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change(PDF)


Saxon Switzerland National Park, Germany

Magic tree by mjagiellicz

Holy smokes.


The Halligen Islands in the North Sea are one of many low-lying and island regions that are very concerned about climate change.

Not protected by dikes, the Halligens are a set of small islands (some as small as 17 acres) that have separated from the mainland after centuries of flooding and erosion. Because of the periodic storm flooding, homes on the Halligens are built atop small, artificial hills (Warften) that keep them above sea level. 

Like large areas of the Netherlands, northeastern Germany, and Denmark, the Halligen Islands are keenly aware of the risk of sea level rise due to global warming and are investing in climate adaptation strategies. 

Existing flood walls and barriers are holding up, though.  


Bauhaus: Design in a Nutshell

Not bad.


Snow covers photovoltaic panels at a solar park in Meuro, northeastern Germany. In spite of the snow layer, the plant situated on an old lignite mine is producing energy. Picture: BERND SETTNIK/AFP/Getty Images (via Pictures of the day: 22 February 2013 - Telegraph)

"Living with wolves.” Not an art project.



Also, Media Matters is fantastic…


Fox News says: The future for solar power in the U.S. is “dim” because we don’t get as much sunlight as Germany.

Reality: The U.S. gets far more sunlight than Germany. Unfortunately our solar policies don’t harness that energy nearly as well as they do. 


Nele Azevedo’s ice people, via Flavorwire

Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo’s ice people: 1,000 small sitting figures made from ice. The Berlin installation, intended to draw attention to climate change in the Arctic, lasted until his last figure melted in the heat of the day.

These six little piggies are ridicutelous.


The Cute Show - Boar Piglets!

When VICE Germany sent us some footage of the Lehnitz animal asylum, we weren’t sure how cute it was going to be. Little did we know, boar piglets live there! These little rascals were found in the woods and love to eat, sleep, play, and hang out with their surrogate mom, who’s a dog. We’re pleased to present Spots, Nesti, Diva, Borstel, Ernie, and Bert!

(via vicemag)

During WW-II, battling Russian and German troops agreed to a temporary truce to join forces and kill packs of wild Wolves. The wolves, numbering in the hundreds, were attacking the troops on the front lines because they had no food. Troops used poison, machine guns, and grenades to kill the wolves. Once the wolves were dealt with, the troops went back to killing each other. The aristocrats!

Climate Change Adaptation in Germany, Poland, and the Baltic States

This short movie features different perceptions, approaches, and solutions in regard to climate change adaptation in Germany, Poland, and the Baltic States. The footage was recorded during a workshop series in Szczecin, Gdansk, Klaipeda, and Riga from 24 to 28 October 2011. Scientists and local stakeholders from Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia comment on climate change and climate adaptation. Local problems and solutions in the different countries are described, and the advantages of an international exchange of experience are emphasized.

The workshops were organized by Ecologic Institute, Berlin, with the support of the Helmholtz Center Geesthacht. The effort was a cooperation of the RADOST project (Regional Adaptation Strategies for the German Baltic Sea Coast) with BALTADAPT and Circum Mare Balticum (Regional availability of climate knowledge in the Baltic Sea region).

Ecologic Institute

Looks interesting, though it could be lefty anti-Monsanto panic - stuff I try to avoid posting here. I do not know if glyphosate is all that dangerous, nor what levels would be OK to consume. Wikipedia has a clear article on glyphosate, which points to an article that states impacts on humans is not known. The Wiki entry has a short lawsuit section covering Monsanto’s key ingredient herbicide, but again these are related to regulation rather than impacts. 

recent study conducted by a German university found very high concentrations of Glyphosate, a carcinogenic chemical found in herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup, in all urine samples tested. The amount of glyphosate found in the urine was staggering, with each sample containing concentrations at 5 to 20-fold the limit established for drinking water. This is just one more piece of evidence that herbicides are, at the very least, being sprayed out of control.

Zoos: the environmentalist’s conundrum. On the one hand, they’re great for educating the public and the animals are treated OK. And from a conservation standpoint, they give species a last chance at survival. The Hellabrunn Zoo seems particularly humane. On the other hand, there’s just no way to shake the gut feeling that zoos are rotten to the core. Here’s an activist argument in three pages. It argues that zoos are a Victorian concept modified to seem like conservation/educations centers. The American Veterinary Medical Association (which has a financial interest in zoo operations) argued that zoos and aquariums are in fact ethical


A herd of elephants say goodbye to Lola the dead elephant calf at Hellabrunn Zooin Munich, Germany. A baby elephant who tragically died at a German zoo was brought back to her herd so they could say goodbye. Lola, a three month old elephant, died on 21 January during a CT scan ahead of an operation to fix a serious heart defect. Lola’s body was brought back to the herd so that her mother, Panang (22), could say farewell. Afterwards the herd gently nuzzled the lifeless body with their trunks and took their leave of her.

Picture: Animal Press / Barcroft Media (via Pictures of the day: 24 January 2012 - Telegraph)