Simon Leufstedt

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Posts posted by Simon Leufstedt


  1. We have been used to see NASA's 64-megapixel "Blue Marble" photos of the Earth. But now a Russian weather satellite has taken a 121-megapixel image of our fragile Earth, making it the most detailed photo yet. The satellite is stationed on a fixed located over 35000 kilometers above the Indian Ocean and takes a full image of Earth every 30 minutes. The resolution is one kilometer per pixel.

    The photo (as seen above and in the video below) portrays our Earth a bit differently from what we are used to. The rust color that dominates the photo is not desert; it's actually vegetation from forests. The vegetation has been turned into this orange colour because the camera on the weather satellite combines data from three visible and one infrared wavelengths of light.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hdyRh60R-Q


  2. Welcome to our friendly green community!

    This is a place to talk about the climate and how it's changing our planet and affecting our lives. But anthropogenic global warming means so much more than just climate science, graphs, and climatology. It's about mitigation and adaptation strategies. It's about energy issues such as fossil fuels and renewable energy. It's about local, national and international politics as well as religion and activism. It's about wildlife and biodiversity. It's about sustainable architecture and design. It's about organic gardening as well as large scale agriculture and GMO farming. It's about transportation, cars, bicycles, and other forms of public transportation. It's about living your life as sustainable and green as possible.

    Because climate change is so deeply integrated in our daily life and society it represents an unprecedented difficult problem. To solve climate change we can't just switch to clean and renewable energy (something that is hard enough on its own). We also need to fundamentally change our societies from the ground up. Hopefully this community can help change minds and start discussions and conversations about the challenges we are all facing.

    If you are new here you should check out our forum guidelines and rules. They are mostly there as a general reminder in an effort to keep the forums friendly and usable for everyone. Respect others and you will be treated with respect. Be rude and disrespectful, and you'll not find much help here.

    If you've been with us from the start, when the forum was called Enviro Space and then later on Talk Climate, just sign in with your old login details and all your topics and comments will be there waiting for you. In worst case you might need to update your profile photo again. But other than that nothing should be lost. If you are having problems with your old account and can't login please let me know by sending an email to info@green-blog.org.

    Thank you for being a part of our community!


  3. It’s finally official, SimCity is back! EA announced yesterday that a new SimCity (5?) game is being developed by Maxis with a planned release date sometime in 2013.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kztNWdhRdnw

    From the announcement trailer it’s clear that the new game will look and behave significantly more different than SimCity 4. Besides the new looks, the most obvious new change seems to be the option to choose between two factions, or corporations.

    Simtech is the first faction that is being shown in the trailer. Obviously this faction is striving to be a high-tech, clean and science-oriented society that enjoys the finer things in life. And from the looks of that weird energy plant (shown at 0:41) they probably also have a more environmentally friendly and sustainable city approach.

    Simcorp, the other faction, looks completely different. They have dirty factories, trashy cultural events and lots of cars roaming around the city. And as shown at 1:05 they also seem to rely heavily on dirty coal.

    This whole approach reminds me about Anno 2070 and their two factions the Ecos and Tycoons. A gameplay like that works in Anno 2070. But truth be told, I am not so sure this approach would fit in a game like SimCity. It’s not realistic and it portrays the different choices we must make in a simplistic and ignorant way.

    Another interesting thing is the public protests shown at 0:53. Maybe we’ll get to see more interaction between cities and their people? Maybe this will deepen and extend the interregional relations that SimCity 4 introduced? I hope this is the case and that we will also see more direct consequences from the various actions we take in our cities. For example, if a Simcorp city builds a dirty coal plant right next to the border of a Simtech city they just might face protests from the more ecofriendly citizens in the neighboring city.

    I am not that happy with the way they are portraying nuclear energy at the end of the trailer. Hopefully they will have a more realistic approach to this outdated, none-renewable and dangerous energy source in the new game. But somehow I doubt it.

    Please EA, don’t turn this into a crappy SimCity societies version with different city types. And don’t make it into a Origin Exclusive!


  4. Things to regulate according to GOP: Woman’s uterus? Yes! Dirty and climate killing greenhouse gas emissions from power stations? No!

    This picture holds a lot of truth considering the front-runners in the 2012 Republican primary and their depressing views on climate change and women’s rights.

    Rick Santorum, for example, is a climate change denier and has said that environmentalism is “a religion that’s being pushed on the American Public”. That statement is kind of ironic in light of his extremely religious and medieval-age ideas and views on birth controls, abortion and other women’s rights issues.


  5. Al Jazeera English (AJE) has an interesting reportage about Russia Today (RT), the 24/7 English-language and government-funded news channel. AJE paints RT in a rather bad light saying that the news channel "seems more interested in reviving the Cold War than reporting what is really happening in Russia today."

    This reportage gets even more remarkable considering the fact that AJE themselves are funded by the Qatari government.

    AJE asks if RT is a news channel or propaganda tool. Is AJE a propaganda tool? What do you think?

    Personally, and despite AJE's ties with the undemocratic emirate that currently rules in Qatar, I trust AJE more than RT. AJE feels like a professional news channel, more so than BBC News these days I must say. But RT on the other hand has always felt weird.


  6. The Sierra Club, one of the biggest environmental organizations in the US, received millions in donations from lobbyists in the gas industry for their campaigns against coal.

    The question is, when will they give the money back? In a way they've already have. Before 2011-2012, around the time when they got millions in donations from the gas industry, the Sierra Club had a rather lax position against natural gas. The environmental NGO's stance on natural gas, in comparison to coalbed methane, was to promote regulation instead of calling for a total ban on the controversial energy source. They saw natural gas as "a flawed but necessary transition fuel to a clean energy future."

    So in a way the gas lobbyist had successfully shifted the criticism, from environmental NGO's, away from the fossil fuel industry as a whole and instead managed to direct the focus primarily on the coal industry. At the same time the gas lobbyist pushed the bullshit idea of natural gas as the quick and pain-free solution to all of our energy and climate related problems in Washington.

    This tactic, to divert attention away from the gas industry while at the same time pushing the idea of natural gas as a climate friendly energy source for our politicians, has clearly been successful for Chesapeake Energy. In his recent state of the union, Barack Obama said that with natural gas "we don't have to choose between our environment and our economy" while promising that it will "create jobs and power trucks and factories" in a "cleaner and cheaper" way.

    So now Obama as well as a large portion of the American public is supporting natural gas as a solution to the economic and climate crisis. And all this could happen because the mainstream environmental movement failed to go on the offensive against all sectors of the fossil fuel industry.


  7. I really do love this idea! Sprout Robot is a website that, if you sign up, can tell you when to plant seeds based on your zip code. They can also send you the seeds when its time to plant (at a cost, of course).

    They don't seem to have the cheapest seeds, but its a useful site and service for us gardening newbies that are just learning.

    Check out these other websites if you want to purchase cheaper seeds: http://www.territorialseed.com, http://www.johnnyseeds.com, http://cooksgarden.com, http://gurneys.com and http://parkseed.com


  8. Did you know that governments around the world are spending $1.4 billion per day to keep us hooked on climate wrecking fossil fuel-generated electricity? And how much do renewable energy sources get? Not much in comparison:

    "In contrast to the $500 billion in fossil fuel supports in 2010, renewable energy received just $66 billion in subsidies — two thirds for electricity generation from wind, biomass, and other sources, and one third for biofuels. Not only do fossil fuel subsidies dwarf those for renewables today, but a long legacy of governments propping up oil, coal, and natural gas has resulted in a very uneven energy playing field."

    Read more here: Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate

    If we just could get rid of these unnecessary subsidies to the fossil fuel industry we would come a long way in creating a sustainable and renewable energy future.


  9. Dolphins and whales are sentient beings, and they are most likely also sapient. So why are we keeping them locked up for our own entertainment, or worse, brutally slaughtering them?

    "There is now ample scientific evidence that capacities once thought to be unique to humans are shared by these beings. Like humans, whales and dolphins are 'persons'. That is, they are self-aware beings with individual personalities and a rich inner life. They have the ability to think abstractly, feel deeply and choose their actions. Their lives are characterized by close, long-term relationships with conspecifics in communities characterized by culture. In short, whales and dolphins are a who, not a what."

    http://www.abc.net.a.../16/3406990.htm

    I kind of feel the same way about cows and pigs. Because studies have shown that pigs are smarter than dogs and even three-year-olds. And that cows are capable of having friendships and grudges against other cows.

    So we really need to start re-thinking how we treat our cattle and other animals. After all, they are also animals and they also got feelings, just like us humans.


  10. Here's the top 10 articles on Green Blog from 2011. The blog posts are ranked in terms of the total amount of traffic received during all of 2011.

    1. Nuclear crisis in Japan and Nuclear emergency declared in Japan after massive earthquake

    2011 started with a massive earthquake that struck Japan with devastating effects. In the aftermaths of the earthquake and tsunami, Japan officials declared a state of emergency at two nuclear power plants in the Fukushima Prefecture. The state of emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi (No 1) plant and at the Fukushima Daini (No 2) plant was issued after problems with the cooling systems. While rescue workers tried their best to find and save people in the debris left by the tsunami we saw a nuclear crisis unfold in Japan. A crisis that will be felt for decades to come. So there is no wonder that our number one post on Green Blog was about the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    2. The Dangers of E-Waste

    Our second most-read article had a more educational approach and instead tried to explained the term "e-waste" - something the author seems to have succeeded with quite well considering it's position here.

    3. Greenpeace shows the Dark Side of Volkswagen

    The third most-read article on Green Blog highlighted a new Greenpeace campaign against Europe’s biggest car company Volkswagen (VW). Greenpeace claimed that the car maker is “spending millions” trying to stop stricter climate laws in Europe.

    4. US media censor out BBC TV “Frozen Planet” series climate change episode

    In our fourth most-read article, Gideon Polya reported that the US will not air the “On Thin Ice” episode of David Attenborough’s “Frozen Planet” BBC TV series about wildlife in the Arctic and Antarctica. The censored out and final episode deals with the impact of man-made climate change, a matter controversial to a substantial body of anti-science, climate change denialist Americans.

    5. The lightbulb conspiracy

    The fifth most popular article discussed the Norwegian TV documentary, “The lightbulb conspiracy”. A documentary that details a process that few people outside of manufacturing industry’s are even aware exists. The so-called “planned obsolescence” scam. Ever had a digital camera suddenly stop working after several thousand shots for no obvious reason? That's planned obsolescence.

    6. The Nuclear Meltdown of George Monbiot

    The blog post on sixth place also had a connection to the Fukushima nuclear accident. In this post David Carson discussed how George Monbiot, Britain’s leading environmental journalists, changed his stance on nuclear energy.

    7. Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer

    During 2011 Benno Hansen did a review/summary about Gwynne Dyer's book "Climate Wars". The book discusses the threats of future conflicts and wars thought over dwindling resources and changing climates.

    8. Nuclear energy might see increased opposition after Japan crisis

    And yet again we have a blog post related to the awful nuclear accident in Japan in 2011. The Fukushima nuclear crisis sparked new life in the nuclear energy debate in many countries around the world. And the fear for possible nuclear accidents in other countries forced politicians to reconsider and review their current energy policy stance.

    9. How to Make Bodycare Products

    In a popular how-to post, Leah Karpus showed how you can make your own bodycare products. "Unlike typical commercially produced cosmetics that boast a list of ingredients a mile long (if they even list their ingredients), you can be 100% sure that your homemade products are natural, non-toxic and safe."

    10. The environmental record of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry

    And finally, on tenth place, we have a blog post discussing the awful environmental record of Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. All three who are, and was, leading Republican presidential hopefuls in the 2012 Republican primary.

    NoNukes likes this

  11. No, I don't quite agree with that. I would say that some of us - or even most of us - are the cause of the problems, but not all of us. I can't really put 'humans' as a problem, since I'm hoping for solutions that do not require the extinction of the human race. I could put something like human nature or habit. If I didn't believe that we could change, then I wouldn't be here.

    Ah yes. I don't believe that humans are a source of evil either. Humans are capable of to doing good and wonderful things. We can create lovely music, build wonderful things and help and show love and compassion to other animals and people. Unfortunately we are also easily manipulated into selfish and ignorant acts.


  12. Ah yeah, most of my "real life" friends are still on Facebook. But that shouldn't stop you from being social on Google+. There are so many different and interesting people to follow and posts to engage in on Google+ that I doubt you'll find it "boring".


  13. China government are making all its best to fed up more than 2 billion Chinese people. Its making drastic move to boost-up its economy and now making a giant step in the world international community. The problem maybe is that there are some neglect on the government's policy towards environmental protection.

    That's a good point. China today is the world's number one polluter. But the country has a huge population and so they still have a low per capita level of pollution, especially compared to countries such as the USA. And the majority of the production that generates the waste and pollution in China comes from factories (many owned by Western corporations) producing products intended for and consumed by the Western markets.

    And China is currently investing more in renewable energy than many Western countries. They are spending $12.6 million every hour to green their economy! China is actually investing twice as much as USA to green their economy. And this despite the fact that the US economy is so much bigger than China's.


  14. I am not sure which country I think is the greenest. Because I don't really think any country at the moment can be called a "green leader". In Europe, Sweden used to be a country that promoted sustainability and green policies. But those days are gone. Now my home country has a dirty climate wrecking track record, the government is bad for the environment and has even won a greenwash award. When it comes to EU's (weak) climate targets, well, Sweden will reach those targets 195 years too late. And for the first time in several years, Sweden's CO2 emissions increased by 11% during 2010.

    Then again, there are many beautiful countries, such as Korea, that seem to value their surrounding nature and environment. If we just go by "looks" I do agree that New Zealand lands on one of the top 10 positions.


  15. I don't really watch TV. But I have a thing for spy dramas. So I am currently watching Nikita (american remake) and Burn Notice (bad acting).

    If you are into science-fiction you should really check out Battlestar Galactica. Cheesy name, I know! But it's actually a very, very good scifi drama. Just be sure its the modern remake and not the 80's trash tv show.