Simon Leufstedt

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Posts posted by Simon Leufstedt

  1. Check out this video from Al Jazeera's Earthrise about aquapods, which they say could be the future of sustainable fishing.



    "With the global demand for fish on the rise and wild fish stocks depleting just as fast, the need to find an alternative to damaging shallow water fish farms is as urgent as ever.

    Marine engineer Steve Page believes he has found a solution. The Aquapod is a giant structure which can hold up to 70,000 fish. It is submerged in deep water so that any uneaten food and fish waste is washed away by strong ocean currents, minimising the damage to local ecosystems.

    Working in Mexico's Baja Peninsula, Steve and his team are hoping their method of farming will help restore wild stocks to the ocean by preventing overfishing and offer a lifeline to fishing communities across the world.

    Russell Beard goes deep sea diving in the Sea of Cortez to see the Aquapod in action and back on land visits the hatchery producing the fingerlings which would make their alternative farming operation totally sustainable."


    What do you think? Could this be the future of fishing? Is it sustainable or is it just factory farming underwater?

  2. Greenpeace boats violently rammed by Spanish Navy during peaceful protest, two activists were injured. Support the activists! Tell the Spanish government freedom of speech is more important than freedom to drill for oil.



    Greenpeace writes:


    Spanish authorities responded to a peaceful protest against oil drilling in international waters by ramming Greenpeace boats. The boats were severely damaged, and one of the activists was knocked overboard and later hospitalised. She'll be recovering for months, but it could have been much worse.

    Now they've detained our ship because we dared to occupy the ecologically pristine piece of ocean where the oil company, Repsol, has been given permission to drill in total disregard of everyone’s right to a clean and healthy environment.

    We're not giving up, but we need your help to be heard. We need international pressure to support the Canary Islanders and people throughout Spain, who want to block this oil drilling. The tourism industry in Spain supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the Canary Islands are a popular tourist destination - so the government has good reason to listen to you. Tell them freedom of speech and protection of the ocean are more important than the profits of a multinational oil company like Repsol.


    Click here to write to the Spanish government!


    Also read: Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise detained in Spain following oil protest

  3. A new study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows that cyclist deaths in the US are rising.

    Between 2010 and 2012, a total of 722 people were killed while riding their bike on US roads, which amounts to a 16 percent increase. The increase is drastically high when compared to deaths in vehicles which only had a 1 percent increase during the same period.

    The people involved in bicycle fatalities are mainly adult and male, whom lives in large urban areas. Between 2010 and 2012, adults represented 84 percent of cyclist deaths and almost 70 percent of all bicycling fatalities happened in large cities – with more than half concentrated in just six states: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Texas.

    “These are high population states with many urban centers, and likely reflect a high level of bicycle exposure and interaction with motor vehicles,” said the report’s author, Dr. Allan Williams.

    A large contribution to bicycle fatalities are a lack of helmet use, with at least two-thirds of the fatally injured cyclists not wearing helmets. Another major culprit is alcohol. About 28 percent of the cyclists, over age 16, involved in these fatal accidents had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit to drive.

    But while fatal bike accidents are rising, they are still only representing around two percent of overall motor vehicle-related fatalities in the US. This number has remained pretty much constant since 1975, when 1,003 people were killed while riding their bike.

    Why do you think fatal bike accidents are rising? What could authorities do to increase the safety for cyclists?

  4. It has come to my attention that Marco Piazzalunga, a young passionate eco-activist and an active member of this community, passed away on September 25. Marco’s mother writes that he would have turned 16 this December if he had not decided to end his own life on the first day of school.

    I am deeply saddened to hear about the death of Piazzalunga. He always seemed like a clever, kind and strong-willed individual. I am sure he would have done a lot of good in this world.

    Piazzalunga will be missed by everyone in this community. His family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Luxembourg is trying out a new kind of blue road reflector that they hope will reduce car collisions with wild animals at dusk and during the night. The Luxemburger Wort reports:

    "Blue is considered to be a colour of danger for wild animals as it is rarely seen in nature. When a car approaches with a low beam of light, this light is reflected back along the roadside creating a kind of light fence. It is hoped that this will discourage wild animals from crossing the road.

    Reflectors have already been installed at intervals on roads between Weyer and Fischbach and Godbringen and Heffingen. More are expected to follow in areas where deer are known to cross roads, in the south, north and along the Moselle."


    Similar blue reflectors have been tested in Germany with great results - resulting in a 73% reduction of night-time accidents with wild animals.


  6. Nice!

    Check out the 8 million city project that aims to connect three major Scandinavian cities - Oslo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen - with high-speed railway. 



    "The Scandinavian countries are too small in a global context to use their energy to compete internally. Better/greener communications are crucial in order to shrink the distance between the Scandinavian cities, and unfold the potentials regarding cross border collaboration and a fully integrated Scandinavian labor marked.

    High Speed Rail (HSR) is not just another transport project; It provides a means of supporting long- term economic development in Scandinavia and doing so in a sustainable way. For the Copenhagen-Oslo corridor the service is estimated to attract 9,4million passenger per year."


    It will be wonderful to restart everything from zero. The idea of Paneuropean Corridors is interesting but with the current situation in Ukraine...

    I believe that the way to peace is further integration between nations and people. And a Pan-European high-speed rail network could help do just that!

    Mark Piazzalunga likes this

  7. Check out this potential European high-speed rail network that connects all the major European cities and offer Europeans a fast, comfortable and eco-friendly mode of transportation. It's just too bad that with the current politics this is just a fantasy. But it's a fantasy that could become a reality if we just set our minds to it (just like the >DESERTEC project).


    How would you design this high-speed rail network? Which cities would you connect?



    Mark Piazzalunga likes this

  8. Tesla Motors want to create their own global network of fast-chargers for their increasingly popular electric vehicles. They currently have 103 Tesla Superchargers in the US but plan to expand globally soon, mainly in Europe but also in parts of Asia. By the end of 2015, Tesla Motors say they 98% of the US population will live (somewhat) nearby one of these superchargers. Around the same time, Tesla plans to start their global expansion. 


    These three maps show where they plan to build their superchargers:


    North America

    Only six superchargers in Canada?





    Western Europe gets all the love it seems.





    Not much has been planned for Asia though... 



    Mark Piazzalunga likes this

  9. What is a folding bike?  Is it just a bike that folds up when you are not using it?  How small does it get when it is folding up?  Are they easy to carry around and use?


    That's exactly what it is! :)


    Here are two examples:


    There are many other designs. 

  10. The craters in Siberia and the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps is documented.


    You mean these >huge craters in Siberia which experts think are created by methane? Yeah, they are amazing and shows the first horrific steps of runaway climate change - in this case when the frozen arctic methane in Canada, Alaska and Russia >starts erupting. Runaway climate change is when the natural feedback loops kicks in and it no longer matter how much greenhouse gases we humans reduce because the planet will run crazy on its own. This will be the end of the world as we know it, and with that goes our civilization down the pipe. 


    Yet the LA Times reported in this link that in most of the country there are rules against solar power. I admit here in Minnesota it might be a bit of a gamble, but that isn't going to stop me from getting solar panels when we can afford it!

    Yes that is crazy! But it shows what kind of power-grip the fossil fuel industry has on our politics. We need to stop their influence, but we can't do that until more people rise up and say "enough is enough".

  11. I did a lot of commuting earlier and I always wanted to get a folding bike which I could bring with me on the train and bus and then use to travel from the stations. There are many different folding bikes, so just get one that you think fits your needs (How many bicycle gears do you need and so on) and your wallet. Just remember, because folding bikes has such small wheels it's much harder to travel longer distances and you can't go as fast as on a regular-sized bike.

  12. Mostly I'm posting for encouragement. I haven't ridden a bike in almost 30 years. I bought one last summer but it's sitting in the garage. I need motivation to get on it and get back to learning how to balance. It's hard to be motivated when it's so hot out right now. 


    Ideas for motivation?


    Go for some quick rides in the morning or evening when it's not so hot. And if you need motivation you can download an exercise app to your smartphone (such as Runtastic or Endomondo) where you can track your biking progress, such as distance travelled and how many calories you've burned. 


    Good luck! :)

  13.  If they provide facilities of better seatings and certain luxuries that are available in cars, then I am sure that people will be interested to think of buses as an option to travel.


    Such as free wifi which I've seen on some buses. But I am more than happy if the AC is working properly - especially during the summers! ;)

  14. I enjoy using G+ but I don't know why, maybe it's because it's summer or something else, but activity in my feed has gone down.


    Google's stubborn refusal to make a WP8 app is a major reason for my own inactivity on Google' these days.

  15. I certainly believe that if more people produced just some of their own food there would be significantly less food wasteage. 


    Interesting thought! I would imagine that people would appreciate the value of food more if they actually had to invest time to grow the produce themselves. But how could people living in apartments and in major cities do this?


    I do not think that food wastage is occurring because people are not producing their own food. Many people work very hard to get eat even two meals a day. I think it depends upon the mentality of people on they think about the food they eat. Quite a lot of people have too many resources, hence do not mind wasting it. Even it those people start growing their own food, I think they would waste in the same manner as before since they are very rich. How judiciously you use your food depends on how you think about it. 


    Ah yes, I think you are on to something here. We produce enough food today to feed everyone in the world, and yet people go hungry while some people seem to have so much food that they can waste large parts without any problems. Is our food system unfair and broken?


    Here is a longer article-series about our food production system. One of the proposed solutions to increase our food production is to reduce food waste:


    "Another way is to reduce food losses and waste. It's estimated that approximately one-third, or about 1.3 billion tonnes every year, of the food produced for human consumption is being wasted or lost in the production process. Consumers in Europe and North-America waste between 95-115 kg per year/capita, while consumers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa only waste around 6-11 kg per year/capita. In developed countries with medium- and high-incomes most food is wasted at the consumer level. This is food that is being wasted even though it is still suitable for consumption. In low-income countries in the developing world most of the food is lost in the production process before it even reaches the market. FAO takes this matter seriously. The UN agency considers food losses to be a "significant cost" to the world economy and serious threat to global food security and availability."

  16. Can someone please explain how clothing can be eco-friendly or environmentally friendly?  I have never heard this term before with clothing, accessories, and fashion, and I don't understand what this means.  I don't see how a company can claim this. I am just a little lost on this idea.  Thank you.


    It's pretty easy actually. Clothes requires fabrics and these can be made from organically grown products (such as cotton) and be manufactured in an eco-friendly way, without dirty toxins and so on. Clothes can also be fair trade, which means that the people who made your shirt did so under good conditions and that they have been paid a decent wage.

  17. I do a couple of things:

    • I recycle, of course. 
    • I don't drive a car. Instead I use public transportation, walk or use my bike.
    • Besides the occasional fish, I don't eat any meat.
    • I support and vote for politicians that push for green policies and action against climate change.

    I would like to do more, but it's hard when you're on a budget and live in the city. Any ideas how I can improve and live an even more sustainable life? :)