Simon Leufstedt

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Posts posted by Simon Leufstedt

  1. I am tired of my mountain bike. Sure, it's strong and reliable, it can go everywhere and in any weather. But it's not very practical. The next bike I'll buy will most definitely be some form of cargo bike. 



    Would you be interested in a cargo bike? 

  2. That's a beautiful video, but it felt like a viral ad for Timberland.  :ph34r:


    Some office examples in the video also felt silly compared to the environmental damage the corporation is most likely responsible for during the production of the products or services it sells.


    Regarding the question: "are trees always good for the environment?" I would say yes, trees are always good for the environment. But if you want to nit-pick, high-latitude forestation, in places such as Siberia, may increase local temperatures, and thus contribute - rather than mitigating - to climate change. But this effect is mostly "neutral or perhaps warming" [Wikipedia]. So I am not sure how big of a threat this really is.


    I would also like to stress that, yes, recycling is awesome and green. Everyone should do it. But, like the video says, it's better to reuse or reduce.


    Again, it was a pretty video and I look forward to your next one!  :P

  3. While grocery shopping I found Tzay in the freezer. Tzay is supposed to be "a truly unique vegetarian delicacy created by Thai monks. Marinated and woked with chilli, ginger and good conscience." Sounds tasty!



    I have never tasted Tzay before, but I will try and cook it with some baked potatoes later tonight.


    Have anyone else here heard about Tzay? What do you think about it? Do you know about any tasty recipe that involves Tzay?

  4. I can't visit this website on my computer. It works fine on my phone. But everytime I try on my computer I just see a white screen. :S and the FrontPage looks weird on the phone...


    I am aware that the frontpage doesn't look OK on mobile devices. That will hopefully be sorted out this weekend. All the other pages should be working though. 


    But I don't really understand why you only see a white screen when you visit green blog on your desktop web browser. Which operating system and web browser do you use?

  5. Green Blog is always looking for new authors and contributors. We are especially looking for authors from countries outside of USA and Canada. We do not look for individual stories (you can post such stories yourself in our Community blog), instead we want people who can contribute environmental news on a more regular basis.
    Green Blog is leaned towards the left. We believe that human and civil rights, global peace, equality and democracy all plays central roles in safeguarding our environment and improving - in a sustainable and non-destructive way - the lives of all people on this fragile planet. Green Blog encourage people to take direct non-violent action against CO2 emitting sources and protest against the current climate change inaction.
    You need to be comfortable with the material you're writing about. This is not a must, but we'd like you to write predominantly for one or two specific areas. This enables us to publish your articles more quickly, and helps you to focus your abilities. 
    We only accept original articles and posts. Please note that we are talking about citizen journalism and that we cannot pay you anything for this. Contributors will get complete control of their posts, a byline under every post and be able to post affiliate links in their articles. Green Blog also supports Flattr - which allows you to receive micro-donations from our readers.
    Want to write for us? If so please follow these simple steps:
    • If you haven't already, go to our community and register.
    • Once registered and logged in go to the Contributors forum and click on the Become a Contributor subforum link. In this subforum you can create a new topic and apply to become an author on Green Blog. And don't worry. Other people cannot see the topics or posts you create in this forum. Only Green Blog administrators can read your posts.
    • In your topic please tell us a little about yourself and why you would like to become a contributor on Green Blog. If possible please give us one or two examples of something you have written about before (does not have to be related to the environment). Other questions that are relevant:
    • Have you had previous experience in blogging?
    • What kind of topics would you like to write about on Green Blog?
    Martha Simons, Lisa, kiara and 2 others like this

  6. Here I will list all the articles that have been updated to work with the new publishing system that Green Blog currently uses. The articles are listed per category. 




    Business & Politics

    Cars & Transportation


    Renewable Energy

    Food & Health

    Global Warming

    Nature & Travel

    Photo Gallery

  7. Please let us know about any bugs and/or errors you might encounter on the new Green Blog website here. 


    Known bugs so far:

    • Problem accessing Green Blog from mobile devices. Fixed!
    • Unable to access our Gallery from mobile devices. Fixed!
    • Not possible to use the IP.Board Mobile skin while browsing on a desktop web browser. Fixed!
    • Frontpage looks weird on mobile devices. No fix yet...

  8. Tetsuro Tsutsui, engineer and expert of industrial tanks, said this about the recent leaks:  "I must say these are not accidents. There must be a systematic problem in the way things are run over there. [...] We must say on-site management is extremely poor."
    Kayoko Nakamura, radiologist and a Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner: "As far as TEPCO people on our contaminated water and sea monitoring panels are concerned, they seem to lack even the most basic knowledge about radiation." 


    It's comments like these, from experts in their field, that make me worry about nuclear safety. After all, Japan is supposed to be the text-book example of proper and good nuclear safety. 


    Its amazing they havent asked for help earlier. Surely they must have received some kind of outside help, right? What about IAEA?


    Well, they have been offered and received international help. French nuclear companies have been helping out since early 2011. American drones helped monitor the situation from above shortly after the nuclear accident. French and American robots have also helped to monitor the surrounding areas underwater and get access to areas deemed too dangerous for humans. Teams from IAEA have also helped advise TEPCO and the Japanese government. And just the other day, a team of experts from IAEA met Japanese government officials as part of a mission to check on progress in the cleanup at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

  9. I think the OPCW are worthy winners of the Nobel peace prize and I don't see anything wrong with them getting the award in light of the ongoing war in Syria. The OPCW has worked hard for years to eliminate chemical weapons around the world and the Syrian war just underlines the importance of an organization such as the OPCW. Sure, they might not be as well-known as other potential candidates for the prize, but it's not a popularity contest. ;)


    "During World War One, chemical weapons were used to a considerable degree. The Geneva Convention of 1925 prohibited the use, but not the production or storage, of chemical weapons. During World War Two, chemical means were employed in Hitler’s mass exterminations. Chemical weapons have subsequently been put to use on numerous occasions by both states and terrorists. In 1992-93 a convention was drawn up prohibiting also the production and storage of such weapons. It came into force in 1997. Since then the OPCW has, through inspections, destruction and by other means, sought the implementation of the convention. 189 states have acceded to the convention to date."


    Malala is a brave young woman. There is no question about that. But according to Alfred Nobel, the award is to be given to someone who promotes the reduction of standing military forces OR promotes peace between nations. Malala has done neither so far. 

  10. If I recall it correctly, all the internet armchair experts promised that the Fukushima nuclear accident was nothing to worry about, that it was no big problem and that it could easily be fixed...  :rolleyes:


    The Japanese government should have sidestepped TEPCO, who seem unable to even perform the easiest tasks correctly, and called for international support from the very beginning of the crisis. 

  11. HUV6ZJK.jpg


    I've seen this photo being shared plenty lately. It says: 

    "In America, lobbyists are constantly trying to convince us that alternative energy just isn't a viable option. Meanwhile, in Germany, they have permanently shut down 8 of their 17 nuclear power plants. The rest of them will be shut down by 2022... Where do you think they are getting their electricity from?"
    Yes, following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Germany is indeed in the process of shutting down their nuclear power plants. Unfortunately, Germany still gets the majority of their power from fossil fuel sources. But their share of renewables are increasing.
    Nuclear proponents are critical of this move and says that Germany now has to import electricity from France Czech Republic, which generate it in nuclear plants. They also blame last year's increase of CO2 emissions in Germany on the closure of the nuclear plants - because less nuclear plants means more coal plants.
    Every European country import and export electricity to the common European energy market, Germany is no exception. When it comes to Germany, the country actually exported more electricity to neighbouring countries than it imported last year. So despite the closure of several nuclear plants the German energy surplus quadrupled last year. 
    Blaming the 1,5% increase in CO2 emissions in 2012 on nuclear plants being shut down is a bit dishonest. I mean, coal and other fossil fuel plants just don't magically appear, they take years to plan and build. In fact, 60% of the lost nuclear capacity in Germany was replaced by renewable energy. It's also worth noting that CO2 emissions fell with 2% in 2011 - despite the closure of nuclear plants - and the country remains on track for its 35% emissions cut by 2020.
    In 2010 the renewable energy sector in Germany directly employed more than 370 000 people. That number has continued to increase in recent years. It has also played a part in helping Germany stay rather unaffected by the recent economic crisis.
    I'd say Germany did the right thing when they decided to decommission their nuclear plants. What do you think?  ^_^

  12. We still cant know for sure if a gas attack has even happened!!


    As expected, the recently released UN report says there is "clear evidence" chemical weapons were used in Syrian attack last month. UN chief Ban Ki-Moon described the chemical attack as a "war crime". "It is the worst use of chemical weapons on civilians in the 21st century," he said.
    Also this: 
    Syrian army defector says he was ordered by top regime officials to use poison gas in attacks on rebel-held areas.

  13. That article fails to mention that many of those "assaults" were humanitarian interventions or limited targeted missile strikes against dictators. Many happened on just grounds and even with the backings of the UN and the international community.


    These are the wars he is talking about:
    1. Vietnam
    2. Cambodia
    3. Dominican Republic
    4. Grenada
    5. Libya - The US undertook targeted air-strikes in response to the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing. This assault were condemned by many nations, but just as many nations supported it.
    6. Panama
    7. Iraq - This was actually a two-part intervention. The first was the Gulf War, which was waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition led by the US in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The second part was an intervention between 1991-2003 by the US, UK and France with the goal of creating a no-fly zone to protect the Kurds in northern Iraq and Shiite Muslims in the south.
    8. Somalia - A UN-sanctioned operation with the aim to create a secure enough environment for humanitarian operations to be carried out in the increasingly lawless and famine-stricken country.
    9. Haiti - The US led a multinational force, which was authorized by the UN, to remove a military regime who had overthrown the country's democratically elected President.
    10. Bosnia - This was a NATO intervention to implement several UN Security Council resolutions aimed at stopping the horrible war and genocide.
    11. Kosovo - This intervention had many similarities with the intervention in Bosnia. It was also a NATO operation with the aim of stopping a genocide and enforcing peace in the region.
    12. Afghanistan - The Afghan war happened with the backing of the international community - because there were clear links to the Talibans/al Qaeda and 9/11. Unfortunately, the US fucked up the situation and lost control in Afghanistan when they didn't keep up the pressure against the Talibans and instead engaged in a long, costly and frankly stupid occupation of Iraq.
    13. Iraq - This was a horrendous war and decades long occupation that, for obvious reasons, did not have the backing of the international community.
    14. Libya 2 - The US participated in a multinational force (countries such as Norway and even Sweden participated) with the goal to implement a UN Security Council resolution. This was done by establishing a "no-fly zone and to use all means necessary short of foreign occupation to protect civilians."

  14. Really? Doesn't seem so bad? The Human Rights Watch has called the country "among the worst in the world". Feedom House labels Syria as "not free". The Syrian authorities harass and arrests democracy and human rights activists, they censor websites and detains bloggers. Arbitrary detention, torture, and disappearances are widespread in the country. And that was way before the regime started to bomb their own people.


    The US government lied about WMDs in Iraq, that's true, but its a pretty known fact that Syria has large stockpiles of chemical weapons. Considering the evidence we've seen so far its silly to try and claim that chemical weapons haven't been used by the regime in Syria. The Syrian regime themselves acknowledge the fact that a chemical weapons attack has taken place, but they blame the gas attack on the rebels...


    And if it's the rebels who are responsible for the gas attack, which despite their gains against government forces seems highly unlikely, then that would be an even worse scenario. Because that would mean that the Syrian regime have completely lost control of the situation and that dangerous chemical weapons could be spread to other hot spots around the world, sold to terrorists, black market arms dealers and so on. If that were the case, the response from the international community would have to be on an even larger scale and much more powerful, i.e. boots on the ground and a potential occupation of Syria to find, secure and destroy the stockpiles of chemical weapons.

  15. First of all, it's not a war. It's a limited military intervention with the goal to stop, or at least deter, a dictator from killing his own people with chemical weapons. I wouldn't say that's pointless.


    Furthermore, the United States is the major economic and military super power in the world today. And that comes with certain responsibilities and moral obligations to act against international and human rights violations - just like the crimes done by the Syrian regime. I think it's selfish and dangerously isolationistic to say that the world's richest country cannot afford to intervene and stop a genocide.


    I believe that an intervention is necessary. Diplomacy has failed completely and the Syrian regime have been able to bomb and slaughter its own people for more than two years. And now they are using chemical weapons which is a clear breach against international laws and norms. The chemical massacre last week cannot go unanswered and the repercussions need to be swift and hard. The only way for Bashar al-Assad to be tempted to join negotiations is if there are real and costly repercussions for not participating in such meetings.

  16. Streetmix is a simple and cool program that lets you design your own ideal street. Check it out and show me how your ideal street looks like! :)




    Here's some more information about Streetmix: "Six months ago, the Fellows came together for its first hackathon, and there, we created the initial prototype for Streetmix. Since then, we’ve received so many encouraging responses from users around the world, such as transportation planners in Raleigh, N.C. a community engagement specialist in Vancouver, Canada, and architects and urban designers in Brazil. As a result, we’ve continued working on Streetmix during Labs Friday and in whatever free time we could spare during our Fellowship, and already, Streetmix has helped a small community protest against widening highways in Sioux Center, Iowa, visualized BRT planning in Albuquerque, N.M., shined a spotlight on bike safety in Seattle, and engaged the public on streetscape master planning in Aukland, New Zealand."


    This is my ideal street (to be honest, I would get rid of the cars but ya know...):



  17. Luke Keegan turned his front lawn into a beautiful vegetable garden full of life. This is how he did it (full story on imgur):
    This is my front yard as seen from my street in the middle of June.
    Started by making 8 6'x4' raised beds with 1"x10"x10' reclaimed redwood barn siding
    Filled the beds with free compost that the city gives away. You can see behind my girlfriend the garden that I put in parkway that used to be paved.


    Seeds started sprouting quickly. I sowed many directly, and some I started in a small hoop house I made in the backyard. Almost all my plants I grew from seed.



    Irrigation is a PITA.


    Filled cinder blocks with compost too. They'll hold the wood chips off the sidewalk and create a honeybee sanctuary with lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil planted in them.


    This is one of my favorite features of the garden. I built a "free veggies" box to help spread the wealth. All sorts of people take what I offer up. I've seen people drive upand get out of there car just to check what's in the box. It is amazing how many zucchinis my neighbors will eat.



    The view from the roof.

    Again, the full story with even more photos can be found here.