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Mark Piazzalunga

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  1. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from NoNukes in How Rising Seas Could Sink Nuclear Plants   
    Too cold, too warm, every change in the climate is dangerous for unstable structures. I hope they won't secure nuclear plants but close them.
  2. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in Fantasy European high-speed rail network   

    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."  

    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!
  3. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Fantasy European high-speed rail network   
    On the old traces of TEN-T project a new high speed rail system could be built basing on the "European corridors". Some high spped rails already exists but are unfinished and non-linear. The main corridors should be five: three verticals, two horizontal.
    The vertical corridors:
    1. Blue. Lisbon-Edimburgh. Lisbon-Madrid-Bordeaux-Paris-through Eurochannel-London-Birminghan-Manchester-Edimburgh-Glasgow. Also another line wich connects Dublin to Belfast. Let's not forget Ireland.
    2. Red. Rome-Stockholm with extentions from Naples to Oslo. Naples-Rome-Florence-Bologna-Milan.
        - The first branch is Bern-Munich-Lipsia-Berlin-Hamburg-Copenhagen-Stockholm-Oslo.
        - The second is Strasborug-Luxembourg-Bruxelles-Amsterdam. There are some extensions to Prague, Frankfurt, Liechtestein and Lyon.
    3. Yellow. Athens-Helsinki. Athens-Skopje.
        - The first branch is Sofia-Bucarest-Chisinau-Lviv-Minsk-Vilnius-Riga-Tallinn-Helsinki with extensions to Istanbul.
        - The second is Sarajevo-Zagreb-Ljubijana-Wien-Prague with extensions to Belgrade and Bratislava
    The horizontal corridors:
    1. Green. Lisbon-Kiev (also known as Corridor 5). Lisbon-Madrid-Valencia-Barcelona-Marseille-Lyon-Turin-Milan-Venice-Trieste-Ljubijana-Budapest-Lviv-Kiev with extensions to Bratislava and Genoa.
    2. Light-blue. Paris-Moscow. Paris-Bruxelles-Amsterdam-Berlin-Poznan-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow with extensions to Prague.
  4. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in Fantasy European high-speed rail network   
    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?

  5. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in These maps show Tesla's plan to blanket (most of) the world in superchargers   
    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... 

  6. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Why others do not believe in global warming?   
    Most people aren't scared from climate change because they can't see and directly feel the consequences. What are some degrees over the usual? People must understand that the consequences will be catastrophic and that the effects of climate change are unpredictable, like Polar Vortex in the USA this winter is a consequence of global warming, strange but true.
  7. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in "Earth Box" analogues from Cat Litter Bins   
    Yes! Please post more about this. Do you also have any more photos on your gardening bins? I would like to try out something similar but could use some more information.
  8. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in The U.S. now uses more corn to fuel their cars than to eat   
    And its monoculture. There are so many variations of corn but only a few are being grown.
  9. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in The U.S. now uses more corn to fuel their cars than to eat   
    Only around 20% of all the corn grown in America now goes to feed humans. The majority of the corn produced is being turned into ethanol fuel, TreeHugger reports. And one smaller part of the corn production also goes to feed our ever expanding meat industry.

    Global Hunger Index says that America's use of biofuels plays a big role in creating famine's and increasing food prices around the world.

    "US policies encouraging corn ethanol production, such as subsidies and mandates, ensure more corn is grown for fuel rather than food – especially when oil prices are high. "What this means is that every policy on biofuels will create an increase in volatility, will create an increase in price and that will be translated to all the other countries," Torero said. Torero warned that projected growth in US biofuel production over the next decade would put even more pressure on global corn prices."
  10. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Why others do not believe in global warming?   
    Fossil fuels, the main cuase of climate change, belong to an energy system that can't power the world for centuries. At the beginning of XX century oil was an energy source full of opportunities and now we depend on something that is destroying our planet (I don't care about the opinions of the Republicans that still see oil as job opportunities). When oil will run out (according to different sources approximately in 2050) there must be a new energy system, preferably based on renewable energy, to take place. In 2050 there won't be a single drop of oil, that doesn't mean humans will stop using it in 2050.

    According to peakoil.nl and OPEC in 2016 demand will exceed production i.e. there won't be enough oil to satisfy the entire demand. From now oil prices will increase more and more excluding a bigger part of global demand. We should start thinking and building a new energy system now instead of watching disasters destroying the nature of planet putting at risks thousands of animal species. We're stuck here, listening to all the lies and inventions of some people saying climate scientists are a secret lobby whose only target is to steal money. Let's not give up.

  11. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in How can we avoid climate fatigue?   
    Agreed, but it's not enough just to push the green message. We need to make sure that the environmental movement doesn't get hijacked by special interests, as well as making sure that the solutions won't get watered down to greenwashing business-friendly PR.
  12. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Six vital advices for persuading people about the benefits of green life   
    Unfortunately conspiracy theories attract many people but what convince more are fake, comfortable truths. World is full of real inconvinient truths.
  13. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in How can we avoid climate fatigue?   
    Twenty years ago renewable energy was science fiction and climate change didn't exist, well, it did but nobody knew that. Now renewable energy sector is a market of billion dollars. Companies like Sun Power and Abengoa are quoted in the stock exchanges all over the world. From zero to a hundred billion dollars in just twenty years, with 6.5 million jobs and the constant target to fight climate change. In twenty years where will the green movement be?

    We just have to keep the movement alive, keep telling people the risk of climate change is high, keep acting for a greener world. This website is the demonstration of how a green community is beautiful and rich of people from every part of the world.
  14. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Giant Solar Energy Sea Duck Could Power Copenhagen   
    A good news for innovation and environment comes from Denmark, pioneer in the sector
    of renewable energy. A team of British designers and artists have proposed a floating
    tourist attraction that would gather solar energy in Copenhagen Harbor as the Danish
    city works to become carbon-neutral by the year 2025. And this flosting attraction is a giant

    That’s right! A giant sea duck could power Copenaghen with renewable energy! Human
    mind can do wonderful things sometimes.

    Built from lightweight steel and covered in solar panels, the “energy duck” would by
    day collect the sun’s rays and by night bask the harbor in LED lights that change color
    in rhythm with the hydro turbines inside it. Based on its modelling, in its entirety, the
    energy yield of the generator would be 75% of a fully optimized solar farm on the same
    site. additionally, ‘energy duck’ has been conceived to be completely scalable depending
    on the situation: a 40m high duck serves a town; a 20m high duck serves a village, and a
    4m high duck serves an individual house.

    It can be a very, very visited tourist attraction and also a giant renewable energy hybrid
    generator. It could represent a big step forward in the energy sector but most of all: it’s a
    sea duck!
  15. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from NoNukes in How Rising Seas Could Sink Nuclear Plants   
    This is the demonstration that nuclear power is dangerous. Human errors and natural disasters were and are devastating. We can't afford to produce more energy with this source, it's for the good of the people.
  16. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Six vital advices for persuading people about the benefits of green life   
    Have you ever met a denier of climate change? Lucky you because if you are a strong environmentalist (like me) it's hard to discuss with the deniers. So, here’s a list of essential advices for persuading one or more people about the great benefits of green energy/politics/economics.

    1. Don’t appear like a crazy prophet of an environmental apocalypse. It doesn’t inspire a lot of trust and a lot of people get tired about the usual environmental polemics.
    2. Always expose objective and tangible data supporting your theory. The good thing is that there are a lot of positive data regarding green topics.
    3. Always predict any possible antithesis to improve your thesis.
    4. Don’t be boring. The worst thing after the refuse is the indifference.
    5. Believe in what you say. You have to be convinced about the things you say otherwise it’s totally useless.
    6. Don’t invent data to support your thesis and always verify the reliability of the data that you have to expose.
    Of course, if you're at a dinner with some friends don't show graphs about the levels of CO2 and the melting of Northern Pole. And what about you? Have you ever had an argue with someone about environment? Write it in the comments.

    P.S. For every climate change denier, I'm happy to hear your experiences but prepare for hard discussions

    A little reminder of the things we have to protect.
  17. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in A sneak peek at the new Green Blog design (update, it's here now!)   
    Green Blog usually gets a facelift every summer. And this year is no different. Here is a little sneak peek at the new Green Blog design coming later this summer. Click on the image to see the large version.

  18. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga reacted to Simon in Why others do not believe in global warming?   
    Yes, I think this plays a big role in hampering global action on climate change. These corporations are huge, and their power reaches all corners of the world. And they would be directly affected if we, some day, decided to take meaningful action. No wonder they pay so much to lobby politicians. 
  19. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in European Parliament Election 2014   
    Electoral laws change and if in Italy a party which had 500,000 votes can't enter the European Parliament, a party that in Germany had 200,000 votes can have a seat. That's because the different elction thresholds and I find it wrong and undemocratic. You're totally right when you say one vote per EU Citizen andit would be much better if the big european parties participated in the elections.

    I sincerely hope we won't have a conservative president, it's 10 years we have a president from EPP and 15 we don't have a president from a center-left party. EPP and S&D were thinking to Enrico Letta as President of th European Council. Letta is the former President of Italy (he didn't go so well) a "compatriot" and he is from Democratic Party (the only center-left party in Italy) although he comes from a christian democratic tradition that I don't like so much.

    Regarding Italian Greens it's such a shame. In the '90 they were starting to increase their votes, they also got Environment Ministry in some governments but they didn't work. In Italy we have horrible environmental scandals (Land of Fires and Ilva) and a well-structured party could really change things.
  20. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Why others do not believe in global warming?   
    The six richiest and most powerful comapanies in the world are oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, British Petroleum... To find a renewable energy company you have to go down the ranking. Non-renewable sources market has existed for a century and it's more profitable than renewable one. Fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming and renewable energy is the best solution. This shift from fossil fuels to renewables implies a great loss of money for companies that run the world (the first six oil companies have nearly $2400 billion, higher than France GDP).
  21. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in 62% of Americans will pay more to defeat climate change   
    Americans are willing to bear the costs of combating climate change, and most are more likely to support a candidate seeking to address the issue in these midterm elections.

    By an almost two-to-one margin, 62 percent to 33 percent, Americans say they would pay more for energy if it would mean a reduction in pollution from carbon emissions, according to the Bloomberg National Poll.
    While Republicans were split, with 46 percent willing to pay more and 49 percent opposed to it, 82 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents say they’d accept higher bills.

    These great news point three facts:
    - Not all Republicans are against climate change, the most wonderful news I've ever heard.
    - Democrats may win midterm elections due to the opinion of Americans.
    - Something might really change in America from the environmental point, climate change isn't anymore that Democrat legend, it's now a real danger that must be defeated.
  22. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Climate Change Plan, Texas Needs Biggest Cut   
    Yesterday Obama administration decided to cut 30% of carbon emissions from power plants by 2030 through an ambitious and brilliant plan. Wonderful news for the workers in renewable power plants, less for who works in a carbon plant. But which is the state that has to cut the emissions most of all? At the top there’s Lone Star State. The nation’s top emitter of greenhouse gases, Texas would account for more than a quarter of the total cuts in greenhouse gases that would be required, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the top positions we can find Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

    Rick Perry, republican, governor of Texas, runner for the White House in 2012 (and maybe in 2016), isn’t so happy. The plan “is the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans, and fuel both our homes and our nation’s economic growth,” Perry said in a statement. Apparently he prefer having an air full of CO2. Fortunately other states, like Washington, were more supportive. “We have an obligation to protect our state, our economy and our environment for our children and for future generations,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) said in a statement.

    Again, Democrats and Republicans are divided on climate change and it’s hard to understand. Does it mean that all the Republicans will oppose this revolutionary plan just to keep alive a dangerous energy system? Next generations hope not. The plan’s benefits are historical: by reducing both the risks of climate change, and the pollution associated with coal-fired power plants, the administration said that the plan would lead to $90 billion in climate and health benefits. It would cost utilities and other companies up to $8.8 billion.

    Fortunately Texas’s got what it needs to cut the emissions. In fact, Texas is the nation’s top wind-power producer. “Luckily, we have more renewable resources than anyone else,” Armendariz, former EPA top official in Texas, said in an interview. “We just need to do what Texans know how to do: roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
  23. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in European Parliament Election 2014   
    2014 EU Elections; The Duel Between Anger and Hope
    A few weeks ago the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that these elections would have been a duel between anger, the refuse of European Union and the hate for Euro, and hope, improving all the aspects of European Union. There was a big and significant wave of euroscepticism but it haven’t drowned the European Union as everyone believed. There were defeats for Europeanism:

    - UK, where the Eurosceptic party (UKIP) arrived first with 27.5% and 23 seats.
    - France, where the Front Nationale took 25% of the votes and 24 seats.

    There were advances:

    - Italy, where Five Stars Movement took 21% and 17 seats.
    - Germany, where Alternative for Germany took 7% and 7 seats.

    But there were significant victories:

    - Italy, Democratic Party (center-left) took 41% of the votes and 31 seats, the biggest party in Europe (if we consider CDU of Angela Merkel separated from CSU).
    - In Germany Europeanism is still high. The Europeanist parties took 82 seats on 96 (if we consider Die Like, left-wing, too).

    As Italian I’m proud of the results of these elections that encouraged the action of the current government. It’s also the highest result a center-left party ever reached in Italy. It’s the sign that not all the Europeans want the destruction of the Union but a majority pretend a better Europe that can be competitive in the world markets and that can be right and fair with all the people of the states. Now let’s just hope to have a strong European Commission with the participation of all the Europeanist parties.

    P.S. Greens in Italy are not the best we can have and they didn’t have any chance to enter the European Parliament but in the Democratic Party there’s a strong ecologic component.
  24. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in European Parliament Election 2014   
    I think that the decision of the European Greens to candidate a man and a woman (who has only 32 years) is fantastic. These elections will decide the president of European Commission and the main rival of Juncker is Martin Schulz, white, old but smart and with a progressist vision of the European Union. I'd prefer to vote Schulz instead of Juncker but I think Socialists, Greens and the European Left have to cooperate because these elections will change everything.
  25. Like
    Mark Piazzalunga got a reaction from Simon in Half the U.S. is now in a drought   
    Another sad truth that is bringing many dangers and some of them are very hidden. In the soil of the Southwest of USA we can find the Coccidioides fungus. In dry months, the dust scatters in the wind and can be breathed into the lungs, infecting humans and animals. The incidence is rising dramatically in the Southwest, where reported cases increased tenfold from 1998 to 2011, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

    You can find more on:

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