Posts Tagged ‘germany’

Environmental News : : Sea level’s still rising

Sea levels rising 60% more than expected

Satellite data collected by US mathematicians have now labelled New York, Los Angeles and many other coastal cities as “hotspots”. Simply put, the seas levels are rising twice as fast at these hotspots than anywhere else in the world. Shockingly, reports have shown that over half of the US population are at risk. Over 28o cities live just 1 meter above the high tide mark. The effects of Hurricane Sandy were shocking enough, although what would be even worse, is if we did not learn from it.
Hurricane Sandy was not a one off. It’s a very real threat now that the ‘perfect storm’ could become much more common. I often write of how you can do your part to help out those in need. Well do your part here and make sure others are aware of this news. How many natural disasters does it take before we change?

FEED 25 New Yorkers in needFEED Projects, FEED NYC, Lauren Bush Lauren, made in the U.S.A., disaster relief, Hurricane Sandy, New York, New York City, FEED Foundation, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, fashion philanthropy

The social enterprise FEED is offering a great chance for people to help out with the Sandy relief efforts. They have produced an organic hoodie and tote bag, that, when purchased, will help feed 25 New Yorkers. At just $40 and $35 respectively, it does not cost you a lot to help out yourself along with 25 others. The estimated relief cost recently hit $46,000,000,000. If my first paragraph hit home at all with you, then please consider doing your part here. Need extra incentive beside the american apparel looking hoodie? It’s Christmas!

Germany produce wooden wind turbine

Germany clearly aren’t finished with the environment. Just a few months ago they all but conquered solar energy (here) so they are now concentrating their focus on wind energy. The ironic thing with wind turbines? They aren’t all that green. More steel was used in wind energy last year than in shipbuilding. The production of steel is an expensive and energy consuming task that releases copious amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. TimberTower are a turbine production company that recently celebrated the erection of their first wooden wind turbine in Hanover, Germany.
The turbine meets all insurance and safety standards whilst producing enough energy to power 1,000 homes. It has a minimum life span of 20 years. The best part? It’s recyclable. It’s still very early on, but something made from 99%  renewable resources that creates renewable energy is a huge step forward.

 

I leave you with –

– Why it’s ok not to wash your jeans.
The most awesome bed you could ever own.
Great green presents under £30.

 

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Environmental News : : Germany Lead the Way

German scientists double the efficiency of solar cells

Researchers in Germany have found a way to combine a conventional solar panel with black silicon. A conventional panel can only harness 50%-70% of UV light. With the addition of black silicon, 100% of the suns energy can be absorbed, including infrared rays. I will not bore you wit the technical side (I was never good at chemistry) but these new solar panels are already in production. Furthermore the equipment used to produce these new panels is in the process of being mass produced. Do you think solar energy is more worth our time than wind energy?

Germany sets new solar record

solar energy, renewable energy, news, Germany, EU, 2020 energy goals, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, Germany, clean tech, alternative energy, solar panels

Seems like Germany have been investigating solar power for quite some time…. Last weekend, 22 gigawatts was fed into the German national grid, per hour. This culminated in providing almost half of the countries energy demands. After Fukushima, Japan as forced to shut down all nuclear power plants, Germany soon followed suit. This meant there was extra money and space to be spent on new energy resources. Like most European countries, Germany are aiming to cut greenhouse emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2020. Amazingly, it looks like they achieve this goal.

So next time someone tells you renewable energy is pointless, drop this knowledge bomb on them. I guess we can’t hate Germany just because of their football team forever…

 Asteroid dust clouds can act as a sunshade

asteroids, university of strathclyde, geoengineering, geoengineering projects, climate change, global warming, space mirrors, dust cloud, asteroid dust,

A research time from Strathclyde has suggested that blowing up asteroids could help save our planet.  Natural dust would be scattered in the atmosphere, thus reflecting sun rays. Like all geo-engineering projects (giant mirrors in space anyone?), this idea comes with a few risks. The dust particles will eventually disperse you to the gravitational pull of our solar system. Also, the collateral damage to earth would be unpredictable. Who knows where the extra debris would fall. The dust cloud would only be able to absorb 1.7% of the sun rays. Whilst this seems a small amount, it would still manage to cool the earth around 2-3 degrees celsius which would make a huge difference.

Whilst this isn’t the best geo-engineering project, it has shown us that we only need to stop a very small amount of solar radiation hitting the earth in order to make a very big difference.

IKEA will use 100% renewable resources by 2020

IKEA, Energy Neutrality, Sustainable energy, wind power, solar power, LED lighting, induction cooking, plant a tree

No, IKEA isn’t a European country involved in the 40% emission cut by 2020, although you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking so. The most inspirational part? IKEA have promised to plant more trees than they use. Since they are also investing in wind and solar energy, IKEA will be creating more energy than it uses. This isn’t just about self-sustainability, this is about helping to power the planet.

The $2 billion dollar investment shouldn’t discourage other companies from taking a similar environmental approach to business. This project is set to save IKEA and its consumers a lot of money.

 

I leave you with

A watch that saves children. No, it’s not by Toms.

Man attempts to cross the Irish Sea….in a giant hamster wheel. 

An alternative, cheap and eco-friendly chair that will make your friends jealous. 

Video Game Euphoria.

You often hear people talk of their amazing experiences. Whether this is in front of a crowd, as they jump out a plane or when they see there sports team win the championship. These are easy to understand because all of us, at some stage, have experienced that magical feeling. That feeling that makes you scared to live the rest of your life out of fear that you will never reach those magical heights again. This feeling comes in all sorts of forms. However, one of those is greatly overlooked. This is the 3rd blog post I’ve written after experiencing such euphoria from a video game (see here for what Call of Duty’s single player did to me).

I write this just one hour after the most incredible FIFA victory I’ve ever seen or taken part in. Now stay with me, before you judge, because it was utter insanity.

The night began with pizza, beer, (real) football and a complete oblivious nature as to what was about to unfold. We set ourselves the task of beating Germany with England on Legendary difficulty in FIFA 12. This would be the perfect climax to the video game football world with the release of FIFA 13 just around the corner. We would proudly be able to say “yeah, we beat FIFA…..on Legendary.” After 3 hours of trying we soon realised the task ahead was not for the faint of heart.

It took us an hour alone just to score a solitary goal, but a tremendous goal at that. Rooney, from the centre circle, threaded a perfectly weighted through ball towards the ‘gassed’ Theo Walcott down the left wing. Rooney continued his gut-busting run all the way to the edge of the area, overtaking two German defenders before Theo eloquently rolled the ball towards the bulldozing Rooney.

Manual Neuer never stood a chance.

   The goal was met with raucous cheers that were loud enough to wake the neighbours. We weren’t even dis-heartened by the final score line of 4-1. We had scored. Against the Germans. On Legendary. It was possible. Suddenly, seeming like we were in a Nike “impossible is nothing” advert, we clicked the restart match button. Our index fingers filled with nothing but optimism and faith.

Another hour went by and we got closer. Scoring became a more regular occurrence. The main difficulty (my friend George and I agreed) was that as soon as we managed to score, the computer would seemingly crush our gleeful faces by upping the difficulty from Legendary to ‘COMPUTER SAYS NO’. The number of times that we conceded minutes after scoring…I don’t like to think about it. Still, we could score, and we had experienced times of up to 60 (FIFA) minutes where we kept the Germans at bay.

Memories of playing through the D-Day mission on Medal Of Honour and Call of Duty began flooding back to me. The Germans had to be stopped.

The clock struck 11:27 pm. We hit the restart button for what would be the last time.
The first 45 minutes was uneventful. A chess game. Teasing runs that made sure not to commit too many men forward for fear of the German merciless counter-attack.
Within 5 minutes of the 2nd half commencing, Ashley Young was hacked down in the area by Per Mertesacker. The kind of challenge that only a slow, lumpy oaf like Per would make. Ashley tumbled to the ground before we heard the referee’s whistle stay silent. We could barely contain the anger. We were stuck in the pause menu for 10 minutes, trying to steady our emotions after it seemed this game was doing everything in its power not to let us win.

   Then just 2 minutes later, Walcott steamed into the penalty area off a counter attack and lobbed the ball up deliciously into the bath of an incoming Ashley Young. He was out for revenge. He leapt high up above Per and headed the ball towards goal from 2 yards out, a certain goal, a certain 1-0 lead…..to our disbelief Neuer clawed the ball over the bar. The agony wasn’t over yet. From the following corner, Lampard swung the ball into the near post where Ferdinand met the ball, winning England’s 4th header in as many hours, before directing it towards the bottom corner. We began to rise in anticipation of this long awaited goal before we saw the ball cannon off the post and out. More screaming ensued. There was no way to win, it wasn’t in the algorithm of the game. Another two minutes went by and these fears were crystallised as Klose headed the ball into the England net after what was incredibly uneventful and boring build up play.

We were 1-0 down at 55 minutes. Our belief in being able to win was gone. We both knew that come the final whistle it would all be over, for good.

But it wasn’t over.

10 minutes later, Per handled the ball in his own area to keep the ball away from Rooney.  A certain penalty, there was no way the referee could worm his way out this way. George handed me the controller in complete fear he would miss. Lampard stepped up and blasted the ball into the top right corner. 1-1. GAME ON.

At the 76 minute mark, Rooney (who has been our shining star all evening) received the ball with his back to goal about 20 yards out. He leant one way before swivelling the other, leaving Per for dead. Shrugging off the incoming Schweinsteiger, he rocketed the ball into the bottom left corner. A typical Rooney goal that displayed his strength and power. We were 2-1 up and we could hardly contain ourselves. Just 10 minutes away from beating FIFA 12 we became petrified as soon as the German team took possession in fear of the computer suddenly upping their difficulty level again. People say the Shining is a scary film and that Slender is a scary video game. I however have never been more scared than when Phillip Lahm has been running straight at me.

We held out until the 90th minute before Klose somehow found himself 3 yards out. Joe Hart came to our rescue for the 89th time that evening. The ball was cleared and the final whistle was blown. 

The following 25 minutes, we sat dumbstruck. Re-watching highlights and absorbing every possible lick of information available from the match facts page. We knew that we had both experienced something we would one day tell our Grandkids. Stop laughing, I’m serious.

You can list this as #39 in the “Reasons why Video Games are the Best Thing to Happen to the World Since Sliced Bread”.

Bring on FIFA 13.