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For better or worse

Over the last thirty years, I have often been asked where I come from and where I was born. Does this matter? And, if so, why? What can you deduce from knowing that someone was born in Metz, Monchique or Minden? Isn’t it enough just to be European? What if the woman in the queue behind me asks me once again and I reply that I’m from Monchique? Will that be of any help to her? In what way? Does it explain anything about the person inside me? When she smiles and shakes her head, I look at her and …

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“What are politicians thinking about when they try not to think about global warming?”

There is nothing that reduces credibility in government policies more than a lack of trust in its climate measures. When someone travels from one climate conference to another by plane, despite being responsible for implementing measures that mitigate the greenhouse effect, this demonstrates a contradiction in their way of thinking, a contradiction between the statements that they make and their attitude. It has been proven that the burning of oil, gas and coal causes the overheating of our planet’s atmosphere and poses a threat to all of humanity. So why is it that European governments do not set a limit …

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EDEN
The Botanical Garden of Caldas de Monchique

Here is some more good news! Over the next ten years, ECO123’s employees, friends, sponsors, subscribers and customers will plant more than 1,000 different young trees in the new botanical garden of Caldas de Monchique. To plant a tree, it’s not enough just to make a hole and put a plant in it. A biotope is a complex system that lives by giving and receiving, waiting and growing, while also resting in order to gain new strength and the ability to interact. This story will cover everything that is needed to make a tree feel good on the planet Earth. …

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Oxytocin or Le P’tit Cirk

How will it end? It’s the old motto: “trust is good, but control is better”. We are sitting in a small circus tent in Monchique, eagerly awaiting the performers. It’s dark and cosy. There are more than 500 people filling the tent tonight. There is still a quarter of an hour to go. In my mind, I’m thinking of a film about the acrobat Philippe Petit. He’s the man who, one day in August 1974, when I was a young man, I saw dancing whilst balancing on a high wire reaching more than 60 metres between the Twin Towers of …

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Do we have a hope in hell?

It’s not yet too late to avoid the worst consequences of accelerating climate change – a position that can be justified by the mainstream scientific evidence available to us today. But governments and civil society must do something effective to lower our carbon footprint in the next ten years. So argues the leading UK environmentalist Jonathon Porritt in his new book Hope in Hell, due to be released this summer. Jonathon Porritt served as chair of the Ecology Party (now the UK Green Party) from 1979 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1984. He is a former director of Friends …

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An Alsatian Pizza

One of our family’s favourite recipes is “flammkuchen”, or “tarte flambé”, as it is often called, since it is a typical speciality from the south-east of France. There are a thousand and one varieties of this dish to be found in Lorraine, but also in Alsace, Switzerland and the German State of Saarland, and, as it can easily be made without either meat or fish, it’s a great choice for a vegetarian meal. We sometimes opt for a vegan version, but we love it in all its varieties, and, in today’s recipe, we are going to combine a series of …

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Are holidays really the best days of the year?

There are regions and economic areas that are sustainable and others that are not. And all it took was for a virus to hitch a lift on the back of tourism, travelling around the world and spreading disease and death, to prove the absurdity that reigns in the hospitality industry. In other words, it is the virus that has shown us that there are limits to tourism in our lives. Is this coronavirus the beginning of the end for a generation accustomed to travelling without limits and the beginning of the end for the tourism sector? For more than 250 …

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Test Drive – Hyundai KAUAI EV

Electric cars are considered one of the main solutions for reducing carbon emissions in transport. They are appearing in increasing numbers on the roads, but it’s important to look at various factors when purchasing a car for yourself. ECO123 set off into the world of 100% electric vehicles and sat behind the wheel to test three different models: the Hyundai Kauai EV, the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe.   The Peaceful Revolution There is little doubt that the future of sustainable mobility lies in the electrification of the transport sector. The need to reduce our carbon footprint, along with …

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Combustion engine cars versus electric cars
Your days are numbered

A change of course? Certainly. From this edition onwards, ECO123 will have a piece dedicated to transport. Three well-known politicians also sought to set their own course on Wednesday 13 May. In this final phase of the first wave of Covid-19, they went to visit the Autoeuropa factory in Palmela. But we haven’t forgotten about the fraudulent software that was installed in millions of Volkswagen diesel cars. It led to a wave of lawsuits being brought worldwide against the German automobile industry. We will cover the development of this story with reports on our website. And we understand that it …

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Electricity in the hands of communities?

This year, Portuguese law paved the way for energy transition. “Collective self-consumption” and “energy communities” have now become legally recognised concepts. Now, we must transfer these concepts from paper into reality, overcome bureaucracy and lead the way towards decentralised energy systems that are both eco-friendly and collectively managed.   The legislation governing this change is Decree-Law No. 162/2019. Here, you will find seven pages of legal text which replace previous laws regulating the self-consumption of renewable energy and pave the way for a more efficient, decentralised energy grid. Effective since 1 January, the legislation allows people to collectively manage their …

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