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“Happy pigs” for consumption

Let’s imagine the following: in the future, it will be possible to buy a kilo of traditional chouriço sausage made from the meat of the Iberian pig, which today costs around 17 euros, for €1.99 at any supermarket – but with genetically modified pork processed in the USA. Our future “piri piri” chicken will come from Kentucky and will cost 99 cents. Let us imagine too that our bread, butter, milk, cheese, olive oil, potatoes, pasta and rice, among other products (all of which we need to lead a good life) will be bought in a Chinese or American shop …

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Comment on the TTIP

I believe in and am hopeful about the European project, as well as projects that take place all over the world and which try to create a present and a future where we manage to create collective visions and implement concrete actions in response to the objectives of sustainable development. As regards the TTIP, I have noticed that the European Commission (EC) has worked to make “everything” available on the internet for citizens who are most interested, mainly activists. I wrote “everything” because even the EC mentions in a chapter on transparency that, for reasons of “trust” in its partners …

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The Faro Bike Lounge

Our cities are the stage for a pedalling revolution, which, although slow, is set to create a new paradigm: that of the cycle-civilised, bike-informed citizen. This new mentality is leading to the creation of places where you can repair your bike while you’re having lunch or drinking a coffee. In the city of Faro, we found an example of this, the Bike Lounge. ECO123 talked to the people in charge, Alberto Henriques (40), who spent 18 years working for a bicycle import company, and Susana Henriques (42), who worked as a supervisor in a hotel in Faro. ECO123: How did …

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Putting fun between your legs/The fun of pedalling

A commuter is someone who uses their bicycle for their everyday travel, in contrast with a cyclist, who uses a bike for sport or recreation. In reality, this distinction is artificial because, like many others, I do both, and frequently on the same journey. It is quite common for me to take the longest route to work out of the simple pleasure of pedalling, feeling the cool breeze on my face and enjoying the beauty of the city bathed in that special, early morning light. Using a bike as a means of transport quickly became, if not an obsession, at …

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The Good City

Mobility, the origin of health, prosperity and happiness. Are Lisbon, Porto, Faro and other cities in our country above all places that are people-friendly? Do we live in municipalities with good public spaces and a plan that encourage people to walk or to ride a bike? Does good local public transport reduce dependence on cars? One idea from other European cities is that drivers are obliged to leave their cars at a car park outside the city and a free bus shuttles every five minutes between the car park and the city centre. Walking and cycling in public traffic are …

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Interview with Roberto Merrill

ECO123: Are you working in Braga at present? Roberto Merrill: Yes, I came back to Portugal as a post-doctoral researcher funded by the FCT (Foundation of Science and Technology). I did research in political philosophy and two weeks ago I went to live in Braga, because I managed to arrange a miracle there: a post as a lecturer, so I’m feeling very fulfilled. How did you get involved with the unconditional basic income movement? My doctoral thesis in political philosophy was about the neutrality of the state. The topic of what it is that makes the authority of the state …

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rendimento basico

Unconditional Basic Income

An essay by Theobald Tiger Do you know the feeling? You do something just for your own sake. Simply because it’s fun. Because you’re interested in it. Or because it represents a challenge. The best example: an author writes a story. A fashion designer creates a hat. A painter paints a picture. Then the other side of the coin: you carry out a particular task because you expect some advantage from it, for example, a reward, a salary, a profit, a return on an investment etc. Or because you wish to avoid disadvantages or a punishment. Do we go to …

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The forest is full of energy

Words can be interpreted in different ways. The same does not apply to numbers. Numbers are just numbers, and that’s it. Statistics from the year 2012 show that Portugal imports about 80% of the energy it consumes. Most of this comes from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. There should be more arguments against these facts so that the situation could become more environmentally friendly. Some countries in Europe have taken great strides forward in ecological terms, in particular Germany, which now produces about 8% of its energy from biomass. What don’t we do the same in …

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What is Proforbiomed?

ECO123: What is Proforbiomed? Architect Inês Duarte (CICAE): Proforbiomed was a project financed by the MED programme lasting from 2010 to 2014, so it was concluded at the end of last year and the aim of this project was to promote the use of residual forest biomass in the Mediterranean area; it covered the whole of the Mediterranean basin, which has a very similar forestry context, and where everyone faces a serious problem of forest fires, even more now owing to global warming, which has been getting worse. This project aimed to promote the use of this biomass so as …

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The fish from my garden

The number of people who take care to enquire where and how their food is produced is growing steadily. More and more people want a guarantee that their foodstuffs, whether vegetables, salads or fish, are produced locally, in an ecologically impeccable manner, and in harmony with nature. Fruit and vegetables produced oneself or grown in the region, ok; but fresh fish too? ECO123 investigates. For weeks there has been talk of little else. The idea is fascinating: it keeps them occupied and is the daily topic of conversation. This is confirmed by João Jesus (48), an independent landscape designer from …

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