Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Portugal

The transition begins inside me

Greenhouse gas emissions, caused by agriculture, transport and industry, disturb the balance of the climate, and ultimately Earth’s entire atmospheric system. The destruction caused by forest fires, which are practically impossible to extinguish and aggravated by strong winds, is enormous. Torrential rainfall, the result of climate change, destroys roads and bridges, costing taxpayers millions. Hail, drought and fires destroy the agricultural products of a country … Example 1 A forest of eucalyptus trees that are cut down every eight years by their owner to sell the wood and then allowed to grow again, is an investment that is neither ecological, …

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Monchique 2030 – Entrevistas

ENERGY/MOBILITY/FOREST “I live in a house that is completely sustainable, we have renewable energy. But I also like to travel, so I want to opt for more sustainable transport. Going by train instead of plane or even walking. Why not? Then I think that at the community level there are steps we could take together for better forest maintenance, which could contribute to reducing our ecological footprint as a community. It is not only about planting trees, but also about taking care of forests. The species have to be well-chosen and treated in a more sensitive way.”       …

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Climate neutrality in the laboratory

  Flying, travelling by car, eating meat and sausages, are some of the most aggravating factors of a person’s ecological “balance sheet”. How can you explain to people that less can be more? Not using the car also always means a reduction of stress, at least in the city. And whoever exchanges their car for a bike, improves their footprint and arrives at their destination feeling more relaxed. It is obvious that anyone who flies to New Zealand clocks up a lot of CO₂. What you save by not flying significantly reduces your environmental footprint. The experiment has been going …

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55 spontaneous species that cure

A handful of plants

55 spontaneous species that cure This is one of those books that are a must-have on the shelves of any plant lover, of anyone with an interest in alternative nutrition. With prefaces by the phytotherapist Anne McIntyre and the biologist and researcher Célia Cabral, Uma mão cheia de plantas – 55 espécies espontâneas que curam (a handful of plants – 55 spontaneous species that cure) is a guide to exploring 55 wild plants with surprising therapeutic properties. With technical information and images by Fernanda Botelho, this work provides the common name, the scientific name, the botanical family, the history, description …

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Four for the Climate

How our family tries to lead a CO2-neutral life A family of four sits at the table having dinner. As they do, the two adults talk to the children about a somewhat boring topic: climate change. Their 13-year-old daughter had come home from school, had sat down at the computer and played with the WWF’s footprint calculator. She wanted to work out her family’s ecological footprint. The result for this four-person household: 42 tonnes of CO2 per year. The evening’s discussion gradually develops into a family project. Each of them wants to actively save on CO2 emissions in order to …

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Plants on our path

When we go for a walk in the countryside we are far from understanding the value of the magnificent plants that live in the soil. Over and beyond their beauty, they can accompany us on our life’s journey, protecting our health and healing the body and mind at times of recuperation. Each year, more than 2,000 new plants are discovered. They are used in medicine, food, the environment, clothing, biofuels and the making of poisons. At present there are about 5,500 plants used for human consumption. A short four-kilometre walk in the heart of Monchique with the specialist in wild …

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For sale

Horst adored going to the cinema. He just had too little time, and even less money, to be able to buy a ticket every time. He was lucky enough, however, to live right next to the cinema. On the first floor, above his bar, there was a framed picture in the living room, which covered a hole in the wall, like the one in a camera obscura. One day, he told me his secret. He took the picture down and showed me, with a wink, what could be seen through the hole. And so he swept me away to the …

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Monoculture: an outdated model

Fritjof Capra v. René Descartes The mechanical world view of things presupposes simple linear mathematical thinking. Primary school maths, year 3: taking the example of an area measuring 100 metres by 100 metres, which makes 10,000 square metres or one hectare, an agro-industrial farmer harvests around ten tonnes of fruit from the area of one hectare. From then on, this numerical value counts as the measure of all values for a business plan. You can use it to calculate your profit in advance, get easier access to EU subsidies, or even a bank loan. So, the investors’ expectations about the …

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I’m doing my bit

ECO123 talked to Cassandra Jorge Querido (aged 54), a landscape architect who was born in Évora and has been working for the past 26 years on matters relating to the environment. We met in the picnic area, at Benafim, in the municipality of Loulé, beneath an oak-tree, a holm-oak tree that is over 500 years old. We talked and had lunch together… Is the new Law No. 10/2018 going to help prevent fires in Portugal? In my opinion, this law isn’t in any way fit for purpose. And it may even make matters worse if it’s implemented. So, it’s dangerous? …

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The Curse of Money

The Curse of Money

What is the connection between a Nepalese migrant worker in Odemira, the biggest municipality in the Alentejo, who works in an agro-industrial company like the British-Belgian-Portuguese Vitacress (RAR group) or the German Gemüsering GmbH Stuttgart*(4) – along with many other multinational agro-businesses – and the Portuguese forest fires? You might think, at least at first glance, none at all; there is no direct link, and anyone who made one would possibly be doing so with malicious intent. But it’s not so simple in a globally networked world, where capital for investments can quickly be shifted from one country to another. …

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