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Introduction – We can be heroes, just for one year…

The protection of the climate is a question of education, knowledge and resulting attitudes Our story starts with practical information about how we can now begin to abandon energy obtained from coal, gas and petrol and use renewable energy instead, powered by the sun, wind, and water. We present solutions instead of provoking panic! It is also a question of using fewer resources and reusing those which we are already using. In 2011, before the launch of the first edition, we invested in two 40-panel photovoltaic systems. Follow our example! With this investment, we started to produce clean energy for …

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Some pearls in the necklace are still alive

Algarve: He’s a photographer, who cherishes the Algarve weather and relates to the region like a fine piece of filigree jewellery. His name is Filipe da Palma. What drives him, he confesses, is the opportunity to go out and take photographs… and to feel everything around him. “This nourishes the deeper side of me, it’s what keeps me sane.” He does this because he feels the need to share the beautiful, but also the ugly, something that lies between identity and reality: “I also like to show the wounded Algarve, the scars and small tumours that are scattered throughout the …

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We can be heroes, just for one year…

Humanity is facing a grave crisis. This crisis originates in a small molecule: carbon dioxide. There isn’t a high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, but its effect is enormous. Through the release of carbon dioxide, we are warming our planet as we are permanently burning petrol, diesel, coal, gas and other fossil fuels, emitting CO2 – lots of CO2, tons of it in fact. ECO123 is writing today about the climate crisis, a formidable challenge which demands action-based solutions. How can we solve this problem?   There’s no point in beating about the bush: eight months after the challenge …

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Salgados

People have short memories. They barely notice slow changes, because they are always moving on, without paying any real attention to a place on a regular basis. Recognition of the value of nature suffers because of this deficit in human awareness. Increasingly people are living in urban areas, in a permanent state of unease, in a space and a time that overshadows nature. In the deceptive safety of the city, nature is used merely for decorative purposes. A tree here and an avenue there, seemingly refuges of peace and quiet, such as Central Park in New York and the Botanical …

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Sowing water…

… is an old Portuguese saying associated with traditional agriculture. A farmer never uses insecticides, pesticides and fungicides, those poisonous chemicals, to kill insects, weeds and fungi. They live with them, as every living thing has its place in the countryside and in the forest and the rainwater seeps into the soil to make it fertile and healthy. In this way the water is held back so that it doesn’t flow directly down the slope to the stream and permeates the soil to give it life and allow growth in the garden. ECO123 visited Carlos Fernandes (46), one of the …

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The monopoly

Without it nothing works. And it’s been that way since 1976. It’s a business worth millions. Only someone who’s on the inside really knows what’s going on in there. It’s one of the big businesses that are still very profitable and in which the state and governments, regardless of their politics, continue to have the last word and where, until recently, it was the state itself that collected the profits. It’s become a legal drug, electricity. The electricity business in Portugal has been monopolised for too long. Permission to sell electricity allows you to accumulate wealth and arrogance that are …

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The desirable future of solar energy in Portugal

As a researcher working on the governance of energy transitions in 2016, I was fascinated by the relatively slow growth of solar energy in Portugal despite the amazing potential. I crafted a research project to explore this with a focus on accountability relations, and successfully competed for a position at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation in Norway, where I feel fortunate to explore this and similar issues with some fantastic colleagues. Between 2017 and 2019, I have spent about five months in Portugal, studying the multi-sited and multi-scalar geographies of solar energy uptake, from the capital Lisbon to …

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FF Solar Supplement

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Kyoto

Willst du wissen, wie viel CO2 du während eines Jahres in die Atmosphäre pustest? Nein? Besser nicht? Dann gehörst du zu der Mehrheit derjenigen, die entweder gerade keine Zeit haben, oder vorgeben, keine Zeit zu haben oder die sagen, sie seien Vielflieger und es würde deshalb sowieso keinen Sinn machen, an diesem Test teilzunehmen. Du befindest dich damit in guter Gesellschaft. Die Mehrheit unserer Leser – die Mehrheit unserer Gesellschaft – die Mehrheit der Menschheit – ist nicht besonders mutig, wenn es darum geht, zukunftsfähig zu sein. Fast alle, mit denen ich persönlich gesprochen habe und das waren einige hundert …

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The dream of a solar village

The law slows things down. But change is coming and communities want to be at the forefront of energy transition. In the parish of São Luís, the first renewable energy community in Portugal may soon be born. The early summer sun shines down on six new solar panels on the roofs of residents in São Luís, Odemira. The slogan “Power to the people!” is being taken literally by this tranquil village in the south-west of Portugal. “We’re living in a very paternalistic market. But there is going to be a big change in the distribution of electricity in Portugal, and …

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