Wednesday, October 27, 2021
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Nº 111 – Utopia?

Saturday the 23rd of October 2021. …so, who really determines our future when we have a threat hanging over us which knocks on the door of our consciousness on a daily basis – yet one that most people don’t want to let in under any circumstances? Most Europeans are still successfully blocking this threat from their consciousness. They keep their doors and windows shut tight, especially when it’s about receiving the first refugees fleeing climate destruction and war in Africa who were able to be saved, fished out of the Mediterranean Sea. As if the threat of climate emergency could …

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My World Tour
Ten steps into a different world

Step One: Learn to cook vegetarian food… So here I am sitting at the breakfast table, set with bread, butter, cheese, an egg – just the way we’re used to in a hotel – the cup of coffee, the orange juice, the granola mix. I’m thinking back to the previous evening and trying to put myself in the place of a meat eater told that as from the next day there would be no more meat for them, no more sausages. For ethical reasons, say, or because the climate is out of kilter. Everything is at stake, I’m told. If …

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Realistic Scenarios

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PIK for short, is a scientific institution whose renown extends far beyond country borders. Currently working with 356 international scientists from countries from all over the world, the Institute uses an interdisciplinary approach to look for realistic solutions – even advising governments – and publishes information on current developments in scientific journals. Four research departments are working on what is known as the Earth System Analysis (oceans, atmosphere, biosphere), on climate resilience (the consequences of climate change and adaptation), transformation paths (climate risks and development) and complexity research (machine learning, non-linear methods and …

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Time is money?

Humans always want more: more technology, more comfort, more consumption, more money. Their lifestyle throws up many unanswered questions. What is happening in the fields, the forests, the streets, the cities, the workplaces, the schools and universities? Humans shirk from concrete responses and decisions. Humans carry on, just like their machines, as if these questions – what is inside their food, their clothing, their medication? – weren’t relevant. Has industrialisation poisoned them and their Earth? How clean is the groundwater, the air they breathe? Does their lifestyle stand in the way of further development? Should Humans not simply switch off …

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It’s a Man’s Man’s World

People usually define success using external values such as money, status and bodily perfection. What human beings tend to leave aside are mental goals such as emotional well-being, the ability to enjoy life and to manage emotions, as well as the acquisition of the skills involved. You seldom learn these things at home, in school or at university. A cloak of silence covers any discussion of mental well-being and the management of emotions: not functioning is considered embarrassing. If humans want to find out how come they spend their lives running after money, work and a sick economic growth, they’ll …

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Nº 95 –
Ten steps to climate neutrality 2025
Who is responsible for the climate catastrophe?

Saturday 10th July 2021 Do we know the extension of the protective layer we call the atmosphere that envelops planet Earth? Yes? No? I’d be happy to tell you. It is ten kilometres. This pouch of air, which extends up a mere ten kilometres above the earth, provides the living space for all life forms on this planet. For you, for me and for all other living beings too. We breathe in and we breathe out, in and out, and in and out once more. And when we get into a car and start the engine – wait a minute …

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Driving the Renault ZOE ZEN to
a HAPPY ENDING
or: How to save 10,000 euros in petrol over five years

Ten years ago, I decided to get rid of all machines, motors and engines that were powered by fossil fuels. At the time, I was driving an old petrol-guzzling Renault Kangoo and felt a pang of conscience each time I ate a piece of meat. Some of my colleagues were buying new cars at that point. Thinking about what I could do with my money, I decided to become independent, to liberate myself from the constraints of a society running on fossil fuels. I made a fundamental decision and didn’t buy a new car. Instead, I simply carried on driving …

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A conversation in the countryside

The hands of the clock have not yet reached five o’clock on this beautiful summer day that is slowly awakening from its slumber. The information arrives. I am going to meet with a group of citizens who have decided to put an end to monocultures. So, I get out of bed at four in the morning and get dressed. I arrive at a crossroads in no man’s land. I had parked my car in a safe place some time before, and so I walked the rest of the way. At some point, I turned off the tarmac road onto a …

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Do you know how
Intelligent Trees
communicate with humans?

Dr Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology teaching at the University of British Columbia in Canada whose work focuses on how trees communicate with other trees. The passionate educator and TedTalk speaker was given an exclusive platform in the film “Intelligent Trees” to tell the most interesting eco story of the year. Dr Simard used radioactive carbon to measure the flow and sharing of carbon between individual trees and species. She discovered that birch and Douglas fir share carbon. Birch trees receive extra carbon from Douglas firs when the birch trees lose their leaves, and birch trees supply …

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Was the Forest the Bank of Nature?

We invited teacher and artist Ana Nunes (67 years old) for a conversation. She tells us: I’m from Monchique. I didn’t live here for many years, but I still have memories of what I learned from my family. ECO123 asks her about her memories of when the forest was managed in a sustainable way, before it was turned solely into a eucalyptus plantation.   The forest isn’t a sausage factory, is it? Um, um (She agrees). We need the forest to protect and save humanity, although people have always seen it as a source of income. Income, investment, profit. This …

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