Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Back to the future?

Saturday, 25th may 2024. Living, as we are now, in the heat of the climate crisis, when the forest in Portugal is on fire, we know exactly what we have to do to put it out. We call the fire department, and we quickly roll out our own hoses. It’s all quite clear, isn’t it? We don’t wait until 2035 or even longer. We don’t wait to put out the fire. Why is it taking so long to implement the transformation in the energy sector? Solar and wind energy have been around for a long time now, hydroelectricity for centuries. …

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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2)

Saturday 18th May 2024. The CO2 observatory in space has been in operation since 2023, because what can be measured can be reduced. Until recently, it was always claimed that CO2 could not be seen, smelled, tasted, heard or even touched. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in the USA has the largest collection of geoscientists on the planet. Their mission is to visualise CO2 and function as a key trusted source of comprehensive environmental information about both the current state and the future of the Earth. NASA scientists design, build, launch and operate missions, including satellites, to understand how our …

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A brief history of greenwashing

Saturday 11th May 2024. The history of paper has closely accompanied the development of humankind over the centuries: from the transmission of new knowledge in science and philosophy to the spread of education and the achievement of political and historical awareness through the invention of the printing press. We at ECO123 also print still on paper (The new ECO123 issue 34 will be published shortly) and we always use recycled paper, i.e., paper that has already been used and printed on before. Normally this wastepaper is carefully sorted and shredded, then showoered and turned into a mass of pulp, or …

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OUR FRAGILE MOMENT
How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help us Survive the Climate Crisis

How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help us Survive the Climate Crisis

Saturday 4th May 2024. The way he writes is not as dry as I initially thought. Rather, it is characterised by a highly active scientific competence, coupled with a writer’s finely tuned sense of humour in its practical application. The author does not remain locked away in an ivory tower of theory. As well as providing us with reliable findings, he also takes a look forward at science fiction and a studied glance back into the Earth’s history. The book is interesting and weighs 575 grams. I weighed it on my kitchen scales. It is 21 cm long and 16 …

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The new Botanical Garden in Monchique.

Saturday 20th April 2024. Do you know the beauty of wild orchids? Have you ever made a tea from lime blossom? Do you know the lavender-scented pillows that help you sleep? Those who love nature move within it carefully and, above all, mindfully. Because two feet can easily trample a valuable plant, a herb or a small, recently-planted tree. In a valley known as Esgravatadouro, the balance of nature was completely destroyed during several forest fires in 2003 and 2018, and, in order to protect the area from further destruction, the publisher of the magazine ECO123 bought the valley and …

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BRIDGE: Laboratory for innovation?
Dealing with the past of forest fires

Dealing with the past of forest fires

Saturday 13th April 2024.   Prologue: We had been vaccinated, twice in fact. When we all came down with Covid-19 at the same time, I had the growing sensation that something had gone very wrong. Either it was the vaccine from the small hospital in Monchique that gave me the shot, or we’d caught it at the EB23 Manuel de Nascimento school in Monchique, where the BRIDGE club met. The auditorium had probably not been disinfected and there we were, trapped: two dozen decision-makers from various associations, companies and institutions, as well as politicians. That was in mid-May 2022 and …

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Water as a resource
Who will have enough water available in 2050 – and who will not

Who will have enough water available in 2050 – and who will not

Saturday, 6th April  2024. Water is not only the basis of life for animals and plants, but is also expected to become a contested resource in parts of the world in the coming decades. Climate change, wars, conflicts and other crises are exacerbating the already unequal access to water. According to UN figures, global water stress, i.e. the proportion of water withdrawn for use in industry, agriculture or private households in relation to available water, was manageable at 18.2 per cent in 2020. In 2022, however, 2.4 billion people were living in areas that are exposed to extreme water stress …

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Nearly 400,000 charges made on the Mobi.E Network in one month

Saturday, the 30th of March 2024. Electric mobility: in the first two months of the year, more than 797,500 charges were made on the Mobi.E network in Portugal. So far this year, this amounts to an increase of 65 per cent in comparison with last year. More than 398,000 top-ups were recorded in February, representing a 73 per cent increase on the same month in 2023. Energy consumption totalled more than 7,890,000 kWh, an increase of 93% compared to the same period last year. The charging network continues to grow, along with the number of electric vehicles in use in …

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Market Gardens in the Algarve: A Marriage of Artichoke and Oyster Mushrooms

Saturday 23rd March 2024. Market gardening – the worldwide trend of small-scale farming based on the use of organic and regenerative farming techniques has arrived in the Algarve. More and more farms are offering their produce at farmers’ markets from Lagos to Tavira; some even deliver a weekly vegetable box to your doorstep. If you haven’t come across the term “market gardening” yet, in a nutshell, it’s all about small-scale intensive farms and smallholdings that grow a diversity of vegetable and fruit crops and sell their produce directly to consumers through local farmers’ markets and on-farm stalls, or local grocery …

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After the elections is always before the elections.

Saturday 16th March 2024. The people’s sovereign voice has spoken. That’s the way it is in a democracy: the Socialist Party took a bit of a beating and emerged with a couple of black eyes. But the AD alliance of conservative parties didn’t win anything either. The democratic parties lost in these elections. Those who haven’t realised this yet will certainly find out soon enough. Sometimes a disease takes a while to spread; sometimes the patient dies slowly and agonisingly. Once it’s over, everyone says, “if only he had lived honestly, admitted the truth and refused the money; if the …

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