Posts about Sustainability

Al Gore's TED Talk on Climate Change

TED Talk. Al Gore: The case for optimism on climate change

17.03.2016

Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore presents drastic examples on how man-made forces are gradually destroying our planet. „After World War II, the emission rates started really accelerating. And the accumulated amount of man-made, global warming pollution that is up in the atmosphere now traps as much extra heat energy as would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every 24 hours, 365 days a year – a fact-checked over and over again.“

Still Al Gore is optimistic that climate change can be tackled. But how?

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Robots working at a hotel reception in Nagasaki.

Robotic hospitality prevails at Nagasaki hotel

10.03.2016

Strange ways indeed
From a distance, front-desk receptionist Yumeko could be mistaken for a good-looking young lady of genuine flesh and blood, whereas colleagues positioned at the counter to either of her sides won’t fool anyone. They are instantly recognisable as what they are: a not-so-handsome-yet-still-quite-cute greenish descendent of the Jurassic age with a serious overbite and a manikin-like mechanical device held in colours white and blue: little Nao. It is obvious, that dinosaur Mirai cannot be real – but neither is Yumeko nor are most of the staff weasling about the Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki: Instead, they are intelligent robots able to converse with their customers in a sensible and friendly manner while checking them in and out. The diligent machines are always ready to please, never in a filthy mood and obedient servants programmed to satisfy their guests’ special needs.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
A turtle in Galapagos.Photo: Finch-Bay Hotel.

Galápagos: Rare Fauna and a Leading Green Hotel

7.01.2016

They may not appear overly enthusiastic when it comes to appreciating what’s going on around them on their native Galápagos islands, whose name-givers they are: the weighty Giant Tortoises – eye-lids on half-mast – remain in the know by sheer age. With some of them having been around for nearly one-and-a-half centuries, they have posed as reliable long-term witnesses of the wondrous proceedings happening on the remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. 1,000 kilometres west off the South American coast and under the sovereignty of Ecuador, the islands are teeming with rare fauna ranging from cute to ugly to downright strange: the pre-historic looking Iguana’s serrated crest lends him a ferocious dragon-like air; the male Frigatebird makes a mighty fuss during the mating season, when he stages his macho parade in front of adored females and fortifies his efforts by inflating his Ferrari-red gular sac until it stresses at the seams; the Blue-footed Booby wraps its courtship into a wobbly dance performance. By awkwardly swaying from foot to foot Chaplin-style, he offers amused onlookers an endearing sight and has become the star of many a nature video.

Preserving the archipelagos of Galápagos is a primary goal locally. One of the precursors in achieving it, is the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the isle of Santa Cruz.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
A Clown Fish receiving massage by a sea anemone. Photo: Nick Hobgood.

TED Talk. Paul Greenberg: The four fish we are overeating

20.12.2015

“Grinding Nemo”

Overfishing is only half of the story, says Paul Greenberg in his talk. The other half is about the boom in fish farming and aquaculture, which – over the past year or two – has started to exceed the amount of wild fish produced. In America and a great part of the Western World, shrimp is by far the most consumed seafood. 5, 10, 15 pounds of wild fish – deemed trash fish by the fishing industry – are killed to bring one pound of shrimp to the market. Filmmaker Mark Benjamin called the phenomenon “Grinding Nemo“, when shrimp dredgers vacuum up a huge amount of bycatch, that is then minced and turned into shrimp feed. An „ecosystem literally eating itself and spitting out shrimp“. A recent study has found that dredging for shrimp represents one of the most carbon-intensive ways of fishing there is.

This talk is vital for sustainably thinking human beings, perhaps especially for those organising large dinner events by profession.

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Biogas resources:
Hop on the bus, Gus!

Powered by the people: Britain’s first Bio-Bus

4.10.2015

How many facets there really are to sustainability respectively to the options of a new raison d’ être for recycled waste of varyingly appetising origin, is being demonstrated by a treatment plant located in the South-West of England. The company’s core objective is to „develop environmentally sustainable waste treatment processes and to increase the production of renewable energy“ in an „innovative and cost-effective“ fashion. Should your argument be that most treatment plants offer similar solutions, perhaps you are right. But this one has been awarded an ‘outstanding’ status in the Times Top 100 UK Companies listings. And it is taking its environmental efforts to new realms – by providing the first public biogas bus with fuel derived from food waste and human sewage.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes