Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ex-Refinery Sabotage leads to Major Oil Spill in Milan

On Tuesday (23/02/2010), an ecological disaster occured in the small town of Villasanta near Milan. A sabotage in what used to be a petrol refinery, led to a leakage of over 1,000 cubic meters of petroleum in the Lambro, a small tributary of the Pô. The toxic waste started streaming down towards the main river in what was going to be one of the major ecological disasters in Italy in the recent years. What is even more shocking is that this was done purposely by someone whose intentions were far from being environmentally-friendly. Strangely, this did not have much media coverage although the impact on the environment has already been evaluated as "dramatic". Below is a little selection of photos describing the scene.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Bloom Box, Providing Energy to Households 24/7/365!

This could very well be the greatest invention of the century! A Californian startup called Bloom Energy has announced the soon-to-be-released "Bloom Box". This tiny little boxes, derived from a NASA project, could supply a normal household with electricity 24/7/365! In reality, they are fuel cells and the bigger the are, the more energy they produce. Fuel cells have been around for a while but these can be used with natural gas or even landfill gas, coupled with oxygen.

Bloombox has already raised over $400 million in fundings and has been testing its fuel cells with several major clients such as Google, Ebay, Fedex or even Walmart. It is said that these clients have already saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy bills.

At a lower cost and with less pollution, it seems like this box is magical...
Do you think this could be a revolution in renewable energies?
Do you think there is a hidden face to this project?
Let me know your feelings/thoughts in the comment section below!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One Water PlayPumps: Helping Children Drink Clean Water

The One Foundation is a humanitarian organisation that helps raise funds in order to provide clean drinkable water to populations that do not have access to it. The money raised finances the installation of "PlayPumps" in villages in Africa. This way, women and children do not have to walk many kilometers every day carrying heavy buckets of water. Instead, children play on the merry-go-round, pumping filtered drinkable water at the same time.

In 2010, there are still 1 billion people who do not have access to drinkable water, and 2 million people die of water-related diseases every year. Start making a difference!

The best way to help is by raising awareness about this organisation and project.
-Begin by visiting the One Difference website or their Facebook page.
-Invite friends and family to join the group and learn about the PlayPump project.
-Donate money on the website in order to help One Difference raise funds.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Start Using as your new Search Engine!

If you are reading my blog, you are using Internet. And if you are using Internet, chances are that you are also a regular visitor of search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. The issue with these search engines is that they are energy-hungry and not so environment-friendly. Now if I told you that instead of searching on the major search engines, you could do the exact same search with the same results on a different "green" search engine? My guess is that you would probably use it.

Ecosia is a new search engine powered by major search engines. The difference is that they donate 80% of their profit to environmental organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in order to save Brazilian rain forests. When you know that 1.5% of the USA's energy bill is due to servers (source), do this poor planet a little favor and start searching on Ecosia!
Below is a video of how it works:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"The End of the Line" documentary film trailer

the end of the line
Here is another very interesting documentary I forgot to mention on my 5 must-see recent documentaries article. The End of the Line deals with another serious issue affecting our oceans and that we are directly responsible of: Over fishing.

We humans are fishing more than we need, and more than we should be. The few existing quotas are not always respected and species have nowhere to hide in order to regenerate.

Our behavior will lead to a scarcity of existing fish stocks and the disappearance of endangered species, but also the rise of health issues and danger for populations relying solely on fishing to feed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"The Age of Stupid" trailer, raising awareness on climate change

What better way to raise awareness on climate change than with a good film?
"The Age of Stupid" is that film.

Media have described this 90 minute film as essential for anyone who cares about this poor planet. It features Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethewaite as an aged man living in a devastated world in 2055, looking back to the past and thinking: "Why on Earth haven't we done anything while there was still time?"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

India's coal industry: The End justifies the means

As developing countries such as India and China continue to grow, their energy consumption follows at an alarming rate. We know for a fact that China is investing in many oil and gas rich countries in order to secure itself energy reserves for the upcoming decades. We also know that a coal power plant is built every 2 or 3 days (at least a couple years back). Not a good thing for our poor planet, especially when we know that coal energy is one of the main sources of green house gas emissions...

The below documentary shows how badly India is dependent on coal as a source of energy. India currently meets 90% of it's energy requirements. Nearly 65% of its energy production is made possible by coal. The film shows how local populations and workers suffer from those open air mines, and how major energy companies completely neglect their health. This reminds me somehow of the "Pollution in China" photographies.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Introducing the “My blog is carbon neutral” initiative

When you own a blog dealing with environmental issues such as climate change and global warming, you obviously want to do your part for the environment. It's with this in mind that I started looking for simple ways to make my site carbon-neutral. This would definitely be a small but important step in making a better place in a way.

After doing my little research, I came across a German site ( which currently holds a programme called “My blog is carbon neutral”. There are different sites allowing bloggers or webmasters to make their site carbon-neutral but you would have to pay a certain monthly or yearly fee. Many bloggers do not get revenues from their sites or too little revenue to invest in such green solutions. However, the "My blog is carbon neutral" initiative is free. The only requirement is to write a quick article about the initiative and the will plant a tree in return. This is done in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, which will plant THE Tree in the fire-ravaged Plumas National Forest in Northern California, to cover your blog's emissions.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

140 kg Endangered Bahaba fish sold for over US$500,000

A +50 year old Bahaba fish was caught on the 2nd of February in the South China Sea by fishermen. The rare fish measured 1.5 meters long & 0.5 meter wide and weighted 140kg. This species of fish, endemic to China, is classified as a Class II protected animal in this country, meaning that it is at a high risk of extinction. Fishermen in the region are complaining that they catch more floating garbage than fish in their nets, making this catch even rarer.

Although the Bahaba is critically endangered, Chinese medicine recognizes that its swim bladders are meant to give special power to those who consume it. It does indeed contain protein, fat and colloidal substances, but it won’t magically fix your liver or kidney like some people may think.

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