European Parliament seals climate change package

Now I can understand why the 20 swedish researchers in various fields have had a hard time publishing their article today.

The European Parliament are as of today backing EU's new climate change package which is meant to enable that the EU will live up to its climate targets by 2020:

"a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, and a 20% share for renewables in the EU energy mix."

Looks good on paper but, isn't this rather unrealistic?

A majority of the parliament voted for this package, however, some swedish politicians are critical concerning the fact that the percentage of the greenhouse gas emission reductions are going to be greater "outside" the European Union, than "inside".

Bear in mind that a lot of the economic heavyweights within the European Union are responsible for a lot of industrial emissions. Backing a package like this should mean that the restrictions and regressive actions should concern the European Union and solely members of this political and economical construct.

The parliament are thereby favouring a proposition that means that other countries outside the European Union will be affected more than countries within the European Union itself. This means that poorly developed countries are threatened to reduce their emissions, leading to industrial regression rather than economical progression.

The package also includes new restrictions for automobile emissions. However, these restrictions are less restricting than the guidelines prior to the climate package. They are actually backing something that is more fair than before. We might see an increase of emissions caused by automobile industry due to this package! It is not that unlikely.

Politicians are saying something, but in reality they are doing something completely foreign as to what they are telling us.

An Unpublished Article On The Climate

20 swedish researchers in various fields have had a hard time getting published recently. Why? you may ask.

Well, they have written about the research on the climate crisis and climate change as something that, generally speaking, has been ignoring all other possible explanations on what causes the "global warming".

There is a general consensus favouring of the carbon emissions thesis. Let me remind you that it is the thesis that has its own fabricated market with carbon "offsets". Moreover, it seems as if the computer generated models of the calculated effects of carbon emissions is a bigger problem than what the IPCC wants to admit or acknowledge.

Perhaps the research community has to go back reading their Kuhn, Popper and Feyerabend, because if the general consensus is out to silence parts of a scientific community, then it's simply bad for science and the truth.

If you are a scrutinizing researcher, then you know that it is dangerous to let a single consensus cloud your judgement.

These professors have spent a lifetime researching about geography, mathematics, communications theory, geo science, physics, chemistry, oceanography etc. and the media does not want to publish a perfectly reasonable article demanding science to look in all directions for answers. That gives us an idea how easily ideas can be told, spread and upheld in our society.

A question that arises in my head is: what if peak-oil is a myth as well? The leading governments are treating is as a myth, for if they were to be serious about this then a lot more restrictions on production and the automobile industry would be enforced. The leading politicians are saying something about having to cut back on production and progression, but if they are serious they would be doing a lot more about it, such as legislating cut backs.

The Kyoto Protocol And The Fabricated Market In Carbon

Dominic Lawson: Kyoto is worthless (and you don't have to be a sceptic to believe that now)

"The truth, however, is that Kyoto, as a means to reduce carbon emissions, has been like Monty Python's parrot, long dead, despite all the protestations to the contrary by its salesmen."

"This fabricated market in carbon has at its heart the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. This is how the EU, which had an obligation under Kyoto to reduce its emissions by two per cent by 2012, has managed to claim success while actually increasing its emissions by 13 per cent. By purchasing so called "offsets" from countries such as China, Britain, for example, proclaims itself a "leader in the fight against climate change"."

A New Industrial Revolution?

The American biologist Craig Venter, who's been trying to create the first artificial living creature, have started researching on small organisms. I read it in a post on The Economist's "The World in 2009" blog.

He has been working with a bacterium called mycoplasma laboratorium and will apparently be a bacterium stiched together in a lab and contained by a natural bacterium. According to Venter himself, he thinks that he will succeed during 2009. Venter also claims in an interview, that it could be the start of "a new industrial revolution". Is this evidence of a forthcoming shift from chemistry to biology driven industries?

For instance, biology might be the future when it comes to creation of new fuel sources. Moreover, Venter has made a bold statement that his research team has discovered some sort of components that are "far better than any science-fiction scenario that anybody could imagine."

I will try and let you know if I see anything more in this matter. As for now, be sure to have a look at the wiki article on Craig Venter as well as the wiki on mycoplasma laboratorium.

Preservatives & Additives

In a recent article in DN, Marie-Louise Danielsson-Tham declared that we ought to keep certain additives and preservatives in our provisions. Her arguments are that people simply don't understand why certain additives and preservatives are used and that if we were to remove some of these substances, then there would be an increased risk of dying from eating sausages and other meats.

The debate ought to be more transparent, instead of complaining about the consumer's ignorance, nutritionists need to educate us on what these foreign substances do to our provisions, how they effect us and what would happen if we were to remove certain substances. Thus acknowledging the chemical "grey zones" and teach us about different perspectives on substances and provisions.

Perhaps we ought to eat less meat, or no meat at all? And how do we really now whether or not a substance makes us addicted or not? Danielsson-Tham's condescending manner is not something that other so called experts ought to apply when debating. Her tone and rehtoric do not impress me at all.

WWF Report On Biofuel

The WWF has published a new report on biofuel. You can find it here. [SWE]

The general consensus is that biofuels cannot replace oil in the long term. The production of biofuel will, if increased, threaten nature and increase the possibility of explotation in countries which have the right type of environment.

There are good and negative aspects when considering the production of biofuels. We cannot simply use biofuels per se as a means of lowering the need for oil as well as reducing the climate gases.

The risks will increase alongside the increase of production. And the lesser nations will essentially be exploited by the more influential nations and corporations. When the market turns lucrative (I'm not critiquing the market itself), the production will affect food prices, cause more illegal forest explotation, destroy rainforests, damage soil from using fertilizers etc. People and local farmers will be driven away due to the expansion of the big corporations wanting to seige market and land as their own. How will the increased production affect the water? It will most likely become more polluted unless someone starts to financially support the need for improved water treatment plants.

The report also raises the question about how important certifications are. They are important, but they also require restrictions and a lot of money. Certifications will mostly benefit the ones who have the funds to maintain them. Certifications are not in themselves enough to make a difference.

The discussion about biofuels have been another binary affair. Those who are against it only seem to discuss the negative aspects and those who are for biofuels only see the pros. Why not flip these views in favour of a dialectic affair? Let the supporting forces disccuss the cons and the ones who are negative about it can discuss the pros. What a totally unrealistic suggestion, but still, it would benefit the general debate.

Lasse Svärd @ DN recognizes that, even though the WWF are biased, that the report is somewhat balanced.

The report also features recommendations on what different countries, corporations and governmental structures (such as the European Union) ought to do in this matter.

Key words:


Another Post From HAX Concerning Climate & Technology

The blogger HAX has posted yet another thoughtful and provoking post about the myth-like claim that our societies should start dismantling our industries in order to save our environment.

HAX raises some very good points here. Why should we dismantle our very means that enable technological breakthroughs? The same breakthroughs will help us either solve the problem (if we really are doomed unless we act) or enhance things like: energy conservation, environmental friendly products and recycling- and cleaning management.

It is hard to think outside of the box, but the breakthroughs will come to those that dare to do it.

Greenpeace Tagged City Hall In Stockholm

Greenpeace tagged City Hall in Stockholm earlier today with a political statement against GMO. With the help of a projector (or some other digital device), their 'throwup' covered (what I think was) the tower's west wall, thus made the building their canvas and the city became a serene and dynamic backdrop to their message. Their message was white and said "Keep our food safe - Stop GMOs" signed with the Greenpeace logo.

Perhaps they should have written "Keep mankind safe" instead.

Sweden's government ought to look into GMO and really sit down and contemplate about this (along with a lot of problems on the agenda). I've come to realize that our government (politicians I mean) have made some terrible decisions recently, decisions that will lead to consequences; consequences which will radically alter our society over time and reshape the foundations of our society as we know it.

I feel that politicians have been lobotomized (kopimi) to vote for or against certain legislations due to fierce lobbying. The larger corporations have the economical means, manpower, lawyers and cunning to silence concerned people and to trick politicians into choosing sides with the economic heavy weights. More recently people in Sweden have been really concerned about laws such as "FRA", as well as another directive our government wants to implement: namely IPRED. The government and our democratically elected politicians have more or less ignored large parts of the swedish people in these issues. Will they neglect information about GMO as well?

Activism come in many forms, however, guerilla projects with projectors, led-throwies, laser tagging and other ways of using light, is not a new phenomenon. For more info on what is possible to do with current technologies you should check out Graffiti Research Lab.

As for GMO, do you want to see all organisms being claimed by shady conglomerates? Do you acknowledge that large corporations hypothetically will be able to buy all the legal rights and means/control for all the organisms (like fruits, vegetables etc.) that we'll eat in the future?

For more info about related topics see:

Culture Jamming & Hacktivism.


Global Temperatures Lower Than Expected In October?

HAX posts yet another interesting little write up on global temperatures. If you read swedish you can find it here.

A lot of people are concerned about the status of our planet. However, it seems as if these concerns of ours raise a lot political motifs besides caring about out planet.

Another Perspective On Global Warming

The danish researcher Henrik Svensmark has an alternate view on the problem of global warming. Check out the documentary here.

Fight Against Monsanto's Marketing Practices

With their fight against Monsanto's abusive marketing practices, Percy and Louise Schmeiser have given the world a wake-up call about the dangers to farmers and biodiversity everywhere from the growing dominance and market aggression of companies engaged in the genetic engineering of crops.

Percy and Louise Schmeiser

Barack Hussein Obama - Difficult Actions Await You Sir

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have compiled a massive list on Actions For Restoring America.

After eight years in office, Bush is the least popular president ever. By far. This is due to obvious actions such as the war on terror, the war in Iraq as well as the war in Afghanistan. Most importantly, it is due to the fact that the United States of American came together as a nation in the wrong way. They should have tried to reflect on what had happened and on their own actions in the world. This did not stop and ask themselves why there are people out there who hate their politics and ideals. As this isn't enough, the United States as FAILED CONSIDERABLY in nurturing their own economy and country:

Major economic concerns in the U.S. include national debt, external debt, entitlement liabilities for retiring baby boomers who have already begun withdrawing from their Social Security accounts, corporate debt, mortgage debt, a low savings rate, falling house prices, a falling currency, and a large current account deficit. As of June 2008, the gross U.S. external debt was over $13 trillion,the most external debt of all countries in the world. The 2007 estimate of the United States public debt was 65% of GDP. As of October 1, 2008, the total U.S. federal debt exceeded $10 trillion, about $31,700 per capita. Including unfunded Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, and similar promised obligations, the government liabilities rise to a total of $59.1 trillion, or $516,348 per household

You should take this information from Wikipedia with a pinch of salt rather than truth. However, these tendencies are real and should be dealt with.

After 9/11, there was no contemplation at all. Instead of looking forward and reevaluate their position + attitude towards the rest of the world, the administration went conservative and chose the aggressive perspective down a path oozing from conservatism and religious norm. Other countries had to be either on their side or against them. This rhetoric and thinking is stale and outdated, they should have been self critical. They should have let their laws and human rights do its job.

A lot of people wanted Barack Obama to become president. Obama is the right choice right now. But will he govern as he preaches? Will he live up to the world's expectations? Will he turn out to be a puppet - A hawk like the rough republicans? Or will he pave the way for a new America, a new America which says NO to enhanced control of society and NO to an increased influence from lobbyists?

On the agenda for the forthcoming president of the United States:

By the way, I think he will find the time to save the global environment during his first year...

Other links:

CNN - Obama's First Priority: Fixing The Economy
Economist - America's election: Great Expectations
NY Times - For Obama, No Time to Bask in Victory As He Starts to Build a Transition Team
The Wall Street Journal - Difficult Choices Await New President

Correction Concerning The Article On GMO

I was sloppy (or tired?) when I wrote the about GMO. and did not post the correct information about who wrote the article I referred to . The article was written by both Maria Hagberg AND Jimmy Sand. Jimmy writes a lot about problems and issues concerning culture, philosophy, society and politics. If you read swedish then you should check out his blog "Strötankar och sentenser".

If he writes something else about GMO or eco related stuff in the future, then I'll post about it.

U.S. Elections

John McCain or Barack Obama? We will know the outcome during the forthcoming week. Who will be the one to lead a nation in crisis? The United States is facing a recession and the financial crisis is far from over. Will the war on terror come to an end over the next four years?

The United States is facing a probable bankruptcy due to Federal Reserve with their dodgy ways, medicaid, medicare among other highly complex and large economic and sociocultural sequences. This is taken from an article in The Economist:

Abroad a greater task is already evident: welding the new emerging powers to the West. That is not just a matter of handling the rise of India and China, drawing them into global efforts, such as curbs on climate change; it means reselling economic and political freedom to a world that too quickly associates American capitalism with Lehman Brothers and American justice with Guantánamo Bay. This will take patience, fortitude, salesmanship and strategy.

I am highly sceptical that these 'problems' will be solved unless radical changes were to be made within economics, sociolinguistics, politicals, foreign/national relations, academics and education. However, not changes within systems but changes concerning how people alter or 'hack' complex processes. The US citizens will have to say no to a society based on control by doing something about it.

The world awaits an answer to this question...


I recently posted an article related to GMO, highlighting the book Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela Ronald, Raoul Admachak published in april 2008.

I have come across an article in swedish with the same controversial outlook as the one which I was focusing on. This stance creates a new perspective and critiques the methodological approach within the eco community and its scepticism against GMO. The article is written by Maria Hagberg from the political party Feminist Initiative (EDIT: AND Jimmy Sand).

Even though the argumentation and rhetoric is based on binary oppositions and choices, one still gets to confront the idea that GMO isn't 'bad' or 'evil' per se. She mentions the problem with large corporations and their profitable market approach through investment in chemicals - they are deliberatly blocking positive advancements of the eco community and even GMO. Other problems that are mentioned includes: the issues of patents, 'third-world countries' with their needs, as well as ethics & trading. Be sure to read the criticism from Kathleen McCaughey, GMO-spoke sperson @ Greenpeace and Lars Igeland of Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner. The chemical market and the GMO market seem to be intertwined:

The Monsanto Company is an American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as "Roundup". Monsanto is also by far the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed, holding 70%–100% market share for various crops. Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market. In March 2005, it finalized the purchase of Seminis Inc, making it also the largest conventional seed company in the world. It has over 18,800 employees worldwide, and an annual revenue of USD$8.563 billion reported for 2007

Oh the problem of patents... haven't we heard this before?. This problem has to be addressed and not looked down upon! Have a look at this Pirate Party related text on the patent system:

An abolished patent system

Pharmaceutical patents kill people in third world countries every day. They hamper possibly life saving research by forcing scientists to lock up their findings pending patent application, instead of sharing them with the rest of the scientific community. The latest example of this is the bird flu virus, where not even the threat of a global pandemic can make research institutions forgo their chance to make a killing on patents.

The Pirate Party has a constructive and reasoned proposal for an alternative to pharmaceutical patents. It would not only solve these problems, but also give more money to pharmaceutical research, while still cutting public spending on medicines in half. This is something we would like to discuss on a European level.

Patents in other areas range from the morally repulsive (like patents on living organisms) through the seriously harmful (patents on software and business methods) to the merely pointless (patents in the mature manufacturing industries).

Europe has all to gain and nothing to lose by abolishing patents outright. If we lead, the rest of the world will eventually follow.

Moreover, Later on in the article Greenpeace seems to be positive about the technology of genetics but still criticizing the 'unnatural' GMO.

"The debate on GMO" was published in Göteborgs Fria Tidning (which aims to be non-profitable and free from ads) and can be read (Swedish) at Jimpan's blog.

Göteborgs Fria Tidning

Combating Climate Change

Science and sci-fi come together in the most radical forms when scientists want to hack and modify the earh's environment on a large scale.

I read another article from Wired, this time about geoengineering, which Wired describes as:

the large-scale, deliberate modification of the planet to counteract the consequences of ever-increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gas.

The article is called Can a Million Tons of Sulfur Dioxide Combat Climate Change? and it's from 2007.

Wired Article - The Year's [2007] 10 Craziest Ways to Hack the Earth

I've just read an article from Wired which deals with last year's 10 craziest ideas to hack the earth. Hacking nature is here meant to work as an analogy to hacking technologies.

Scientists have come up with extreme -- some might say crazy -- schemes to counteract global warming. This year saw the most radical geo-engineering ideas yet: man-made volcanoes, orbiting mirror fleets and ocean re-engineering to cool the planet and absorb carbon dioxide.

Some say the extreme temperatures predicted for the near future call for extreme measures. Others say the solutions could be worse than the problem. In increasing order of unorthodoxy, here are the 10 craziest geo-engineering schemes of 2007.

I like the fact that at least one of these ideas (vertical farming) actually enhances our perspective on both nature and our environemnt. However, a lot of them are hypothetically even worse than the 'problems' themselves. The article is a must read and it can be found here: The Year's 10 Craziest Ways to Hack the Earth.

Hack the status quo!

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food

Although I have not read it, I immediately became suspicious when I saw information about the book Tomorrow's Table. Is there a way to combine genetic engineering (GMO) and ecological agriculture? According to Waldemar Ingdahl @ the swedish think tank Eudoxa the very resistance towards genetics is not good for farmers. I suspect that he means 'not good' in terms of economic aspects, however, there seems to be more to this than what I expected.

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela C. Ronald & R. W. Adamchak, bring forth these somewhat controversial stances, or are they really something else? One of the authors is a genetic engineer, the other one an expert in organic agriculture. These perspectives can come together if their hypothetical relation is reevaluated and together they set out on a mission exploring new potentials and perspectives on the future (potential) need for genetically modified food.

The arguments for this are that the world's population is growing at an increasing rate. The world's assets cannot be distributed equally among its habitants, which creates the need to come up with ways to produce more food and avoiding financial difficulties that has been a problem for the market dealing with ecological food. These markets are currently being targeted by stronger markets, larger corporations and conglomerates.

If we are to believe Waldemar Ingdahl, the demand for ecological food is believed to have reached its peak. This in itself seems to be strange but considering that the market shifts and governments decide whether or not farmers are to produce more ecological provisions, the idea seems plausible. At this point in time, there is a small percentage of people who buy ecologically produced provisions and objects. The masses are either hindered due to economical problems or the fact that not all regions of the world can provide their citizens with this type of western luxury.

Ingdahl points out that institutions and organisations that are promoting ecological brands are fiercly against genetic modified agriculture. Genetics has from the start been taboo, which is strange considering the fact that chemicals have been allowed as fertilizers - so why the negativity against genetics? I see the argument as very misguided, or I might perhaps just miss Ingdahl's point.

It may have something to do with the fact that many believe that we should not alter nature. This is a fundamental aspect of this issue, although it shouldn't entirely be the only concern in this matter. The authors argue that the resistance against genetics is not good for the farmers nor the consumers. They also claim that genetics could be benifitial for ecological farming once it has been approved of. This thought is actually quite new for me since I have been negative to genetically engineered food before. I have been concerned about the potentially harmful or undocumented bi products that may be created in the process of genetically altering crops. I thought that the farmers and scientists have not been able to:
justify the means as to why genetics is needed in this area, guarantee that they are not any 'side effects' to modified crops, show that the genetically engineered crops will not force 'wild crops' into extinction, and give reasonable explanations as to why the ecological market needs genetics.

Although I am glad that I have seen this new perspective, I am still concerned about the farmers' involvement in this. I prefer local markets over other types of markets and the eco markets also have to deal with the fact that they have to move around large amounts of food and objects. Another problem is that the foundation of the GMO type of research is highly centralised - big corporations' own the patens and research and are too economically driven which means that their ethical commitments are ignored or rendered obsolete. This means that genetics will be highly beneficial for the big actors on a global market rather than the farmers on a local level. Here's a description from Amazon:

By the year 2050, Earth's population will double. If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, and the public will lose billions of dollars as a consequence of environmental degradation. Clearly, there must be a better way to meet the need for increased food production.
Written as part memoir, part instruction, and part contemplation, Tomorrow's Table argues that a judicious blend of two important strands of agriculture--genetic engineering and organic farming--is key to helping feed the world's growing population in an ecologically balanced manner. Pamela Ronald, a geneticist, and her husband, Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer, take the reader inside their lives for roughly a year, allowing us to look over their shoulders so that we can see what geneticists and organic farmers actually do. The reader sees the problems that farmers face, trying to provide larger yields without resorting to expensive or environmentally hazardous chemicals, a problem that will loom larger and larger as the century progresses. They learn how organic farmers and geneticists address these problems.
This book is for consumers, farmers, and policy decision makers who want to make food choices and policy that will support ecologically responsible farming practices. It is also for anyone who wants accurate information about organic farming, genetic engineering, and their potential impacts on human health and the environment.

I am still not convinced, although their agenda forced me to think in new ways, which I am grateful for. I may have to read this book some time.

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food


In the latest issue of Gaudeamus (5/2008 Stockholm University), Michael Tedengren (Professor in Systems ecology(?)) says that the European Union is planning to legalise similar substances as Paraquat. Paraquat was allowed within the European Union in 2004:

"The European Union allowed Paraquat in 2004. Sweden, supported by Denmark, Austria, and Finland, brought the European Union commission to court. On 11 July 2007 the court annulled the directive authorising Paraquat as an active plant protection substance."[]

What is Paraquat?

Paraquat is a chemical substance that can be used as a pesticide against fungus etc when growing stuff, stuff which we in the western world take for granted, such as fruit. Paraquat is highly poisonous and has been used by farmers in countries such as Costa Rica to spray banana fields.

"It is non-selective, which means it kills a wide range of annual grasses and broad-leaved weeds and the tops of established perennial weeds.

It is very fast-acting.

It is rain-fast within minutes of application.

It becomes biologically inactive upon contact with soil."[]

Paraquat has been devastating to ecosystems and especially to people wherever it has been used. According to the interview with Tedengren, since the nineties, more than 200 people have died yearly in Costa Rica from being exposed to Paraquat. The people who sell the chemicals to the farmers trick them into using more chemicals that what is needed. I mean come on, that is really greedy and stupid. It is probably unethical from every single perspective except for an economical perspective maintained by the people who deal with pesticides.

Moveover, conglomerates such as Dole and Chiquita apparently prevent farmers from shipping their ecologically cultivated bananas. They are conservatively trying to control the market and they also want to control the channels of profit.

I think that the general consumer and citizen should be more concerned about two phenomena: Lobbying & Capitalism. If we want to 'save the world' (it sounds so abstract and stoic don't you think?), we ought to try and turn the market around as well as heighten our awareness concerning what laws and restrictions our politicians are trying to sneak past us every single day. The things they try to sneak past us are often connected to money and other stuff that will benefit corporations rather than us citizens.

Let 'Capitalism' find money, capital, etc. in areas that are less hazardous for the environment. Someone ought to find a way to produce less, save more energy, consume less as well as making it all more profitable. If someone can spawn this type of revolution, it will ultimateely have a huge effect on the global economy.

(Two) Ways Of Looking At Peak Oil

Are you among those people who think about how much fossil fuel we are allowed to use or a person who thinks about how much fossil fuel we can use? Perhaps you are not into any of the views at all?

My point is that we should be concerned with all perspectives on peak oil and activism. Should we centralize or decentralize our efforts of saving the environment? Or might it be better if governments deal with these issues globally and that the citizens (consumers) deal with the problem of climate control on a local level?

There is an interesting little write up over at Copyriot where these issues are brought up. The blog is in swedish, so if you know swedish then I suggest that you read the blog post.

Other related posts are:

Ytterligare tre framtidsord (oljekrönet, transportåldern, avgrunda)
Brist och överflöd i fossilsamhället
Koldioxiden i konsten och konsten i koldioxiden

McCain / Palin And "Clean Coal"

Since McCain announced Sarah Palin as his Vice President candidate, the US has been waiting for her to accept the nomination and to adress the nation and the Republican party at their little Republican gathering down in New Orleans.

Palin spoke about renewable energy, which is something a modern and (sane?) politician has to do in this era. But she also mentioned something I could not quite understand. She told the American people she wanted to give funds to "clean coal"...

What is "clean coal"? Isn't clean coal an oxymoron? Can you sell an idea or arguments by sugar coating it with fancy adjectives in front of the concept? The next thing they'll tell us is that they are going to have "clean death penalties", "clean warfare", "clean project housing" "clean garbage" etc.

Palin, I would say that "clean coal" partially is what I would call diamonds. You cannot get the dirt and pollution out of coal when you use it to produce energy. Yet.

High-Tech Living – Low-Tech Recycling

Where do you dump your electronic trash? If you live in the western world you probably recycle stuff like soda cans, paper, bottles etc. But do you recycle your old TV? Do you toss out old equipment somewhere else than at a recycle station? And most important of all, do you know how much money there is to make on high-tech trash?

I’ve wanted to write this article for a long time now. Some months ago I read an article in National Geographic, the January number, and there are a lot of facts and interesting things to know about where the mountain of trash ends up. I had the idea that I wanted this article to be long and informative, but at this point I realize that Carroll’s article is well written and include graphics which makes it easy for one to follow. Anyway, I'll give you a short introduction before I give you a link to the article.

The article by Chris Carroll included a report from Accra, Ghana, where young people salvage scrap metal from electronics etc. I did not know that a lot of TV sets, computers, screens etc. aren’t recycled in the west, but in countries that have not got the money to take care of its own waste. Curcuit boards and anything you can imagine that is based on electronics can be found in many poor regions around the world. Kids start fires and burn away plastic to salvage the metals that are used for wiring, toxic fumes spread and the young boys (and perhaps girls?) sit there by the fires and breath these fumes. Moreover, electronics contain a lot of hazardous materials that are harmful for our nature.

Electronics that used to be state of the art are now brought to the third world to be reused and recycled. Some of the large, (and I do mean really large) amounts of waste and units are recycled domestically in the western world. However, a lot of things are less expensive to recycle in the third world. Industrial countries, like the U.S. for example, have the right equipment to take care of the recycling efficiently and properly, lessening the stress on both human beings and out nature. However, it is too expensive. They cannot compete with the price in countries like Ghana and China.

Carroll writes that in the United States it is “estimated that more than 70 percent of discarded computers and monitors, and over 80 percent of TVs, eventually end up in landfills, despite a growing number of state laws that prohibit dumping of e-waste, which may leak lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, beryllium, and other toxics into the ground”. What a waste of produced goods.

Take your time to read the article over here: High-Tech Trash

Picture gallery

Green Washing

I read an article in today's "Metro Teknik" about a, for me, new concept called Green Washing.

A lot of corporations use the wave of concern for the world in their ads and commercials. There are numerous examples of companies that are not that concerned about the earth in the long run. Several companies spend a lot of money on things that damage the world rather than things that can save it.

Greenwash (a portmanteau of green and whitewash) is a term that is used to describe the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service. The term Green sheen has similarly been used to describe organisations which attempt to appear that they are adopting practices benefical to the environment.

Learn more about this at:

Green Washing Index - home of the world’s first online interactive forum that allows consumers to evaluate real advertisements making environmental claims.

Badbuster - tags companies and brand names in your web browser with a rating. Don't let big companies ads fool you that they spend a lot of money to aid our environment.

Nutrition Pills Linked To Cancer And Heart Disease

A few days ago, one of the leading newspapers in Sweden had an article about vitamin and nutrition pills. But it was a critical article.

A Danish study shows that high concentrations of vitamins A, E and β-carotene are linked to heart disease and even cancer. The dosages in the hundreds of different pills and nutritional products on the market are highly concentrated and are said to upset the natural balance in the body. We cannot use more "building stones" than what we individually need in order to survive.

Of course the tests have probably been done with a lot higher concentrations than normal. However, we all have our own amount of nutritional intake each day. It is at least something one needs to consider if it is needed or not.

If you think that using more pills are better for your body than to eat more fruit, think again. There seems that each individual might have their own specific levels in accordance with the body's own balance. To much of the good becomes bad for you and less of what is considered to be good is bad for you.

If you think that you need more of some substance or mineral, talk with your local doctor or someone who knows about these things and who can conduct properly structured test. But if you just feel a bit out of focus, tired and stressed out, you generally probably need to eat better food and fruit, more exercise and spend more hours sleeping.

I'm going to eat more fruit from now on.

Plans For 2008

2008 will hopefully be another year with a lot of articles for you to read critically.

I have been thinking about what I want to write about this year and which issues and topics that are likely to be dealt with. One of the first articles will be about E-waste, which National Geographic recently wrote about in their January issue.

Millions of electronic devices need to be replaced yearly. Where do they end up? What do we do with them? Is scrap hazardous for the environment and dangerous for us? Is it a lucrative business?

I will look into these questions and the material from National Geographic and try to write a short summary on the key factors concerning E-waste.