The Future of Transportation: The Port of Los Angeles

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Right now I am following a very interesting course with the name of transport and regional economics. And the more I think about transportation, the more I realize how important it is to move people and goods from point A to point B. I wont annoy you with all the theoretical models that we use to describe transportation, instead I would like to tell you something about the Port of Los Angeles in California.

Why exactly this port? Because it will become one of the most environmentally responsible ports worldwide. To give you some numbers: The daily cargo shipped from there has  a value of 1 billion dollar, it has 70 km of waterfront and 30 km² of extension. The Port of LA is the 16th largest in the whole world. But what makes this port so special are the ways how the management of the port tries to reduce the impacts of the thousands of ship that visit LA every year. One way to do so is that ships that are inside the port get connected to a electricity power grid such that they don’t have  to use their own diesel engines for energy supply, reducing the air pollution doing so. The trucks that drive around the port area are all technologically up-to-date and work with electricity. All this changes made the water clean enough to swim in it (all tough, personally speaking, I wouldn’t).

The main problem that consist till today is the final transport, from the port to  the destination point, in fact engineers are planning an electric highway, called “eHigway” powered with catenary wires.

Check out the far more detailed article on gizmodo!

 

 

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Chasing Ice – Documentary review

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Stalking people around the world on Facebook, I stumbled upon a link which talked about some nice documentaries ( I knew stalking was always a great idea). When I opened the linked, one documentary – Chasing Ice was mentioned as one film ‘must be seen’.

It seemed like a good idea to see it since we all might have read the news that Paris Summit pledges are not enough. I must say, I am really happy I saw this documentary. First off, what an amazing majestic beauty of Ice. It looked so good. Just like ‘featured Image’ of this post. It kind of saddened by seeing how rapidly they are melting away. I read about it in newspaper but seeing a proper documentary made on it had a strong effect on me. It is horrific to see the Ice melting away like this.

James Balog goes across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one single purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. He put some 25 cameras in Greenland, Iceland,Montana & some in Alaska. The concept of ‘ancient air trapped as bubbles in the ice’ was amazing!

This documentary only lasts for 1 hour so please do not be lazy. Grab your healthy less fat popcorn and watch this brilliant documentary!

Ever heard of: Naomi klein

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In this post of ‘Ever heard of’ I am going to talk about Naomi Klein a Canadian author & filmmaker known for her political analyses. Her latest book ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs Climate Change’ became a bestseller. It sheds some light to the connections between the rapid growth model of the free market economy and its significant negative impact on the climate. I have to be honest, I haven’t read this book yet but there is an hour long video where she talks about her book and about environment.

 

If you can not read the book or watch this video, you can check the documentary.

She is also supporting the ‘divestment’ movement since 2013. There is a lot to know about her. Not only she could be a perfect role model for women but for men too. In Klein we trust!

3D-Underwater framing

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In resource economics we talk quite a lot of renewable resources and their stock size, and to make it more feasible professors introduce to students this topic by the stock of fish  in the sea and the trees in forest.
Today I would like to do the same to you and show you this project, that somehow unites the two arguments:

“Farming the Sea: why eating kelp is good for you and for the environment”

This superduper-well made Video about a project that has the potential of a big future shows how kelp farming that is linked with a multi-stage breeding of oysters and fish stock can revolutionize the use of the oceans resources. But the main plant here is kelp, some sort of large seaweeds that grow in so called “underwater forest”. What makes kelp so special is the fact that it is full of nutrients, it soaks up excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the ocean and can be used as vegetable, fertilizer and biofuel.

If you have 5 minutes of time, lean back and enjoy this eyeopening video.

 

Ever heard of: Carbon Conversations!

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This is my second post of ‘Ever heard of’. The first one was based on Sustainable goals by UN. Today I would like to talk about Carbon Conversations.

We were suppose to have a small ‘talk’ on it by one professor from Hamburg today but it got cancelled for some reason. I hope the ‘seminar’ happens again. Anyway while I was in the class, I got curious and looked about them online.

This is the link. So it is kind of a group which The groups offer:

1) space for people to explore what climate change means for themselves, their families and their aspirations
2) permission to share their hopes, doubts and anxieties
3) time to work through the conflicts between intention, social pressure and identity
4) reliable, well-researched information and practical guidance on what will make a difference
5) support in creating a personal plan for change

They charge you for 6 to 8 sessions and they charge you for the handbook manuals. They say that they can cut your carbon footprint by half. Interesting.

Check out the site and find out more if the center exists near your area!

Steamgreen Testdrive: Toyota Mirai at Ecomondo

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Like Pushkar I went to Ecomondo, and there I had the very special opportunity to test drive the new Toyota Mirai, the first hydrogen powered mass produced car EVER!

The reason why I am so hyped about this car is because it is a revolutionary step in the mobility sector: Powered with hydrogen it produces just vapor from the tailpipe. The electricity produced that powers the electric motor with 155 hp and max speed of 180 km/h comes from a fuel cell that transforms hydrogen into electric power.

SteamGreen @ Ecomondo

SteamGreen @ Ecomondo

The possible range with one fuel load is around 550 km which makes it comparable to the max range of conventional cars with combustion motors.

Enough theoretical facts, how is it to drive this 80.000 € car? It is very silent! When you start the engine you can hear just a silent buzzzzzzzing sound coming from the electric engine. Lifting your leg from the break lets the car moves and just a slight push on the acceleration pedal is like “whooooww, that’s fast!”. Handling is fine and harmonic, the interior is futuristic but still cleaned up and organized.

One big problem with hydrogen cars is that the gas station net is very weak or not simply not existing; the car I tested has to be refilled at Bolzano where the only plant for refilling hydrogen in Italy is located.

Ecomondo – The Green Technologies EXPO

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Couple of days I went to check out this expo which is quite famous in Italy to showcase all the companies which are doing business in Sustainability. This was the fourth edition. I went there last year too but with less enthusiasm and knowledge, I could not enjoy to the best. This year was better. I could understand what the company was showing like Wind Turbine or Solar panel (thanks to our recent course topic – Renewable Energy Production) or companies working in waste/water management. I decided to attend this conference ‘Green Economy’. I liked the sound of it but now there goes my rant.

The main people who had to speak about it were late by 1 hour and they finished one hour later. Honestly I lost my interest in listening to them. Such unprofessional people here.

Anyway the discussion was good. One of the Italian journalist spoke about various harsh truth about the status of Italy in terms of Sustainability. Like Italians still use incarceration to burn waste or Italians still need to progress in terms of Waste management. Some of the states are really bad in collecting the waste. Around 40% is completely discarded. There was another representative from IMF so spoke about Co2 taxes and better taxes reform in Italy. You should check ‘Green New Deal for Italy’. Apparently there are focusing a lot recently on waste management. I liked the conference but honestly because of late arrival and late finish, I could not see the entire expo like I wanted. The expo was huge and was very nicely organized. I would like to go there again but conferences? No, Thanks!