Friday, February 22, 2008

Meat production 'beefs up CO2 emissions'

Producing 1kg of beef results in more CO2 emissions than going for a three-hour drive while leaving all the lights on at home, scientists said today.

A team led by Akifumi Ogino at the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan, trawled through data on aspects of beef production including calf raising, animal management and the effects of producing and transporting feed.

They are calling for an overhaul of the beef industry, after their audit revealed producing the meat caused substantial amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are emitted in the form of methane from belching cattle, but the meat production process also releases fertilising compounds that can wreak havoc in river and lake ecosystems.

Warming potential
The study, which is published in today's New Scientist magazine, shows that the production of 1kg of beef releases greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4kg of carbon dioxide.

The production process also led to fertilising compounds equivalent to 340g of sulphur dioxide and 59g of phosphate, and consumed 169 megajoules of energy.

Over two-thirds of the energy is spent on producing and moving cattle feed.

The emissions are equivalent to the amount of CO2 released by an average car every 160 miles, and the energy consumption is equal to a 100W bulb being left on for 20 days, says New Scientist.

But the total environmental impact will be higher than the study suggests because the calculations do not include emissions from managing farm equipment and transporting the meat.

The scientists behind the study are calling for a range of measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.

These include better waste management and reducing the interval between calving by a month, which the authors say could reduce the environmental impact by nearly 6%.

A Swedish study conducted in 2003 claimed that raising organic beef on grass rather than feed, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and consumed 85% less energy.

via guardian

more info here, here and here

Chris Jordan - Portraits of American Mass Consumption

Digital artist Chris Jordan knows how to turn e-trash into photographic treasure. His large-scale images of massive amounts of statistically-inspired refuse make it all too clear just how big a problem consumer waste is. His work, which features objects from Barbies and plastic bags to e-waste and shipping containers, brings to light a tough dichotomy, presenting our gluttonous existence as consumers in a beautiful medium. He’ll be keynoting our Greener Gadgets Conference on Friday, and we can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

In his most recent exhibition, Running the Numbers, Jordan looks at contemporary American culture through “the austere lens of statistics.” Each image notes a staggering statistic, and portrays a large quantity of something (i.e. 426,000 cell phones, equal to the number of cell phones retired in the US every day). The image makes the statistic real, almost impressionistic in style, as it appears simple or monotone from afar but detailed up close (see the zoomed images of batteries and cell phones below). “The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming,” he says.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bulb changing in Italy

Greenpeace are calling for governments around the world to ban the bulb, but they a not waiting for them. Here's Greenpeace Italy local group activists changing bulbs all over town.

This video also reminds this DJ Eric Prydz video clip.

via Greenpeace

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Global warming according to Bush!

Why do you think Adam and Eve were naked?;-)

This isn't actually all that different to what the real President Bush said yesterday and it's much more fun to watch!

Natural Architecture

Natural Architecture is an collection of works reflecting the ideas of this movement have been compiled into a book written by alessandro rocca (architect and architecture critic and a professor at the milan polytechnic). the book, due out in early november 2007, features sixty-six projects from 18 artists and architects by way of 250 photos and illustrations. each project reconsiders designing with nature in mind. projects by olafur eliasson, patrick dougherty, nils-udo, ex. studio, edward ng, n architects, and many others.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yves Béhar - One Laptop Per Child

For the last two years, Yves Béhar (Fuse Project) has been working with Nicholas Negroponte (One Laptop Per Child - OLPC), director of the MIT Media Lab, developing a laptop that will be sold exclusively to governments in the developing world for $100 and then given to school children. Not only have they achieved a miracle of costing, their laptop makes all existing models look lazy, cumbersome and stupid. via Wallpaper

The goal of the XO is simple and noble: to give every child a laptop, especially in developing countries, where the machines will be sold in bulk for about $130 apiece.
But the One Laptop Per Child nonprofit, formed at MIT, didn’t just create a cheap computer. In addition to cutting costs—by designing lower-priced circuitry and using an open-source operating system, among other things—it also improved on the standard laptop by slashing the machine’s energy use by 90 percent, ideal for a device that could be charged by hand-cranked power in rural villages. The biggest power hog is typically the display, so engineers invented a new LCD.
Each pixel has one part that reflects light and one that lets light pass through a colored filter. Turn on the LED behind the screen, and a full-color image appears as rays stream through the tinted filters. Turn it off to save power, and light bounces off the reflective parts of the pixels to form a black-and-white image perfect for e-mail or e-textbooks. Even more efficient, the CPU suspends itself when the image is static.

Expect the tech in full-price laptops in a few years.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Story of Stuff

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Watch it and think about:

This is just the intro. Watch the full doc here!

Tanx Monica.