Summer reading tip: water, knifes, pistachio nuts and the tragedy of the commons

Here is a suggestion for a bit of summer reading: The first thing that you need to read (in order to polish up your knowledge of the water rights issues connected to the Colorado river, a.k.a the law of the river) is this New Yorker article from back in may: Where the River Runs Dry – The Colorado and America’s water crisis by David Owen. Once you are done with this you need to aquire a copy of Paulo Bacagalupi’s new novel The Water Knife and find yourself a place with a swimming pool full of cr…

Catching up with the global south...

Almost 6 year ago (on the first of january 2007) i started taking an interest in the use of Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) as exterior lightening. I first noticed this use of this type op lightbulbs on a new years day stroll to the recently bombed out southern suburbs of Beirut. A large number shops and market stalls has improvised lamps made from large CFLs. The next day i observed the same while visiting a number of recently destroyed villages along the Lebanese/Israeli border. While this k…

Coming soon: the energy dictator

No, not Angela Merkel and or Vladimir Putin but a ‘mini supermarket & giftshop’ on the Prinzengracht in Amsterdam: Not sure what to make of the name. My guess would be that the whole global warming/climate change/energy conservation hype of the last couple of month is finally showing some effects in real life and this is a sign of the the times to come. However the turkish contractor who was applying the lettering to the windows of the shop today (apparently the shop is going to open ne…

One more reason why second life is sick...

I have never really understood the appeal of second life. Don’t really like the esthetics and never really got the concept of hanging out in some fantasy world that makes no sense whatsoever (if you really need that you should probably just head over to dubai). Now i have been musing about energy consumption here before, but if it is really true what this number crunching blogger writes, the playing second life is not only stupid but outright sick: If there are on average between 10,000 and 15,0…

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

I have just finished uploading my pictures from last weeks trip to lebanon to my flickr account. Among them are five or so that show massive energy saving light-bulbs (or CFLs as they are officially known) used for outdoor lighting of shops and a gas station. This is a trend that i had already noticed last December in China (not sure if in India): Energy efficient CFLs seem to be all over the place in areas like the Pearl River Delta with it’s rapidly growing energy consumption or Lebanon,…

Penguins in Rio - update

When i was in Argentinean Patagonia in January our host at the Estancia Monte Leon (by the way one of the most gorgeous places i have ever stayed in my life, totally worth the hefty price tag) told us that the penguins who hang out at the beach there in order to raise their kids would go all the way up to Rio in the (southern hemisphere) winter as they find patagonia to cold during that time of the year. While i can see that Patagonia might be a little bit too cold in July i could not really pic…