Samsung releases first true green Cellphone with solar power

samsungblueearth2.jpg.jpegNormally I reserve these link for our radio show but since we are still waiting for a software fix to continue our regular scheduled programming and this must count as the most wow announcement in the cellphone market since the EiPhone I think I must help spread the word.
Samsung will release its first full solar powered cellphone to the (european?) masses on February 16th. Its not only solar powered its also made out of recycled water bottles, packaged in recycled (downcycled) paper includes a pedometer (stepcounter) telling you how many trees you have saved by actually walking to the supermarket rather then driving. It sports a touch screen (no multitouch probably because of Apples technology hindering patents) and generally looks rugged but gorgeous. I have been pondering for a while what my next phone would be and while I am lured into the iPhone camp I can´t pull myself through to actually get locked in with a vendor also the only function that I really admire with the iPhone - GPS - has been proven unworkable and too unprecise in situation where I would use it (the woods the mountains and beyond) - so I guess my new phone that I get in autumn has just been revealed and I think they have a true winner on their hands.

Via inhabitat.


Veggie Love

This advertisment was banned from superbowl (talk about prude americans) but I can whole heartly support the message...

'Veggie Love': PETA's Banned Super Bowl Ad


The Oamaru Declaration of Independence

Via Citizen Renaissance comes this highly thoughtful text. A redo of the Jefferson declaration of independence by Dr. Susan Krundieck of the New Zealand Transition Towns Network. It tackles everything there is wrong in a some short paragraphs - to bad its just words again.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Justice, the pursuit of Happiness, a Healthy Natural Environment and Sustainability for ourselves, the Third Generation and the Seventh Generation.

— That to secure these rights, Organisations are instituted among Communities, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Members,

— That whenever any Form of Economy becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Relationship, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Economic Relationships long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them and their environment to ruin, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Economic Constraints, and to provide new Guards for their future security and sustainability.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of this community; and such is now the necessity which constrains us to alter our former Systems of Business Growth for its own Sake and Environmental Exploitation. The history of the present Theory of Economics is a history of repeated disasters, injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over communities and the environment. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, felled our forests, polluted our water and fouled our air.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited our talents, put us into debt, degraded our culture and eroded our relationships with the members of our community.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited mineral resources which by right should belong to people in perpetuity in order to obscenely enrich a few in the short term.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has paved our farms, sprawled our towns, and destroyed the quality of live of our people and their children and grandchildren.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has convinced us, for more than a century, to ignore the voice of scientific knowledge and reason in order to continue the acidification of our air and oceans through Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides and Carbon Dioxide emissions from combustion of fossil fuels.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited the labour of people and environments that have no protection from ill use, and has persecuted people who worked for economic justice and equality.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has assaulted the morality of our youth and treated them as a target market rather than with the respect of future citizens and community members.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has corrupted the purpose of our governance and civic institutions, it has usurped the purpose of our curiosity and research efforts, and it has shifted the motivation for the education of our young from development of their intellect and character to exploitation of their labours for further growth of the economy.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Transition Committee of Oamaru, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this community, solemnly publish and declare, That this Community is, and of Right ought to be Free, that we are Absolved from all unsustainable and perverse requirements of the Growth Economy for its own Sake, and that all connection between this Community and the Growth Economy, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a Free and Sustainable Community, we have full Power to reduce fuel and electricity consumption, restore our environment, protect our culture, nurture our agricultural assets, set aside our resources, refrain from extracting minerals, stone or fossil fuels, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Local Commerce based on our own principles and theories, and to do all other Acts and Things which Sustainable Communities may of right do.

— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Emotional story that comes with the text can be found on


So much for change

I wasn´t aware of the fact that Obama has choosen secretary of agriculture already, but what I just read about Tom Vilsack - the person who will be responsible for the path of feeding of the american people in the next 4 years - is making me shiver. Pro Genetical Modified Food, Pro Big Agriculture - totally against any sustainable agriculture, pro chemical companies very close to Monsanto. I suggest you feed Roundup Ready directly to the American People - maybe then they don´t have to suffer year long cancer pain.

Fixing the food supply chain would have been such a positive signal throughout the world as it implicates use of oil, poisoning the environment and poisoning peoples bodies - you know the all around solution for 3 out of 5 of the most stemming problems in the world. Someone must see the relationship of cancer rates where you have an 33% chance of getting cancer in your life with an upward trend and the use of chemicals in agriculture - not even to speak of habitats becoming uninhabitable deserts and bees dying en mass. This chance seems to be given away to corporate lobbying and black suitcases changing hands at Monsantos compounds.

All things considered - Obama is a neat package to the same old - all "charme" aside - there is still "all option on the table" for attacking Iran - there is no stance against aggression of Israel to the Palestinians (heck the incoming administration does not even have the balls to say anything - at least with Bush you knew which site they where on).
I know some of you have been saying it all along (fRED I am looking at you) but I do give people the benefit of the doubt until prooven guilty - for me now proofed guilty.

That means for all average american out there living in their beloved country, admiring their advanced culture - you standing around these parts of the world has not improved. Better put more pressure on your leaders by forming a 3rd party and overthrow the thugs that are your government past present and future.

It seems in america there are only two kinds of politicians - those who have guts but are ultra right wing corporistas and want to nuke the world around them and enslave all people or those who have no spine whatsoever and play the ultra right wing corporistas symphony along.

I guess that also means the organic garden on the white house lawn will not happen either - I feel bad for the guys driving around the US on their own dime to raise awareness of the food issue from The WHO farm now that they garnered a lot of international attention.


A new Era of Airships to come upon us?

Aeolus-Christopher-Ottersbach.jpegYou know state where I live saw the death and the rebirth of one of the coolest vehicles ever built by humans (sans the bicycle). When the Hindenburg crashed the era of airships came to an unforeseen end - even so the concepts for future airships had everything you ever wanted - slow quite low fuel flight across the world. The problem with the Hindenburg was of course the wrong filling - you ain´t put a high explosive gas in huge quantities atop people and wrap it with burning fabric and install sparking engine beneath it - the consequences where that the only airships you could see since then have been the small blimps that are mainly used for advertisments and low altitude tourist tours (very few at that). about 10 years ago not far from where the Hindenburg crashed someone secured lots of funds from the government to revive the airship in all its glory. Sadly the guy was not good at bussiness and besides building the biggest hall mankind ever build - for the construction of the airships - nothing has come out of this endeavoure except the dream that airships are actually a really nice way to travel and transport goods (if you leave out the highly exploding hydrogen of course). The concepts even showed feasibility to transport goods as much as trains do but with much less environmental cost. Now the construction hall is a fake rainforest eating up so much CO2 that you could power a whole city and need another rainforest to offset the costs - and its horrible sterile from what I heard.
So by now you should be aware that I love airships - to my delight Inhabitat - my favorite "green" blog - has posted an article about a Zeppelin that could be straight out of a sci-fi movie - except that it exists and roams the earth pedal powered (so it combines the two most amazing vehicles ever created by mankind ;) in a zen slow smooth kind of way. It can land everywhere without any infrastructure needed.
The caveat? Helium - the gas that fills the sail.

Although the gas is the second most abundant element in the universe, it is a relatively rare and finite resource on Earth and must be extracted via low temperature gas liquefaction or recovered from natural gas.

There always is a problem... Nonetheless there is hope that this might catch on and we find a synthetic gas that can be had more easy!

More pictures here.


Sea Slug becomes half plant after eating one

dn16124-1_300.jpgNature is so beautiful and strange and most of it we haven´t understood or even seen. This sea slug eats sea weeds and takes up the chlorophyl. With that it can then generate power by using photosynthesis. It also harnesses some genes from the plant matter to make its own chlorophyl basically becoming a plant-animal hybrid. It can then live for days off the sun without the need to feed itself. Crazy....

New Scientist Movie about it


Awesome Arial Photographs of the US

aml-cover1-510x324.jpgamlean1.jpgTake a small aircraft and a good camera, fly to a highaltitude, tip the nose of your aircraft downward 90° let go of your stearing wheel, slowely take out your camera, make all the right setting on it (while the plane slowly accelerates downward to higher and higher speeds), and at just the right moment, when the framing is right, the sun is in the right position breathe in and push the camera trigger, then put the camera safely away take back the steering wheel and pull up the plane just shortly before crashing headways into an amusement park. This is the live of architect and photographer Alex MacLean(attention heavy flash site with no deeplinks - go to "preview new book" to see the pics) who might need some very good meditation techniques to endure this stress at any level. But the outcome are really cool photos of american cities and landscapes and the destruction the american population brings to their own land (purple earth?). The overgrown cars in the forest are interesting not from astetically standpoint but from the idea that is a common thing to do in the US. When I was in South Dakota the forest behind the house was littered with really great 70s cars that actually still worked when you brought a full battery to start them. This is not good for the environment - at some point the oil will leak into the water system - especially on the one shown here. Anyway the photos are mesmerizing and amazing and a warning sign (the suburbs - omfg - who wants to live there?).

Brought to my attention by my parents (yes this makes me proud of them).


The hippy surfer dream car

solar powered - just $129.000,00 if the vapor becomes a product. From inhabitat


peak oil again...

Financial Times Germany reports in their really detailed "financial crisis live ticker" of today:

Die amerikanische Energy Information Administration EIA hat ihre Produktionserwartungen für die Opec-Staaten nach unten korrigiert: Im vierten Quartal rechnet die Behörde nur noch mit einem täglichen Öl-Output von 31,93 Mio. Barrel nach zuvor 32,44 Mio. Barrel. 2009 werden die Opec-Staaten demnach durchschnittlich 31,13 Mio. Barrel Öl am Tag fördern. Zuvor war die EIA für das kommende Jahr von 31,59 Mio. Barrel ausgegangen. Die Nicht-Opec-Staaten sollen 2009 49,2 Mio. Barrel produzieren nach zuvor 49,51 Mio. Barrel. Für die Sorte West Texas Intermediate erwartet die EIA 2009 einen durchschnittlichen Fasspreis von 63,50 $.

For anyone not speaking german this is the official Oil watchdog agency of the USofA that says that we are beyond peak oil now with heavily declining oil output for the first time ever next year. Opec countries will reduce oil output from 31,93 Mio Barrel after this year producing 32,44 Mio. Barrel - non Opec countries go from 49,51 Mio. to 49,2 Mio. Barrel. The reduction does not seem much but remember - Peak oil means a bell curved shape and the top of the slope is almost straight until the abyss comes closer. Interesting is that the agency dropped their estimate for next year from 31,59 to 31,13 for the Opec countries - knowing that the current vice president has some stake in that business I wonder if the numbers where made to look a bit better before the election. All that means is that even so demand is rising (yes demand is rising even so there is a financial crisis but the SUVs need to be refilled you know) there just is not enough oil redealy available and tapping "new" reserves is highly expensive, takes about 10-15 years to get an oilfield on the line and there is just not much new to tap anyway. The only stuff left is tarsands - have a look at pictures on google on how pretty that is. So no matter what we are going to get with the financial crisis - be assured that we hear something about oil not being enough for even a short time horizon.

PS: On a side note - the Financial Times ticker linked above has been running for quite a while now (about 4-5 month I think) - this is likely to become a historic document to see how a system collapses in slomotion - I wish they would have a better RSS feed for it so that you can do remix things with it.


When the wheels loose their teeth...

Since I get my last wisdom teeth pulled in about 20 minutes I thought I share the last bit of wisdom in me - no actually I am in a gloomy doomy mood and want to spread that around - no in fact I think topic is too important to be pulled out with my wisdom teeth - anyway...
I have talked to a lot of people about the "financial crisis" in the last weeks and to everyone I talked to it seemed a bit distant to affect them personally (with the few exceptions of the persons who are in the doom camp already). They all had to endure my preaching - if one bit of the capitalistic market comes to a proper grind the whole system collapses. Why do I think that? Look at the world out there. This whole system is like a house of cards, carefully stacked on top of each other of the last 100 years. One layer of cards made the next layer possible and then the next and the next. The bottom layer is comprised of the oil chain and the food chain, next one is housing, then transport, then consumer goods, then luxury goods (its much more fine grained but you get the idea). Now the thing with house of cards is that any part can topple the whole deck - even those on top - but the ones underneath definitely topple everything. Another analogy I am using is clockworks. If just one of the tiny teeth (ha you thought I would get around the post without mentioning teeth again he ;) is being pulled out the result is that the whole clockwork consisting of millions of teeth is coming to a halt. So same with modern day capitalism with a global supply and demand scheme. One part of the whole system stands still the rest will follow very very soon. Now the thing with the "financial crisis" is that at first it doesn´t look like it will affect you personally (not unless a savings bank is bankrupt and people flock to the ATMs to get their nonexistent money out - its all virtual - there is no money because it has all been lend out and then some). I have been watching with open eyes because I believed that pulling that much money from under the market out there must have an affect somewhere in the "real" market (not the virtual "we trade empty numbers" money market) rather sooner then later. Well it seems that food is actually the one thing that might be affected first.
Yes food the thing everyone needs for living. Why? Because our food system at the moment depends on proper fertilization and since everyone just wanted to make profit in the last years they ignored any natural fertilization cycle (crop rotation for example) and instead poisened the field by overloading it with industrial NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorous, Potassium) fertilization techniques. To switch a field from that to a natural cycle takes about 5 years minimum. Now why is that important? NPK fertilizers are freakishly expensive (big part of it is made from natural gas f.e.) and since the banks are extremely nervous they do not give the farmers any loans to get fertilizers - which had been the norm up till this year. No fertilizers mean that on bad fields you can loose up to 70% of your crop. Thats 70% less food on the market - that means skyrocking prices in the supermarket that means a lot of people will be hungry - what this means I don´t want to think about.
This is one scenario of how the system might collapse - one that is already in the making (means its already happening to some extend). There are more paths to doom but happily also some paths out so not all is lost. Then again looking at the world politics I have not that much hope for a instant enlightening of the ruling caste.

Millions will starve (on

Recent rains have improved seeding conditions, allowing farmers to begin planting soybeans in parts of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Farmers now face another problem, the lack of fertilizer. Even farmers with access to credit have not received their fertilizer due to a distribution delay. A Cuiaba newspaper reports that one producer who normally plants about 15,000 acres of soybeans will plant 10,000 this year because he did not receive enough fertilizer


With food and energy prices soaring around the world, a constant supply of high-quality, affordable food is no longer guaranteed, the officials are warning Britons. That could mean an era of scarcity like Britain's 1940-54 food rationing, during the war and its aftermath


Natures beauty - Living Lights

firefly_squid_1.jpgFrom Fireflies, To Squid to Mushrooms to a whole part of the ocean that glows only on one day, to freaky glowing string hanging down the ceeling - all these are self glowing creatures that - without power - light up their environment to fend of prey, attract prey, attract mates or have some unknown purpose - have a look at them over at Curious Expeditions and lots of more amazin photos and videos of living things that just light up.

Peak Oil + Banking Crisis = ???

After reading articles after articles that spell more doom to the financial markets of the world - like a very sudden price drop for property inside London (this is the town where just a year ago someone tried to sell a three square meter room for 200.000 pounds) there is bigger trouble looming yet and it comes from another very familiar side - Big Oil.
I have been very clear that all the evidence that I could read over the last few years points to the fact that we basically have reached peak oil by now - no later then 2015. And all those experts outside the oil industry who have been predicting that seemed to be right. Yesterday a friend came in to tell me that diesel oil has risen 5 cent during the day (!) at the pump here in germany and today a New York Times article further elaborates on the fact that "normally" high oil prices slow down consumption and rise production automatically - with all the dictators wanting to cash in on the high prices - yet this time there seems to be no end in sight because - even so the american market has slowed down the markets in China and India have sucked up that deficit and

Analysts at Barclays Capital said last week that non-OPEC supplies were “seemingly dead in the water.” Goldman Sachs raised similar concerns last month, saying that growth in non-OPEC supplies “can no longer be taken for granted.”

Thats two very established banks and financial instituts saying that we have reached peak oil you can twist these words as you want but they basically mean we have reached the top of the bell - like curve where there is no rise in production and actually from here on down the road production will slowly start get less and less - no matter how big oil fields you will discover now - they will only prolong the flat tip of the curve but won´t be enough to get those prices down nor will they be enough to meet rising demand in Asia.

The outlook for oil supplies “signals a period of unprecedented scarcity,” an analyst at CIBC World Markets, Jeff Rubin, said last week.

Oil prices might reach more than $200 by 2012, he said, a level that would probably mean $7-a-gallon gasoline in the United States.

(when I was in the states 1994 the gallon of gasoline was at 84 cents)

Some regions are simply running out of reserves. Norway’s production has slumped by 25 percent since its peak in 2001. In Britain, oil production has plummeted 43 percent in eight years. The North Sea is now considered a dying oil basin. Alaska’s giant field at Prudhoe Bay has declined 65 percent since its peak 20 years ago.

Thats peak oil as predicted over and over again - dismissed by the oil giants. The not so funny thing is that even now people are not recognizing the grave danger we face - instead of using the last oil to get us into a solar, wind powered world we are still driving around those SUVs to show how dumb we are. At this point the collective wisdom of the world population should set in together with our survival instinct and search for a FAST possible solution out of this mess - yet it seems we just push on the gas pedal so that the crash into that fast approaching wall is going to be even harder and more fatal then if we would gently start to break.

The solution at the moment could be oil rationing - just to get the problem into peoples and companies heads as brutally as possible so that the collective hive can start embracing a solution - of there are already many out there. Unless this happens the fast sports car we are all sitting in is accelerating and accelerating and has less and less chance to get this crash diverted.

A combination of falling production and rising domestic consumption could wipe out Mexico’s exports within five years, including the 1.5 million barrels it sends to the United States each day.

Further clouding the picture, Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, signaled last week that it might have trouble increasing its production.

The International Energy Agency estimates that current investments will be insufficient to replace declining oil production, let alone increase overall output. The energy agency said it would take $5.4 trillion by 2030 to increase global output, a level of investment that is unlikely to be met. It said a crisis “involving an abrupt run-up in prices” could not be ruled out before 2015.

(all comments from the linked NYT article)


China to US -> Stop consuming so much or we all die

cellphoneswide.jpgcellphones.jpgThe climate conference in Bali is shaping up to be a big western lifestyle basher. While Costa Rica, Mexico and Cuba are hard at work to become carbon neutral by 2011 through the planting of 5 million trees each (hey what an interesting idea!) China is accusing the US - rightly so - of overconsumption and an absolute wasteful lifestlye that has more impact on earth then anything else out there.

I just wonder whether it's fair to ask developing countries like China to take on binding targets or mandatory targets. I think there is much room for the United States to think whether it's possible to change (its) lifestyle and consumption patterns in order to contribute to the protection of the global climate.

Not that China has a white west - but at least they acknowledge that there is a problem - compared to the blind US polititicians - being the only ones not having signed the Kyoto protocol.

But yeah we can shop down more trees in Canada to get to the tar sands to burn more CO2 to speed up our demise - the sooner the earlier the world can start recovering from its cancerous human population.

Picture: Cellphones by Chris Jordan depicting the number of Cellphones beeing thrown away every day in the US (its 426.000 of them (yes thats almost half a million))