Almost within REACH II, EU energy and GMO soy

The REACH will have a second reading in Parliament December 12. Sofar the major hurdles is the opposition of Germany and a few others to a stricter implementation of the subsitution principle. And also some formal matters on the agency that will control that the REACH is running OK.

EU has been working a energy strategy plan. Currently renewables and nuclear energy is on the board. I still dont understand why so many people are so fond of nuclear energy...

The ISIS just had a press release quoting a study that showed the female rats fed with GMO soy beans had a higher incidence of stunted litter. Those that survived were sterile. Kind of puts you of eating GMO, does it not?


Boycott Coca Cola

That is what I feel like doing after reading the The Alternative Report on Coca Cola made by War on want.

In short Coca Cola is accused of draining precious water resources (and decreasing the water table), union busting including murdering union members, selling (giving?) toxic waste to farmers and selling soft drinks with toxins. Not where I live but in Latin America, India and South East Asia.

Does it seem to be outrageous?
Yes, it does!
So say NO to Coke whenever possible ... ie always ...

For more information on back side of the Coca Cola image:
War on want
India Resource Centre.org
Killer Coke - See also list of cola alternatives
Coke Watch.org

There actually is an organic alternative to Whole Earth Organic Cola. Although, as far as I know only available in the UK...


Local cooling

UniBlue has started an initiative to decrease the energy consumption in computers. Use their website and the programme on http://www.localcooling.com/.

Or go into Start/ Settings / Control Panel / Power Options / Power Schemes
and change to give minimal time of energy consumption. Every watt*minutes counts!


Increase the tax on fossil fuels!

That is what the CEO of Volvo Leif Johansson wants the Swedish politicians to do. By increasing tax on fossil fuels like petrol and diesel (and natural gas) and omit taxes on more environmentally friendly fuels one would expect an increase in the sales of more environmentally friendly vehicles. Volvo intend to make so heavy investment and want to make sure that they have the political support for that for the next 15-20 years. Leif Johansson says that he and the Swedish prime minister are in agreement on the broad strokes. Leif Johansson says that politicians in all quarters need to on the same page so that this can be guaranteed. Amazing with a CEO that has way way longer perspective than most politicians. It usually seems to be the other way around.

I hope Leif Johansson gets what he wants!

See article in Swedish.

It seems that neither the Swedish prime minister nor the environmental minister wants to increase taxes on fossil fuels nor omit taxes on more environmentally friendly fuels. Reasons: it is not popular to increase fuel taxes and something to do with the EU, not quite sure what.


Celeriac with bulgur risotto

8 portions
Time: ca 30 minutes.

2 chopped yellow onions
1 finely chopped chili
2 table spoons virgin olive oil
1 tea spoon salt
1/5 tea spoon black pepper
2 dl sliced carrots
400 g canned kidney beans
1/2 kg bulgur
8 dl water
2 msk herbal broth paste or 2 cubes
8 1.5cm slices of celeriac
1–2 table spoons curry
1 table spoon honey
1 tea spoon cinnamon

Fry onions, chili, salt and pepper a few minutes in olive oil in a casserole. Add carrot, beans and bulgur. Stir and add water and broth concentrate. Let simmer til the bulgir is ready, ca 15 minutes.

Swell the celeriac in water for ca 5 minutes. Pour off the water and fry the celeriac in oil with salt, pepper, curry and honey. Powder with cinnamon. Garnish with parsley.

This recipe is invented by Tina Abzakh who is the chef at the Brunnsängsskolan i Södertälje. The recipe was the winner of the 2006 issue of the contest best green school lunch ("Bästa gröna skollunch") that was organised by The Swedish Vegetarian Society, Coop provkök and The Swedish Health Promotion Society (Hälsofrämjandet). The colourful and spiced composition swept the jury of their feet, and was also deemed to be well balanced and healthy. See this article (in Swedish).


Support coastline protection in Sardinia

In a remarkable move the Regional Council on Sardinia has decided to protect the coastline as way of support sustainable development on Sardina. Please encourage them to keep up the good work by sending them an email via this WWF campaign.

Read more here.

This really is a green revolution :-)


Nuclear energy is a waste of time and energy

Nuclear power might be the most extreme example of the "chimney effect" ie by building a large chimney the waste is "removed" from the factory site.

With most "economically viable" uranium ore deposits around 0.5-2kg/tonne one produce ca 98 to 99.5 tonnes of waste per tonne uranium. This waste is ground rock into fine sand so that it leaches out much more easier than the original rock. This is also contains ca 10% of the original uranium not to mention a host of other radioactive compouns like thorium and metals (like lead and arsenic).

If not properly contained (and is very seldom is) it can spread through normal erosion by rain fall into the water system. One could expect that the waste and netralised (sulphuric acid is used in the extraction) and surface strip mines covered up to retain near initial conditions. But this would be so expensive in that it will cost 4 times the energy coming out from the nuclear power plant...

As already noted only 3% of the worlds energy productions rely on nuclear power. Some western countries wants to increase their nuclear transformation. The problem is also along securing uranium to be used. Uranium is also a finite resource. Estimates in the "economically viable" deposits is ca 25-50 years at current extraction rate. After that granite is one option, but with only 4ppm (4 grams per ton!) and less it would be needed 30 times more (and more!) energy input than actually will be converted in the nuclear plant. Another option is extraction from the oceans at 3 times energy expense of energy input including a host of the use of toxic chemicals.

Much of the discussion of biofuel is the comparison of energy output ratio in comparison with fossil fuels. It seems that a decently run nuclear extraction would always lose in such a comparison!

In any case, with less than 0.1% uranium the carbondioxide emission will be higher than the expected savings in relation to fossil fuel driven power plants for an expected quarter century life time of a nuclear power plant.

Read more on the The Ecologist article Nuclear Power Dossier - Uranium Mining and Milling


Cocoa balls

To make ca 30 balls

125 gr butter - Org
½ dl white sugar - FT & Org
3 tsp cocoa powder - FT & Org
1 tsp vanilla sugar (see below)
3 tsp cold coffee - FT & Org
3 dl oat flakes - Org
sugar or coco flakes for coating - both FT & Org

tsp - table spoon

Most of the items are available from Fair Trade and/or Organic production.
FT - Fair Trade
Org - From organic production

Mix sugar and butter with a fork.
Add the rest and mix well, with fork or hands.
Make balls the size of meat balls with your hands.
Roll them in sugar (or coco flakes).
Put them in a fridge for a few hours.
Serve straight out of the fridge.
Not for warm days because they will get a bit messy.

Vanilla sugar
1 dl white sugar - FT & Org
1 vanilla pod - FT (& Org?)

Cut the pod and remove the seeds.
Mix with a mixer stick (or whatever it is called in English).
Store dry.
Good for making cookies or as an addition to hot chocolate!


The original Swedish name for this delicacy is not all politically correct...
It is supposed to be covered by nib sugar / pärlsocker, but since it is not easy to find outside Sweden I suggest normal sugar or coco-flakes.

Once I tried to coat the balls with cocoa powder.
I think most thought it became very dry,
and of course not as sweet as the sugar coated!

And not all in any way related this SNL skit :-)


No more sushi?

In a recent post I commented on the difficulty of making sushi from sustainably caught tuna and other types of fish. Its basically not possible, at least with tuna.

Now the WWF started a campaign to urge EU representatives to push for strong measure to make sure that the bluefinned tuna in the mediterrean will survive the ongoing onslaught (overfishing!!!).

I just did the right thing!
Will you too?

Have you read the greenguide worrywart blog post on Sayonara Sushi?


IEA suffers from a mental melt down

Recently the IEA urged the world to build more nuclear plants!

The same day Greenpeace reacted by making this statement.

Anyway, nuclear being one of the most expensive ways of providing energy does not seem to a good choice for a sustainable society. That includes all the associated environmental risks and spread of nuclear weapons. Today N-plants provide 3% of all enery world wide and 17% of all electricity. Renewable energy (except photovoltaic cells) are at least double as price effective in providing energy. Being more effective in use of energy is even much more price effective.

So what is the IEA up to?
Have they become a lobby group for nuclear power?
Or have they been all the time?
They just havent made this kind of horrendous statements before?

Anyway, is just an email to the IEA at the following email addresses:
info@iea.org, EfficiencyInfo@iea.org, EnergyPolicyInfo@iea.org, EnvironmentInfo@iea.org, nea@nea.fr

And here is the email:

Subject: Melt down in IEA?

Dear all,

I was completely baffled today when I read the front
page of yesterdays Financial Times stating that the
IEA backs a speedier construction of more nuclear
plants around the world! Has there been a melt down in

As you very well know that nuclear plants supply
around 3% of the total supplied energy in the world
today. The problem with dealing with the nuclear waste
is troublesome to say the least. How do you think it
were to be if the nuclear plants provide lets says 20%
of the current energy consumption? Sounds like a
nightmare to me.

As you also know: nuclear energy is almost twice
costly per KwH compared to most other energy means
including the fossil fuels. Of course the best way to
make sure that the "produced" energy is enough for all
of us is to make sure that we become much much better
at both converting fuels (solar, biomass, waves etc)
into energy (heat, movement or electricity) and then
also in making use of the energy.

In the life time of nuclear plant roughly the same
amount of carbondioxide per distibuted KwH will be
roughly the same as released from a modern natural gas
plant. So nuclear plants are not cleaner than fossil
fuels. Not to mentional all the waste that needs to be
taken care of after decommission.

In short nuclear plants are neither
clean, safe nor cheap.
Why are you so anxious to make people
around the world believe that they are?


Legal EU limits of car CO2 emissions?

There has been a loose voluntary agreement between the European Commission and the car maker industry to make cars less polluting in terms of CO2 emissions. The targets have been set for new cars down to 140 milligrams per kilometre (mg/km) by 2008 and 120mg/km by 2012. Now the average is closer to 160. The Environment Commissioner Dimas has voiced concern and has mention legal requirements. At the moment it is more talk. Maybe a scare tactics to make the car makers to live up to the voluntary agreement? Probably a fairly good idea but probably more effective if it is combined with taxes that increases with nominal CO2 emissions or EU tax on fossil fuel?

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