Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα recycling. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα recycling. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, 11 Φεβρουαρίου 2015

Le cargo américain Dragon se sépare de l'ISS (video)

Le cargo privé Dragon s'est séparé mardi à 19h10 UTC du module américain Harmony de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS), a annoncé la NASA.


Le vaisseau de transport tombera dans le Pacifique, à l'ouest de la Californie, six heures plus tard, mercredi vers 00h44 UTC, ramenant sur Terre 1,5 tonne de fret, principalement des résultats d'expériences scientifiques réalisées en orbite.

Dragon a décollé le 10 janvier dernier. Il s'est arrimé à l'ISS deux jours plus tard, transportant plus de 2 tonnes de fret en orbite.

Le cargo Dragon est actuellement le seul vaisseau spatial capable de ramener des cargaisons sur Terre. Il s'agit du cinquième des douze vols prévus par un contrat passé entre la société américaine SpaceX, conceptrice de la capsule Dragon, et la NASA en décembre 2008.

Le premier vol commercial d'un Dragon s'est officiellement tenu en octobre 2012. En mai 2012, ce vaisseau de transport est devenu le premier cargo privé à s'arrimer à l'ISS.
[sputniknews.com]
10/2/15
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Δευτέρα, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2015

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft arrives at space station

The unmanned Dragon capsule owned by private U.S. firm SpaceX arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday morning for its fifth commercial resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory, U.S. space agency NASA said.

The spacecraft was successfully captured by a robotic arm operated by U.S. astronaut Barry Wilmore inside the ISS at 5:54 a.m. EDT (1054 GMT), 18 minutes ahead of schedule, as the two flew over the Mediterranean Sea, NASA said.

Dragon, which was launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday, carried about 2.5 tons of supplies and payloads, including materials to support 256 scientific experiments in space.

The scientific payloads included an instrument that will evaluate the clouds and tiny particles in the Earth's atmosphere to potentially decipher important clues for climate change and aid in weather forecasting on the Earth.

The spacecraft is also loaded with several biological experiments that will take advantage of the microgravity environment unavailable on the Earth to advance medical knowledge.

  • One of the projects will study fruit flies' immune systems as a model for the human immune system, to explore how spaceflight can make organisms more susceptible to disease, especially since microbes can become more virulent in space.
  • Another project will grow proteins inside a 10-centimeter cube in weightlessness to research a suspected cause of Alzheimer's and similar brain ailments in people.

Dragon will remain connected to the ISS for more than four weeks before departing for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of California.

This is the fifth operational cargo delivery mission for SpaceX to the ISS. The company's 1.6-billion-U.S.-dollar contract with NASA requires at least a dozen cargo delivery flights in all.

Besides SpaceX, NASA has also signed a deal with another private company called Orbital Sciences Corp. to supply cargo to the ISS.

Orbital's first two flights went smoothly, but the third failed when the company's Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff in late October. 

 Xinhua - china.org.cn
12/1/15
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Σάββατο, 10 Ιανουαρίου 2015

US Dragon Spacecraft Blasts Off to ISS, Falcon 9 Rocket Landing Fails

The US spacecraft Dragon with 1.6 tons of supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, NASA said on its website.

The Dragon spacecraft was brought into the orbit by the Falcon 9 carrier-rocket. After completing the task, the first stage of the carrier-rocket was expected to land on a huge platform installed in the ocean off the coast of Florida.
According to US media reports, Falcon 9 crashed into the platform and broke into pieces, making it impossible to use the rocket in the future.

  • The first stage of SpaceX's Flacon 9 rocket failed to make a soft landing at the ocean platform after separating from the spacecraft Dragon, chief executive of SpaceX private developer said Saturday.

"Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho. Ship itself is fine. Some of the support equipment on the deck will need to be replaced," Elon Musk said via Twitter.
Musk earlier stated that in case of successful landing, his company would be able to use the rocket's booster stage multiple times, which would change the economics of space flights completely.....................http://sputniknews.com/science/20150110/1016737710.html
10/1/15
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Τρίτη, 24 Ιουνίου 2014

Plastic waste causes $13 billion in annual damage to marine ecosystems, says UN agency


UN, 23 June 2014 – Concern is growing over widespread plastic waste that is threatening marine life – with conservative yearly estimates of $13 billion in financial damage to marine ecosystems, according to two reports issued at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly.
“Plastic contamination threatens marine life, tourism, fisheries and businesses,” underscores the eleventh edition of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Year Book, which updates 10 issues previously highlighted over the past decade and provides mitigation steps for each.

“Plastics undoubtedly play a crucial role in modern life, but the environmental impacts of the way we use them cannot be ignored,” added Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director.
Valuing Plastic, a UNEP-supported report produced by the Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) and Trucost, makes the business case for managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry. 

“Over 30 per cent of the natural capital costs are due to greenhouse gas emissions from raw material extraction and processing,” says the report, adding “marine pollution is the largest downstream cost, with the $13 billion figure most likely a significant underestimate.”
Calculating the negative financial impact of issues, such as marine environment or air pollution caused by incinerating plastic, the report reveals that the overall natural capital cost in the consumer goods sector each year is $75 billion.

A large and unquantifiable amount of plastic waste enters the ocean from littering, poorly managed landfills, tourist activities and fisheries. Some of this material sinks to the ocean floor, while some floats and can travel over great distances on ocean currents – polluting shorelines and accumulating in massive mid-ocean gyres.
“These reports show that reducing, recycling and redesigning products that use plastics can bring multiple green economy benefits: from reducing economic damage to marine ecosystems and the tourism and fisheries industries – vital for many developing countries – to bringing savings and opportunities for innovation to companies while reducing reputational risks,” advocated Mr. Steiner.

There have been many reliable reports of environmental damage due to plastic waste that include mortality or illness when ingested by sea creatures such as turtles; entanglement of animals, such as dolphins and whales; and damage to critical habitats, such as coral reefs.
There are also concerns about chemical contamination, invasive species spread by plastic fragments and economic damage to the fishing and tourism industries in many countries by, for example, fouling fishing equipment and polluting beaches.
Since the 2011 UNEP Year Book last reviewed plastic waste in the ocean, concern has grown over microplastics (particles up to 5 mm in diameter, either manufactured or created when plastic fragments), which have been ingested by marine organisms – including seabirds, fish, mussels, worms and zooplankton. 

“One emerging issue is the increasing use of microplastics directly in consumer products, such as ‘microbeads’ in toothpaste, gels and facial cleansers,” explains the UNEP Year Book. “These microplastics tend not to be filtered out during sewage treatment, but are released directly into rivers, lakes and the ocean.”
Communities of microbes have been discovered thriving on microplastics at multiple locations in the North Atlantic – where the “plastisphere” can facilitate the transport of harmful microbes, pathogens and algal species.

The Yearbook affirms that “microplastics have also been identified as a threat to larger organisms, such as the endangered northern right whale, which is potentially exposed to ingestion through filter-feeding.”
Production trends, use patterns and changing demographics are expected to cause increasing plastic use, and both reports call for companies, institutions and consumers to reduce their waste.

Valuing Plastic finds that while consumer goods companies currently save $4 billion each year through good plastic management, such as recycling, plastic use disclosure is poor. Less than half of the 100 companies assessed reported any data relevant to plastic.
“The research unveils the need for companies to consider their plastic footprint, just as they do for carbon, water and forestry,” said Andrew Russell, Director of the PDP. “By measuring, managing and reporting plastic use and disposal through the PDP, companies can mitigate the risks, maximize the opportunities, and become more successful and sustainable.”
Initiatives such as the PDP and UNEP-led Global Partnership on Marine Litter have helped raise awareness of, and begun to address, the issue. However, much more needs to be done.
Recommendations of the reports include that companies monitor their plastic use and publish the results in annual reports; and commit to reducing the environmental impact of plastic through clear targets, deadlines and efficiency and recycling innovations.
Since plastic particles can be ingested by marine organisms and potentially accumulate and deliver toxins through the food web, efforts should be stepped up to fill the knowledge gaps and better understand the capacity of various plastics to absorb and transfer persistent, toxic and bioaccumulating chemicals. 

“By putting a financial value on impacts – such as plastic waste – companies can further integrate effective environmental management into mainstream businesses,” asserted Trucost Chief Executive Richard Mattison. “By highlighting the savings from reuse and recycling, it builds a business case for proactive sustainability improvements.”
 un.org
23/6/14
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Τρίτη, 3 Ιουνίου 2014

We need a new revolution (Janez Potočnik)

European Commission, New Environmentalism Summit, Brussels, 3 June 2014:
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment: 
"Good afternoon everyone, thank you James.
I hope you all agree it has been a fascinating day with really excellent speakers.
Recently I gave a TED talk which had the title 'New Environmentalism and the Circular Economy'. Some of you may have watched it on YouTube so I will try not to repeat too much of what I have said before but some of the points I made in that talk are highly relevant to this one and need to be repeated.

First, though: How did I become interested in environmental issues?
I was born and grew up in Slovenia, a country rich in nature and biodiversity. I am a farmer's son and spent my childhood in close contact with nature. We are proud of nature in our country and we place enormous value on our forests, lakes, mountains and coastline. In fact more than 37% of Slovenia is covered by Natura 2000 –the highest percentage in the EU.
Although my background is in economics and politics, I am also a citizen of the world and a father of 2 sons. I've always been aware of environmental issues, whether global ones such as nuclear power, acid rain, pollution, deforestation, species extinction and so on, or more local issues such as property development or motorway routes.
However, I must admit that it was not until I became Commissioner for Environment that I began to fully realise the extent of some of the challenges we face in the 21st Century. Any alien falling to Earth in our times would be struck by the convergence of a number of environmental crises, to all of which we humans seem to be taking an extraordinarily long time to respond adequately:
  1. Our world is warming in a way which, if unchecked, risks bringing global catastrophe
  2. Our consumption of finite resources is skyrocketing
  3. The ecosystems on which we depend are being degraded
  4. Emblematic species are threatened with extinction
It's not as if we are not aware of these things. It's not as though nobody cares or nobody has been actively campaigning. We have heard enough warnings, read enough papers, seen enough documentaries and protests, and the public largely agrees that something needs to be done. And yet we seem to be stuck in a kind of paralysis which prevents us from making progress on things on which any alien would think we should easily agree, since we need to make very urgent progress.

Why?
For the answers I think we have to look at two elements in particular: Individual behaviour and governance.
There is a good quote from the Polar explorer, Robert Swan. He said "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. And he's right. Yes, some individuals believe their actions can change the world, and we all know that if 7 billion of us took collective action we could certainly change it, but I think we all know that is not going to happen without some external force directing, or even obliging us.
The vast majority of individuals make choices based on what seems to be best for them. Businesses are similar - if left to their own devices the vast majority will naturally try to make as much profit as possible.
This is normal human behaviour. No matter how aware they may be about environmental impact, an individual will still tend to buy a house, car, washing machine, smartphone, TV and other modern conveniences if they feel they can afford it. As long as each item generates a profit, a business will try to produce as much as possible.
  • Each individual choice is motivated by what will make life better for them personally (and I am just as guilty as the next person by the way). If there are 7 billion people on the planet who all think the same way then the implications for resource use, climate change and biodiversity are staggering. And don't forget that by 2045 we will be 9 billion.
  • Let's dwell on that for a second: The global population rises by more than 200.000 every day. That's a city the size of Brussels every 6 days. Or a new Germany every year. With all the demand that places on land, water, food, feed, fibre, raw materials and energy. Not to mention the emissions, pollution and waste generated.
If we carry on with business as usual, by 2050 we will need three times more resources than we currently use. And the demand for food, feed and fibre will rise by 70 per cent. Yet more than half the ecosystems these resources depend on are already degraded, or are being used beyond their natural limits. And I have not even mentioned global warming.
We can talk all we like about the importance of education; about individuals taking responsibility for the environmental consequences of their actions; about corporate responsibility. However, it is difficult to overcome human nature and I do not believe that 9 billion people are going to change their behaviour voluntarily.
Which brings me to governance (and regulation). We need national and international policies and agreements which restrict individuals' and companies' behaviour. Without it, the environment will always suffer.
And here we come to what is so frustrating for environmentalists: How do we get governments around the globe to take the action needed?
Here I must confess I am very familiar with this particular problem. I am not letting you in on any secrets if I tell you that within the European Commission it has proven very difficult to push through environmental measures during these times of economic crisis. It has proven difficult to integrate environmental considerations into other policy areas. And I suspect almost every Environment Minister in the world will tell you the same thing.
We face constantly the same refrain: times are hard, unemployment is high, job creation and growth must be the priority, not the environment.
Governments are in a position to remove environmentally harmful subsidies. They are in a position to redirect taxes from labour to resource use or pollution. But for a variety of reasons they don't.
Meanwhile, at international level, faith in the UN multilateral negotiating system has taken a battering, in particular after the Copenhagen climate conference. I am well aware from personal experience how difficult, time-consuming and downright tedious some of these negotiations are. I am only too well aware of the 'I won't move unless you do', or 'I won't act unless you pay for it' negotiating tactics. And in the meantime, Rome burns.
So far, so bad.
We can do it!
It was Confucius who said "when it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps".
So far maybe I have sounded like one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That is often the case for environmentalists. But I'm not here to talk about the end of times. My message today is - yes we can, if I can borrow that expression from the current US President. But to do it, we have to get past "it's the economy, stupid" in the words of a previous US President. 

As a "new environmentalist" I believe that there is reason for hope, because basically the path to economic wellbeing and environmental sustainability are the same.
Why am I hopeful? Because of our capacity for creativity and innovation, and because so many of the inefficiencies that we see all around us today can so obviously be tackled by channelling that creativity and innovation. For example:
  1. turning coal into light is still only 3 % efficient,
  2. only 15 % of the energy you put in your petrol tank is used to actually move your car down the road,
  3. 80 % of what we produce is used once and discarded,
  4. Only 1 % of the valuable rare earths that we use in products are recycled at the end of the products life.
Not to mention the fact that the sun produces enough energy in one day to power the world for a year.
Just as in the face of rising labour prices we made miraculous increases in labour productivity I believe that in the face of resource scarcities and rising prices we will be able to perform miracles in raising resource productivity. 
  • To do that we will have to break out of our habits. We are locked-in to our resource intensive ways, to our old industrial patterns of production and consumption.
Everything from our infrastructure to our financial systems, from our consumer habits to our business models are inherited from the industrial revolution. Today we need a new revolution.
Mankind's challenge is to turn the creativity and innovation that so successfully exploited natural resources to provide us with health and prosperity, to rolling out those benefits to billions more people, in ways that exploit resources less and cause less environmental pressure and damage.
To get there we will not only need technological development and innovation; we will also need new business models that decrease impact across the whole life cycle of products. We must share, re-use, update, repair and recycle. We must move from a linear economic model, where we extract, produce, use and throw away, to a circular economy model, where waste from one stream becomes the raw materials for another
To do that, we need governments, businesses and investors on board.
Using markets
To some environmentalists the words 'businesses' and 'investors' are dirty words, symbolic of greed, corruption, inequality and injustice. However, like it or not, we live in market economies and I firmly believe the role of the market will be essential to solving our environmental problems. It is the best means we have, but it is very clear that a free market alone is not enough to bring about the kind of changes we need to see.
The market cannot ensure efficiency in the allocation and use of resources if:
  1. prices do not reflect the true value and costs of resources. And today they don't.
  2. if rewards to capital are disproportionate to other inputs. And today they are.
  3. if managers on annual contracts are induced to make short term investment decisions. And today they are.
  4. if directors' business decisions are overly influenced by bonuses based on short-term share price. And today they are.
As the situation is today, market forces are too slow and imperfect; the financial, business and economic world takes a too short-term view; and politicians tend to work too tightly only around electoral cycles.
We have to address the prevailing short term logic which is built into all our systems, be it political or economic:
  1. Do you know of a politician that has been re-elected because she or he was defending longer term interests over the short term ones?
  2. Do you know a manager who was rewarded because the profits of his or her company were lower that year, but more sustainable in the longer term?
It is imperative that we built more long term logic into our data collection, reporting systems, rewarding mechanisms, decision making processes. We cannot manage the world of the 21st Century without taking into account the longer term picture and consequences. 

Conclusion
My friend Achim Steiner, who you heard earlier, said the following after the Rio+20 Summit:
"We have failed to turn things round in the past 20 years, but underneath that failure there is an extraordinary array of activity and innovation"…. "Twenty years ago, we agreed what to do, now we have the tools to do it. If we do not go into the heart of economic policy, we will meet here at Rio+40 even more culpable. Markets are social constructs. They are not a force like gravity. They can be governed."
I agree with him.
But let me be very clear on one thing: We absolutely need environmental lobbying. We need NGOs and individuals who will bring direct action to the streets and to the wilderness. We need awareness raising campaigns, petitions and protests. The 'old' environmentalism is certainly not dead. It is not even remotely redundant. But to succeed, it needs to be accompanied by a 'new' environmentalism which aims at harnessing the power of both business and government and turning them in the right direction.
Old and New Environmentalism need to go hand in hand in the same way that the economy and the environment need to go hand in hand.
Together we need to make our governments– and yes, the EU also – realise that it's not just the economy, stupid.
If we can succeed in that then maybe the alien observer will be less surprised by our human behaviour.
Thank you."
[europa.eu]
3/6/14


Δευτέρα, 26 Αυγούστου 2013

China absorbs close to 70% of global e-waste. More waste means more business potential.

Video CCTV

By CCTV Correspondent Teressa Siu
China has long been dubbed the graveyard for electronic waste. The United Nations Environmental Program estimates that China absorbs about 70 percent of the world’s unwanted devices but China is creating more e-waste of it’s own.
China’s very own e-waste is already astronomical and growing. This collector says more waste means more business potential.
"We are calling for the producers to be responsible. First not to use toxic waste, then to make ways to collect and dismantle the products at the end of their life." Ma Tianjie, Greenpeace said.

China’s love for electronics is infectious with sales growing exponentially between 1995 to 2011. Mobile phones topped sales at a quarter billion with air conditioners in second place.
"China’s silicon valley is growing fast and China’s people are becoming more IT savvy and image-conscious. Their desires for new gadgets could mean more potentials for e waste." Teressa Siu said.
Green experts warn of double trouble. Imported foreign e-waste is still rampant. Even discarded electronics by prominent US institutions could end up in China.
Mega million tons reportedly originate from Canada, US, Europe and Japan, and land in two of China’s largest dismantling centers: Taizhou, Zhejiang Province and Guiyu of Guangdong Province.
E-waste is often disguised as second-hand goods which can be then legally exported. Multiple and untraceable channels of illegal transportation make it difficult to calculate the exact volume of foreign e-waste to China. But ’informal’ trading is no doubt prevalent. Even if it means hours of leg work for this peddler who makes one yuan off this electric fan.
http://english.cntv.cn/program/china24/20130826/101891.shtml
26/8/13
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