Tag Archives: global

European Union leads the world in renewable energy – achieves 100 GW of wind power

Renewable energy continues to surge in the European Union (EU). The latest achievement is 100 GW of wind power, the equivalent of 62 coal power plants. The growth has been fast, “it took twenty years to get the first 10 GW grid connected…only 13 years to add 90 GW.” And half of that was added in the last six years.

To produce the same amount of electricity with coal – in one year – would require the mining, transport and burning of 72 million tons of coal, at a cost of $6.48 billion.

For a broader perspective, the United States is also booming having recently achieved 50 GW of installed wind power. But the most important number is the total electricity used in the EU – 3.6 million GW. And this wind milestone only represents 0.003% of that. Like an ant standing at the foot of the mountain.

The good news is that growth is continuing at a rapid pace – 13-16% in each of the past 5 years – and only a tiny fraction of “Europe’s vast domestic wind energy resources” have been put to use. Follow the curve of this graph and you can see where the future is headed:

 

source: European Wind Energy Association

 

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The Atlantic goes full speed ahead on digital, internet – gives up on print, magazines

Only a few print magazines understand the internet – and The Atlantic is one of them. Now in their third year of profit, after spending a decade losing millions, the magazine is ready to expand. And the next step is to let the print magazine die and expand with more websites. From the N.Y. Times:

“It’s become very, very clear to me that digital trumps print, and that pure digital, without any legacy costs, massively trumps print,” David G. Bradley said.

And digital is where The Atlantic is going, with three successful sites - TheAtlantic.comAtlantic WireAtlantic Cities - and one more launching this week, Quartz.com. A business news site focused on a global audience – from the Editor’s Note:

We’ve assembled a team of digital journalists and developers to create a new kind of business news offering that is global, digitally native, and designed for the mobile and tablet devices.

Full speed ahead on digital, mobile, and social. And while this sounds like just another website, the team has some interesting insights that may give them an advantage. “Data is ubiquitous while real insight on the news is a rare commodity.” I would agree. When everybody reports the same news, if you can consistently provide better insight – that’s an advantage.

“Any good blog or magazine has defining obsessions, and we’ll structure around the ones that we think smart, globally minded people will be interested in.” Don’t you love how he interchanges the words blog and magazine – as if they are the same thing.

Finally, the site will be free – no paywalls or subscriptions – instead showing ads from sponsors in the news stream. It’s the newest digital model that avoids big banner ads – and the company already has four paid sponsors until the end of the year.

And we shouldn’t be surprised they’re adopting the latest digital innovation. The company is diving into digital and giving up on it’s print roots. Something that few print publications will ever do.

 

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Google Chrome now owns the internet – most popular web browser in the world

The Next Web is covering the massive rise of Google’s web browser, Chrome:

 

Remember when Google’s Chrome browser overtook Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser for a week back in May? And next, for a full calendar month?

 

Now, it’s on top and looking to stay…

 

For July 2012, StatCounter pegged Chrome’s global market share at 33.8 percent, up from 32.8 percent in June and from 22.1 percent in July 2011.

 

That’s a pretty meteoric rise in one year, or a precipitous drop by the others. Rankings by market share:

 

  • Chrome – 33.8%
  • Internet Explorer – 32%
  • Firefox – 23.7%
  • Safari – 7.1%

 

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Crowdsource the launch of a nano-satellite into space – Kickstarter

We are developing a nano-satellite, and mobile apps to go with it, as the focus for a global education and public outreach campaign. The satellite, called SkyCube, is a 10x10x10 cm “1U” CubeSat intended for launch as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2013. Orbiting more than 300 miles up, on a path highly inclined to the Earth’s equator, SkyCube will pass over most of the world’s inhabited regions.

SkyCube will take low-resolution pictures of the Earth and broadcast simple messages uploaded by sponsors. After 90 days, it will use an 8-gram CO2 cartridge to inflate a 10-foot (3-meter) diameter balloon coated with highly reflective titanium dioxide powder. SkyCube’s balloon will make the satellite as bright as the Hubble Space Telescope or a first-magnitude star. You’ll be able to see it with your own eyes, sailing across the sky. But SkyCube’s balloon isn’t just for visibility. It will – within 3 weeks – bring SkyCube down from orbit due to atmospheric drag, ending the mission cleanly in a fiery “grand finale” that avoids any buildup of space debris.

 

PLEDGES

$1 - Sponsors 10 seconds of the mission. You can broadcast one (1) 120-character message from the satellite.

$6 - Sponsors 1 minute of the mission. You can broadcast six (6) 120-character messages from space, and request one (1) image from the satellite.

$100 - Sponsors 15 minutes of the mission. An ideal family pack – we’ll send you two (2) SkyCube mission T-shirts! And you can broadcast one hundred (100) 120-character messages from the satellite, and request twenty (20) images from the satellite at any time during the mission.

$1,000 – Sponsors 2 hours of the mission – a great high school or university classroom sponsorship package. We’ll send you a radio receiver which you can use to detect transmissions from SkyCube and other satellites already in orbit! You’ll also get a flying SpaceX Falcon 9 model rocket, and twenty (20) SkyCube mission T-shirts. You can broadcast one thousand (1000) 120-character messages from space, and request up to two hundred (200) images from the satellite.

 

Learn more, join the project - SkyCube: The First Satellite Launched by You!

 

 

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Ai WeiWei reviews London’s opening ceremony for 2012 Olympics – criticizes Beijing’s

Brilliant. It was very, very well done. This was about Great Britain; it didn’t pretend it was trying to have global appeal. Because Great Britain has self-confidence, it doesn’t need a monumental Olympics. But for China that was the only imaginable kind of international event. Beijing’s Olympics were very grand – they were trying to throw a party for the world, but the hosts didn’t enjoy it. The government didn’t care about people’s feelings because it was trying to create an image.

In London, they really turned the ceremony into a party – they are proud of themselves and respect where they come from, from the industrial revolution to now. I never saw an event before that had such a density of information about events and stories and literature and music; about folktales and movies.

At the beginning it dealt with historical events – about the land and machinery and women’s rights – epically and poetically. The director really did a superb job in moving between those periods of history and today, and between reality and the movies. The section on the welfare state showed an achievement to be truly proud of. It clearly told you what the nation is about: children, nurses and a dream. A nation that has no music and no fairytales is a tragedy.

 

Keep reading: The Guardian - Olympic opening ceremony: Ai Weiwei’s review

 

 

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Ikea adds smartphone apps and augmented reality to its newest catalog

Ikea prints 211 million copies of its product catalog every year. That’s more than 20 times the population of Sweden, the home of the build-it-yourself furniture empire. These are impressive numbers for a print catalog in a digital world, but Ikea is now changing with the times with a head-first dive into augmented reality.

“A lot digital stuff becomes very interesting when you mash it up with the tangible items of the real world,” said Andreas Dahlqvist, Global Deputy Chief Creative Officer of McCann, the creative agency behind the catalog.

Augmented reality features will roll out in the 2013 edition of the print catalog, which will arrive in customers’ mailboxes later this month. Amid pictures of Expedit bookshelves and Boksel tables, Ikea fans will see special printed symbols, each an invite to launch new iPhone and Android smartphone apps for an augmented reality experience.

When you wave your smartphone over pages with digital content, a variety of features appear.

 

Source: Wired Gadget Lab - Ikea’s Augmented Reality Catalog Will Let You Peek Inside Furniture

 

 

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Forget the BRICs it’s the CIVETS now – the new developing world

The past decade was all about the BRICs, the massive economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which kicked off at the beginning of the new century, boomed and are now slowing like the rest of the developed world. Taking their place is a new group of fast-rising economies promising businesses outsized returns.

The next decade could belong to the CIVETS – Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa – whose rising middle class, young populations and rapid growth rates make the BRICs look dull in comparison.

Hardly emerging economies anymore – China is the world’s second largest economy and Brazil will take seventh place this year – that their pace would slow down was inevitable.

Now more connected by trade to the developed economies, the BRICs are feeling the same slowdown effects as the developed economies.  And, in the case of China and Brazil, they are also wrestling with the strains of their rapid ascensions. Real estate bubbles, currency control issues and hyper-wage inflation are sending global companies elsewhere for growth.

Brazil is forecast to grow a mere 3% this year. China, while still targeting a strong GDP growth rate of 7-8% in 2012, is well off its double-digit rates of the past decade. Russia, meanwhile, which can’t kick its dependency on oil exports and endured the retrograde re-election of Vladimir Putin, may grind out 3.2% growth this year. India is also slowing, with a GDP target of 6.9% growth in 2012, a sharp decline from its 2010 pace of 9.6%.

The CIVETS, meanwhile, are at the lift-off point…

 

Keep readingThe decade of the CIVETS

 

 

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This is what Global Warming looks like

“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level,” said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona. “The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about.”

Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho.

These are the kinds of extremes experts have predicted will come with climate change, although it’s far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June.

Scientifically linking individual weather events to climate change takes intensive study, complicated mathematics, computer models and lots of time. Sometimes it isn’t caused by global warming. Weather is always variable; freak things happen.

 

Keep readingThis Summer Is ‘What Global Warming Looks Like’

 

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Latest United Nations conference on sustainability takes a new approach – action not treaties

Government leaders, bankers and corporate CEOs took advantage of the gathering of 50,000 people at Rio+20 — the largest meeting in U.N. history — to announce new partnerships, programs and investments.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the $513 billion in commitments “a significant legacy of this conference — billions of dollars’ worth of actions and investments that will have the power to transform lives across the globe.”

To some of those present, the conference presented a new model, a global gathering to inspire government and corporate leaders and others to move ahead and build momentum — rather than waiting for world leaders to reach consensus on a treaty to address climate change or other environmental matters.

“We cannot be boxed in by the orthodoxies of the past,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a speech to delegates of more than 190 nations. “We need fresh, agile, action-oriented partnerships that can produce results year after year after year.”

 

More on this storyU.N. sustainability summit ends with $513 billion in pledges

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Where are you on global pay scale?

Do you earn more or less than the world’s average wage?

World average monthly wage: $1,480

  • Luxembourg – $4,089
  • United States – $3,263
  • Canada – $2,724
  • Germany – $2,720
  • China – $656

The average wage, calculated by the International Labour Organization, is published here for the first time. It’s a rough figure based on data from 72 countries, omitting some of the world’s poorest nations. All figures are adjusted to reflect variations in the cost of living from one country to another, and as Ruth Alexander of BBC radio’s More or Less programme underlines, it’s all about wage earners, not the self-employed or people on benefits.

 

Click to view the interactive version (shows wage of each country).

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