Ubitricity is turning street lamps into EV charging stations

Today I feel like talking EVs. I haven’t been covering electric vehicles that much on the blog, and that’s simply because I still have mixed feelings about them as means to halt climate change. No car is better than an electric car, I’m used to saying.  That being said, our society is not going car-free anytime soon. I expect electric vehicles to start booming from this year onwards thanks to a wide range of new EV models that are coming out. There is now an electric car for every type of consumer.

In the meantime, the pressure on the fossil fuel car industry keeps rising. Only last week a court in Stuttgart, the hometown of Germany’s most icon car brands, ruled that cities can ban diesel cars as part of their effort to improve air quality. With battery ranges continuously improving, most EVs are already now a suitable alternative for most families. Yet, there is one roadblock that remains: in most cities, charging stations are scarce. Driving around to find a parking is already annoying in and of itself, imagine trying to find one with a charging hub.

Ubitricity’s SimpleSocket can easily be integrated in a lamp post. It takes less than 30 minutes to install and is ten times cheaper than stand-alone charging stations (photo: Ubitricity)

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Meat the future

I get it. You love how the patty sizzles in the pan, how the fat seeps out of the meat, how the smell is an anticipation of the first bite, which gives the eater a glimpse of what’s beyond: heaven. At least, if I have to believe some of my carnivorous friends –I’m vegetarian– who get slightly poetic when defending their eating habits. And it’s not that I just happen to have very weird friends. Not a surprise that many vegetarian brands have tried to win meat lovers over with alternatives that promise to bring the full meat experience in a vegetarian or vegan version. Although most purists will claim we’re not yet there, some are admitting it’s getting pretty close.

For many people, the sizzling, the smell, and the bleeding of the meat is part of the burger experience

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Love, sex, and marriage in times of climate change

This Wednesday is Valentine’s day. Chances are high your thoughts are already floating off to your date night. Although it might seem as if there are few things further apart than love and climate change, I figured out they can affect each other in (sometimes scarily) significant ways.

You might not give a damn about rising seas and melting permafrost, but beware: hotter temperatures might affect action in the bedroom. What a bummer! In a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US a couple years back, three researchers found indications that exceptionally hot days lead to a reduction in birth rates nine months later. To put it in the authors own words: “Extreme heat could raise the physiological cost of coitus on a given fertile day, leading to a shift in coital frequency to some subsequent day(s).” In layman’s words: when it’s too hot to bang, people usually catch up later. But postponing the sex doesn’t make up entirely for the decline, as the study of US birth rates between 1931 and 2010 suggests.

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the Tesla of ships is here

Big, bulky, black smoke spewing machines. That’s what most transport ships are today. Responsible for at least 4% of total greenhouse gas emissions, these diesel gobblers have long stayed under the radar of entrepreneurs and regulators alike. But times are changing.

Artist impression of Port Liners fully electric barge (photo: Alexander Whiteman)

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2018: time to step up the climate game

2017: Devastating fires in Portugal, Hurricane Maria kicking Puerto Rico KO, record temperatures in Sydney, an iceberg as big as Delaware braking of the Antarctic Larsen-C ice-shelf, a wildfire season spanning 6 months in California, accelerated melting of Greenland’s glaciers, streets turned into rivers in… I could go on and on. As bloggers and journalists on climate change we used to write in the future tense to describe a warmer world. That has changed.

I have the feeling the last year gave us a look into the future. As you might know, it is difficult to prove the relationship between one particular extreme weather event and the rise of average global temperatures. Yet, we do know as a fact that the intensity and frequency of weather events like those  scourging the planet the previous 12 months will increase. What do I say, are increasing. You see, I haven’t got used to the change of tenses myself yet.

Wildfires caused billions in losses and claimed several lives in Portugal, Spain, California, and Australia

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Kipster: carbon-neutral eggs (not only for hipsters)

There once were 4 Dutchmen with a dream. Their dream was to revolutionize the poultry industry. They envisioned happy hens, healthy eggs, and a healthy planet. Keeping the conventional practices in mind – laying batteries with hens that produce eggs of doubtful quality and eating corn that could have been used to feed people – this dream could have been called as naive as believing you will understand the Belgian political system when asking me to explain it. Nonetheless, those 4 gentlemen took it upon themselves to figure out how to make their dream come true. And so they did.

The indoor garden has plenty of daylight and is a true playground for the chicken (photo: Kipster)

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