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Eco-energy without limits? - Sonnenseite - Ökologische Kommunikation mit Franz Alt


Eco-energy without limits?
Even a sustainable circular economy doesn’t run without energy. Solar panels and wind farms, tidal and geothermal power plants: They all divert energy from energy fluxes that had remained untapped since time immemorial.
The question is therefore: What part of these energy fluxes can mankind use for its own purposes without damaging the Earth’s energy system? Empa researchers have developed an approach to estimate this.
© Depositphotos.com |Johan Swanepoel | Regardless whether energy conversions are taking place in the natural Earth system or in the technosphere created by humans, all the energy is ultimately radiated back into space

Eco-energy without limits?


Eco-energy without limits?
Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research
Dübendorf, St. Gallen und Thun, 11.05.2021 - Even a sustainable circular economy doesn't run without energy. Solar panels and wind farms, tidal and geothermal power plants: They all divert energy from energy fluxes that had remained untapped since time immemorial. The question is therefore: What part of these energy fluxes can mankind use for its own purposes without damaging the Earth's energy system? Empa researchers have developed an approach to estimate this.
The Earth has its limits. We are becoming more and more aware of this in view of the climate crisis, the increasing extinction of species and the littering of the oceans (and even space) as a result of human activity. In response, governments and institutions the world over are championing the concept of a circular economy. By closing material cycles, the environmental impacts associated with the extraction of raw materials shall be avoided and the waste problem solved. This approach is, however, not sufficient to build a sustainable society in and by itself, as it leaves the questions open of how much and how quickly materials can be cycled and what energy is used to power these cycles. After all, in a truly sustainable society, not only material flows but also energy flows must remain within the limits set by our home planet.

Polarizing messengers make simple issues political

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Even a seemingly uncontroversial topic can become politicized when the person advocating for it is a polarizing figure, a new study shows.
“I was puzzled by the debate about whether school lunches should be more nutritious, because children’s nutrition should seemingly be a valence issue,” says Cindy Kam, professor of political science and director of the Research on Individuals, Politics and Society Lab at Vanderbilt University.
“That is, making school lunches healthier seems like something everyone would support, regardless of their political beliefs.”
The reason for the divide, Kam suspects, may have been that the chief advocate—the source cue—of improved school nutrition at the time was First Lady Michelle Obama, who was very popular among Democrats and very unpopular among Republicans.

Otago scientist joins international effort investigating smell factor of COVID-19


Friday, 27 March, 2020 - 13:37
The fast-moving COVID-19 pandemic has seen the international scientific community rallying to detect, understand and combat this global threat.
One of the key challenges diagnosing new cases, and controlling the spread, relates to the delayed onset of clinical symptoms - people often have the virus, but show no signs of being ill.
In recent days, it has emerged that many COVID-19 patients may initially experience a sudden loss of taste and smell. This could potentially be a key early-warning of their infection.
A new, international research consortium has been hastily formed to research and understand how COVID-19 affects smell and taste function. An immediate goal of this global project is to develop self-screening assessments of smell and taste ability to help people detect early signs of COVID-19 infection.

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