Flight Hangover

When I was a little kid, I loved to travel and see new places. My father worked at the airport, and so it seemed only natural to fly to places during holidays. I remember we took two transatlantic flights and later mimicked the „Thank you for flying Ammmerican Airlines“ of the on-board video.

In 1994, at age 16, I hopped on a one-way trip to Boston to spend some time in Massachusetts. The location was completely out of my mind’s range. Massachusetts? Never heard of it. Yet it took only a few hours to get to Logan airport in Boston and from there to the rural, soft New England hills. Thousands of kilometres away, but accessible in a day thanks to that metal cabin over the clouds. My favorite class at the school was, ironically, ecology.

This week, delegates from allover the world flew to Doha to meet at the climate change summit. I stumbled upon an article by Laura Cowen on her 2010 „No-fly year“. She writes:

„The single most significant thing an individual can do to reduce their impact on climate change is to stop flying.“

In the article, Laura Cowen calculates her CO2 emissions of past year’s flights. Curious about how my travels add up, I calculated my flight CO2-emissions from that first solo trip until today.

The results, calculated on atmosfair’s website, are pretty staggering. Flight Hangover weiterlesen

Rodolfo Soler on Saving IT Energy

Rodolfo Soler is a 23-year old mechanical engineer from Spain specializing in thermal power plants. He believes that we waste a lot of energy by failing to chose the right devices for the tasks we want to perform: For simple tasks like browsing the web or watching a video, we don’t need powerful computers anymore. For computers that use more energy than we need, Soler proposes the technique of „underclocking“ – lowering the settings in the computer so it uses less power.

In his talk „Green Computing and Underclocking: Saving energy“ Rodolfo Soler explains how to underclock devices – which is easier for some and harder for other brands. Apple unfortunately makes underclocking very hard, Soler says.

Nikolai Maximenko and Gisela Speidel on Plastic in the Oceans

In early 2011, I had the chance to meet with Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner, oceanographers at the International Pacific Research Center in Hawai’i, and talk to them about the problem of marine debris and plastic trash in the oceans. Nikolai Maximenko and Gisela Speidel on Plastic in the Oceans weiterlesen