Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What We Gonna Do When Sh*t Hits The Fan

The last time I visited a supermarket I was thinking of our lost skills. How much we indeed lost in the course of civilization. We have lost touch with nature. Most of us are very good at tracking the lowest prices on the Internet, and perhaps frozen food in a supermarket. But would we be able to understand animal tracks in the wild.

No doubt we lost surviving skills, but what’s more frightening is most of us don’t think we still need them which is hopefully true but what if we do ………

We run out of food

The climate is getting warmer. Polar ice caps are melting, oceans are rising, coasts are eroding, and weather patterns may be shifting. Scientists are predicting increased droughts, floods (not a contradiction), wildfires, a massive disruption of agriculture and the food chain, and more severe storms—especially hurricanes. The sea level might rise by several feet in this century alone. The best-case scenarios look pretty awful.

The problem is that each tiny increase brings on a cascade of effects in weather, crops, migration, species interdependence, and so on. More rain here, less rain there. Hotter, drier earth means fewer microscopic worms fertilizing the soil, lower crop yields, and on and on and on. One quick glimpse at the minimum of devastation: The British government's chief scientist recently estimated that an increase of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) was the minimum we could hope for, even if we managed to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions in the near future, and that this temperature increase would result in a decrease of 200 million to 400 million tons of grain production throughout the world—and subsequently threaten starvation of 400 million people.

In this scenario some of those 400 millions people could have an advantage if they knew how to survive, and used their survival skills that their ancestors knew about. And it’s not far from reality, is it?

We run of the water

Another thing is, how we treat the water. In the past many tribes treated water as a god. Since water means life, it was of utmost importance to them. And now what’s our relation to water?

We constantly waste it, either by over consumption or by polluting it. What about collecting rain water? How many of us do collect it? Perhaps you might if you knew what the future holds in available freshwater!

Further, global warming has already negatively impacted bio systems and conditions for several species. What's more, if the temperature rises further still we are looking art 400 million and 1.7 billion people won't be able to get enough water, allergic pollens will increase, and some amphibians will go extinct.

It doesn’t sound good, does it?

Get in touch with Nature
With all of the environmental changes we're experiencing, mass extinction - according to scientists - is a real possibility. It's important that as a society we begin to realize how everything in our world is connected, just like if I was to pull a hair on you leg your eyes will water.

So consider this as you make your daily decisions. It might be necessary for your survival. Learn how to collect water, save energy, grow vegetables and food, swim, and build a shelter. Learn from our friends the animals, as they don't go to supermarkets.

Learn how native tribes dealt with the world around them. You may consider them as primitive, but they had more wisdom how to treat the Nature. It also is a good fun and will get you prepared for any disaster.

Stay tuned to our next post for these survival tips.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

The Coolest Way To Get From A To B Without The C

Who said that green vehicles couldn’t be cool? We gathered the coolest ones that many of us want to have. Our favourite: Venturi Fetish, PoweriZer, Zero Bike and Worn Again. Check them out and tell us what’s yours.

Coolest Green Cars

Venturi Fetish
980kg carbon-fibre and aluminium constructed sports car with top speed 100mph. It accelerates 0-62mph in less than 5 seconds. Venturi Fetish is powered by an 180kW motor with its energy supplied by lithium-ion battery. Venturi claims its Fetish will take you 155 miles and those batteries should last around 2,000 charges – or 10 years. To recharge it’ll take 1 hour with the external charger, or if you’re out and about and need to use one of the internal chargers it’ll take 2-4 hours.

Honda Dream II
This electrical oddity might look like it’s from the future, but it’s actually more than 10 years old. The Honda Dream II was built to compete in the World Solar Challenge in 1996, a race, unsurprisingly, for solar powered cars taking place between Darwin and Adelaide. Honda entered the race in both the ’93 and ’96 - this Dream II taking part in the second event. Its inclusion gave the event a huge boost in coverage, the Honda effort shattering previous records by covering the 1866 miles in just over 4 days with an average speed of 55.8mph.

Perhaps the most notorious electric vehicle of them all General Motors EV1 has sparked a huge conspiracy debate that car manufacturers don’t really want to produce electric vehicles. And General Motors has certainly given the conspiracy theorists reason to believe there’s something not right. That’s because the EV1 was universally praised by the 465 people who leased it from the American automotive giant. Not a pretty car admittedly, but its wind cheating shape allowed it to cruise at speed in near silence and maximise the energy from its batteries.

Tesla Roadster
Tesla Roadster is the latest electric sports car to wow drivers with an environmental bent. Its performance matches its looks, the Roadster able to reach 60mph in around 4 seconds – all from a motor that Tesla describes as being ‘the size of a watermelon’. The batteries take up a bit more space, though the lithium-ion ESS (Energy Storage System) is able to run the Roadster for 250 miles without a recharge. Oh, and Tesla claim a top speed of more than 130mph.

Tesla is using Lotus’ strong and lightweight extruded aluminium chassis to underpin its electric sports car. Lotus are involved too in the Tesla’s development.

Smart EV
The Smart’s drivetrain has been developed by the Zytek Group in the UK, its electric motor and batteries giving it a 30kW output and a potential top speed of 70mph. Smart quotes a 0-30mph time of 6.5 seconds, which is reasonable, but suggests the performance after that isn’t up to much… Still, it’s a city car, and it should be quick enough to dice with town traffic. Smart claims a range of ‘up to’ 72 miles. It’s not much but well…

Coolest Bikes
Zero Bike
The bike is a hubless and very lightweight bicycle powered by cranking magnetic pedals which rotate the tires suspended between other magnets. Designed by Makota Makita and Hiroshi Tsuzaki from Tokyo.

Biomega AMS Bicycle
This multi-purpose town bike uses shaft instead of a chain, requiring less maintenance, and leaving fewer oily trousers and tangled evening dresses. A hub dynamo, 8-speed hub gear, shaft drive, and clean, deco design are well integrated on this bike.

Coolest Eco Shoes
Worn Again
Their shoes are made of everything - from bicycle tires, car seat belts, e-leather and reclaimed jeans – yet their shoes are stylish, eco and cool.

They are made of hemp and are vegan, substantial, durable and long-lasting shoes. The upper is constructed with the finest organic hemp fibers with the natural rubber outsole. Great and giving you the peace-of-mind that such an environmentally-positive footwear statement can afford.

Simple Shoes
Simple Shoes are made of recycled car tires, hemp and bamboo - the best combination for eco-aware people.

…And Now For Something Completely Different

PoweriZers are super-muscles that enhance your natural strength. Curved springs attach to the bottom of the PoweriZers and harness the gravitational energy that is created when you put your weight down. The super-charged springs push back, giving you the ability to run and jump incredible distances!

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