How much is a liter of water?

Monday, March 2, 2009 at 20:14 | Posted in Environment | 2 Comments

I happened to see Beer Activist’s post yesterday about the amount of water needed to produce one liter of beer resp. one liter of coffee. What I read and also tweeted about was that the amount of water needed for a liter of beer would be 30 liters. As I just learned, thanks to a comment at Beer Activist’s blog, is that there was a minor typo: the correct amount is 300 liters.

However, that is not the point here. As it turns out, producing one liter of coffee requires the amazing amount of 1120 liters of water. The numbers come from an article in the Economist.

I do not mind having a cup of coffee or two in the morning but the amount of water wasted on coffee gives me a perfect excuse to substitute some of my coffee with beer. So there is no point in telling me in the afternoon that I might be on a bit too jolly mood. I only drank the afternoon beer(s) in order to protect Mother Earth. Drinking beer is good for the environment.

As if it was not hard to get the figures right with beer and coffee, Sanczny was kind enough to put me a guestion in Twitter:

@unclelarko How much water does it take to produce a liter of water?

I had no idea at that moment. I was also busy with live blogging about #spectrial. Which is why I made the next best thing and promised to come back to the subject later. Which is what I am trying to do now.

To be quite honest, I still do not have an idea. If I tapped a liter of water from a natural well, I suppose it would require about one liter of water to produce one liter of water. But since the 300 resp 1120 liters required for beer and coffee also include upstream input and I happen to live in an urban suburb where the last natural well was polluted and subsequently destroyed for 40 years ago (yes, I do remember fetching water from it) there must be quite a bit of upstream input to get the water run to my kitchen tap.

But how much could it be? As I said, I have no competence to figure it out. Any suggestions?

Ecological bacpack: not too heavy

Monday, February 9, 2009 at 18:45 | Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

I took a few minutes to measure my ecological backpack at OneDidIt (via Janne). Not surprisingly I detected that my everyday life is rather friendly for the Earth. This is what turned back:

Which compares to this EU average:

My ecological footprint: 1,82

Friday, October 3, 2008 at 19:50 | Posted in Environment | 2 Comments

My ecological footprint is 1,82. It is considerably less than average in my area but we would still need 1,82 planets to cover what I consume. I am not going to eat less, though.

via Aarne

Friendly polar bears

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 8:26 | Posted in Environment | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Polar bears discuss the causes of climate change.

Meanwhile in Alaska, Gov. Palin opposes polar bear to be protected as an endangered species, Guardian writes:

In official submissions to the US government’s consultation on the status of the polar bear, Palin and her team referred to at least six scientists who have questioned either the existence of warming as a largely man-made phenomenon or its severity. One paper was partly funded by the US oil company ExxonMobil.

Who needs the human?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 20:40 | Posted in Environment | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

A book definitely to be added into my “to read” list is Alan Weisman’s The World without us:

This clip shows what would happen with a typical family house within a few hundered years without human input to the environment.

via Birger Schlaug

Where does stuff come from?

Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 0:35 | Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

Where does stuff come from and what does it really cost? If you want to go to the bottom of production and consuming and get the big picture, just take 20 minutes and watch a video here.

via Siim’s bookmarks

The last village of Singapore

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 20:08 | Posted in Environment | Leave a comment

The last rural village of Singapore is fighting developers and the government’s plans.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from

Ask your MP about climate change

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 16:56 | Posted in Environment, funny | Leave a comment

via Monica Hansen

Vodpod videos no longer available. from

Oil peak

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 21:07 | Posted in Environment | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

I have never driven a car but I guess I still need to be concerned about how to heat my flat.

via The Energy Standard

Vodpod videos no longer available. from watchedbylarko.vodpo

Smelling rat

Sunday, July 29, 2007 at 23:10 | Posted in Environment, USA | Leave a comment

DC Metrorail seems to have a rat smell attached. Several dead birds have been detected in and outside a number of stations. The birds have apparently died of rat poison.

The FBI have joined the investigation. Nobody seems to know who has spread the rat poison, according to the Washington Post:

Details are preliminary, but Etter said witnesses reported seeing a man in a black pickup truck spraying material at some of the stations.

Metro spokeswoman Asato said the transit agency was not aware of maintenance work involving rat poison.

Sure smells like rat. Could this be a citizen initiative to fight rats? Or just one hand of the administration not being aware of what another is doing?

A junk mayor

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 18:11 | Posted in Canada, Environment, odd | Leave a comment

St. John’s mayor Andy Wells landed on my radar in April last year as I heard a recording of the mayor bulling Councillor Shannie Duff at a city councel meeting. Although Mayor Wells apologized (sort of) a couple of days later, he did not convince me about his sincere repent. It looks like I was right since the CBC now reports about another incident of Andy Wells using abusive language about a fellow councillor.

Councillor Keith Coombs was expressing the environmentally responsible opinion that pesticides should not be allowed for home use which prompted the mayor to make this statement:

“Your problem is that you’re a junk scientist,” Wells yelled at Coombs. “You’re like David Suzuki and Al Gore — you’re a junk scientist.”

He then went on to show his outstanding scientific standards by praising the long ago banned poison DDT:

As well, Wells says an all-out ban on DDT — the notorious insecticide identified decades ago for harmful effects on food — was a mistake. Some agencies, including the World Health Organization, are advocating for restricted indoor use of DDT to kill mosquitoes and prevent malaria.

“The worst thing ever done to the poor people in the world was to ban DDT,” Wells said.

Baring in mind the recorded incidents of foul language usage by Andy Wells, I am sure he does not mind that I take the liberty of calling him a junk mayor who should not be re-elected. The citizens of St. John’s should be ashamed to have him as their mayor.

Drink beer and save the World

Friday, July 20, 2007 at 9:21 | Posted in beer, Blogosphere, Environment | 2 Comments

Last week I wrote in about Chris O’Brien’s Beer Activist blog:

Chris O’Brien’s Beer Activist blog features two of its author’s favorite activities: drinking beer and saving the World. Chris’s heart beats for environmental issues as much as it does for beer. The blog provides a comprehensive coverage of the US brewery scene but you get a lot of information about global brewing as well.

Chris just posted a video where he talks about drinking beer and saving the World, i.e. beer, sustainability and pub brewing. I would certainly drink a few pints of the beer featured in the spot.

Note to Peter: My this week’s Blogwatch entry is still to be written but there is no reason to worry. It will appear by tomorrow morning.

Edit: There is another post with video footage of Chris O’Brien tasting beer.

What’s HARPERing here?

Thursday, July 19, 2007 at 8:51 | Posted in Canada, Environment | Leave a comment

What has the Canadian PM Stephen Harper in common with glaciers? Is Harper looking the other way while the Canadian mining company Barrick causes environmental damage and contributes to indigenous people being displaced in Chile? What’s HARPERing here?

These issues were raised by a small but noisy group of protesters as Stephen Harper paid a visit to Barrick Gold’s HQ in Santiago. The protesters say that Barrick’s gold and silver Pascua Lama Project in the Andes Mountains is polluting rivers and damaging three glaciers. This results in shortage of water in the area.

CBC news quotes one of the protesters:

“There’s a shortage of water in the summertime, and it’s only sustained because of the glaciers,” one protester told CBC News. “Because of the destruction of the glaciers, there won’t be water in the short-term, there won’t be water for the communities.”

Prime Minister Harper has no such information:

Harper said Tuesday that as far as he knows Barrick “follows Canadian standards of corporate social responsibility.” He said that it was up to Chile and Argentina to determine whether the company was meeting environmental protection standards.

Barrick, on the other hand, says that global warming is to be blamed for the melting glaciers. Rodrigo Jimenez, Barrick’s local director of corporate affairs says the protesters are representing “a small minority”:

“A lot of them, as a result of professional activism … unfortunately oppose any type of development — whether it’s mining, gas or any type of project around the world,” he said.

Environmentalist in both Chile and Canada suggest that Harper’s visit to Barrick’s HQ in Santiago could be understood as a silent support for the company as there are considerations in the Chilean Congress to form an investigatory commission to examine alleged irregularities in the approval process of the Pascua Lama Project. Karyn Keenan, program officer for the Halifax Initiative says it is regrettable that Harper was not “properly informed of the issues surrounding the project”.

So it seems that the Canadian PM stuck his head in a hornet’s nest. Did he do it on purpose or of ignorance? Who is causing the glaciers to melt, or what? Was there corruption involved in establishing the project as has also been suggested? There are a lot of contradicting statements and many unanswered questions. So what the heck is HARPERing here?

Against the gas pipeline

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 12:50 | Posted in Environment | 6 Comments

I do not usually sign petitions. This time I made an exception. I do not like the idea of a gas pipeline in the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

If you feel the same, you can sign the petition here.

via Kristjan Otsmann

Ex Swedish PM ticketed

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 17:49 | Posted in crime, Environment, Legal, Politics, Sweden | Leave a comment

As I wrote for almost a year ago, then Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson was suspected for failing to compose a working environment plan for the building site of his house. Such a failure is prosecutable as crime according to Swedish law.

Svenska Dagbladet writes that the prosecutor’s office has issued a fine to the ex Prime Minister. He now has 10 days to decide whether he is going to accept the fine. He will face prosecution if he wants to contest the ticket.

Mr. Persson’s party lost the election last autumn, after which he also resigned as the leader of now oppositional social democrats. The crime suspicion was not an issue during the campaign.

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