Durable The Week By 15

peter van vliet editor-in-chief Sustainability through the week

Striking news from this week viewed through the sustainable lens of the editor-in-chief of Duurzaamnieuws.nl, Peter van Vliet.

Monday: Aj, AI is trying to be fun

Whether a bot has humor is debatable, but if such a piece of code lists all the jokes on a subject and then pronounces them in the voice of a celebrity, entire tribes will no longer be able to stop laughing. Including lawyers who make their money from copyright infringement or identity theft. Crime scene: the American podcast Dudesy, which aired an entire show with the voice of a football star, Tom Brady, doing standup comedy. Soon to be heard in court?

Tuesday: Alien invasion

The TV ripped from the wall, shards of crockery all over the floor, curtains and chair upholstery in tatters. That happened to an elderly lady in England who had left a hole in the roof uncovered and was then visited by a gray squirrel. There are now about three million of them walking around on the island and they are running amok. Because they don’t belong there and destroy both trees and interiors. The Guardian gives an atmospheric look at the gray squirrel invasion and what might lie ahead if they cross the Channel en masse. Too cute to eat, but still.

speedcomfort radiator fan

Wednesday: More, not less

There were climate goals and there were agreements, seven years ago in Paris and in the government offices in The Hague. About protecting the climate and reducing CO2 emissions by large industry. De Groene dived in and found that the largest polluters in the Netherlands, despite all kinds of agreements and agreements, even emit more than before Paris. The solution: more coercion, instead of less.

Thursday: Nuclear disaster in the making

The Netherlands wants nuclear energy again. But apart from some dated experience, the country has nothing to make that happen. According to an inventory by Cleantechnica, there is no plan, no idea about which technology we want to apply, no up-to-date knowledge and no people with experience, no companies that can build, no relevant trained personnel, no money and a completely insane estimate of cost and time. Of the three countries that could build, two are politically sidelined (Russia and China) and the third is proven incompetent (France). In short, our country is on course for a financial disaster of nuclear proportions.

Friday: The train makes happy, a little less and a definite end

The NS could use a boost this week. It comes from a Chinese study. It shows that access to a high-speed train makes people happier. At least, in China. And especially older, healthy male inhabitants of the countryside. Maybe something for the BBB to cheer up their program: a lucky HSL to the Achterhoek?

At the last minute of the week, the media is jubilant that CO2 did go down in the Netherlands last year. Was I wrong Wednesday? Well no, then it was about the long-term trend, here about an incident – that’s what you can call the war. In addition, the IEA reports a global increase of almost 1 percent over 2022. Dutch energy guzzlers were simply tight-fisted, because the stuff was expensive. Experts also confirm that the decrease was not due to sustainability. The question now is how we can prevent them from catching up again in no time.

And on Saturday, our eastern neighbors unplugged the last nuclear power plants. I should be happy about that, because I am against – especially new – nuclear energy. But whether in this case and under the current circumstances it is wise to exchange the core kilowatts for (brown) coal fuel smoke is worth a discussion from both the security of supply and the climate point of view. That discussion is also there, but does not bother the ruling German – also green – politics. Yet they themselves know it very well: Jede Konseqwentz führt zum Teufel. But when that devil comes out of his box he bites us in the ass too.

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