It took more than 25 years to build this incredible walkable world map

June 5, 2017 by  
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You’d need around 11 years to walk around the globe – if you can walk on water. But a world map in Denmark makes the feat possible in a few minutes. Verdenskortet , or world map , is a walkable map , made of soil and stone, built on top of a pond. It took Søren Poulsen more than two decades to complete this extraordinary project, and it was worth the wait. Poulsen, who was born in 1888 in Denmark, realized a stone on his land was shaped similar to the Jutland Peninsula. That stone launched the idea to create a world map, and Poulsen started the project in 1944. He continued working on the map, located at his childhood home at Klejtrup Lake, until he died in 1969. Today the map comprises the center of a park offering outdoor activities and event space. Around 35,000 people visit every single year. Related: Our World: A Giant Pixelated LEGO Map Built from 1 Million Bricks! Poulson made the map out of rocks and dirt, using just hand tools, a pushcart, and a wheelbarrow. The Verdenskortet Facebook page explains the stones comprising the world map were moved onto the ice during winter, and then in spring the stones could be moved into place. Flags mark each country, and there’s even yellow bricks dividing America up into states. Red poles indicate where the equator lies. The world map is 300 feet by 150 feet, and every 10 inches represents around 69 miles in the real world. Today the park offers guided tours of Verdenskortet, paired with coffee and cake. People can play miniature golf on the grass, or take a class field trip to the map. Visitors can take a boat trip around the mini Pacific Ocean , and on land go on pony rides, play old Viking games, or jump on a trampoline. Park entry is inexpensive; around $12 for adults and $8 for kids. + Verdenskortet Via GOOD Images via Verdenskortet Facebook

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It took more than 25 years to build this incredible walkable world map

What’s next for the Paris Accord

June 5, 2017 by  
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What happens to the Paris Climate Agreement now that the leader of the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions has signaled his intent to withdraw from the landmark accord? We take a closer look at the consequences of Donald Trump’s decision to rescind US efforts to limit global warming in accordance with the 2015 agreement. President Donald Trump is a showman and his press conference was political theater for the 61 million Americans who voted him into office last November. The reality is that the withdrawal process could take up to four years to complete and Trump could be exiting the White House before he exits the Paris Accord if he doesn’t win reelection. The other reality is that, thanks to Senate Republicans who would never ratify the Paris Accord as a treaty, in order to push it past the finish line with the US onboard, the deal had to be “non-binding,” meaning all actions are voluntary. Related: Trump announces U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement By declaring its intent to withdraw from the Paris Accord, the US joins Syria and Nicaragua in refusing the deal. It should be noted that Nicaragua didn’t join the agreement because it didn’t go far enough in emissions reductions for the Central American nation. Minus the US, a total of  194 countries have signed and 147 parties have ratified the accord , representing 66 percent of global emissions. The accord entered into force on November 4, 2016 — 30 days after at least 55 parties representing at least 55 percent of global emissions joined. While it certainly could be argued that Trump has damaged America’s standing in the international community, it is not so clear that Trump has actually hurt the Paris Accord, Actually, there are indications that Trump’s announcement is having the opposite effect, with countries, cities and corporations redoubling their commitments to the Paris Accord and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Many experts believe that since Trump was never serious about committing the US to climate action, that his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord could actually free up other world leaders to draft an even stronger agreement with enforcement mechanisms not possible with a Republican-ruled Senate in the US. Australian climate scientist Luke Kemp told The New York Times, “I worry that letting the United States just stay in the agreement and do whatever it wants could show how weak Paris is. It sends the message that the agreement is more about symbolism than action.” CHINA AND EU TAKING THE LEAD With Trump ceding US leadership on climate, China and the European Union are stepping in to fill the power vacuum. In a joint statement following Trump’s announcement, China and the EU — backed by all 28 EU member states — reaffirmed their commitment to full implementation of the Paris climate deal. The statement, the first between the EU and China, commited to cutting back on fossil fuels and increasing development of green technologies. Related: China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump “The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever,” the statement reads. “The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response.” CITIES, STATES AND BUSINESSES STEPPING UP A group that so far includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses is negotiating with the United Nations to have their climate contributions accepted alongside other nations who have signed onto the accord. The Democratic governors of California, Washington and New York formed the US Climate Alliance to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Accord after Trump’s announcement. It isn’t only Democrats defying Trump — Charlie Baker, the popular Republican governor of Massachusetts, said on Friday that he was joining the US Climate Alliance . Related: US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump “As the commonwealth reiterates its commitment to exceed the emission reduction targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, today we join the U.S. Climate Alliance to expand our efforts while partnering with other states to combat climate change,” Baker said in a statement, adding that the initiative aims “to protect the environment, grow the economy and deliver a brighter future to the next generation.” Also after Trump’s announcement, 187 mayors representing more than 52 million Americans and some of the largest US cities, stated their intention to individually join the Paris Accord and work together on stronger climate change mitigation measures and transitioning to the 21st century clean energy economy. Cities around the world protested Trump pulling out of the Paris accord, including Tel Aviv, which lit up city hall in green lights . “We need to take responsibility for the next generation,” Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement posted to Facebook. “That means, among other things, continuing to research, learn and act on the quality of the environment and the climate.” Major corporations are also on board with the Paris Accord — 95 of the world’s largest companies have commited to 100 percent renewables, including Google, Walmart and Nike. GREEN TECHNOLOGIES GETTING CHEAPER The price of solar, wind, batteries and other green technologies are dropping fast, leading to increased integration into the electricity grid. In 2016, the amount of new solar power coming online nearly doubled from the previous year — enough to power 2 million homes. Related: The sweet moment California got a record 50% of its electricity from solar Republican-ruled states are leading the renewables revolution. Kansas tripled its wind power production between 2011 and 2015. Wyoming leads the nation with 1,600 watts of new renewable energy capacity per capita being built. Nevada leads the nation in new solar power jobs while North Dakota leads in new wind power jobs. The conservative town of Georgetown, Texas is on track to be 100 percent renewable energy this year, becoming the largest US city to achieve the clean energy goal. Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, admits “it’s the reddest of cities, in the reddest of states…but we put national politics aside to do our best for the people we’re elected to serve.” Images via Wikipedia 1 , 2 , 3 , 4  and White House Archives

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What’s next for the Paris Accord

Mirrored shipping container building reflects its natural surroundings in Taipei

June 5, 2017 by  
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We use mirrors to reflect on ourselves – but this mirrored building in Taipei asks us to reflect on how we interact with our environment. B+P Architects transformed an old shipping container into a shining art annex in New Taipei City that blends in with its surroundings while challenging viewers to question their relationship to nature. The project, titled “Within The Reflection : THE ARK of ART” establishes diversified environments for creativity using mirror-polished stainless steel. Its aim is to create a space where neighboring communities can learn about aesthetics. The architects chose to put the container at the far end of a boulevard in order to preserve the serenity and peace as integral parts of the project. Related: “Reflect London” conceals Covent Garden construction with a dazzling mirror display Mirrored buildings like Doug Aitken’s Mirage House and this beautiful reflective cafe in Japan by Bandesign are captivating examples of architecture blending into its surroundings and accentuating the beauty of nature. Mirror-polished stainless steel boards that cover the building allow the large box-shaped volume to be concealed in the reflections of the surrounding environment. Another aspect of the use of mirror-like surfaces is to stimulate students to rethink the relationship between themselves and their environments. + B+P Architects Via Archinect Photos by Hung-Yu Lin, WENYA Studio

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Mirrored shipping container building reflects its natural surroundings in Taipei

UGE’s Vertical Axis Wind Turbines now provide green power for the Eiffel Tower

February 24, 2015 by  
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The Eiffel Tower has just unveiled a new, sustainable facelift, and perhaps the most striking update to the famous landmark comes in the form of two of Urban Green Energy’s (UGE) vertical axis wind turbines . Installed 400ft up, within the tower’s iconic framework, the turbines are now providing 10,000kWh of green electricity each year. Read the rest of UGE’s Vertical Axis Wind Turbines now provide green power for the Eiffel Tower Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , “wind turbine” , Eiffel Tower , france , green energy , green renovation , green upgrade , landmark , Paris , renewable energy , UGE , urban green energy

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UGE’s Vertical Axis Wind Turbines now provide green power for the Eiffel Tower

Mexico’s House of Representatives Passes Landmark Climate Law

April 16, 2012 by  
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Mexico is poised to become the second nation in the world (behind Great Britain) to pass sweeping climate change legislation that calls for dramatically reducing carbon emissions over the next four decades. Last week, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies (its House of Representatives) voted to approve a new General Law on Climate Change by an overwhelming margin of 128-10. To become law, which appears quite likely now, the law must pass the Mexican Senate and be signed by President Felipe Calderón. Read the rest of Mexico’s House of Representatives Passes Landmark Climate Law Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: binding climate law , carbon emissions , climate bill , Climate Change , climate talks , energy policy , General Law on Climate Change , global warming , Mexican congress , Mexican government , mexico , President Felipe Calderón , renewable energy , United Nations

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Mexico’s House of Representatives Passes Landmark Climate Law

Serious Energy Greens Glass at New York Stock Exchange

October 5, 2011 by  
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Fresh from its window pane retrofit at the Empire State Building, Serious Energy has tackled a new project at another landmark in the Big Apple.

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Serious Energy Greens Glass at New York Stock Exchange

McMansions Endanger Native Species and Hollywood Icon

February 18, 2010 by  
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Alice Cooper paid about $28,000 to replace an O in the Hollywood sign back in 1978 when it was restored after years of deterioration. Since then, the famed sign has become legendary. Now Mad Men’ s John Slattery, Old Christine ‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Virginia Madsen, Tippi Hedren, and Aisha Tyler are trying to save the landmark from encroachment by a nearby development of gigantic estates

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McMansions Endanger Native Species and Hollywood Icon

EcoStreet Hosts Carnival of the Green

February 18, 2010 by  
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This week marks Carnival of the Green #214 , and it’s being hosted by EcoStreet , a website that ecompasses both a green blog and a green directory. At EcoStreet, they’ve jumped into the green life and are eager to pass along to their experience and knowledge to readers.

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EcoStreet Hosts Carnival of the Green

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