Posts Tagged ‘Rio de Janeiro’

Change the World Wednesday – 5th Mar

It doesn’t look any different, but it’s working

I cancelled my PC hunting trip last week. Not because I don’t need one, I do. But before I could leave the house, you guessed it, another PC drama. I decided to give the reinstall of XP another go and I was lucky, the full reinstall was a success… except for one thing, when I connected to the net my PC was sending wi-fi, but not receiving. Convinced that the problem was the server, I rang, he came, plugged in his laptop to my net; BINGO! Worked perfectly, the problem was my PC – the plug unit into the motherboard was kaput. He suggested that I bypass the connection.

Straight into town, and bought a new net board, plugged it in and BINGO AGAIN! Fixed the problem for R$31; cheaper than a secondhand PC.

All the glamour of carnival, like nowhere else on earth

All the glamour of carnival, like nowhere else on earth

Brazil is in the middle of Carnaval week. Started Friday, the last Rio parades were Monday night. But nobody wants to work, nobody wants English class, so the whole week is a waste.

Unfortunately carnaval is probably the most ‘ungreen’ time of the year.

This year is made worse by the garis (street sweepers) going on strike for better pay and conditions. The strike started on Saturday and Rio looks like this now.

The city centre after street parades - not a pretty sight

The city centre after street parades – not a pretty sight. Just look at all that plastic!

With no end in sight. The workers have set their demands, and the city council countered with a fraction that left the talks at a stalemate.

A street sweeper earns currently about R$780+/- a month ($360). That’s the minimum salary. That is not enough to live. I couldn’t live on that, I am trying to this month because of a lack of classes, and I can’t, I have had to fall back on resources. Brazilians don’t have resources.

Click on the banner for the full post

Anyway, on with this week’s CTWW.

This week Small is challenging us over our wardrobes (closets) and our addiction to fashion.

This week, choose two outfits and wear them exclusively for the week. This does not include undergarments. To make this challenge work, do not wash clothes more often than usual. If you feel that your clothing needs freshening up, try hanging it in the bathroom while you shower … or hang it outside for “airing”. The idea is to see if we can live with less while maintaining water conservation and good environmental practices.


OR … If you absolutely need more than two outfits this week, please do an analysis of your closet. How many items do you have? Where (which country) were they manufactured? Are you aware of the factory working conditions in that part of the world? What materials are used? Are any natural fibers dyed or bleached? If cotton is used, is it organic? Do any items include plastic (buttons, trim, etc.)? Take an honest look at your closet. Once you’ve gathered the results, how could you make your wardrobe more Eco-friendly?

The world of fashion is one of my pet hates. It is totally unnecessary and self-serving. I hate the idea of ‘brand labels’ and I refuse to buy them.

This is totally unnecesarry, a waste of resources and blatant consummerism

This is totally unnecessary, a waste of resources and blatant consumerism, besides they look ridiculous

Men’s fashion as well.

The whole fashion industry should be dismantled and we would be doing much more for the planet than we are currently.

I, by necessity, fall naturally into the first category; mainly driven by my frugal needs.

Two outfits, is easy. I have a pair of jeans for work and going out, and two pairs of shorts, one of which is due to fall off me and for home use only, the other for wear outside the gate.

My wardrobe consists of three pair of jeans, one newer pair for everyday use, and two older pair kept for emergencies. All my shirts are secondhand and most of my T-shirts, although I have had to buy a few with pockets. I have one good pair of shoes, and my old sneakers as a reserve, I have two pair of flipflops, they break so easily I have a new pair still in the packet ready.

As to where they are made, I have no idea, but most are natural fibres.

Because I wear my jeans for about two hours a day for part of the week, they only get washed every two weeks. I have dispensed with washing the shorts that are due to fall into pieces; washing could hasten the process.

My washing load this week: one bed sheet, one pillowcase, one pair of socks, three pair of underpants, one tea towel, one hand towel, one bath towel, one white shirt and a T-shirt.

That about covers it. A little of both parts of the challenge.

Make you Fink on Friday

Rio summit: Little progress, 20 years on

Twenty years after the first Rio summit, campaigners say this global gathering has failed to achieve similar results


On the final day of the UN sustainable development summit in Rio, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to eliminate hunger from the world.

The secretary-general said in a world of plenty, no-one should go hungry.

The final phase of the summit has seen pledges from countries and companies on issues such as clean energy.

But a number of veteran politicians have joined environment groups in saying the summit declaration was “a failure of leadership”.

And UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described the outcome as “insipid”.

The meeting, marking 20 years since the iconic Earth Summit in the same city and 40 since the very first global environment gathering in Stockholm, was aimed at stimulating moves towards the “green economy”.

But the declaration that was concluded by government negotiators on Tuesday and that ministers have not sought to re-open, puts the green economy as just one possible pathway to sustainable development.

Mary Robinson, formerly both Irish president and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it was not enough.

“This is a ‘once in a generation’ moment when the world needs vision, commitment and, above all, leadership,” she said.

“Sadly, the current document is a failure of leadership.”

The former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, who chaired the 1992 Earth Summit, said the declaration did not do as much for environmental protection as for human development.

“This old division between environment and development is not the way we are going to solve the problems that we are creating for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” he said.

“We have to accept that the solutions to poverty and inequality lie in sustainable growth, not growth at all costs.”

Mr Ban had hoped the summit would take firmer steps towards ensuring the poor had access to water, food and energy.

However, his flagship Sustainable Energy for All initiative was merely “noted” in the text, not enthusiastically endorsed.

Source: BBC News Read more


Sadly, the Rio Summit on sustainability was a waste of time and money. When you balance the priorities less was achieved in 2012 than in 1992, and nothing has been done since 1992, so we can fully expect less to be done after 2012.

The answer to my last question on yesterday’s post:

No they won’t!

The world’s leaders are more interested in feathering their own nests by advancing development at all costs, even if those costs are too high for the planet to pay.

The chance was there, they blew it.

They can’t get it into their thick heads, that there will not be another chance. Twenty years on will be too late; they will see that in twenty years and they will come to understand that 2012 was the last chance. There will be wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth in the future, but the door of opportunity was closed, it will all be in vain.

Brazil’s ex-President  Fernando Cardoso was right, “This old division between environment and development is not the way we are going to solve the problems that we are creating for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

The theme of Rio +20 was ‘sustainability’, and here’s the joke; the initiative was merely ‘noted’ in the text.

There is only one thing left to say:

Will the last person alive on Planet Earth please turn out the lights, we must save power!

Turning Brazilian Trash into Fuel

FirmGreen’s Biogas cleaning equipment is loaded up at Guild Associates for ultimate delivery to Brazil.

California-based FirmGreen, Inc. is set to export the 4th and final shipment of its proprietary biogas cleaning equipment to Rio De Janiero, in preparation for turning dirty landfill gas into clean, renewable fuel.

FirmGreen, Inc. (FirmGreen®) a technology leader in the renewable energy field, has prepared its final shipment of proprietary biogas cleaning equipment for export to Brazil, setting the stage for the installation phase of the project. The Brazilian based project sponsor is Gás Verde, SA and the completed plant will clean biogas from the nearby Novo Gramacho landfill for sale to a local oil refinery owned and operated by Petrobras, the largest company in Latin America and the eighth largest energy company in the world.

The final shipment of FirmGreen equipment, mostly manufactured at Guild Associates in Dublin, Ohio, and shipped in installments over the past 11 months, has been loaded onto 16 trucks and is enroute to the Port of Jacksonville, Florida, where it will be shipped to the Port of Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival in Brazil by late May, the equipment will be transported to the Gás Verde biogas purification plant at the Novo Gramacho landfill for assembly. By fall 2012, FirmGreen expects to begin operation of its patented CO₂ wash process at the Gás Verde facility to convert landfill gas into clean, biomethane fuel, with an energy content equivalent to natural gas. Gás Verde will then inject the clean biogas, sold under FirmGreen’s trademark of gCNG®, into a pipeline 3.7 miles long to the local Petrobras refinery. Petrobras plans to use the gCNG to generate over 10 percent of the thermal energy needed to run its Duque de Caxias Refinery….

….About the Novo Gramacho Landfill

The Novo Gramacho landfill was the setting for part of the Waste Land movie which follows artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from Brooklyn to his native Brazil and to Novo Gramacho, the world’s largest managed landfill, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The film won more than twenty international awards, and was also a 2011 Academy Awards® Best Documentary Feature Nominee.

Source: PRWeb Read more

Vultures and scavengers at Jardim Gramacho, the largest open air landfill in Latin America

I think the story above is wrong, it was not Novo Gramacho, but Jardim Gramacho in the film, but…

Jardim Gramacho is on the verge of being decommissioned.

People collect recyclable materials from Jardim Gramacho municipal landfill where the documentary “Lixo Extraordinario,” or “Waste Land,” was filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 10.

Make you Fink on Friday

Serious CO2 Emmissions

…and nothing much happened

A lot of hot air!

So many conferences and seminars all about the environment, G8s, Rio+20, etc and who listens.

A lot of talk, talk, talk…

The governments don’t give a shit, they are paying lip service to anything that interrupts their agendas.

What is the governments’ agenda?

To stay in power and fatten their wallets!


For the environment to be saved, we must acknowledge our dependence on nature [REUTERS]

“The future of the planet is on the table as policymakers and environmental advocates gear up for the next major UN conference in Rio de Janeiro, on the 20th anniversary of the 1992 “Earth Summit” in mid-June. Expectations for the Rio+20 meeting are understandably low, given the recent history of climate change meetings in Copenhagen and Durban. The reasons for this failure are also clear: while a “global deal” to reduce global carbon emissions will clearly benefit everyone in the long run, such an agreement appears to fly in the face of countries’ (especially developing countries) short-term economic growth goals.”

Source: Al Jazeera read more, don’t dismiss this simply because of the name.


“Rio+20 could be the trigger. Or it may not. We may have to wait for deeper crises, for a more severe collapse. I hope not. While it is not wise to raise expectations too high, it is also not wise to give up hope. Let us hope for the best.”

I have no faith that Rio+20 will be any different. Simply more CO2 added to the atmosphere.

My view that this conference is being held in one of the most politically corrupt countries in the world, one of the countries with the greatest disregard to deforestation, one of the countries with the scantest aplomb when it comes to displacing people to build a hydroelectric scheme, one of the countries that exports the most illegal timber, one of the countries who ignore the slaughter of native peoples and activists, one of the countries with the slowest justice system; what hope is there?

A pivotal event currently on the books that will set environmental protection back 50 years has been approved by the senate and is awaiting presidential approval or veto. Dilma Rousseff has the power to veto this law, will she?

And they use this as the setting for the concerns of the world…

When will the world wrest control from these psychopaths?

Dolphin Rescue in Brazil

Arraial do Cabo, east of Rio de Janeiro

Arrail do Cabo is a popular beach destination for many Carioca (people of Rio de Janeiro) during the summer and public holidays.

A rare event, watch the rescue of a pod of 30 dolphins as they get stranded and rescued by the beach goers on Monday 5th March 2012.



Make you Fink on Friday

Nuclear energy isn’t safe – Chernobyl and more recently Japan’s Fukushima.

Fossil fuels aren’t safe – Exxon and more recently Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.

In each and every case the companies and authorities involved have cut corners, ignored environmental regulations, trimmed safety guidelines, lied, downplayed the extent of the damage, hidden evidence and squirmed out of their responsibilities.


Brazil police probe Rio de Janeiro Chevron oil spill

Brazilian police are investigating an oil spill in an offshore field operated by the US company Chevron.

Chevron says 17 ships have been working to clear up the oil sheen

Ships are working to disperse the slick 120km (75 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, and Chevron says it has plugged the oil well.

Brazil’s Energy Minister Edison Lobao has said the company will be “severely punished” if it is found to have failed in its environmental responsibilities.

In recent years Brazil has discovered huge oil reserves in the Atlantic.

The oil is leaking from a well in the Frade oil project, 370km (230 miles) off the Brazilian coast.

Chevron initially estimated that 400-650 barrels of oil had formed a sheen on the water after seeping from the seabed near the well.

But the international environmental group Skytruth said satellite images suggested the spill was many times bigger.

Source: BBC News Read more


Chevron says 17 ships, last night on the local news a flight over the disaster counted SIX!

Chevron say 400-650 barrels, last night on the news the estimate was close on 3,000 barrels from satellite evidence.

Fortunately, this oil spill is not heading landward, but that doesn’t mean to say that it is not affecting marine life in deeper waters.

Why must we wait for these disasters to bring the message to the world that tampering with nature is dangerous.

And why do we need all this fuel, so we can wage war (military is the biggest consumer of gasoline), so we can drive our SUVs to the supermarket, so that petroleum companies can make more profit, etc, etc….

There really isn’t any hope for humanity. We have consigned ourselves to extinction.

Oh, go ahead and laugh!

Laugh, when you are telling future generations who are dying off because of what we have done! Laugh, when another animal species becomes extinct tomorrow, because one day soon we will be the species becoming extinct.

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