Data centers should get greener and smaller – knowledge

The data center of the future has gotten a bit dirty. Quite a lot of muck, actually. So much that a worker unpacks the high-pressure cleaner and hoses the data center. The shower leaves the data memory unmoved. It’s waterproof, after all.

“Natick” is the name of the data center of the future – at least if the Microsoft engineers are to be believed. Two years ago, the software company sank the white steel tank, packed with 864 servers, in the North Sea. This summer he brought Natick back to the surface with algae, mini crabs and sea anemones. Internally, the data center was not impressed by any of this. It did, says Microsoft, what it should do: calculate, and do it more economically and efficiently than its counterparts on land.

The software company is not alone with these research activities. Other digital companies are also working to make their data centers fit for the future. They should no longer be cost drivers, energy guzzlers and bottlenecks. Instead, they should become smaller, greener and more decentralized. However, this is urgently needed if the dream of a thoroughly digital world is not to end suddenly.

After all, nowadays nothing works without data centers: the mostly inconspicuous buildings are the backbone of the Internet. This is where the images that people upload to Instagram are stored. The videos from Netflix are played here. Here Google searches are carried out, Amazon orders and the battles of the computer game “Fortnite”. More and more calculations are made here – for all those processes that have been outsourced to the nebulous “cloud”, that global, invisible computer. In short: Without the estimated eight million data centers around the world, no smartphone would work and no digital information would reach its recipient.

But data centers are also huge power guzzlers. The centers around the world pulled a good 200 terawatt hours from the socket in 2018 – around one percent of global electricity consumption. This is the conclusion that Eric Masanet from Northwestern University comes to in a recent study that the engineer and colleagues published in the specialist magazine Science published. It could have been worse: Since 2010, the global computing load in the centers has increased sixfold, Internet traffic has increased by a factor of ten, and storage space has even increased by a factor of 25. Nevertheless, according to Masanet, power consumption has only increased by six percent in the same period . Economical processors and increasingly busy servers have made this possible.

But can it go on like this? In 2023, the number of Internet users worldwide will exceed the five billion mark for the first time, estimates the network equipment provider Cisco. Two thirds of all people can then save their cat pictures online. The amount of data will also rise rapidly, by around 60 percent per year, as the consulting firm IDC has determined. According to this, 175 zettabytes or 175 quadrillion megabytes could be reached by the middle of the decade. IDC estimates that almost half of them will be in the cloud – and thus in data centers. Can all of this be achieved without the energy consumption going through the roof?

Not with today’s technology: So far, data centers have been rather inhospitable places. Anyone who has the opportunity to visit such a data temple is standing in the middle of large cupboards. Everyone is piled to the top with servers, none of which are bigger than a half-height cutlery drawer from the kitchen. Diodes flash, it’s loud, cold, dry and drafty.

Servers run hot as soon as they do complex calculations – much like the old laptop when it plays videos for hours

There is a reason for the uninviting environment: servers overheat as soon as they do complex calculations – much like the old laptop at home on the sofa when it has to play videos for hours. In order to dissipate the heat, data centers have so far mostly blown cold air into the server room through holes in the floor. The air flow is directed over the processors and extracted again from the ceiling – now significantly warmer due to the heat from the computer. The principle works quite well for server cabinets with an output of up to 20,000 watts.

In the future, however, engineers expect 100,000 watts per cabinet or more. Dissipating such amounts of heat with air alone would be extremely inefficient and expensive. The power requirement for cooling, which in today’s data centers is between ten and 20 percent of the total energy consumption, would increase massively. Therefore, the centers are increasingly switching to water-cooled systems.

Microsoft is going a different way. Instead of pumping water through servers, the software company wants to put its servers in the water. In the case of the white computing cylinder called Natick, which was sunk in June 2018 off the Scottish Orkney Islands at a depth of 35 meters, fresh water is fed to the processors from an internal, closed cooling circuit. The water heats up and flows out through pipes, where a heat exchanger transfers the energy to the sea – without the risk of a water bill. A similar system is also used to keep the inside of submarines cool.

The biggest concern in the run-up to Natick was that algae or other sea creatures would settle on the cooling fins of the 14 meter long steel tank and impede the exchange of heat, says project manager Ben Cutler on the Microsoft website. The engineers therefore experimented with different coatings, even the use of sound and ultraviolet light was discussed to drive away marine life. In the end, an alloy of copper and nickel prevailed. The material dissipates heat well and at the same time resists the growth of marine organisms, but is somewhat more expensive than conventional heat exchangers.

Fears that the surrounding water would become very hot due to the power of the submerged data center – after all, 240 kilowatts – were apparently not materialized. A few meters away from the steel cylinder, temperatures were measured that were only a few thousandths of a degree Celsius higher than before, writes project manager Cutler in the trade journal IEEE Spectrum. However, the measurement data have not yet been published in independent specialist journals. It is also unclear what effects huge server farms, composed of many individual computing cylinders, would have on the maritime environment.

For Stockholm’s municipal utilities, however, it can’t get hot enough. The Swedes are going in the opposite direction. They want to use the waste heat from data centers to heat their homes. The up to 85 degrees Celsius hot water from the cooling systems is fed into the city’s existing district heating network. According to the Stockholm engineers, ten megawatts of power are enough to heat 20,000 apartments. For comparison: a modern large data center, such as that operated by Facebook, among others, reaches 120 megawatts. By 2035, ten percent of the city of Stockholm should be heated with the waste heat from data centers.

Nordic countries are already very popular with the operators of the centers: The climate is frosty, which reduces the cost of cooling systems. The electricity is cheap (or, as in Sweden, heavily subsidized) and mostly comes from renewable sources. Facebook, for example, has set up a huge data center in Luleå, Sweden, right next to a hydropower plant. The power for the Natick cylinder on the Orkney Islands also comes from wind, sun and waves. According to Microsoft, it has been shown that a data center can be operated with a power mix that was previously considered “unreliable”.

Based on the weather forecast, the algorithm predicts the hours in which a particularly large amount of green electricity can be expected

Unreliable, but above all impractical: All the major digital corporations claim that they can count on electricity from renewable energies. Most of the time, however, the companies acquire global eco-certificates, while the electricity comes from the nearest coal-fired power station. In order to also become greener locally, Google has recently been experimenting with a new algorithm in its data centers: Based on the weather forecast for the coming day, it predicts the hours in which a particularly large amount of regenerative electricity can be expected, and places unnecessary computing tasks in precisely these Periods. As project manager Ana Radovanovic writes in the internet giant’s blog, this includes editing videos and training in the company’s own translation software.

“The first results show that the climate-friendly load distribution works,” says Radovanovic, but without giving concrete figures on CO2 savings. In any case, there is potential: According to Google estimates, only about two thirds of all calculations by the company have been made with green electricity. Artificial intelligence should also help to better adapt the cooling systems to the predicted computing needs. Three degrees less room temperature theoretically reduce energy costs by a quarter. In practice, Google wants to have reduced electricity consumption by 30 percent in this way.

The problem: Up in the north, where it is cool and the electricity is clean, none of these amounts of data are required. The metropolitan areas are elsewhere. Due to the large distances, however, the latency increases, as computer scientists call the delay in retrieving information: If a data center is 100 kilometers away, it takes a thousandth of a second before it can react to a click. If there are 5000 kilometers between the computer and the server, 50 thousandths of a second pass. This is negligible when playing a movie. However, if the local word processing is moved to the cloud, which requires a lot of interaction with the server, a high latency becomes noticeable.

The trend is therefore towards small, decentralized data centers right on the doorstep. Natick should also contribute to this. More than half of all people live less than 200 kilometers from a coast, according to Microsoft. Data centers sunk in the sea – efficient, quickly connected and without high property costs – could therefore represent a good alternative.

But only if a diver doesn’t have to stop by for repairs every few days. Data centers like Natick, named after a city in the US state of Massachusetts, therefore work autonomously – for years until the end of their planned lifespan. It apparently worked well off the Orkney Islands. According to Microsoft, some servers stopped working during the test run. Overall, however, the failure rate was only one eighth of the value of a comparable land-based data center.

Project manager Cutler blames the dry nitrogen atmosphere in the hermetically sealed cylinder, which prevented corrosion and temperature fluctuations. And he points out that no technicians shuffled through the data center and accidentally bumped into servers, that they didn’t rip cables or cause other chaos.

However, this could also be achieved without messy steel cylinders coated with algae and crustaceans: through autonomous, completely maintenance-free data centers on land. Microsoft, Google & Co. are already working on this.


Does your city give you good sleep? Your phone can help you answer | Noise

If you are one of those who live badly with the night noises that disturb your rest, or with the noise that disturbs your tele-work during the day, the new citizen science project launched by Zero, with support from the Environmental Fund, maybe interest. This environmentalist association wants to make us use the latest generation mobile phones to map the noise pollution that affects the Portuguese and, by the way, show us some havens safe from this problem that causes sleep disturbance to 20% of the Portuguese .

Not coincidentally, at the time this news is written, someone displays the sound power of their motorcycle to the whole neighborhood. By day, in this phase of confinement, it was noticed well, imagine the reader at night, when, in an even more peaceful urban environment, the same biker decides to make the street the echo chamber of his bolide. All over the country, due to airplanes or trucks, automobiles, motorcycles or other sources of noise, an invisible but audible pollution is generated, with effects studied on the quality of life.

“Environmental noise is a problem worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is the second biggest environmental cause of health problems, right after the impact of air pollution”, recalls Zero in the release note of the MobilizAR, A project financed under the National Environmental Education Strategy whose main objective is to contribute to “greater information, awareness and empowerment of citizens to act on local environmental problems, namely air quality, noise and mobility” .

Mapping online

Let’s start with noise, then. On the internet, Zero set up a site,, where they explain how to download two applications (for Android and IOS phones, from Apple), which can help us to monitor the ambient noise of the place where we live, work, or study. Francisco Ferreira, leader of the association and university professor with specialization in this area, promises that they will respond to all contributions sent to them by e-mail, and that they will integrate a map of ambient noise as comprehensive as possible. The sound portrait will depend only on the degree of participation.

Regarding air quality and mobility, the project is based on a communication strategy. There are already sensors to use with an ordinary mobile phone, and to measure some pollutants, but they still cost around 500 euros, notes Francisco Ferreira. Which, from what you see, has the expectation that, in a couple of years, there will already be solutions on the market costing tens of euros that will make it possible to multiply by the territory the measurements of particles or NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) that today are limited to stations that are part of the QualAr network. It will be with the data from QualAr, and the existing application for the dissemination of data and alerts, that anyone can install on a mobile phone, that Zero will try to make the population aware of the air quality.

Changing mobility

In terms of environmental and noise pollution, the urban space is very affected by the current mobility patterns – excessively motorized – which justifies the crossing of noise, air and mobility in the MobilizAR project. Which has a strong environmental education component, in which Zero will invest part of the 35 thousand euros financing obtained from the Environmental Fund. In addition to already conducting seminars online (webinars) with municipalities and teachers, the association is inviting 2nd and 3rd cycle students from all over the country to present innovative ideas for solutions or improvement measures for air quality, noise and mobility, pointing out, in the latter case, for the promotion of soft or active modes (pedestrian and cycling), as a cleaner and quieter alternative for many trips in urban spaces.

According to Francisco Ferreira, the MobilizAR team will be available to support students through webinars for each of the themes, and papers can be submitted until January 30, through the site of the project. After a preliminary screening, on the part of Zero, a vote will be opened for the public to choose their favorite initiatives and the five most voted ideas of the 2nd cycle and the 3rd cycle will receive laptop computers, tablets and chargers ( power banks).

Use the pandemic to reflect

The project comes in a year in which the three components it covers were strongly affected by the covid-19 pandemic caused by the new coronavirus. With part of the population confined during the spring, and another part of it being remotely teleported since March, road traffic has decreased, opening our perception of the city to sounds that were masked by this permanent background of traffic noise. There was a lot of news about this other, temporary change in our daily lives, and even the birds improved their song, having to stop competing with other sources of sound.

Even admitting that, once the pandemic is over, the return to normality will bring many of the problems that Zero has been warning about – see the case of Lisbon, where the sound of airplanes has stopped bothering, almost – Francisco Ferreira hopes that this experience help to reflect in the cities we have. And, above all, encourage us to imagine other lifestyles that relieve us of the burden of pollution, noise and environment, which, almost without noticing, accompanies us all the time, damaging our health.


Deer, birds and a monkey: almost 100 animals seized in Portugal | Trafficking in species

Almost one hundred animals were seized in 159 surveillance actions in Portugal between 14 September and 11 October as part of an operation to combat illegal trade and crimes against wildlife.

In a statement, GNR said that during the operation Thunder 2020, in which several Portuguese entities and support from Interpol participated, 159 research and / or inspection actions were carried out in Portugal.

156 animals were inspected, ten administrative offenses were recorded and 84 birds were apprehended, including 12 canaries, two gray parrots, two black rooks and a crow. According to GNR, a guiana capuchin monkey, a red deer, three common muntiac deer, four chitals (“Axis axis“) and three black antelopes.

At the international level, 699 people were arrested as part of this operation and more than 45,500 live specimens were recovered, including: 1,400 turtles and turtles (6,000 eggs), 1,160 birds, 1,800 reptiles, 15,878 plants, more than 2000 seizures of fauna and flora specimens, more than 1300 kilograms of ivory and more than 1000 kilograms of pangolin scales. The actions carried out during the operation were aimed at combating illegal trade and crimes against wildlife, especially fauna and flora.

The national coordination of this operation, encouraged by Interpol, counted on the participation of GNR and the Tax and Customs Authority in close collaboration with the PSP, Judiciary Police, Nature and Forestry Conservation Institute (ICNF), Directorate-General for Food and Veterinary ( DGAV) and Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE).

These entities developed these actions under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention or CITES, of which 180 countries have joined and whose objective is to ensure that trade in animals and plants does not endanger their survival in the wild.


Fluorochemicals ban: jackets and pans in sight

The federal and state environment ministers want to push through a faster ban on certain carcinogenic environmental toxins.

Many items of clothing only become waterproof with a lot of chemistry. And the side effects? Photo: dpa

BERLIN taz / epd | The federal and state environment ministers are urging decisive action to curb the controversial PFC substances, especially in consumer products. These so-called perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals are hardly degraded by nature and are demonstrably harmful to the environment and health, according to the resolution of the ministerial conference that was unanimously adopted in Wiesbaden on Friday. The application was submitted by the federal states of Hesse, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.

So far, PFCs have been used in fire-fighting foam, for example, but also increasingly in consumer products such as coated pans, rain jackets or wax for impregnating skis due to their water, grease and dirt-repellent properties. At high levels in the blood, PFCs can cause cancer in humans, weaken the immune system, and cause reproductive problems.

The conference chairman and Hessian head of department Priska Hinz (Greens) said the substances caused severe pollution of the soil and water. “PFCs are environmental toxins for eternity,” said Hinz. “We have therefore called for a restriction at European level.” The German government must achieve a restriction as soon as possible during its presidency in the European Union and then a ban.

The Hessian Ministry of the Environment justified the initiative with the fear that these chemical compounds could not be safely broken down, destroyed or separated even during disposal.

EU chemicals strategy targets PFC

The Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation welcomed the initiative of the Hessian Environment Minister to ban PFCs. It is overdue to ban the use of these fluorocarbon compounds. “We very much welcome the fact that the environment ministers of the federal states have spoken out in favor of measures against the further use and spread of fluorochemicals,” said Ulrike Kallee, Head of the Substances and Technologies Department at the environmental organization. The federal and state governments should now act immediately to prevent these pollutants from spreading further into the environment. “At the same time, the federal government must work for a quick ban on this highly problematic group of chemicals at EU level,” said Kallee.

At the EU level, chemicals policy is known to grind thoroughly, but very slowly. In the chemicals strategy adopted by the EU Commission in mid-October, special attention is paid to PFCs, especially those substances that can influence the endocrine system. Because the chemicals are widespread and very harmful, the Commission decided that the production and use of PFCs in the EU should be phased out – unless they prove essential to society. However, the strategy is not yet something that is directly implemented in law, it is only a declaration of intent.

A study by the Federal Environment Agency (Uba) from the summer shows how widespread PFC is in Germany. The representative German environmental study on the health of children and adolescents, GerES V, comes to the conclusion that in Germany children and adolescents between 3 and 17 years have too many long-lasting chemicals from the group of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances in their blood. “In one fifth of the samples examined, the concentration for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was above the HBM-I value set by the Human Biomonitoring Commission,” said the Uba. According to the current state of knowledge, a health impairment can only be ruled out if this HBM-I value is not reached. (epd / where)


the 2nd phase of the “Minore” project is underway

LECCE – Despite and beyond the health emergency from Covid-19, the activities of the project continue “Minor“Of the ASL of Lecce. The project is aimed at monitoring the health of the water table, the soil and the food matrix, with particular attention to potentially dangerous places, such as landfills.

The Director of the Prevention Department, Giovanni De Filippis, presented, via videoconference, the start of phase 2 which provides for an increase in environmental controls.

The results of the 1st phase, we remind you, were encouraging: it emerged, in fact, that groundwater is of good quality and can also be used in agricultural activities.

During the meeting Professor Antonella De Donno, together with his pupil Francesca Serio, illustrated the link between a fearful disease, the Seu o hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and contamination of food or irrigation water by Escherichia coli.

Unfortunately, the disease mainly affects children, recalled the regional manager of the diagnostic-therapeutic network of the Seu, Mario Giordano.

In 2020, he added, there were 38 reported cases of hemorrhagic enteritis of which 6 cases of real Seu which, in some situations, such as in the case of the Salento girl, unfortunately ended with the loss of the little patient.

The director of pediatric nephrology at the hospital John 23 of Bari therefore reiterated the need to monitor and inform citizens so that bleeding diarrhea in children are never underestimated.

The monitoring activity on food was detailed by the veterinary services managers of the Lecce Asl together with Dr. Antonio Parisi of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Puglia and Basilicata and with doctors Sergio De Pascali and Daniele Tondo, who also highlighted the correspondence between the use of antibiotics in animals and the potential passage in humans through derivative products, and the contribution of doctor Roberto Licci del Sian.

Arpa Puglia then confirmed the safety of the wastewater leaving the purifiers, also certifying the absence of contamination by the Sars-Cov2 coronavirus.

Pierpaolo Abis, head of the analysis department of Acquedotto Pugliese, added that “thanks to the collaboration with the ASL it is possible to guarantee the Apulians a product of quality and free from epidemiological risks. Environmental contamination is crucial for prevention related to the risks deriving from the improper disposal of wastewater released incorrectly into the environment “.

Abis therefore invited all citizens reached by the service to connect to the Aqp sewer system and not to use water improperly, through wells not authorized for human use.

Finally, the director De Filippis presented the permanent working group within the ASL, set up at the Prevention department and called “Observatory health and environment of the Lecce ASL “whose contact person is doctor Prisco Piscitelli, creating multi-institutional synergies to guarantee Lea on the environmental determinants of health in Salento.

The meeting was attended by the regional councilors Loredana Capone and Mario Pendinelli who highlighted the need to continue with this in-depth work for preventive purposes.


Global climate change would be inevitable

Published on : Modified :

Even if greenhouse gas emissions were to drop drastically, global temperatures would continue to rise for centuries, according to a study by the journal Scientific Reports. Jorgen Randers, BI Norwegian Business School, and Ulrich Goluke, two Norwegian scientists, modeled the effect of different greenhouse gas emission reductions. Their simulation of the global climate covers the period between 1850 and 2500 and the result shows that a considerable increase in temperature and sea level globally seems difficult to avoid.

The two researchers studied two scenarios: if gas emissions peaked in the 2030s and fell to zero by 2100, global temperatures would still be three degrees higher and sea level higher. three meters by 2500, compared to 1850.

Considerable damage

In a world where greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced to zero by the year 2020, the damage would still be considerable: around three degrees more there too and an increase in sea level of around 2, 5 meters.

This inertia of the earth system is mainly due to melting ice and arctic permafrost, researchers say. This melting, which is already seriously underway, has several consequences: that of increasing the concentration of water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere. But also that of reducing the white surface area. However, white reflects sunlight and dampens warming.

Immediate shutdown of emissions

Scientists then plead for an immediate stop of emissions. In addition, according to them, systems should be put in place to capture and store carbon in order to avoid climate catastrophe.

To read: The UN warns on the number of natural disasters caused by climate change in 20 years


Another 47 religious institutions take away investment from fossil energy

The religious associations united in the Campaign for financial divestment from fossil fuels, announce that 47 other institutions, Christian, but also Jewish, have joined the 400 already committed to no longer investing in companies that trade or use energy from coal, oil and their derivatives. For a new sustainable economy, on the path of “The Economy of Francesco”

Alessandro Di Bussolo – Vatican City

There are also COMECE, the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, Caritas Asia and the Association of Catholic Priests of the United States, among the 47 religious, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish institutions of 21 countries, which have announced their divestment financial from fossil fuels. This is the largest joint divestment announcement among religious leaders since the campaign began in 2016, which for Catholics is led by the World Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), which has so far involved more than 400 religiously inspired entities. .

Guidelines of the Holy See: avoid non-ecological companies

And it is the first announcement, which usually takes place every six months, since the publication of the operational guide issued by the Holy See, the interdicasterial document “On the way to care for the common home”. It contains guidelines urging Catholics to avoid investing in companies that “harm human or social ecology (for example, through abortion or the arms trade), or environmental ecology (for example, through the use of of fossil fuels) “.

The new video for divestment from fossil fuels

A commitment integrated into the social doctrine of the Church

The commitment of Catholics to clean energy, the GCCM recalls in a statement, is an integral part of the teachings of Catholic social doctrine, and even more since, 50 years ago, also in November, St. Paul VI affirmed that ” everything is organically incorporated “according to” the loving plan of the Creator “and warned us of the risk of” leading to a true ecological catastrophe. ” In the encyclical Praised, Pope Francis reminds us that “everything is connected”, in “a complex crisis that is both social and environmental” and reminds us that “we still lack the necessary culture to face this crisis”.

Comece: concrete steps are needed against the climate crisis

Father Manuel Enrique Barrios Prieto, secretary general of Comece, in announcing the adhesion of his institution, encourages “others to join us in taking concrete steps to resolve the climate crisis. The commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement are important, and the European Green Deal is one way to do it. Resolving the climate crisis protects the human family from the dangers of a world that is overheating and, now more than ever, decisive action is needed “.

The United Nations: the driving forces of change

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environmental Program and UN Under-Secretary-General, stresses that “The economic power of faiths, aimed at responsible investment and the green economy, can be an important driver of positive change and an inspiration for others, in a better reconstruction movement. ”Let’s take stock of the accessions to divestment with Daniela Finamore, campaign coordinator for the World Catholic Climate Movement.

Listen to the interview with Daniela Finamore (Gccm)

A. – On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, we can announce the largest joint divestment from inter-religious fossil fuels, but also in the Catholic world. We have 47 institutions that are committed to divesting, 42 of these are Catholic, with important high-level commitments from all over the world, in particular Comece, the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, Caritas Asia, but also other important institutions such as the International Forum of Catholic Action, the Union of Superiors General and the International Union of Superiors General and the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. This is in the broadest announcement since the World Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) started the campaign in 2016, and therefore it is a strong sign of change and hope for the energy transition.

In the statement, you report the words of the UN undersecretary, the Danish Inger Andersen, who says that faiths have great economic power. It’s an interesting comment …

R. – It sheds light on faith as an engine of change, but also as a beacon of hope and refers to a central point of our disinvestment campaign which is to live the faith in its integrity, not only in our spiritual dimension, but also in the dimension of individual and collective life. In this case, the work that is done by religious institutions in the disinvestment campaign is precisely that of questioning economic transactions, institutional investments and the concept of putting money where one’s values ​​are. So to be sure not to feed an economic system that creates damage to creation and to the most vulnerable on the planet.

The latest floods and hurricanes due to global warming make it essential that the states also respect the commitments made in Paris to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but for now the picture is bleak …

R. – This announcement is also an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Just these days, in a world without a pandemic, the COP 26 Conference of the Parties should have taken place, and it would have been a key meeting to establish an increase in the ambition of national climate plans. The pandemic has stopped everything, it has not made possible the Conference in attendance, which will be held next year, but it is nevertheless important that this is a year of work to intensify efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to maintain the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees. And although the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy somewhat, nonetheless this period creates an important opportunity for countries to set a path for a greener and more sustainable future while planning their own economic recovery.

In fact, you remember that after the anti-Covid vaccines it will be good to think about a low-carbon recovery, and right …

A. – Yes. We can see how in the response to the coronavirus there are some countries that are reacting by looking to the future, proposing sustainable investments, while other countries have almost doubled their investments in fossil fuels. It is important, at this time, and this is also the message that religious leaders intend to send to the G20, to invest the money now in a just and renewable energy economy that can support workers and our children on a daily basis in the long term.

The guide of the Holy See on integral ecology published on the fifth anniversary of the praised, it goes precisely in this line …

R. – Yes, with the Movement we started working for this Divestment Campaign in 2016 and naturally we also followed what were the official positions, by the Vatican and the leaders of the Catholic Church on the issue. I want to underline that in any case Pope Francis has repeatedly expressed himself on the need to follow climate science and therefore precisely leave fossil fuels underground, and on several occasions Pope Francis has expressed himself on the need to direct investments based on what they are. Catholic values. And this is clearly expressed in the interdicasterial document that was published in June. In the chapter on finance and investments, it is suggested to spread the use of ethical, responsible and integral criteria for investments, avoiding support for companies that are harmful to social human ecology and environmental ecology, such as that of fossil fuels.

Tell us about your Christian, Jewish and other religious partners like Green Anglicans and Operation Noah. How was this alliance born?

A. – The World Catholic Climate Movement is part of a broader international divestment movement in which there are actors of different types. I am proud to say that the divestment commitments by the religious world certainly account for more than 30% of the commitments made globally and the Catholic world constitutes the majority of these commitments. The activity we have carried out as part of the campaign, from 2016 to today, they have not done alone, but together with a number of other partners. And especially in recent years we have seen a fruitful collaboration with some partners such as Operation Noah (among the Christian churches of the United Kingdom), Green Anglicans and Green faith, an international organization that unites representatives of different religious traditions. There is a Jewish institution, which participates in today’s announcement (The American Jewish World Service, ed), but there are also Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims who come together to be able to make strategies that can unite the world of faith in the area of ​​sustainability, the green economy and a clean future.

The Economy of Francesco begins on November 19: do you have your representatives in the meeting and in any case do you also concretely support sustainable economy initiatives and startups?

R. – Yes, we will have some representatives of the World Catholic Climate Movement present as participants in the event, which we strongly support, precisely because we will redefine what will be the principles of a new economy guided by leadership, inspiration and innovation of young people. In particular, with The Economy of Francis, the GCCM will promote a petition called “I am with Pope Francis”, which was launched in October and refers to the prayer message of Pope Francis’ care for creation in September. A message that speaks of an economy of sharing. Pope Francis said that now we are squeezing nature as if it were an orange and therefore through the promotion of this we ask Catholics from all over the world to support Pope Francis in promoting this economy. Rather than supporting a diseased and destructive economy, this is the time to promote a just transition to a healthy and renewable economy and now more than ever we need economies and societies that offer new opportunities for all of us. Economies that protect the common home we all share.


Derrick May and the dark side of electronic music

This post comes from the daily newsletter of the Culture department of Release, sent free of charge every evening.

On November 12, Ellie Flynn posted on the Mixmag, UK’s premier club culture medium, an article many have been waiting to read for a long time. An investigation in which the British journalist gathers four long anonymous testimonies of women recounting sexual assaults committed by the American musician Derrick May, of which they would have been the victims in four countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands and New Zealand. The article was expected due to the notoriety of May, historic co-founder of American techno with Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, whose tracks Strings of Life (1987) or Beyond the Dance (1989) are among the most esteemed and influential of their kind. But also because of the suspicions that surrounded the previous revelations on the reprehensible actions of May, since peddled without proof by Michael James, childhood friend of the musician, already in dispute with him as for the relationship of the melody of Strings of Life. Ellie Flynn’s investigation, reinforced from November 13 by that conducted and written by Annabel Ross for the site Resident Advisor, thus supported by the journalistic investigation which was then only a rumor, too ambiguous and therefore too likely to be dismissed by a simple setback as an accusation against the person concerned and his lawyer (who did not deprive themselves of it) and then be delivered to pasture on social media.

Read also #Musictoo: when the music is kidding

Because since September 15, the date of publication on Facebook of a post by Michael James unambiguously accusing May of rape and harassment on numerous victims, the worst possible debates have taken place online, between, on the one hand, activists supposedly blinded by the causes they defend and too eager to cancel yet another «innocent» delivered as food to the new prudish order, on the other the crusading fans, ready to minimize acts which they believe would be undetachable from the exceptional circumstances in which they would have possibly taken place. Any resemblance to other recent debates that have transformed the common of Internet users into investigating judges and criminal lawyers is of course not risky.

However, as far as May is concerned, we have so far collectively missed out on another essential debate: that of sexual violence in specific nightlife environments and electronic music, recently marred by another case, proven and unambiguous, that of American DJ Erick Morillo – found dead on 1is September three weeks after his arrest for sexual assault. Beyond the a priori which, in one sense or another, assimilate the clubs and other rave hangars to lupanars even more decadent than the backstages of rock concerts in the golden age of groupies, reprehensible behavior are of a nature and enjoy a kind of impunity that deserve to be urgently told and analyzed. British DJ The Secret DJ, who anonymously published two volumes of tragicomic memoirs chilling with lucidity on the environment (the first has just been published in French by City editions), dissects in detail the plain rotten behaviour which has become commonplace in an environment full of big star-rated heads and under constant pressure: “I’ll just say that, if you start insulting women or throwing people out of your car in the middle of the mountain in Ibiza […] well you went to the dark side […]. The middle of the show is not very big, everyone knows you and your bad habits. This does not prevent us from continuing to receive proposals. As long as you fill the clubs, your future is secure. But the day it stops… ”

In a tweet posted on September 11, the same Secret DJ claimed that Derrick May had “Definitely a very bad reputation”. How many in the community knew of his actions? How many protected him? How many have done so out of interest or because that was the norm, accepted by the majority in the community? Some, such as the organizers of Paris Electronic Week, which took place on September 24 and 25, did not wait for the publication of Ellie Flynn’s investigation to withdraw their invitation to the musician, who was supposed to participate in a conference. . Some accused them of participating in a media frenzy. We can bet that his presence, symbolically at least at this stage, would have been untenable, within the same program as a round table entitled “Balance your body: make the night a more responsible space”. We especially welcome that the investigative work is starting to be done, a fortiori by historical media in the field, whose political change, despite the context of a pandemic, announces a somewhat less gloomy tomorrow.

Olivier Lamm


childless Vika Tsyganova stunned with recognition

Vika Tsyganova was published with her husband Vadim and "daughter" Anna.

Vika Tsyganova was published with her husband Vadim and her “daughter” Anna.

A photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

Singer and designer Vika Tsyganova became one of the brightest winners of the First Ladies Award, which was held in Moscow before the new restrictions began. Red lipstick, a chiseled figure and a branded soul-warmer that emphasized the beauty of Tsyganova – at 57, the artist looks the envy of thirty. It turns out that the second youth gave her … quarantine.

– You will not believe: personal life sparkled with new colors! – the radiant Victoria admitted to reporters. – No, no new fans … I have only one person whom I love – this is my god, my husband Vadim Tsyganov. We have been together for 33 years, and it was like falling in love with each other again. Is there sex after 50? Sure! And my husband and I have a lot of joint projects, most of which are planned in Sochi. I don’t know how they will be here in Moscow without us, but we will definitely not get bored there.

The singer assures that her husband and assistant have completely replaced her children.

The singer assures that her husband and assistant have completely replaced her children.

A photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

– Vika, how do you manage to look so young? – journalists asked.

– My husband and I go to the bathhouse, eat sea urchins, and most importantly, we surround ourselves with positive things. After all, if we remove positive emotions, what is left for us then? Only die. There are a lot of talented young people in our environment, and we don’t sit idle for a single minute. There is nothing worse than wasting your time.

– But now it’s quarantine …

– Yes, the absence of concerts is a very difficult situation. Of course, I don’t go with outstretched hand, I earn my own bread: I have my own brand, I sew outfits that glorify our Russian culture and foreigners really like this. But for 30 years I have not canceled a single concert, and for me this is very unusual.

– How do you feel about hazing in show business? They say that Alla Pugacheva forbade calling Buzov to the New Year’s lights.

– You know, today is the time of such heroes as Olga Buzova. In fact, I watch her skate, and I am very happy about that. She shows some remarkable fighting qualities. And the main thing is not what a person starts with, not “Dom-2”, but what he will come to. It’s not a thing to scold something new that is emerging so actively now. The same Alla Borisovna needs to be a mentor, share her experience.

– They say that once the Prima Donna closed the way to the stage for you?

– Well, there was a lot … But there is a simple truth: everything that does not kill us makes us stronger. And if there is talent, a person must demonstrate it, prove his worth. And then he will have an army of fans.

Assistant Anya is the author of the brightest pictures on Instagram Tsyganova.

Assistant Anya is the author of the brightest pictures on Instagram Tsyganova.

A photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

– Recently, the singer Maxim admitted that she had been treated for alcoholism for a year. Is this a common occurrence in show business?

“Oh, yes, it’s actually a scourge. When a person has nothing but ambitions, he will look for some kind of substitute. And if he opens new horizons and lives with God in his soul, then, of course, he will fight this passion. This is a very difficult addiction, and creative people are exposed to it like no other.

– Vika, now many couples have a child with the help of surrogate mothers. Have you and your husband thought about it?

– And I have a child! See the girl standing? Meet Anya, my assistant, with whom we have been working together for seven years. But everyone thinks that she is my daughter, and I agree with that. Anya takes great pictures, makes cool collages, knows where I have what lies – just in case, if my memory suddenly gets knocked off. She is my faithful companion and friend. She is young, aware of all trends, all brands. Deals with my appearance, my Instagram. We have a great relationship.

– Don’t you want your baby?

– What for? My husband and I have our own way, and there are so many people around whom I love and whom I want to help. We have everything, everything is enough.

Meanwhile, earlier Vika Tsyganova was very worried about the lack of children with her husband. Last year, in the program “The Fate of a Man”, the singer spoke about the reasons for childlessness: many years ago in Bulgaria, she had a serious accident, the consequences of which, coupled with chronic diseases, did not allow the singer to become pregnant. For a while, the couple even thought about IVF, but the father dissuaded them from this step. The adoption of a baby from an orphanage also did not work out: the child, who sunk into Victoria’s soul, was given to another family.


First Ladies’ Prize: Natalya Bochkareva confirmed marriage, and Liza Arzamasova flashed her engagement ring

Before the second wave of restrictions began, celebrities attended one of the last social parties of the year (details)


The New York Times questions names of some Nobel Peace Prize winners

Johana Lorduy –

While many continue to cheer for the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize in recent years, there are those who continue to try to understand the compelling reasons that the Norwegian committee has had for granting this recognition.

In a recent publication in The New York Times, titled: Nobel Peace Prize: A Growing List of Questionable Choices written by editor Rick Gladstone, some names of winners are highlighted. questionable.

The previous criticism, the NYT article points out, is awakened after the measures of Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia and who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, “to violently repress the Tigray region and risk sinking the second Africa’s most populous country in disastrous civil war. “

In the text, Gladstone quotes Henrik Urdal, director and research professor at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, who analyzes the selections of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“The committee can always play it safe with candidates who are completely indisputable, because of past achievements,” said Henrik Urdal, director and research professor at the Oslo Peace Research Institute.

“But especially in recent years, the committee had tried to award prizes for processes, for trying to encourage the awardees to live up to the award, and that is an extremely risky business,” Urdal said.

What is most striking is that among the questioned examples appears the name of former president Juan Manuel Santos, who in 2016 received the award.

According to the article: “Mr. Santos, President of Colombia at the time, was honored for his determined efforts to end the country’s more than 50-year civil war by trying to make peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. , or FARC, a leftist guerrilla group. “

“The award was announced just days after Colombians narrowly rejected the peace agreement in a referendum, a deep embarrassment for Santos. While a peace agreement was eventually pushed through the country’s legislature, recent events in the country suggest that it is once again descending into conflict, “he added.

On the other hand, others who appear referenced are the former president of the United States Barack Obama, who in 2009 won the Nobel Peace Prize; Kim Dae-jung, former president of South Korea and winner in 2000; Yasir Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin winners in 1994; and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

In the case of Obama, the article notes that: “just in his first term as president, Obama won” because of his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation among peoples. “But many critics, some supporters, and even himself Obama questioned the election, since he had not yet achieved any significant results for the cause of world peace. “For what?” He recalled asking in his autobiography when he learned that he had been elected.

Furthermore: “Some commentators said the Nobel committee had made an” ambitious choice, “seeing potential in Obama’s hopes for a calmer world, marked by his desire to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Obama he authorized an increase in US troops in Afghanistan and presided over a vast expansion in the drone strike program. It would also be a few more years before most of the US forces in Iraq left. “