Sustainable ‘smartphones’ to save the environment

With the arrival of a new year, many take the opportunity to change habits or start new healthier ones, although it may also be a good time to add to the list of purposes those that can contribute to to save the planet, starting by our ‘smartphone’.

There are many daily actions that can be done to help protect the environment, such as recycling, avoiding wasting water or using the car less. However, we can also do it with technology.

According to a United Nations report, around the world approximately 50 million tons of electronic waste are generated per year, a figure that could triple by 2050.

In addition, despite its fall due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the second quarter of this year the worldwide sale of smartphones to end users registered a figure of 295 million units.

For this reason, there are several companies that have launched sustainable mobile phones, which offers a longer useful life with the aim of reducing the waste that is generated when replacing the ‘smartphones’ frequently, and which even offers the opportunity to replace some elements to update or repair them.


One of these companies is Teracube, which offers users warranties of up to four years -which cover any damage, at no additional cost to the user-, replaceable batteries and the use of recycled materials, all framed in the philosophy of “repair, do not replace”.

Teracube 2e was released in early October, includes the operating system Android 10 and it has a 1.8 Ghz octa-core processor, as well as 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

This device, which has been created from recycled materials and has a biodegradable shell, with a fingerprint sensor, face unlock technology and headphone jack. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery, it is easy to repair and can be found through Indiegogo for a price of 84 euros.


Another company that offers sustainable mobile phones is Fairphone, who designs “products with longer service lives and easy to repair“” We take care of reducing waste and making the most of what we already have, “the company says on its website.

The sustainable ‘smartphone’ Fairphone 3 arrived in Spain at the end of 2019 and incorporates a modular design consisting of a screen, battery and camera that can be repaired individually, helping to extend the life of the device and minimize its environmental impact.

Also, Fairphone phones, which use recycled materials, they have a 3,040 mAh battery that can last a full day, as well as 64GB of memory that can be expanded up to 400GB with an SD card.

This phone is available in two versions: the Fairphone 3, which has 12 and 8 megapixel cameras, and the Fairphone 3+, with a 5.65-inch Full HD + screen and 48 and 16MP cameras.

The Fairphone 3 can be obtained through the company’s website for a price of 419 euros, while the Fariphone 3+ is available at a price of 469 euros.

The company also has a recycling service for old mobiles, since, as they themselves point out, “the more we reuse and recycle, the less we will have to extract from the mines and manufacture”. In addition, in the event that a mobile of the brand is delivered, you can get a refund when you buy one of its latest models.


SHIFT6m is a German proposal that can be easily repaired. To do this, it has a modular design and easy access to the battery and the screen, since it only has one type of screw head that holds the device together and, in addition, the mobile case includes a screwdriver to be able to make repairs.

“Sustainability, repairability and fairness are not the main issues in the smartphone industry, but they are very important to us,” the company underlines on its website.

However, eThis device is not as easy to repair as the Fairphone 3as it has some overlapping components and short connecting cables.

The SHIFT6m has a 5.7-inch Full HD AMOLED screen and Gorilla Glass protection, a 4,242 mAh battery, a 21MP rear camera, a 13MP front camera and is available through the official SHIFT website for 555 euros. Its casing is also made of recyclable polycarbonate.


How long until solar and wind power surpass gas?

Cindy Fernández Cindy Fernández 5 min
energy, renovable, wind, solar, hiraulica
In the next 5 years, renewable energies will represent 95% of the increase in the world’s electricity generation capacity.

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) wind and solar capacity will surpass coal and gas in just 5 years. The Paris-based agency anticipates a 1,123 gigawatt (GW) increase in wind and solar power, meaning these power sources would exceed gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024. While other fuels had Problems this year due to Covid-19, the renewable energy market proved to be “more resilient than previously thought.”

According to preliminary calculations, global energy demand is expected to decrease by 5% in 2020 due to Covid-19 and electricity demand by 2%. The IEA had previously noted that the crisis is accelerating the shutdown of older fossil fuel infrastructure. However, according to the report, Electricity generated by wind, solar, hydro and biomass energy is expected to be 7% higher globally in 2020. While the pandemic had an impact on the renewable sector, the report notes that “the fundamentals of the expansion of renewable energy did not change.” Falling costs and support for policies helped it continue to grow.

The continued growth of wind and solar power means that renewables, including hydroelectric and bioenergy, will displace coal as the world’s largest energy source by 2025, says the IEA report.

Last year, Carbon Brief’s analysis using IEA data announced that renewables were only expected to outpace coal production over the next five years in its more optimistic “fast-track” scenario. However, in 2020 the projections took a turn, and even in a less ambitious scenario, wind, solar, hydro and biomass power are projected to take the lead by 2025.

For IEA, in the next 5 years the Renewable energies will account for 95% of the increase in the world’s electricity generating capacity, and solar energy will be a key factor. In the main scenario of the new report, 130 GW of solar energy will be added each year between 2023-2025, and in the more ambitious scenario the number increases to 165 GW, which would represent almost 60% of the total renewable expansion during this period. . Wind is also expected to expand considerably, but its contribution will be less than solar. Renewable electricity generation at this point will be nearly 9,745 terawatt hours (TWh), “equivalent to the combined demand of China and the European Union,” according to the agency.

Renewable energies are resistant to the Covid crisis but not to political uncertainties

While the renewable energy sector performed relatively well in 2020, the Expiration of existing incentives and the resulting uncertainties may lead to a small decrease in the rate of capacity additions, unless policies are changed. The key policies that are coming to an end are China’s subsidies for solar and offshore wind, as well as tax credits for onshore and solar wind power production in the US.

climate change, carbon, gas, wind
China, South Korea, and Japan submitted net zero commitments, which will require phasing out coal power

On the other hand, the report also notes that recent political statements have the potential to give an “additional boost” to the use of renewable energy. In the last weeks, China, South Korea and Japan presented net zero commitments, which will require the phasing out of coal power and a significant increase in renewables.

On the other hand, Joe Biden in the US promised a $ 2 trillion spending program for clean energy. If the clean electricity policies proposed by the United States are implemented, it is possible that there will be a much faster deployment of solar photovoltaic and wind energy, contributing to faster decarbonisation of the energy sector.


A basket of sustainable gastronomy

More and more SMEs in the agri-food sector are betting on production methods that respect the environment. And dedication and dedication are rewarded. The Awards for the Best Sustainable Producers, a BBVA initiative in which El Celler de Can Roca collaborates. The winners of this first edition, whose selection was made by the independent organization ECODES, were the Murcian farm La Junquera, the fruit and vegetable farm Verdcamp Fruits de Tarragona and the meat meat Carnísima, from Huesca, as well as the Asturian dairy farm Los caserinos, the Galician organic fruit company Mirabel do Rosal and Pomona Fruits, a Lleida company that grows organic apples and pears. All the awarded products will be part of one of the baskets of the ‘sustainable gastronomy’ project.

Alberto Cano, director of SMEs at BBVA, attended the award ceremony for these awards, which were born with a vocation for continuity, held this Friday at the Vocento headquarters in Madrid; Benjamín Lana, president of the Vocento Gastronomy Division, and Josep and Joan Roca, who participated from El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona. «It is evident that Celler de Can Roca has reached where it has reached by that relationship with local producers, which allows us to maintain close contact with those people who, with great honesty and applying sustainability criteria, work the land and the sea and provide us with the necessary products to make our work possible “, explained Joan Roca about the relationship of the famous restaurant with nearby producers.

Alberto Cano reflected on the challenges and opportunities that sustainability represents in the current scenario. “Most SMEs have not yet realized the great opportunity it represents. Still many see it as a nuisance, a nuisance, a test that must be passed. We are close to receiving European funds and 40% of those funds will go to sustainable investments. Anyone with a good idea is going to be able to use that to grow with their business.

For his part, Benjamín Lana emphasized the need to awaken the conscience of consumers. “Yet we are not sufficiently aware on the sustainable origin of the products. Although there is a small percentage of society that militates in these values, the majority have not yet reached there. Therefore, it must be communicated. Much work remains to be done in this regard, “he stressed.


Green and digital revolution, keys to economic recovery | Trends

Facing the crisis caused by COVID-19 will require the development of reconstruction plans of an unprecedented magnitude. With them not only will recovery be facilitated, but they could also become an opportunity to transform our economy, making it more modern and more solid, more internationalized and more competitive.

Extreme weather conditions and, currently, crises such as the pandemic we are experiencing, have demonstrated the benefits of digitization. Just one example: in the case of Iberdrola, the investments made in recent years have allowed it to keep operations and projects underway during the state of alarm, while guaranteeing the safety of its employees and collaborators. They also explain how the digitalization process of the electrical networks in Spain allowed to restore service to 300,000 customers in one hour, during the DANA that devastated Murcia and the Valencian Community just a year ago.

Digital transformation, however, is not possible without a cultural change that promotes new ways of working and new tools. This was evident in the last Digital Summit recently organized by the company, which had the participation of representatives of leading institutions and companies in digitization such as MIT, Google, Microsoft, IBM, LinkedIn, TikTok (ByteDance), Twitter and EVO.

Investment and work

Nor is it possible if there is no purpose and, in this sense, it is necessary to orient innovation to the customer and the citizen to respond to their needs and be more efficient. In short, maximize the use of technology in those business areas that add value, either by improving processes and the productivity of its assets or by achieving more efficiency in activities.

To get out of the crisis, there is only one recipe: investment and work. And in this context it is also time to raise the ambition to combine the green and digital revolutions as key pieces of the economic recovery. Accelerate the energy transition, but also the electrification of transport, the residential segment and industry to make change possible and leave a more sustainable world for new generations. And in this field, digitization plays an essential role.

Iberdrola is a reference in how technology, resources and capabilities can be oriented to lead the digital transformation of the energy sector and turn it into a competitive advantage. The company has managed its electricity generation assets digitally for years and has transformed its networks into smart ones with digital tools and artificial intelligence.

Likewise, it applies the latest technologies in all its activities:

  • Blockchain for operations trading of energy, certificates of origin of ‘green’ energy, certification of documents and intra-group financing agreements, among other applications;
  • Robots Y drones to support risky actions or in hard-to-reach locations for the inspection of blades in wind farms, hydroelectric plants and high-voltage power lines or for fraud detection;
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality in training activities and actions on the ground, on power lines and infrastructures;
  • Internet of things, applied to initiatives such as Iberdrola’s Smart Home, which provide clients with information for greater management and decision-making capacity regarding their energy consumption;
  • Digital cufflinks, With which the virtual recreation of products and services is carried out that allow the company to anticipate and prematurely solve future incidents.
  • Big data and analytics, with which it develops, for example, advanced wind prediction systems or detects electrical fraud;
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) y machine learning with which it applies algorithms to different processes, such as the identification of anomalies in photovoltaic plants, the prediction of natural disasters or the personalization of personalized offers to different customer profiles; etc.

Innovation is Iberdrola’s main tool to guarantee its sustainability, efficiency and competitiveness. For this reason, the company has allocated 2,000 million euros in the last decade, after having increased resources in this area by 115% annually in the last ten years. These activities have made it the utility most innovative in Spain and the third in the world for investments in R & D & i, according to the European Commission.

Global Center for Power Grid Innovation

Iberdrola is at the forefront of the use of digital technologies and is preparing to face a new era in which disruptive tools will be key in all businesses. As an example of this bet, the company has just announced the launch of its Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub, a center located in Bilbao that will act as a driving platform for innovation, combining its technological capacity with that of suppliers, collaborators and startups of all the world.

It is hub It will start in the spring of 2021 and has already identified more than 120 innovation projects for future implementation worth € 110 million. The lines of work, of an international scope, will allow the development and deployment of innovative solutions for Iberdrola’s electricity grid activity around the world.


Mo de Movimiento, the sustainable restaurant thanks to large doses of innovation | Innovation

It never made more sense to enter and exit through the same door. A gesture without bragging, almost reflexive, everyday. For MO de Movimiento restaurant, in the noble area of ​​Madrid on Espronceda street, it is everything. The beginning and end of a circular gastronomic commitment, of sustainability, of centuries-old innovations. The beginning and end of an act as profane as feeding.

The entrance warns that something different awaits. Intertwined blue and yellow cables act as a knob. They welcome us to a place where everything is carefully thought out to prepare. From two large wood-burning ovens present as soon as you walk through the door to XXL jugs hanging from the ceiling. But these alleged decorative effects stem from the obsession to protect the environment of Felipe Turell, CEO and co-founder of MO de Movimiento. “All decisions are based on sustainability. Our business is food, but that has long since ceased to be differential. Only in Madrid there are more than 5,000 restaurants ”, he explains.

The space itself is an exercise in recycling. More than 18 months of works in which to preserve decades of history of those who previously inhabited it: the Espronceda Theater, an eighties nightclub and the photography set of the Efe agency. The only modification has been the opening of the ceiling of the stalls, which has enabled an interior terrace. The black of some walls is the same that accompanied the agency. The furniture materials come almost entirely from the ton and a half of rubble generated by these works. “I visited the place. I realized that there would be a large amount of waste and I said to myself why not build everything with it ”, says designer and artist Lucas Muñoz, alma mater of the project.

Behind the proposal it is possible to think that technology has not made an appearance, but it is a matter of perspective. The centennial and artisan innovation runs through the more than 1,000 square meters of the establishment. More pioneering trends and tools also have a place, although we do not rush. Let’s go back to the giant jugs. They come from a Badajoz tinajero master, heir to a 500-year-old family tradition, who bricks the workspace every time he turns on the oven. “He has had a hard time. At first glance it has the shape of a standard jug, but it had to incorporate nozzles and at the bottom they are curved ”, Gómez explains.

Let’s not be fooled by aesthetics. Its mission is to air-condition the restaurant in the same way that it cools the water inside. The only help they have to get to every corner is a fan on top. This is known as the adiabatic and wet pulp process. Something that the Arabs used in Spain for centuries and is present in North African cultures. “In the tests we did in my workshop, we have dropped the temperature by 14 degrees,” says Muñoz.

The pipes are inherited from the Roman aqueducts and Arab ditches. Under the ground they have made a water plant that takes advantage of all external and internal water resources. They collect rainfall for irrigation. They distribute this water to the ovens, which heat through copper tubes and direct it to the ground, which functions as a natural radiator. The one they serve to diners, after triple filtering, also comes from the rains. The water from the kitchens and bathrooms, in which the basin is a set of bricks – cement included – taken from the rubble, goes to the cisterns.

The color of the uniforms, designed by Inés Sistiaga, comes from a natural dye extracted from the nails in the stalls. To extend the life cycle of the clothing, a sashiko has been made over the logos, a Japanese darning that preserved the garments in moments of austerity. Organic waste is collected by its own compost machine. Most of it is sent to the local suppliers they hire and the rest is used as compost for the restaurant plants. “Prioritizing sustainability has been my workhorse. Some were more vigilant about investment and others about aesthetics. I’ve had millions of dilemmas, really ”, reflects Turell.

21st century technology

Like so many items hidden in plain sight, the latest technology emerges quietly. This is the case with software capable of measuring different characteristics of materials and determining which one is more sustainable. As mentioned by the CEO and co-founder, formerly in charge of Derby Hotels projects, he analyzes elements as disparate as the life cycle, reuse or whether the manufacturing process is clean. “Many times what is not seen is more important,” he suggests. A philosophy present in your cashless bet. The restaurant only accepts digital payment methods. No cash. “When you make a decision, you have to give up something,” he ditch.

Furniture has been one of the great beneficiaries of the software, with the help of Marcel Gómez and Cristina Freire, to preserve the green and circular economy discourse. Varnishes have the least impact on the environment. The same goes for the cements with which the demolition rubble has been remixed. Also noteworthy are the recovery techniques for water-repellent boards, which are now eating tables, or beams, converted into chairs. “Everything is open source. Anyone can download the plans and take them to their carpenter to build it ”, says the designer and artist.

In line with common innovative problems, the establishment has had to solve dilemmas such as which company was granted home delivery and how to integrate the online store into an eminently offline model. According to Turell, omnichannel has been less expensive than delivery. With the intention of not deviating from the business model, companies like Glovo or Deliveroo did not enter the equation. “We opted for Mensos because 85% of their workers are on the payroll and they move with electric bicycles. They are aligned with our sustainable policy ”, he reasons.

Even with the insistence that food is not so differential, it is still the raw material that gives meaning to the place. Again, sustainability enters the picture. Apart from the fact that the menu is served using a QR code, Turell reiterates that all the genre comes from small Spanish producers, except for coffee. He buys the same flour from a Sigüenza mill as he does processed anchovies in Colmenar Viejo.

“Not all systems will be educated for two years,” concludes Muñoz. As if it were a living ecosystem, MO’s particular digitization needs to learn all the transformation it has just undergone. He even thinks about organizing events, workshops, conferences and film screenings; But that is just guesswork for the moment. All he wants is that, in the end, so much principle put on the table will reopen the door of circular gastronomy.


BBVA injects anti-Covid liquidity to the owner of the Bahía Principe hotels | Companies

The ICO-shielded liquidity circles are working. The public bank has guaranteed a total of 791,675 operations for an amount of 75,140 million euros, according to the latest data available as of August 31. And BBVA has decided to innovate while supporting the Spanish tourism sector. The financial entity has signed three bilateral financings with the ICO shield for Levantur, Grupo Piñero’s parent company, owner of the Bahía Príncipe hotel chain, according to financial sources. The novelty is that the credits are sustainable.

The tourist company will cover with this money its liquidity and working capital needs to face the impact of Covid-19. Headquartered in Palma de Mallorca, Levantur is a small giant in the sector, with consolidated sales of 819 million euros and an attributable profit of 103 million in 2018, the latest available according to Insight View records.

Like the entire sector, it has been affected by Covid and part of its activity has been paralyzed. The group has 27 hotels, four golf courses, the tour operator Soltour and several other firms that support the tourism sector. “It is positioned in the Dominican Republic, Riviera Maya and Jamaica as the Spanish hotel chain of reference for tourism from the United States, Canada and Europe, through its Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts brand,” says the company.

BBVA has granted it two tranches of financing and has renewed its credit line with the ICO shield. The novelty is that the conditions will vary depending on the evolution of the rating in terms of environmental, social and corporate governance factors (ESG for its acronym in English) of the company, measurement that will be carried out by the rating agency Vigeo Eiris . It is the first sustainable loan with the ICO.

Jose Ramón Vizmanos, head of Global Client Coverage at BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, explains that “during the Covid-19 crisis, BBVA’s role has been and continues to be one of total support and closeness to the travel and tourism sector.” “This sector has been particularly affected due to restrictions on mobility and the general closure of the hotel plant and the bank has offered solutions aimed at guaranteeing the solvency of companies, with the aim of making it a crisis limited in time” he points out.


Priorities for a sustainable food future | Future Planet

The coronavirus crisis forces us to rethink many aspects. The first thing is to define what we have to consider important, a priority, based on a fact that we must acknowledge with all its harshness: our societies are subject to a series of dangers and weaknesses and against them we must increase the resilience of the places in which we live. .

In many cities we are beginning to design lines of work for the coming years, sharing experiences, data analysis, problems and possible alternatives, and we realize that when mentioning basic needs, it is customary to put the supply of food and access to drinking water to other subjects such as health, which we talk about so much every day since the start of the pandemic. However, throughout this crisis we have spoken very little in our country about food. The reason is very simple: the Spanish agri-food system has given an adequate response to the needs of the population, something for which we must congratulate ourselves and, above all, congratulate the productive sectors involved. Now, have we done it from food security and sovereignty?

We regularly read in the press – also these days – the farmers’ complaint about the massive import of onions that is sinking local producers. Something similar to what we hear about many other agricultural products, such as oranges or rice, emblematic — almost symbolic — products of our land. Paradoxical, taking into account other terrible examples that force us to cross half the planet: 40 years ago, Haiti, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, produced enough rice to feed its population. 35 years ago, the IMF and the United States pressed the Haitian government to lower its tariffs on rice from 35% to 3%. This allowed the North American agricultural sector to sell its surplus rice and Haitians to eat, at a specific time, at a lower cost, but it quickly sank local production. Today, most of the rice consumed by Haiti must be imported and is subject to the fluctuations in global market prices and international crises.

Is this the level of sovereignty, food security, that we want? It is true that Haiti is not Spain, as it is also that we have a set of alarm signals in food production and distribution that we have to urgently solve. Before the arrival of the coronavirus, demonstrations by farmers throughout Spain were daily. Has anyone wondered what would happen on our country’s farms if there were a crisis in the import of cereals and soybeans? We must analyze what is the average age of our farmers and ranchers, and what will happen in a few years when they retire, if we do not look for quick and forceful solutions. Are we going to introduce any control system in the current oligopolistic food distribution system that allows controlling the few, to their liking and benefit, food prices? Because, again, we are talking about the basic needs of the planet’s population.

We must pay much more attention to local production and accommodate it to the nearest population

Food is too important for society to be left in the hands of markets, whether international or state. It has been the great abandoned by institutions and left in the hands of market and business criteria with little public intervention. We are obliged to think about the food security of our citizens and about the measures to protect it in a similar way to the reflection that we make in these hard times regarding health. And it seems evident that depending on national and international markets, their fluctuations and their crises is the worst possible way to defend and protect it. For many countries, food security is a matter of geostrategy and even military security. Perhaps it is time for the European Union and Spain to work with similar paradigms.

In my opinion, three factors are necessary to achieve reasonable levels of food security.

First, to ensure agricultural and livestock production. And this can only be achieved if farmers and ranchers can live from their profession in decent conditions. In turn, we must pay much more attention to local production and accommodate it to the nearest population. Likewise, we will have to think about a production that is more respectful with the environment, more ecological and less dependent on chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Let’s not forget that the current agri-food system is responsible for more than 30% of the production of greenhouse gases.

Secondly, we need to promote local markets and proximity distribution so that it reaches all neighborhoods in cities and neighboring towns, which allows direct sales by producers, as well as addressing very seriously the need to create and promote a network of online sales of fresh food.

And there is a third factor that we must not forget. What and how do we eat? Sociological studies indicate that, on the one hand, there are social sectors with serious food deficits and, on the other hand, large population sectors are eating worse every day, abusing sugars, fats and ultra-processed products. Let’s start with the little ones to change this: from schools, and in the kitchens of the entire educational system, without forgetting, of course, food education for the whole of society.

In short, let’s bet on the urgent implementation of local, healthy and popular food systems. Local food webs are much more resilient than other systems that are being implemented in our societies. Let us work from the municipalities and cities in its creation and development to ensure the right to healthy, fair and sustainable food for the entire population.

Joan Ribó he is mayor Valencia.

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The Norwegian far-right attacks in networks who shows off a UN pin | Global World Blog

Should members of the government pin down the UN’s sustainability goals as the country sidesteps the coronavirus crisis? This question has fueled the political debate in Norway, both in the halls of Parliament, the Storting, and on social media.

The multi-colored donut icon representing the 2030 Agenda to achieve the 17 United Nations-promoted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has become the subject of confrontation in the Norwegian political arena. As the Nordic country celebrates 75 years since the liberation of Nazi Germany, parliamentary representatives of the Progress Party (the far-right Frp), ex-government formation, and other far-right groups have singled out Norwegian leaders as “traitors” that They wear the famous brooch on their lapels and ask to replace the international insignia with the Norwegian flag.

From the Crown Prince, Haakon, and the Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, to the Ministers of Health and Culture and the Bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg, numerous representatives of the Norwegian politics, monarchy and church have been carrying for months in their jackets the pin in which each color symbolizes the global goals adopted by the UN member states in 2015. Among them are eradicating poverty and hunger, guaranteeing gender equality and decent work, reducing inequality, stopping the climate change and betting on cities and communities that are socially and environmentally sustainable. Since 2016 the Prime Minister of Norway has been one of the leaders of the UN SDG Group, which is committed to working to raise awareness of the goals and of the need for faster action.

Protest “against globalism”

The representatives of the Frp have criticized that the elected officials wear the finishing touch of the UN objectives and advocate, instead, for wearing Norwegian flags on the chest. As “a political protest against globalism,” voices from the party such as former Justice Minister Per-Willy Amundsen call attention to the use of internationalist symbols when the country is facing the coronavirus and recommends that the royal family “reconsider the importance of using national and non-international symbols “, at a time when the European Union, the UN and other international organizations” suppress the importance of the national state “.

With photos posing with the national flag on his lapel, FrP immigration policy spokesman Jon Helgheim and MP Morten Wold have posted comments on Facebook in line with the current recriminating the use of the insignia of the objectives of the global sustainability. “You will never see me with any UN pin. I have been chosen by the Norwegian people to safeguard the interests of Norway. A pin says something about who or what you represent. In my opinion, it gives absolutely wrong signals that the Norwegian government is going with a UN pin. We must not forget who we represent! ”, Criticized Helgheim on social networks, pointing out the interests of Norway“ as the first priority in the worst crisis since World War II ”.

“A secret world government”

The opposition to the multi-colored pin emerged in February in groups close to the extreme right on Facebook, called “We, who have had enough with the dictatorship of Parliament”, “Our little country”, “NorExit” or “Popular action for national law “Where leaders who wear the pin of sustainability goals are branded as” traitors “who do not care about” the interests of the Norwegian people “and are compared to Vidkun Quisling, the politician who collaborated with the German occupation of the country in the 1940s, he staged a coup and was sworn in as president.

In mid-April, the protest by several members of Facebook groups angry at the UN pin began to intensify. A post published on April 9, commemoration day of the 80th anniversary of the German occupation, stated that Norway faces “an invasion comparable to the 1940 Nazi invasion”, disregarding the Nordic country’s participation in the European Economic Area (EEA) as an “occupation that will last hundreds of years”.

“The perception that those who wear the multi-colored pin are more loyal to the UN and other international organizations than to Norway is framed in the context of the main conspiracy theories, which indicate that behind Agenda 21, the action plan to step up efforts on environmental and development issues, there is “a global Marxist government where the UN has all the power” and that there is “a secret world government that uses climate policy to gain control and reduce the world’s population,” explains Faktisk .no, a Norwegian fact-checking website that has analyzed the controversy of the UN pin.

Solberg, without preferences

Speaking to the newspaper DagbladetRune Alstadsæter, secretary of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, notes that Solberg has no preference over which insignia ministers should wear. “All UN countries agreed on sustainability goals in 2015 and the Norwegian government, made up of the Høyre and Frp parties, agreed to this,” emphasizes Alstadsæter.

The controversy has had an impact on the sales figures of Norwegian flag brooches. Electronic stores like Norsk Uniform have gone from selling 20 to 30 units per month to almost a thousand in the last month. It is the commercial face of the battle for the insignia, “the most idiotic culture war,” the Aftenposten newspaper titled.

“At a time when the coronavirus and an economic crisis that can hit us as hard as depression in the 1930s, it is crucial not to cultivate artificial discussions. The flag, which plays such a central role in Norwegian society, should not become a matter of contention and a symbol of identity. In a political climate that is in danger of becoming more divisive, symbols mean a lot, ”said Hanne Skartveit, a political journalist for the VG newspaper.

In the same line, the policy editor is expressed in the local newspaper Drammens Tidende, Hege Breen Bakken: “This is a sample of symbolic politics at its worst, because it breaks and creates mistrust. And it happens at a time when the world is asking for more, not less cooperation. Fortunately, the Norwegian flag remains strong throughout the population, as evidenced by the 75th anniversary of liberation. We should not refuse to carry the Norwegian flag for fear of being put in the same bag as the nationalists. The controversy shows the danger of turning the flag into a political symbol for a few. Politicians of this caliber must take responsibility for the effect of their communication strategy, whether for political reasons or not, ”says Bakken.


Gastronomy against ‘big data’ in Madrid Fusión | Style

Without neglecting emulsions or spherifications, haute cuisine claims its attachment to reality: it wants to be urban while remaining linked to the land; global while defending the genuineness of local pantries. It seeks to capture the soul of the products, “dispense with the superficial,” says José Carlos Capel, gastronomic critic of EL PAÍS and president of Madrid Fusión, a gastronomic congress that takes place between January 13 and 15. This year, the event is coming of age – it celebrates its 18th edition – in a mutant, complex and hyperconnected world.

Connections that not only promote the fusion of recipes and the mixture of ingredients, but also the collection of data to analyze what seduces the palate of people in each region of the world. “We are the homo digitalis”, Juan Carlos Martínez, director of R&D at Siro Foods, summarized in his speech,“ 95% of people use the Internet at least once a week; 85%, social networks ”.

With these data, his team has analyzed the emotions that dishes and flavors produce in people around the globe. Thus, they have concluded that Europe is concerned with sustainability – which encourages the exploration of products such as algae or hemp; that does not tolerate bugs and that sees the mild spiciness with good eyes. Information that could help chefs to create dishes that hit the consumer’s taste right. .

Chefs Dabiz Muñoz (right) and Fernando Sáenz during one of yesterday's presentations at Madrid Fusión

Chefs Dabiz Muñoz (right) and Fernando Sáenz during one of yesterday’s presentations at Madrid Fusión

“It is a tool that brings together tastes”, defined chef David Muñoz, with three Michelin stars at DiverXo. The cook associated the tool more with mass consumption than with haute cuisine. “Restaurants are linked to human talent; you cannot dehumanize the kitchen ”, replied Muñoz from the stage of the auditorium in Pavilion 14 at Ifema. This year, and for the second time since its foundation, Madrid Fusión has left the Congress Center of the fairground to settle inside. “We had limited space to grow,” explain sources from Vocento, owner of the event since 2017.

During Muñoz’s speech, the auditorium was overflowing, reflecting the muscle of the event, which he hopes to exceed the more than 15,000 attendees (between visitors and congressmen) last year. Many are waiting to take photos with one of the more than one hundred chefs invited to the event: Joseán Alija, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Vicky Cheng or Niko Romito, chosen chef of the year in Europe and champion of simplicity and locality. The gastronomy currently lives that duality: it is viral on social networks but at the same time, aware that it must remain attached to the earth.

A participant chooses a piece of meat in Madrid Fusión.

A participant chooses a piece of meat in Madrid Fusión. EFE

“If we take two from one fish, we will fish less, avoiding overexploitation. It is a sustainable measure, ”said Australian Josh Niland, an expert in matured fish, in the early morning. That is to say, it cures them, but “without producing mojamas”, clarified the chef who was accompanied by the former three-star Dani García. “Currently, we lose 55% of the fish and it cannot be,” continued the revolutionary Niland, in front of the Saint Peter restaurant and the Fishbutchery (a fish delicatessen). “The eyes, crushed like a puree, are dehydrated and fried; the liver, like duck or chicken, we do in foie gras, a product that we offer in our delicatessen ”, explained the processes that apply. With nuances, he shares a vision with Ángel León and his marine sausages. If León is called “the chef of the sea”; Niland is “the butcher of fish”.

If haute cuisine incorporates the big data to his speech; shows his concern about the environmental crisis or takes allergens (lactose, gluten …) into his cookbook, he is also aware of the rise of cities. For this reason, instead of being a guest country, the congress has long chosen various cities around the globe that stand out for their gastronomic effervescence and invites chefs from them. Tokyo, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Cape Town are selected this year.

Seafood in Madrid Fusion.

Seafood in Madrid Fusion. EFE

On the other hand, Madrid Fusión is a large container that, in addition to a congress, hosts several subsections. Enofusión focuses on the world of wine and offers tastings, debate tables on the Madrid tavern or a talk on the icewine (ice wines, made at temperatures below freezing). Savor Spain programs workshops, showcockings and activities while The Drinks Show focuses on the mixes and the innovative Madrid International Pastry (MIP) does the same with bread, chocolate and sweet things. A recognition to bakers and pastry chefs who have spent years crying out for the return of traditional bread and good sourdough. Madrid Fusion 2020 also proposes a return: “To the essence,” says Capel, “to rediscover the product.”

The best bars and cocktail bars on the Peninsula

For three years, The Drinks Show has been held within Madrid Fusión, which claims the role of cocktails in gastronomy. “Be liquid, my friend” is the motto of the event that invites you to try cocktails as well as to meet cocktail shakers from all over the world.

On January 13, the selection of the best cocktail bars in Spain and Portugal was presented, made by a group of 16 experts. The list is made up of 36 places — three in Portugal, 16 in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​and the rest in other towns in Spain. Among the chosen venues include the Madrienian Salmón Gurú, by Diego Cabrera; the lisboeta Red Frog; the Paradiso in Barcelona; or Umalass de Zaragoza.