Barcelona by train

I recently went to Barcelona, to attend a concert by Adexe y Nau as part of the Festival Mil·lenni in Sant Jordi Club. Fantastic show, by the way!

For this first time, though, I made the whole trip by train and public transport, and it was surprisingly easy. No need to fly or hire a car.

And the CO2 emissions are much lower – highly recommended!

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(from EcoPassenger)

2020 Goals

Here are my goals for this year:

  • Further reduce my carbon footprint and continue to actively support Fridays For Future in the struggle to achieve climate justice
  • Reach at least a normal BMI, i.e. a BMI less than 24.9:
      • Reduce my weight below 174 lbs. (79kg) and start exercising
  • Submit at least three responses to Call for Papers / Meetup talks
  • Run regular Rancher meetups in Cologne
  • Process YouTube backlog, publish regularly on YouTube throughout the year, and improve my video and photo skills
  • Reach these Social Media milestones:
      • 10.000 Tweets
      • 1.000 Instagram posts
      • 100 YouTube videos
  • Earn enough credits to start my Bachelor thesis in early 2021

2020 must be the year in which CO2 emissions begin to drop!

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(#COP25 – posted by Aidan R. Gallagher)

Vagabundo

During the winter developer’s conference at Senacor Technologies AG in Nuremberg, they presented a nice little tool to measure and offset carbon dioxide emissions during business travel.

The tool is called Vagabundo and is realized using a serverless framework; it collects data from all business travels, calculates CO2 emissions and offsets them through Atmosfair – great approach at using technology to protect our climate!

It’s currently an in-house project, but Senacor seemed amiable to open-source it.

Much more than the offsetting part, I like the reporting – how much CO2 do I emit during travel and how could I optimize it?

Taking this a step further, I could see creating internal (team) competitions – who’s the best at having video conferences instead of in-person meetings? Who’s able to reduce air travel the most?

I think, there’re endless possibilities – anybody as interested as I am?

2019-11-16

End of an era

If we’re serious about protecting our climate, we need to show and apply the true cost of CO2 emissions to where they occur.

One business that will for sure suffer is the airline industry, especially the low-cost carriers – that most likely will not be a business model that can be sustained much longer.

Of course I do accept the necessary change and will adapt, but that’s where it hurts me the most personally, and I quietly mourn the ability to travel the world freely; it almost feels as if my wings were clipped.

But long distance trains are an option, too – if they weren’t so expensive … I really hope we will reintroduce sleeper carriages and over night trains in Europe!

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E-Mobility

Yesterday, the international Motor-Show in Frankfurt (IAA) saw a big protest, demanding an urgent change in politics towards eco-friendly mobility.

A lot of people think that this is only about the question which power train to use in a car.

Alas, it’s not. Even with an all-electric car, it’s still neither a good idea nor good use of resources to propel 2 tons of steel forward to get a single human being to work.

Rethinking mobility is much bigger and needs to focus on how to keep us mobile, with a strong focus on public transport and bicycles. It also includes questions like home office – why do people need to commute to work, if work could also commute to them?

If we’re serious about saving our planet, we need to stop putting individual car ownership on top of our agenda.

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(Deutsche Bahn, ICE 3, Cologne Central Station)

High School Exchange Year

Today our youngest son left with EF for a high school exchange year in Ireland.

It’s pretty difficult to let your kids go, but I am totally happy and excited for him, for the experiences he will make, the friendships he’ll forge, the adventures that await him and the difficulties he’ll have to learn to master himself.

And I’m insanely proud of him!

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(EI 0693, DUS-DUB)

Paintball

There’s always a first time for things – for us it was the first time for playing paintball this Friday.

We went to Paintball Revolution in Ennepetal, as they offer markers for 14- to 18-year-olds.

The staff on site was great, plenty of playing fields and game ideas, we played for hours – highly recommended!

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(Paintball Revolution)

Speed limit? Speed limit!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity again to drive long distance in the US.

Speed limits are now at 65 to 75 mph on most highways, which makes for very smooth and relaxed driving; it’s much easier and less stressful to drive 600 miles in the US than to drive 600 kilometers in Germany.

Speeding doesn’t really benefit anyone:

  • The environment suffers a lot due to much higher consumption
  • The risk for fatal accidents increases greatly
  • You arrive a lot less relaxed (if at all)
  • You won’t save time overall

Then why are we so obsessed in Germany with having no speed limit on our motorways? I have no idea.

Or, as Virginia signposts it:

“Speeding over 80 mph (130 km/h) is considered reckless driving – Fines will be higher”

There you have it.

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(I-81)

Nissan Rogue

During our last trip we had a Nissan Rogue (Nissan X-Trail outside of the US) from Hertz; according to Wikipedia it’s a compact crossover SUV.

It’s a pretty comfortable car, with a roomy interior, good suspension and reasonable maneuverability.

Even on long drives of a couple of hundred miles, the Rogue handled well and kept us safe.

The online downside was the engine, which was still old style using fossil fuel – I hope Hertz will move to more modern electric vehicles soon!

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(Outside of our hotel, near Charlotte airport)