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From Der Spiegel:

Indeed, the statistics are impressive. It’s estimated that some 50,000 wind turbines have been exported from this mini-kingdom between the North and Baltic seas, nearly 50 percent of the wind-powered generators worldwide. But sales are declining now that large industrialized nations, such as India, China and the US, are emulating the Danes’ success.

In addition to the graceful, towering turbines made of fiberglass and steel, however, Denmark has also given the world a shining example of sustainability: The parliamentary monarchy is widely seen as a laboratory and model for how an entire country can make the transition away from coal, oil and gas and toward energy generated from renewable resources.

Today, already 24 percent of the electricity consumed in Denmark comes from wind power — a world record. There are plans to increase this to 50 percent by 2020, and the country intends to become entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Photo source: Der Spiegel)

Getting Around: ‘Good Bicycle Karma’ (Video)

Here’s a fun, simple, and low cost idea to encourage smart and safe cycling in cities. Copenhagen’s 'Karmaspotters' walk the streets of the city giving out good karma presents to cyclists who are being considerate while biking around the city.

(Source: Cycling Embassy of Denmark)

Related:

Getting Around in Cities | Sticks, Carrots and Tambourines: Actively Learning from Copenhagen’s Transport Successes

From SFU Continuing Studies:

Andreas Røhl describes his experience as the City of Copenhagen’s Bicycle Programme manager. Andreas manages Copenhagen’s Bicycle Programme and recently joined Urban Systems Ltd. for a temporary term in their Metro Vancouver office. He is participating in a range of active transportation projects throughout Western Canada, including the development of an Active Transportation Master Plan for the City of Vancouver. 

With the City of Copenhagen, Andreas focused on bicycle policies and strategies to improve conditions for cycling, and recently led the completion of the Copenhagen’s Cycling Strategy as well as the City’s Design Guidelines to Great Cycle Roads. In addition to his in-depth knowledge of cycling infrastructure, Andreas has extensive experience with cost-benefit analysis, cycling education, and promotional campaigns.

(Image credit: Cycling Embassy of Denmark)

Copenhagen, Denmark is… 'Cycle City'

From Al Jazeera:

Joyce Ohajah visits Copenhagen to see what it is like to travel in a city built for bicycles, and experience Bicycle Rush Hour, when more than 35,000 cyclists cross the Dronning Louises Bridge on what is the busiest bicycle street in the western world

From The Guardian:

Europe could cut its total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25% if every population cycled as regularly as the Danes, according to a pioneering study which tracks the environmental impact of cycling down to the extra calories consumed by riders.

If the EU cycling rate was the same as it is in Denmark, where the average person cycles almost 600 miles (965km) each year, then the bloc would attain anything from 12% to 26% of its targeted emissions reduction, depending on what forms of transport the cycling replaced, according to the report by the Brussels-based European Cycling Federation (ECF).

This figure is likely to be a significant underestimate as it deliberately excludes the environmental impact of building road infrastructure and parking, or maintaining and disposing of cars.

The ECF is urging politicians to focus less on technologically complex solutions to emissions, such as electric cars, and instead think about the potential for increased cycling, especially given that around a third of motorised journeys within the EU are 1.25 miles or less.

"There’s this rhetoric going about that technology is going to save the day. In the end it’s going to have to be the political decisions which make the difference in emissions, and it’s not just going to be technology," said Julian Ferguson of the ECF, one of the report’s authors.

"Things like e-cars will need a massive investment in new infrastructure. But that’s almost part of the problem. Politicians like having those massive, awe-inspiring projects, something to change the face of transport. The big advantage of the bicycle is that it exists as a vehicle, it’s not just a projected attempt to reduce emissions."

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Image credit: Copenhagenize)

Arctic sea ice hits new low; melting at its fastest pace in almost 40 years
From the Guardian:

Arctic sea ice has melted to a level not recorded since satellite observations started in 1972 – and almost certainly not experienced for at least 8,000 years, say polar scientists.
Daily satellite sea-ice maps released by Bremen university physicists show that with a week’s more melt expected this year, the floating ice in the Arctic covered an area of 4.24 million square kilometres on 8 September. The previous one-day minimum was 4.27m sq km on 17 September 2007.
…
"Ice volume is now plunging faster than it did at the same time last year when the record was set," said Axel Schweiger.


If current trends continue, a largely ice-free Arctic in the summer months is likely within 30 years –that is up to 40 years earlier than was anticipated in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) assessment report.
The last time the Arctic was uncontestably free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, at the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian. 

"This stunning loss of Arctic sea ice is yet another wake-up call that climate change is here now and is having devastating effects around the world,” Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Centre for Biological Diversity in San Francisco told journalists.
Arctic ice plays a critical role in regulating Earth’s climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar region cool. Retreating summer sea ice is widely described by scientists as both a measure and a driver of global warming, with negative impacts on a local and planetary scale.
Check out the rest of the article here.
(Image credit: University of Bremen via The Guardian)

Arctic sea ice hits new low; melting at its fastest pace in almost 40 years

From the Guardian:

Arctic sea ice has melted to a level not recorded since satellite observations started in 1972 – and almost certainly not experienced for at least 8,000 years, say polar scientists.

Daily satellite sea-ice maps released by Bremen university physicists show that with a week’s more melt expected this year, the floating ice in the Arctic covered an area of 4.24 million square kilometres on 8 September. The previous one-day minimum was 4.27m sq km on 17 September 2007.

"Ice volume is now plunging faster than it did at the same time last year when the record was set," said Axel Schweiger.

If current trends continue, a largely ice-free Arctic in the summer months is likely within 30 years –that is up to 40 years earlier than was anticipated in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) assessment report.

The last time the Arctic was uncontestably free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, at the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian. 

"This stunning loss of Arctic sea ice is yet another wake-up call that climate change is here now and is having devastating effects around the world,” Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Centre for Biological Diversity in San Francisco told journalists.

Arctic ice plays a critical role in regulating Earth’s climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar region cool. Retreating summer sea ice is widely described by scientists as both a measure and a driver of global warming, with negative impacts on a local and planetary scale.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Image credit: University of Bremen via The Guardian)

Infographic: ‘The Dangers of Oil & Ice - The Scramble for Hydrocarbons Above the Arctic Circle’
The infographic comes from the article, ‘Unlocked by melting ice-caps, the great polar oil rush has begun’, in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

Infographic: ‘The Dangers of Oil & Ice - The Scramble for Hydrocarbons Above the Arctic Circle’

The infographic comes from the article, Unlocked by melting ice-caps, the great polar oil rush has begun’, in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

Forty years ago, London and Copenhagen had similar ratios of car to bicycle use, and both faced an exodus of workers moving out of the centre and into the suburbs. But after the energy crises of the 1970s, the two cities diverged. Danes were restricted in how much they could use their cars and commuters began to campaign for a better infrastructure for cyclists. Today, there are almost 200 miles of bicycle lanes in the city, and 40 per cent of its 1.8 million inhabitants cycle to work. The city has evolved cyclist-friendly policies, such as the Green Wave – a sequence of favourable traffic signals for cyclists at rush hour.

The key, it seems, is getting women cycling because only then has cycling become part of the mainstream. A recent poll by Sustrans, the UK cycling pressure group, asked women cyclists what would get them on to bikes and the answer was simple: better infrastructure, more bike lanes. Copenhagen’s separate, raised bike lanes with their own traffic signals are a must. And the lesson learnt from Gehl’s study is that infrastructure has to come first. Once it is in place, the message, says Colville-Andersen, is simple: “You don’t tell them it’s healthier to cycle, you don’t tell them they’re saving the planet, you just say that it is the fastest way from A to B. And they will come.

~ A couple of key paragraphs from The Independent’s 'On your bike: What the world can learn about cycling from Copenhagen'. Scientific American’s 'How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road' is another worthy read on the topic and also points to the importance of women in increasing urban cycling rates.

(Photo credit: Copenhagenize)