Archive for wissen

Contact your MEP » NoPNR!

February 28th, 2012 § 3 comments

Contact your MEP:

Dear MEP,

The European Parliament will soon have to vote soon on the EU-US-PNR Agreement (transfer to the US and subsequent retention of European citizens’ data travelling to the US).

I urge you to reject this Agreement.

It does not respect European fundamental rights standards. The far-reaching provision on mass storage of private data of European citizens for 15 years is an unjustified interference with the fundamental right to privacy!

Furthermore, the Agreement does not meet the criteria set by the European Parliament in its Resolutions as of May [1] and November 2010. [2]

Even the rapporteur recommended withholding consent on the EU-USA-PNR Agreement. [3]

With kind regards





What to do?

Contact your elected representatives. This is the most useful thing you can do at this stage, and before the final vote in the European Parliament.

You can find a list with all Members of the European Parliament here.

And now: Just copy and paste.


The European Parliament will soon have to vote on an Agreement for the transfer to the US and subsequent retention of European citizens’ data (PNR) travelling to the US. However, the proposed Agreement to forward PNR data to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is still deeply flawed. In its Resolutions of 5 May 2010 and 11 November 2010, the European Parliament raised serious concerns about the upcoming negotiations and the global approach towards the transfer of passenger name record data to third countries. The current proposal has not addressed any of the demands and flaws identified by the European Parliament. The criteria set in the EP-resolutions have not been met. Read more.

via » Contact your MEP NoPNR!.


Studie: EU-USA Fluggastdatenabkommen verstößt gegen Grundrechte »NoPNR!

March 14th, 2012 § 0 comments

Die Kritik an dem umstrittenen Fluggastdatenabkommen zwischen der EU und den USA nimmt nicht ab. Die Digitale Gesellschaft sowie NoPNR haben bereits dazu aufgerufen, Abgeordnete des EU-Parlaments zu kontaktieren, um das Abkommen noch zu verhindern. Schon im November hat NoPNR eine kurze Analyse des Abkommen veröffentlicht und auf die massiven Defizite hingewiesen.

Heute wurde eine weitere unabhängige Studie vorgestellt. Prof. Dr. Hornung von der Universität Passau sowie Dr. Boehm von der Universität Luxembourg haben das Abkommen auf Herz und Nieren geprüft. Das Fazit: “Das Passagierdatenabkommen mit den Vereinigten Staaten verstößt gegen Grundrechte.”


Darüber hinaus hat die Studie, die heute gemeinsam von Jan Philipp Albrecht sowie Franziska Böhm in Straßburg vorgestellt wurde, untersucht, welche Unterschiede zwischen dem bisherigen Abkommen und dem aktuellen Vorschlag bestehen. Das Ergebnis ist ernüchternd. Entscheidende Verbesserungen gibt es nicht und die eigenen Vorgaben des EU-Parlaments, die in den Resolutionen vom 5. Mai sowie dem 11. November 2010 festgehalten wurden, konnten in keiner Weise erfüllt werden.


Die Studie untermauert damit eindeutig die Kritik der Gegner dieses Abkommen. Die Abstimmung im EU-Parlament über dieses Abkommen steht vor der Tür. Wenn du dieses Abkommen verhindern willst, schreib deinem Abgeordneten eine Mail oder ruf ihn an. Eine Mailvorlage gibt es hier und den Aufruf gemeinsam von NoPNR und der Digitalen Gesellschaft gibt es hier.





via » Studie: EU-USA Fluggastdatenabkommen verstößt gegen Grundrechte NoPNR!.

What the Public Does Not Know about Banking, Financial Times ››Positive Money

The first letter in the Financial Times  on Tuesday 3rd January 2012 was about the creation of money by private banks:

Sir, In your editorial “Restoring faith in the banking system” (December 29), you rightly draw attention to the useful role played by banks in carrying out their “core activities” of “the payment systems and deposit-taking”. However, you make no mention of their other activity, namely the creation of new money in the form of commercial bank money. 

“Many people would consider this to be far the most important activity of banks in the current banking system, accounting as it does for the creation of more than 97 per cent of the money in circulation (M4). 

“If banks did not enjoy this extraordinary privilege it is doubtful whether they would have at their disposal the quantity of profits that makes the current bonus system possible. 

Read the whole letter here.

via What the Public Does Not Know about Banking, Financial Times | Positive Money.

New Storage Projects Turns CO2 into Stone ››Scientific American

Iceland is experimenting with pumping carbon dioxide underground and converting it into rock

 | March 5, 2012 

In a new experiment, Iceland is looking to replace its smokestacks with well injectors to permanently sequester its carbon dioxide emissions.

Researchers are now pumping CO2 underground in a process that will convert the greenhouse gas into rock. This technique may be a model for other power plants and factories to control their emissions, creating a climate change solution literally set in stone.

“Carbon dioxide capture and storage is important because we depend on fossil fuels, and we will depend on fossil fuels for the next 50 to 100 years,” said Juerg Matter, a professor of geochemistry at Columbia University.

“This is bad news for global climate change, especially greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In terms of climate change, we have to decarbonize our energy infrastructure,” he added.

The CarbFix pilot program aims to resolve this problem by capturing carbon dioxide from the Hellisheiði Power Station, Iceland’s largest geothermal heat and energy facility and the second-largest in the world.

The 300-megawatt plant taps heat and gas pockets up to 1.2 miles below the surface to drive seven turbines. In the process, Hellisheiði releases steam, which makes up roughly 99.5 percent of its emissions. The rest is mostly carbon dioxide, along with small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, argon and methane.

Matter, who works with the program, said CarbFix is the first system that injects carbon dioxide into basalt, a form of volcanic rock. “The capacity of these rocks, the storage capacity, could be very large,” he said.

Going from acid to rock
Waste carbon dioxide is first separated from steam and then dissolved in water, forming carbonic acid. The solution is then pumped 550 yards underground into a basalt formation, where the acidity leaches elements like calcium and magnesium from the surrounding rocks. Over time, the solution flows through the basalt formation and these elements recombine to form minerals like limestone.

Iceland makes an ideal test site because the ground beneath the island nation is 90 percent basalt, which is formed by volcanic activity. The country also generates most of its electricity from geothermal sources.

However, CarbFix is not without its challenges. The project’s current phase injects carbon dioxide from a nearby geothermal well instead of the generation plant. Though the project started in 2007, the team only started injecting the well in January and will begin to inject from the geothermal plant itself in April.

“We assumed that the main difficult part of the experiment would be injecting the gas. Instead, we are delayed by the gas separation stage,” explained Edda Aradóttir, the project manager for CarbFix. “It has turned out to be a much more complex task than we thought.”

Separation anxiety
The hydrogen sulfide proved very troublesome because it corroded the hardware and formed compounds that hampered the processing equipment when it was separated from the steam. The current phase injects only carbon dioxide, while the next phase will also inject hydrogen sulfide into the basalt.

Other issues included developing new instruments and techniques to monitor rock formations deep underground, said Aradóttir. The team also had to engineer a system to transport the carbon dioxide from the sources to the injection well.

The whole process is also resource-intensive, requiring large amounts of water and electricity. The carbon dioxide may also take anywhere from a few months to a few years to be converted fully to stone. “This kind of experiment is very expensive,” admitted Aradóttir. “We’re not at the commercial stage yet.”

Still, the idea has immense potential. Basalt formations are found in many parts of the world, and the CarbFix site can store billions of tons of carbon dioxide, Matter said. Unlike other forms of carbon storage, waste gases can be converted to stone at relatively shallow depths, the leakage risk is minimal and the results are permanent.

In addition, CarbFix is already showing results. Matter observed that the acidic solution is being neutralized underground, indicating that the rock-forming reaction is taking place. “If it’s mineralized within a human lifetime, then we know we are on a successful pathway,” he said. As the technology improves and the costs come down, Matter thinks sequestering carbon dioxide in basalt could become a viable strategy for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Proof of permanent storage could ease some of carbon capture’s commercial problems. One of them is obtaining insurance coverage, because insurers are concerned about the long-term financial risks of storing carbon dioxide in a gaseous or liquid form underground, which include the possibility of leakage.

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC., 202-628-6500

via New Storage Projects Turns CO2 into Stone: Scientific American.

Open Data <<

Open Data steht für die Idee, Daten öffentlich frei verfügbar und nutzbar zu machen.

Welches Potential verbirgt sich hinter den Daten, die Behörden und Ministerien, Parlamente, Gerichte und andere Teile der öffentlichen Verwaltung produzieren? Was kann man mit den Umwelt- und Wetterdaten, Geodaten, Verkehrsdaten, Haushaltsdaten, den Statistiken, Publikationen, Protokollen, Gesetzen, Urteilen und Verordnungen machen?

Das Dossier stellt Fallbeispiele vor, von der Kontrolle der Arbeit amerikanischer Kongreßabgeordneter bis zu Baustellenmeldungen in deutschen Kommunen.

Es klärt über das Potential offener Daten für eine nachhaltige demokratische Entwicklung auf und zeigt, wie Datenjournalisten mit diesen Datensätzen umgehen.


Überblick über Politik- und Monitoringsoftware <<

Für einen kommenden Vortrag auf einem Journalisten-Workshop ist diese Übersichtskarte entstanden. Sie bildet nicht-staatliche Politik- und Monitoringsoftware ab. Die Angebote werden von Privatpersonen, Vereinen und Firmen betrieben. Ein Teil ist noch in der Entwicklung, andere laufen schon seit Monaten oder Jahren.

Die erste Version der Karte (png) zeigt ein Ökosystem von Anwendungen, das noch am entstehen ist – aber eindeutig wächst. Wenn die Angebote alle im Betrieb sind und fleissig genutzt werden, dürfte sich aus dem Zusammenspiel der Informationen mittelfristig einiges in der politischen Landschaft bewegen. Auch für Journalisten dürften so neue Erkenntnisse – aber auch neue Formen der Berichterstattung – möglich werden.

Etwa durch OpenHaushalt, das in einer Alpha-Version schon online ist, um den Bundeshaushalt zu  öffnen und transparent zu machen. Bislang liegen die Haushalte seit 2003 vor; später soll man wohl ausführlich suchen und einzelnen Haushaltsposten kommentieren können.

Kurz vor der Fertigstellung befindet sich Lobbypedia, ein Lobbyregister –  es wird allerdings zuerst nicht von allen bearbeitet werden können. Interessant dürfte auch OpenBundestag werden: Dort sollen unter anderem der Stand von Gesetzgebungsverfahren abgebildet werden. Die beiden letzteren Anwendungen sollen im Juni oder Juli diesen Jahres starten.



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