31 July 2008


EC Veto

The League of Nations was a precursor to the United Nations. It was founded after the first worldwar to find a peaceful way to solve conflicts.
Jean Monnet was deputy to the secretary-general. On the failure of the League of Nations (we wouldn't have had a second world war if it had succeeded) he said:
The veto is at once the cause and the symbol of the inability to go beyond national self-interest.

- In Europa - Geert Mak

After the second world war Monnet became an important architect of the European Community.
With the current discussion on the European constitution, the veto is still haunting his brain child.

25 July 2008

Wetlands Loss Fuelling CO2 Feedback Loop

Wetlands hold massive stores of carbon -- an amount in CO2 equivalent comparable to the carbon content of today's entire atmosphere.

However, wetlands, including peatlands, continue to be converted to other uses around the world, resulting in large emissions of carbon and methane.

By itself, climate change is already degrading wetlands, especially in the Arctic and near Arctic regions where the once permanently frozen peatlands are thawing. If global average temperatures rise 3 or 4 degrees C, most wetlands, will likely dry out.


10 July 2008


De Weense tram is een glanzende schommelende doos, een machine waarin een paar honderd kilo mensen heen en weer wordt geschud om toekomst van hen te maken. Honderd jaar geleden zaten zij met net zulke gezichten in de postkoets, en over honderd jaar zal er god mag weten wat met hen aan de hand zijn, maar zij zullen er als nieuwe mensen in de nieuwe toekomstapparaten precies zo bij zitten.

Robert Musil, 1914 (uit In Europa - Geert Mak)