Agua embotellada utiliza 2000 veces más energía (inglés)

Bottled water uses 2000 times more energy

from ecoGizmo

March 1, 2009 New research from the Pacific Institute estimates that bottled water is up to 2000 times more energy-intensive than tap water. Similarly, bottled water that requires long-distance transport is far more energy-intensive than bottled water produced and distributed locally. Indeed, when all the sums were done, it seems the annual consumption of bottled water in the U.S. in 2007 required the equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil—roughly one-third of a percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption.

The article, “Energy implications of bottled water” by researchers Peter H. Gleick and Heather Cooley, is the first peer-reviewed analysis of its kind and appears in the February 2009 edition of Environmental Research Letters.

“As bottled water use continues to expand around the world, there is growing interest in the environmental, economic, and social implications of that use, including concerns about waste generation, proper use of groundwater, hydrologic effects on local surface and groundwater, economic costs, and more. But a key concern is how much energy is required to produce and use bottled water,” said article co-author Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute. “It turns out the answer is, a lot.”

The authors note that a single estimate of the energy footprint of bottled water is not possible due to differences among water sources, bottling processes, transportation costs, and other factors. Gleick and Cooley calculate the energy requirements for various stages in bottled water production, including the energy to manufacture the plastic bottles, process the water and the bottles, and transport and cool the final product.

Combining the energy intensities for these stages, the analysis finds that producing bottled water requires between 5.6 and 10.2MJ per liter—as much as 2000 times the energy cost of producing tap water. The authors further estimate that to satisfy global demands, the energy equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil per year is used just to produce the bottles, primarily made of PET plastic, almost all of which are currently made from virgin, not recycled, material.

For water transported short distances, the energy requirements of bottled water are dominated by the energy to produce these plastic bottles. Long-distance transport, however, can lead to energy costs comparable to, or even higher than, the energy to produce the bottle. In the article, the authors calculate the energy costs of three different scenarios for a bottle of water consumed in Southern California—a locally produced bottle and bottled water from both France and Fiji transported to the region.

“With the U.S. consumption of bottled water exceeding 33 billion liters a year, and with intensifying efforts to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, these data should help identify ways to reduce the energy costs of bottled water and may help consumers themselves make more environmentally sustainable choices,” said co-author Heather Cooley, senior research associate at the Pacific Institute. Based in Oakland, California, the Pacific Institute is a nonpartisan research institute that works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Through interdisciplinary research and partnering with stakeholders, the Institute produces solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally.

Big polluters: one massive container ship equals 50 million cars

Big polluters: one massive container ship equals 50 million cars

15 of the world's biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world's 760m cars

15 of the world's biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world's 760m cars

April 23, 2009. The Guardian has reported on new research showing that in one year, a single large container ship can emit cancer and asthma-causing pollutants equivalent to that of 50 million cars. The low grade bunker fuel used by the worlds 90,000 cargo ships contains up to 2,000 times the amount of sulfur compared to diesel fuel used in automobiles. The recent boom in the global trade of manufactured goods has also resulted in a new breed of super sized container ship which consume fuel not by the gallons, but by tons per hour, and shipping now accounts for 90% of global trade by volume.

The title of world’s largest container ship is actually held by eight identical ships owned by Danish shipping line Mærsk. All eight ships are 1300ft (397.7m) long and can carry 15,200 shipping containers around the globe at a steady 25.5 knots (47.2 km/h, 29.3 mph) . The only thing limiting the size of these ships is the Suezmax standard, which is the term used to define the the largest ships capable of transiting the Suez Canal fully loaded. These ships far surpass the Panamax standard (ships that can fit through the Panama Canal), which is limited to ships capable of carrying 5,000 shipping containers.

Not only are shipbuilders resetting the world record for size on a regular basis but so are the diesel engines that propel them. One of the eight longest container ships in the world, the 1,300 ft Emma Mærsk also has the world’s largest reciprocating engine. At five storeys tall and weighing 2300 tonnes, this 14 cylinder turbocharged two-stroke monster puts out 84.4 MW (114,800 hp) – up to 90MW when the motor’s waste heat recovery system is taken into account. These mammoth engines consume approx 16 tons of fuel per hour or 380 tons per day while at sea.

Unregulated emissions

In international waters ship emissions remains one of the least regulated parts of our global transportation system. The fuel used in ships is waste oil, basically what is left over after the crude oil refining process. It is the same as asphalt and is so thick that when cold it can be walked upon . It’s the cheapest and most polluting fuel available and the world’s 90,000 ships chew through an astonishing 7.29 million barrels of it each day, or more than 84% of all exported oil production from Saudi Arabia, the worlds largest oil exporter.

Shipping is by far the biggest transport polluter in the world. There are 760 million cars in the world today emitting approx 78,599 tons of Sulphur Oxides (SOx) annually. The world’s 90,000 vessels burn approx 370 million tons of fuel per year emitting 20 million tons of Sulphur Oxides. That equates to 260 times more Sulphur Oxides being emitted by ships than the worlds entire car fleet. One large ship alone can generate approx 5,200 tonnes of sulphur oxide pollution in a year, meaning that 15 of the largest ships now emit as much SOx as the worlds 760 million cars.

South Korea’s STX shipyard says it has designed a ship to carry 22,000 shipping containers that would be 450 meters long and there are already 3,693 new ship builds on the books for ocean going vessels over 150 meters in length due over the next three years. The amount of air pollution just these new ships will put out when launched is equal to having another 29 billion cars on the roads.

The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) released a report in 2007 saying a 10% reduction in fuel burning was possible on existing ships and 30-40% possible for new ships but the technology is largely unused, as the regulations are largely voluntary.

Nuclear future?

Oddly enough there is never any mention of alternative power sources such as nuclear power. Nuclear marine propulsion has been in widespread naval use for over 50 years starting in 1955. There are 150 ships in operation that use nuclear propulsion with most being submarines, although they range from ice breakers to aircraft carriers. A Nimitz class supercarrier has more than twice as much power (240,000 hp, 208 MW) as the largest container ship diesel engines ever built and is capable of continuously operating for 20 years without refueling (some French Rubis-class submarines can go 30 years between refueling). The U.S. Navy has accumulated over 5,400 “reactor years” of accident-free experience, and operates more than 80 nuclear-powered ships.

Airborne pollution from these giant diesel engines has been linked to sickness in coastal residents near busy shipping lanes. Up to 60,000 premature deaths a year worldwide are said to be as a result of particulate matter emissions from ocean-going ship engines. The IMO, which regulates shipping for 168 member nations, last October enacted new mandatory standards for phasing in cleaner engine fuel. By 2020, sulphur in marine fuel must be reduced by 90% although this new distilled fuel may be double the price of current low grade fuels.

Paul Evans



Rey nasso teribe exige respeto y apoyo

Rey nasso teribe exige respeto y apoyo

El rey nasso teribe, Valentín Santana. ESPECIAL PARA LA PRENSA/Sandra Alicia Rivera1193778

Sandra Alicia Rivera

El rey nasso teribe, Valentín Santana, exigió que se respete al pueblo nasso, expulsado hace unas semanas de lo que ellos consideran sus tierras en Bocas del Toro.

El pasado 30 de marzo, un grupo de indígenas nassos fue desalojado de unas tierras en Bocas del Toro, sobre las cuales Ganadera Bocas asegura tener derechos legales.

Santana expresó que va a defender a su gente, así como a sus tierras, porque una empresa grande ha desmantelado y “echado de sus terrenos” a toda la comunidad de San San Drui, dejándola a la intemperie.

Lamentó que ninguna autoridad se ha presentado, ni el presidente de la República, Martín Torrijos, los ha tomado en cuenta para conversar sobre este hecho.

Premio ambiental mundial para defensores de la tierra

“Nobel Verde” para defensor del ambiente

Marc Ona Essangui

Ona dice que continuará su campaña contra el proyecto Belinga.

Un activista africano que fue encarcelado durante su lucha contra la explotación minera en la selva de Gabón recibió el más alto galardón internacional del medio ambiente.

Marc Ona Essangui fue honrado por su oposición a lo que describió como el destructivo proyecto minero en el Parque Nacional Ivindo.

Él es uno de siete individuos de seis continentes que recibirán el Premio Ambiental Goldman y que se dividirán en partes iguales la suma de US$900.000 que incluye el galardón.

La mención es considerada como “el Premio Nobel para los defensores populares del Medio Ambiente”.

Tres años de campaña

Ona hizo campaña durante tres años contra el proyecto minero Belinga – un acuerdo entre el gobierno de Gabón y la compañía de minas y energía china, CMEC, para extraer hierro.

El proyecto incluye la construcción de una gran represa hidroeléctrica, que ya está en obra, para dotar la mina de energía.

La represa está siendo construida sobre el río Ivindo, cerca de las cascadas Kongou, las caída de agua más alta de Gabón.

Cascadas de Kongou

Las cascadas de Kongou son “las más bellas” de África Central.

Ona, que cataloga las cascadas com “las más bellas de África Central”, expresó que el gobierno de Gabón no consultó a la población local y no evaluó el impacto del proyecto sobre el medio ambiente antes de autorizar la construcción.

Dijo a la BBC que con el Premio Goldman esperaba “dirigir la atención internacional hacia lo preciosa que es esta región”.


Ona, que utiliza una silla de ruedas, se dedicó al inicio de su carrera a mejorar la infraestructura de educación y comunicación de Gabón y trabajando con el Programa de Desarrollo de la ONU. Tiempo después se concentró en temas ambientales.

Con sus colegas se percató de que se estaban construyento carreteras dentro del Ivindo, uno de 13 parques nacionales protegidos como patrimonio ambiental de Gabón y descubrió que no se habían hecho estudios preliminares para evaluar el impacto.

“Toda esta construcción se estaba llevando a cabo ilegalmente y contra el código de parques nacionales”, aseguró Ona.

Río Ivindo

El Parque Nacional Ivindo es patrimonio ambiental de Gabón.

Él y sus colegas iniciaron una campaña , trabajando con otras ONG, sosteniendo ruedas de prensa y reuniéndose con las comunidades locales.

El gobierno reaccionó fomentando protestas contra las ONG y “acusándonos de trabajar para potencias occidentales”, relató Ona.

La situación terminó con su arresto bajo los cargos de “incitar a la rebelión”. Fue encarcelado en diciembre de 2008, pero posteriormente liberado en enero de este año tras una campaña internacional en su favor.

Sin embargo, desde junio de 2006 no se le permitía salir del país y apenas 24 horas antes de viajar a San Francisco en EE.UU. para recibir el Premio Goldman, obtuvo su pasaporte.

No ha habido más construcción en Ivindo desde hace casi un año, pero Ona señala que eso se debe más a la crisis económica y el precio del hierro que con un cambio de política del gobierno de Gabón.

Dice, sin embargo, que no tiene planes de darse por vencido en lograr su meta.

Los organizadores del Premio Goldman califican a los seis ganadores como “un grupo de intrépidos activistas populares, que se enfrentan a los intereses de gobiernos y corporaciones y trabajan para mejorar el medio ambiente del pueblo y sus comunidades”.

Entre los otros ganadores que comparten el premio de 2009 figuran María Gunnoe de Virginia Occidental en EE.UU., que enfrentó amenazas de muerte por su labor para evitar la destrucción de los montes Apalaches por la industria del carbón.

También la científica rusa, Olga Speranskaya, por su trabajo para remover materias tóxicas de la región del Cáucaso y Rizwana Hasan, una abogada ambientalista de Bangladesh.