Aura - Ochrona Środowiska (AURA Environmental Protection) 2021/03

  • Technological curiosities from the world
    A new way of obtaining hydrogen The world needs an alternative to fossil fuels. Not only are they a non-renewable energy source, they are one of the causes of global warming and air pollution. Hence, many scientists around the world are looking for solutions for the so-called the fuel of tomorrow - hydrogen. Although it is a clean fuel, its production poses many technical challenges. Breaking down water molecules is perhaps the most common method of producing hydrogen. There are many ways to do this, but the most effective technologies require electrocatalysts made of expensive metals such as platinum, ruthenium or iridium. The problem is that the known electrocatalysts made of common metals are ineffective in causing the reaction needed to break down the water molecules.
  • Obligation to clear mud, snow, ice and other debris from sidewalks along the property
    Question: Is a property owner required to clean a sidewalk along the property but separated from it by a green belt owned by another entity?
  • "Cold shower" on the state of the planet - a prerequisite for avoiding a gloomy future
    Although more than half a century has passed since the first warning of the world public opinion about the scale of environmental destruction, its negative consequences and the need for rapid cooperation and action to protect the biosphere (U Thant Report) , the situation worsens dramatically. In January 2021, a group of world-renowned ecologists presented in a report the prospect of a bleak future for the Earth and humanity. In their opinion, biodiversity loss, climate change, overpopulation and over-consumption, combined with ignorance and inaction, are wrecking the world. The scale of the current threats to the biosphere and humanity is so great that it is difficult even for scientists, especially ordinary citizens, to comprehend it. The authors will emphasize that their report is not a call to surrender, but aims to give world leaders a realistic "cold shower". Prof. Ryszard Koziołek, the rector of the University of Silesia, emphasizes that today all scientists are obliged to impart knowledge about the state of the world to the society, because there must be a cognitive shock.
  • Oxytree as a chance to reduce the negative effects of human activities in the environment
    The oxygen tree is Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the imperial tree of happiness. Apparently, it was a favorite hangout place for the Phoenix - a bird that systematically reborn from the ashes. The Paulownia has a similar trait to this beautiful magic bird, namely the ability to respawn after being beheaded. It is a beautiful and magnificent tree that comes from the mountains of central China and grows up to 20 m in height in its homeland. Its generic name commemorates the daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia, Anna Pavlovna. It is interesting that it was the imperial paulownia that was the first plant that appeared and grew on the ruins of the World Trade Center. Historical sources say that these trees have been cultivated in China for over 2600 years, where they are treated as pioneering plants with low soil requirements and exceptionally fast growth, especially in areas with an average annual rainfall of 500-2000 mm.
  • Vibrations of nature
    I am sitting in a comfortable armchair and I am a bit bored. Vivaldi is streaming from the radio. Listen. Suddenly, the astrologer turns on. He warns me that for my own health I should detach myself from the chair and be closer to nature. Do not go lazy, feel the pulse of nature, feel its unique vibrations. After all, I am a member of a large, universal orchestra and I play a part of a concert in it. I should remember that everything that will happen in my life - feelings, thoughts, sensations, and also what I say and write affects the quality of this music. Every disturbance in the relationship with nature, on any plan of my life, is a nuisance and violates the order necessary for health and happiness.
  • Extended Liability
    The manufacturer's liability is not expected to be limited to the usual warranty. The manufacturer should take back the used and useless goods and ensure its neutralization. There are laws that dictate this. Producers can also create and finance specialized organizations that deal with the collection and disposal of used items. This form of implementing extended responsibility can be cheaper and more effective. Notwithstanding the progress made in this area, the production of waste is still excessive and ecologically deadly.
  • Judgment of the Court of 20 January 2021 on restrictions on access to environmental information in the Land of Baden-Württemberg, C-619/19
    Operative part of Article 4 (1) 1, first subparagraph, point e) Directive 2003/4 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information should be interpreted as meaning that the concept of "internal communication material" includes all information circulating within the authority. a public authority and which, on the date of submission of the request for access, have not left the internal sphere of that authority, possibly after they have been received by that authority, and unless they were or should have been made public prior to that receipt. Article 4 (1) 1, first subparagraph, point (e) of Directive 2003/4 must be interpreted as meaning that the application of the exception to the right of access to information on the environment provided for therein to material intended for internal communication by public authorities is not limited in time. However, this exception may only apply for the period during which the protection of the information requested is justified.
  • Hydrogen - the fuel of the near future
    In the following articles I will discuss issues related to the production and ways of using hydrogen. I will also present the strategies of the European Union and Poland in the field of legal solutions, financing installations for the production and use of "green" hydrogen. The EU authorities assume that the climate neutrality of the EU countries by 2050 will be achieved, inter alia, by using hydrogen as fuel. The European Commission (also Poland) in the "Strategy of the European Union for the production of hydrogen from renewable energy - European Clean Hydrogen Alliance" "Polish hydrogen strategy until 2030 with a perspective until 2040" [3], emphasizes the production pure hydrogen - generated in the electrolysis process from electricity from wind or photovoltaic power plants. The most important advantage of hydrogen is that it is widely used, which can be a remedy for problems for many industries - energy, gas, heating, chemical industry and transport. The use of hydrogen is very wide, it can be both a fuel and a substrate for the production of gaseous and liquid fuels in power-to-gas, power-to-liquid or power-to-ammonia systems. Thanks to this, it can connect various sectors of the economy, increasing the security of energy and fuel supplies and reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister on the moratorium on fencing and river regulation
    on February 22, 2021 was sent "Open letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki: necessary moratorium on fencing and regulation of rivers in the implementation of any projects financed with public money" 1, based on the information of the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation for the years 2018–2019 for the Parliament. It shows that water management is to serve the exploitation of water areas, and not to maintain commonly available national water resources in river systems and groundwater reservoirs, and that the poor condition of water in Poland is worsening and no preventive measures are being taken. Below we present excerpts from a speech supported by citizens and the community dealing with water quality and protection. The postulate of intervention in the field of river management is also associated with the correct spending of public money and not risking the loss of funds from the National Reconstruction Plan and the Partnership Agreement. The intention of the letter is supported by Polish social coalitions related to water and rivers, as well as international coalitions: Coalition Save the Rivers, Coalition Living Earth, Climate Coalition, Coalition Clean Baltic. It is an important signal indicating the importance of the common good, which is the natural river system.
  • Water management in Poland in the light of statistical data
    On March 22, we are celebrating the World Water Day and therefore we are changing the order of presenting individual parts of the CSO Yearbook "Environmental Protection" by discussing its Chapter III entitled Water resources, use, pollution and protection.
  • Improving air quality in Krakow
    Local governments in many regions of our country take various measures to improve air quality. This is already bringing the first results, but we will wait years for really clean air. An example of effective activities in this area is Krakow, where programs implemented by the city, with the support of Krakow residents, already give tangible results and residents feel the improvement in air quality. In 2020 - the number of days with daily exceedances of PM10 dust decreased, and the average dust concentrations recorded at the air monitoring stations of the Provincial Inspectorate for Environmental Protection decreased.
  • Śniegi Świdnik in the two winter halves of 2012/2013 and 2019/2020. Physics of water-ice – snow
    The article is mainly devoted to the phase changes of water (water vapor - liquid - ice). These transformations require energy of a kind of heat; not - as previously thought - energy of the type of work. The consequence of such a view was / is the emergence of a new theory (the strengthened theory) concerning the genesis of the formation of snowflakes in clouds, often with interesting shapes.
  • The European Parliament adopted an agreement on drinking water
    The European Parliament agreed with the member states on the new drinking water directive. The directive will guarantee all Europeans better access to high-quality tap water. Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “Access to safer drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. The current health crisis has made us even more aware of its crucial importance.

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