Transparent Publishing

New technology pushes transparency of publishing, journalism and science to new levels. Through the hyperlink structure of texts it is easy to link back to the sources of a text. What used to be long lists of references at the end of a text or in footnotes has become directly accessible through weblinks. Only paywalls may or may not restrict the fast and easy access to original sources. In writing online, this is a major additional feature of publishing in the last few years. Some online journals allow this for quite some time now, but there are lots of printed versions that stick to the read and be stuck approach of publishing.
In teaching I have been an advocate of “read the original sources” as the basic source of inspiration for authors. The transparency of the thought process and the evidence provided in whatever form should be traceable. In publishing this transparency allows to exclude the copying of thoughts or unreflected referencing.
However, the task to check for the validity of weblinks and the updating is an additional task. 500+ blog entries with an average number of 2 weblinks per blog entry makes this a job of its own. Testing of 1000 weblinks is something you need a software or plugin which alerts you to “broken links”. The maintenance of a webpage, therefore, increases substantially as the content increases. Reorganisations of webpages make the follow-up of links sometimes quite hard. Projects like the general archives of the web and webpages are very important to ensure the transparency of publishing in the short, medium and long run. The archives of today look more like machine rooms than the splendid archives or libraries of the past and present.


Renewable energy has reached for the 1sr time a share of more than 50% in Spain and Germany in 2023. This is an astonishing milestone in the energy transition of both countries. For Spain a report from Red Energy Espanola attributes the Spanish success story to the expansion of mainly wind energy (Link). The increase of renewable energy in Germany is due to a more rapid expansion of solar energy (Link). In any case a continued expansion of both forms of renewables allows to reduce the share of fossil fuel even more rapidly than previously estimated. Good news for the planet particularly to phase out energy from coal due to its highly polluting side effect. Countries with faster trajectories shall serve as examples that it is feasible to manage the energy transition also for large countries. Political instability might be a price worth paying considering the positive effects for future generations. Managing the transition in a just way which means to assist poorer households, ensures the respect of social policy targets at the same time. With this in mind the energy transition can be perceived by all as an opportunity rather than a threat to their welfare and wellbeing.

Mobility Concept

Berlin has an exceptional chance to rethink mobility in the city as new modes of transport arise. Just as the bicycle paths have been expanded over the last decade there more options to reach your destination. For the vast majority of moves in the city the “decision tree” has grown new branches. We start to change habits to consider (1) walking (2) bicycle (3) roller (4) public transport and (5) cars (electric and sharing or still owned). Multi-modality (Jelbi) in Berlin figures out the best combination for you getting from A to B. Other hybrid forms of transport start their entry in the big cities.
The last hybrid form that soon will claim an entry into the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin is the hybrid version between a bicycle and a car. The Hopper has a permission as a bicycle. It is allowed to use bicycle tracks and therefore has an advantage on the “last mile”. At the same time, it feels more like sitting in a car and a 2nd person behind you, 2 children and/or luggage or shopping bags. These hybrid forms manage to combine advantages of both original modes of transport. You may feel more safe, dry and visible on the roads like in a car, but you are not travelling at more than 25km/h. Cyclist might not be to keen to have a big competitor on their limited cycle space.
Legally the Hopper would need to take the cycle path even if the road would be empty, but there are many cyclists on the cycle path. This is a good reminder of the societal and legal issues involved in new technological solutions. Acceptability of another competitor for space in the city has to be earned. Legality has to be tested and laws interpreted, whether the hybrid form falls in one or the other pre-existing category. Otherwise, the legislator has to establish a new category altogether, but this is the very lengthy procedure. Two bicycle wheels in front and one motorbike-like wheel in the back make 2/3 bicycle and 1/3 moped.
With a stronger electric support, the bicycle becomes a pedelec and can go faster, has to use roads and is insurable against accidents. The options grow. We are likely to witness more innovation and options in the world of mobility. The proof of concept has been achieved. Finding a market for the hybrid mode of transport is another challenge. Competition and lobbying are fierce in this world of mobility as well.

Over tourism

There are a few very popular places that many people want to see or experience by themselves. In the Moselle valley Bernkastel-Kues is such a place. The small mediaeval market place with tiny houses, built with massive wooden structures attract a lot of visitors. Arriving by car or bus has created a mess around the place. Arrival by ship is even worse. Masses of people make a short stop and pour into the small city. Many places that become popular through Instagram, tik-tok or vimeo or youtube videos have a similar fate. Over tourism is no fun for locals. Some business interests thrive selling gadgets made in China to more and more Chinese tourist groups. This is probably the worst- case scenario.
Watching the ships pass by is somehow the better option. Watching the rowing sportspersons is even more interesting. Reflecting on sustainable development is a by-product. Tourism of the masses is part of the problem, Rowing couples part of the solution.

Energiewende lokal

Neben dem vielen politischen Geschrei vollzieht sich die Energiewende oft schon unter dem Radar der breiten Massenmeinung. Unzählige lokale Initiativen machen Energiewende von unten, statt auf die große Politik mit ihren Subventionstöpfen zu warten. Das rechnet sich langfristig und bezieht viele lokale Akteure mit ein. Kehlheim, an der Mündung der Altmühl in die Donau, schafft es mit kleinen Schritten, weniger Gas zu verbrauchen und die Bierbrauerei mit Energie aus Pellets lokaler Holzwirtschaft zu betreiben. Recyclen der Flaschen mit Mehrwegkonzept trägt zu weiteren CO2-Einsparungen bei. Der lokale Konsum ist dabei inbegriffen.
Lokale Energiewende wird oft von unerwarteter Seite noch ausgebremst. Geplante Windräder ebenfalls in Kehlheim (Bayern) scheitern an der Bundeswehr, da sie Vorrechte geltend macht für Flugkorridore. Wir wissen gar nicht, welche Barrieren noch gefunden werden können, damit lokale Energiewende Realität werden kann. (Bericht Deutschlandfunk).
Damit wir weg vom Gas kommen, brauchen wir viele Anstrengungen von allen. Für die kommunale und regionale Energieplanung ist das durchaus eine Jahrhundertaufgabe. Unsere Gasometer, die vor hundert Jahren den Gasdruck lokal reguliert haben, sind oft schon für neue Nutzung erschlossen. Die Befreiungshalle nahe Kehlheim heißt im Volksmund schon lange Vereinsbier- oder Freibierhalle, jetzt vielleicht sogar aus „nachhaltiger“ Produktion. Die Auenlandschaft wird wohl nicht so schnell wieder nachwachsen. Weniger Zellstoff-, dafür mehr nachhaltige Bierproduktion ist doch eine interessante Perspektive. Photo: Auszug aus