Alex Verbeek Blog

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Did the age of colonialism start on this beach in Lanzarote?

This morning I visited a historical site that once set the stage for the last try-out before real state colonialism started. It was here, on this beach in the South of the Canary Island of Lanzarote, that the Norman conquerors Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle landed in 1402. Close to the shoreline they built a castle and...

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Bana Alabed, the girl that tweeted from Aleppo, is safe!

This morning the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief tweeted on @IHHen that Bana Alabed has finally arrived to safety. On the picture she smiles and you will notice the missing teeth. It reminds those that feel they know her of the innocent tweets of the seven year old Bana about the tooth fairy. On 8 December...

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Second Planetary Security Conference in the Peace Palace

If you follow my tweets on @alex_verbeek you may have noticed that the familiar green frame of the photos is sometimes alternated with the red frames from the other, much smaller, Twitter account that I use: @planetary_sec. Those tweets with the red frames are about planetary security issues. It is about those issues where the planetary change that we are...

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Warming soil to emit as much carbon as U.S. by 2050

A recent study published in Nature has revealed that global warming will cause a massive loss of carbon directly from the soil, and this will accelerate climate change beyond our previous expectations. The study predicts that over 55 trillion Kg of carbon will be emitted from the soil by 2050, a value that is equal to about 17% of the...

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Flooding in Paris: Exceptional Weather or the New Normal?

Slowly but surely, climate change will start to influence daily life. One day, you’ll realize that some misfortune has happened to you that is caused by climate change. From then on, it is no longer something distant that you read about in the newspapers and impacts other people’s lives. Perhaps it will remind you a bit of the process of getting older....

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A top ten of small tweeps with big tweets on environment

It is difficult to keep track of all the information that is shared on the many thousands of twitter accounts that I follow. So, like many of you, I make my own lists of favourites on different subjects; some of them have more than a million followers. But between all those impressive accounts of Al Gore or UNFCCC that I...

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Scary Predictions on a Very Dry Future

One of the reasons why I prefer to get most of my news through Twitter is its function as an independent barometer of what keeps us busy these days. The number of retweets of an article ,and the number of favourites that a tweet gets, are a good indicator. But it is especially the combination with the personal comments and...

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A letter to Santa in these troubled times

On 24 December the South China Morning Post published the following article that I wrote about the challenges Santa Claus is facing in the Arctic in times of climate change. A letter to Santa in these troubled times You will probably remember the excitement of writing a letter to Santa, specifying your wish list for Christmas presents. Nowadays he is...

Retreat with the 2014 Yale World Fellows in Massachusetts 1

No every day life as a Yale World Fellow

Last week I came back home to my family in The Hague from a semester as a World Fellow at Yale University. I did not yet share anything of that experience on this blog. In early December I was asked to take Instagram photos throughout one day on campus to give an idea of what a day at Yale looks...

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Environmental challenges in the media

A number of articles and reports were published this week about the huge challenges that we are facing on our small planet. It is too much to digest in one weekend, especially the more than 300 pages of the interesting third ‘Turn Down The Heat’ report of the World Bank. Here are some analyses and statistics that you don’t want...