High > Low < Tech

2 weekly blog resisting the second law

Lifestyle Titanic – hot potato on an iceberg


The fact is that we need to put the issue of lifestyle and consumption at the center of climate negotiations.

“Stop!“ It takes me a couple of seconds to realize that my computer has no voice command. “Stop.”, I say again this time simultaneous pressing the space bar. The video freezes. But now it is off course a bit too far from where I wanted it to stop. So I drag the video bar back with the mouse. The result is a still of Leonardo di Caprio frowning with the mouth open.

It is around this time in the documentary “Before the Flood”[1] that the whole essence of the failing climate talks condenses in a few sentences. Continue reading “Lifestyle Titanic – hot potato on an iceberg”


The story of a dam


That is the true smell of the Himalayas, and if once it creeps into the blood of a man, that man will at the last, forgetting all else, return to the hills to die’

In the 1960’s the Government of India initiated the process of resettling the inhabitants of Hardoon Valley, from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, to Rajasthan. 1.500.000 people were displaced, mostly small farmers living off the land. The cause of this mass displacement was the Pong Dam, a multipurpose project built across the river Beas. At the time the tallest of its kind in India, the dam was part of an ambitious project to bring water for irrigation to dry, arid Rajasthan and generation of electricity. What followed was a decades long, messy process of compensation and resettlement that the ousted were entangled in. More than half a decade on, resettlement is still not complete, and there are families that are still fighting for the land that was promised to them in Rajasthan [1].

Continue reading “The story of a dam”

Biomass effect


“Your course application is rejected.”

I stare at the letters. Damn. I had to chose one of two immersion courses. And one is already packed beyond capacity as I find out the next day. That leaves Biomass as only option. Plenty of room in that one. Only 10 sign ups so far. But I’m not planning on being number eleven. Because while Biomass is definitely renewable it is not sustainable nor responsible in my opinion. One reason why I didn’t go to Munich for example. The Master Renewable Energy there was highly focussed on Biomass and consisted for 60% of farming lectures.

Continue reading “Biomass effect”

Late Nights – Reboot the second


Another late night. And what a night at that.

It is close to midnight in Vienna as I walk on a wet, slightly uphill pavement, three piece pinstripe-suited, buttons open, hands in my pockets, strands of hair that escaped the hair tie one by one over the course of the night playing in the soft breeze of the night. I am just a cigarette away from being the embodiment of a French tobacco brand commercial.

Continue reading “Late Nights – Reboot the second”

Giant Space Condom

How many times have you, have I stuffed away ideas as “not feasible”? As “to crazy”, “weird” or my personal favorite: “probably not good”? How many ideas we had and keep having disappear forever after getting one of those labels above?
Continue reading “Giant Space Condom”

The Epilogues – Poverty … as seen by an engineer

As announced here starts the new segment “The Epilogues” where I try to chase down some of those white rabbit thoughts pacing through my mind. It takes great effort to focus on one topic at a time since they all seem to be connected somehow. But I really do my best to keep it clear and readable.

Continue reading “The Epilogues – Poverty … as seen by an engineer”

Chapter 22 – Coconut Pancakes

[Room 11 – Somedays]

I find the can opener at the bottom of the box. It looks like it hasn’t been used in a year. The mixer had been borowed by a neighbour. But now its back. Eggs, flower, cans of coconut milk, brown sugar, cinnamon. I’m missing pudding powder. But it will be alright. The pan looks like it is not usable anymore. Will have to try anyway.

Continue reading “Chapter 22 – Coconut Pancakes”

Chapter 21 – Lost Son

When my head finally hits the pillow it is like a switch is flipped. My body shuts off and even my bones seem to relax. This is it.
Its not just that my eyes are dry and irritated from the flight.
Its not just that my stomach is upset from airline food.
Its not just the dizzyness from the 30 hour sleep depravation.
Its not just that aching muscle in my lower right back.
Not just.
Its all that I’ve seen.
Its every delhi belly I had and bad chicken burger I ate.
Its every sleepless night, every long day over the past 12 month.
Its every little and big pain, every cut, every blister, every pinch of the skin.
Its not just that I get to rest.
Its that I’m home.

Continue reading “Chapter 21 – Lost Son”

Chapter 20 – DalaDala ride

[Lana del Ray – Off to the races]

So much energy. Today I had so much energy. I guess I know who to thank for that. But it is an exception. Between working on an excel program that automatically designs solar systems based on the users electrical loads, horseback riding among zebras and occasional meeting interesting people my mind and body shuts down. Left alone I wouldn’t do much. My dreams are troubled, occupied with shootings, fighting people and dalladalla[1] rides into nowhere. The experiences and stories of corruption, despotism, poverty, learning curve frustration, positive rascism seem to manifest themselves there and reduce the regenerative effect of a good nights rest.

Continue reading “Chapter 20 – DalaDala ride”

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