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Normally, we always ask our cartoonist to draw a picture of a subject that we as editors suggest. This summer we are doing it the other way around: Albert-Jan Rasker chooses a subject from our weekly production and makes a drawing to go with it. We will then discuss the content. His choice this week:

Indeed, a subject of great importance – not for nothing did colleague Laurens Boven gladly sink his teeth into it. But don’t be embarrassed if you missed it. There was so much other big ‘stuff’ last week that this news item was completely overshadowed. What do you expect, with a raging war in Europe, new farmers’ protests, BorisExit, and unusual violence in Japan? Well, then a decision of the European Parliament on nuclear energy and gas soon fades into insignificance.

It is officially called ‘taxonomy’, and it’s about what name you put on which product. But it is more than just a play on words. Or as Laurens put it from Brussels: “By including natural gas and nuclear energy in the list [of green energy forms], the system is watered down, according to the critics. In addition to the large group of politicians who have come out against it, the call not to do this was also heard in the financial world. According to MP Bas Eickhout (Greens), the whole taxonomy even becomes unusable if companies cannot promise their customers with this label that their money is not also going to the fossil industry after all.”

Sure, we too see the benefits of nuclear power (no CO2) and natural gas (less polluting than coal), but “green”? Mwah. Surely we must conclude that politics has taken precedence over substance here. And all the more so since the world has completely changed since the debate on this issue began. The supply of natural gas is not so obvious anymore, to name but one fact.

Moreover, it feeds the whole idea of Brussels (Luxembourg, Strasbourg) as a center of the political handshake and that makes nobody happier. Bas Eickhout calls it a “major blow to the reputation of the European Union as a global climate leader.” We can’t prove him wrong.

What else stood out last week?

The name is funny, but the content of the project itself is just as cool. Robs4Crops is an EU-funded project involving 16 partners from across Europe. Universities, agricultural robotics companies, and farmers are part of it. The project is intended to bring innovation to the agricultural sector. Among other things, it looks at how AI and robot technology can be used to help farmers. You can read exactly how that works in Mauro Mereu’s story.

3D in the operating room

Elcke Vels wrote the story about a digital magnifier from iMed Technology that allows medical specialists to work even more accurately. The magnifier from Limburg is now also being used in Japan and the United States. The company is also going to focus on the dental market and is also being used at the university; 3D images can be made of the operation, to be studied in class.

Seed-bearing drones

Restoring biodiversity is the goal of ‘CO2 Revolution’, a Spanish start-up that uses modern technology to efficiently plant new forests. With seed-bearing drones!

Fuel Cells

Hydrogen and fuel cell technology are going to play a big role in the world of the new, green energy system. But to fully exploit the potential of these fuel cells, the system must be further optimized. At TU Eindhoven they are working hard on that, as this piece by Aafke Eppinga shows.

Have a nice Sunday!