Modern history is full of stories of new chemicals sold on a large scale and afterwards causing problems. Sometimes, this causes a major upheaval. But by far the largest poisoning in history, that by tetraethyl lead, never ended in a scandal. It just faded away, even though oil and motor car companies neglected well-known dangers,
In four earlier articles we came to the conclusion that geopolitics of fossil, mineral and agricultural resources will become less important. But a new geopolitical dimension quickly rises to the forefront: geopolitics of information. Information becomes less reliable. People create their own worlds with social media, which leaves less and less space for generally shared
In a first article, we proposed that plastic waste should no longer exist in ten to fifteen years from now. This ambitious goal needs to be tackled from two sides: plastics design on the input side, and dedicated processing on the output side. In both processes, chemists play a major role. And industry should show
Can food supply and access to clean water develop into geopolitical weapons, like fossil energy has been for many years? If so, we should see a structural imbalance between food and water on the one hand, and population on the other. But does such an imbalance exist? Will mankind be able to feed 10 billion
For us, April 21st was a day to remember. A month ahead of schedule we presented our new book: More with Less, welcome to the Precision Economy. The scene was a conference in Groningen where the latest results of modern research on carbohydrate chemistry were presented. A scene where the major players in the Dutch
The term bioplastics causes much confusion and will continue to do so, according to my conviction. The public does not seem to grasp the difference between bio as in biobased and bio as in biodegradable. As the plastic soup problem tends to become more important than the non-fossil origin of plastics, bioplastics come under fire
In many discussions on sustainable energy, energy storage is a controversial issue. Particularly non-experts use the lack of simple storage technologies as an unanswerable remark: all nice and well, sustainable energy, but as long as a day without sunshine leaves us in the dark because of lack of simple energy storage, we do not believe
Many social scientists make an appeal to fundamental laws of nature in order to sustain their arguments. Fine, if their interpretation is tenable from a scientific point of view. But often, this is not the case. Economists tend to look upon the earth as a closed system and this gives rise to unnecessary doomsday philosophies.