The alps can be considered as the "moated castle" of Europe. Nowhere is the force of water used more intensively then here. The construction of new reservoirs is no longer possible. For this reason, the existing reservoirs are being extended to increase their storage capacity. Or they are being renovated in order to ensure long-term use. One of these projects is on the Austrian side of the border with Switzerland, at the Silvretta reservoir. Here the water-side faces of two of the three aged retaining walls, the main wall and the side wall, are being renovated.
The hole in the ozone layer that is growing ever larger, and the global warming that accompanies it, are both consequences of the rise in greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 has regulated their emission. But the targets set have not been achieved thus far. Climate change is being caused, particularly in the industrialized countries, by the combustion of fossil fuels. Agriculture is also making its own contribution worldwide. Here the main cause, alongside the forest clearances, is the intensive management of livestock. The slurry and manure of farm animals produce a vast quantity of methane (CH4).
Guangzhou is a thriving big city in the south of China. Around 10 million people live around the Pearl River delta. Due to its proximity to Hong Kong, it played a decisive role during the economic opening up of China and is still an important gateway to the West today. As well the world’s highest television tower (610 m), currently under construction, the well-organized public transport is also exemplary. The vibrant metropolis has adapted to its millions of commuters and built an impressive transport network. A large part of the crowds travels underground. Four lines are already operational, a fifth is under construction. Since August 2004, builders have been working on the line traversing the west and east of the city around the clock. The 43km long line with 29 stops is supposed to be put into operation as quickly as possible and provide additional relief for overground traffic.
The sheikdom on the Persian Gulf is developing into the Pearl of the Orient. More than anything, tourism is expected to have a long-term beneficial impact on its economic future. The goal is to entice 15 million tourists a year to this balmy world on the Gulf by 2015. That is triple the number of tourists that visit the Gulf today. Vast numbers of mega-projects are being worked on with unbridled enthusiasm. Evidence of the building boom is everywhere. One sixth of all the cranes being used in the world today, are currently in use in Dubai. We have seen pictures of them already, the architectural giants in Dubai: the three «Palms» and «The World», giant island worlds built in the ocean, which have been developed at an unprecedented expense. Or the «Burj al Arab», the one and only seven-star hotel in the world. Or the «Burj Dubai», which, when completed, will be the tallest building in the world at 818 metres high. In this small desert state, another extremely ambitious site is being built, «The Lagoons».
Working around the clock
On the 13th of July 2001, Peijing was selected by the IOC to host the Olympic Games 2008. Thereby Peking prevailed against the contenders Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul. Within less than a year, on August 8th 2008 the competitions start, and which are being awaited with great suspense. Huge construction sites still dominate the picture at the future scenes. There is intense activity everywhere. 30 000 workers are working day and night so that the planned Olympic locations will be finished according to schedule. In spite of the great time pressure, the responsible people are confident that all construction work will be completed by the end of this year.