Sports writers are predicting that Germany will beat Spain 2-1 in today’s World Cup semifinal match today, but “oracle” octopus Paul might beg to differ. The 2-year-old mollusk has already correctly predicted the outcomes of all five of Germany’s World Cup matches, and he chose Spain as the winner of today’s game (see video above). UPDATE 7/7: Sorry, sports writers; Paul was right again. Click here for Paul's predictions for the consolation game and final match on July 11 and July 12.
Paul indicates his preference by choosing a mussel out of a clear box adorned with a national flag put in his tank by his handlers at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.
While Germans are sure to be saddened if Paul’s prediction comes true, perhaps they’ll take comfort in knowing that when they hosted the last World Cup in 2006, the tournament generated a fraction of the carbon footprint of this year’s competition.
The South African World Cup is responsible for six times the emissions of the previous one, totaling 2,753, 251 tons of CO2 (equivalent to annual greenhouse gas emissions from 500,000 cars). With attendance topping 3 million, the influx of fans flying in from all corners of the globe is largely to blame. But other factors contributed to the larger footprint, including energy production (South Africa relies heavily on coal, whereas Germany is a leader in renewables) as well as construction.
According to a Norwegian government study, when FIFA chose South Africa as the host for the World Cup, the country was faced with the enormous task of having to build entirely new stadiums, whilst Germany used many existing venues, meaning massive amounts of carbon-intensive concrete. When it comes to construction, the cement industry is one of the main producers of carbon dioxide, with a ton of carbon being released for every ton of cement made.
(Click image for larger view)South Africa did make some eco strides, including constructing a high-speed rail network to transport fans, installing energy efficient lighting in the host cities, and offsetting emissions with efforts including urban tree planting.