I have a sinking feeling about Guatemala City.
Things That Go Boom In The Night of the Day: A Guatemala City woman says she was startled by the sound of a large explosion she thought occurred in another house nearby, only to find a monster-size sinkhole underneath her own bed.
“When we heard the loud boom we thought a gas canister from a neighboring home had exploded, or there had been a crash on the street,” Inocenta Hernandez told AFP. “We rushed out to look and saw nothing. A gentleman told me that the noise came from my house, and we searched until we found it under my bed.”
While a 40-foot-deep sinkhole in your house is nothing to sneeze at, it’s a black spot on a ladybug when compared with last year’s 60-footer that swallowed a factory whole.
“Fire up your VCRs.… Here it is, comin’ at ya’ Lo-Tek style!
People in Kenya, Afghanistan and Pakistan are building their own wireless networks out of found materials.
A single commercial wireless router is mounted on radio frequency reflectors and covered in a metal mesh. Another router/reflector pair is set up at a distance. The two routers establish a network that can be used by anybody with a reflector. To build a reflector, all you need is a material — wood, metal, plastic, stone or clay — that can mount the metal mesh. The system can be powered with an automobile battery, so it doesn’t have to rely on fickle developing-world power grids.
The goal is simply internet access for all. And, believe it or not, networks are up and running in Kenya, Jalalabad, Pakistan, and in various hospitals and clinics around Afghanistan. The project is supported by MIT’s Fab Lab. Some of the scientists involved in the project are paying for it out of pocket, with some help from the National Science Foundation.
It’s an open-source project, so if you’re interested in building a DYI network here in the shadow of Silicon Valley, just hit up the wiki.
With a single gallon of water, Nocera says, the chip could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day. Provide every house on the planet with an artificial leaf and we could satisfy our 14 terrawatt need with just one gallon of water a day.
“Our goal is to make each home its own power station,” he [Nocera] said. “One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology.“
Today, I met Joseph ole Tipanko at the Andover Youth Services (AYS) tree lot. I shared with him something I had learned about his people while I was in high school, and he said it brought him back to his childhood. I also talked about my undergraduate anthropology professor, who spent time in Kenya, and a student I had from there. He talked about his projects trying to bring education to the children where he lives, and about problems with HIV/AIDS. We also talked about the UN’s Millenium Development Goals. By the end of the conversation, he was hugging me goodbye, and inviting me to spend time in Kenya. I’m surprised how quickly we made a connection. This is one small planet, and as W. H. Auden said, “We must love one another or die.”
My name is Kari Fulton, and I’m representing Youth for Climate Justice. We are here as young people from North America representing impacted communities. We have seven people on the inside, and we have a whole bunch of people on the outside. And we are here to reclaim our futures, to make sure the voices of young people who will be most impacted by climate change are heard and are respected. There was supposed to be an action today. That action was canceled by—the YOUNGO was supposed to have an action today. They are silencing our voice as we speak. And we are here to say that is not right.
We are also here to say, where will you be in 2050? I know where I will be, and I want to live in a just and clean, sustainable world. And that’s what we’re asking for today as Youth for Climate Justice. We stand here in solidarity with the Global South, in solidarity with impacted people from around the world, in solidarity with La Via Campesina. We stand here today, and we have these signs on their necks that say “No REDD,” because we want people to know that whether you live in the forest, whether you live in the hood, you will be impacted by false solutions. And REDD, REDD-plus, REDD-minus-plus, REDD-plus-plus, whatever you want to call it, is a false solution, because you are creating a market on our forests. You are not protecting our Mother Earth. And we are standing here to say that we want to see the protection of the rights of Mother Earth and the voice of the people to be respected. So thank you very much. Checktheweather.net.
Kari Fulton, “Youth Activists Protest Exclusion from U.N. Climate Summit in Cancún” DemocracyNow! 12/7/10
Today’s good green news. It’s doubly-good because not only does the carbon stay in the ground, but the carbon dioxide-consuming rainforest stays intact. How about that leadership from a country in the Global South? And let’s not forget the flora and fauna that would be saved.
Ecuador’s $3.6bn scheme to save its rainforest from exploitation could point the way to sparing other threatened landscapes
Sunday, 8 August 2010
The world’s first genuinely green energy deal is about to be sealed. In a plan which could be a blueprint for saving large tracts of the planet from exploitation, a greater value is being put on a pristine wilderness than on the oil that lies beneath.
While the world’s industrialised countries are building complex carbon markets to enable them to carry on polluting, Ecuador has come up with a much simpler idea for mitigating climate change: leave the oil underground. It is promising to lock up as much as a fifth of its oil reserves indefinitely, providing rich nations pay out at least half the market value of the oil – some $3.6bn – as compensation.
The trail-blazing proposal was first floated in 2007, but it took a step towards reality last week when the UN Development Programme signed an agreement with the Ecuadorean government to be the independent administrator for the project’s trust fund. The accord makes Ecuador the only country in the world offering to leave lucrative oil reserves untapped in an attempt to slow climate change.