John Doerr on Global Warming at This Year's TED Conference

“[John Doerr] is, by all accounts, the most influential venture capitalist of his generation.”
Fast Company

Quote: Going green could be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.

Some great facts he mentions in his talk


  • If it were a country, Walmart would be the 6th largest trading partner with China
  • The largest private employer in the U.S.
  • Largest private user of electricity
  • Fleet travels 1B miles per year
  • They sold 65M CFLs last year

Why so much Ethanol in Brazil
The government mandated that all new vehicles would be flex fuel compatible and that every gas station in the country would carry ethanol.


  • 29,000 ethanol pumps in the Brazil vs. 700 in the U.S.
  • Their car fleet is 85% flex fuel compared to 5% in the U.S.
  • Saved 32M tons of CO2 (about 10% of all emissions for the country)
  • 1.3% of world’s CO2 emissions

Link of the Day: Global Health TV

Global Health TV

Global Health TV

This TV channel is produced for the Global Health Council and will enable health organizations around the world to share the work they are doing to address complex global health problems with a diverse audience made up of health-care professionals, health foundations, businesses, government agencies, academic institutes and interested parties. Many of these organizations who are broadcasting their work, operate in remote areas where previously it was difficult for them to share their stories and examples of their best working practices.

via THD Blog

Alternative Charcoal Project Wins Development Marketplace

Amy Smith, Amy Banzaert and the rest of the Development Marketplace winning team Our colleague and advisory board member, Amy Smith along with the rest of her team has won a $199,650 Development Marketplace Grant from the World Bank for their “Fuel from their Fields Alternative Charcoal” Project [#07-0540].

Here is their description of the project from DM site at the World Bank.


To improve human health by creating micro-enterprises in Haiti that specialize in the production and sale of affordable, clean-burning cooking charcoal made from agricultural waste.


In Haiti, half of the population uses wood and/or agricultural residues as their primary cooking fuel. Breathing the smoke from these fires leads to persistent acute respiratory lung infections, mostly in children. Cleaner-burning wood charcoal is available at great expense (often 25 percent of a family’s income) leaving families with less income to cover basic health needs such as medications, food and clean water. A clean-burning, affordable cooking fuel can have major health, environmental and economic benefits for Haiti and other countries around the world.

Innovation / Expected Results

This project has developed an array of technologies to produce clean-burning cooking charcoal from agricultural waste materials at a lower cost than current methods. Converting agricultural residues to charcoal leads to a significant reduction in airborne particulates, and thus to improved respiratory health. This agro-charcoal does not contribute to deforestation and is more affordable than conventional wood charcoal. Moreover, local jobs and micro-enterprises will be created, further increasing incomes and consequently improving health. This project will train at least 1000 agro-charcoal producers, with a goal of achieving a production rate of 100MT (metric tons). By the end of two years, more than 10,000 families are expected to be using the agro-charcoal and producers’ incomes will increase by US$500. Since the process can use a variety of agricultural waste materials it can adapt to suit diverse local conditions and is thus easily replicable.

Congratulations, folks.

Also of interest:
Check out the Haiti section of the blog
D-lab/AIDG trip to Haiti

Testing the Macadamia Machine at Comunidad Nueva Alianza

Testing the Macadamia Machine at Comunidad Nueva Alianza

Caption: “At long last, the workers of Nueva Alianza have purchased a machine that shells the macadamia nuts without damaging the nut itself. Here, the machine gets its first test run on the porch of the office.”

Photo by Flickr user nmarritz

The folks at the finca have been wanting this machine for a good long time. Whole macadamia nuts sell for several times more than chopped nuts, so this is a very worthwhile investment for them.