Here are my favorite environment, health, climate change, international development or country specific blog posts (and articles) for the past week in no particular order.
- Snapshot Global Migration from NYTimes
This interactive map displays “the flow of people around the globe.”
Also related: This past June 20 markedWorld Refugee Day.
- Vanity Fair’s Africa Issue via Green Options
And for you world music aficionados, see Senegalese singer, Youssou N’Dour’s music playlist that you can buy from iTunes for a tenner. Some of the proceeds go to help the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Good stuff.
- Senate Passes Energy Bill from Washington Post
The Senate passed a sweeping energy legislation package last night that would mandate the first substantial change in the nation’s vehicle fuel-efficiency law since 1975 despite opposition from auto companies and their Senate supporters.
Also see Democrats Celebrate Senate Energy Vote from NPR
Among other things, the law mandated an increase of CAFE standards from 27.5 mpg for cars to 35mpg by 2020. Okay, progress on this issue is good, but a measly 35mpg! That’s the best we good do? Grrrr arrrggh!
- Wal-Mart banks on cashless society from PSD Blog
Wal-Mart extends financial services to low-income customers. The world’s largest retailer will sell prepaid payment cards at over 3300 of its discount stores in the U.S.
- China overtakes US as world’s biggest CO2 emitter from Guardian (UK)
Alas. Repent, for the end is nigh!
Some less doomsday insights from Gristmill: One more truth about China and climate change
- World Economic Forum: Towards an Electranet? from World Changing
An interesting discussion on the feasibility of decentralized energy production in Africa.
[Currently] Africa is 20% electrified, and that figure includes South Africa and the wealthier countries of North Africa – the electrification figures in poor countries is probably under 5%.
- Study Says 13 Million Deaths a Year Could Be Prevented from Treehugger
A recent report out of Europe indicates that tackling air pollution, contaminated drinking water and other environmental risks could save 13 million lives annually around the globe. Released by the World Health Organization, the report shows that Angola, Burkina Faso, Mali and Afghanistan to be among the countries most affected by environmental risk factors including noise pollution, hazardous working conditions, problematic agricultural methods, and climate change. Interestingly, in 23 of the 192 countries on which the report focused more than 10 percent of deaths can be traced to just two factors, unsafe drinking water and indoor air pollution because from the burning of wood, cow dung or coal. [Emphasis added]
And lest those of us in the first world come away with the impression that weâ€™re immune to environmental problems, the report also highlights the fact that an estimated 1.8 million deaths could be prevented each year in the 53 nations spanning the greater European Union if more efforts were made to create a healthier environment in that part of the world as well.
- Stick a fork in it – itâ€™s done from Mangaging Globalization
It’s not looking so good for this round of WTO talks.
The United States, which once offered to drop all farm subsidies (if the European Union would as well), is now saying it can only cap its subsidies at $17 billion. Thatâ€™s $6 billion higher than they are now. And thatâ€™s a lot of cotton.
Also interesting from Managing Globalization: Q & A with Than Trong Phuc on the success of Intel in Vietnam.
- BOP Business School for Rural Women from THD Blog
- Water for free means no water at all from Acumen Fund
How solar panels are made.
California –> France (#6); Texas –> Canada (#9); New York –> Brazil (#11); New Jersey–> Russia (#14). Wow. See the list of countries by GDP to get a sense of full rankings.
Larger image (jpg)
via Boing Boing
In October 2006, Google announced a commitment to solar energy production and launched the largest solar panel installation to date on a corporate campus in the United States. Google has installed over 90% of the 9,212 solar panels that comprise the 1,600 kilowatt project. Panels cover the rooftops of eight buildings and two newly constructed solar carports at the Googleplex.
This installation is projected to produce enough electricity for approximately 1,000 California homes or 30% of Google’s peak electricity demand in our solar powered buildings at our Mountain View, CA headquarters.
Google’s Solar Panel Project
I just came back from the Green House at the National Building Museum and was unimpressed by how expensive the artsy recycled gear was. Harumph! Here a very nice DIY example of how you can make your own recycled plastic messenger bag courtesy of the MAKE Blog. All you need is plastic bags, iron, wax paper, sewing machine, a few straps/buckles and a little bit of patience.
View PDF for additional instructions.
Amnesty International … launched its “Eyes on Darfur” Web site, a pioneering online effort to monitor settlements of people threatened with coercive displacement and brutality. The site is a collaboration between Amnesty and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific society. [Washington Post]
The site allows you to “[e]xplore the satellite evidence and detailed on-the-ground information and see with your own eyes what is happening in Darfur.”
Satellite image of Angabo, Sudan prior to attack (South Darfur)
Satellite image of Angabo, Sudan after attack
Red and yellow dots on the after map correspond to destroyed structures and likely damaged/destroyed structures, respectively.
FYI: NYC Darfur Event
In you are going to be in the New York Area on July 9, check out “In Darfur”, a free reading at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater at 8PM. Pick up your free tix on the 9th from 1pm at the Delacorte or from 1-3 at the Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street (Just below Astor Place); 212-539-8750.
Fellow 2006 Echoing Green Fellow, Mark Hanis, will speak at a post-show discussion, along with Samantha Power and Nicholas Kristof.
Today Elena, Ana and I returned from the Communidad Nueva Alianza. We left Wednesday morning for the community, 12 miles and a speedy (yeah right) 4 hour bus ride away. We checked up on the ancient eco-hotel stove (circa 100 years old) that we remodeled with the mini-tecotour from the University of Southern California 2 weeks ago. Elena is an AIDG intern and Ana is an official friend of AIDG who has been working on other stove projects in the region and has teamed up with our organization. We met with the women’s group (Junta Directiva de Mujeres) for the second time to iron out details of an expanded stove program for the community of 40 families.
The basic plan is to bring weekend workgroups (mini-tecotours) to the community’s eco-hotel, and have them help fund and actually construct the stoves. The women seem eager to be involved, and have uncharacteristically (according a volunteer living in the community) raised numerous questions and comments regarding the project. The plan is to have the TecoTour from Weston High School (in Boston, MA region) build two stoves in the community July 17-20, with assistance from the families where the stoves are being built, and a XelaTeco stove expert.
Pictured above is Elena and Ana giving a “charla” (talk) about how the stove is to be used and maintained.