This Week’s Top 10 (8/12/07-8/18/07)

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.

  1. Mountain Gorillas Killings Fueled by Charcoal Trade from Treehugger

    Like orangutans dying for a cookie, gorillas in the Congo are dying because people in Rwanda need charcoal to cook and heat. “The gorillas have become a hindrance for the charcoal trade,” said Emmanuel de Merode, director of Wildlife Direct.”There’s a very strong incentive for these people to kill the gorillas.”

    Learn about alternative charcoal made from sugarcane or other agricultural waste rather than trees.

  2. Is there a BOP in the United States? from

    When I think about people living in the BOP, I immediately picture people in developing countries. I didn’t really picture people in the U.S. as people in the BOP. I have realized now after living for six weeks in the D.C. area that I could not be further from the truth.

    Pete and I have had this conversation numerous times, often when we’re reading negative press about companies like Walmart. While they often come off as the “Big Bad”, these businesses do also allow many poor families to spend less money on the basics.

  3. Suddenly, the Hunt Is On for Cage-Free Eggs from NYTimes

    The toy industry had its Tickle Me Elmo, the automakers the Prius and technology its iPhone. Now, the food world has its latest have-to-have-it product: the cage-free egg.

  4. Aid worker diary: Indian floods from BBC News

    Devastating monsoon rains have submerged thousands of villages in northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

    In India, as flood waters recede, aid agencies, non-governmental organisations and governments are stepping up their efforts to help the thousands who have lost homes, livestock and livelihoods.

    Ian Bray, from Oxfam, is keeping a diary of his experiences.

  5. Wrong Number: Is it cost effective to treat the world’s poor? from Slate

    The piece details the various flaws in cost-effective analyses used to justify (or deny) treatment to individuals. This line struck me the most:

    [G]roups like Partners in Health take a radically different approach. They start with a goal—simply to save people with AIDS, and damn the QALYs [quality-adjusted life year statistic]—and invent ways to make it affordable.

  6. Entrepreneurs From China Flourish in Africa from NYTimes

    When Yang Jie left home at 18, he was doing what people from China’s hardscrabble Fujian Province have done for generations: emigrating in search of a better living overseas.

    What set him apart was his destination. Instead of the traditional adopted homelands like the United States and Europe, where Fujian people have settled by the hundreds of thousands, he chose [Malawi].

    The article also mentions anti-Chinese sentiment that is starting to surface is several African Countries.

    From South Africa’s IOL in February:

    Lusaka – Anti-Chinese sentiment is running high in Zambia ahead of President Hu Jintao’s weekend visit, with many saying Chinese investors exploit workers, violate labour laws and usurp the country’s mineral riches.

    In September 2006, Africabeat writes of China bashing in the Zambian election campaigns.

  7. Diasporas and Domestic Entrepreneurs: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry from Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

    Several recent studies have highlighted the important role that cross-border ethnic networks might play in facilitating entrepreneurship in developing countries. Little is known, however, about the extent to which domestic entrepreneurs rely on the diaspora and whether this varies systematically by the characteristics of the entrepreneurs or their local business environment. The Indian diaspora is estimated at over 18 million people spanning 130 countries. Given that formal institutions in India remain weak and hence the informal barriers to trade are higher, do diaspora networks serve as substitutes to the functioning of the local business environment? Do they help entrepreneurs to circumvent the barriers to trade arising from imperfect institutions? This study examines the extent to which software entrepreneurs within India vary in their reliance on expatriate networks.

  8. U.S. and China Discuss Global Warming Cooperation from Green Options Blogs

    This week a senior U.S. environment official met with Chinese representatives in Beijing to discuss cooperation between the two nations in the fight against global warming.

  9. Arctic sea ice melting faster than ever from FP Passport
  10. BioDiesel Technologies & Jatropha in Brazil from Treehugger

    Jatropha has been hailed as one of the best biodiesel crops in existence. Some of the more impressive features are the large yields of quality oil, and the ability to grow the plant with minimal water or fertilizer. As one of the most agriculturally gifted nations in the world, Brazil has a keen interest in all things biofuel. So it is no surprise the two were going to meet, and find a spark.