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.
- Brazil River Dispute Highlights Larger Issue from NPR
Brazil’s most hotly contested public conflicts today are often about water.
President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva says hydro-electric energy is a sine qua non for the development of South America’s biggest economy. But environmental and indigenous groups increasingly oppose massive engineering projects.
- Oil Industry Flares $40 Billion a Year in Gas from Der Spiegel
Up to 170 billion cubic meters of natural gas are “flared” by the world’s oil producers every year. The economic value amounts to $40 billion, but the burden on the earth’s atmosphere — in warming emissions like methane and carbon dioxide — is enormous.
- Are no nudes good news? from The Economist
EFFORTS to raise awareness of global warming take many forms. On Saturday August 18th Greenpeace launched its latest stunt to sway doubters that a heating planet is generally a bad thing. The environmental group co-opted Spencer Tunick, an artist renowned for his photographs of rolling acres of nude men and women, to repeat his trick on a Swiss glacier. But art and protest do not always make for happy bedfellowsâ€”crude polemic and subtle imagery often jar. Perhaps a bigger concern for the activists is that these days the naked form has lost much of its power to shock.
- Indian Software Firm to Outsource to U.S. from NPR
Indian software firm Wipro plans to open a big software design center in Atlanta. The Bangalore, India-based firm expects to hire around 500 computer programmers in the next three years. It’s a curious turnabout from the much more familiar story: a U.S. software company creating jobs in India.
Also of interest:
A small globalization backlash from Managing Globalization
Netflix and some other companies are moving their call centers back to the U.S.
- An experiment in Shrimponomics from FP Passport
Shrimp farming is one of the major reasons why mangrove forests around the world are dying out, particularly in Asia. So what? Well, mangroves, which are concentrated in tropical and subtropical latitudes between 32Âº N and 38Âº S, offer protection from extreme weather events such as the tsunami that did so much damage in Southeast Asia back in 2004.
- More people, more concrete, and lots more heat in Phoenix from Christian Science Monitor
An ‘urban heat island’ effect, fed by the city’s growth, is trapping heat and making temperatures soar.
- We Put the Unclear in Nuclear from Gristmill
Potentially deadly uranium spill in Tennessee kept secret
- Employment versus environment? from Managing Globalization
A battle heating up at the European Commission seems to pose a very stark choice. The trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, wants to eliminate duties on Chinese low-energy lightbulbs, as Stephen Castle writes. But others on the commission say jobs will be lost in European factories that canâ€™t compete with Chinese prices. Is this really a zero-sum game?
- A tree grows in El Salvador from How the World Works
During El Salvador’s bloody civil war in the 1980s, one-sixth of the population fled the country. Most of the emigrants ended up in the United States. The money sent back by those emigrants accounts for 66 percent of El Salvador’s foreign exchange.
That much has been well-reported. But here’s the odd thing: the regions of El Salvador that receive the most remittances are the also experiencing significant reforestation.
- Developed Economies Afflicted with “Green Rejection?” from Green Options
HSBC â€“ one of the largest banking and financial service organizations in the world â€“ surveyed nine thousand citizens across Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, the UK, and the US for the HSBC Climate Confidence Index 2007. Those in the developing economies showed the greatest concern about climate change, were the most committed to slowing it, and were optimistic that they and their governments could do something about it. In contrast, the British, French, Germans, and Americans had the least confidence in their governments to address climate change and were the least hopeful of tackling the problem overall. Researchers, struck by this low level of confidence, called it “green rejection”.