Today in We're Doomed: Wilkins Ice Shelf Hanging on by a Thread [Sky News]

From Celsias

The [Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica], located due south of the tip of South America, is currently hanging on by a rapidly diminishing 25-mile wide strip of ice which has narrowed to 1,640 feet at its narrowest point.

Another victim of climate change, the shelf was more than 62 miles wide as recently as 1950 and covered 6,000 square miles, or slightly larger than the U.S. state of Connecticut. As it breaks up, and pieces break free, the sea around the Shelf is fraught with icebergs as big as football fields.

In its demise, Wilkins follows in the footsteps of nine other shelves which have gone the same route in the past half-century; the three sections of Filchner (1986), the Larsen A (1995), several portions of the Ross A (2000), the Larsen B (2002), the Ayles (2005), and the Markham (2008). In total, Antarctic ice loss since 1950 exceeds 9,652 square miles, an area the size of Vermont, changing the face of a continent which has endured, intact (prior to the advent of the Industrial Revolution) for at least 10,000 years.

Related posts:
Today in We’re Doomed: This Summer’s Arctic Sea Ice Melting
Melting Arctic Sea Ice [Time-lapse Video]
Friday Photo: Waterworld
Link of the Day 052508: Vast cracks appear in Arctic ice [BBC]
Video: Climate Change – Wake Up, Freak Out — Then Get a Grip

[Link of the Day 022009] Foreign aid and Bad Government? Coincidence? I think not. [WSJ]

From Iqbal Quadir’s opinion piece in the WSJ: Foreign Aid and Bad Government

Barack Obama has talked a lot about changing the way America relates to the world, and few areas are as ripe for reform as our policies on foreign aid. They have contributed to economic stagnation in poor countries and deprived America of large export markets. Entrepreneurship, not aid, is essential to rejuvenate markets in the developing world and, in turn, help America prosper.

During the Cold War, the U.S. instituted a policy of sending money to governments in poor countries to buy their political loyalty. While studies show that sending aid to foreign governments creates allegiance, it does not lead to economic progress. Instead, it makes governments in poor countries dependent on the U.S. rather than their citizens’ taxes.


AIDG’s 1st Business Plan Competition in Northern Haiti

Konkou Biznis Ayiti


Extended Call for Applications: AIDG is Sponsoring a Business Plan Competition to Promote Biogas Development in Northern Haiti

US$50,000 in grants and early-stage financing is available for the winning proposal.

Boston, 12/30/08 – The Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG), a technology R&D and small business development non-profit, is calling for innovative and dynamic ideas for its 1st business plan competition in Northern Haiti, KonKou Biznis Ayiti. The purpose of the competition is to help smart and passionate Haitian entrepreneurs solve some of the most pressing issues facing Haiti today.

This year’s contest focuses on biogas, a form of renewable energy that can hold an important place in the sustainable development of Haiti. This methane-rich carbon neutral biofuel can be substituted for charcoal, propane, kerosene and other combustible fuels for the purposes of cooking, heating or even electricity generation. The by-product of its production is a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer that can significantly increase yields of certain crops.

The team with the most promising idea for commercializing biogas in Northern Haiti will receive US$50,000 in grants and early-stage business financing for implementation over 2 years. In addition to the cash awards, the winning team with receive technical training on a number of biogas systems as well as training on the best practices of enterprise management.

Applications are accepted until March 6th. Five finalists will be announced March 16th and will compete in Cap Haitien for the grand prize March 29 – April 4.
To learn more about the business plan competition or to apply, visit

Key Contest Dates

* March 6, 2009: Deadline for submission of all business plans (5PM EST).
* March 16, 2009: 5 Finalists announced.
* March 29 – April 4, 2009: Finalists compete in Cap Haitien, Haiti for the grand prize.
* April 14, 2009: Winner/winning team announced.

For more info visit

Link of the Day 021109: The effect of global slowdown on recycling [Salon HTWW]

From Salon’s How the World Works “Rich man, poor man, recycling man“:

As the global economy has cratered, and prices for a vast array of commodities have suddenly gone from boom to bust, so too has the global market for recycled paper and plastic retreated with astonishing haste. This is in large part due to China’s drastically diminished appetite for waste materials that can be reprocessed into packaging materials for its massive export machine. A collapse in exports translates into reduced demand for packaging which suddenly means no more hunger for shredded water bottles.

Definitely clip through to the link that Andrew mentions in his piece. The Two Cultures, Recycling Edition

1000’s of Abandoned Glass Bottles in China, Any Ideas?

Duration: 1min 31sec