Category: Sustainable Development



TED Talks Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.

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I needed this to be inspired again.  This is a great reminder of how empowering the poor through Aid or Loans will help them get out of poverty.  I truly admire all the Jacquelines of this world.

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I totally agree with Mr. Neric Acosta’s article below, that the climate is truly crazy and damaging. Fatalities are increasing in millions around the world. 😦 And, it’s a direct consequence of a long time neglect. Mr. Acosta couldn’t have said it better that “our work is patently cut out for us citizens of the earth. We delay and dilly-dally at our own peril.” Nobody can solve it alone, it should be a concerted effort of EVERYONE. From citizens to business owners to government leaders.  We should all be good stewards.  May it be as simple as conserving energy, or recycling, or implementing policies, or creating greener innovations.  It should be acted upon NOW, else, fatalities will increase.  I just hope and pray we are not next.

Brazil 2010-2011
Australia 2010-2011
USA 2005 (Katrina)

 

Pakistan 2010

Philippines 2009

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CLIMATE CRAZY by Dr. Neric Acosta

by Neric Acosta on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 8:05am

ASTUDENT IN a recent climate change forum remarked, “The earth has gone berserk!” Another asked rather perplexedly, “Are we being punished by God?” Such are common and plaintive musings of those who wonder with a strange sense of foreboding and helplessness what all the catastrophic events of the last several weeks mean.

Floods of unprecedented magnitude leave swathes of Australian territory, including its third largest city Brisbane, vastly inundated for weeks. Months earlier, floods in Pakistan destroy villages and regions larger than Western Europe. The same scenes come out of calamities in China, Sri Lanka-and strangely, even in the flooding of the desert city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia!

2010 was declared the hottest year on record and forest fires raged from Moscow to Athens to California. Meteorology explains that the warming of the poles causes cold air to rise, setting off more precipitation and greater rainfall, severe winter storms and freak blizzards earlier or later than usual.

The earth has perhaps gone berserk, indeed, even considering that nature has had perpetual cycles of hot and cold, wet and dry weather changes throughout human history. And while some circles insist climate change is a hoax and that the science surrounding it is inconclusive, there is no denying that more and more places on this planet are increasingly vulnerable to calamitous climactic occurrences.

The country itself, of archipelagic make-up, is battered by over 20 typhoons a year, several of which, like Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, are characterized by growing ferocity and destructive power. The eroded hillsides and barren mountains, long stripped of vital forest cover, become frightening geo-hazard zones, prone to deadly landslides and fatal flashfloods. The tableaus of displaced communities and inundated cities in the Caraga region, known as the country’s “timber capital,” and in Eastern Visayas and the Bicol region speak of woe and despair-and deepening poverty. The stark irony is that the regions most endowed with natural and mineral resources are those with the highest poverty indicators in the country. And these regions, because of having relied almost exclusively, if perilously, on extractive industries like logging and mining for their local economies, exacerbate their vulnerability to the impacts of natural disasters.

Something ostensibly does not make sense when a patch of God’ good earth, a land so rich in biodiversity, finds itself facing an unsustainable future because the very ecosystems that should abundantly give us life and livelihood are gravely threatened or depleted. Why, pray tell, should there be poisoned rivers in Mindanao, or why should hunger stalk its towns and hinterland? This is, after all, the long-heralded food basket of the Philippines, that could well feed its millions and far more.

Instead, we have intermittent corn and rice shortages-and an ever-expanding pool of undernourished children in Mindanao and the rest of the country. And when their parents’ marginal or traditional farming ways are imperiled by periods of El NiÒo drought or small-scale fishing affected by dwindling fisheries brought about by coral bleaching and warming ocean temperatures, we know what is said of a new phenomenon of “climate refugees.” Not simply refugees displaced by war or conflict, but hordes of poor farmers and fisherfolk dislocated by the ravages of climate.

Beyond the arguments for adaptation, which was a breakthrough in itself in the recently-concluded climate change conference of parties in Cancun, Mexico, a new, serious global rethink is imperative. What is at stake is survival and life itself, but solutions towards sustainable development can only be hinged on a consciousness that sees the emergent trends in the ecology and economy of the planet and acts from those reference points.

As to the bewildered student’s question itself, “Are we being punished?,” we can possibly say that images of divine wrath and cosmic retribution ought not be the way to cause this ecological rethink, as it were. If anything, the climatic imbalances should engender a reawakening of our intrinsic connectedness to the elements and rhythms of nature.

In physics we learn that for every action there is a reaction, a dynamic of clear cause and corresponding effect. We do something to upset a delicate balance, a universe of energies seeks to reorder and restore it. We tear down ecosystems and foul up the atmosphere, we pay a high environmental price with nature striking back. We put a higher premium on economic value at the expense of vital life-support systems like clean water and clean air, we reap the non-linear and exponential repercussions of ecological damage.

Our work is patently cut out for us citizens of the earth. We delay and dilly-dally at our own peril. Across sectors-infrastructure, investments, insurance (risk management) and institutions-there must be a defined, common thread of climate resilient policy thinking and action. This is needed not only for more effective adaptation to a “planet going berserk”-but also for the imperative of seeking a way to a greener, truly sustainable future.

http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/opinion/39250-climate-crazy

 


This is exciting! It will save the problem on waste and our dependency on fossil fuel. And jets are the biggest gas-guzzler.

Im really happy to see that a lot of people are doing their part in finding the solution for us to counter climate change.  We can all do something from as little as unplugging those unused electronic devices to investing and innovating something as big as this.

The problem of climate change is really felt by so many people around the world.  Flooding, hurricanes, tsunami, snow storms, la-nina etc.  It’s scary but we can either be overwhelmed by fear or just do something about it.

 

 

 

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Leftovers on the menu for jet fuel

Matt O’Sullivan
January 4, 2011 – 3:00AM

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FOOD scraps and grass clippings could one day help fuel Qantas passenger jets.

But the airline has confirmed that its plans to convert rubbish into biofuel does not include harnessing the other, less appealing, form of human waste.

Qantas has taken its most tangible step towards reducing its carbon emissions by signing a deal with a US fuel producer, Solena, to consider constructing a trial plant near Sydney Airport to turn waste into biofuel.

The airline said it expected to complete a feasibility study for the waste-based aviation fuel plant within a year. Should it become feasible, the biofuel will be trialled on aircraft.

The waste considered as potential sources of biofuel includes food scraps, packaging and tree cuttings.

Qantas has been investigating the possibility of fuelling planes with biofuel for several years but the latest memorandum of understanding with Solena will kick-start its efforts to find alternative sources. The airline spends about $3 billion a year on jet fuel.

”While we are still in the early stages of this project, the possibilities are exciting. We hope to announce further details soon,” a spokeswoman, Olivia Wirth, said.

Solena formed a joint venture with British Airways in February to build a £200 million ($305 million) plant in London by 2014 to turn up to 500,000 tonnes of waste a year into 73 million litres of jet fuel. This would be enough to fuel about 2 per cent of BA’s aircraft based at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Qantas said it was too early to say what a waste-based fuel plant would cost but it is likely to reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. It is also talking to other companies about its options for biofuel.

The airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, is among 18 business leaders who sit on the federal government’s business advisory committee on climate change.

Qantas, Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand are members of the global Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, whose goal is to fast-track the commercialisation of sustainable aviation biofuels.

Air New Zealand has also trialled the use of a blend of jet fuel and jatropha oil in an engine of a Boeing 747-400.

 

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/energy-smart/leftovers-on-the-menu-for-jet-fuel-20110103-19dwo.html

 


I think everyone should watch the inconvenient truth. I should have watched this 5 years ago. The predictions are happening now and the 2050 prediction is so grim that I fear for the future generations. We owe it to our children to improve the way we live now.


The internet has revolutionized the way we learn and do things nowadays. When we don’t understand something, we no longer look for a hardbound encyclopedia or dictionary. We simply connect to the internet and google. There’s a vast information available in the internet, one just has to discern which ones are trash and which ones are helpful or even life-changing.

As I traverse this new path that I’m exploring now, I’m doing so many research that sometimes I feel like I’m seeing the world in a whole new perspective. I felt that the corporate world has limited my learning to become more of “performance-based” rather than becoming an innovator or sharpening the skill I inherently have or pursuing the passion that was always burning in me.

With this new found time out from the corporate world, I feel my brain is working more than ever. With all the time I have, I reliazed that the best resource for entreprenuers is TED GLOBAL. Since I discovered it, it became my daily source of inspiration and ideas. It’s like my classroom and the speakers are my teachers, who more often than not share the same vision I have. Changing the world one day at a time. 🙂

P.S.
I got too inspired today. I think I spent the whole day watching TED videos. It’s so easy to lose track of time with the way they talk about their passion, their vision and how they successful implemented it and their ideas..whew.. are revolutionary,.. these people are just amazingly smart. I hope to learn from them and become like them.
I was especially inspired by Chris Anderson and Shaffi Mather.

Below are their talks:

TED Talks TED’s Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation — a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness. And for TED, it means the dawn of a whole new chapter …

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TED Talks Shaffi Mather explains why he left his first career to become a social entrepreneur, providing life-saving transportation with his company 1298 for Ambulance. Now, he has a new idea and plans to begin a company to fight the booming business of corruption in public service, eliminating it one bribe at a time.

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TED Talks Jacqueline Novogratz shares stories of how “patient capital” can bring sustainable jobs, goods, services — and dignity — to the world’s poorest.

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TED Talks What do you think of people in poverty? Maybe what Jessica Jackley once did: “they” need “our” help, in the form of a few coins in a jar. The co-founder of Kiva.org talks about how her attitude changed — and how her work with microloans has brought new power to people who live on a few dollars a day.

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I recently realized,  after studying a case study about CCAP (Community Crafts Association of the Philippines), that my vision on creating a sustainable livelihood for  poor rural artisans by helping them market their handicrafts may not be SUSTAINABLE TO THEM AFTER ALL.  (sigh).  Here’s the link:

http://www.fao.org/teca/content/community-based-woven-rattan-products-manufacturing>

This study shows that on the average each producer or artisan will just be earning P1000 per month, YES PER MONTH! In this study the foreign exchange rate then was P40=US$1 so its not very far from our situation right now which is around P42+=US$1.  P1000 per month, per person/family, no matter how you look at it will never be enough to give them sustainable livelihood.  I don’t even know if its enough for their basic needs.. That’s just P33/day!    This saddens me greatly because I’ve done a lot of research about this social enterprise and have been passionately talking about it to my friends, relatives, and previous colleagues.  What’s more is that my husband and I are already planning to go to a trip in Bicol (one of the rural areas here in the Philippines) 2 weeks from now.  He already has filed his 1 week leave! (sigh). So what to do now? I honestly don’t know but I’m keeping my faith because I know that God has called me to be a social entrepreneur and He will see me through this.   For now, I’m going to start doing my experimentation as what I have resolved yesterday in my Blog.  2 of the women social entrepreneurs who inspired me started with small steps through a simple exposure on the living conditions of the poor people and I’ll just have to do the same.  So I have decided that PJ (my husband) and I will push through with our rural visit and will see from there if we can solve any problem through whatever God has gifted us with.  May it be through a handicraft business or not.

So to answer my question, what to do when results are unexpectedly negative? Look at your vision again (remind yourself always why you want to do this), tweak your action items a bit (it’s wiser to adjust along the way than stick to something blindly just because the plan is already laid out) and just trust God will direct you to the right path.

By the way, here are a few pics I’ve seen in my research.  This comes from FRPDI (Forest Research Product Development Institute).  They are a branch of DOST (Dept. Of Science and Tech.) here in the Philippines who help train producers or artisans in building quality handicrafts.  You’ll see below that two of their handicrafts are very artistically and uniquely made and Export quality.  🙂 (one is a magazine rack and the other is a floor lamp) Proud to be Pinoy when I saw this.



Been sitting on this social entrepreneurship idea of helping poor rural artisans market their handicraft via the web.  I am distracted all the time because there is this lingering fear in me that it might not work or I’m not capable of accomplishing such..  but time and again my faith and the belief that this is God’s will for me has led me on the path to continue.  So how do i start?  This morning I was looking for inspiration and where’s the best way to get it? @www.ted.com.  There are hundreds of ideas and inspirational stories of Entrepreneurs there who have succeeded in changing the world.  There’s so many that struck me but 2 of them have moved me to a more practical way of starting this vision of mine.  It is to do an experiment first.  Don’t think of a big launch because it will overwhelm you, which it did for me.  Think of a small experiment and if does make some positive change relevant to your vision, then launch it and get other people who believe in the same cause join the boat. 🙂

Here are the two women who inspired me today:

Jessica Jackley of Kiva

– http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jessica_jackley_poverty_money_and_love.html

Jacqueline Novogratz on Patient Capitalism

– http://www.ted.com/talks/jacqueline_novogratz_on_patient_capitalism.html

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