Friday, November 03, 2006

Solution building

Deforestation. Hmm, not only does it kill millions of species, it screws up our water supplies. Much of tree killing is for cooking needs.

Solution: solar stoves, solar powered radios, computers, lanterns....

Want to help poor people in the developing world? Want to tell Bono how he can contribute to communities desperate for electricity - instead of giving hand outs that entrench bad ideas, oil and gas kick backs and corrupt leaders?

Minimal power can have a tremendous impact: basic lighting, communications/computing, refrigeration for health clinics.

You can help make this happen. You don't have to wait for other people to do it, or waste your money giving it to a rock star who is only listening to people with their own agendas or wanting to feel good about themselves by just dealing with end results (it's called a band aid) and not thinking about systems and how they work.

Go direct. Go to

For a gift of $50 you can buy a solar powered radio - giving people access to critical weather and health information. $100 buys a high quality solar powered lantern for portable light. $250 buys a 60-watt solar panel - enough to power a village home for 25 years. $1000 buys a direct current computer and the solar panel to power it - giving rural stutdents a chance to achieve their dreams. For a gift of $500 you can buy a complete Solar Home System for one family, including solar module, battery, light fixture, controller switch, wiring, etc. And if you're feeling generous, a gift of $3,000 buys a complete solar system for a village health clinic - including a solar vaccine refrigerator.


Once people have the basics, then the idea is how to create sustainable development.

Renewable energy has a lot of potential for local manufacturing - wind mills, basic turbines, solar hot water, stirling engine solar systems...

And like some of my friends in the military have written:

"Would an alternative approach:
-Ruduce vulnerability to insurgency?
-Increase societal stability and sense of progress?
-Increase sustainability absent/ post international presence?"

"Should resources move from 'traditional' power to renewable/sustainable power systems?

I vote YES.


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