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Published Friday, May 1, 2009

The current 1.1 billion people worldwide without access to potable water opens, for those willing to look, a small window onto the injustices and casualties being wrought when corporations come to control water-related industries. Most of us are clueless about the magnitude of the victims-present and projected-of the growing worldwide water crisis. Currently, 2.6 billion people are at high risk of not having access to potable water; 1.8 million children die each year from water-related diseases.

Being clueless about the victims means we're equally clueless about the victimizers. Most of us are ignorant of the inhumane role played by the private sector in the commodification of water, now characterized as a thing that can be owned and sold for profit (or put another way, a thing that can be withheld from people too poor to pay for it). The worldwide trend in water privatization has grown almost undetected by the general public for well over a decade-this despite the huge ramifications it has on many millions of lives.

In the mix of chaos, confusion and despair that most affects the poor in societies across the world, it is important to note the role of private corporations. These corporations are culprits in causing or exacerbating the crisis (although their PR brags about creating the cure for it). Within recent decades, water privatization firms such as Suez, Vivendi, and RWE have purchased control of a number of communities' municipal water services, and then drastically increased the price of water. Some have been documented as failing to effectively purify the water resources they had come to monopolize.

 

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Published Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sustainability is defined as a way of development that does not compromise the capacity of future generations for living in this planet. On the other hand, Web 2.0 is the new technological generation based on user communities, social networks, blogs, wikis, and applications that encourage dynamic participation. Following those criteria, sustainability 2.0 profits from collaboration and collective intelligence empowered by new technologies and social networks to find that balance in development.

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Published Tuesday, April 28, 2009

“Just about everyone knows by now that we have to start living within our means, and the planet’s. This expo will be a great place to learn ways to do that.- Jeff Golden of www.immensepossibilities.com

April 28, 2009 – With the momentous 40th anniversary of Earth Day just behind us, “going green” is clearly going mainstream. More people than ever want to be involved, to help themselves, their community and our country.

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Published Monday, April 13, 2009

The New Energy Economy clearly cannot depend on extracting and processing ancient plants and long-dead animals.  Indeed, to truly succeed, the post-petroleum era will require a steady stream of fresh thinking about how we generate, distribute, use and store energy. Traditional ideas about generation and distribution are already being turned on their heads by the new "smart grid" paradigm; energy use is increasingly being driven by an application-level emphasis on efficiency and environmental impact; and "carbon-footprint" is becoming as important a specification as amps, watts and volts. The next logical step is to focus on broadening and redefining the notion of energy storage.

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Published Friday, February 13, 2009

Part I, Picking the Winners

We are living in the Age of Uncertainty. Nobody knows how bad the economy really is or how long the pain will persist; nobody knows what type of stimulus package we need or whether a stimulus will actually work. And nobody knows where clean technology innovation is headed, given the current tumult in the capital markets.

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Published Monday, February 9, 2009

The US Senate just scrapped a plan to exempt stimulus projects from environmental review, and Oregon Wild supporters should take a bow.

The Barrasso amendment would have exempted stimulus projects from environmental reviews. When most Americans heard the US Senate would be debating stimulus legislation last week, they most likely expected to hear about plans for green jobs and getting the US economy back on track.  When Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) heard the news, he had the bright idea to try and use the stimulus plan to attack America's bedrock environmental laws.

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Published Monday, January 19, 2009

imageIn December, Shariff Abdullah was honored by his friends and collaborators in Sri Lanka with Sarvodaya's "Vishvamitra" (Friend of the Universe) Award, in recognition of his work with Sarvodaya over the years.

Now, he is again being honored: on Monday, 19 January, 2009, as he is scheduled to receive the "Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award" here in Portland, Oregon. The awards are given annually by The World Arts Foundation.

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Published Sunday, December 28, 2008

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For more than a century the automobile has been burning vast quantities of petroleum based fuel, polluting the air, creating greed and wars over oil. Electric cars have zero emissions where they are being driven, but coal, hydro or nuclear power plants produce the electricity on which they run and themselves cause pollution and problems for our planet. So, what's the solution to gas guzzling, carbon emitting engines?

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