In the news: demonstrations in Haiti, climate feedback in the Arctic, and number near starvation skyrockets

News that caught my interest in the past week:

Demonstrations in Haiti – The Freeport News
Hopes of the new US president supporting former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return to power could lead to increased demonstrations and violence in Haiti.

Your Guide to Alternative Business Models for Newspapers – PBS Mediashift
A roundup of online business models for newspapers. None are strikingly original, however. More so, they just seem like attempts to justify huge news organizations.

Has the Arctic melt passed the point of no return? – The Independent
Study published may indicate the arctic is already experiencing a feedback loop because of climate change.

Evolution of the Web – Worldchanging
Lebkowsky argues that traditional marketing is going to face a serious wakeup call in 2009.

Oil Is Not the Climate Change Culprit – It’s All About Coal – Wired Science
Research is showing that coal is the significant contributor to climate change, and that oil is only a drop in the bucket.

Waking up to a morning without the newspaper – OregonLive
Oregonian decides to stop delivering to houses in the Eugene-Springfield area, and the old readers are disappointed.

Global food crisis needs global treaty, says Britain’s environment chief – The Guardian
“The number of people facing starvation worldwide rose 40 million to 963 million during 2008, mostly as a result of rising food prices.” Wow.

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In the news, ending 12 December 2008

Of interest in the past week:

Haiti’s road to ruin – Straight.com
Haiti’s environmental woes in a nutshell, and how they’re even more applicable after the hurricane.

Why not writing a story is innovation – Publishing 2.0
Down with rewriting and publishing press releases (and other such nonsense)!

The Newspaper Industry and the Arrival of the Glaciers – Boing Boing
Clay Shirky (aka Man of Foresight and Infinite Wisdom) saw all of this happening in 1995, and argues that the downfall of newspapers arrived at the same rate as glaciers. Really, I think this is a telling example of how we need to develop better long term thinking (and acting) abilities.

Peru aims for zero deforestation – BBC
The Peruvian government is requesting $25 million a year for the next 10 years to combat deforestation in the country. Deforestation in Peru contributes to less than 1% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

How Risky Is India? – BusinessWeek
A piece touching the stability of the business climate in India because of the recent violence in Mumbai. Notes events from the last ten years to support the claim that the country might not be as stable for investment as thought. No mention of the environment or state of natural resources, however.

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In the news, ending 5 December 2008

Of interest in the past week:

Text service provides more than a Band-Aid for rural health service – CNN
Coverage of Josh Nesbit’s Mobiles in Malawi project to enable community health workers with FrontlineSMS.

Alligator lacks editor applicants – The Florida Alligator
The Independent Florida Alligator is having trouble finding Editor-In-Chief applicants. Sign of the times?

The Worst Is Yet To Come: Anonymous Banker Weighs In On The Coming Credit Card Debacle – Executive Suite Blog – The New York Times
This whole thing is a mess. Reading through this explanation doesn’t leave me very optimistic.

Cities and new wars: after Mumbai – openDemocracy
Interesting analysis tying the attacks in Mumbai to a growing number of examples of asymmetric warfare.

The (Tuna) Tragedy of the Commons – Dot Earth Blog – The New York Times
Argues that tuna stocks on both sides of the Atlantic suffer from mismanagement and overfishing.

Education 2.0: Never Memorize Again? – Read/Write Web
Speculative article about the future of education in a hyper-connected world. Ideas presented aren’t entirely new, but it’s interesting to see a growing storm of discussion about this topic.

My ‘Crisis’ Advice to Newspaper Company CEOs: 11 Points to Ponder – Steve Outing
Steve Outing identifies his 11 points of advice to newspaper CEOs, all sage. The most relevant now? Number 11: “consider retirement.”

Haiti’s ongoing disaster – Boston Globe
Op-ed piece on Haiti’s continuing crisis, and steps the US can take to make change.

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In the news, ending 28 November 2008

A few stories especially of interest in the past week:

Is Kashmir key to Afghan peace? – Christian Science Monitor
Raises the question as to whether solving the Indo-Pakistan dispute will help resolve the situation in Afghanistan. Significantly more attention will be paid to this region in the coming months.

Police issue slew of citations at party with alcohol near UO campus – Register-Guard
Extended coverage of what happened at the Campbell Club.

Paani- Coca Cola and Water tables in Rajasthan – Shekhar Kapur
Kapur argues that groundwater exploitation in Rajasthan is not a failure of the multi-national corporations, but rather government policy.

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Podcasts for the ride home

In the interest of sharing my favorite podcasts of the previous year with my friend Shane, I thought I might open the recommendations to all. While on the drive home to turkey day, these are three “world changing” conversations you should consider listening to:

Howard Bloom on “The Global Brain” – IT Conversations

Howard talks with Jon Udell about collective consciousness and self-organizing species, and why the mass collaboration we think is emerging right now isn’t really all that unique. Shane, DJ, and I did discuss the episode on a Fertile Ambition call a month or so ago, but we ran into a headlock about the multi-tasking theory Howard presents.

“Is Aid to Africa Doing More Harm Than Good?” – Intelligence Squared U.S.

Brilliant arguments both for and against, and listening to the entire debate lends a better understanding of what the difficulties are in helping to bring basic needs to Africa.

Daniel Suarez on bot-mediated reality – Long Now Foundation/ FORA.tv

So thought-provoking I’ve listened to it twice. The first time put me in a trance for part of a train ride back down from Seattle. In short, the premise is this: we’re creating untold numbers of automated bots, or narrow artificial intelligence, on the web for specific purposes. When left unchecked, as many are, these bots have the potential to cause very messy situations which could have negative real world implications. One of the author’s proposals is to build a second, secure network of only verifiably human entities.

In the news, ending 21 November 2008

News of interest in the past week:

Costs of WOPR outweigh the benefits – Daily Emerald
The Daily Emerald Editorial Board argues that the environmental consequences of the Western Oregon Plan Revisions, a plan to increase logging on “more than 2 million acres of public land” including old-growth, are far more significant than the short term monetary benefits.

Photo Gallery: Necessary Angels – National Geographic Magazine
Gorgeous gallery revealing what empowering traditionally marginalized women can do for healthcare.

6 Newspaper sections rendered obsolete by the web – 10,000 Words
Argues that there are at least 6 sections “rendered obsolete” by the web, which I think opens an interesting discussion about the newspaper itself. One conclusion is that, if newspapers tank, all we really lose is the local hardball news. Both the post and the comment thread are worth reading.

Depression 2009: What would it look like? – Boston Globe
Good questions and speculation, but not a lot of answers.

Web Sites That Dig for News Rise as Watchdogs – The New York Times
The good news: there are online-only news organizations springing up to take on the responsibility of investigative journalism. The semi-bad news: there isn’t enough advertising revenue to make them financially sustainable (many are non-profit and foundation-supported).

Haiti Can’t Face More Defeats – IPS News
In short, the four hurricanes which hit Haiti this year didn’t help at all with rebuilding efforts. Haiti needs a serious cash infusion for even medium term food security and environmental stability.

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In the news, ending 13 November 2008

International news that caught my interest in the past couple of days:

The Struggle for Water – New York Times
A telling set of images from Delhi about the dismal state of water access for the majority of the population.

Sibal rules out global action plan on climate change – Yahoo! India News
India rules out a global action plan for addressing climate change in favor of local initiatives. Although this initially reads negative to me, there is high potential for specific, decentralized solutions. It’ll be interesting to see whether the national government is actually able to inspire movement on the ground level.

Plan for new Maldives homeland – BBC
The president-elect says he wants to buy a new homeland for Maldives islanders because of the potential threat from rising sea levels. The Maldives are “just about 3 feet” above sea level.

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