In the news: entrepreneurship in India, Paul Farmer and Haiti, and water access around the world

Three news items that caught my eye in the last couple of days:

Building a Social Entrepreneurial Garage Startup in India – PBS MediaShift
Update from a pretty cool project to bring community radio stations to rural India. If it’s not too prohibitive to launching one of these (who knows what it takes to legally license spectrum in the country), then it could interesting to try applying the concept of a social business to this. I can see community radio for a social cause having a tremendous effect on water literacy, health education, etc. Also related: layoffs at out-sourcing firms might lead to huge innovation spikes in India. I certainly think it’s possible. Here comes the real competition.

Change Haiti can believe in – The Boston Globe
Paul Farmer and Brian Concannon argue for better US policy towards developing, and not punishing Haiti. It will be interesting to see how Obama’s foreign policy changes will affect the country’s development (especially in this economic climate and after the hurricanes). The authors are also participating in a panel discussion tomorrow night, the 27th of January, that will be broadcast live over the web.

Ecologists warn the planet is running short of water – Times Online
An annual report by the Pacific Institute in California says that the world could run out of “sustainability managed water.” Part of me wonders if this article is too broad to actually deliver anything substantial, but water is certainly going to become more and more of a local issue.

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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 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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