Gore Requests a Bit Less Soot for the Bottom Billion
When it comes to clean technology for the developing world, something as simple as a cleaner stove could help avoid a few impending public health and ecological disasters.
In a panel moderated by Charlie Rose, Gore brought considerable attention to south Asia, where much of the regional water supply comes from the Himalayas. Local wood stoves emit soot which leaches into the water table and, at higher altitudes, accelerates ice melting.
"You have an incredible, looming water crisis in southern Asia," said Gore.
An April Times article documenting the problem in India described how the collecting soot, also known as black carbon, was responsible for 18 percent of global warming, only second to carbon dioxide's 40 percent. With stoves producing the bulk of black carbon in Asia and Africa, the search for the cleaner stove has begun.
The most recent innovation is the Kyoto Box, a five-dollar stove that received the $75,000 FT Climate Change Challenge Award. The two-box model is designed to capture enough solar energy to bake and boil water. Kyoto Energy, the company behind the box, has apparently received requests for trials from 20 different countries and hopes to reach 500 million households.
Last year, the partnership worked to introduce the first market-based clean-burning wood stove model to 10 million homes, beginning with India, Brazil, Kenya and Uganda. The program was inspired by the less-documented problem of indoor air pollution created by dirty stoves. According to a 2008 Times story, the World Health Organization estimated that 1.6 million people a year died from indoor toxins created by old stoves.
While other groups are working to create similar clean-burning stoves, the movement to outfit the poor with these stoves hasn't yet gained real traction. But with Gore's blessing and the work of innovators like Kyoto, the bottom billion could cook its food far more sustainably.
Pay attention to the decisions made by the provinces.
- China leads the world in numerous green energy categories.
- CO2 emissions in the country totaling more than all coal emissions in the U.S. have recently emerged.
- This seems to be an administrative-induced blip on the way towards a green energy tipping point.
NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.
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Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.
- Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
- Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
- The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Calling all big thinkers!
The Boring Company plans to offer free rides in its prototype tunnel in Hawthorne, California in December.
- The prototype tunnel is about 2 miles long and contains electric skates that travel at top speeds of around 150 mph.
- This is the first tunnel from the company that will be open to the public.
- If successful, the prototype could help the company receive regulatory approval for much bigger projects in L.A. and beyond.
Money makes the world go 'round. Unfortunately, it can make both children and adults into materialists.
- Keeping a gratitude journal caused children to donate 60 percent more to charitable causes.
- Other methods suggested by researchers include daily gratitude reflection, gratitude posters, and keeping a "gratitude jar."
- Materialism has been shown to increase anxiety and depression and promote selfish attitudes and behavior.
Anatomy and physiology professor David Harper claims a recent study in The Lancet is flawed.
- The low-carbohydrate group in a recent Lancet study were typically middle-aged, obese, sedentary, diabetic smokers.
- The study was not a randomized, controlled, double-blind experiment.
- Harper has been in ketosis for six years, and says it has profound effects on cancer patients, among other chronic ailments.
A mind-bending paradox questions the nature of reality.
- Boltzmann Brains are hypothetical disembodied entities with self-awareness.
- It may be more likely for a Boltzmann Brain to come into existence than the whole Universe.
- The idea highlights a paradox in thermodynamics.
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