Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ethnopolitical Garbage

Located below is an article about the politics of the placement of waste transfer stations. Residents of Boston may also be familiar with this issues as one of the smallest poor neighborhoods, Roxbury, is home to a few of the largest waste transfer stations in the area. Surrounding, more affluent neighborhoods largely have none. Anyway, read on.

A great read from Motherboard on the politics of garbage placement:

In New York, as everywhere else, one neighborhood’s trash is often another neighborhood’s terror. And that other neighborhood tends be poorer. Garbage from the well-to-do Upper East Side, for instance, now ends up being sent to mostly poor neighborhoods in outer boroughs. At these places, of course, its easier for other trucks, or train cars or barges, to take it even farther away, to points south (In 2001, Mayor Giuliani closed Fresh Kills, once the world”s largest landfill, on Staten Island, a predominantly white community). And these places also make it easier to build garbage stations without the hassle of the legal battles or political campaigns often wielded by wealthier neighborhoods. […continue reading…]

The East African Solar Entrepreneurs

A couple hours drive on a dusty road outside of the southern town of Masaka, Uganda, you’ll find Musubiro Village. Miles from the closest electricity grid, there is little hope of government power coming this way anytime soon.

In Musubiro, like so many other villages across Africa, the main source of light is kerosene- which is not only expensive, but has a myriad of negative health side affects, and the risk that always comes when you mix open flames and straw thatched roof dwellings. Typically, the day’s chores are done, children’s studying is over, and small shops are closed when the sun goes down at 7:30 p.m.

Not anymore.

Barefoot Power, a for-profit social enterprise operating across East Africa, has built a network of “Solar Entrepreneurs” who are responsible for bringing solar lighting to towns and villages like Musubiro all across Uganda. Their products, ranging from the extremely popular “Firefly Mobile”, a small 1.5 watt panel with 12 small LED lights and a phone charger, or their full “Village Kits” that can provide lighting to an entire house, are making solar power affordable and accessible to those at the base of the economic pyramid. The small solar panels are portable and once charged, act like a battery.

Barefoot Power currently has 160 Solar Entrepreneurs operating all over Uganda, and an extensive distribution network which makes its products available to customers across Kenya, Tanzania, India, and several other parts of the world. (Source)

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story


An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK’s Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains? link