Blogs

Biogas- A Popular Gas For Our Atmosphere

 

Biogas is rapidly becoming one of the most popular products to use when trying to reduce the emissions in our atmosphere.  Biogas is also known as biomethane, swamp gas, and landfill gas. Biogas provides not only electricity and heat, but it is also very useful when used as fuel for automobiles. Biogas must be upgraded to a purity standard in order to be used by vehicles. However, these vehicle activities are not as popular within the United States as they are in European countries. Biogas is anywhere between 50% to 80% methane and 20% to 50% carbon dioxide. Biogas is most simply described as a product of decomposing organic matter, such as sewage, agricultural waste, and animal byproducts. The price of biogas production and purification is reducing due to the hours of research and development efforts of many scientists. Lets look into the Global Innovation Commons and see where we can cut R&D costs by using open source technology! 

For more on BioGas: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/emerging_biogas.html

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A Great Alternative To Gas: BioDiesel Fuels

 

Biodiesel is a great alternative to gasoline and is rising in popularity due to its sustainability and effectiveness. Biodiesel gained its popularity once it was realized that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions which hurt out environment. After numerous tests were done it was concluded that biodiesel outperforms not just gasoline but also ethanol and conventional diesel. Biodiesel can also result in a cycle of lowering carbon dioxide emissions on both conventional diesel and gasoline due to its past carbon dioxide absorptions. Biodiesel is also a cleaner burning fuel which is better for an individual’s car engine. Biodiesel is efficient in that it can be made at home, and it could very well be the number one choice of gas for Americans for many years to come.

Learn More About BioDiesel HERE

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The Building Goodness Foundation

A former community member of M-CAM Inc, the sponsor of The Global Innovation Commons, Greg Smith, has started working with The Building Goodness Foundation. The Building Goodness Foundation (BGF), is a non-profit organization in Charlottesville Va. Since 1999 they have been serving U.S., South America and Haitian communities by building homes, schools, community centers and more from reconstruction to new construction. Greg left for Haiti on June 24th. This step in his life comes from having the privilege of traveling to Mongolia and Papua New Guinea using my skills as a builder, adviser, contributor and steward of community to engage in projects that uniquely had their own function, but essentially the same purpose: exchanging knowledge. We wish Greg the best of luck on his endeavor and will keep the G.I.C. community updated on his travels. 

Learn more about the Building Goodness Foundation, www.buildinggoodness.org

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Common Fungicide Wreaks Havoc On Freshwater Ecosystems

 

A recent article from ScienceDaily.com explains how a common fungicide can wreak havoc on freshwater ecosystems. One of the world’s most common fungicides is Chlorothalonil, which is used on food crops and golf courses. However, a study at the University of South Florida has now concluded that chlorothalonil is lethal to a large variety of freshwater organisms. Biologists Taegan McMahon and Jason Rohr reported that chlorothalonil killed different types of amphibians, snails, zooplankton, algae, and multiple aquatic plants. Although some species were able to recover from the chemicals, the ecosystem was still significantly changed. Chlorothalonil is a member of the organochlorine chemical family and reduces the decomposition of waste, which is an important service that the freshwater ecosystem provides to mankind. What fungicide technologies in The Global Innovation Commons could help countries all over the world?  

Read more on this topic HERE

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Elinor Ostrom, Author of Governing The Commons, Passes Away

 

On June 12, 2012, the world lost one of its great American political economists, Elinor Ostrom. Born and raised in sunny California, Ostrom said that growing up poor in a rich neighborhood gave her a “different perspective on the future”. It was that perspective that helped to influence the lives of many and eventually win her a Nobel Peace Prize. Ostrom won the Nobel in 2009 “for work showing that informal groups of ordinary people can sometimes manage natural resources such as forests and lakes better than governments or private companies”.  She was also credited for writing the book, “Governing The Commons”, a study that looked at collectively managing shared resources. 

Read more about Elinor Ostrom HERE

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In The Eye Of The Spiral

 

In The Eye of the Spiral is a documentary film project featuring seven of Haiti’s most prominent living artists. The film proposes a new narrative for the embattled Haitian Republic- a narrative steeped in the vitality, the mysticism and, ultimately, the hopefulness of artistic creation. On June 14, 2012, the documentary was presented by the Fund Balance to a private audience in New York City.  

The documentary film is part of the Haitian Cultural Foundation. The foundation is engaged in creating a series of short videos using an all-Haitian film crew to tell the stories of Haitian artists while showcasing to the global community their world-class art. They also work with artists, galleries, and museums as a liaison to the international community to facilitate their aspirations.

The Haitian Cultural Foundation is headquartered in NYC and it is a volunteer organization.

For more on the Haitian Cultural Foundation: http://www.haitianculturalfoundation.com/#/HOME-01-00/In 

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"The shedding of ignorance can lead to peace." - Dr. David Martin

 

Below is a blog post written by Dr. David Martin regarding ignorance and transparency in the Panguna Mine in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. 

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In 1967, under the UN-authorized colonial custodianship of Papua New Guinea by the Australian government, and eight years before independence, the Bougainville Copper Agreement was executed, granting occupiers the control of one of the world’s largest copper (and other mineral) assets.  

This agreement, forced into the “peaceful” independence agreement in 1975, granted a company (now Bougainville Copper Ltd – majority owned by Rio Tinto) rights to 42 years of mining with compulsory 21 year renewals irrespective of any law or Act of the government.  This provision, in a letter to then Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, was invoked by BCL Chairman Peter Taylor demanding that the Company enjoy renewal of its mining license prior to its expiration at the end of 2011.  Peter was simply reminding Sir Michael Somare of the agreement he had signed with R.W. Ballmer of BCL in 1967.

In the late 1980s, a landowner conflict erupted into a war in which the Company was forced to cease its operations and over 20,000 people were abducted, tortured and killed. 

To listen to the international media regarding Bougainville since the conflict in 1989 is to see images of fierce armed fighters, destroyed infrastructure, and destitute living conditions.  To hear BCL speak of the mine and the project is to hear about the need to pacify people for which they’ve exhibited nothing but contempt for 45 years.  The vitriolic propaganda spewing from remote shareholders is only outdone by opportunistic bureaucrats seeking to use their public office to pander to would-be operators who would love to rip new holes in the fabric of the land and its people with just another destructive operation. 

This week, the story has changed: during the consummation of a six week global financial and corporate literacy program that our team at M-CAM helped develop and deploy, we spent time in Panguna and Arawa to meet the people that have been the object of Australian, UN, and global contempt for decades.  

Teaching them about the unconscionable acts that formed the BCA prior to independence and the intolerable supra-national rights granted to a company by a custodial administrator acting under the authority of the UN, we saw hundreds of people realize that those who they were told were “development partners” had in fact been complicit in grave injustices.  

Showing them a corporate structure (like many in Papuan New Guinea and around the world), where equity, financing, leasing, taxation, and self-dealing arrangements aid in the misappropriation of assets to the detriment of the people, awakened a level of passion unseen since the beginning of this stain on humanity’s record.  

 

And, much to the surprise of the common narrative promoted by remote privateers, the people did not resort to violence.  Rather, they sought more information. Abusers maintain their power by the persistence of ignorance, not by transparency and full exchange of facts.  

Chris Uma, the General of the Mekamui Defense Force, most often pictured with battle-hardened visage and armed with automatic weapons, is someone the outside has been told to fear. After the conclusion of the seminar he spoke: “We know that we’ve been lied to for all these years,” he said, “but now finally someone has come and told us the truth that we all knew must be out there.”  And after that statement, Chris, many of his men, and our delegation, had a long conversation about what true resource development could look like.  

Together we went to the “NO GO ZONE” on the road to Panguna.  And when there – a world away from the terror that has been promoted by so many who have so much to hide – we had fun.  We picked flowers and put them into the barrels of the weapons that, in a moment of honest exchange, served no hostile purpose.  We sat together and talked about a future built on mutual respect.  And best of all, we agreed that it was time for the world to see a new picture of Bougainville.  Rather than the story of brokenness, violence, death, and treachery, an image of what happens when people sit together with mutual respect was allowed to emerge.  

And then, the man the world has been told to fear; the man who has been enraged by the injustice meted to him and the people living around him; the man who only saw violence as a means to have a voice; that man removed his hat and placed a flower in his hair while the gun barrels that once blocked a hostile world became vases for the flowers of a new day.  

We, the Citizens of the World, are better than colonial privateering and plunder.  We are better than violence fueled by willfully perpetuated ignorance.  We are better than standing idly by while corporations – aided by their servant governments – act with complete impunity and derision knowing that half a world away, no one is watching.  Whether it’s in Bougainville or in the Rio Tinto sponsored Olympics in London, it is time for us all to realize that violence is the fruit borne of a Tree of Willful Ignorance and productive futures are harvested from those who plant the Seeds of Knowledge and Mutual Respect. Please share this story, so that we can show the world another picture of Bougainville: not one defined by violence but one that holds the fragile blossom of hope!

- David Martin

http://www.invertedalchemy.com/2012/06/end-of-gun.html

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The Ins And Outs Of Erosion Control

This article provided by Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita California, informs the reader on what can cause erosion and how to control it. Before one even starts gardening on a slope or hillside they must look for signs that could cause erosion. One such sign is drainage. Water moving down the slope creates a greater chance for erosion to develop. The slope or hillside must also be stable. If the hillside has mud on rock or clay than erosion is likely to occur and a mudslide could also develop. The slope or hillside should not only be stable but also not to steep. If an individual cannot walk up the hillside than that is a sign that erosion could emerge. The main solution to stabilizing these slopes and hillsides is establishing a retaining wall or supporting them with boulders and logs. The plating also needs to be a mix of different groundcovers such as shrubs and trees.  These tactics will help to stop erosion from occurring, which will lead to beautiful plants being able to prosper on the hillsides of different countries.

How can we use the tactics given by the nursery combined some open soruce technology to create the best farming environment?

Read The Article Here

Check out The Global Innovation Commons Set on Erosion Control Here

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Chagas Disease: Now Being Called The New AIDS

Recently on both CNN and Yahoo, Chagas Disease has been discussed as being called the new AIDS. More than 8 million people have been infected by Chagas in Latin and Central America alone. The editorial discussing the growing concern that is Chagas Disease continued to say that “there are a number of striking similarities between people living with Chagas Disease and people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly for those with HIV/AIDS who contracted the disease in the first two decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic”. However, unlike HIV, Chagas  is not sexually transmitted but instead is caused by parasites transmitted to humans on insects. Only 1/5 of people infected with Chagas develop the life-threatening form of the disease, but the problem is that once the systems start the medicines no long work well.

What most researchers and do not realize is that Chagas Disease is nothing new. Technology was patented to diagnosis (Method for diagnosis of Chagas' Disease-US3993743) and treat (Treatment of parasitic diseases US4338303) Chagas Disease dating back to 1975. Check out the Chagas Disease section of The Global Innovation Commons HERE.

Read the entire Yahoo article HERE.

View the CNN Video HERE.

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Drought Resistant Technology

 

The following articleby The Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education focuses on how certain crops can be grown in such a way that they are drought resistant. These crops are grown by farmers and are genetically modified with the hope that they will be fully developed within four to five years. Dr. David Dennis is the chief executive of Performance Plants Incorporated and stated that some crops are already being tested for their drought resistance. Oilseed rape and maize are two such crops that are currently being tested in field trials within the United States. Climate scientists who are skeptical towards this drought resistance technology predict that global warming will make land in developing countries less productive and hard to use, therefore limiting the chance for the drought resistant technology to work. However, those in support of these genetically modified crops believe that different drought resistance varieties can eventually adapt to global warming. This company is not just focusing on drought resistance technology, but also on effective water usage, heat tolerance, and increased biomass technology. Dr. Dennis stated that his company would make this drought resistance technology available to farmers in developing countries so that they can also reap the benefits. Lets see how much of Dr. Dennis' technology is already in open source in The Global Innovation Commons. 

To view the Drought Resistant Technology Section HERE

To read the article HERE

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