Posts Tagged ‘globalization’
I was walking last month off of College Street west of Bathurst when I saw this poster pasted on a utilities pole. This was the first poster I’ve ever seen in Toronto relating to the wars that have ravaged central Africa from the mid-1990s on. While I would fault the poster for not emphasizing the roots and ideological sustenance of the conflict in the region’s political and ethnic conflicts, I don’t disagree with its message about how resource exploitation has literally fueled the different factions.
“Since 1997, more people have died in Central Africa over precious metals found in your phone than died in the Holocaust (6 million). A woman is raped every 70 seconds on average by young soldiers who are used to clear villages near areas that are to be mined. Children are spared only to become slave workers in the mines. Fair Trade would cost only $1 more per device. The news has made no major effort to report the subject. The only person who can help is you. Please let other people know, too. If the majority of people know about this issue, companies will be forced to use Fair Trade instead of rape, murder, deceit and slavery. Find out more at conflictminerals.org or watch the documentary, Blood In the Mobile (bloodinthemobile.org). Good organizations to donate through are fallingwhistles.com and foodgrainsbank.ca.”
There are two footnotes, the first explaining what coltan ore and the metal tantalum are, the second emphasizing that the added cost would be trivial. The graphic at the bottom features the African continent drawn in the fashion of the Apple icon, and the transformation of the word “iPad” into an abbreviation for “innocent People are dying”.
Sarah Goodyear‘s article at The Atlantic Cities about the fast-growing impact of Greenland’s capital city of Nuuk, on the natural and human environments, is fascinating. One thing that Goodyear recounts is that for Greenlanders, their fast-growing city is a liberating thing, an increasingly relatively desirable habitat for Greenlanders that lets them connect with the outside world.
[F]or all our new familiarity with the idea of Greenland as a global climatological force, we don’t often think about it as a place where people live. With only 56,000 souls living on 836,000 square miles, it is the least densely populated country in the world. Most residents are concentrated in a few cities and towns on the island’s western edge. Some 16,000 live in the capital city of Nuuk.
And Nuuk, like cities around the world, is an urban heat island, according to research conducted by Tony Reames, a doctoral student at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Reames, whose studies have focused on environmental justice in urban America, began his research as a class project, not sure what he would find. But the almost laboratory-like conditions of Greenland, he discovered, were a perfect place to measure the effect of human urban development on temperature, especially in the dark winter months.
“You don’t have solar influences at all,” says Reames. “It’s a unique situation to observe the human activity impact.”
He looked at data from 2005 to 2011, and found a strong urban heat island effect in the winter months. In 2011, for instance, the urban area of Nuuk registered temperatures on average 0.5 degrees Centigrade warmer than the surrounding area. February temperatures were 1.1 degrees Centigrade higher than in the surrounding areas, an effect that Reames says is attributable to the intense demands of the heating season and to energy-inefficient buildings that radiate much of that heat into the atmosphere.
Gawker’s John Cook, the man who broke the story of Rob Ford’s alleged crack tape, announces that Gawker has launched a fundraiser to raise the 200 thousand dollars needed for the purchase of said video.
How Much Do We Need? $200,000. That’s what the owners of the video want. That sounds like a lot of money. The good people at Indiegogo believe that, with the appropriate amount of virality, that goal is achievable.
Christ, That’s a Lot of Money. Yes, it is. But they’ve got the video! And it’s not all about greed, though of course most of it is. The owners of this video fear for their safety, and want enough money to pay for a chance to get out of Toronto and set up in a new town. Their fear is not entirely unwarranted. Rob Ford is a powerful if buffoonish man, and he was wrapped up in a drug scene that purportedly involved many other prominent Toronto figures.
What Will We Get? A crystal clear, well-lit video of the mayor of Toronto smoking crack cocaine, published on Gawker for the world to see. We will also be throwing in some perks, for specific donation amounts. But the main thing is the video of the mayor of Toronto smoking crack cocaine.
How Does This Work, Exactly? We’re using Indiegogo. We’ve set a target of $200,000, to be reached within 10 days. If we reach the target, we get the money. If we don’t reach the target, you get your money back. If we do reach the target, we will pay the money to the people who have the video. They will give us the video. We will publish the video. You will watch the video.
What If This Whole Thing Goes South? We are mindful that people who hang out with and surreptitiously record crack-smoking mayors may not always be reliable. The people we’ve been dealing with have so far honored every commitment they’ve made. And they have pledged to sell it to us for $200,000 if this Crackstarter works. But if they disappear, or sell it elsewhere, we will donate every penny we receive to a Canadian non-profit that helps people suffering from addiction and its consequences.
The Indiegogo page is here. Large amounts of money are being raised, two thousand dollars over the past hour and change to a total of $34,237 as I type.