Weekly Roundup: Who’s solving what and how
Everywhere, people are working on innovative solutions to pressing social problems. Often, though, those stories can be difficult to track down. Which is why we’re scouring the Web to bring you weekly links highlighting who’s solving what and how.
Soap Operas for… Global Health?
- TV is a dubious force. It can trivialize life or expand awareness of crucial issues. From the UN-backed “Under the Sky,” a soap opera designed to help Haitians learn about hygienic steps, to the drama-packed education offered by such shows as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Treme,” to a new initiative that attempts to educate Americans about global health disparities on primetime TV, we’re seeing more creative minds focusing on how to enlighten as well as entertain. (World Changing: “Impactful Media: How TV is Shifting the Global Landscape for Good”)
A Buoyant Solution – The Return of the Blimp
- With fuel costs rising and governments on the lookout for ways to reduce greenhouse gases, the blimp of old may be a useful alternative to airplanes as a way to ship goods, with larger storage bays than 747s and 90% fewer emissions. (PSFK: “A Revival of the Blimp” via The Guardian)
Our Forested Planet
- While blimps may help cut emissions, it would be useful to know how much carbon the world’s forests are absorbing. Trees consume carbon and emit oxygen, so estimating tree mass worldwide is vital to understanding how much we can safely emit. Fortunately, NASA has just made a major step forward in estimating our forest’s carbon consumption by creating a map of the world’s forests, from the towering redwood to the spindly spruce. (NASA: “First-of-its Kind Map Depicts Global Forest Heights”)
Muddying the Waters
- New Yorkers were a bit taken aback by the unusual vending machine next to Union Square. Instead of selling soda or Smart Water, this dispenser sells “Dirty Water” in eight deadly flavors – among them malaria, dysentery and hepatitis. Donations go to UNICEF’s Tap Program to help clean water around the world. (Osocio: “Dispensing Dirty Water”)
Military Starts Demonstrating Some Real Air Force
- As we discussed last week, the U.S. Army has started making strides in lowering its reliance on traditional power sources. More good news on that front as the first wind turbine on an Army base opens, generating 1.5 megawatts annually, saving over $200,000 a year. Not much in terms of military expenditures. But hopefully more will come along these lines. (U.S. Army: “First Wind Turbine in Army Begins Generating Energy at Tooele Army Depot”)
What solution-focused posts and articles did you come across this week? Let us know in the comments.
Photo: Dirty Water Info Gallery