Archive for 21/11/2014

Growing Prosperity

One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

The adoption of new innovations such as irrigation systems, drought-resistant hybrid seeds or gaining access to asset-backed micro loans by smallholder farmers is a complicated issue. Nearly 60% of the global population live on less that $4 a day. Of this, 80% live in rural areas and agriculture is the primary source of income for over 80% of this huge rural population.

Adopting suitable innovations could improve the lives of the 2.5 billion people that rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. However, many innovative technologies remain widely inaccessible, typically in remote rural areas where governments and traditional aid has fallen short. In response to this, there has been an upsurge of start-up companies aiming to connect farmers to new innovations. By offering new products, services and markets to smallholder-farmers, farmers can increase their incomes and enjoy an improved quality of life.

Connecting farmers to innovations

Growing Prosperity coverReleased on the 17th of November, managing…

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October 2014 Hottest on Record

(October was again a global temperature record setter. Image source: NASA.)

NASA’s monthly global temperature analysis is in and the results are once again record-making. For according to NASA’s global monitor, world temperatures were 0.76 degrees Celsius above the Earth average for the mid 20th Century.

This high temperature departure ties 2005 for hottest in NASA’s 136 year record. A temperature level that global ice core data points toward being hotter than at any time in the past 400,000 years. A record hot month in a string of record hot months for 2014. A resurgence to record high marks amidst an unprecedented spate of rising temperatures that has lasted now for more than a century running.

Global land ocean temperature index

(Global temperatures have risen by more than 1 degree C above their low mark at the start of the 20th Century. It is a human-driven pace of warming 15-20 times faster than at…

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toysHere’s my second extract from the book ‘Noah’s Children’ by Sara Stein. Here she observes how American (probably western) culture has increasingly divorced children from directly finding things they need or are interested in; things that children used to find outside in the natural world:

‘Our culture makes the point that much of what most interests children is not obtainable by them. It’s our cotton balls and cinnamon sticks, not their free-for-the-gathering furry mullein leaves or minty wintergreen. What rolls or smears or makes a noise when it is squeezed is a truck we’ve bought, a set of finger paints, a stuffed animal- not the log or mud or toad that children might obtain for themselves. They can’t even get some berries for their breakfast unless we buy the fruit.’

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and the wider issues raised…

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