Monday, April 30, 2007

News Roundup

Money, money, money makes the world go 'round
Now that climatology and climate change are taking front and center in the news, we're not surprised to see big names in philanthropy throw in big bills to match the interest.
Probably most significant is the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a relatively new group founded only in 1996. As of December 2006, though, the foundation has roughly $1.8 billion to give away, and it's ear marked $100 million of that in a tremendous effort to encourage a clean-energy economy. You can track the progress of that effort at the foundation's website
Next is our favorite billionaire of all time, Richard Branson. We love him for his quirky approach to telephones, rail, airline, and vacation travel, and we love him even more for his early effort to encourage CO2 reduction. In true line with his financial worth, though, Branson isn't just throwing the money at some bloke who comes up with a way to scrub CO2 out of the atmosphere. His $25 million prize can only be won if some genius out there finds a way to remove a billion tons of CO2 a year. By way of measurement, we offer this following stat: The average United States resident emits 25 tons of CO2 per year. You do the math, and just keep in mind that the average world resident emits roughly 4 or 5 tons of CO2 a year.
Kudos, Richard. We knew your outsized reputation wasn't all fluff and PR.
On a smaller, but just as significant, note, we stumbled across the story of one pint-sized New Yorker making a tremendous difference. Dustin Satloff, who's all of 13, started a company that makes what he calls "SatBats." They differ from regular baseball bats made of ash in one critical way: they're made of renewable, twice-as-strong-as-ash bamboo. You can read more about them here.
All of this talk about money has made us want to go write some grant applications.
Onwards and forwards!

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