March 31, 2009
Paul Currion (humanitarian.info) has started an excellent critique of crowdsourced information in crisis, responding to two excellent posts by Patrick Phillipe Meyer (iRevolution).
Instead of incestuously summarising here, I refer readers to Patrick’s original posts:
And then to Paul’s critique here:
As well as an HFP blog related plug here:
We hope Patrick replies. Updates to follow as they emerge.
March 29, 2009
The International Telecommunications Union released their annual survey of ICT usage worldwide this month.
The report (press release, full PDF), compares information and telecommunications technology (ICT) over 154 different countries, from 2002 to 2007.
The most advanced countries in terms of ICT were found mostly in Northern Europe, although South Korea came in second (above both the US and the UK). Sweden topped the list.
Poorer countries, notably this in Africa, were found to have lower ICT development scores, as would be expected. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Viet Nam, however, have made rapid growth over the last 5 years (due mostly to the combination of combined mobile phone users and Internet adoption).
Other notable statistics from the report include:
- On average the world increased its ICT usage by over 30% in the past 5 years.
- 23 out of 100 of the world’s inhabitants use the Internet.
- There are approximately 3x as many mobile phone users as fixed line users.
- ICT costs are lowest in Singapore and the United States, accounting for less than 1% of monthly expenses.
- ICT costs ranged between 40 and 72% in the bottom least developed countries, a clear indication of their unavailability for the general public.
March 25, 2009
In a significant change from past attitudes, a new poll by Yale and George Mason Universities found that most Americans “strongly support” action on global warming.
The survey, found in summary here and in full here asked 2,164 Americans about their “climate change beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and actions.” It found that:
- 92 percent supported more funding for research on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power;
- 85 percent supported tax rebates for people buying energy efficient vehicles or solar panels;
- 80 percent said the government should regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant;
- 69 percent of Americans said the United States should sign an international treaty that requires the U.S. to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide 90% by the year 2050.
Surprisingly, the majority said that they would, “support policies that would personally cost them more,” specifically (emphasis in original):
- 79 percent supported a 45 mpg fuel efficiency standard for cars, trucks, and SUVs, even if that meant a new vehicle cost up to $1,000 more to buy;
- 72 percent supported a Renewable Portfolio Standard that required electric utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from wind, solar, or other renewable energy sources, even if it cost the average household an extra $100 a year;
- 72 percent supported a government subsidy to replace old water heaters, air conditioners, light bulbs, and insulation, even if it cost the average household $5 a month in higher taxes;
- 63 percent supported establishment of a special fund to make buildings more energy efficient and teach Americans how to reduce their energy use, even if this cost the average household $2.50 a month in higher electric bills.
This is fantastic news for the planet! And it is true despite the case that the US media is still largely ignoring the issue of climate change.