May 9. Snowing in New York. Wearing face masks, two men stand on a balcony of the Chinese Mission to the UN, photographing the snowfall with their phones. I try to photograph them and the snow, but they are already leaving the balcony, and my phone autofocuses on the window screen.
“POVERTY is a system-design failure.” So says my friend Pär (“Peyo”) Almqvist in a World Economic Forum article he wrote last year when his company, OMC Power—which brings sustainable, renewable, off-the-grid energy to the poorest people in rural India—was selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.
Peyo’s article explains better than I could how renewable-energy companies, locked out of first-world competition by entrenched fossil fuel interests, are bringing the future to poor rural and urban areas—and ushering in a new era of decentralized power. (Much like the web is doing for content, commerce, and applications.)
The Economist has also covered OMC’s work.
Last night in New York, OMC Power won a fresh honor when they were named a rising star at the 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards (“the Academy Awards of the energy industry”).
I first met Peyo in 1999 in Stockholm, when we both spoke at a design conference organized by the K10k guys, Toke and Mike. Peyo was just 19 at the time. By age 25, he had become a digital media director and music producer (his music is still popular in the Swedish iTunes EDM and hip hop charts), not to mention a contributing author to A List Apart.
I am so happy for my friend, and even happier to see him putting his brilliance to use addressing one of the greatest economic, ecological, and social challenges of our time. Not everyone who is smart and talented is making smartphone camera apps (not that there’s anything wrong with it).
I’d like to give everyone reading this page a special holiday gift this year: free carbon neutrality for a day. As a bonus, after claiming your One Day gift, you can pass it on to your friends, family, and colleagues.
To claim the gift, visit my One Day Carbon Neutral page, created by Brighter Planet.
So far, Brighter Planet has given away over 3,300 gifts and offset more than 440,000 pounds of CO2. That’s like everyone in America turning off their lights for a minute. The goal is to give away 5,000 One Day gifts and offset 680,000 pounds of CO2.
The average American emits 136 pounds of carbon dioxide each day. About 36 pounds come from driving, flying, and other travel. Another 22 pounds come from heating, cooling, and powering our homes. The final 78 pounds come from producing, transporting, and disposing of all the stuff we buy, and from shared services like schools and street lights. 136 pounds would fill 5,000 balloons—imagine releasing that every day.
Brighter Planet supports renewable energy projects in communities across the U.S.
[tags]climate change, offsets, gift, holiday[/tags]
During the last couple of months, dozens of Vimeo members created videos to inspire the next American president to take action on climate change. Here are the 16 finalists; winners will be announced Tuesday.
[tags]climate change, environment, global warming, carbon footprint, brighter planet, video, competition, contest[/tags]