Clean Stoves Can Save Lives

The World Health Organization reports that around three billion people cook and heat their homes with an open fire that burns biomass such as wood and coal. That’s HALF of all people in the world! Nearly two million people die prematurely from illness attributable to indoor air pollution from household solid fuel use. Eighty five percent of those people who die are women and children.

Those are staggering numbers! How many of us in the developed world knew about this? I mean the last time I lit a wood fire was on a recreational camping trip. Not to eat my next meal.

You may wonder why so many people burn wood, coal, or dung for heating and cooking. Simply it’s because these are often the only resources available and affordable. People use what they have to survive. Oftentimes they go to great lengths, like walking many miles, to get fuel such as wood.

Fortunately there are clean stoves that can greatly reduce the poisons that are emitted when heating and cooking with biomass. These stoves are based on the Rocket Stove.  It’s design helps combust all the material that are being burned. That way it doesn’t end up in the air.

One example is the StoveTec Stove developed by the Aprovecho Research Center.  They have models that burn wood, coal, and pasteurize water. They range in costs from approximately $90 to $115 USD. But you can buy one for someone in need for only $15.

For some of us in the US these stoves could be a great alternative to the gas grill you have out back. Do your part in reducing the demand for natural gas in the US. Use waste wood instead and put the remaining charcoal in your soil for the garden. Plus you can put fewer greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and help slow global warming.

I’m going to get one for someone who really needs a clean stove and try it out myself too. Join me!

Tech for Good 001

The Aprovecho Institutional Rocket Stove (Video)

This is cross posted from Thanks to them for allowing me to post it here.

An Obama/Edwards ticket?

No disrespect to my friends who support John Edwards. I believe he is a excellent Presidential candidate. But imagine this. What about a Obama/Edwards ticket? What if John Edwards ran with Obama as his Vice President? A white Southern man who serves beside a black President from Chicago. We could have this soon. It could amplify the already powerful potential for healing that a black President will bring. It would say, YES! We are equal. North and South. Black and White. Because I believe equality is a kind of give and take. Whites have taken way to much from Blacks. Its time we gave back. Please give back with humility Mr. Edwards.

Its not only time for a black President but for white men to serve him. (Myself included.) The 21st Century American South can do this and not be ashamed. We can be proud that we work together for the same causes. Social and economic equality for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability!

Palestinians break out from Gaza seige

Check out this amazing video of tens of thousands of Palestinian people rushing into Egypt to feed themselves and find supplies. Amazingly a major section of the Israeli wall has been torn down. My first look at major American news media reveals few reports. But the NYTimes has a few slide shows. Amazing pictures. Plus goto Democracy Now and read Tens of Thousands of Palestinians Seeking Basic Supplies Flood Egypt for Second Day.

Thousands of Palestinians are pouring into Egypt from Gaza for a second consecutive day after militants destroyed most of a border wall in the town of Rafah on Wednesday. Gazans are rushing across the border to stock up on food, fuel, medicines and other basic supplies, which have become scarce or unaffordable after months of economic isolation.

Power to the (Palestinian) People!
Continue reading “Palestinians break out from Gaza seige”

Chapel Hill Town Council Resolution on Immigration

Tonight the Chapel Hill Town Council has on its agenda a petition from the Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee proposing A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY ON ARREST FOR CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION and A RESOLUTION TO REDRESS SOME OF THE HARM CAUSED BY THE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF SIMA FALLAHI. See the pdf of the resolutions and full text bellow the fold. Tonights full agenda is located here. Learn more about what happened to Sima in the OP posts Free Sima and Sima Update.
(Text is subject to change)



WHEREAS, in Section 15A-401 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the General Assembly has specified the circumstances under which law enforcement officers may arrest persons, with or without an arrest warrant;


WHEREAS, the list of circumstances under which a person may be arrested does not include an arrest of persons whose only known violation of law is or may be a civil violation of federal immigration statutes;

NOW THEREFORE, the Chapel Hill Town Council resolves:

Section 1. It shall be the policy of the Town of Chapel Hill not to arrest or take into custody persons when the sole basis for arresting or taking such persons into custody is that they have or may have committed a civil immigration violation.

Section 2. This resolution shall become effective upon adoption.

This the 26th day of February 2007.


WHEREAS, the Town of Chapel Hill is committed to the human and civil rights of its residents and to actions that preserve and protect those rights, demonstrated by its stand on October 8, 2003, in voting to protect its residents against unconstitutional actions (2003-10-08/R-5.1);


WHEREAS, enforcement of civil immigration laws has historically been a federal obligation considered off-limits to state and local law enforcement;


WHEREAS, serious concerns have been raised regarding the ability of state and local police to prevent and solve crimes when non-citizens fear that state and local enforcement officers will enforce immigration laws against them;

WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill Town Council regrets the tragic consequences of the detention of Sima Fallahi for a civil violation of a federal immigration statute, resulting in her subsequent imprisonment, separation from her eleven-year-old daughter Leila, and the threat of deportation leading to probable imprisonment in her native Iran;


WHEREAS, members of the community have come forward to support Sima and Leila Fallahi, including incurring legal costs which will be at least $10,000 to $1 5,000;


WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill Town Council seeks to redress some of the harm that has been done in this instance;

NOW THEREFORE, the Chapel Hill Town Council resolves:

Section 1. To make a significant contribution to the legal costs incurred in providing effective legal counsel to Sima Fallahi in her effort to reopen her case and seek political asylum in the United States.

Section 2. This resolution shall be effective upon adoption.
This the 26th day of February, 2007

Cross posted from Orange Politics.

Egyptian Blogger Gets 4 Years in Prison

The AP on WaPo is reporting that Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil, aka Kareem Amer, has been sent to prison for blogging.

Abdel Kareem Nabil, a 22-year-old former student at Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, had been a vocal secularist and sharp critic of conservative Muslims in his blog. He often lashed out at Al-Azhar _ the most prominent religious center in Sunni Islam _ calling it “the university of terrorism” and accusing it of encouraging extremism.

Nabil’s lawyer, Ahmed Seif el-Islam, said he would appeal the verdict, adding it will “terrify other bloggers and have a negative impact on freedom of expression in Egypt.” Nabil had faced a possible maximum sentence of nine years in prison.

This is something I think bloggers around the world should be concerned about. Its an amazing free speech violation. Keep up with events at Learn more about Kareem via the Kareem FAQ.

Reporters Without Boarders has condemned his sentence:

Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned the four-year prison sentence imposed today by a court in Alexandria on Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman for “inciting hatred of Islam” and insulting President Hosni Mubarak in his blog, for which he used the pseudonym of “Kareem Amer.”

“This sentence is a disgrace,” the press freedom organisation said. “Almost three years ago to the day, President Mubarak promised to abolish prison sentences for press offences. Suleiman’s conviction and sentence is a message of intimidation to the rest of the Egyptian blogosphere, which had emerged in recent years as an effective bulwark against the regime’s authoritarian excesses.”

Bridging the Digital Divide RDU style

Big props to Fiona Morgan for writing about all the work people are doing in the Triangle to bridge the digital divide. The Independent has the following stories:

The future of individual empowerment is dependent on information access. For people young and old to create the good life they want they must have knowledge. That knowledge is increasingly obtained digitally.

Hat tip to Paul Jones.

The General Assembly belongs to the people, not the powerful

HKonJ: Big March in Raleigh Tomorrow
Historic Thousands on Jones Street, aka HKonJ, is tomorrow. Check out this video of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the North Carolina State NAACP.

From the HKonJ website:

HKonJ: The People’s General Assembly

In order to make substantial and progressive change in North Carolina public policy, we need a movement and not a moment.

HKonJ is a call by the North Carolina NAACP to the progressive and civil rights community to come together to support 14-point public policy strategy that will begin to shift North Carolina political action in a way that will more clearly match our rhetoric with reality.

February 12, 2007 is the 98th birthday of the NAACP, in commemoration of a time when progressive whites and blacks came together to fight racial injustice and social inequality. Today, our challenges revolve around the issues of education, health, labor rights, economic empowerment, civic engagement, and criminal justice.

The goals of HKonJ are to:

* Gather 50-100 people from 100 counties in Raleigh before the General Assembly to embrace a 14-point agenda that we demand the legislature to act upon. We will insert the 14-point agenda in every political debate and discussion until they become a reality.

* Remind North Carolina that the General Assembly belongs to the people, not the powerful; to everyday folk, not just those with the money and the influence.

* Create a statewide network of the progressive and civil rights community which we will build in order to promote a progressive agenda and civil rights in North Carolina .

HKonJ will not be a moment, but a movement. This event will bring hardworking, everyday people together and on March 28, 2007 the Second Annual People of Color Legislative Day where we bring hundreds of people together to lobby the General Assembly will be held.