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Articles by Shalini Ramanathan

Shalini Ramanathan is a project developer with Africa Clean Energy and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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  • The new economic powerhouse

    This book review of China, Inc. scares me. While green design and social responsibility have taken firm root in Europe and are penetrating the American consciousness, China, as this book review makes clear, is a ruthless economic machine devoted to one thing only: undercutting everybody else's prices. (I wouldn't want to be the one introducing CSR in sweatshops staffed by desperate ex-peasants churning out plastic bunnies, way cheaper than anyone else can make plastic bunnies.)

  • Sustainable building in China?

    Check out this article in Metropolis about sustainable building in China. The country's Ministry of Construction has announced breathtakingly ambitious plans to reduce all buildings' energy use by 50% by 2010 and to use PV and other renewable energy technologies to power 80 million square meters of building space.

    The article notes that, if implemented, the building program would be the most ambitious in world history.

  • Deck chairs on the Titanic

    While it's noble that people the world over are horrified by the human toll of the tsunami (Mozambique just donated $100,000 for tsunami relief), this outpouring of sympathy is not altogether logical. As Nicholas Kristof pointed out in the New York Times, malaria, AIDS, and diarrhea each cause as many deaths each month as the tsunami did in December. If it was the actual toll of human suffering that got to us (and not just the theatrics of destruction), maybe we as a species would be more concerned about climate change. But for now, we can at least read about why investing in infrastructure in low-lying coastal areas may not be such a smart idea. Here's an interesting analysis by The Australia Institute.

  • If loving The Onion is wrong, I don’t wanna be right

    Two years ago, a friend challenged me to get through a single day without quoting The
    Onion
    even once. Couldn't do it then; can't do it now.

    Here, just in time to celebrate Russia dropping off accession papers on the ratification of Kyoto, comes a sober overview of climate change impacts.