I opine

Dr. Pan for POTUS!

Posted in ethics by jaeminuf on September 22, 2008

Yes. Obviously I’m being hyperbolic. Besides, yes, I know. He’s ineligible since he’s neither an American citizen nor a natural born one. But find out why I would feel impelled to nominate him for POTUS.

White-headed langurs are born canary yellow. Here, a newborn langur clings to its mother.

Need a break from trying to decide whether or not the boy who cried wolf is crying for real this time? From trying to decide whether to laugh or cry at the sheer embarrassment that is the American federal government, primarily the White House but the other two hallowed halls aren’t so sacrosanct themselves?

Our leaders can learn a thing or two from Dr. Pan Wenshi, one man who is singlehandedly saving a species from extinction, a village from the poverty that had driven them to cannibalize their natural resources, and humanity’s tenuous faith in its own perfectibility which Mencius propounded.

Read on and enjoy the warm fuzzies! You’ll need it to get back to watching the tragicomedy that is becoming an epic by the day.

A breakthrough in protecting the species came in 1997 when he helped local villagers build a pipeline to secure clean drinking water. Shortly thereafter, a farmer from the village freed a trapped langur and brought it to Dr. Pan.

“When you help the villagers, they would like to help you back,” he said.

As self-appointed local advocate, Dr. Pan raised money for a new school in another village, oversaw the construction of health clinics in two neighboring towns and organized physicals for women throughout the area.

“Now, when outsiders try to trap langurs,” Dr. Pan said, “the locals stop them from coming in.”

It Takes Just One Village to Save a Species:
By helping a Chinese village out of poverty, Pan Wenshi protects the endangered langur

The New York Times

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Collective Consuming Power! Dangling the Carrot…

Posted in economy by jaeminuf on September 8, 2008

(For the full, funnier 10 minute version, go to Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.)

Environmental activism via consumerism: Carrotmob mobilizes the good people of San Francisco to shop en masse at a convenience store that agrees to spend 22% of the generated revenue on energy efficient retrofits to the store.

Wildly successful would be an understatement.

CBS5 Eye Witness News’s segment on the event.
(Note the lazy journalism.
Nearly all of the footage featured is from Carrotmob‘s youtube video.)

I raised my eyebrow at Carrotmob’s presentation of environmental activism via consumerism as if it were some radically new notion. Anyone older than a Millennial certainly remembers the impact had by The Body Shop and the environmental consumerist activism of the late 80s and early 90s. The really nice part about this Carrotmob effort, however, is that the impact was immediately evident and local. As they say, it’s a win-win situation.