Daily Green Wrap-Up 3.May, 2012

Ma Jun won a Goldman Environmental Prize last month for his work to improve corporate environmental standards in China by increasing transparency and accountability in the manufacturing industry. The organization he founded, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), created two pollution databases exposing over 90,000 air and water violations by local and multinational companies. Jun also developed the Green Choice supply chain program, encouraging consumers to influence corporate behavior.
Last fall, Thailand was hit by a devastating flood that damaged parts of 65 of Thailand’s 77 provinces, killed 815 people and affected the lives and homes of more than 13 million. Some parts of Bangkok were under over two meters (6.5 feet) of water (PDF) and normal life in the city came to a halt. Those are incredible numbers, but the story of what happened since then is just as amazing. Aside from the intense work of the people, which is astonishing in its own way, we recently learned that the country – the local auto industry included – is bouncing back.
As Oilprice.com embarks on its Top 5 series, we thought it expedient to begin with our take on the key figures shaping and influencing U.S. renewable energy efforts, not least because the issue of energy security is being prioritized in campaigning ahead of U.S. presidential elections.
It may seem obvious that underground homes often serve well as natural disaster shelters. This is especially true of the underground homes that are built from concrete and rebar. Some people use wood in their underground homes, but this is not as secure if you’re wanting your house to double as an emergency shelter.
Gamification applies game design to make otherwise boring tasks more engaging. Think of airline points and loyalty cards. However, the rise of social media and mobile internet (smart phones, tablets) has taken games to whole new level of customer engagement (some say addiction!) and online sharing of brand loyalty.
Pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics — the triadic mainstay of the conventional farmer/rancher but anathema to many concerned about how these modern farming “tools” affect our food and environment. The answer? Some say organic farming.
But is it really the answer?

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