Across the tropics, people worked out long ago how to transform fig tree bark into comfortable cloth—the practice could even predate weaving. In Uganda, such barkcloth has served as a symbol of protest, a form of money, and the exclusive raiment of kings and queens. It has been suppressed by religion, colonialism, and war, yet the tradition has persisted. And now barkcloth has found a new life as a source of local pride, as well as in international markets for home furnishings, high fashion, and even aerospace materials. It is creating jobs, and is entirely sustainable. Continue reading
A cautionary tale: Kony 2012 – The backlash
Would you give guys like these your money if they said they would spend it well? Or follow them into a messy world of politics and power that you don’t really understand? Many thousands did this week without asking the questions that social media now enable us to ask. From at least some quarters of the internet, the online backlash was swift.
What does your government tell you about climate change?
Nearly 20 years ago, nearly 200 governments pledged to inform their citizens about climate change and its effects. What is yours doing? Continue reading