Stephan Faris | Journalist » The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans

“The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor AfricansPosted by stephanfaris under Bloomberg Businessweek , KenyaComments Off on The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans My profile of M-Kopa, a company selling solar power to people making less than $2 a day, has just been published by Bloomberg Businessweek. Tom Opiyo is the best-performing salesperson at M-Kopa Solar, a Kenyan company selling solar power systems to the very poor. Watching him work, it’s not hard to see why. Opiyo is a pastor who used to be a musician and concert promoter, and when he’s closing a sale he never stops talking. “The electric company can sometimes leave you in the dark. With M-Kopa, the light cannot go out,” he tells a group of 15 potential customers gathered under a tree in a rural area in western Kenya on a sunny October afternoon. “If you get power from the power company, you will always be paying. But when you buy M-Kopa, it’s yours forever.” Opiyo is tall and thin, with a closely shaved head he keeps shaded under an M-Kopa baseball cap. He infuses his pitch with quotes from the Bible and brings in an actor to break the ice with impersonations of famous Kenyan politicians. But his underlying argument is financial. Before demonstrating his product, Opiyo walks the group through a calculation, asking how much each person spends a week on kerosene. He works out what that adds up to over the course of a year and then totals a sum for the entire group. “I show them the cost of what they are using compared to what I’m going to give them,” Opiyo says. “If you bring this to their minds, they can see how they are foolish, and then you know they are going to buy.” ”

Source: Stephan Faris | Journalist » The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans

I believe here is a way to calculate Carbon footprint of Air travel

A link in the piece before from the NYT, What you can do to reduce your footprint, linked to this piece, which is care of

“This text documents the details of the public atmosfair Emissions Calculator program, accessible at There is also a more sophisticated business version of the calculator (reporting tools for business travel agents). For enquiry, please mail to 1.Principles 2.What factors determine how climate-damaging my flight is and how are they captured by the Emissions Calculator? 3. On what data sources is the Emissions Calculator based? 4. How accurate are the methods and results? 5. Overview: aircraft types, seating, engines and standard distances 6. References

Source: Microsoft Word – Documentation_Calculator_EN_2008_Nina.doc – Documentation_Calculator_EN_2008.pdf

What You Can Do About Climate Change – The New York Times

“Eating local is lovely, but most carbon emissions involving food don’t come from transportation — they come from production, and the production of red meat and dairy is incredibly carbon-intensive.Emissions from red-meat production come from methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Experts disagree about how methane emissions should be counted in the planet’s emissions tally, but nearly everyone agrees that raising cattle and sheep causes warming that is an order of magnitude more than that from raising alternate protein sources like fish and chicken (the latter of which have the added benefit of creating eggs).According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon, a typical household that replaces 30 percent of its calories from red meat and dairy with a combination of chicken, fish and eggs will save more carbon than a household that ate entirely local food for a full year.Yes, eating nothing but locally grown fruits and vegetables would reduce your carbon footprint the most. But for people not ready to make that leap, reducing how much meat you eat matters more than going local.”

Source: What You Can Do About Climate Change – The New York Times