Archive for November, 2012

Supporting Fair Trade Coffee through Micro Finance

By Erica

I have previously written posts on both fair trade and micro finance, and the pros and cons that go hand-in-hand with both.  Fair trade is often a topic riddled with controversy surrounding what is actually fair trade and is it actually supporting who it needs to support.  Often farmers who are actually fair trade may struggle with start up costs or wind up paying hefty fees to support a fair trade or organic status.  This often winds up in a familiar scenario of the big guys once again winning out due to their more substantial finances.  However, a new consumer finance model called Grow Ahead is looking to solve this problem and support small scale coffee farmers through consumer lending.  Farmers need money to plant/grow their crop, but if they don’t have left over money from last year, and they have not yet turned any profit this year, they struggle to make that initial investment into this years crop.  This is where Grow Ahead comes in.  In a nut shell, they ask you, the consumer, to loan money to the farmer.  So just say you loan $25 dollars to a farmer through Grow Ahead.. your loan, along with the loans of others, lets this farmer plant his crop.. once the crop has been harvested, and the farmer has sold his crop, you get your loan back.. pretty cool!!  Click here to check out their site!

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Hey Americans!! Obama vs Romney and the Environment

by Liz

I stumbled upon this great article that is a must read for a couple of reasons:

  • it addresses the issue of the environment in the upcoming American Presidential Election which was widely left out in the debates
  • it addresses climate change and how it affected Hurricane Sandy
  • it was an interview with Bill Nye, the Science Guy!

Click here for the article.

To sum it up Bill Nye explains how climate change made Hurricane Sandy worse in very understandable terms.  He said, “Climate change amps up… basic factors that contribute to big storms… The oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms, and the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture which is drawn into storms, and is then dumped on us.”

What Bill Nye thinks about Obama and the Republicans:

President Obama, Vice President Biden and the Democratic Party’s position is consistent with what 90 percent of scientists say — that humans significantly cause the world to warm and climates to change and that, in order to slow climate change and eventually control its effects, we must slow down and regulate the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane… and develop clean, alternate forms of energy, like solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and biomass.

What Bill Nye thinks about Romney and the Republicans:

Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan and the vast majority of those in the Republican Party, however, strongly disagree and they cite a small number of researchers who say that any warming and any climate change is a natural cyclical phenomenon that has been occurring on Earth for millions of years and that human activity is not a significant factor.

Bill Nye then continues to use facts to back up his beliefs.  Click here to read more.

So Americans, come Tuesday who will YOU be voting for?

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