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Hans Rosling

Director, Gapminder Foundation

TEDCRED 200+

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What are your thoughts and questions on "the magic washing machine"?

I will be answering questions on my new TED talk today at 11.30 -1.30 pm EST.
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  • Mar 21 2011: I really enjoyed the talk, thank you.
    Two points: green power from hydro-electric projects comes at a huge cost to the environment and to tribal peoples, for example, the destruction of biodiversity hotspot in the Teesta Valley, Sikkim, and the destruction of UN scheduled protected land belonging to Lepcha and other people. How to measure this destruction to immediate and heritage environments, and to convey this information in a way that might raise awareness to effect mitigation of this technology's blind-spots? Is this destruction-factor considered in the 'units' of fuel use you used in the talk?
    Also, a point well made, about those at the top of consumer use telling those below what/how to do it. This hubris/ignorance even happens in developed communities - 'we need to stop spending so much on consumer goods' is irrelevant and ignorant rhetoric to the low-income family down the street who cannot keep up with the cost of buying children's shoes, and who can never afford to run a car. It divides communities in many ways, not least from sharing strategies for change and empowerment. Whilst your talk raised this issue pointedly for debate, do you have any further comment regarding ways forward? Thank you
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      Mar 21 2011: Lucy,
      You are right, dams comes at a big costs for those that lived in the valley, and they must be rightly compensated. Dams not built also come at a big cost to those that will miss the electricity in the coming decades. That electricity is capable of doing so much good to the millions of poor households in that part of the Indian sub continent so it will probably be better for the humans to build the dam. The alternative for the coming decades is probably one more nuclear power station, but that will have many long term costs and risks. So do you know of any alternative that can produce the same amount of electricity per dollar invested. India does not have that many dollars so they must really look at the cost effectiveness in producing electricity.

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