It’s not every day I have a chance to see one of Time’s “Most Influential People” (Mark Zuckerberg has not visited Oxford recently), so today I availed myself of an opportunity see Dambisa Moyo speak at the Rhodes House. I’m fascinated by Dambisa Moyo because she has managed to take a topic no one cares… Continue reading To be Dambisa…
Here’s an idea that doesn’t get nearly enough consideration in the development community: poor countries are poor because they’re hot. Okay, I’m not going to try even a half-assed defense of that statement. I’m pretty sure there’s no shortage of peer-reviewed articles that disprove the climate-development link, and that if I thought for four seconds… Continue reading Heat
This weekend, I was the future of the Huaorani nation. This may sound like a rather strong and paternalistic statement coming from a non-Huaorani, but I’m pretty sure the four Huaorani guides with which I travelled this weekend would agree. Indeed, ask almost anyone in the Ecuadorian Amazon what they will live off of if… Continue reading Ecotourism Will Save Us All!
I rarely have to ask more than a handful of questions in my interviews here: as soon as I mention “oil” and “Amazon” in the same sentence, people here can go on for hours. It’s better that way, of course, since it allows me to stick to a few Spanish paragraphs of explanation of my… Continue reading Location, Location, Location
If I actually had the wherewithal to draw up a budget for this trip, I think I would have to include a byline for what I give to mendigos (Spanish for “beggars”). As sure as it is that I will go to Café Amazonica every day in Coca—they get the whole vegetarian thing, and have… Continue reading Mendigos and Some Development Naivety
Q: How do I know Yasuní National Park is the most biodiverse place in the planet? A: Because on Saturday mornings, that diversity is on sale in Pompeya. I´m not quite sure what I was expecting to discover this Saturday, but I certainly didn´t plan on finding anything as disturbing as I did. One of… Continue reading Blood on All Hands
If laws on the books were all that mattered, I’d put Ecuador way ahead of the U.S. The new constitution gives a formal right to existence and protection to “nature”, and, somewhat more practically, offers civil unions to gay couples. Ecuador has nearly open-borders and strict gun control; almost the inverse of the U.S., where… Continue reading La Revolución Ciudadana Está En Marcha