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Is America's Current Oil Boom Real (Episode #521)

KQED World: Sat, May 25, 2013 -- 7:30 AM

The US is embarking on the road to energy independence - but is the current Texas oil boom for real? At the same time, a group in South Africa is trying to move the country away from fossil fuel consumption. "Transition Towns" promote sustainable and self-sufficient energy consumption. The details:
TEXAS - THE NEW OIL BOOM - Soon the US will swimming in oil - at least, that's the way it looks to some people. More than 100 years after the first oil boom in Texas, people are pinning their hopes on the Eagle Ford Shale formation in the southern part of the state. The site yields more than $100 million worth of oil every month. Some experts warn that production can't continue at these levels over the long term. But even if production does decline, the International Energy Agency predicts that the US may well become energy-independent by 2035.
GLOBAL LIVING ROOM: VIETNAM - Nguyen Tuan Bao and his wife Khanh have lived in the same building for 40 years. Their eldest son lives above them and their youngest in the ground floor apartment. Nguyen Tuan Bao, who works as a tourist guide, is especially proud of the time he spent studying in the former East Germany.
SOUTH AFRICA - A TOWN IN TRANSITION - South Africa's economic growth is powered by fossil fuels. Electricity is produced mainly by environmentally unfriendly, coal-fired power plants. But some people are trying to change that. In the hamlet of Greyton, about 150 kilometers northeast of Cape Town, 100 activists have joined forces to make their town more sustainable and energy-independent, by turning it into a Transition Town. They want to revamp the entire local infrastructure, increase the use of solar power, and promote the use of regional products. They're also trying to educate local young people about the importance of protecting the environment.
ORGANIC COSMETICS AND FAIR WAGES - Filipino Social Entrepreneur Anna Meloto's company, Human Nature, aims to fight poverty in the Philippines while producing cosmetics sustainably. More than 90% of the country's population live on the equivalent of less than 2 euros a day. Prices are rising - particularly for basic foods such as rice. Meloto's company pays fair prices for the raw materials it uses to produce its cosmetics - and provides an important source of income for many farmers.

New York's Ambassadors On Wheels (Episode #520)

KQED World: Sat, May 18, 2013 -- 7:30 AM

Power outages are common in Lebanon, so diesel generators are hard at work across the country. But they are expensive to run and bad for the environment. Renewables linked to the grid may be the answer. Child labor is a global problem. In Bolivia, young workers have set up a union to fight for their rights. The details:
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN LEBANON - Because of frequent and lengthy power outages, many families and businesses in Lebanon make use of diesel generators, which pollute the environment. Wind turbines and photovoltaic systems are promising alternatives. A project initiated by the UN links up decentralized renewable energy sources to the grid. A net-metering system keeps track of how much green energy each small provider feeds into the grid. That earns the provider credits for energy to be taken from the grid at a later date.
CHILD WORKERS AND THEIR UNION IN BOLIVIA - Around the world an estimated 215 million children work on a regular basis. The prevailing view is that child labor must be abolished, but child workers in Bolivia - and elsewhere - argue there is no alternative for now, and are fighting for their rights. Child workers in Bolivia have set up their own labor union. They are demanding decent pay, working hours that do not conflict with the school day, and better conditions. They say they have to work to feed themselves and their families. In their eyes, child labor should only be banned when adults succeed in making enough to support their families.
QUESTIONNAIRE: JANA STROE, A TAXI DRIVER IN NEW YORK CITY, USA - Jana Stroe (57) from Romania has been driving a cab in New York for almost 26 years. As a proud New Yorker, she sees taxi drivers as ambassadors for the city. She loves driving and meeting people from all over the world. She works hard and hopes to see her son through law school.
CHINESE NURSES PREPARE TO WORK IN GERMANY - There is a shortage of caregivers and nurses in Germany, and plenty of well-qualified staff in China who are eager to work abroad. A commercial school in China prepares nurses to go and work abroad, teaching them the language of their destination country and informing them about the customs and culture there. A group of 150 are getting ready to come to Germany.

The Medellin Losing Its Hold On Colombia (Episode #519)

KQED World: Sat, May 11, 2013 -- 7:30 AM

COLOMBIA: The Medellin Model - An End to the Violence? - Medellin used to be considered the drugs capital of South America. Since a range of cultural and social projects have seen dramatic changes in its more deprived areas, however, the city is now seen as a model for urban transformation. At the same time, the war on criminal gangs is far from over. Rapper and graffiti artist Daniel Quiceno comes from the Comuna 13 neighborhood and used to be in a gang. He tells us how and where he got involved, and about the fears he still in the social work he does with local children. IRAN: Online Shopping in Tehran - Shopping via the Internet is now perfectly normal for many people across the globe. For the citizens of Iran, however, that concept remains part of a wider dream for greater freedom. Opportunities are now gradually emerging, however - such as Iran's first Internet store. 30-year-old Eshan Golabgir founded the country's first online shopping platform, based in Tehran. He dreams of seeing his company evolving into the Iranian equivalent of the established online commerce giants. INDIA: E-Waste Recycling by Hand - Better Conditions for Delhi's Waste Pickers - From household waste to old electronic parts - India's refuse problem has reached alarming proportions. The "rag pickers" of Delhi sift through rubbish dumps with their bare hands in the search for electronic waste that they can resell. The process is harmful both to the individuals involved and the environment. A German-Indian project aims to relieve the situation.

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      (DT9.1, 9.2, 9.3) KQED (and 3 other local Bay Area stations) will be doing full-load testing on new equipment at Sutro Tower early Tues 4/22 between 1am & 5am. If all goes as planned the KQED transmitter will go off twice during the early part of this period for between 15 and 30 seconds each […]

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