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The Greenhouse Project in the inner-city of Johannesburg is turning one urban park into a seedbed for sustainable communities. As their website explains, the program takes a holistic approach to the city’s challenges, integrating green building and design, efficient and renewable energy, recycling, organic farming and nutrition.
Back in June, I posted an idea (or rather two) on how to improve the NYC Subways. I still haven’t found the MTA suggestion box, but I do have a NYC Subway Improvement Idea for July. This time it’s just a borrowed idea from my travels.
Still, he notes that the Taliban recruits the poor and illiterate, and he also argues that when women are educated they are more likely to restrain their sons. Five of his teachers are former Taliban, and he says it was their mothers who persuaded them to leave the Taliban; that is one reason he is passionate about educating girls.
So I have this fantasy: Suppose that the United States focused less on blowing things up in Pakistan’s tribal areas and more on working through local aid groups to build schools, simultaneously cutting tariffs on Pakistani and Afghan manufactured exports. There would be no immediate payback, but a better-educated and more economically vibrant Pakistan would probably be more resistant to extremism.
“Schools are a much more effective bang for the buck than missiles or chasing some Taliban around the country,” says Mr. Mortenson, who is an Army veteran.
Each Tomahawk missile that the United States fires in Afghanistan costs at least $500,000. That’s enough for local aid groups to build more than 20 schools, and in the long run those schools probably do more to destroy the Taliban.
Mortenson has written a book “Three Cups Of Tea“, which I haven’t read, but is a best seller. If only we had an administration that understood what a good idea education is, both home and abroad.
Being a city-dweller, I was a fan of congestion pricing to reduce traffic, but I understand why it could not pass for NYC in the state capitol. Nonetheless I like the stick-to-it-ness of the mayor to find ways to make the city greener.