A cardboard box with foil and a plastic cover, positioned as a “solar-power cooker” (see YouTube video below) won the $75,000 first prize in the Hewlett-Packard-sponsored Financial Times Climate Change Challenge. The contest goal was “to find and publicize the most innovative and scalable solution to the effects of climate change.”
The apparent idea behind the so-called “Kyoto Box” is to reduce the burning of wood for cooking. The plan of inventor Jon Bohmer is to have Kyoto Boxes distributed to poor Africans courtesy of corporations that would earn carbon credits for distributing the boxes. Each box would earn Bohmer an estimated $26-40 annually.
- How do you cook when the sun goes down? Or are Africans supposed to be tucked away in their beds by then wrapped in that other 21st century western “technology” offered by the greens — i.e., mosquito netting?
- Why doesn’t HP sponsor a contest to figure out development projects that would enable poor Africans to obtain the money they need to obtain electricity, water & sewer, etc.?
- Isn’t the Kyoto Box, at best, like putting a band-aid on a cancer lesion?
- Isn’t it interesting how the purpose of the contest is to avert climate change rather than to help poor Africans lead a better life? if you’re a poor African, do you really care about atmospheric carbon dioxide and mean global temperatures 100 years from now?
- How much climate change could possibly be caused by poor Africans cooking on wood fires in the first place?
- Doesn’t it seem like the only true beneficiaries are Bohmer (who will profit obscenely by assembling some cardboard, plastic and foil) and the corporations who can earn carbon credits (while continuing to emit greenhouse gases) and score PR points.
Though many plan to profit by exploiting poor Africans, here’s the real math behind Bohmer’s cardboard cooker:
Kyoto Box = Moral bankruptcy + Intellectual bankruptcy