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    Sunday, March 29, 2009

    Earth Hour 2009

    Yesterday night, my friend and I observed the 2009 Earth Hour, from 20:30 till 21:30, Jakarta's time. Along with us, 83 countries the world over were participating, turning off lights for an hour to raise awareness of global warming.

    In Jakarta, the local government committed to turn off the lights in 5 of the city's icons: the City Hall, the the National Monument, the fountain of Arjuna Wiwaha, the Youth Statue at Senayan, and the Welcoming Monument at Hotel Indonesia roundabout. I suppose you can guess where I was from the video?

    video


    And this is the scenery when all the lights were turned on again:

    video


    I know there are some of you out there questioning the purpose of such event, and if it could really curb climate change. Well, directly? It's not nearly enough.

    The event was held to raise awareness for the public at large of efforts that can be done to stop global warming, and to raise their curiosity of climate change, its dangers, and measures to be taken to save the planet.

    For the act was so simple, yet done en masse it would put a dent in the amount of carbon emitted in one day. Imagine the possibility of more complex, concerted, and conscious efforts could have done?

    Friday, March 06, 2009

    The Big Freeze

    I came across a video on Financial Times website. The video is a report by investment editor, John Authers, on the financial crisis that has hurt the world's economies, developed and developing alike. A financial crisis that was rooted from the US subprime mortgage sector.

    As Mr. Authers said, it may started from US subprime mortgage, but the implication is far and wide. Financial companies are collapsing, bringing with them others in different industries. As purchasing power hit by streams of layoffs, profits across the board are tumbling down. In an interconnected economy, the effects are felt globally and rapidly.

    As Americans spend more than they earned, fueled by ever-increasing debt, the momentum has carried them deep in debt. So deep, that it would take years to unlever it. Historically, housing price has always been increasing, but in drying demand caused by mortgage defaults, price no longer holds. Since the price is declining, would that increase further defaults as people holding mortgage higher than the actual price of their homes?

    James Melcher of Balestra Capital, called the subprime mortgage meltdown a year ahead, profiting tremendously from crisis. Mr. Melcher believes that the worst may have yet to come. People are desperate to believe the market has bottomed, that it can only go up from now on. Opportunities to profit?