Today is the anniversary of the beginning of Syria’s revolution. So far eight to nine thousand people have been killed and countless wounded. 230,000 have fled their homes. The opposition has planned rallies to mark the day, although the Syrian army is bolstering its presence in opposition strongholds, making it difficult. Activist Adel El-Omari said: “It is clear that they have tightened the siege because they are worried about what people will do for the anniversary.”
One of the latest pieces of news out of Syria is the revelation of the contents of the Assads’ emails, as obtained by the Guardian. There are several thousand of them, revealing the Assads’ lives of casual luxury, ordering apps off iTunes while their country erupts.
Photos: Homs. Feb 15th. Satellite photo/AP, Idlib. Feb 26th. Rodrigo Abd/AP, Bab Tudmor, Homs. Feb 25th. Stringer/AFP, Idlib. March 10th. Rodrigo Abd/AP, Al-Qusayr. Feb 24th. Alessio Romenzi for TIME.
But no, Pentagon, I want to hear more about how things are working out for us in Afghanistan. Because, I think, if you say it one more time I might decide to believe you despite all the evidence presented just in 2012 alone.
One of the more frustrating aspects of our engagement with global climate change is that the crisis is manifesting itself in various ways right now, whereas the proposed solutions always seem to be gradual and incremental “works in progress.” Take the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has been assembling for 15 years, with — let’s be honest — precious little to show for it. The ramifications of a warmer world are already upon us; but it’s not always easy to find agencies, programs or projects that are meeting the urgent problems with practical, shovel-ready solutions.
Which is why it’s so refreshing to hear of something like the Climate Resilience Lab, organized by PopTech, a “community of innovators” best known for their unorthodox, “disruptive” approach to problem-solving and their annual conferences up in Maine. For three days in late February, the Lab brought together a diverse group of experts in Nairobi, Kenya, where they all collaborated on new ways of helping vulnerable communities deal with the impacts of climate change.
One of climate change’s cruelest ironies is that its impact is felt most by those who are least responsible for it — namely, the rural poor in the developing world. With that in mind, the Lab focused its energies on agrarian communities, and paid particular attention, as PopTech president Leetha Filderman explained to me, “on the role that adolescent girls and women might play in building community-based climate resilience strategies.”
ON THE RUNWAY: Chanel Fall 2012
Photographed by Kevin Tachman
Here is today’s quick take: Michael Lynch, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of OPX Biotechnologies, explains how researchers will develop and optimize a unique, engineered microorganism that produces a biodiesel equivalent fuel from renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide, at costs of less than $2.50 per gallon. Water will be the primary byproduct. The project will draw on OPX’s proprietary genomics technology and NREL’s improved microorganisms for hydrogen utilization and carbon fixation for rapid metabolic engineering. The team will investigate the catalytic conversion of this microbial biodiesel into additional fuel molecules, most importantly jet fuel.