Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bloggers' Mini Hydropower Chains

How may we bloggers win the anti-poverty war? One way: we use guerilla tactics thru business modeling. We set up an agri-business in the 3rd World that is so profitable that all local employee groups will copy it, thereby creating millions of jobs for bottom poor. Example: a model chain of mini-dams with hydropower plants and managed forest in the Philippines. The Philippines has the second highest-priced electricity in the Pacific Rim. Yet the country is 60% mountains that average 1,500 meters in height. Along the uplands form thousands of stream nets that feed 130 lowland rivers. The mountains are 85% denuded, so most upland waters come only during the 6-month rainy season. Reforesting the stream nets should create year-round waters (plant roots hold rainwater and gradually release them). Stream nets dammed by mini-hydropower plant chains can create cheap power at terawatt levels.

Bloggers by the hundreds of thousands may contribute $5-up each over a few months to set up one such mini hydropower chain in a Philippine mountain range. The project should come with a 500-hectare watershed reforestation lease. At such high cost of local power and with ‘almost free fuel’ in the form of rainfall, hydropower profits can rise through the roof. Proof: some members of the Philippine oligarchy are power barons who used massive power generation and distribution profits to build giant corporate groups. For our model, we can charge low power rates yet raise profits even more thru a ‘sideline’ forest ranch. Our ranch raises several thousand goats, sheep and cattle that feed on high-protein reforestation leaves. Additional profits may come from production of honey, mushrooms (several species), orchids, ornamental plants, bamboo, medicinal materials, berry juices and wines, fruits, hardwoods, softwoods and rattan, all thru our 500-hectare managed forest. All the technologies already exist locally. Our power company just need to hire consultant experts to help set up the outfits. Dividends can go way above average corporate returns. Most profits should be recycled to set up a similar module in another Philippine mountain range.

How does all these address mass poverty? The key is the attraction of high profits among employee masses. Most Philippine employees dream of ‘sideline income’ to augment subsistence-level salaries that range from just $200 to $500 monthly. Our high-profit mini-hydropower with forest ranch project will encourage over 30 million Philippine employees to form thousand-member entrepreneurial groups that will build similar projects. Lacking capital, they will press for a law that grants loans to such ‘mass entrepreneurs’ provided they form joint ventures with 1st World companies. Joint ventures quadruple local capital thru dollar infusions and equipment loans. The locals will thereby get their turbines, alternators, power distribution equipment and construction materials without making more investments. The law should finance more agribusinesses that use power and water from the mini-dam chains. Examples: sweet sorghum plantations with ethanol distilleries, multi-crop farms, forested ranches, forest resorts, food processing factories, mini steel mills and parts-making plants to supply all the agribusinesses.

All the industries should create millions of jobs for the poor while flooding employee masses with stock shares and corporate dividends. Since laws take effect forever unless repealed, the happy picture just goes on for all eternity. Our Philippine model will likely be copied by all tropical countries with upland ranges, eventually employing billions of the tropics’ bottom poor. The bonus is just as planet-size: new forests and farms tropics-wide absorbing millions of tons of greenhouse gases every second, thereby arresting the progress of global warming. And this is just one among many anti-poverty guerilla tactics that blogging nets worldwide can adopt.

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