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Climate feedback?

December 29, 2008

Lack of rain has left the reservoirs low, slashing hydropower production. The government has imposed severe power cuts. And the load shedding is now seriously impacting Nepal’s fledgling electric car industry. While Kathmandu’s streets choke in a smog of badly tuned motor engine exhaust, around 700 Safa Tempos (3-wheel electric vehicles) cleanly ply the streets charging at 32 stations. More than £5 million is invested in the industry, and its five manufacturing companies employ thousands. But load shedding has pushed the industry to the verge of collapse – people (often self-employed single women) who purchased a Safa on loan schemes backed by NGOs can’t afford to pay because they can’t use their cars and have to take taxis. If the industry does go under, it means more filthy cars on the streets and more carbon in the atmosphere…

If the cloud clears tonight, we’re hoping to see the smiley face in the night sky of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon! We’ll post a picture if it’s clear enough.

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