Sunday, November 29, 2009



In the Santo Daime tradition we like to believe that happiness -- like love and peace and health -- is something to be made through practice. The festas are spiritual practices, work-parties of joy. This weekend provided the opportunity to celebrate, at one of the several São Paulo Daime centers, the birthday of Reino do Sol's much-loved guiding teacher, Gê Marques.

It arrived at the end, but let's begin this post with the party...

Here are some excerpts from the spiritual party that preceded the birthday celebration. The hymns are from the Hinario, Primeiro Lição (First Lesson) of Gê.

And here's the slideshow.





José Murilo
José Murilo at the International Seminar of the Brazilian Digital Culture Forum

David Sasaki reports on Digital Culture

Via el oso


by David Sasaki

What do ministers of culture do? This was the question asked by Slate political reporter Chris Beam back in 2007 when, in the same week, commandos raided the Iraqi culture minister’s house to arrest him for a 2005 assassination attempt on a fellow politician. Beam’s general conclusion: “They oversee grants for the arts, fund public broadcasting, support museums, and generally seek to preserve and promote national identity.” He also notes (citing the culture ministries of Britain, Canada, Japan, France, and Brazil) that the specific responsibilities of each ministry can vary widely.

Europeans like to poke fun at the United States for not having a minister of culture. When one European asked Yahoo! Answerswhy there is no Ministry of Culture in the USA,” among the answers:

What culture? Gun carrying, money loving, whilst education and art loathing? That is the culture promoted by the Media in the USA. It’s not worth wasting money on building a ministry to represent that.

Because there is no culture in US ;)

Our minister of Culture is named Michael Savage.

But there are also some worthwhile explanations:

Because we are not a censored or closed society. Americas is too diverse to be represented by one person.

The government is not allowed to manipluate our culture, our culture is supposed to manipulate the government.

In fact, Beam tells us, there have been several attempts throughout the brief history of the United States to form some equivalent of a ministry of culture:

In 1859, President James Buchanan appointed a National Arts Commission, but it disbanded after two years. Teddy Roosevelt made a similar attempt 50 years later, and in 1937, during a fit of New Deal-fueled government expansion, a New York congressman introduced legislation to create a Department of Science, Art, and Literature, but the proposal never got beyond committee. Subsequent efforts to create a centralized cultural agency were hampered at least in part by negative associations with Nazi propaganda and “cultural planning” in the USSR.


André Malraux, an eccentric French high society novelist who was arrested in his early 20’s for attempting to remove bas-reliefs from a temple he discovered in the Cambodian jungle is commonly cited as the world’s first minister of culture, serving under Charles de Gaulle beginning in 1959. Writes Beam: he “pushed for what he called the ‘democratization of culture’ – making the arts available to everyone, not just the elite.”

Ministries of culture quickly spread throughout the world as a way for federal governments to promote national identity. This was especially important in post-colonial countries. As time went on they increasingly focused their efforts less on democratizing culture, however, and more on promoting just a few cultural superstars to attract international attention and compete on the stage of cultural globalization.

A notable and welcome exception to this trend is Gilberto Gil, a key figure in the Música Popular Brasileira and Tropicalismo movements of the 1960s, who served as Brazil’s Minister of Culture from 2003 to 2008 under Lula da Silva. Gil’s political philosophy of Tropicalismo was a natural fit to the emerging Free Culture movement of the internet generation; both celebrate a culture of remix, collaboration, and globalism. During his five years in office Gil redefined the role of the ministry of culture. Rather than perpetuating cultural pedigree, Gil hired self-declared hippie and former music producer Claudio Padro as his “digital policy coordinator” and started the Cultural Hotspots program to encourage cultural production using open-source tools in over 600 communities across the country. “We are not here to compete, we are here to share,” was a defining slogan of Gil’s mission and perspective.

My good friend Jose Murilo has been involved in several of these projects from the outset. Here he is with a youth theater group in Varjão do Torto, a low income community on the outskirts of Brasília, Brazil’s capital:

jose murilo

Today Jose Murilo is the Digital Culture Coordinator at the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and he has been largely responsible for creating the Brazilian Digital Culture Forum as a way to open up the ministry’s policy formulation to all Brazilians who wish to participate. Here he is describing the process at the recent Free Culture Forum in Barcelona:


Over the past few months I have been researching how governments use digital media tools to encourage more civic engagement, and how citizens use digital media tools to hold their governments accountable. What I have found, like Anil Dash, is that many governments are doing a pretty good job using digital media to spread awareness about their own initiatives, but not a very good job at taking advantage of digital media to listen to the valuable contributions that citizens can add to make better policy. There are some exceptions. (Check out Tiago Peixoto’s map of participatory budgeting projects.) For example, the FCC has implemented an Ideascale site to solicit ideas for their upcoming National Broadband Plan. But so far the leading idea has only received 221 votes and 7 comments. Out of a country of more than 300 million people.

Jose Murilo has realized that you must go beyond just putting up a website if you want to really foster more civic engagement in national policy creation. And so, in addition to the Cultura Digital platform (the best implementation of BuddyPress that I have seen), the Ministry of Culture has also been inviting diverse players in Brazil’s digital culture community to live events to offer their feedback on the ministry’s goals, activities, and strategies.

I was invited to present at last week’s Digital Culture Forum at the beautiful Cinemateca Braseilera. (Maybe the best conference venue I’ve seen.) I was impressed by the level of engagement of everyone present. While there was a lot of enthusiasm for the ministry’s initiative, it was clear that no one was going to let them get off the hook without answering tough questions. It was also clear that the Ministry of Culture is still limited in its ability to effect wider change regarding the use of open source software and open formats in government offices.

It was one of those weeks that made me proud to be involved in this whole community/movement/shared vision … whatever you want to call it. The word “utopianism” has been frequently applied of late to those of us working on projects that use digital media to promote participation and civic engagement. It’s an easy criticism to make for those who don’t like to get involved.

ISUMMIT06 015 - iPhoto Edited.jpg

Jose Murilo and I in 2006

cultura digital 2009

Jose Murilo and I in 2009

Murilo and I first met in person three and a half years ago at the first iCommons Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This is before Rising Voices got its start and before the Ministry of Culture even had a ‘digital culture coordinator.” Three and a half years is such a short amount of time and yet it is hard to keep track of all that has happened since our enthusiastic talks while driving through Rio’s concrete jungle about digital ecology.

I can’t wait to see what happens over the next three and a half years.


More photos...

Thursday, November 26, 2009


A perfect Thanksgiving announcement. Oregon Santo Daime is free. The government will not appeal. The US Department of Justice has decided NOT to challenge the court decision that gave religious freedom to the Santo Daime churches of Oregon.

Here is the statement from the Legal Victory Committee of the Santo Daime Churches in Oregon:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A legal update:

It has been some time since we have sent a report of our legal progress to our community. We are pleased and honored to be writing now with good news.

As we know, in March of this year the Oregon Santo Daime churches prevailed in federal district court in our lawsuit against the Department of Justice. The result of the judge's decision is that our right to legally practice our religion was affirmed under federal law.

The government then chose to appeal their loss and informed us of this in August.

Since that time, our lawyer Roy Haber has worked brilliantly and tirelessly to present our perspective to decision makers in the DOJ, seeking to bring what we knew was the Obama administration's more humane and rational sensibility to bear on the decision to appeal, which was a hold-over from the previous administration.

This week we took a very important step towards being completely free to practice our religion without any potential government interference.

The Department of Justice has explicitly agreed not to challenge the federal court ruling that the Oregon Churches may import Daime and ingest it as the sacrament at our services.

This is the basic and most important part of the judge's decision, as it solidifies our legal status and protects our rights in the future. This a great victory for all of us.

We are still negotiating with the government about a few items regarding oversight, but it looks as if we will be able to settle all of this out of court.

We would like to recognize our lawyer Roy Haber for his steadfast dedication and commitment to our cause. This moment is the direct result of the strategy that he led us to adopt, and the victory we have gained is exactly as he planned for and that we had faith would occur.

We would also like to thank all of you who have supported this process with your prayers and your contributions, and most importantly with your willingness to join us in the union that has made us worthy of this victory.

Thank you for your support up until now. And we have many bills still to pay. It is clear to us that this legal effort centered in Oregon is only the first of many steps in our unified ongoing effort.

Please be inspired to send tax deductible contributions to:

PO Box 911
Ashland Oregon

Viva the Liberation of Santo Daime!


The legal victory committee for the Santo Daime churches of Oregon

we reflect on the world and ask that everyone may someday have what today belongs only to some.

Photographer Collection: David Guttenfelder in Afghanistan
Click on any photo to see its description

With his bloodless and profound photo essay on the people and place of the war now about to escalate in Afghanistan David Guttenfelder has touched my soul. I know that few people will follow a link to a suggested photo collection so I have assembled it here. But I urge you to see the photos in larger display and peruse the comments at

I look at the photos and try to wrap my mind around what has been happening. I wonder that people live and wage war in such a place. I wonder that other countries before and the US now have spent a fortune in money and human lives, for what? I wonder that this place that seems as the end of the world has so much effect upon the world. I wonder how our predicament can be changed for the benefit of all?

"For the past seven years, David Guttenfelder has witnessed and documented the changing landscape of Afghanistan. Although mostly embedded with coalition troops, he has also covered the presidential elections, bodybuilders in Kabul, the state of Afghan prisons and daily life in the country. Guttenfelder is the chief Asia photographer for The Associated Press and over the past seven years has offered the general public a close-up, intimate look at the lives of troops fighting in the mountains and remote regions of Afghanistan."

Monday, November 23, 2009


Continue on to Part 2 and Part 3.

I deep bow of gratitude to Lian and Paul and Suely for guiding my path toward these videos.



Last Spring Newsweek magazine described emerging Brazil as The Crafty Superpower. Lula's secret seems to be offering cordiality rather than conflict and welcome rather than war. Now, he's offering it to the Middle East.

[Update November 25 - More from Alexei Barrionuevo and from José Wilson Miranda who asserts that the Obama's honeymoon in Brazil is over. ]

Brazil’s President Elbows U.S. on the Diplomatic Stage

November 23, 2009 via the NY Times


BRASÍLIA — Brazil’s ambitions to be a more important player on the global diplomatic stage are crashing headlong into the efforts of the United States and other Western powers to rein in Iran’s nuclear arms program.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president, is set to receive Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, here on Monday in his first state visit to Brazil. The visit is part of a larger push by Mr. da Silva to wade into the seemingly intractable world of Middle East politics, and follows visits in the last two weeks by Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.

But the visit is drawing criticism from lawmakers and former diplomats here and in the United States, who say it could undercut Western efforts to press Iran on its nuclear program, and consequently chill Brazil’s relations with the United States and damage its growing reputation as a global power.

Brazilian officials say the goal of the visit is to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries and help bring peace to the Middle East.

“This is part of Brazil projecting its role and strength as a global player,” said Michael Shifter, vice president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a policy research group in Washington. “And part of this has to do with Brazil sending a message to Washington that it will deal whomever it wants to deal with.”

And beyond the nuclear standoff, critics in Brazil and the United States say Mr. da Silva’s reception legitimizes Mr. Ahmadinejad just five months after what most of the world sees as his fraudulent re-election, followed by a brutal crackdown on dissent.

“This state visit is a gross error, a terrible mistake,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. “He is illegitimate with his own people, and Brazil is now going to give him the air of legitimacy at a time when the world is trying to figure out how to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. It makes no sense to me, and it tarnishes the image of Brazil, quite frankly.”

Relations between the United States and Brazil were already tense after Mr. da Silva’s government criticized the United States over its handling of the crisis in Honduras and increasing its military presence in Colombia.

But Mr. da Silva’s overture to Iran is consistent with President Obama’s policy of engagement, and the Obama administration says it is optimistic that the meeting will not damage and at best could reinforce the efforts already under way by Washington and European powers to deal with Iran.

“We would hope that all our friends and allies would understand that this is really a critical moment for Iran itself,” Ian C. Kelly, a State Department spokesman, said Thursday. “We would hope that Brazil would play a constructive role in trying to get Iran to do the right thing and fulfill its international obligations.”

Celso Amorim, Brazil’s foreign minister, said Mr. da Silva was encouraged by Western leaders, including President Obama, to seek a “direct and open dialogue” with Iran, in particular on the nuclear issue.

“It was said and reiterated that it was in the interest of Western nations that Brazil has a good interface with Iran,” Mr. Amorim said in an interview.

Brazilian officials said Mr. da Silva would try to sell Iran on the benefits of a Brazilian-style nuclear program, which is constitutionally limited to civilian use.

But Mr. Amorim made clear that Brazil did not see its role as carrying water for the proposed agreement for Iran to export most of its enriched uranium for processing into nuclear fuel.

“We are not here to convince Iran to accept some proposal,” he said. “Brazil is interested in peace.”

Since his election in 2002, Mr. da Silva has sought to cement Brazil’s dominance as Latin America’s economic and diplomatic leader, using its economic might to raise Brazil’s foreign-policy profile.

His government has also lobbied for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and has become a respected voice in world climate change discussions. In recent months, he has added Middle Eastern diplomacy to his portfolio.

Brazil is no stranger to the region. Its national oil company, Petrobras, is helping Iran develop its oil fields and the two countries did about $2 billion in trade in 2007, mostly in Brazilian exports of food to Iran, Mr. Amorim said.

Brazil joined United Nations peacekeeping missions in Egypt after the 1956 Suez Crisis and has been involved in the Middle East ever since, said David Fleischer, a political science professor at the University of Brasília.

“Brazil is just starting to realize the weight it has,” Mr. Amorim said. “It wasn’t Brazil that went looking for the Middle East, it was the Middle East that went looking for Brazil.”

Brazilian officials say the holy grail of Mr. da Silva’s Middle Eastern initiative is to improve relations between Israel and the Palestinians, and they see Iran as a key player in resolving the conflict.

Success in this endeavor “would really put Brazil on the map and might put Lula in line for the Nobel Prize,” Mr. Fleischer said.

But it would have been difficult to have chosen a more formidable or polarizing quest. Many critics do not see Mr. Ahmadinejad — who has denied the Holocaust, called for Israel to be wiped off the map and backs anti-Israel militias — as a constructive force in the Middle East.

More than 1,500 people protested his visit this month in São Paulo, home to Brazil’s largest Jewish community, and a smaller protest took place on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. Another is planned for Brasília on Monday.

It is not only the Israeli side that is leery of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Mr. Abbas, the Palestinian leader, said after meeting Mr. da Silva in Brazil on Friday that he had asked him to urge Iran to end its support for Hamas, the radical Islamist movement that controls Gaza.

But both Mr. Abbas and Mr. Perez urged Mr. da Silva to join the Middle East peace process. “Brazil, as an important country, and President Lula, as a respected leader, can play an important role,” Mr. Abbas told the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

Some political analysts and American officials say that in his effort to burnish his credentials as a statesman, Mr. da Silva is marching to his own drummer rather than cooperating with allies to achieve larger geopolitical goals.

“As Brazil becomes more relevant on climate change and in world economic forums it is not going to be able to so openly criticize or be antagonistic with other major powers without paying a political price for it,” said Christopher Garman, an analyst with Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy in New York. “Brazilian policy makers will no longer be able to have their cake and eat it too.”

But a diplomatic success would go a long way toward muting the criticism.

“Brazil should expect criticism for hosting Ahmadinejad to be sure,” said Julia E. Sweig, a Latin America expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But if it can play a moderating role — and clearly Washington is hoping as much — on the nuclear issue, it can surely deal with the critics.”

Mery Galanternick contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.


A new report for the World Watch Institute, by Robert Goodland, former environmental adviser to the World Bank, and Jeff Anhang, environmental specialist at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp., estimates that 51 percent of GHGs come from meat eating, when the entire life cycle and supply chain of the livestock industry is taken into consideration.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Don Pablo Amaringo 1943 - 2009

Famed Peruvan curandero and painter of ayahuasca visions Pablo Amaringo has passed from this earthly plane. He was born in 1943 in Puerto Libertad, in the Peruvian Amazon region. He was ten years old when he first took ayahuasca--a visionary brew used in shamanism, made from the plants Banisteriopsis caapi (yagé) and Psychotria viridis (chacruna). A severe heart illness--and the magical treatment of this via ayahuasca--led Pablo toward the life of a shaman, and he eventually became a powerful curandero--learning the icaros, or healing songs that the ayahuasca brew taught him.

In 1977, Pablo abandoned his vocation as a shaman, and became a painter and art instructor at his Usko-Ayar school, where there is no charge for the students to learn painting from Pablo. The school is dependent on donations. For more information on how to help this wonderful project go to

Here are a few of Amaringo's spectacular paintings,







Via Sertaobras, here is a slideshow from a recent visit to his school in Pucallpa, Peru.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Brazil celebrates 45% reduction in Amazon deforestation

Deforestation near Capixaba, Acre, Brazil

A police offensive and the global economic crisis have combined to produce the largest fall in more than 20 years

Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro for the Guardian UK

Go to Original Article

The Brazilian government yesterday announced a "historic" drop in the deforestation of the Amazon, weeks before world leaders meet in Copenhagen for climate change talks.

Brazilian authorities said that between August 2008 and July this year, deforestation in the world's largest tropical rainforest fell by the largest amount in more than 20 years, dropping by 45% from nearly 13,000 square kilometres to around 7,000 square kilometres (5,000 square miles to 2,700 square miles).

"It is an excellent figure – a historic result," the environment minister, Carlos Minc, said in the capital, Brasilia.

"It is a substantial drop," said the head of Brazil's Space Institute, Gilberto Câmara, according to the government news provider Agência Brasil. He claimed it was the most significant cut in deforestation since his institute started monitoring rainforest destruction with satellite technology in 1988.

"This is a very happy moment – to note that the efforts of Brazilian society to contain the deforestation of the Amazon have reached a very satisfactory level."

The new figures, reportedly rushed out before the Copenhagen talks, come days after Brazil announced ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions by 2020, partly by continuing to battle illegal deforestation.

This week, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, said her country would take proposals for voluntary reductions of 38-42% by 2020 to the Copenhagen summit. Britain's prime-minister, Gordon Brown, wrote to Brazil's president this week to congratulate him on the move.

Environmentalists welcomed the news of a drop in rainforest destruction, with Greenpeace's Amazon director, Paulo Adario, claiming that, "whenever the government followed the law, deforestation fell". But he warned: "We must stay alert so that this falling trend becomes consolidated and allows us to achieve the dream of zero deforestation in the Amazon. It is an important drop – but a lot of forest is still coming down."

Rousseff said the figures showed the government had "done its homework" in order to combat illegal rainforest destruction. She pointed to federal police raids on illegal logging operations across the Amazon region, and government attempts to provide economic alternatives to destruction. Since February 2008 the government has been waging an "unprecedented" campaign against the loggers, dispatching hundreds of heavily armed agents to remote rainforest towns where destruction was out of control.

But, in a statement, Greenpeace activists in Brazil said the world financial crisis had also played a part in silencing the chainsaws. "The crisis … has contributed to helping put the breaks on the rhythm of destruction, with a fall in the demand for Amazon products linked to deforestation such as meat, soy and timber," Greenpeace said.

Tellingly, Mato Grosso, a soy producing Amazonian state that has seen its forests ravished in recent years largely as a result of the Chinese demand for soy, saw a 65% drop in deforestation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I've posted Douglas Ruskoff before because he is part of a growing movement that has been labeled a "peeracy" where people are finding new ways to collaborate.

Back in my activist days I learned that property and proprietorship were an iron-clad and unalterable way of institutionalized life in America and that if you wanted something better one would have to look beyond the corporate forms. It also seemed that inertia-laden and interest-ridden governments would be the last to catch on.

But, lo and behold, change may actually be emerging in Brazil with highest level government leadership under the guise of digital inclusion. I've run this Lula speech before. If you missed it please give it your 15 minutes. Even if you disagree, I know that you'll be delighted and entertained to see how this old lathe operator with a 4th grade education woos an audience of intellectuals.

OK, you say that's just a pep rally? Mere political rhetoric? Not so! In Brazil they are actually starting to build these ideas into the actual process of promulgating new public policies. Here is Jose Murilo of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture explaining the evolution of the process at a recent global open source conference in Barcelona, Spain.

ECO-RAMA is a good English language website where you can stay informed about the evolution of digital culture in Brazil (and other interesting stuff like this).

Monday, November 09, 2009

(In Her Many Forms)


There's a lot more Tuva music here.

If you would like to view more of Feynman, Microsoft has put out a new experimental interactive video player loaded with some of his great Cornell lectures. And, following the trend of the up-and-coming open-source free software movement, MS is releasing both the player (it's great) and the lectures for free.

Monday, November 02, 2009



The Green.Inc blog at the NY Times is reporting a big fuss over the fact that the US is buying wind power technology from China instead of creating domestic jobs. The reason? After years of avoiding big public investments in future alternative energy technologies, US industries are now too small to respond to the immediate demand created by the stimulus package. By one reckoning, "84 percent of the $1.05 billion in clean-energy grants distributed by the government since Sept. 1 has gone to foreign renewable energy companies — specifically, wind companies."

[Update Nov 5: Schumer Seeks to Block Stimulus Money for Chinese-Backed Texas Wind Farm ]

Here's the full post from Green.Inc

Tempers Flare Over Chinese Involvement in Wind Farm Planned for Texas


NEW YORK — News last week of the first major influx of Chinese capital and wind turbine manufacturing expertise into the renewable energy market in the United States — a 600-megawatt wind farm planned for the plains of west Texas — had many readers of the Green Inc. blog in a state of agitation.

“I don’t understand why China is exporting wind energy to the U.S.,” wrote Mark from New York City. “Isn’t this exactly the kind of project a United States company could and should be doing?”

Another reader — Drew from Boston — was more blunt: “Again, China is playing the West for a sucker,” he wrote. “We send them our engineering, they get the manufacturing work and experience.”

The details of the deal known so far: Contingent on financing from Chinese commercial banks — and no small measure of funding from the U.S. economic stimulus package — A-Power Energy Generation Systems, a Nasdaq-listed company based in the Chinese industrial city of Shenyang, would provide 240 of its 2.5-megawatt wind turbines for a 36,000-acre, or 14,600-hectare, utility-scale wind farm in west Texas to be operated by Cielo Wind Power, a developer based in Austin.

The total cost of the project, which was brokered in part by the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, an American private equity company, was estimated at $1.5 billion. At an event after the announcement in Washington on Thursday, Cappy McGarr, a managing partner at the company, was beaming.

“This planned $1.5 billion investment in wind energy will spur tremendous growth in the renewable energy sector,” Mr. McGarr was quoted in a news release as saying, “and directly create hundreds of high-paying American jobs.”

The devil, though — as many observers pointed out by the end of the week — is in the details.

The group’s calculations last week put the number of American jobs at a little more than 300 — most of them temporary construction jobs, along with about 30 permanent positions once the wind farm is operating. Mr. McGarr told The Wall Street Journal that more than 2,000 Chinese jobs would be created by the deal.

That, along with the fact that the project was hoping to secure 30 percent, or $450 million, of its financing from U.S. stimulus funds, was enough to send tempers flaring.

“Why are U.S. stimulus funds being used to subsidize manufacturing jobs in China,” wrote a reader at Green Inc., who pointed out that American officials had repeatedly warned that the United States could lose its competitive edge on renewable energy manufacturing to China.

And yet, he continued, “the federal government gives stimulus monies to subsidize a project buying turbines made in China. Why?”

Part of the agitation almost certainly arises from China’s own reputation for green protectionism.

As Keith Bradsher wrote earlier this year in The New York Times, by establishing prohibitive quotas for homegrown solar and wind turbine equipment, and disqualifying bids from foreign companies on dubious grounds, the Chinese leadership has muscled out American and European manufacturers of clean energy seeking to gain a foothold in China’s burgeoning market for renewables.

As it happens, American officials made inroads in combating such trade barriers during a meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Hangzhou, China, last week. Among the outcomes of the meeting: China agreed to remove local-content requirements on wind turbines.

Still, with the American economy struggling to get back on its feet and with an analysis last week from The Associated Press suggesting that the White House may be guilty of overstating the number of American jobs its $787 billion stimulus package has so far created, news that a Texas wind farm would create thousands of green jobs in China was, for some, a bitter pill.

“Thank you for killing the U.S. windmill industry,” wrote a reader from Chicago at Green Inc. “Thank-you, U.S. industrialists and financiers, for having us buy these things with financing and grants emanating from money borrowed from China.”

The deal, however, was no surprise to Russ Choma, a reporter with the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit investigative journalism project attached to the American University School of Communication in Washington.

In a somewhat intriguing coincidence of timing, Mr. Choma and his colleagues published, on the same day the Chinese-American wind farm deal was unveiled, a detailed analysis of where stimulus money aimed at creating renewable energy projects and jobs in the United States was flowing.

By Mr. Choma’s reckoning, 84 percent of the $1.05 billion in clean-energy grants distributed by the government since Sept. 1 has gone to foreign renewable energy companies — specifically, wind companies. Through its American subsidiary, Iberdrola, a global manufacturer of wind turbines based in Spain, commanded most of that funding: $545 million.

“We broke down some of the numbers and found out that the program funded 11 projects that installed 982 turbines,” Mr. Choma wrote in an e-mail message, “and 695 were built by foreign manufacturers.”

To some extent, this is hardly surprising. As Mr. Choma noted, the American clean energy manufacturing base — particularly its wind turbine production capability — is tiny compared with that of Europe.

And to be sure, the dispensation of the $22 billion in stimulus funding that is supposed to go toward renewable energy projects has only just begun.

But China’s foray into the American wind power market comes alongside its dominance of the solar panel manufacturing industry, in which 95 percent of total output is exported to the United States and Europe.

And as Mr. Choma noted, when it comes to stimulating the economy, it is the manufacturing that matters. He points to a 2004 study from the Renewable Energy Policy Project, a research institute based in Washington. The institute found that every 1,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity had the potential to generate as many as 4,300 jobs, of which about 3,000 are created at the manufacturing level.



Halloween is over but this goes on everyday. Check out the Amazing Insect Images By Igor Iwanowicz (60 pics)

(Thanks Avi)