Winner of Shell’s Contest
The winner of Shell’s contest on innovation comes from the Philippines. As a Filipino, I am proud about it not because it won but because it was something worthwhile. It is about the use of coconut husk made into nets to prevent soil erosion. With this innovation, will it encourage more tree cutting and exploitation of forests?
People sometimes make inventions and innovations, not knowing they are to the detriment of nature or something else. Are they solutions? Or . . . is it something again of a “who cares” about what’s going to happen next. Bottomline is, there is money in it, as usual.
I really do not know how the judges saw it. The runner-up bio-diesel could have been more deserving because it uses something that is normally waste or useless. It does not encourage anyone to do something destructive in its place. The same could be said with the other runner-up, reef rehab. People of the tiny Pacific island of Vanuatu do not have electricity and simply rely on disposable batteries throwing discharged batteries into the sea. They resorted to using rechargeable batteries recharged by solar cells. However, rechargeable batteries do not last forever. Will the rechargeable batteries also soon find their way into the coral reefs after their useful life? Judges sometimes have a very narrow perspective. They only see what they want to see! Or, are they bound by guidelines set to look at it from only one point of view?
The problem here is, we just simply accept what the verdict is and do not bother to contest it. Actually, it seems even better to ask for a public consensus to vote in for what they see is best. In many sports, it is the viewing public who are given the opportunity to choose best players in different categories. Shell could have done the same through their week ads in Newsweek!