Simply, the Best; April 1995; Scientific American Magazine; by Stix; 1 Page(s)
E. F. Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful, the bible of the so-called appropriate technology movement, first came into print more than 20 years ago. By most accounts, the small-scale technology movement that Schumacher championed initially failed to achieve its promise. The developing world is filled with rundown wind pumps and solar panels that were never properly connected to a generator. But although the original implementation may have been flawed, appropriate technology has staged a revival.
Proof of change can be seen on the windmill-dotted Namibian coast or in the Kenyan countryside, where tens of thousands of photovoltaic systems help to cope with an unreliable or nonexistent electric power grid. In sheer numbers, however, the biggest gains have come inside the home, where more than a third of the world's population--some two billion people--cook over smoky fires. In excess of 120 million households in China, eight million in India and 700,000 in East Africa have begun to adopt stoves that more effi- ciently burn wood, charcoal, coal or livestock dung. Worldwide several hundred improved cookstove programs in more than 50 countries got their start during the 1980s.