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The Secret Society With a ‘Moral Obligation’ to Correct Grammar and Spelling in Graffiti

There’s a gang of copyeditors loose on the moonlit streets of Quito.

There’s a band of copyeditors loose on the moonlit streets of Quito. A group of three men in their thirties founded ‘Acción Ortográfica’ last fall in Ecuador’s capital with the aim to rid the world of poorly written graffiti with one illicit correction at a time.

”We hope that, through this noble mission, we are able to bring a service to the community that promotes the proper use of language and frees society of the confusion, frustration, anguish, and misunderstandings caused by poorly written graffiti,” reads the mission statement.

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Amazonian Tribes Try Harvesting Rainwater After Oil Drilling Polluted Their Water

Decades of oil drilling have polluted Lago Agrio. But now local tribes are installing rainwater harvesting systems that provide clean water.


Oil companies started drilling around Ecuador’s Lago Agrio in 1972. Texaco had found oil here a few years before, in the middle of the Amazon, and for decades the oil industry harvested the oil gushing from the ground. Chevron took over when it bought Texaco, and Ecuador’s state oil company took over from Chevron. All the while, the drilling operations were pouring pollution in the area’s air and water—so much pollution that last year an Ecuadorian judge ordered Chevron to pay a total $18 billion to a group of 30,000 indigenous people, represented by a coalition of lawyers from Ecuador and North America.

While lawyers fight in international courts for oil companies to pay up, the people in the Lago Agria area are living in one of the most polluted pieces of land on the planet. Oil is still being extracted from the area; some locals work for the industry. But a new project is ensuring that these communities will have access to clean water, despite the pollution that surrounds them.

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How Crowdfunding Saved 722 Square Miles of Rainforest

Ecuador will choose rainforest preservation over oil exploitation, if the rest of the world can contribute enough money to make it worthwhile.


In 2007, Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, made an offer to the rest of the world. Underneath his country’s Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, lie 846 million barrels of oil valued at $7.2 billion. If the rest of the world could provide Ecuador with half that sum, Correa proposed, the oil would stay in the ground and the rainforest above it would stay intact.

By August 2010, with the help of the United Nations Development Programme, Ecuador had set up a trust fund to receive whatever funds it could raise and set a deadline of Dec. 30, 2011. If donors, both public and private, gave $100 million by that date, the project would go forward. If not, the deal was off. And by the time the deadline passed last Thursday, the world had stepped up: A suite of business people, national governments, and celebrities from Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio had donated $116 million, The Guardian reported. That's enough to keep 722 square miles of the park’s most valuable rainforest free from oil exploitation, at least temporarily.

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Oil Standard: A Fair-Trade Tiger in Your Tank

Gaia Certification aims to build a network of progressive fuel centers selling fair-trade gasoline.

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