Retrofitting Two-Stroke Engines Good For Everyone

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An independent nonprofit out of Colorado has developed and disseminated a retrofit kit designed to reduce emissions from the ubiquitous two-stroke motorcycle taxis in the Philippines. A single motorcycle taxi with a traditional two-stroke engine emits as much pollution as 50 modern automobiles, and the Asian Development Bank estimates 100 million two-stroke vehicles ply the roads in Southeast Asia &mdash that’s right, the equivalent of 5 billion cars. The Worldwatch Institute reports that Envirofit has won a World Clean Energy Award for developing and disseminating a retrofit kit, originally designed for snowmobiles. In the retrofit, the carburetor is eliminated and fuel is introduced directly into the engine cylinder, so less unburned fuel is wasted. The typical Filipino taxi driver makes only $3–5 per day, and the kits pay for themselves in fuel savings within 10 months. Envirofit hopes to expand its engine retrofit program to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India, where demonstrations of the product will take place this year.

Now, can we just do away with jetskis, the most hateful of all the 2-stroke blights? According to the EPA, older jetskis (still prevalent around the world) cause more nonpoint source pollution (translation: runoff) in two hours than a car running for an entire year. Truly fun for the feeble-minded. JULIA WHITTY

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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