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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Edelman report: Trust in governments suffers severe breakdown

Edelman report: Trust in governments suffers severe breakdown | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer has some pretty bad news for policymakers but businesses (especially the banking sector) continue to lose public trust too.

 

Surprising is the big increase in trust in social media and bloggers.

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WEF Davos: Global Confidence Index

WEF Davos: Global Confidence Index | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Fear among international experts of a major geopolitical disruption over the next 12 months has risen significantly to 54%, just as confidence in the state of global cooperation has dropped, according to the World Economic Forum’s third Global Confidence Index.

 

Can the Davos elites please do some soul-searching to understand how their long-time support of Washington Consensus policies has led to this fragile world?

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The verdict is in on climate change

The verdict is in on climate change | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Excellent editorial in the LA Times written by Naomi Oreskes ("Merchants of Doubt") on our judgements about climate change.

 

"... many Americans cling to the idea that it is reasonable to maintain an open mind. It isn't, at least not to scientists who study the matter. They have been saying for some time that the case for the reality and gravity of climate change has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. But there's the rub. The public seems to view scientists as the equivalent of the prosecuting attorney trying to prove a case. The think tanks, institutes and fossil fuel corporations take on the mantle of the defense.

We have to get over that flawed notion."

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Eco-labels: radical rethink required

Eco-labels: radical rethink required | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The time has come to rethink the eco-label model. ...

Rather than certifications and labels driving endless incremental improvement, it would be preferable if the future was built on increasingly rigorous, pre-competitive standards for sustainability performance, above which brands compete to make sustainability intrinsic to their mission and products."

 

Excellent article on the Ethical Corporation web site.

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Reuters: Davos by the numbers

Interesting infographic by Reuters in the run-up to the Davos high-mass of the 1%.

 

More on Davos next week on my blog http://3eintelligence.wordpress.com

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World Economic Forum's Call to Action is stuck in 20th century thinking

World Economic Forum's Call to Action is stuck in 20th century thinking | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The Global Issues Group (GIG) of the World Economic Forum, comprised of leaders of the world’s multilateral and regional institutions has published this "Call to Action' in the run-up to the WEF's annual meeting in Davos.

 

The Call to Action reflects the failing worldview that have led the world to the brink of economic and ecological collapse. With its unqualified demands for more economic growth, the Call misses the new realities of the 21st century: energy descent, ecological limits to growth and the failure of GDP as a measure of prosperity and quality of life.

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Robin Stafford's comment, January 22, 2012 5:41 AM
"Environmental pressures are putting a significant strain on growth" - they really have got the cart in front of the horse. A depressing indictment of WEF's thinking - just arguing for more of what has got the world into its economic and environmental crisis in the first place

Robin
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Gas galore?

Gas galore? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Energy journalist David Strahan ("The Last Oil Shock") provides a well-researched and critical article on the global natural gas glut.

 

"Shale gas production may grow strongly in some parts of the world, but it is unlikely to be the “game changer” its cheerleaders claim. LNG output is also set to rise, especially in Australia where a slew of export terminals will come on stream towards the end of this decade, but the IEA forecasts global demand will soar by half by 2035, and that can only be supplied at a cost."

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Are we on the cusp of a third industrial revolution?

Are we on the cusp of a third industrial revolution? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Forum for the Future Has an interesting feature on Jeremy Rifkin's new book on the third industrial revolution. Worth-reading to understand the future that will never happen.

 

Rifkin has two brilliant talents. He is excellent at spotting societal trends and spinning "the future is bright" narratives around them. He is also very good at selling himself as a trusted advisor (see his work for EU Commission chief Barroso). But read his older work, especially the European Dream, and it is clear that Rifkin is no more than a modern version of Dr Pangloss, the tragic-comic character of Voltaire's Candide.

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Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate

Governments Spend $1.4 Billion Per Day to Destabilize Climate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. Of this, supports on the production side totaled some $100 billion. Supports for consumption exceeded $400 billion, with $193 billion for oil, $91 billion for natural gas, $3 billion for coal, and $122 billion spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. All together, governments are shelling out nearly $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate."

 

Lester Brown's analysis of global fossil fuel subsidies puts governmental efforts to deal with climate change in another light.

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Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies 'could provide half of global carbon target'

Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies 'could provide half of global carbon target' | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Such a move could save the equivalent of Germany's annual emissions by 2015, says chief economist at the IEA...

 

Very good article in The Guardian based on interview with Fatih Birol of the IEA.

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The Economist: Demography and climate change

The Economist: Demography and climate change | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"CARBON emissions vary hugely between countries. That is well known, as is the finding that rich people emit more than poor ones. But a newly revised paper by Emilio Zagheni of the Max Planck Institute in Rostock, Germany also shows how carbon footprints vary by age—and the worrying implications of this."

 

Very interesting article in The Economist on the relationship between demographics and carbon emissions.

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'Recessionary Hangover' Slows Corporate Sustainability's Momentum

'Recessionary Hangover' Slows Corporate Sustainability's Momentum | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The fifth annual State of Green Business report, published today by Joel Makower and the editors of GreenBiz.com, finds that while progress is still happening in some areas, for the first time corporate sustainability has slowed, stopped and in some places even reversed.

 

The report also has some interesting ideas on which 10 trends will define corporate sustainability in 2012.

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BP Forecasts Robust Global Energy Demand to 2030 Despite Efficiency Gains

BP's Energy Outlook 2030 sees oil dominance, strong rise of natural gas, modest growth for renewables, increase in energy efficiency and US energy independence. It admits this energy future will lead to much higher carbon emissions but seems not too worried about that, compared to the IEA's warnings in its Energy Outlook report 2011.

 

The report clearly demonstrates that the necessary energy revolution to move "beyond petroleum" has not yet reached the boards of Big Oil.

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Impact of EU ban on Iranian oil

Impact of EU ban on Iranian oil | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The EU's decision to ban oil imports from Iran is its most significant toughening of sanctions to date. The BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus analyses what its impact might be.

 

Is the world moving towards a new era of resource wars?

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Sustainability rules over future EU regional funds - EurActiv

Sustainability rules over future EU regional funds - EurActiv | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The EU’s next budget is likely to include the first-ever binding document setting “stronger” and “clearer” objectives for regional funds to support sustainable development.

 

This would be a big step forward in strengthening the EU's sustainable development policy if the Commission can get these ideas accepted by member states.

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Renewables revolution: Europe leads the way

Renewable energy's share of the generation mix, already substantial in several European countries, is rising fast.

 

Very good video interview by Platts discussing the progress of wind and solar towards grid parity.

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World Economic Forum: Thousands gather, with billions to spend. Will the world benefit?

World Economic Forum: Thousands gather, with billions to spend. Will the world benefit? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Forget the reviled "1 per cent". This club is far more exclusive that that.

 

Very good critical article from "The Independent" on the importance and scope of the annual Davos meeting.

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The European Power System - Decarbonization and Cost Reduction: Lost in Transmissions?

The European Power System - Decarbonization and Cost Reduction: Lost in Transmissions? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) has produced one of the best analyses of the inconsistencies in European energy policy.

 

"The objective of the Internal Electricity Market is to bring competitive electricity prices to end-users, but as these prices are linked to the composition of the power generation mix, it is easy to see that there is a clear discrepancy in the rationales pushing for corridors aiming at transporting RES across Europe and a market-driven logic that will favor the building of transmission lines based on a competitive power generation mix."

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Fossil fuels are sub-prime assets, Bank of England governor warned

Fossil fuels are sub-prime assets, Bank of England governor warned | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Open letter to Sir Mervyn King says overexposure to high-carbon assets by London-listed companies risks creating a 'carbon bubble'...

 

It is high time low-carbon investors and businesses start their attack on their high-carbon enemies. Up to now, high-carbon industries have moved heaven and earth to stall climate policies and low-carbon actions.

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Fracking Contamination 'Will Get Worse': Alberta Expert

A well-known industry expert in tracking leaking methane from oil and gas wells says a groundbreaking U.S. federal study on hydraulic fracturing highlights not only an old and growing problem, but the need for tighter regulations in the shale gas industry.

 

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Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data

Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
What's particularly baffling is that while government support given to environmentally beneficial renewable power sources is subject to seemingly endless media and political scrutiny, the 500% larger subsidies given to oil, gas and (to a much lesser extent) coal rarely get much attention.

 

Another great article on governmental subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

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Will New Zealand be the first developed country to evolve a steady-state economy?

Will New Zealand be the first developed country to evolve a steady-state economy? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"New Zealand will inevitably make a transition to a steady-state economy. The onset of energy descent — having less and less energy to use with each passing decade — will push it to do so sooner rather than later. The critical question is whether the transition to a steady-state economy will be by design or disaster."

 

Must-read article from the always inspiring Fleeing Vesuvius web site

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Weighing the Environmental Costs of Economic Recovery

Weighing the Environmental Costs of Economic Recovery | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Another worrying article based on the GreenBiz State of Green Business report showing that sustainability trends have gone in reverse as a result of the economic recession.

 

"For the first time we have made no improvement in our rate of decarbonization. We have in fact increased the carbon intensity of growth. The economic recovery, where it has occurred, has been dirty.” (Source: Forbes)

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Agriculture and Climate Change, Revisited

Agriculture and Climate Change, Revisited | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Chagrined by the failure of delegates to embrace agriculture as a formal priority in climate change talks in Durban, a group of experts calls for more research and advocacy on the world's food system.

 

Excellent piece on the NY Times Green blog on why agriculture should get more attention in the climate change debate.

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Rainforest in Transition: Is the Amazon Transforming before Our Eyes?:

Rainforest in Transition: Is the Amazon Transforming before Our Eyes?: | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A review suggests that the Amazon rainforest may be changing, courtesy of human impacts on the region's weather...

 

According to new research published in the magazine Nature, the Amazon rainforest is in the process of changing from a carbon sink to a carbon emitter.

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