The Great Transition
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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Don't forget to count the trees | European Voice

Don't forget to count the trees | European Voice | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
don't forget to count the trees power plants burning harvested wood can pack a massive carbon footprint.
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In 2012 we need to fight the instincts that make us want more

In 2012 we need to fight the instincts that make us want more | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We will always have the urge to consume more than we need, but recognising this as a problem is the first step towards recovery, says Val Curtis...

 

Good article on sustainable consumption in the Guardian's Sustainable Business blog. I like in particular this statement:

 

"We need to accept the fact that the eco-warrior in us is weak against the force of stone age desire".

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Mobilizing for a resource revolution - McKinsey Quarterly

Mobilizing for a resource revolution - McKinsey Quarterly | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Over the next quarter century, the rise of three billion more middle-class consumers will strain natural resources. The race is on to boost resource supplies, overhaul their management, and change the game with new technologies.

 

This new article in the January edition of the McKinsey Quarterly summarises the "Resource Revolution report" published in November 2011.

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New MIT report on shale gas and US energy and climate policy

"The emergence of U.S. shale gas resources to economic viability affects the nation’s energy outlook and the expected role of natural gas in climate policy. Even in the face of the current shale gas boom, however, questions are raised about both the economics of this industry and the wisdom of basing future environmental policy on projections of large shale gas supplies."

 

This new report from the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change has a good overview of chances and risks of shale gas production.

 

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Burning Oil to Keep Cool: The Hidden Energy Crisis in Saudi Arabia

"On the current trajectory, Saudi Arabia’s domestic energy consumption could limit its exports of oil within a decade. This would have a severe effect on government spending, over 80% of which is dependent on oil revenues.1 Ultimately, it may reduce Saudi Arabia’s spare production capacity, causing greater volatility in the world oil markets."

 

Fascinating new report by Chatham House - read about implications for peak oil and future geopolitical developments in the Middle East

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Exploring a Flawed Paradigm: Why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not enough

Exploring a Flawed Paradigm: Why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not enough | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is outdated and counterproductive to successful enterprise and the global sustainability imperative."

 

Chad Park, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada, explains why incorporating environmental and social considerations into a business-as-usual approach is a flawed sustainable business paradigm.

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Hot Air Rises But Carbon Markets Fall

"The potential for carbon finance to hit a final limit to its credibility, and implode in 2012 is high and rising", says Andrew McKillop at the Market Oracle.

 

Another very pessimistic analysis of the EU's climate change flagship, the carbon emissions trading scheme.

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Raghuram Rajan - A crisis in two narratives

Raghuram Rajan - A crisis in two narratives | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Interesting but faulty analysis by "Fault Lines" author and finance professor Raghu Rajan on the two struggling narratives (Keynesianism and Monetarism) to explain the crisis.

 

There is a third narrative which looks at the economy as part of the biophysical world and focuses on the ecological, energy and commodity limits to understand the real root causes of the current Transition crisis. Observe how Rajan puts his hopes in "lower-cost energy" as one of the three forces to get us out of the crisis. Clear wishful thinking.

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Fusion project funding dispute threatens Horizon 2020

Fusion project funding dispute threatens Horizon 2020 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
An ongoing tussle between the EU institutions over the future funding of a controversial nuclear fusion project – which will come under the spotlight during the Danish EU presidency – threatens to hack into the European Commission’s €85-billion Horizon 2020 budget proposal.

 

Good article on ITER from EurActiv.

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There Will Be Oil - Versus - Peak Oil Now

Energy analyst Andrew McKillop explains why Daniel Yergin and other oil optimists are wrong to dismiss the peak oil reality.

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India’s Solar Future Burns Bright

India’s Solar Future Burns Bright | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"India is poised to become a solar powerhouse, a possibility on its way to becoming a reality, with sunny prospects for the awakening subcontinent’s economic future."

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Fracking: Is there really 100 years’ worth of natural gas beneath the United States?

Fracking: Is there really 100 years’ worth of natural gas beneath the United States? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The recent press about the potential of shale gas would have you believe that America is now sitting on a 100-year supply of natural gas.

 

Could the "game-changing" "golden age of gas" be no more than an 11-year blip in America's energy history? Energy experts Chris Nelder asks some inconvenient questions on Slate.

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The Oil That Comes in from the Cold

The Oil That Comes in from the Cold | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Thanks to soaring oil prices and new technology, oil producers in the hot sands of Arabia, the torrid Niger delta or the humid plains of the Orinoco are facing new competition from rivals in the frozen North.

 

Excellent article in IPS on the new oil exploration under the Arctic ocean and the environmental and climate risks of this extreme oil.

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Climate, insurance and the next financial meltdown

Climate, insurance and the next financial meltdown | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The federal government and many states are assuming the risk of natural disasters, despite the rising costs of extreme weather events. You and I could get stuck with the bill.

 

Marc Gunther claims the US insurance industry still does not get the climate challenge.

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Information Technology's Dangerous Trend in Africa

Information Technology's Dangerous Trend in Africa | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
For the past few decades, emerging technologies such as biotechnology, microelectronics, information technology and communications technologies have become central to the socioeconomic development of nations.

 

Great article in the Harvard Business Review blog on the overemphasis of IT in African technology policy.

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Is the Arctic really a geopolitical flashpoint of the future?

Is the Arctic really a geopolitical flashpoint of the future? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The region is rich in oil, gas and minerals – but that does not necessarily mean there will be a geopolitical tug of war over the abundant natural resources, argues think-tank...
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CDC scientist: tests needed on gas drilling impact

Associated Press— "One of the government's top scientists says much more research is needed to determine the possible impacts of shale gas drilling on human health and the environment."

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It's time for sustainable development

It's time for sustainable development | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Julia Day: Activists, NGOs and academics want Rio+20 to put sustainable development and poverty reduction at the heart of global politics.

 

At the Guardian's PovertyMatters blog, Julia Day provides a realistic assessment of the state of play and hopes for Rio+20.

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Rethinking the Growth Imperative

Rethinking the Growth Imperative | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Modern macroeconomics often seems to treat rapid and stable economic growth as the be-all and end-all of policy. But, while that is the message from graduate classrooms to central-bank boardrooms to newspapers’ front pages, is it true?

 

Great article by Kenneth Rogoff at Project Syndicate. When traditional economists like Rogoff follow in the footsteps of Stiglitz questioning our fundamentalist obsession with economic growth, that is something to feel positive about at the beginning of this new year.

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Spaceship Earth: A new view of environmentalism

Spaceship Earth: A new view of environmentalism | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Spaceship Earth is a metaphor for a new way of looking at Earth — as a complex system that must be aggressively managed.

 

Interesting but questionable article in the Washington Post which redefines the Spaceship Earth narrative to make the case for a more interventionist approach to dealing with our planetary crisis.

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Ed Miliband is not the leader of the opposition

Ed Miliband is not the leader of the opposition | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Chosen and pushed we are in a period of great transition hampered, mostly, by dead economic ideas still walking. It will best be shaped by those who are able to escape the trap spotted by John Maynard Keynes, to recognise the power of defunct economists, and be brave enough to exempt themselves from their influences. As a principle with which to re-examine our values and redesign our financial system we could well proclaim again, loudly, that real wealth is life, and finance must be its servant, not its master."

 

Great editorial comment in the Guardian by New Economics Foundation's Andrew Simms.

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An unhappy anniversary for the euro

An unhappy anniversary for the euro | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
John Grahl: If the monetary union does survive, in the form now planned by EU leaders, the cure could turn out to be worse than the disease...

 

Good analysis of the perverse policies to save the Euro and create a "fiscal union" which is in reality indeed a "surveillance union".

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2012: the year of the unreasonable

The next year is going to be an unreasonably difficult. We must be equally unreasonable in our ambitions for advancing sustainability, says Simon Zadek in this excellent editorial for the Guardian's Sustainable Business blog.

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Questions About Organic Produce and Sustainability

Questions About Organic Produce and Sustainability | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Even as more Americans buy foods labeled organic, the products are moving away from a traditional emphasis on local growing and limited environmental strain.
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Oil will decline shortly after 2015, says former oil expert of International Energy Agency

Oil will decline shortly after 2015, says former oil expert of International Energy Agency | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Olivier Rech developed petroleum scenarios for the International Energy Agency over a three year period, up until 2009.

 

He expects stronger tensions as of 2013, and an inevitable overall decline of oil production "somewhere between 2015 and 2010", in this exclusive interview for the Oil Man Blog.

 

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