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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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La crise de la dette publique et ses solutions

La crise de la dette publique et ses solutions | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On his Alternatives Economiques blog, French economy professor Jean Gadrey has an excellent overview of the real causes behind the current public debt crisis and provides ideas for short- and mid-term solutions.

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A Post-Pollution Path to Global Climate and Energy Progress

A Post-Pollution Path to Global Climate and Energy Progress | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Continued failure in talks over emission limits prompts a new wave of calls for advancing smart energy choices.

 

At the NY Times Dot Earth blog Andrew Revkin makes the case for another clean-energy based approach to global climate policies after Durban. By concentrating on the clean energy revolution instead of reduction of CO2 emissions, he hopes to move beyond the zero-sum game dimension of the current Kyoto path.

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Durban talks: how Connie Hedegaard got countries to agree on climate deal

Durban talks: how Connie Hedegaard got countries to agree on climate deal | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The EU climate chief held her nerve to make US, China and India accept a legally binding agreement to cut carbon emissions..."

 

Although Conny Hedegaard has clearly taken her revenge on her performance in Copenhagen, let's wait with calling her a climate hero until 2015 when we should have a REAL climate deal between developing and developed countries with REAL binding power. What she has achieved now - and once again thumbs up - is no more and no less than 4 years of new diplomatic struggles and that in an ever-worsening economic environment.

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Ban welcomes climate change deal reached at UN conference in Durban

Ban welcomes climate change deal reached at UN conference in Durban | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today the set of decisions reached by countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa ...

 

The Zombie Train remains on the rails ... on road to 3-6 degrees Celcius climate disaster. Welcome to the good news.

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New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat

New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Within hours of arriving at a fragile treaty deal for the eurozone and nine other EU states, the agreement delivering deeper integration is already confronting the spectre of multiple referendums and a host of legal barriers.
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Can Ocean Farms Actually Be More Sustainable Than Even the Most Environmentally Sensitive Traditional Farms?

Can Ocean Farms Actually Be More Sustainable Than Even the Most Environmentally Sensitive Traditional Farms? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We know that big aquaculture operations can be a disaster, but small seaweed and shellfish operations offer a greener and cleaner solution.

 

Interesting article from Alternet on sustainable forms of ocean farming.

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Wind Power Produces Just 4-14% Emissions of Fossil Fuels, Even With Manufacturing & Decommissioning

Wind Power Produces Just 4-14% Emissions of Fossil Fuels, Even With Manufacturing & Decommissioning | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

A new life-cycle assessment of the environmental impact of wind power confirms the greenhouse gas reduction potential of replacing fossil fuels by wind energy.

 

This article from Treehugger summarises a new analysis published in Environmental Research Letters.

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What Peak Oil Looks Like or "the Twilight of Illusion"

"our civilization has entered what John Kenneth Galbraith called “the twilight of illusion,” the point at which the end of a historical process would be clearly visible if everybody wasn’t so busy finding reasons to look somewhere else."

 

This brilliant essay by John Michael Greer - although gloomy - is refreshing compared to all the "sound and fury" we keep hearing these days from our so-called political and economic leaders.

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Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy

Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Another impressive analysis of the real motives behind the eurocrisis from economist Michael Hudson. First published in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

 

"So something has to give. Will it be the past few centuries of liberal free-market economic philosophy, relinquishing planning the economic surplus to bankers? Or will society re-assert classical economic philosophy and Progressive Era principles, and re-assert social shaping of financial markets to promote long-term growth with minimum costs of living and doing business?

At least in the most badly indebted countries, European voters are waking up to an oligarchic coup in which taxation and government budgetary planning and control is passing into the hands of executives nominated by the international bankers’ cartel. This result is the opposite of what the past few centuries of free market economics has been all about."

 

More extracts of and comments on this brilliant piece later on my blog http://3eintelligence.wordpress.com

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The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power

The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Timothy Garton Ash: To see off the bond markets, the eurozone has to create a credible sovereign – but that may divide the larger EU...

 

Great article by one of the best commentators on EU policies. I like his comparison with Wagner's Nibelungen Ring but he forgets to mention the last act: Die Götterdämmerung (the demise of the gods).

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It's time for a local banking system

It's time for a local banking system | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Tony Greenham: We need banks that focus on the real economy, individuals and small business, not speculation and remote investments...

 

This article in the Guardian makes a lot of sense, but then again "going local" might be the new fashion in sustainability thinking but is not always without its problems and challenges too. What we ultimately will need is a fundamental reform of the role and functioning of ALL banks in society.

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Playing with fire: Obama's risky oil threat to China

Playing with fire: Obama's risky oil threat to China | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Michael Klare, author of the insightful book "Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet" warns that the Obama administration is trying to contain Chinese power in the Asian Pacific.

 

"When it comes to China policy, is the Obama administration leaping from the frying pan directly into the fire? In an attempt to turn the page on two disastrous wars in the Greater Middle East, it may have just launched a new Cold War in Asia -- once again, viewing oil as the key to global supremacy."

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Ready ... set ... go! The European decarbonisation race is on

At the European Energy Review, Sonja van Renssen provides a great overview of stakeholder views on the upcoming EU Energy Roadmap 2050.

 

Her conclusion: "Despite all the modelling, it is the decisions taken by policymakers that will determine what our energy future will look like."

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'Pedal power' study assesses cycling's climate impact

'Pedal power' study assesses cycling's climate impact | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
If all Europeans cycled as much as the Danes, the EU could meet more than a quarter of its 2050 target for a 60% cut in carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector, according to the first study of cycling’s CO2 mitigation potential.

 

EurActiv has this interesting story on lifecycle emissions from cycling and their potential role in tackling climate change. Although I am a big fan of cycling and agree with the need to spend a lot more EU and member state financing on cycling infrastructure, I remain skeptical of overblown claims that changing lightbulbs, using less plastic and cycling more will help us out of the unsustainability mess.

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Durban Platform deal postpones necessary global climate action to uncertain future

Durban Platform deal postpones necessary global climate action to uncertain future | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"There are positive and negative dimensions to the agreement reached in overtime at the Durban climate summit. The “good” news is that the climate train remains on track - the bad news is that the final destination is still global climate chaos. The Kyoto Protocol has been saved but the goal of limiting temperature increases to the 2 degrees Celsius target should most likely be shelved. Political “realism” has defeated societal urgency and necessity."

 

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Solar Power Much Cheaper to Produce Than Most Analysts Realize, Study Finds

Solar Power Much Cheaper to Produce Than Most Analysts Realize, Study Finds | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The public is being kept in the dark about the viability of solar photovoltaic energy, according to a study conducted at Queen’s University.
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David Cameron's 'no' is bad for Britain and for Europe

David Cameron's 'no' is bad for Britain and for Europe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Timothy Garton Ash: The EU will never be the same again.

 

Although I agree that the 'no' is bad for Britain and Europe, I disagree that the EU will never be the same again. It is more the same than ever before. It is still hooked on its belief in socially unjust austerity to save the myth of the "free market" and still believes "economic growth" will get us out of the sovereign debt mess.

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Shale gas drilling's dirty secret is out

Shale gas drilling's dirty secret is out | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The Guardian: The EPA's findings about fracking's contamination of ground water have sent a shockwave through a gas industry in denial...

 

The debate on shale gas heats up. This news confirms the IEA's position: "if there is to be a Golden Age of Gas, it needs Gold Standards for production" and thus more regulation. Can the new gas champions accept that?

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Naomi Klein's Inconvenient Climate Conclusions

Naomi Klein's Inconvenient Climate Conclusions | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A critic of capitalism argues that climate progress can only come through a global economic reboot.

 

The NY Times Dot Earth blog has an interesting discussion between Naomi Klein and Andrew Revkin.

 

Klein makes a very convincing case about the lack of courage of the environmental movement to confront the real implications of our sustainability crisis (of which climate is the most important but only one dimension).

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Durban and Brussels: The Artists in the Circus Dome: clueless

Durban and Brussels: The Artists in the Circus Dome: clueless | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Greenhouse gas emissions would be cut from 2020 if China decides to follow EU roadmap...

 

The talking travelling circus of climate artists will probably decide to keep travelling and talking. Makes no difference whatsoever to the climate crisis. How much this resembles what is happening in Brussels these days. Leaders have lost the plot and are left clueless.

 

Note: "Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: Ratlos" is a wonderful German movie from 1968 by Alexander Kluge.

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Taxing the 1%: Why the top tax rate could be over 80%

Taxing the 1%: Why the top tax rate could be over 80% | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On the excellent Vox.eu blog, economists Thomas Pikketty et al provide interesting ideas on why taxes on the rich could be increased without endangering productivity and economic growth.

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Words That Don’t Work

Words That Don’t Work | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On the Common Dreams site, professor George Lakoff provides a brilliant introduction to political narrative and storytelling. The key is in getting your opponents to use your "framing". A lot of progressives fall into that trap.

 

Must-read for anyone who wants to convince others of the sustainability story in general and the climate story in particular.

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Thoughts on why energy use and CO2 emissions are rising as fast as GDP

In this great article on the Oil Drum Gail Tverberg explains why worldwide "decoupling" is not happening and has even been reversed in the last decade.

 

She also puts her finger on the weakness of the Kyoto Protocol. It has probably increased CO2 emissions worldwide because of the shift of manufacturing industries to coal-centered Asia.

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Monbiot on nuclear: hard-hitting attack on green movement

Monbiot on nuclear: hard-hitting attack on green movement | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"This year the environmental movement to which I belong has done more harm to the planet’s living systems than climate change deniers have ever achieved."

 

UK top journalist George Monbiot is very harsh in his critique of the anti-nuclear movement in Europe.

 

"Anti-nuclear campaigners have generated as much mumbo-jumbo as creationists, anti-vaccine scaremongers, homeopaths and climate change deniers. In all cases, the scientific process has been thrown into reverse: people have begun with their conclusions, then frantically sought evidence to support them."

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Ernst & Young: Shale Gas in Europe - Revolution or Evolution?

Ernst & Young: Shale Gas in Europe - Revolution or Evolution? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

In Europe, shale gas will not have the transformational impact it has had in the United States according to a new Ernst&Young report.

 

Social acceptance, environmental challenges and different fiscal and regulatory regimes will influence the pace and size of shale gas production in Europe more than it has done in the US.

 

Read the full report via http://3Eintelligence.wordpress.com .

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