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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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The Eurozone Crisis and the Silence of Social Democracy

The Eurozone Crisis and the Silence of Social Democracy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

In Social Europe Journal Jon Bloomfield undertakes a good diagnosis of the absence of a European Left alternative to the current eurocrisis but unfortunately then prescribes the old social-democrat remedies.

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Your Prius' Deepest, Darkest Secret

Your Prius' Deepest, Darkest Secret | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Rare earth elements are useful in green technology—but mining for them can make a big mess." (Source: Mother Jones)


Good article on the environmental dangers of the rare earths used in green technologies.

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Can Europe pull back from the brink?

Can Europe pull back from the brink? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The Guardian has this brilliant and insightful exchange of ideas between two UK top journalists (Paul Mason and Gillian Tett) on the eurocrisis. What both recognise is that this crisis is only the tip of the iceberg of a more fundamental crisis of our political institutions and leadership.

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No Shale Boom in Europe as First Wells Struggle, Bernstein Says

"The first results from wells in Poland show Europe is unlikely to match the U.S. boom in shale gas, analysts at Bernstein Research said." (Reuters)

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Renewables Grid Initiative: European Grid Conference 2011

Renewables Grid Initiative: European Grid Conference 2011 | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The need for a radical overhaul of Europe's electricity grid faces several major challenges. One of them is public acceptance. A coalition of corporate stakeholders and NGOs discussed this with European policymakers at an interesting conference in the European Parliament  this week.

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New EEA report: European transport sector must be ambitious to meet targets

New EEA report: European transport sector must be ambitious to meet targets | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Emissions of many pollutants from transport fell in 2009. But this reduction may only be a temporary effect of the economic downturn, according to the latest annual report on transport emissions from the European Environment Agency (EEA).


This new EEA report clearly shows Europe's transport is strongly underperforming in terms of decarbonisation. The EEA developed 12 indicators to measure future progress in this area.

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Why Italy’s days in the eurozone may be numbered

Why Italy’s days in the eurozone may be numbered | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
With interest rates on its sovereign debt surging well above seven per cent, there is a rising risk that Italy may soon lose market access.
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CCS: Another one bites the dust

"A power company that was expected to demonstrate a carbon-capture technology has said it cannot take part, leaving the remaining partners at risk of losing $1 billion in federal funds." (NY Times)


It really becomes embarrassing: so many projects which were to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of carbon capture and storage have failed in the last 12 months. Should we close the books on one of the miracle solutions for decarbonisation?

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Oil Majors Rediscover Their Exploring Mojo

Oil Majors Rediscover Their Exploring Mojo | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"After a decade marked by fears of declining resources, oil majors have substantially increased their exploration efforts - with increasingly impressive results." (source: Rigzone News).


Is this for real or wishful thinking? And how many extra days/months/years do these new great finds represent?

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Gemeinsames Gutachten: Wirtschaftsweise wollen Euro-Schuldenfonds -

Gemeinsames Gutachten: Wirtschaftsweise wollen Euro-Schuldenfonds - | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Es ist eine Schlappe für die Bundesregierung: Ihr eigener Sachverständigenrat misstraut den bisherigen Bemühungen zur Bekämpfung der Euro-Krise. Statt Anleihenkäufe und Hebellösung schlagen die Ökonomen einen neuen Schuldentilgungspakt vor." (Der Spiegel)


A German Committee of Economic "Wise Men" proposes the idea of a European Pact for Debt Reduction and goes against ideas of Chancellor Merkel.

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OPEC : World Oil Outlook

OPEC : World Oil Outlook | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting countries published its World Oil Outlook report 2011 today. It will be followed by the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2011 tomorrow.


More information and links to media coverage and analysis of both reports can be found on my 3E Intelligence blog http://3eintelligence.wordpress.com later.

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PwC report: increased carbon intensity endangers decarbonisation goals

"Global emissions are increasing faster than economic growth, reversing a slow, but gradual, reduction in carbon emissions intensity seen since 2000. The findings, from new analysis in the PwC Low Carbon Economy Index released today, show that for the first time since 2000, no improvement has being made in reducing the carbon intensity (which reflects the fuel mix, energy efficiency and the balance of industry and services) of the G20, despite modest economic recovery globally. The results call into question the likelihood of global decarbonisation ever happening rapidly enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. "


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New OECD report Risk management in agriculture

New OECD report Risk management in agriculture | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Farmers face multiple, often simultaneous, sources of agricultural risk - weather, market prices, disease and more. "


Interesting to see that his new report says very little about the risks of energy descent and resource depletion.

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Small is beautiful … but Schumacher's economics of scale runs deeper

Small is beautiful … but Schumacher's economics of scale runs deeper | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Andrew Simms: The Big Ideas: EF Schumacher was interested in appropriateness of scale, not smallness – a challenge the 'too big to fail' banks should heed..."


The Guardian has this excellent article by New Economics Foundations's Andrew Simms on the relevance of EF Schumacher for our current economic and sustainability crises.

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Nature is fooled into flowering in a 'second spring'

Nature is fooled into flowering in a 'second spring' | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Fruit, frogs, birds, insects, plants: they are all enjoying a warm autumn as the seasons go topsy-turvy.
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Naomi Klein in The Nation: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Naomi Klein in The Nation: Capitalism vs. the Climate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Denialists are dead wrong about the science. But they understand something the left still doesn’t get about the revolutionary meaning of climate change.
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Joschka Fischer: Forget this EU!

In Die Zeit former German Green and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer makes the case for a smaller Europe led by the Member States and with a strong real Euro-Parliament consisting of national parliamentarians.


His analysis has interesting institutional points such as the demise of the European Commission but lacks any insight into the ecological and energy roots of the current Europe crisis. For someone who was once the leading figure of the Green parties in Europe this is inexcusable. Have the Greens become too much part of the capitalist-growth establishment?

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EU agricultural policy: Responding to the crisis?

EU agricultural policy: Responding to the crisis? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

From VoxEU: "As Europe battles a life-threatening crisis, the European Commission has found time to discuss the much-maligned Common Agricultural Policy. This column, by the former OECD Director for Trade and Agriculture, argues that far from seizing the opportunity to use CAP to benefit fiscal discipline, policymakers are maintaining an outdated and inefficient system for the financial benefit of farmers."


Another very critical assessment of the EU's new CAP reform proposals. Interesting but misses the CAP weaknesses in terms of responding to the "perfect storm" of climate change, water and energy scarcity, peak phosporus and other sustainability challenges.

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Greece and Italy Seek a Solution From Technocrats

Greece and Italy Seek a Solution From Technocrats | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Under the white-hot pressure of the bond markets and the glare of European leaders, both Greece and Italy snapped into action on Thursday, looking to technocratic leaders to pull them back from the brink of chaos.." (NY Times)


The technocrat chimera? These technocrats have been the engineers of neoliberal policymaking in the last 20 years. Their "solutions" will be "more of the same" remaining within the the broken old economic paradigm. What Europe really needs are not technocrats but leaders with a new vision.



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Climate Economics: The State of the Art

Climate Economics: The State of the Art | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has just published one of the best studies on the strengths and weaknesses of the models and assumptions used in recent climate economics publications.


The SEI authors conclude that "climate economics tends to lag behind climate science" and make several interesting recommendations to improve this important economic analysis.

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IEA World Energy Outlook 2011 raises the alarm bells ... again!

The newest World Energy Outlook report of the International Energy Agency warns that the world is "locking itself into an unsustainable energy future" with dramatic consequences for climate change.


It also explains that  for every dollar "saved" now by not investing in clean energy and remaining in denial about the climate/energy crisis, the world will have to spend 4.30 dollars in the mid-term future to fight the effects of increased emissions and energy scarcity.


The IEA has been ringing the alarm bells year after year but is anyone really listening?




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Guide to Greener Electronics

Guide to Greener Electronics | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Greenpeace 2011 Guide to greener electronics is out. It ranks leading mobile phone, TV and PC manufacturers on policies and practices to reduce their impact on the climate, produce greener products, and make their operations more sustainable.


HP takes top spot, closely followed by Dell.

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EU finance ministers reaffirm climate financing

(Reuters) - EU finance ministers on Tuesday signed off on more than 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in short-term funding to help developing countries adapt to climate change and curb emissions..."


This is positive news but with growing debt challenges, will the EU's resolve on providing climate finance deliver in the long run?

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Success means telling people to buy less

Success means telling people to buy less | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The outdoor retailer Patagonia has had its two best years in terms of sales after pushing a message of environmental virtue...


Can we really develop business models around this message of buying less or are we locked into consumerism?

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EU power funding must double - think-tank

According to a new report by the European Climate Foundation, Europe will need to invest around 1.2 trillion euros between 2020 and 2030 to decarbonise its power system.

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