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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Islamic State is the cancer of modern capitalism

Islamic State is the cancer of modern capitalism | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Ultimately, IS is a cancer of modern industrial capitalism in meltdown, a fatal by-product of our unwavering addiction to black gold, a parasitical symptom of escalating civilisational crises across both the Muslim and Western worlds. Until the roots of these crises are addressed, IS and its ilk are here to stay.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant analysis of the roots of Islamic State by Nafeez Ahmed. Must-read.

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Please Steal Our Fossil Fuels

The main threat to a prosperous low-carbon future is the waste that low fossil-fuel prices encourage. If some extra-terrestrial thief stole two-thirds of the world’s oil, gas, and coal reserves, we could still enjoy the household appliances, information technology, heating, lighting, and mobility that define the modern world.
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Green jobs debate should look beyond short-term benefits, says UKERC report

Green jobs debate should look beyond short-term benefits, says UKERC report | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
renewable energy and energy efficiency create up to 1 job per gigawatt-hour more than fossil fuels and when the economy is underperforming, such as during a recession, it is sensible to focus government expenditure on these labour-intensive sectors.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good report on jobs in renewable energy sector from UK energy think tank.

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GE Is Avoiding Hard Choices About Ecomagination

"Every company and country is going to face some really hard choices very soon, and we’ll need to ask a core question: Will we turn to the future and put all we’ve got into building the clean economy? Or will we try to have it both ways?"

Willy De Backer's insight:

Great article by Andrew Winston on GE's ecomagination campaign supporting 'better' technological solutions for fracking or Canadian oil sands production. What ecomagination lacks is the commitment to imagine getting rid of fossil fuels altogether by changing our way of life.  

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Climate change is the fight of our lives – yet we can hardly bear to look at it

Climate change is the fight of our lives – yet we can hardly bear to look at it | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Naomi Klein: We're products of an industrial project, a project linked to fossil fuels. But humans have changed before and can change again
Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent must-read analysis by Naomi Klein on the historical mismatch between climate change and our collective identity as consumers.

 

 

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 28, 2014 9:46 AM

Humans don't like change and they don't like the idea of being to blame for things (even if they are).  It could be as simple as that.

 

Trouble is, change is the name of the game on this planet and any other planet in the known and, likely, unknown universes.  The strongest are only able to be the strongest because of the present natural situation that exists.  Any kind of change of those conditions can trigger the devolution and/or removal of said strongest species unless they adapt accordingly and find a new niche in the universe.

 

It really does stink, especially when you're comfortable, well off, and on top of your game.

 

But, as the French would say, "c'est la vie."

 

Think about it.

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UN Climate Chief Urges Radical Clean-Up Of Oil, Gas Industry

UN Climate Chief Urges Radical Clean-Up Of Oil, Gas Industry | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
(Corrects paragraph 11 to "trillion tonnes" from "billion tonnes") * Figueres says three quarters of reserves may have to stay in ground * UN wants "urgent transformation" towards greener ...
Willy De Backer's insight:

Finally a bit more courage from the climate chief, but this message alone will not break the fossils' resolve to keep drilling until there is no tomorrow.

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Exxon Mobil's commitment to carbon asset risk is just the beginning

Exxon Mobil's commitment to carbon asset risk is just the beginning | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As the company bows to pressure to report on its preparations for climate regulation, campaigners want investors to recognise that extractors may be forced to leave oil and gas in the ground, write Natasha Lamb and Danielle Fugere
Willy De Backer's insight:

Are we on the verge of a real revolution in the oil and gas industry as the  global divestment campaign is gaining traction? Or will the fossils use their big cash piles to fight back?

 

See also http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/03/24/exxon-stranded-assets-and-new-math

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By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined

By The Time Natural Gas Has A Net Climate Benefit You’ll Likely Be Dead And The Climate Ruined | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The umpteenth study confirms that natural gas simply has no net climate benefit whatsoever in any timescale that matters to humanity. In the real world, natural gas is not a "bridge" fuel to a carbon-free economy.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Very informative reading for all those (including Shell, of course) who claim gas is better than coal for climate policy.

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Our Fossil-Fueled Future

Our Fossil-Fueled Future | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
If the experts at the U.S. Department of Energy are right, the startling “new” fuels of 2040 will be oil, coal, and natural gas -- and we will find ourselves on a baking, painfully uncomfortable planet.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Would be better to call this 'our fossil-fueled non-future' :(

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Latest Shell Debacle in Alaska Part of a Larger Pattern of Risk and Failure

Latest Shell Debacle in Alaska Part of a Larger Pattern of Risk and Failure | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Shell Oil’s string of failures in its Arctic Ocean drilling attempts continued into the New Year. One of the company's drill rigs ran aground near Alaska’s Kodiak Island with 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and other petroleum products onboard.  In...
Willy De Backer's insight:

The latest Shell accident demonstrates how desperate the old fossil fuel giants have become and how their quest for extreme energy will end in financial disaster. Where are the sane shareholders of these companies who do not buy their fairy tales of new oil riches?

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Report: Globalising the German Energy Transition

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent report by German think tank SWP on the need for international cooperation if we are to move to a global new energy system.

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The World Bank's Shocking, Cautionary Tale on Climate Change

The World Bank's Shocking, Cautionary Tale on Climate Change | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Like the Ghost of Christmas Future, the World Bank has just provided us with a frightening glimpse into our world-to-be if, unlike Scrooge, we fail to change our ways.

 

The new World Bank report "Turn down the heat: why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided" stands in stark contrast to all fossil-fuel friendly policies of this and other international and national governance bodies. And the silence in the media about the coming Doha summit on climate change is deafening.

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What Next for the Oil and Gas Industry?

What Next for the Oil and Gas Industry? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The oil and gas industry is under pressures that will transform it. The effect of other industries on oil demand, the increasing opportunities for non-conventional oil and gas that offset perceptions of limits to conventional resources, and the shift of growth to Asia will all compel the industry to look for growth in value rather than volume, to distinguish between the expanding markets of developing countries and the declining markets of the private sector in developed countries, and to target technologies to a diversity of resource opportunities outside the state sector and to specialized partnerships within it."

 

New very interesting report from Chatham House.

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Engaging with oil companies on climate change is futile, admits leading UK environmentalist

Engaging with oil companies on climate change is futile, admits leading UK environmentalist | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
After years working on sustainability projects with BP and Shell, Jonathon Porritt says he came to the conclusion it was ‘impossible’ for today’s oil and gas companies to adapt to the need to exit fossil fuels
Willy De Backer's insight:

Of course, they have too much to lose. all talk about responsible capitalism and the like is naive.

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Fossil fuel promises 'being broken'

Fossil fuel promises 'being broken' | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The Overseas Development Institute says G20 nations spent almost £56bn ($90bn) a year finding oil, gas and coal. It comes despite evidence that two thirds of existing reserves must be left in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change."

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Price fall hastens decline of 'big oil' as Western majors retreat

LONDON (Reuters) - This year's fall in energy prices is hastening the decline of big oil, as the seven Western majors sell-off assets, cut investment, return money to shareholders and shrink in size,
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The Collapse of Western Civilization

The Collapse of Western Civilization | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The year is 2393, and a senior scholar of the Second People's Republic of China presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment, the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies, entered into a Penumbral period in the early decades of the twenty-first century, a time when sound science and rational discourse about global change were prohibited and clear warnings of climate catastrophe were ignored.

Willy De Backer's insight:

Looking forward to reading Naomi Oreskes new book on the demise of the West and the 'carbon industrial complex'.

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A New Agenda on Climate Change

"The knowledge of the reality, causes and implications of anthropogenic climate change creates a moral imperative to act, but this imperative is diluted at every level by collective action problems that appear to be beyond our existing ability to resolve. This challenge is compounded by collectively mischaracterising the climate problem as an exclusively environmental issue, rather than a broader systemic threat to the global financial system, public health and national security."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting new report focusing on the need to re-frame climate policy.

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Exxon Mobil says climate change unlikely to stop it selling fossil fuels

Exxon Mobil says climate change unlikely to stop it selling fossil fuels | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Oil and gas giant issues report on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the value of its assets and future profitability
Willy De Backer's insight:

Exxon admits it is f...ing with the climate -  let's bring on the lawyers. Let's organise to start court case against fossil fuel industry.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 2, 2014 4:55 PM

Sad, isn't it.


The change will only come when policy makers make a conscientious effort to change the incentives and the outcomes of the present economic and social system.  It is time that we ask ourselves, "what do we value more?"

Business?

Profits?

Or society?

Well being?

And survival?

Think about it.

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Norwegian government reviews fossil fuel divestment plan

Norwegian government reviews fossil fuel divestment plan | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Independent panel to assess whether country's giant wealth fund should quit oil, coal and gas investments
Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting development for the divesting from fossil fuels movement.

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OECD waking up to climate crisis?

OECD waking up to climate crisis? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Ending our reliance on fossil fuels was never going to be easy. Two thirds of electricity generation relies on fossil fuels. 95% of the energy consumed by the world’s transport systems relies on fossil fuels.

I want to be very clear that I haven’t come here to vilify fossil fuels. Much of what we regard as material and social progress has been built on the back of them. They are incredibly convenient. We’ve physically constructed our world around them, and to wean ourselves away from them will mean swimming against very strong tides".

Willy De Backer's insight:

In a lecture in London on 9 October, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria warned global leaders that the climate crisis needs to be tackled with more radical and urgent policies (including a high price on carbon and abolishing fossil fuel subsidies). Do some of his remarks indicate a new shift in the global leaders' climate agenda?

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Michael Stuart's curator insight, October 12, 2013 4:54 PM

The Texas coast needs to get ready, some areas, like Corpus Christi will have little effect, but Galveston's west-end and South Padre's north-end will be under water!

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Peak Oil as seen through the eyes of Arab oil producers

Reflections by the author of the "Hirsch Report" on the Conference “Peak Oil: Challenges and Opportunities for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries.”
Willy De Backer's insight:

Interesting post. While "peak oil is dead" stories are thrown around in the US and Europe, some in the Middle East are starting to worry about the impact of peak oil for their economic and political future.

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Commission consults public on unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas) in Europe

"The European Commission is holding a public consultation on the future development of unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas in Europe. All interested individuals, organisations and public authorities are welcome to share their views on the possible opportunities and challenges that may arise from the development of such projects and on the best ways to address the challenges identified so far."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Why is DG Environment and not DG Energy in charge? The environmental dangers of shale gas are not the only problem; the effects on the energy mix and climate change are at least as important. And what about the use of big money for investments which we will regret in less than ten years.

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US Shale Gas Won't Last Ten Years: Bill Powers

US Shale Gas Won't Last Ten Years: Bill Powers | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The shale gas miracle is overhyped and bound to disappoint. That's what energy expert Bill Powers argues in his upcoming book.

 

Must-read for all those who still believe in Father Xmas, in this case the myth of abundant shale gas for more than 100 years.

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US can become world's biggest oil producer in a decade, says IEA

US can become world's biggest oil producer in a decade, says IEA | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The US could become self-sufficient, while 90% of Middle Eastern oil could go to China, according to new estimates...

 

Yes and pigs CAN fly. I would like to know how much pressure was put on Fatih Birol and his team  to produce this PR report for big oil. Any investigative journalist can go after the real story behind this?

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