Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Review: The real price of development

Book Review in The Hindu, 29 October 2013

Creating Space: Ecological Limits and Economic Development by Ramprasad Sengupta; Oxford University Press. Rs. 1250

Many sins are committed in the name of development. We are becoming aware that much of what were hailed as achievements over the past few centuries were actually “sordid boons.” Curiously, the words ecology and economics have a common root, oikos, which means ‘habitat’ in ancient Greek. But dialogues between economists and ecologists/environmentalists on how to achieve development with the least incomprehension of, and violence to, habitat have been of recent origin.

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News update

Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future
The Paris-based International Energy Agency was established after the oil crisis of the early 1970s in a move by oil-consuming nations to keep better track of trends and improve energy security. Its annual World Energy Outlook, with hundreds of pages of analysis and charts, is considered the industry bible. Heres a rundown of key trends IEA identified as shaping the world outlook this year.
From National Geographic

Western Voters Say No to Fracking and Coal
Fossil fuels took a licking in local elections in Colorado and Washington on Tuesday, as voters resoundingly said no to oil and gas fracking and coal exports.
From Alternet.org

How America’s Energy Appetite Has Changed (Interactive Graph)
The energy industry has undergone seismic changes in technology and outlook over the past 40 years, but that turmoil is only just beginning to produce an impact on the sources of American energy consumption. The following interactive graph allows you to compare the source of energy consumed in the U.S. between any two years over the last four decades.
From Time.com

Energy Sustainability Dilemma A talk by J. David Hughes (Video & slides)
A fascinating talk by J. David Hughes, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, given at Cornell-5-2-12, Energy Sustainability Dilemma : Powering the Future in a Finite World Most of the easy energy is gone. This was from oil which was plentiful, and easy to get, with a very high net Energy Return on Investment (EROI). Now we are pursuing Deep Ocean Drilling, Tar Sands, Fracked Shale Gas, etc. Are we heading for a dead end? What about Wind and Solar? Can they make up the difference? This talk is somewhat technical, but essential if we are to understand our energy options as our society pushes for more energy.
From Post Carbon Institute

Make no mistake, this is an energy civil war
Jeremy Leggetts new book The Energy of Nations: risk blindness and the road to renaissance is an inspirational, page-turning telling of the evolving tale of peak oil, climate change, and economic crisis, and how the three issues intertwine and interweave. Rob Hopkins, one of the founders of the Transition Towns movement, interviews the author.
From Transition Network

The Last of Eden
On one of the last islands of intact rain forest in Brazil’s eastern Amazon, the Awá Indians face the seemingly inexorable eradication of their home. Even the legal victory that deeded them the land hasn’t stopped the ruthless felling of trees by forces they can’t even comprehend. Photographer Sebastião Salgado captures the Awá’s world, while Alex Shoumatoff hits the forest trails with the most endangered tribe on earth.
From Vanity Fair magazine

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