Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Interview: Mansoor Khan

(Editors Note: POI member Mansoor Khan is the author of the book The Third Curve: The End of Growth. As we know it! which examines Peak Oil and the future of energy and economic growth to provide a new lens to understand our reality and the future. In this interview with The CSR Journal, he says that adapting to global energy descent requires us to make a paradigm shift in our economic and industrial thinking to exactly the opposite that is presently followed. )

From Entertainment to Energetics

By Nidhi Singh, The CSR Journal
Mansoor Khan divides his time between running a farmstay, cheese-making and traveling around the country lecturing the Corporate world & top educational Institutes on the theory of ‘Energertics’ & ‘Peak Oil’ which he believes is a tricky topic. The Bollywood Filmmaker who launched Aamir Khan with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and also belted out another blockbuster Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar is now telling an entirely different story through his Book ‘The Third Curve – The End of Growth As We Know It’.

Standard questions about sustainability, social & environmental development don’t even seem to apply to this filmmaker-turned-author who explains how limited resources of the Planet is not a problem, but a predicament. Hence it cannot have a solution, but requires a fundamental change in a mindset accustomed to the concept of ‘perpetual growth’. A passionate advocate of Gandhian principles of simple, local living Khan tells The CSR Journal’s Nidhi Singh in this interview about how the fundamentals of energy and its roles in our industrial model are little understood and never discussed.  That, he points out leads to people asking the wrong questions. (Read full interview)

News update

The oil industrys fake abundance story
From Kurt Cobbs Resource Insights blog
We now have nearly an entire population in the United States and nearly an entire media establishment that believes that oil is abundantnot because of the objective facts, but because of the oil industrys highly successful public relations campaign, a campaign that is still underway. The reason it is still underway is that it is essential to repeat the fake abundance story again and again in order to drown out any possibility that contrary facts will make their way into the public mind.

Breaking The Shackles Of Oil
By Prem Shankar Jha, Tehelka
The Indian government expects oil prices to rise as high as $120 per barrel for several months because of fighting in Iraq, potentially driving a hole of at least $3.3 billion in the Budget. Here is a way to break the shackles of oil upon the economy and achieve a number of other goals as well.

Thinning dense forest cover cause for concern
From Deccan Herald
India lost almost 2,000 sq km of moderately dense forests in the last two years, out of which nearly 80 per cent vanished in eastern and north-eastern states, triggering concern in the environment ministry. DH file photo. For representation purpose
India lost almost 2,000 sq km of moderately dense forests in the last two years, out of which nearly 80 per cent vanished in eastern and north-eastern states, triggering concern in the environment ministry.

Debt: Eight Reasons This Time is Different
By Gail Tverberg, Ourfiniteworld.com
We live in perilous times. We have leaders who think they know the answers but, in fact, they do not. The debt problems we face now are not just overspending problems; they are signs that we are reaching limits of a finite world. World leaders do not seem to understand this connection. It is not even clear that they understand the connection of debt problems to the need for cheap-to-produce, high-quality energy products.

Population Fact Sheet
From www.earth-policy.org
When assessing the adequacy of basic resources such as land or water over time, population is the universal denominator: as population expands, per capita availability shrinks. An overview of the latest statistics from Earth Policy Institute.

China’s Solar Panel Production to Double by 2017
From www.earth-policy.org
China installed a world record amount of solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity in 2013. While this was the first time the country was the number one installer, China has led all countries in making PV for the better part of a decade. China now accounts for 64 percent of global solar panel production—churning out 25,600 megawatts of the nearly 40,000 megawatts of PV made worldwide in 2013—according to data from GTM Research.

Proposal: An Alternative Energy Strategy for India

ENERGY STRATEGY FOR INDIA BY 2035

Presenting a new vision for a totally clean and green, fossil fuel-free energy strategy for our COUNTRY
(by Concerned Members of NGOs)

There is a pressing need to think about a fossil fuel-less future, because according to many experts, fossil fuels have already peaked, and may be exhausted by 2030 or too costly. Multiple scientific studies have also proven that fossil fuels are the biggest cause of environmental pollution and global warming. This proposal presents a strategy for our country, which is at present completely dependent on fossil fuels. To avert the forthcoming energy crisis and to become totally fossil fuel-free and become clean and green by 2035, this plan would help.

While most countries including ours, are already adopting Alternative energy sources, we propose that India goes a step forward and make ourselves free from fossil fuels, and thus make ourselves the cleanest possible country on the planet in terms of emissions and as this also brings us prosperity. We are burning nearly about 83 million Dollar worth of crude every day !

To reach the goal, some essential steps we must take are:

  1. With clean and able leader like Shree Narendra Modi ji at the helm, it should not be a difficult proposition to curtail, if not totally eliminate, corruption.
  2. A clean country is also a prerequisite and essential for becoming a totally green country. Cleanliness is said to be next to Godliness. Basically we Indians speak about it, but are careless otherwise.
  3. To plan for a strategy to reduce the population level, although it may not be possible to bring it to a desired level, even by 2050.

(One of the proposals is to advice women to have just one child in their life time, irrespective of their caste, creed or number of times she may get married. This would require change in some social norms as well, but those should not be too difficult if this option is accepted by society). This step is very essential for sustainability as well and will also bring about empowerment of women. Reduced population would also mean increase in prosperity.

Read the full text of the proposal (Download PDF)

(Editors Note: This is the full text of a submission to the new Govt. at the Centre, drafted by POI member Dr Ashok Kundapur. Dr Ashok is an inventor and well-known expert in alternative energy technologies. For more information on his work, visit: http://www.kapalishakti.com and http://www.solcooker.net)

News update

The Peak Oil Crisis: Iraq on the Precipice
From Oilprice.com
ISIS now has control of one of three major refineries in Iraq which supplies the motor fuel and oil for power stations for the northern part of Iraq. Let’s assume, however, that before this year or next is out, Iraqi oil exports drop substantially as it has in several other oil-exporting states undergoing similar political trauma. Just what does this mean for the world’s oil supply? (Also see: It’s the Oil, Stupid! Insurgency and War on a Sea of Oil (Tomdispatch.com)

Oil Production Numbers Keep Going Down
By Dave Summers, Oilprice.com
One problem with defining a peak in global oil production is that it is only really evident sometime after the event, when one can look in the rear view mirror and see the transition from a growing oil supply to one that is now declining. Before that relatively absolute point, there will likely come a time when global supply can no longer match the global demand for oil that exists at that price. We are beginning to approach the latter of these two conditions,

Oil-Rich Iran Planning To Spend $60 Million On Solar PV This Year
From Cleantechnica.com
Leading oil producer Iran is aiming big with renewable energy, based on recent statements made by the Iranian Energy Minister, Hamid Chitchian. The country’s new goal is to add 5,000 MW of new solar energy and wind energy capacity by the year 2018. That’s a big increase over the country’s previous aims, and sort of makes you wonder what it is that they know about the near-term future of the oil industry.

Is North Dakota Oil Production Rapidly Approaching a Peak?
From The Motley Fool
North Dakotas Bakken is one of the most phenomenal shale oil growth stories in the U.S. But some commentators suggest that this rapid production growth cant go on for much longer, citing sharp decline rates for Bakken wells. Could this mean that Bakken production is rapidly approaching a peak?

Carbon offset scheme complicit in genocidal land grabs
By Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 500 million acres of land in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean was acquired or negotiated under deals brokered on behalf of foreign governments or transnational corporations. Many such deals are geared toward growing crops or biofuels for export to richer, developed countries – with the consequence that small-holder farmers are displaced from their land and lose their livelihood while local communities go hungry. Less known factors, however, include conservation and carbon offsetting.

Govt readies Rs 14,000 cr subsidy for hybrid, electric cars
From The Times of India
Buying a hybrid or an electric car may soon fetch you a subsidy from the government, which is readying a Rs 14,000-crore scheme to push green vehicles. The subsidy will be a proportion of the difference between the price of a car running on fossil fuel and that of a green vehicle, said sources involved with the discussions. (Also see: a debate on the issue in The Times of India)

Govt panel proposes green cess on petrol, vehicles
From The Times of India
Vehicle owners could soon be asked to pay more for environment. A green surcharge of Rs 2 on petrol sold across the country and green cess on existing personal vehicles at the rate of 4% of annual insured value are some of the recommendations of a government panel. The panel has suggested levy of 7.5% urban transport tax on purchase of new petrol cars and 20% in case of diesel cars.

Solar power stocks see multi-fold jump on hopes from Modi govt
From The Economic Times
Companies with exposure to the solar power segment have seen a bull-run since the beginning of this year, with stock prices jumping three-and-half times. They have gained on expectation that the Modi government would implement the successful Gujarat solar-power model elsewhere, too.

Elon Musk Releases Electric Car Technology Patents
From Los Angeles Magazine
South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk, the man behind the Tesla electric car, announced last week that Tesla’s automotive patents would be made available, open source-style, “for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.” The move shocked the automotive cognoscenti because patents are generally considered sacrosanct evidence of differentiating technological advances.

Workshop: Towards a sustainable society

One-day workshop: Charting a course towards a sustainable, equitable and peaceful society

Venue: Cerana Foundation, Hyderabad
Day: Sunday, 13 July, 2014
Time: 9 am to 6 pm

About the workshop: We face one tilting pointenvironmental degradation and two tipping pointsclimate change and peak oil. Environmental degradation has already ruined the lives of many people in India and elsewhere. Climate change and peak oil have the potential to collapse our civilization. Yet, scant attention is being paid to address these issues.

The task of navigating a course through these issues has been thrust on future generations. And whether they like it or not, they will have to deal with the issues of resource wars, sustainability, equity and conflict, which are intimately related to the tipping and tilting points. This workshop attempts to help the participants to understand these issues through presentations, practical exercises and discussion.
Read more…

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