Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Event: Climate Maha Satsang, Bangalore

Inviting you to participate in the Climate महा सत्संग (Maha-Satsang)
A part of Indian Youth Climate Networks Climate Catalysts 2014 event
Dates: 30th August & 31st August, 2014.
Time: 09:30- 18:30
Venue: Paradigm Shift, 8, 80 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala (Bangalore)

About the event: The primary focus of the workshops is on students and young professionals within the age group of 16-35 years. They will get an opportunity to interact with and listen to various experts on issues pertaining to local environments, vulnerable sectors and its linkages to climate change. The participants will also learn how to build a campaign using social media and will have to opportunities to know about green careers among other things. The workshops will also be useful for the participants in building networks with the green entrepreneurs. The sessions will enable them to devise adaptation strategies and actively engage with the local administration and policy makers to include a Climate Change resilient plan in their development agenda.

List of Panelists: Mr. Sudipto Ghosh, SELCO, Mr. Sagar Dhara, Cerena Foundation, Mr. Pranam Reddy, Cool Earth, Ms. Aruna C. Newton,Electronic City Industrial Association, Ms. Sowmya Reddy, Animal Welfare Board of India/Paradigm Shift, Mr. Marwan Abubaker, Hasirudala, Ms. Sumetee Pahwa, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Ms. Pinky Chandran, Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz; Ms. Meera K., Bangalore, Citizen Matters, Mr. Kumar Pushkar, BMTC Mr. Prashant Mehra, Mr. Mathews Vincent, Green Theory, Mr. Janhavi Dave, SEWA, Elected Representatives: Dr. Ashwath Narayan, Mr. Narendra Babu, Minister of Environment and Forest Ramnath Rai.

For following on Facebook, click here
For more details you can either mail: bryni; digu@iycn or call @ +919663427315, +919986462760

News update

If We Release a Small Fraction of Arctic Carbon, Were Fucked: Climatologist
From Vice.com
Recently, scientists have made a disturbing discovery in the Arctic Ocean: They saw vast methane plumes escaping from the seafloor, as the Stockholm University put it in a release disclosing the observations. The plume of methane—a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat more powerfully than carbon dioxide, the chief driver of climate change—was unsettling to the scientists.

Heading Toward The Sidewalk
By John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
The author, a well-known writer on peak Oil and related topics, argues that another economic crash is imminent in the U.S., this time because the fracking/shale gas bubble is about to burst.

Blame the Environmentalists
By Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute
CEOs of companies engaged in shale gas and tight oil drilling are undoubtedly aware of what’s going on in their own balance sheets, hype is an essential part of their business model.

Why doesnt the long emergency feel like an emergency?
By Kurt Cobb, Resourceinsights.blogspot.in
In 2006 when James Howard Kunstler published his breakthrough book The Long Emergency, the next two years seemed to vindicate his warning that the oil age was coming to an end with perilous consequences. By autumn the stock market had collapsed and with it the world economy. Oil, too, then collapsed, trading in the mid-$30 range by December as demand for oil fell off a cliff with the economy. It seemed for months that the world was headed for an economic depression.

Transformative Common Sense in Vermont
By Eric Zencey, Steadystate.org
Because GDP-based economic development is so wrong-headed, the state of Vermonts commitment to use Genuine Progress Indicator as a yardstick is a matter of common sense; and yet, because GDP-based economic development is so deeply woven into the substance and texture of our political economy, using basic common sense here is a powerfully transformative act.

GDP: The Infinite Planet Indicator
By Eric Zencey, Steadystate.org
If economists know GDP is not a measurement of economic well-being, why have they continued using it as a proxy for this?

Some Thoughts On Resilience and Transition
By Saral Sarkar, www.eco-socialist.blogspot.in

Just How Legal Are Seed Libraries?
From the Post Carbon Institute
After the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture cracked down on a community seed library, hundreds of seed libraries in the U.S. are suddenly wondering if they are breaking the law.

Id be happier if I didnt write this stuff!
By Kurt Cobb, Resourceinsights.blogspot.in
For years my fatherwho is a really great guyhas been telling me that Id be a happier person if I didnt write about all the converging threats bearing down on the human race. Turns out hes right! Heres what a new study said on the matter: Recent evidence suggests that a state of good mental health is associated with biased processing of information that supports a positively skewed view of the future. Depression, on the other hand, is associated with unbiased processing of such information.

 

Symposium: Growth, green growth or degrowth?

Growth, green growth or degrowth?
New critical directions for Indias sustainability

Date: September 12 & 13 (Friday and Saturday)
Venue: Magnolia room, Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Organizers: Rajeswari S. Raina, CSIR-NISTADS, & Julien-François Gerber, TERI University
Sponsors: Ford Foundation, ICSSR, and Indian Society for Ecological Economics

The symposium will be articulated around three broad questions:

1. Does the Indian economy need to grow further? Is growth per se a meaningful parameter? What are the other parameters (differentiated by space, class, demographic or cultural features) that can be used meaningfully in India? PANELISTS: Jean Drèze (on what should grow/degrow in the Indian economy), Vandana Shiva (on a critique of capitalist growth and on alternatives), Ajay Dandekar (on an historical overview of conventional growth in India).

2. What should be understood by green growth? Is it an oxymoron? How can we go beyond the current single focus on modern green technologies as the way to reach sustainability? Why do economists (even enlightened ones like Nick Stern) always turn to technologies instead of talking about norms, values or politics that would enable sustainability? PANELISTS: Kanchan Chopra (on green growth), Mansoor Khan (on the biophysical limits to growth), Rohan DSouza (on the history and ambiguities of green growth in India, e.g. through renewable energy mega-projects).

3. What are the alternatives to growth (green or not)? Couldnt prosperity without growth become a rallying slogan for myriads of grassroots alternatives that are already present and often isolated and under threat, especially in the rural world? How could this slogan be applied to the Indian context? PANELISTS: Ashish Kothari (on the orchestration of alternatives), Aditya Nigam (on linking environmental and socialist movements around degrowth), Sagar Dhara (on the energy and material basis of alternatives).

Download a concept note on the Symposium.

For more information, contact:
Rajeswari S. Raina (NISTADS‐CSIRR),  aaay.
Julien‐François Gerber (TERI University), julancrbel.c

Event: Climate Catalysts 2014, Hyderabad

Hyderabad-poster-for-print-page-001-724x1024
Click on image to enlarge. For more information, visit the Indian Youth Climate Network website.

Consultation: The Peoples Climate March, New Delhi

Greetings from Avaaz.org, 350.org and The Peoples Climate March September 2014 Team!

You are cordially invited to attend:
A Partners Consultation on Mobilisation and Forward Action
for
The Peoples Climate March New Delhi September 2014

Venue: National Foundation of India Office, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
Date : Friday 22nd August 2014
Time : 5pm to 7pm

RSVP:
Chaitanya Kumar 09849016371
Usha Saxena 09818649083
Ankit Kumar 09811963177

What it is about:

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a special Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York on the 23rd September 2014. Heads of state, big business and civil society leaders will be attending in full strength to urgently pledge to take action on climate change mitigation solutions the urgency comes from the UN Secretary General taking note of the fact that we are fast running out of time to control the devastating impacts of climate change, with island nations already facing the heat (literally) and at risk of their countries and homes getting submerged with rising ocean levels. Read more…

Consultation: The Peoples Climate March, New Delhi

Greetings from Avaaz.org, 350.org and The Peoples Climate March September 2014 Team!

You are cordially invited to attend:
A Partners Consultation on Mobilisation and Forward Action
for
The Peoples Climate March New Delhi September 2014

Venue: National Foundation of India Office, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
Date : Friday 22nd August 2014
Time : 5pm to 7pm

RSVP:
Chaitanya Kumar 09849016371
Usha Saxena 09818649083
Ankit Kumar 09811963177

What it is about:

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a special Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York on the 23rd September 2014. Heads of state, big business and civil society leaders will be attending in full strength to urgently pledge to take action on climate change mitigation solutions the urgency comes from the UN Secretary General taking note of the fact that we are fast running out of time to control the devastating impacts of climate change, with island nations already facing the heat (literally) and at risk of their countries and homes getting submerged with rising ocean levels. Read more…

Symposium: Growth, green growth or degrowth?

Growth, green growth or degrowth?
New critical directions for Indias sustainability

Date: September 12 & 13 (Friday and Saturday)
Venue: Magnolia room, Habitat World, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Organizers: Rajeswari S. Raina, CSIR-NISTADS, & Julien-François Gerber, TERI University
Sponsors: Ford Foundation, ICSSR, and Indian Society for Ecological Economics

The symposium will be articulated around three broad questions:

1. Does the Indian economy need to grow further? Is growth per se a meaningful parameter? What are the other parameters (differentiated by space, class, demographic or cultural features) that can be used meaningfully in India? PANELISTS: Jean Drèze (on what should grow/degrow in the Indian economy), Vandana Shiva (on a critique of capitalist growth and on alternatives), Ajay Dandekar (on an historical overview of conventional growth in India).

2. What should be understood by green growth? Is it an oxymoron? How can we go beyond the current single focus on modern green technologies as the way to reach sustainability? Why do economists (even enlightened ones like Nick Stern) always turn to technologies instead of talking about norms, values or politics that would enable sustainability? PANELISTS: Kanchan Chopra (on green growth), Mansoor Khan (on the biophysical limits to growth), Rohan DSouza (on the history and ambiguities of green growth in India, e.g. through renewable energy mega-projects).

3. What are the alternatives to growth (green or not)? Couldnt prosperity without growth become a rallying slogan for myriads of grassroots alternatives that are already present and often isolated and under threat, especially in the rural world? How could this slogan be applied to the Indian context? PANELISTS: Ashish Kothari (on the orchestration of alternatives), Aditya Nigam (on linking environmental and socialist movements around degrowth), Sagar Dhara (on the energy and material basis of alternatives).

Download a concept note on the Symposium.

For more information, contact:
Rajeswari S. Raina (NISTADS‐CSIRR),  rajraio.c
Julien‐François Gerber (TERI University), julienfrancoisgerber@gmail.com

Is the NDA government’s “Good days ahead” promise old wine in a new bottle?

By Sagar Dhara, POI Founder Member

(Note: An edited version of this article appeared in The Hindu, dated August 8, 2014, under the title Building smart cities without energy. Also read: Devinder Sharmas article: How About Smart Villages, Mr Modi?)

Recent pronouncements by the NDA ministers, when read together, provide insights into the NDA government’s ‘Acche din ayenge’ (good days ahead) promise.  Finance minister Arun Jaitley provided Rs 7,060 crores in the 2014-15 budget for developing 100 smart satellite townships to existing cities.  Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said that to reduce poverty, India’s carbon emissions must grow till 2030-40.

Can India find the large quantity of energy needed to develop smart cities?  Will greater fossil fuel use, the primary cause for carbon emissions, in projects like smart cities, bullet trains, river linking, reduce poverty?  I.e., can India replicate the 20th Century North nations development model that used massive quantities of energy to reduce poverty? Read more…

News update

(Editors note: Rumours of another global economic meltdown has been doing the rounds of online forums for at least couple of years now, but of late there seems to be a spike in the commentary warning about such a possibility. Commentators offer different reasons for why this might happen, but whats pertinent is that most of it is coming from insiders in government, business and finance. Here are links to a selection of such articles.)

World economy ‘more fragile than before great crash of 2007
From Financialpost.com
The world economy is just as vulnerable now to a financial crisis as it was in 2007 – with the added danger that debt ratios are now far higher and emerging markets have been drawn into the fire as well, the Bank for International Settlements has warned. Jaime Caruana, head of the Switzerland-based financial watchdog, said the international system was, in many ways, more fragile than it was in the build-up to the Lehman crisis. Debt ratios in the developed economies have risen by 20 percentage points to 275% of GDP since then.

Economic meltdown scenario piles pressure on Russia and the west
By Larry Elliot, Economics Editor, The Guardian
Oil prices above $200 a barrel. Energy shortages in western Europe. The return of recession to the still-fragile global economy. A slump in Russia. Thats the fear haunting policymakers as they contemplate how to respond to the shooting down of MH17 over eastern Ukraine last week. Policymakers dread slump in Russia – from further sanctions by the west – would trigger another global economic meltdown.

Preparing for Economic Collapse: A Bear Awaits
By Joseph Cafariello, Wealthdaily.com
With the U.S. stock market well into its sixth consecutive year of gains since bottoming in March of 2009, the chance of another collapse increases with each passing day. So do the number of doomsday predictions.

RBI’s Rajan Sees Risk of Financial Markets Crash
From Wall Street Journal blogs
Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan warned Wednesday that the global economy bears an increasing resemblance to its condition in the 1930s, with advanced economies trying to pull out of the Great Recession at each other’s expense. The difference: competitive monetary policy easing has now taken the place of competitive currency devaluations as the favored tool for playing a zero-sum game that is bound to end in disaster.

Eurozone woes deepen as Spains industry slumps
From The Guardian
Hopes for a recovery in the eurozone suffered another blow on Wednesday with figures showing industrial output fell for a second successive month. Production declined across the 18 eurozone members by an average 0.3%. Spain was the worst hit of the currency blocs major economies with a 0.8% drop in industrial production. It also suffered the sharpest drop in shop prices for five years,

OTHER LINKS

Three ways that oil matters for the crisis in Iraq
By Brad Plumer, Vox.com
For months now, Sunni militants from the Islamic State (better known as ISIS) have been seizing control of large swathes of Iraq. But it wasnt until they encroached into semi-autonomous Kurdish territory and near the Kurdish capital of Erbil — an oil boomtown full of Western companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil — that the Obama administration decided to authorize airstrikes against ISIS.

World Oil Production at 3/31/2014–Where are We Headed?
By Gail Tverberg, Ourfiniteworld.com
The standard way to make forecasts of almost anything is to look at recent trends and assume that this trend will continue, at least for the next several years. With world oil production, the trend in oil production looks fairly benign, with the trend slightly upward. But if we look at the situation more closely, however, we see that we are dealing with an unstable situation.

Raahgiri: Promoting A Public Culture of Sustainability
By Madhuri Mittal, Countercurrents.org
Raahgiri day, as it is known, is not just a concept to promote car-free and pollution-free streets but also a step to create a new public culture. Raahgiri has successfully completely 4 weeks now in Delhi. It happens in the early part of every Sunday at Connaught Place, the heart of the capital Delhi. As stated, the decision to choose Connaught Place also rests on the idea to promote public transport and pollution-free life.

Madhusree Mukerjee: How to Colonize Your Own Country

(Editors note: On Peakoilindia.org, we usually carry relatively abstract, big picture articles or technical pieces on energy and the related topics of climate change, development and sustainability. In contrast, this hard hitting, extensively researched piece by Madhusree Mukherjee brings out the human cost involved in these issues. Its essential reading if you want to understand the true extent of the price that is being paid by adivasis and specifically adivasi women  for what the rest of us call development)

By Madhusree Mukerjee | Grist Media – Mon 28 Jul, 2014
Earlier this year, media across the world reported how a ‘primitive’ tribal council in West Bengal had ordered the gang rape of a woman as punishment. Except that almost no one got the story right. Our writer parses the conflicting accounts to tell a complicated tale of assault not only on that one woman but on Adivasis across the country. Violence, sexual assault, consumer culture, alcohol, pornography, land-grabbing – Adivasi society is being destroyed by these classic tools of colonial development, and it is all being done in the name of its fellow Indians.
Read article

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