Archive for the tag “Narendra Modi”

In the news: Modi govt and the state of the environment

Outlook Magazine

Mangroves in peril Navi Mumbai airport site

 

How The NDA Is Whittling Down Green Norms

  • Change in definition of no-go area in dense forest, leaving more area open for project
  • Keeping powers with the Centre to even allow projects in ‘no-go areas’ of dense forests
  • Proposal to allow firms to take over afforestation, thus jeopardising the rights of tribals
  • Role of gram sabhas diluted or taken away under blanket consent for development
  • Automatic approval to highway and other defence projects near border areas
  • Moratorium lifted on new projects in several highly polluting industrial areas
  • National Green Tribunal role sought to be diluted by taking away the right to appeal to it

For years the proposal to develop a second airport for Bombay at Navi Mumbai had been awaiting environmental clearance. The issue had been the rivers and the mangroves near the selected site. With one stroke, all the concerns—including the stipulation to create a mangrove san­ctuary—have been brushed aside by the Narendra Modi government. Late last month, Union minister of environment and forests Prakash Javadekar gave the green signal to the project on the condition that the mangroves should be made unattractive for birds, given their potential threat to flying aircraft.

“In effect it would mean destroying the mangroves to stop birds from nesting there,” says Ulka Mahajan, an environment activist. “The intentions are very clear now; it is all only about corporates. The government is happy to wipe out nature.” The move will also destroy fish breeding in the shallow waters of the mangrove.  “It is ridiculous to say you can plant mangroves,” says Girish Raut, environmentalist and expert on mangroves. “It took hundreds and thousands of years for ecosystems to evolve and it takes one project to wipe it out.”

The Navi Mumbai airport project is just one of the many instances that highlight the BJP government’s cavalier attitude toward environment in its desire to speed up mandatory green clearan­ces for projects. Safe­guards for land, water bodies and environment are being carefully dil­u­ted. The policies of the government are steering us to a situation that poses a clear threat to India’s green spaces.

Closely linked to speedy environment clearances for infrastructure and other projects are forest clearances and the proposed land acquisition bill. While the former is being tweaked unmindful of the damage to green belts, the latter is yet another assault on the rights of farmers and tribals who will have little or no say in whosoever wants to acquire their land for setting up an enterprise or infrastructure project.

It reeks of a clear pattern. In an analysis of one year of Modi sarkar, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) director general Sunita Narain observed that incremental changes have been made to “ease the process” of project clearances. A major cause of concern, according to the think-tank, is the shift in responsibility of project clearances from the Centre to state agencies minus any capacity building or accountability. The states can now take their own decision on thermal power, irrigation, mining and other projects. Also, like many other development experts, the CSE has questioned the dilution of the public hearing process. Political activist M. Kodanda Ram points to the Polavaram dam project in Andhra Pradesh. Work started under UPA rule, despite violations galore—from not seeking public opinion, improper land acquisition to lack of statutory rehabilitation. In 2011, then environment minister Jairam Ramesh withdrew the environment clearance and stalled the project till the reorganisation of states.

“But now the NDA has given the state government indication of support for the completion of the project, though the clearances are still not available,” says Ram. “In this particular case, the damages to the forest and tribals who are going to be displaced is huge.” Both Orissa and Chhattisgarh have filed cases against the project in the Supreme Court.

A preliminary assessment by US-based Rights and Resources Group on the implementation of the Forest Rights Act has found a decided lack of effort to recognise the rights of forest-dwellers. Despite the law having granted traditional forest-dwellers community forest resource (CFR) rights, the study based on government data points out that so far “the total forest area over which CFR rights have been recognised is less than 5,00,000 hectares or barely 1.2 per cent of the CFR rights potential in the country”. Continue reading

Also from Outlook: Make (Money in India) by Ashish Kothari
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had some time back suggested that one solution to climate change is to switch off street lamps on moonlit nights. Really? Encourage polluting industries and coal-based power plants across India, shove aside forests for expressways, and incentivise rapid growth in motorcars … and then compensate all these carbon emissions by switching off street lamps a few nights a year? Who is Mr Modi trying to fool? Read article

From Catchnews.in: How the govt lets green sinners judge themselves
Corporates and governments pushing for projects with environmental consequences hire experts, who study such impacts. Since field visits by the ministry are rare, clearances are granted based exclusively on data from such experts. Over the years, examples of studies with false information, plagiarism, and deliberate underestimation of impacts have become common. These studies, called environmental impact assessments (EIA) are also often marred by conflicts of interest. Read article

 

Why Greenpeace is first on the chopping block

Sajai Jose

620gre

As Greenpeace India struggles to stay afloat, the real reason why the government wants to shut down the global environmental NGO hasn’t got much attention: Coal, the single biggest source of primary energy in India, is at the heart of the Narendra Modi government’s ambitious plans to ramp up industrial production in the country.

A total of 1,199 new coal-based thermal power plants with a total installed capacity of more than 1.4 million MW proposed worldwide, the lion’s share—455 plants—are in India, according to data from the World Resources Institute. Read more…

News update

Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Extend the Age of Oil
Peter Waldman, Bloomberg.com
Last Novemeber, Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister and the world’s de facto energy czar, told his OPEC counterparts they should maintain output to protect market share from rising supplies of U.S. shale oil, which costs more to get out of the ground and thus becomes less viable as prices fall. Supply was only half the calculus, though. While the new Saudi stance was being trumpeted as a war on shale, Naimi’s not-so-invisible hand pushing prices lower also addressed an even deeper Saudi fear: flagging long-term demand.

OPEC Says US Oil Boom Will End This Year
Oilprice.com
OPEC says the demand for oil – its oil – will rise during 2015 because the cartel is winning its price war against US shale producers by driving them out of business. OPEC forecasts demand at an average of 29.27 million barrels per day in the first quarter 2015, a rise of 80,000 bpd from its previous prediction made in its March report. At the same time, it said, the cartel’s own total output will increase by only 680,000 barrels per day, less than the previous expectation of 850,000 barrels per day, due to lower US and other non-OPEC production.

Guardian Media Group to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels
The Guardian UK
The Guardian Media Group (GMG) is to sell all the fossil fuel assets in its investment fund of over £800m, making it the largest yet known to pull out of coal, oil and gas companies. The decision was justified on both financial and ethical grounds, said Neil Berkett, GMG chair. Berkett said fossil fuel assets had performed relatively poorly in recent years and were threatened by future climate change action, while an ethical fund already held by GMG had been a “stellar” performer and renewable energy was growing strongly. (Also read: Harvard Students Expand Blockade Calling for School to Divest from Fossil Fuels)

Narendra Modi’s war on the environment
Rohini Mohan, Al Jazeera America
In under a year, the BJP government has begun to undo policies of fair land acquisition, undermine environmental protection and reverse the fight for tribal rights. The finance, environment and rural-development ministers, and Modi himself, have called these safeguards to protect people’s property, the environment and tribal rights “roadblocks” to economic growth. Rules that ensure business responsibility to people and the environment, in other words, are now largely being written off.

India may submit climate change plans in September; Javadekar assures pledges will be submitted in time
The Economic Times
India is likely to submit its plans to tackle climate change, including steps to curb the amount of carbon pollution, in September. Tuesday was the first informal deadline for countries that are able to do so to file their pledges to combat climate change. All countries have agreed to put forward their plans ahead of the crucial Paris meet in December.

PM Narendra Modi launches National Air Quality Index
The Economic Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the National Air Quality Index (AQI) for monitoring the quality of air in major urban centres across the country on a real-time basis and enhancing public awareness for taking mitigative action. As part of the endeavour, the Union Environment Ministry proposes to extend the measurement of air quality to 22 state capitals and 44 other cities with a population exceeding one million.

Not In a Hurry to Change Green Laws, Says Environment Minister Praskash Javadekar
NDTV.com
The Centre, which was keen on amending key green laws as early as second half of the budget session, will now reportedly adopt a slower and a more studied approach. This shift in pace, comes after opposition from various state governments at a two day conference of states environment and forest ministers. On agenda was to seek views from the state governments on various environment related issues, including the Subramaniam committee report.

Climate Crisis And Banking
Countercurrents.org
Climate crisis is pushing financial institutions to take steps. Financial institutions with over US$ 2,100 billion in assets publish principles to guide future investments in clean energy and India’s fourth largest private bank fixes goal for investment in 5GW of renewable energy by 2019.

Making Another World Possible Will Require Radical Alternatives – Impressions from the World Social Forum
Ashish Kothari, Degrowth.de
At the Tunis WSF there was some attempt made to host ‘convergence assemblies’ to bring people together, and a final session of open mingling and some common messages, which may be a step towards making it a more transformative process while retaining openness. There was considerable synergy between the movements demanding an end to corporate dominance and impunity, those fighting for climate justice, and women’s movement groups. The language of alternatives from various parts of the world also seemed to get significant traction in the convergence assemblies.

News update

India Struggling Between International Image & Equity at Lima Climate Talks
Dispatches from COP 20, Lima by Kabir, Whats With The Climate
Indian government delegation is warming up for a test match like scenario at COP 20 in Lima. It seems that India in coordination with other developing countries will push for Adaptation, Adaptation, and Adaptation at par with mitigation in Paris, 2015 climate deal. The equal parity between mitigation, and adaption in the mandate of Global Climate Fund was appreciated in the interaction.

Is India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a climate leader?
Mat Hope, The Carbon Brief
In May, Narendra Modi was sworn in as the new prime minister of India. Many hoped he would prove a climate change champion. Six months later, those expectations have been tempered.

Can China Cut Coal?
David Biello, Scientific American blogs
Coal is cheap and getting cheaper in China. In fact, though the country may require more and more coal imports to satisfy its voracious demand, the cost of coal is cheaper now than in 2000, according to an analysis by WWF’s Hu. As a result, the owners of coal-fired power plants can still make money burning the polluting rock to generate electricity—and even more money if they keep pollution controls in the off position.

Watching the Watchdogs: 10 Years of the IEA World Energy Outlook
David MacLeod, Integral Permaculture
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is the energy watchdog of the industrial world. The IEA World Energy Outlook has gradually moved from rosy to pessimistic reports over the last ten years, or what Stuart Staniford called “increasingly reality-based.”

Down With Sustainable Development! Long Live Convivial Degrowth!
Justin Hyatt, Inter Press Service
For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development. Nonetheless, development per se and all that this entails did take centre stage, as a crowd of three thousand participants and speakers debated ongoing trends in the fields of environment, politics, economics and social justice.

The Fragmentation of Technology
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
As resource depletion and economic contraction tighten their grip on the industrial world, the stock of existing and proposed technologies face triage in a continuum defined by two axes—the utility of the technology, on the one hand, and its cost in real (i.e., nonfinancial) terms on the other. A chart may help show how this works.

Are Humans Going Extinct?
Dahr Jamail, Truthout
Without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change. Some scientists, Guy McPherson included, fear that climate disruption is so serious, with so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already in play, that humans are in the process of causing our own extinction.

News update

Ebola: Uncharted territory for a system in overshoot
Mary Odum, Prosperouswaydown.com
We are in uncharted territory with the Ebola virus disease (EVD). This pandemic signifies a turning point for society in response to peak oil, highlighting the problem of globalization for a planet of 7 billion people. We have lost control of a deadly outbreak, and our responses to its exponential growth are linear at best, ensuring that this plague will most likely spread further.

Peak Oil: Are We In The Eye Of The Storm?
Oilprice.com
A temporary surge in what was heretofore a little-known source of oil in the U.S. is masking the larger story of what is taking place in the global oil situation. The simple answer is that except for the U.S. shale oil surge, almost no increase in oil production is taking place around the world.

WSJ Gets It Wrong: Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True
Gail Tverberg
On September 29, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a story called “Why Peak Oil Predictions Haven’t Come True.” The story is written as if there are only two possible outcomes: 1) The Peak Oil version of what to expect from oil limits is correct, or 2) Diminishing Returns can and are being put off by technological progress–the view of the WSJ. It seems to me, though, that a third outcome is not only possible, but is what is actually happening. (Heres another refutation of the WSJ article by Kevin Drum, writing in Mother Jones: Peak Oil Is All About Cheap Oil)

Why the People’s Climate March Fails As a Strategy
Zaid Hassan, Caravan Magazine
The People’s Climate March was organized in cooperation with the New York Police—who formally issued a permit for it. It had pre-arranged start and end times. It had a pre-agreed route that ended a mile away from the UN building (not that global leaders were there on a Sunday). There were no closing speeches. No laws were broken. No arrests were made.

Scientists speed up analysis of human link to wild weather
Yahoo News
Climate scientists hope to be able to tell the world almost in real-time whether global warming has a hand in extreme weather thanks to an initiative they plan to launch by the end of 2015.

Wildlife populations down drastically
Daily Mail, UK
Populations of about 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have plummeted far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the worlds biggest environmental groups. The study from the Swiss-based WWF largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52-percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.

Worlds Population Unlikely To Stabilize This Century
io9.com
Contrary to previous projections, it now appears that the worlds population is unlikely to stop growing this century. Theres at least an 80% chance that between 9.6 and 12.3 billion humans will inhabit the Earth by 2100 — and much of this increase will happen in Africa. Its the first U.N. population report to use Bayesian methods — a modern form of statistics that combines all available information to generate more accurate predictions.

Can Narendra Modi bring the solar power revolution to India?
The Guardian, UK
As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi spurred companies to build more than 900MW of solar plant across the state in just a couple of years. Now, as prime minister, the question is whether he can repeat the feat across India, which receives more sunlight than any other country in the G20.

Irony alert: Yergin gets award named after peak oil realist Schlesinger
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
It is a supreme irony that cornucopian oil industry mouthpiece and consultant Daniel Yergin should receive Americas first medal for energy security named after James Schlesinger, the first U.S. energy secretary, who was a peak oil realist.

News update

Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free?
Paul Krugman, The New York Times
In his latest column, well-known NYT columnist Krugman attacks, among others, the Post Carbon Institute, a leading think tank on Peak Oil and Climate Change, as wrong-headed and inducing climate despair.  In a piece titled Paul Krugman’s Errors and Omissions the Post Carbon Institutes Richard Heinberg responds to Krugman. Below is prominent Peak Oil writer John Michael Greers rather interesting take on the exchange which, he interprets as a sign that we are approaching a financial crash.

Dark Age America: The Senility of the Elites 
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
When a significant media figure uses one of the world’s major newspapers of record to lash out at a particular band of economic heretics by name, on the other hand, we’ve reached the kind of behavior that only happens, historically speaking, when crunch time is very, very close. Given that we’ve also got a wildly overvalued stock market, falling commodity prices, and a great many other symptoms of drastic economic trouble bearing down on us right now, not to mention the inevitable unraveling of the fracking bubble, there’s a definite chance that the next month or two could see the start of a really spectacular financial crash.

A Hundred Days Closer to Ecological and Social Suicide
Ashish Kothari, The Economic & Political Weekly
The first 100 days of the Narendra Modi government which have been celebrated by the mainstream media saw what can only be called a widespread and large-scale assault on rules, laws and institutions meant to protect the environment, and more is on the cards. Side by side, the central as also state governments of various hues have moved against non-governmental organisations raising social and environmental issues. But resistance to corporate-driven growth continues and alternatives continue to be explored. (Article can be accessed for a limited period only)

Global Warming and the Shifts in Species’ Range in India
Nagaraj Adve (POI member), The Economic & Political Weekly
Global warming and changing rainfall patterns have resulted in shifts or extensions in species range in every terrain, region and ecosystem in India. If it is indicative of a wider unfolding process related to climate change, it would suggest that a staggering number of species in India are moving home. This would adversely affect human habitat as well. (Article can be accessed for a limited period only)

New Study Demonstrates Dramatic, Immediate Energy Shift Needed
Popularresistance.org
Here’s the frightening implication of a landmark study on carbon emissions: By 2018, no new cars, homes, schools, factories, or electrical power plants should be built anywhere in the world, ever again, unless they’re either replacements for old ones or carbon neutral. Otherwise greenhouse gas emissions will push global warming past 2˚C of temperature rise worldwide, threatening the survival of many people currently living on the planet.

Cities Will Solve Climate Change, Not Nations
The Scientific American
Cities now deliver fully three-quarters of global economic activity, totaling more than $50 trillion. And it is citizens of cities who are responsible for at least half of all greenhouse gas pollution—through demand for heating and cooling, food, lighting, entertainment and transportation. As a result, city action (or inaction) on climate change may determine the ultimate outcome of global warming.

Who will feed China?
Earth Policy Institute
China is a leading importer of grain and it imports a staggering 60 percent of all soybeans entering world trade—and it looks like it will continue. The problem is not so much population growth, but China’s rising affluence, which is allowing its population to move up the food chain, consuming more grain-intensive livestock, poultry, and farmed fish. (Also see: collection of links to informative articles at the bottom of the page)

Could This Environmental Risk Derail Americas Oil and Gas Boom?
Fool.com
Americas oil and gas boom has done wonders for energy independence and the economy. However, fracking, which is largely responsible for Americas energy renaissance, has proven to be a highly controversial issue, with environmentalists claiming that it pollutes ground water with large numbers of little-studied chemicals and even causes earthquakes. This article examines this last claim with the aim of detailing how this risk, whether true or perceived, might affect the future of Americas oil and gas boom.

Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels
The New York Times
John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels. The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses.

News update

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Sees Fastest Rise
From The Scientific American
Despite some recent regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and other industrial nations, the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues its upward march at an unprecedented rate, the World Meteorological Organization has announced.

Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’, scientists warn
From The Independent, UK
Climate change is set to unleash a series of decades-long “megadroughts” this century, according to new research. Experts warn the droughts could be even more severe than the prolonged water shortage currently afflicting California, where residents have resorted to stealing from fire hydrants amid mass crop failures and regular wildfires.

Low Oil Prices: Sign of a Debt Bubble Collapse, Leading to the End of Oil Supply?
By Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
Oil and other commodity prices have recently been dropping. Is this good news, or bad? I would argue that falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that the debt bubble which has been holding up the world economy for a very long–since World War II, at least–is failing to expand sufficiently. If the debt bubble collapses, we will be in huge difficulty.

Saudi Arabia Aims For Nuclear Power Within 20 Years
From Oilprice.com
To help address its energy needs, last week Saudi Arabia announced plans to incentivize both private and public investments in energy sources other than oil. Within 20 years, the Saudi Royal Family aims to invest $80 billion and $240 billion so that nuclear and solar, respectively, will each provide 15 percent of the Kingdom’s power needs. The transition is intended to happen quickly, with the first nuclear reactor expected to come online in only eight years.

Fossil Fuel Development in the Arctic is a Bad Investment
By Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute
The world has become blinded by oil and gas as the familiar ways to run the economy and so is proceeding to look for them in hard-to-reach places like the Arctic, even as the costs mount and the returns diminish. An example of the world being set in its ways was the announcement on August 28th that Royal Dutch Shell, despite many setbacks in recent years, submitted plans to the U.S. government to again drill for oil offshore of Alaska as early as summer 2015.

The Peak Oil Crisis: It‘s All Around Us
By Tom Whipple, Falls Church News-Press
If we step back and acknowledge that the shale oil phenomenon will be over in a couple of years and that oil production is dropping in the rest of the world, then we have to expect that the remainder of the peak oil story will play out shortly. The impact of shrinking global oil production, which is been on hold for nearly a decade, will appear.

Is Narendra Modi a climate sceptic?
From The Guardian
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, reportedly will be a no-show at the United Nations climate summit this month. Could it be because he does not accept the science behind climate change? Modi used to be a supporter for climate action. But in public remarks on two occasions in the last week, the leader of one of the fastest growing – and biggest emitting – economies appeared to express doubt about whether climate change was even occurring.

World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise
From The Guardian
The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from 7bn today to 11bn in 2100.

Earth Overshoot Day
By Lyla Bavadam, The Frontline
August 19 was Earth Overshoot Day: an estimate of the moment in a 12-month period when humans have consumed more natural resources than the biosphere can replace and created more waste than it can absorb. To put it simply, in less than eight months of 2014, the annual supply of land, water and trees and the planet’s ability to deal with waste products, including carbon dioxide, have been used up. This means that humanity is already living off next year’s supplies, which in turn means that next year’s supplies will end even sooner than this year’s. No wonder Earth Overshoot Day is also called Ecological Debt Day.

Theres a lot more to Transition than community gardens
By Rob Hopkins, Resilience.org
Community gardens can give people a sense of “can do” that no amount of reading articles advocating “radical politics, confronting capitalism, fundamental structural change and “revolution”” can.   We need a new language to communicate this stuff.  That’s what Transition does.  We need to speak to peoples’ values, of community, of family, of the things they love, of place, of possibility, of things their children love and value.

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 Cause Is Us: World on Verge of Sixth Extinction
By Andrea Germanos, Commondreams.org
A new study published in the journal Science has shown that human activity has driven current rates of species extinction to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate. This important study confirms that species are going extinct at a pace not seen in tens of millions of years, and unlike past extinction events, the cause is us, stated Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

UN: Time running out to stop rising CO2 levels 
From UN.org
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, the United Nations weather agency confirmed, warning that time is running out to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions. “This threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance and reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming our planet,” the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported.

US shale boom is over, energy revolution needed to avert blackouts
By Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
In 2012, the global energy watchdog International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast that the US would outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production thanks to the shale boom by 2020, becoming a net exporter by 2030. The forecast was seen by many as decisive evidence of the renewal of the oil age. But the IEAs  World Energy Investment Outlook released this week confirms that the partys over it has lowered US production projections, demands urgent investment. [Note: A contrary view on the above article can be found here]

Peak Oil Revisited…
By Brian Davey, Feasta.org
Conventional “legacy” oil production peaked in 2005 and has not increased since. All the increase in oil production since that date has been from unconventional sources like shale oil or natural gas liquids that are a by-product of shale gas production. This is despite a massive increase in investment by the oil industry that has not yielded any increase in ‘conventional oil’ production but has merely served to slow what would otherwise have been a faster decline.

Is Peak Car the metric for us too?
V. Sumantran, The Hindu
Total global vehicle sales climbed from a level of 66 million units in 2009 to a level of about 82 million units in 2013. India contributed about 3 million to that total. Their postulation is that by the next decade, global vehicle sales will breach 100 million units and by then will face several factors that will cause this figure to have peaked.

Can the Modi sarkar chart a green road to growth?
By Jay Mazoomdar, Firstpost.com
Two decades of blinkered double-digit growth has made China an environmental disaster and necessitated such desperate efforts at recovery. There is an obvious lesson in the Chinese experience for India’s new government keen to emulate and overshadow the big neighbour’s growth story while facing the same environmental challenges.

Obama unveils historic rules to reduce coal pollution by 30%
From The Guardian
The Obama administration unveiled historic environment rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants by 30%. The new rules, formally announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, represent the first time Barack Obama, or any other president, has moved to regulate carbon pollution from power plants – the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change.

U.S. Wars In The Middle East: A New Age Of Hydro-Imperialism
By Garikai Chengu, Harvard University
Water is to the twenty-first century what oil was to the twentieth century: the commodity that determines the wealth and stability of nations. People who think that the West’s interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria are only about oil are mistaken. Broadly speaking, Western interest in the Middle East is becoming increasingly about a commodity more precious than oil, namely water.

New Environmentalists Are Taking Bold Actions and Its Working
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Alternet.org
No longer dominated by the traditional “Big Green” groups that were taking big donations from corporate polluters, the new environmental movement is broader, more assertive and more creative. With extreme energy extraction and climate change bearing down on the world, environmental justice advocates are taking bold actions to stop extreme energy extraction and create new solutions to save the planet. These ‘fresh greens often work locally, but also connect through national and international actions.

Post Navigation