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Resilience Roundup - July 4

 

A roundup of the latest news, views and ideas from the main stream press and the blogosphere. Click on the headline link to see the full article.
 
Click on the headline link to see the full article.


Bend, Stretch, Reach, Teach, Reveal, Reflect, Rejoice, Repeat

Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times
Here’s a proposed strategy for sustaining human progress on a finite planet, in nine Twitter posts. What would you add or take away?...


Net energy analysis should become a standard policy tool, scientists argue

Staff, Click Green
Policymakers should conduct "net energy analyses" when evaluating the long-term sustainability of energy technologies, according to new Stanford University research.

Net energy analysis provides a quantitative way to compare the amount of energy a technology produces over its lifetime with the energy required to build and maintain it. The technique can complement conventional energy planning, which often focuses on minimizing the financial cost of energy production, say Stanford researchers.

"The clearest answer to 'why is net energy important?' is that net energy, not money, fuels society," wrote lead author Michael Carbajales-Dale, a research associate in Stanford's Department of Energy Resources Engineering, in the July 2014 issue of Nature Climate Change. "Net energy analysis can identify potential costs and barriers to technology development that?a traditional financial analysis might not."...


Despite Saudi pledge, another big oil outage would strain supply

Alex Lawler, Reuters
The world's unused spare oil production capacity would struggle to cover for another big outage, industry officials and analysts say, increasing the chance governments may tap strategic reserves should Iraq's southern exports be disrupted....

The world's unused spare oil production capacity would struggle to cover for another big outage, industry officials and analysts say, increasing the chance governments may tap strategic reserves should Iraq's southern exports be disrupted....


Green Bonds Show Path to $1 Trillion Market for Climate

Christopher Martin, Bloomberg
Green bonds may help provide the $1 trillion annual investments in clean energy that environmental groups say is necessary to limit the impact of climate change.

“It’s catching on like wildfire,” Michael Eckhart, a managing director at Citigroup Inc. (C:US) and founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said today in an interview. “We’ve reached the Holy Grail, which is the bond market.”...


Rejection of Colorado Coal Mine on Global Warming Grounds Could Be Game-Changer

Anne Landman, DeSmogBlog
A U.S. District Court judge ruled on June 27 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service both wrongly approved expansion of the West Elk coal mine in Somerset, Colo., because they failed to take into account the economic impacts greenhouse gas emissions from the mining would have.

The federal agencies said it was impossible to quantify such impacts, but the court pointed out a tool is available to quantify the effects of emissions and the agencies chose to ignore it. The tool, the “social cost of carbon protocol,” puts a price on the damanges from drought, flood, storm, fire and disease caused by global warming...


A Legal Duty to Maximise Greenhouse Gases

George Monbiot, Monbiot.com
...The government of the United Kingdom has a legal duty, under the Climate Change Act 2008, to cut greenhouse gases by at least 80% by 2050 (against the 1990 level).

This target is threatened, among other issues, by a crashing contradiction: the UK is seeking to reduce demand for fossil fuels, while simultaneously trying to increase supply. Or, as the government puts it, seeking to “maximise economic recovery” of the UK’s oil and gas...


What really annoys scientists about the state of the climate change debate?

Graham Readfearn, The Guardian
I decided to ask a few leading climate scientists from around the globe to articulate that one thing that leaves them totally tacked off.

Some struggled to pick only a single bugbear (one even called to apologise for taking too long, so spoilt for choice were they), others took the chance to uncompromisingly unload their frustrations.

Here’s what they had to say...


Not Eating Meat Can Cut Your Food-Related Carbon Emissions Almost In Half, Study Finds

Katie Valentine, Think Progress
If you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, you may want to think twice next time you reach for a burger. According to a new study, people with a high-meat diet contribute more than twice the diet-related greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere as a vegan, and a little less than twice the emissions of a vegetarian.

The study, published in the journal Climatic Change, looked at the diets of 55,504 people in the U.K., who took a survey asking them how many times per year they ate 130 different foods. The researchers then placed the people into groups of high, medium, and low meat-eaters, along with fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, based on their responses to the survey. They found that, on average, meat-eaters contributed 46 to 51 percent more food-related greenhouse gas emissions than fish eaters, 50 to 54 percent more than vegetarians and 99 to 102 percent more than vegans...


Land taken over by foreign investors could feed 550m people, study finds

Damian Carrington, The Guardian
The land grabbed in some of the world’s hungriest countries by foreign goverments and corporations could feed up to 550m people, according to new research. The crops grown on grabbed land are frequently exported, or used to produce biofuel, but the new work shows it could end malnourishment in those countries if used to feed local people...


There is such a thing as a free lunch: Montreal Students Commoning and Peering food services

Kevin Flanagan, P2P Foundation
...In this article, I will portray three Montreal-based collectives providing lunches at university campuses for free (with an option to make a donation). Two of them, People’s Potato and Midnight Kitchen, have managed to institutionalize and sustain their activity over more than a decade. This is a remarkable success of self-organization and taking control of food production....


The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

Nick Hanauer, Politico Magazine
You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor...

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks...


The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% - ex CIA spy

Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is a man on a mission. But it's a mission that frightens the US intelligence establishment to its core. With 18 years experience working across the US intelligence community, followed by 20 more years in commercial intelligence and training, Steele's exemplary career has spanned almost all areas of both the clandestine world...

In 1992, despite opposition from the CIA, he obtained Marine Corps permission to organise a landmark international conference on open source intelligence – the paradigm of deriving information to support policy decisions not through secret activities, but from open public sources available to all. The conference was such a success it brought in over 620 attendees from the intelligence world.

But the CIA wasn't happy, and ensured that Steele was prohibited from running a second conference... 


Facebook can manipulate your mood. It can affect whether you vote. When do we start to worry?

Laura Penny, The New Statesman
The social network admits manipulating its users’ emotions through the content it put in their newsfeeds. Think that’s creepy? A couple of years ago, it influenced their voting patterns, too. When do we get scared about what Facebook could do with its power?...


Dying to save the Amazonian rainforest

Jonathan Watts and Karina Vieira, PUB
An environmental campaigner is killed every week in Brazil. Jonathan Watts and Karina Vieira travel to Lábrea in the heart of the Amazon to meet the people risking their lives...

See related Global Witness 2014 report Deadly Environment.


India spy agency says Greenpeace endangers economic security

Sanjeev Miglani, Reuters
India's domestic spy service has accused Greenpeace and other lobby groups of hurting economic progress by campaigning against power projects, mining and genetically modified food, the most serious charge yet against foreign-funded organizations.

The leak of the Intelligence Bureau's report comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new administration seeks way to restore economic growth that has fallen to below 5 percent, choking off investment and jobs for millions of youth entering the workforce...

See also Environment Under Siege in New India.


Cargo bikes undergoing renaissance in Germany as companies battle congestion, pollution to move freight

Emily Stewart, ABC
The German government wants to see more freight moved by cargo bike instead of truck or car and spends more than 80 million euros every year supporting cycling infrastructure.

Transport ministry spokeswoman Birgitta Worringen says more than three-quarters of all journeys in Germany are less than 10 kilometres and cargo bikes can deliver all sorts of uses.

"It's a good means of transport which doesn't make any noise or pollution," she said...

News clippings image via shutterstock. Reproduced at Resilience.org with permission.

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