Archive for the tag “Charles Eisenstein”

News update

Global Harming: Indias rich have a bigger ecological footprint than the world average
Nihar Gokhale, Catch News
It is no secret that theres a growth in luxury goods in India. A 10-minute walk in any big city would attest to this. Over the last few generations, lifestyles have changed significantly, and a culture of consumerism is setting in at a fast pace. It is mind-boggling then, that environment minister Prakash Javadekar declared last week that Indians believe only in need-based consumption and shun extravagant consumption, thanks to their value systems.

Incidence of dengue higher due to erratic rainfall this year
Down to Earth
The rapid progression of the disease has taken many by surprise as the high incidence is unseasonal compared to earlier trends. The dengue virus usually strikes the city only after the end of the monsoons in October. The reason for the temporal shift, say experts, is the erratic weather and rainfall that the country has witnessed this year. Many scientific studies in the recent past have drawn connections between weather variables and the incidence of dengue. Many scientists are in agreement that a combination of higher mean temperature in a region and high humidity fosters higher rates of dengue transmission and incidence. (Also read: Climate change and vector-borne diseases go hand in hand)

Delhi will record worlds largest number of premature deaths due to air pollution
The Times of India
In another 10 years, Delhi will record the worlds largest number of premature deaths due to air pollution among all mega cities in the world. By 2025, nearly 32,000 people in Delhi will die solely due to inhaling polluted air. Kolkata will see its number of premature deaths spike between 2025 and 2050 and will record 54,800 deaths due to air pollution more than Delhi which will record 52,000 deaths and Mumbai with 33100 deaths during the same year. (Also read: More people die from air pollution than Malaria and HIV/Aids, new study shows)

Worlds first smog filtering tower goes on tour
The Guardian UK
The Dutch city of Rotterdam has opened the world’s first smog-free tower. Co-designed by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, the seven-metre high tower sucks in dirty air like a giant vacuum cleaner. Ion technology then filters it, before returning bubbles of smog-free air through the tower’s vents. It is able to clean 30,000 cubic metres of air an hour, according to Roosegaarde.

Scientists predict huge sea level rise even if we limit climate change
The Guardian UK
Even if world manages to limit global warming to 2C — the target number for current climate negotiations — sea levels may still rise at least 6 meters (20 ft) above their current heights, radically reshaping the world’s coastline and affecting millions in the process. That finding comes from a new paper published in Science that shows how high sea levels rose the last time carbon dioxide levels were this high. That was about 3m years ago, when the globe was about 3-5F warmer on average, the Arctic 14.4F warmer, megasharks swam the oceans, and sea levels stood at least 20 ft above their current heights.

Will the Paris Climate Talks Be Too Little and Too Late?
Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360
At the upcoming U.N. climate conference, most of the world’s major nations will pledge to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But serious doubts remain as to whether these promised cuts will be nearly enough to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.

Are Nomads a Climate-Change Weathervane?
Tom Hart, New Internationalist blog
Urban civilizations have done their best to curtail nomadism. It’s a life that doesn’t fit well with owning vast tracts of land and an ordered, well-administered state. What states have failed to achieve deliberately might be finished by climate change accidently. Ironically, the moment in history when states more or less tolerate nomadism could also be the very moment when the environmental basis for the phenomenon could be undermined.

Syria peak oil weakened government’s finances ahead of Arab Spring in 2011
Matt Mushalik, Crude Oil Peak
While the attention of the world is on the refugee crisis we need to look at the causes of this mass exodus. In this article we analyse to which extent peak oil contributed to a fiscal deterioration so that the Syrian government was forced to introduce unpopular policies (tax increases, removal of fuel subsidies, increasing cost of cement etc) which contributed to the unrest.

Peak Oil Has More To Do With Oil Prices Than You May Think
Robert Rapier, Oilprice.com
We should really talk about peak oil as a function of oil prices. In that case, we can say with a pretty high degree of certainty “The world has passed peak $20 oil.” If we could magically freeze the price of oil at $20, we would see the sort of peak that the imminent peakers projected. That doesn’t mean that oil prices will never again fall to $20, as supply/demand imbalances do wildly swing prices at times. It just means that $20 isn’t a sustainable price for meeting current global demand. That also means that the average price of oil in the future will be much greater than $20, which is why I downplay those predictions of very low oil prices.

Sustainable Development: Something New or More of the Same?
Charles Eisenstein
The new U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) convey real concern and care for the environment. Yet at the same time they are wedded to the ideology of economic growth more GDP, more industrial infrastructure, roads, ports, etc. without considering whether other forms of development could better meet their goals of poverty elimination and ecological sustainability.

 

 

Charles Eisenstein: Everything You’ve Been Told About Debt Is Wrong

With the United States’ household debt burden at $11.85 trillion, even the most modest challenges to its legitimacy have revolutionary implications.

Charles Eisenstein, Yes! Magazine

YES! illustration by Steve Brodner.The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. Everybody at one time or another owed something to someone else. Repayment of debt was inseparable from the meeting of social obligations; it resonated with the principles of fairness and gratitude. Read more…

News update

Can Solar be the Backbone of Indias Energy System by 2035?
Tobias Engelmeier, The Energy Collective
Around 70% of India’s power comes from coal, less than 1% from solar. Will that change in the next 20 years? Can solar become the new backbone of the Indian energy system? I think there is a good possibility that it will. Here is a thought experiment.

Is Big Oil Finally Entering a Climate Change World?
Michael Klare, TomDispatch
Many reasons have been provided for the dramatic plunge in the price of oil to about $60 per barrel (nearly half of what it was a year ago): slowing demand due to global economic stagnation; overproduction at shale fields in the United States; the decision of the Saudis and other Middle Eastern OPEC producers to maintain output at current levels; and the increased value of the dollar. There is, however, one reason that’s not being discussed, and yet it could be the most important of all: the complete collapse of Big Oil’s production-maximizing business model.

Keep fossil fuels in the ground to stop climate change
George Monbiot
You cannot solve a problem without naming it. The absence of official recognition of the role of fossil fuel production in causing climate change – blitheringly obvious as it is – permits governments to pursue directly contradictory policies. There is nothing random about the pattern of silence that surrounds our lives. Silences occur where powerful interests are at risk of exposure. They protect these interests from democratic scrutiny.

Climate Justice and Degrowth: a tale of two movements
Tadzio Müller, Degrowth blog
While degrowth is a story that is largely articulated in the global North, a story that speaks from and to sensibilities that exist largely in the North, climate justice is a movement and a story that it articulated and led by folks in the global South.

Find a new way to tell the story how the Guardian launched its climate change campaign
The Guardian UK
Climate change is the biggest story journalism has never successfully told. The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, has decided to change that. This podcast series follows Rusbridger and his team as they set out to find a new narrative on the greatest threat to humanity

Peak meaninglessness
John Michael Greer
Secular stagnation? That’s the concept, unmentionable until recently, that the global economy could stumble into a rut of slow, no, or negative growth, and stay there for years. And the most important cause of secular stagnation is the increasing impact of externalities on the economy, hidden by dishonest macroeconomic bookkeeping that leads economists to think that externalized costs go away because they’re not entered into anyone’s ledger books.

Can the world get richer forever?
Theo Leggett, BBC News
We live on a finite planet, but growth is exponential. So an annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 3% might not sound like much but it means an economy will double in size every 23 years. So does this matter? According to Tom Murphy, professor of physics at the University of California San Diego, it definitely does, as economic growth goes hand in hand with increasing energy consumption.

We need regenerative farming, not geoengineering
Charles Eisenstein
Geoengineering has been back in the news recently after the US National Research Council endorsed a proposal to envelop the planet in a layer of sulphate aerosols to reduce solar radiation and cool the atmosphere. The mindset behind geoengineering stands in sharp contrast to an emerging ecological, systems approach taking shape in the form of regenerative agriculture. More than a mere alternative strategy, regenerative agriculture represents a fundamental shift in our culture’s relationship to nature.

News update

Can Solar be the Backbone of Indias Energy System by 2035?
Tobias Engelmeier, The Energy Collective
Around 70% of India’s power comes from coal, less than 1% from solar. Will that change in the next 20 years? Can solar become the new backbone of the Indian energy system? I think there is a good possibility that it will. Here is a thought experiment.

Is Big Oil Finally Entering a Climate Change World?
Michael Klare, TomDispatch
Many reasons have been provided for the dramatic plunge in the price of oil to about $60 per barrel (nearly half of what it was a year ago): slowing demand due to global economic stagnation; overproduction at shale fields in the United States; the decision of the Saudis and other Middle Eastern OPEC producers to maintain output at current levels; and the increased value of the dollar. There is, however, one reason that’s not being discussed, and yet it could be the most important of all: the complete collapse of Big Oil’s production-maximizing business model.

Keep fossil fuels in the ground to stop climate change
George Monbiot
You cannot solve a problem without naming it. The absence of official recognition of the role of fossil fuel production in causing climate change – blitheringly obvious as it is – permits governments to pursue directly contradictory policies. There is nothing random about the pattern of silence that surrounds our lives. Silences occur where powerful interests are at risk of exposure. They protect these interests from democratic scrutiny.

Climate Justice and Degrowth: a tale of two movements
Tadzio Müller, Degrowth blog
While degrowth is a story that is largely articulated in the global North, a story that speaks from and to sensibilities that exist largely in the North, climate justice is a movement and a story that it articulated and led by folks in the global South.

Find a new way to tell the story how the Guardian launched its climate change campaign
The Guardian UK
Climate change is the biggest story journalism has never successfully told. The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, has decided to change that. This podcast series follows Rusbridger and his team as they set out to find a new narrative on the greatest threat to humanity

Peak meaninglessness
John Michael Greer
Secular stagnation? That’s the concept, unmentionable until recently, that the global economy could stumble into a rut of slow, no, or negative growth, and stay there for years. And the most important cause of secular stagnation is the increasing impact of externalities on the economy, hidden by dishonest macroeconomic bookkeeping that leads economists to think that externalized costs go away because they’re not entered into anyone’s ledger books.

Can the world get richer forever?
Theo Leggett, BBC News
We live on a finite planet, but growth is exponential. So an annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 3% might not sound like much but it means an economy will double in size every 23 years. So does this matter? According to Tom Murphy, professor of physics at the University of California San Diego, it definitely does, as economic growth goes hand in hand with increasing energy consumption.

We need regenerative farming, not geoengineering
Charles Eisenstein
Geoengineering has been back in the news recently after the US National Research Council endorsed a proposal to envelop the planet in a layer of sulphate aerosols to reduce solar radiation and cool the atmosphere. The mindset behind geoengineering stands in sharp contrast to an emerging ecological, systems approach taking shape in the form of regenerative agriculture. More than a mere alternative strategy, regenerative agriculture represents a fundamental shift in our culture’s relationship to nature.

Book launch: Actor Aamir Khan releases The Third Curve

third curve

The Third Curve, a new book by Peak Oil India group member Mansoor Khan is just out. More info on the book, the author and event schedule can be found at: www.mansoorkhan.net. To watch a video of a TEDx Talk by Mansoor, click here 

Press release
October 2013: Actor Aamir Khan, hosted the launch of his cousin, Mansoor Khan’s book, The Third Curve The End of Growth As We Know It, at The India International Centre, New Delhi.

The event was attended by several dignitaries holding prominent and respectable positions in the Government of India, academic luminaries, as well as business personalities across various industries. They were keen to understand Mansoor’s paradigm shifting claim that economic growth is not just in trouble for the moment but over for good. Read more…

Fire Accounting

(Deeply inspired by Charles Eisensteins books The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics)

By Mansoor Khan

Today’s reality is governed by the laws of economics and accounting has therefore become a key discipline in developing and maintaining our modern industrial world. Balance sheets, ledgers, costs and sales all lead to the final profit and loss statement that is supposed to tell us whether an enterprise was worthwhile or not. We constantly need to make sure that we have accounted for all input costs and that their sum is less than the output price. Or else we would have to use some of our savings to run the show. And spending your capital is a taboo in economics. So accounting has a responsibility towards the very survival of the enterprise. Let us see how accounting has fared through history.  Read more…

Fire & Accounting

(Deeply inspired by Charles Eisensteins books The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics)

By Mansoor Khan

Today’s reality is governed by the laws of economics and accounting has therefore become a key discipline in developing and maintaining our modern industrial world. Balance sheets, ledgers, costs and sales all lead to the final profit and loss statement that is supposed to tell us whether an enterprise was worthwhile or not. We constantly need to make sure that we have accounted for all input costs and that their sum is less than the output price. Or else we would have to use some of our savings to run the show. And spending your capital is a taboo in economics. So accounting has a responsibility towards the very survival of the enterprise. Let us see how accounting has fared through history.  Read more…

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