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  • The Church of Economism and its discontents – Ecologise
    independent of other social spheres which would include that of most non Marxist economists 4 Gramsci attributes a religious character to the term an indication of his disregard for both economism and religion Over the past few decades the term has experienced a revival Environmental theologian John B Cobb Jr used the term to denote a new era of Western history following nationalism and Christianism 5 Ecological and heterodox economists use the term as an indictment of how neoliberal economics reduces all social relations to market logic To such economists neoliberal economics is merely reactionary politics disguised as value free science Economism replaces belief in God s control over human destiny with the belief that markets control our fate The term also appears in critiques of development particularly when international and national economic experts have advanced markets at the expense of democracy and cultural values in developing countries 6 In this essay I will build upon the past usages of the word to argue that today s uncritical economic thinking operates as a modern secular religion The social sciences arose in the West out of moral and social philosophy taking on the role of rationalizing our notions of good and bad the way people are and could be and the nature of a good society without appeals to religious authority Replacing God is a tall order and it led to enlightening semi structured debate around conflicting core theories in all of the social sciences except economics During the twentieth century apart from scattered pockets of Marxist dialogue economics as a discipline set aside moral questions settling into a discourse that selectively draws on different theories as needed to supplement and support the dominant market paradigm In doing so economics resolved its tension with religion by declaring itself its own judge 7 Economists themselves have acknowledged the ultimately religious nature of their discipline In 1932 Frank Knight the most scholarly and broad thinking of the founders of the influential market oriented Chicago school of economics literally argued that economics at a fundamental level had to be a religion the basic tenets of which must be hidden from all but a few The point is that the principles by which a society or a group lives in tolerable harmony are essentially religious The essential nature of a religious principle is that not merely is it immoral to oppose it but to ask what it is is morally identical with denial and attack There must be ultimates and they must be religious in economics as anywhere else if one has anything to say touching conduct or social policy in a practical way Man is a believing animal and to few if any is it given to criticize the foundations of belief intelligently To inquire into the ultimates behind accepted group values is obscene and sacrilegious objective inquiry is an attempt to uncover the nakedness of man his soul as well as his body his deeds his culture and his very gods Certainly the large general economics courses should be prevented from raising any question about objectivity but should assume the objectivity of the slogans they inculcate as a sacred feature of the system 8 When I show students these passages in my lectures they gasp finally understanding why economics is taught so differently from the other social sciences why it is presented so uncritically as if it were a science when it obviously is not Comparing economics with ecology illustrates the strangely settled nature of the former discipline Both ecology and economics provide multiple formal models and other aids for dealing with complex systems Ecologists peer into the complexity of ecological systems with the help of food web models population dynamics energetics evolutionary ecology landscape ecology biogeochemical cycles theories of biodiversity etc Aware of complexity and the multiple patterns of thinking they use ecologists are typically hesitant to provide single answers for any question or to predict the future without emphasizing multiple contingencies Economics also provides multiple approaches to complexity partial and general equilibrium theories of markets growth models macroeconomics and monetary theories as well as newer options such as ecological evolutionary and behavioral economics Some methodological traditions stress history and institutions others the use of calculus set theory statistics and game theory However while economists may come up with different answers and fight amongst themselves most will contend that there is a right way of thinking about any question and that a right answer does in fact exist What are the fundamental beliefs embedded within economics that only a very few should know and question There are many but most important are the assumptions underlying individualism property and the role of information the foci of the next section Parts and Wholes All of the sciences face a common dilemma how to think about parts and the systems in which they are embedded It is easiest to think of systems as being made up of parts that are entirely independent of each other or the nature of the system as a whole the whole is then simply the sum of the parts If the flows between parts can be expressed as simple mathematical functions then prediction is possible However the nature of parts and systems can be closely interrelated often in very complicated ways that make mathematical description difficult The parts and the relations between them may also evolve over time in ways that render prediction impossible 9 Market based economic theory embraces the simple approach to portraying systems treating each individual as entirely separate It takes each individual s tastes as given whereas all other social sciences not only acknowledge but also study how society influences individuals and their tastes In economics individuals may choose to help others but they do so only because of the pleasure they derive from doing so The happiness of society as a whole is then simply the sum of the happiness of each individual Similarly with respect to natural systems market based economics assumes that nature is made up of separate parts that can be owned and traded as property Never mind that water and air plants and animals cross property boundaries creating external costs and benefits They are only external of course if one adopts the perspective of an economist that nature is simply a bunch of separate things The conceptual problem of deciding how simplified our thinking about systems should be plays out in the realm of morality as well Each of us struggles with the dilemmas posed by our sense of free will and our need to make choices that satisfy ourselves while meeting our obligations to those to whom we are connected by birth marriage parenthood work politics or play With increasing maturity we come to realize that who we have become and what our desires are depend on the choices we have made and the people we have known Our own essence and those of the people closest to us are dependent on and affected by these choices Economists ignore this reality and worship the freedom to choose treating obligations to wider society as costs to be avoided 10 Adam Smith s The Wealth of Nations and the treatises of most nineteenth century economists explored the assumptions behind market thinking addressing its real world complications and its conflicts with Judeo Christian morality But as market based theory became formalized and mathematized economists became less and less philosophical and more and more uncritical of their own assumptions Most economists now settle into the discipline without thinking much about these foundational assumptions at all More importantly as market thinking took hold in popular and political thought and the economy was increasingly structured around it it became sacrilegious as Knight argued it should be to question the underlying tenets of the belief system behind these institutions How fragile are the assumptions behind market economics Consider the logic offered to support the intrinsic value of exchange If two parties agree to enter into an exchange both are fully informed and the exchange is truly voluntary then the exchange makes both of them better off Therefore government should not interfere with such exchanges unless there are significant impacts on third parties When we are taught that this logic proves that markets support individual choice and thus should not be interfered with except under unusual conditions we are being asked to assume that being fully informed is common and third party impacts are rare The divisibility of societies into individuals and nature into property has for economists and increasingly for society as a whole become a default assumption that merits no mention These provisos however are rarely met social and natural systems cannot be divided into separate parts and few parties are ever sufficiently informed Note also that the first part of the logic is equally valid regardless of how the parties are defined They could be groups or corporations communities or states and the logic would still hold so long as the provisos hold The logic is invoked to show that markets support free choice among individuals or as the definition of individual has been expanded corporations It is never applied to choice among collectives even though the logic still holds Given all this the logic of exchange amounts to little more than the truism agreement is good If the logic of exchange were based on a complex systems perspective instead it would look quite different A collective body at an appropriate scale should oversee exchange between two parties Exchange decisions should be bounded and modified as necessary to benefit people and nature as a whole and prevented when they cannot be so modified The exceptions to this need for collective oversight are situations in which the property involved is truly divisible no third parties are affected both parties are fully informed and the exchange is purely voluntary As this reframing shows exchange between individuals without collective oversight would be rare if the full complexity of our social and natural systems were the default position For most of human history populations were much smaller and the technologies available were simpler and less likely to affect third parties or the natural system as a whole Accordingly people needed less knowledge to be sufficiently informed However since Adam Smith presented us with the logic of exchange nearly two and a half centuries ago population levels and the impacts associated with new technologies have grown dramatically A complex systems perspective then should have increasingly become our default perspective Instead an ideology of atomistic individualism and private property has become entrenched despite its clear limitations Economics law and much of political science all supposedly scholarly enterprises have been fully complicit in this folly The invasion of the field of ecology by property logic and market based reasoning through the language of natural capital and ecosystem services is especially problematic as its object of inquiry the environment is often harmed rather than helped by markets While all of the sciences strive to understand complex systems ecology focuses on the part of the universe which people most closely relate to Systems models used in ecology are thus more accessible to the general public and provide better counterexamples to simple market thinking than the equally complex models used in astrophysics epigenetics or cognitive psychology Economism as Everyday Religion Economic beliefs now reverberate through our individual and collective discourse and are invoked routinely in political rhetoric 11 These beliefs explain one s place in the world play a normative role in guiding social relations and define the purpose of individual and collective life They even offer new creation stories and houses of worship The moral dimension of economism becomes apparent in how it is invoked to justify the status quo Since the neoliberal transition that accompanied the election of Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl it has become increasingly common in both private conversation and political rhetoric for people to argue that markets correctly determine who gets what The achievement of great wealth is a sign of merit even moral probity whereas poverty is a result of individual moral failings Because wealth is earned it should not be taxed even to provide for basic needs such as public education The wealthy are the job creators on whom the system depends and increased taxation would hinder them in performing the good work of getting rich 12 Economism by rationalizing market outcomes becomes the new opium of the people playing the role Marx once attributed to religion in keeping people from rising up against the system Each of us is now connected to more people than ever before in history The vast majority of these connections however are impersonal mediated through markets both locally and globally Child care and elder care education health services and domestic work are increasingly based on contractual agreements rather than familial or communal connections While care may still exist in market based relations it is a lot easier to terminate contracts than personal relationships In local markets a century ago the same people were encountered again and again on the other side of transactions resulting in friendship and trust More products were made locally so the community in which one lived felt the consequences of good or bad work Today many urban and rural consumers shop at large chain stores queuing in lines with strangers and rarely encountering the same checkout clerk if a human even plays that role anymore Many of those upon whom we depend live and work much farther away than they did in earlier times even on the other side of the globe The logic of the market that everyone gains from specialization trade and mass production takes the place of the ethical responsibility that once guided commerce Economism provides a way to justify the conditions found in the global market economy Factory workers in developing countries may be paid little and labor under dangerous conditions but we are told they choose to become factory workers because they think it is better for them than staying on the land This choice as just a little research would show reflects the commodification of agricultural products through market led development specialization and industrialization developments that are crippling rural communities and pushing people off the land But that additional information is more than most people seek We are also told that expanding markets benefit everyone because they make goods cheaper We hear these economistic invocations whenever moral issues concerning the social and environmental consequences of our actions arise the impersonal nature of the global market economy making it easy to evade the traditional criteria of interpersonal morality Just as markets distance us from each other so too do they distance us from nature and our impact on it Economism justifies both forms of distancing in comparable ways As distance increases caring weakens and local governance faces increasing difficulties managing problems that arise from afar In response to this weakening of personal relations and increasing distance from nature economism glorifies the individual and rationalizes material greed Economic models focus on the individual assume utility maximization treat society as the sum of individuals and omit society s influence back on the individual Care for others and the land may give people utility but there is no obligation to care This view runs contrary to all major religious traditions effectively competing with the teaching they provide Growing the economy that is increasing the rate of GDP growth is put forward as the solution to problems of poverty unemployment crime and even pollution The economy of course has grown and grown Yet the problems persist and some like homelessness in our cities and mountaintop removal in coal mining communities have become accepted as the way things are Continuous economic growth has become the goal of almost all nations and ever increasing material consumption and the acquisition of possessions are presented as forms of personal transcendence The Econocene has even spawned its own creation stories economic parables of entrepreneurs investment and transformative growth explain the emergence and character of the world in which we all now live Churches and other places of worship with spires reaching toward the heavens and names commemorating important religious figures now cower beneath skyscrapers named after corporations and their founders According to both textbooks and popular understanding markets have expanded naturally with the demise of the former Soviet Union a testament to the superiority of markets over central planning For those areas not yet so materially developed economics offers a guiding hand Follow the wisdom of the economic gurus and growth will come Of course there will be sacrifices along the way but the gains will be more than worth the costs 13 Realizing the religious character of economism raises the question of how religions have responded to this secular competition Theologians have pondered the rise of economic man in a Judeo Christian world Some portray the two as complementary with religion serving to tame materialism and ensure that markets serve the common good There has been a modest but important greening of religion that admonishes against worshipping Mammon and causing social and environmental harm Laudato Si Pope Francis s encyclical released in June is a powerful indictment of human greed and an economic system that pays insufficient attention to the environment and the poor 14 In August sixty Islamic leaders from twenty nations issued a shorter statement emphasizing the responsibilities of rich nations and oil producing nations to correct the disaster their economic success created 15 Going further in this direction efforts are now underway to portray a wondrous universe consistent with that described by science within which people are only very recent beneficiaries and novice players 16 Similar greening is occurring in religions around the world 17 However at the same time a large number of people have been brought into the fold of Christianity through the rise of prosperity theology It is not surprising that this development emphasizing how God bestows economic success on the faithful

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/03/26/the-church-of-economism-and-its-discontents/ (2016-05-02)
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  • How WeFarm connects small farmers without the Internet – Ecologise
    with indigenous communities in Peru Many of the communities he lived and worked in were remote and without regular access to the internet which left them isolated from their neighbors Ewan was largely concerned about the effects of climate change on the region and how global warming will necessitate a change in harvesting techniques Today over 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming will increasingly impact the way human beings live Developing countries will be hit the hardest of all making them the critical locus for climate adaptation strategies According to Zoë Fairlamb WeFarm Comms and PR Manager the idea for a peer to peer service came to Ewan when he saw how innovative certain farmers could be when meeting the challenges of climate change Kenny noticed quite soon on that people could come up with these low cost ingenious solutions but farmers five miles down the road wouldn t have heard about what these people were doing she told Planet Experts So that prompted him to think about communication and really pose the question Why isn t there a global resource for information on agriculture Ewan began the process of creating that resource in 2009 when he joined Cafédirect Producers Foundation CPF a UK registered charity that works with smallholder farms and their organizations Connecting Farmers and Changing the Conversation Internet connections might be less common in the developing world but mobile technology is pervasive GMSA estimates that there are 7 5 billion mobile connections and 3 7 billion unique subscribers worldwide By comparison a little more than a third 36 percent of the planet is online In Africa many countries have leapfrogged landline technology and gone directly to mobile phones According to Pew some 90 percent of adults in Nigeria and South Africa own cell phones mostly basic feature phones capable of calling and texting Indeed for most Africans SMS technology is already an invaluable tool In 2007 Vodafone launched M Pesa a mobile phone based money transfer system for mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania the M stands for mobile the pesa is Swahili for money It was the success of mobile tech like M Pesa that spurred WeFarm to make its initial launch in Kenya in February 2015 In East Africa people are very used to using mobile technology for other services said Fairlamb There s also a very strong culture in Kenya and Uganda of people sharing and giving People trust one another and want to share and help each other In 10 months WeFarm registered about 33 000 Kenyan farmers with its service People love it said Fairlamb The ultimate goal is to create a global network for small scale farmers in Africa Asia and Latin America As Fairlamb explains Basically a farmer can register on WeFarm s service completely for free just by sending an SMS message to our national number Once they ve signed up to the service they can then ask any question regarding farming and we distribute that

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/03/25/how-wefarm-connects-small-farmers-without-the-internet/ (2016-05-02)
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  • The dangers of separating science and environment – Ecologise
    the case This is a myth perpetuated directly and indirectly through media policy decisions academic disciplines even some science engagement initiatives that the natural world is somehow separate from science Some people assume that any discussion of science automatically includes ecology botany entomology and other natural sciences In some contexts it might But as our immediate surroundings become increasingly engineered and artificial science based on outdoor study of the natural world is easily and often overshadowed in the frenzied excitement over gadgets and numbers The tangible outcomes and wow factor inherent in the physical sciences and technologies mathematics chemistry engineering have effortlessly commandeered the scientific spotlight Just have a look at your favorite online news website Under what category do environmental stories appear Are they included under science Or are they singled out as an unrelated topic Out of 14 of the most popular English language news websites in the world from comScore s global and U S top 10 lists only three sites BBC NBC and New York Times combine Environment and Science news stories together under one category Five sites separate the two as unrelated topics five have a science category only with minimal coverage of natural environments and one site has neither science nor environment news categories The act of separating science stories on medical breakthroughs and astronomical wonders from stories that cover ecosystems and biodiversity unwittingly enhances the myth in readers minds that science and nature are mutually exclusive Combining science with technology is even more damaging because it distances science further from natural systems and processes Myths as Dominant Ideologies The power of communication to build and sustain myths intended or not is often underrated In cultural theory myths are dominant ideologies that are maintained through media and popular culture So separating all those sixth extinction and climate change stories from the science category in media simply perpetuates the myth that they are not scientific issues Yet despite the popular portrayal of science as lab coats space travel gadgets and mind blowing math in reality science is more closely aligned with the natural world around us Science is about generating and sharing knowledge about the structure and behavior of the natural world Technology is about the functional application of that knowledge to produce tangible outcomes This distinction goes beyond semantic pedantry Science is independent of technology they are not identical and they are not replacements for one another If we reduce science to a technological sector removed from the natural world its relevance to society becomes limited It becomes another industry with a finite customer base shifting its focus from the pursuit of knowledge which has far reaching benefits for all to the tangible immediate outcomes it can provide a certain sector of society When this myth is perpetuated beyond popular media it can have damaging impacts The current Australian government for example spent more than a year without a minister of science at all before tacking science onto the industry portfolio after public outcry

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/03/25/the-dangers-of-separating-science-and-environment/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Book/Video: Thanatia – The destiny of the Earth’s mineral resources – Ecologise
    2015 13 April 2015 12 March 2015 16 February 2015 17 January 2015 10 December 2014 10 November 2014 10 October 2014 10 September 2014 11 August 2014 7 July 2014 5 June 2014 7 May 2014 2 April 2014 3 March 2014 4 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 3 November 2013 2 October 2013 8 Upcoming Events Webinar on Groundtruthing at online event Groundtruthing gathers information that connects regulatory requirements with actual impacts development has on people Resource person Kanchi Kohli Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 12th May 2016 12th May 2016 Rainwater Harvesting Workshop at Hyderabad Understand and combat Hyderabad s water problems through rain water harvesting Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 15th May 2016 15th May 2016 Thought for Food at Palampur Himachal Pradesh Workshop on eating responsibly sharing strategies and tools for doing so Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 18th May 2016 22nd May 2016 Two short courses on Development at Azim Premji University Bangalore Designed for professionals working in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features Book Video Thanatia The destiny of the Earth s mineral resources Written by Contributor Mar 24 2016 0 Comments Is Gaia becoming Thanatia a resource exhausted planet For how long can our high tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades heavy dependence on un recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion Thanatia presents a cradle to cradle view of Earth s abiotic resources through a novel approach based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics Fundación CIRCE This book presents a cradle to cradle view of the Earth s abiotic resources through a novel and rigorous approach based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics heat dissipates and materials deteriorate and disperse Quality is irreversibly lost This allows for the assessment of such depletion and can be used to estimate the year where production of the main mineral commodities could reach its zenith By postulating Thanatia one acquires a sense of destiny and a concern for a unified global management of the planet s abiotic resource endowment The book covers the core aspects of geology geochemistry mining metallurgy economics the environment thermodynamics and thermochemistry It is supported by comprehensive databases related to mineral resources including detailed compositions of the Earth s layers thermochemical properties of over 300 substances historical energy and mineral resource inventories

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/03/24/bookvideo-thanatia-the-destiny-of-the-earths-mineral-resources/ (2016-05-02)
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  • NEWS UPDATE #88 – Ecologise
    been identified by the government as an inviolate area a forest too dense and valuable to be mined At least one village in the region has also rejected the proposal to mine their traditional forestlands falling in the mine area under the Forest Rights Act Dams and sugarcane have conspired to reduce Marathwada to rack and ruin The Hindu Economist and former member of the Maharashtra State Planning Board HM Desarda says It is a hoary agrarian axiom that sugarcane that notorious water guzzler is ecologically unsuited for arid climes Yet since the creation of Maharashtra as a State in 1960 the political class from Yashwantrao Chavan to Sharad Pawar has used it as a powerful instrument for building its voter base For instance Latur which witnesses water wars daily has no less than five sugar factories spread across 54 000 hectares around a 20 km radius Of the 200 odd sugar factories in the State more than 60 are located in the parched Marathwada A single hectare of sugarcane crop uses 30 million litres of water Quenching Our Thirst Vasundhara Raje op ed in The Times of India India s water policy makers must remember Einstein s warning Make things as simple as possible not simpler Water s fault lines lifeline vs livelihood ground vs surface property rights vs negative externalities urban vs rural demand vs supply management and source vs resources require complex policy and political tradeoffs that often leave everybody unhappy India is a groundwater civilisation water is a common pool resource but its extraction is interpreted as a private right under the Indian Easements Act of 1882 and we need social and economic solutions to combine with today s largely technical perspective Farmers Tax Exempt So Is Company With Rs 215 Cr Profit Charu Bahri IndiaSpend It s reasonably well known that income from agriculture attracts no tax in India What isn t quite as well known is that of more than 400 000 taxpayers claiming exemption for agricultural income in the assessment year 2014 15 the biggest were seed giant Kaveri Seeds it claimed Rs 186 63 crore exemption and made a profit of Rs 215 36 crore before tax and multinational Monsanto India which claimed Rs 94 40 crore as exemption from agricultural income and earned Rs 138 74 crore profit before tax Changing nature of forests in India Pandurang Hegde Deccan Herald The annual ritual of releasing the forest report claims a marginal increase in the forest cover but it hardly addresses the reality of the changing nature of the forests in the country The last patches of green cover can be found only in the hill regions of Himalaya Western Ghats and central part and in the eastern region Unfortunately these are the regions rich in mineral and water resources that attract large scale mining companies and dam building activity to harness water The conflict over the use of forest resources is escalating to high pitch leading to civil war like situation in central and eastern India Corbett tigers are getting poached at an alarming rate Nihar Gokhale Catch News In one of the biggest poaching cases in recent years five tigers have reportedly been killed in the last few months in forests around Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand The poaching took place despite the Uttarakhand Forest Department being tipped off in advance With this the number of poaching and tiger part seizures for 2016 have climbed to 19 This is huge compared with the 25 cases that were recorded in 2015 Dry land birds wing it to wet Kerala S Gopikrishna Warrier India Climate Dialogue At least 36 species of dry land birds have been spotted in India s coastal state of Kerala known for its sultry weather indicating a change in weather pattern rapid urbanisation and deterioration in habitat The state where ornithologists have spotted bird species such as steppe eagle and red headed bunting normally found in dry lands has been sizzling since mid February this year The government has been debating whether it should declare the state drought affected and people used to a sweaty environment are being dry roasted under a blazing sun A few cases of heat stroke have been reported with the temperature touching 40 degrees Celsius in Palakkad and 39 degrees Celsius in Kannur districts More than 90 of Bengaluru s lakes are polluted or encroached Aarti Kelkar Khambete Scroll in India has had very little to celebrate on World Wetlands Day this year as it has lost its wetlands at an alarming rate of 38 in just a decade 1991 2001 Additionally there continues to be a regulatory vacuum around wetlands because of which they continue to be ungoverned and unprotected Nowhere is it more apparent than in the city of Bengaluru once famous for its beautiful lakes created by Kempe Gowdas and the Wodeyars of Mysore and then the British The wetlands in the city are now dying a slow death thanks to rapid growth and urbanisation resulting in encroachment and discharge of sewage and industrial effluents Electric Buses Earn 82 More Profit Than Diesel Daily Deepa Padmanaban IndiaSpend Electric buses generate 27 more revenue and 82 more profits than diesel buses per day according to an Indian Institute of Science IISc study evaluating electric vehicles for urban transport The findings have special significance because primary mass transit in Indian cities is provided by 150 000 diesel buses held responsible for contributing to urban smog and carbon emissions that are warming the planet Alarm in Bangladesh after yet another coal ship catastrophe in the Sundarbans Scroll in Pollution in the largest mangrove forest in the world became front page news yet again in Bangladesh as a large ship carrying over 1 200 tonnes of coal sank in the southern Shela River on Sunday This is the third vessel to have capsized in less than two years in the ecologically sensitive region and the issue has caused intense anger among environmentalists We

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/03/24/news-update-88/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Hema Vaishnavi – Ecologise
    The Coming Energy Crisis And The Way Forward on How viable is renewable energy Why Technology Cannot Adequately Address Climate Change Peak Oil India Exploring The Coming Energy Crisis And The Way Forward on The climate challenge is deeper than technology Saral Sarkar on Cowspiracy The film that environmental organisations don t want you to see Bala on Subhash Palekar From farmer to national treasure RAMESHWAR NAYAK on Subhash Palekar From farmer to national treasure Hareesh on Subhash Palekar From farmer to national treasure H R Prakash on When communalists turns on environmentalists Ashok Kundapur on In spite of cool advertising electric cars also damage the environment Tags activism agrarian crisis agriculture air pollution alternatives Books capitalism carbon emissions China Climate Change coal corporate rule deforestation development ecological conflict economic growth education awareness energy extreme weather events food security fossil fuels future scenarios Gail Tverberg global economy green politics India inequality Kurt Cobb Narendra Modi government neoliberalism oil prices organic farming Paris climate talks peak oil Renewable energy resource depletion resource extraction Richard Heinberg rural India Sagar Dhara Sustainability Transition videos water crisis weather patterns Archives Archives Select Month May 2016 4 April 2016 51 March 2016 46 February 2016 31 January 2016 27 December 2015 31 November 2015 29 October 2015 19 September 2015 12 August 2015 13 July 2015 9 June 2015 11 May 2015 13 April 2015 12 March 2015 16 February 2015 17 January 2015 10 December 2014 10 November 2014 10 October 2014 10 September 2014 11 August 2014 7 July 2014 5 June 2014 7 May 2014 2 April 2014 3 March 2014 4 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 3 November 2013 2 October 2013 8 Upcoming Events Webinar on Groundtruthing at online event Groundtruthing gathers information that connects regulatory requirements

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/author/hema-vaishnavi/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Bookshelf: When trucks stop running, so does civilization – Ecologise
    Bookshelf When trucks stop running so does civilization Written by Contributor Mar 23 2016 0 Comments Virtually everything in our homes everything in our stores got there on a truck Prior to that 90 percent of those items were transported on a ship and or a train If trucks trains and ships stopped running our global economy and way of life would stop too Alice Friedemann s new book examines precisely this prospect Alice Friedemann Energy Skeptic The impact of peak oil on commercial transportation has been of great interest to me after a 22 year career at American President Lines where I developed computer systems to keep cargo seamlessly moving around the globe and just in time between ships rail trucks and customers So I was thrilled when Charles Hall invited me to write a book on energy and transportation for his Springer Energy series a book that has just been published When Trucks Stop Running Energy and the Future of Transportation Ships trucks and trains are the backbone of civilization hauling the goods that fulfill our every need and desire Their powerful highly efficient diesel combustion engines are exquisitely fine tuned to burn petroleum based diesel fuel These engines and the fuels that fire them have been among the most transformative yet disruptive technologies on the planet This is a dependency we take for granted Since oil reserves are finite one day supplies will be diminished to where the cost of moving freight and goods with our present oil fueled fleet will not pencil out We have an oil glut in 2016 and a corresponding lack of urgency Yet inevitably the day will come when oil supplies decline What will we do What are our options That is the sobering reality my book explores Consider just how dependent we are on abundant and affordable oil which fuels commercial transportation Grocery stores service stations hospitals pharmacies restaurants construction sites manufacturers and many other businesses receive several deliveries a day Since they keep very little inventory most would run out of goods within a week When trucks stop over 685 000 tons of garbage piles up every day in the U S sewage treatment ends as storage tanks fill up and in two to four weeks water supplies would be imperiled as purification chemicals were no longer delivered That is just the tip of the iceberg Although ships move roughly 90 of cargo and made globalization possible it is hard to think of a single thing that isn t transported on a truck at some point if only for the last mile Equally important are other kinds of trucks and equipment used in farming logging mining construction garbage and countless human endeavors Certainly it would be better to deliver goods by rail which are four times more fuel efficient than trucks or by ship which can be up to 80 times more efficient than trucks But there are only 95 000 route miles of railroad track and 25 000 miles

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/03/23/when-trucks-stop-running-so-does-civilization/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Video: Rice Bowl to Ashtray – Documentary on industrialisation and displacement in Chhattisgarh – Ecologise
    agrarian crisis agriculture air pollution alternatives Books capitalism carbon emissions China Climate Change coal corporate rule deforestation development ecological conflict economic growth education awareness energy extreme weather events food security fossil fuels future scenarios Gail Tverberg global economy green politics India inequality Kurt Cobb Narendra Modi government neoliberalism oil prices organic farming Paris climate talks peak oil Renewable energy resource depletion resource extraction Richard Heinberg rural India Sagar Dhara Sustainability Transition videos water crisis weather patterns Archives Archives Select Month May 2016 4 April 2016 51 March 2016 46 February 2016 31 January 2016 27 December 2015 31 November 2015 29 October 2015 19 September 2015 12 August 2015 13 July 2015 9 June 2015 11 May 2015 13 April 2015 12 March 2015 16 February 2015 17 January 2015 10 December 2014 10 November 2014 10 October 2014 10 September 2014 11 August 2014 7 July 2014 5 June 2014 7 May 2014 2 April 2014 3 March 2014 4 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 3 November 2013 2 October 2013 8 Upcoming Events Webinar on Groundtruthing at online event Groundtruthing gathers information that connects regulatory requirements with actual impacts development has on people Resource person Kanchi Kohli Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 12th May 2016 12th May 2016 Rainwater Harvesting Workshop at Hyderabad Understand and combat Hyderabad s water problems through rain water harvesting Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 15th May 2016 15th May 2016 Thought for Food at Palampur Himachal Pradesh Workshop on eating responsibly sharing strategies and tools for doing so Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 18th May 2016 22nd May 2016 Two short courses on Development at Azim Premji University Bangalore Designed for professionals working in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features Video Rice Bowl to Ashtray Documentary on industrialisation and displacement in Chhattisgarh Written by Contributor Mar 22 2016 0 Comments Since its formation Chhattisgarh has become the new destination of domestic and foreign investment Sunil Kumar s award winning documentary Daan Se Raakh Rice Bowl to Ashtray captures displacement and industrialization in Chhattisgarh It critically investigates the impact of unbridled industrialization privatization of water and acquisition of agricultural land on the life and livelihoods of the rural population Sanhati Sunil Kumar an independent filmmaker has recently made a documentary on displacement and industrialization in Korba and Janjgir Champa Chhattisgarh The

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