Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Resource depletion (26)

Energy, money and technology – from the lens of the superorganism

KAUST Official / Streamed live on 23 January 2018

In his #WEP2018 keynote, Nate Hagens discusses how all of our lives will be influenced by how we react to the coming era of harder to extract and more costly fossil fuels that will be combined with cleaner but more stochastic energy types.

Special thanks to our Platinum #WEP2018 sponsors: Saudi Aramco and Sabic.

Why a “modern” can’t understand the risks we face

Resource Insights / Kurt Cobb / 08 May 2016

Mandelpart2_redPROCIn my previous piece, I discussed why it is useless to argue with a person clinging to what I called the “religion” of modernism. I summarized four main tenets of the modern outlook as follows:

  1. Humans are in one category and nature is in another.
  2. Scale doesn’t matter.
  3. History can be safely ignored since modern society has seen through the delusions of the past.
  4. Science is a unified, coherent field that explains the rational principles by which we can manage the physical world.

These assumptions make modern humans particularly susceptible to becoming captives of the bell curve. Our understanding of risk is mediated by a misleading picture of regularity in the physical world and in human society. Moderns believe that nearly all risks–and certainly the nontrivial ones relating to our survival as species–can be easily calculated and managed.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Review: The Schizophrenic Society by Roger Boyd

resilience.org / Frank Kaminski / 25 January 2016

schizoIn a chapter titled “The New High Priests: Economists,” Boyd summarizes a handful of the widely held false beliefs about our society’s relationship to its ecology that lie at the heart of common economic wisdom. These include unquestioned faith in the infinite supply or substitutability of any natural resource, an espousal of free trade and deregulation as the optimal ways for a country to develop, the supposition that all economic participants have equal market power and the tenet that everyone makes rational, self-interested decisions. The author points out that these mainstays of economic thought are simply unproven assumptions that benefit the elites by providing “a smokescreen of beliefs” concealing how modern societies really work. While there’s nothing really new in this discussion for those already familiar with the failings of conventional growth economics, Boyd does a succinct job of outlining the main ideas.

[ FULL REVIEW ]

More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050: Report

The Guardian / Graeme Wearden / 19 January 2016

Ratio of plastic to fish 2014 - 2050As a record-breaking sailor, Dame Ellen MacArthur has seen more of the world’s oceans than almost anyone else. Now she is warning that there will be more waste plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, unless the industry cleans up its act.

According to a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation report launched at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, new plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today.

Plastics production has increased twentyfold since 1964, reaching 311m tonnes in 2014, the report says. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years and almost quadruple by 2050.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Will the oil & gas industry’s crash cascade into contagion?

Oil Pro / Mark Harrington / 11 January 2016

As noted in prior pieces, this crash is far different and far more fundamentally impactful than the 86/87 calamity. In 86/87, a major culprit was grossly bloated corporate overhead. My colleague William Weekley and I launched the Energy Vulture Funds in 1986 to grab those opportunities, and were fortunate to do so very effectively. Subsequently, tighter regulatory diligence on G&A scraped away the heretofore omnipresent: corporate jets, fishing and hunting camps, and in many cases, inflated C-level executive cash compensation.

Why is this price downturn fundamentally more impactful? Because this time the unmanageable culprit in depressed margins is at the field level. You can cut corporate G&A, but you can’t change what Mother Nature gives up if you are already employing state of the art completion technologies.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene

The Guardian / Adam Vaughan / 07 January 2016

3500There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, according to a group of scientists.

The question of whether humans’ combined environmental impact has tipped the planet into an “Anthropocene” – ending the current Holocene which began around 12,000 years ago – will be put to the geological body that formally approves such time divisions later this year.

The new study provides one of the strongest cases yet that from the amount of concrete mankind uses in building to the amount of plastic rubbish dumped in the oceans, Earth has entered a new geological epoch.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

«page 1 of 5

The Transition Framework

Inner Transition is occasionally overlooked in favour of more immediately ‘practical’ undertakings, reinforcing an observed and acknowledged division in many Transition Initiatives between “doers” and “talkers”, but for Transition Initiatives looking to foster a kind of community resilience that is equitable, inclusive, nimble, responsive, caring, and cohesive, Inner Transition efforts are a necessary place to start.

— Anne Rucchetto, Blake Poland
TB Projects

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Like to receive a monthly digest of our key posts plus local news and event listings?

Subscribe

View past issues

Subscribe to our Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.