Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Resource depletion (45)

UN report urges end to ‘suicidal’ war on nature

The Energy Mix / 22 February 2021

A landmark UN report has delivered a shattering synopsis of the three intertwined emergencies facing humanity—the climate crisis, a devastated natural world, and catastrophic air and water pollution—along with an authoritative and detailed blueprint for how to fix a “broken planet.”

At the launch of his organization’s “Making Peace with Nature” report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres declared that “humanity is waging war on nature” — a war he called “senseless and suicidal,” writes The Guardian. “Making peace with nature, securing its health, and building on the critical and undervalued benefits that it provides are key to a prosperous and sustainable future for all,” he said.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Nature should be at the heart of economic planning: U.K. report

CBC News / The Associated Press / 2 February 2021

A report commissioned by the British government is urging a radical transformation in the way that countries around the world assess the state of their economies by elevating the natural world as a key element in their economic planning.

The review of the economics of biodiversity by Professor Partha Dasgupta concludes that nature needs to become as valued as traditional gauges of economic wealth such as profits in the future.

In the 600-page review that was commissioned in 2019 by Britain’s Treasury, the University of Cambridge economist warned that current economic growth and prosperity have “come at a devastating cost to nature.” He said declines in biodiversity and the environment’s ability to provide food, clean water and air are “fuelling extreme risk and uncertainty for our economies and well-being.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The ongoing collapse of the world’s aquifers

National Observer / Matt Simon / 21 January 2021

As California’s economy skyrocketed during the 20th century, its land headed in the opposite direction. A booming agricultural industry in the state’s San Joaquin Valley, combined with punishing droughts, led to the over-extraction of water from aquifers. Like huge, empty water bottles, the aquifers crumpled, a phenomenon geologists call subsidence. By 1970, the land had sunk as much as 28 feet in the valley, with less-than-ideal consequences for the humans and infrastructure above the aquifers.

The San Joaquin Valley was geologically primed for collapse, but its plight is not unique. All over the world — from the Netherlands to Indonesia to Mexico City — geology is conspiring with climate change to sink the ground under humanity’s feet. More punishing droughts mean the increased draining of aquifers, and rising seas make sinking land all the more vulnerable to flooding. According to a recent study published in the journal Science, in the next two decades, 1.6 billion people could be affected by subsidence, with potential loses in the trillions of dollars.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Telling others about peak oil and limits to growth

Energy Skeptic / 14 November 2020

Obviously the planet is finite. We’re using many times more oil than we’re discovering, and therefore at some point global oil production will peak and decline. Yet even in 2019 this reality is denied by most, so much so that low prices after the last financial crash caused by high oil prices, has led to the public buying gas guzzling light trucks and SUVs.

What follows are the experiences of members of several peak oil groups (energyresources, runningonempty, sfbayoil, and so on, most of them from 2000 to 2005) about their experiences of trying to tell friends and family about peak oil and limits to growth.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA

Carbon Brief / Josh Gabbatiss, Simon Evans / 13 October 2020

The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.

That is according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The 464-page outlook, published today by the IEA, also outlines the “extraordinarily turbulent” impact of coronavirus and the “highly uncertain” future of global energy use over the next two decades.

Reflecting this uncertainty, this year’s version of the highly influential annual outlook offers four “pathways” to 2040, all of which see a major rise in renewables.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Building climate-saving tech digs up new problems

The Verge / Justine Calma / 02 January 2020

The solar power and electric vehicles we need to stop the climate crisis pose a different threat to people and the environment: a boom in mining. Moving away from fossil fuels depends on tech like batteries and solar panels that can provide alternative forms of energy. But digging up the raw materials can undermine human rights and destroy fragile ecosystems. As governments and industries try to tackle climate change by building up renewable energy, they’ll need to consider other problems unearthed in the process.

Policy experts writing in the journal Science warn that a more sustainable future could hinge on how leaders manage the demand for metals and minerals, including cobalt and lithium needed for rechargeable batteries.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

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