17 May 2012

'If We Leave the Euro, Everything Will Be Worse'

Greece is on the verge of economic collapse and yet the country's left wants to jettison austerity measures. Would this leave any alternative other than exiting the euro? SPIEGEL ONLINE invited the leader of Greece's pro-business Drasi party and an anti-austerity Syriza parliamentarian to debate the issues

Spiegel Online International | 05/16/2012
A Greek euro coin. Are the country's days as a member of the euro zone numbered?A Greek euro coin. Are the country's days as a member of the euro zone numbered? (dapd)

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Looks Matter More Than Reputation When It Comes to Trusting People With Our Money

Our decisions to trust people with our money are based more on how they look then how they behave, according to new research from the University of Warwick

ScienceDaily May 15, 2012
Face identities of the same computer character varied on the trustworthiness scale. For each character, we selected the faces found at 3 and +3 SD on the trustworthiness scale (indicated here with arrows). In Study 3, we altered some of the selected faces to ensure direct gaze for all stimuli. (Credit: Rezlescu et al; doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0034293.g002)

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This Is Your Brain On Sugar: Study in Rats Shows High-Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory

Attention, college students cramming between midterms and finals: Binging on soda and sweets for as little as six weeks may make you stupid

ScienceDaily | May 15, 2012
New research suggests that binging on soda and sweets for as little as six weeks may make you stupid. (Credit: © RTimages / Fotolia)

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07 May 2012

The Health of Nations: Towards a New Political Economy

Why, despite vast resources being expended on health and health care, is there still so much ill health and premature death? Why do massive inequalities in health - both within and between countries - remain? In this devastating critique, internationally renowned health economist Gavin Mooney places the responsibility for these problems firmly at the door of neoliberalism

Zed Books | 25 April 2012

The Health of Nations: Towards a New Political Economy by Gavin Mooney

ISBN: 9781780320595
224 pages

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Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa

Chocolate - the very word conjures up a hint of the forbidden and a taste of the decadent. Yet the story behind the chocolate bar is rarely one of luxury...

Zed Books | 25 April 2012

Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa by Orla Ryan
20 January 2011- Paperback - ISBN: 9781848130050 - 192 pages




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Too many still struggling to meet food and nutrition goals

The developing world is lagging badly in the bid to reach global targets related to food and nutrition, and rates of child and maternal mortality are still unacceptably high, says a recently released report by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

by Carol Smith | OurWorld 2.0 | May 2, 2012

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End of business as we know it

When it comes to creating a sustainable, green economy, failure cannot be an option — not least for future generations. That provocative statement was made in the opening remarks at a recent conference here in Tokyo organized by the European Business Council

by Brendan Barrett | OurWorld 2.0 | May 4, 2012

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04 May 2012

Green Resources’ carbon plantations in Tanzania. Curse or cure?

A recent report gives a critical view of the Clean Development Mechanism in Africa. The report, “The CDM in Africa: Can’t Deliver the Money”, draws together a dozen researchers under the guidance of Patrick Bond of the Centre for Civil Society in Durban, South Africa

By Chris Lang | REDD-Monitor | 2nd May 2012

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03 May 2012

Empire of Capital

Colonialism never ended, it continues by different means

By George Monbiot | The Guardian 1st May 2012 in monbiot.com | 30 April 2012

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Dark Hearts

We British have a peculiar ability to blot out our colonial history

By George Monbiot | The Guardian 24th April 2012 in monbiot.com | 23 April 2012

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France’s choice: naughty child or colourless adult?

I cannot vote in the French presidential election. While as an EU citizen with residence in France I have the right to vote for the mayor, I discovered that exercising that right requires extended negotiation with French municipal bureaucracy, an exercise on which no sane person would voluntarily embark. But the choice of president is a matter for the French alone

John Kay | johnkay.com | 02 May 2012

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19 April 2012

BP settles $7.8bn Gulf of Mexico oil spill claims

BP has reached definitive agreements with more than 100,000 private plaintiffs to resolve claims for economic, property and medical damages resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The Telegraph | 18 Apr 2012
BP chief Bob Dudley faces a grilling at this week's shareholder meetingFriday marks the two-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Reuters

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Branching Out

Farmers in Tree Bank programme harvest long-term profits and win over sceptical neighbours

Bangkok Post | 19/04/2012
“Are you in your right mind? What are you going to get from planting trees? What will you eat? You must be crazy"

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Rio+20 should make sustainable land use a top priority

World leaders must promote effective land use methods to mitigate drought, says Luc Gnacadja of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification

Luc Gnacadja | SciDev.Net | 18 April 2012
Tree nursery, NigerRegreening is being monitored by village committees in Niger. Flickr/vodkamax




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16 April 2012

Pure-play carbon credit companies in crisis

The crash in carbon credit prices globally has served a crushing blow to companies operating in this space in India. Firms, whose business models were based purely on profit from sale of carbon credits, have either closed down or substantially downsized their operations

Namrata Singh | The Times of India | Apr 16, 201

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Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living If Their Land Rights Are Recognized

Many indigenous peoples are living examples of societies thriving with sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles. Successfully meeting the global climate change challenge requires that much of the world shift from high carbon-living to low

by Stephen Leahy | Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples | April 4, 2012
Youba Sokona of Mali is co-chair of the IPCC Working Group III. Photo: Citt Williams, OurWorld2.0

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15 April 2012

In the eyes of Nature, warming can't be natural

Since the fading belief that the world is in the grip of runaway man-made global warming still threatens us with the biggest bill in history, it is rather important to know how far we can trust the science which is said to support that belief

By Christopher Booker | The Telegraph | 14 Apr 2012
Scientist with Ice Core Langjokull Ice cap, Iceland, ice core sampleA scientist examines an ice core sample in Iceland. Photo: ALAMY

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13 April 2012

Interview with Frances Seymour, CIFOR: “The Letter of Intent prompted a tectonic shift in the dialogue about forests”

Interview with Frances Seymour, CIFOR, at CIFOR’s office, Bogor, March 2012. (The response to one question from Lou Verchot was by email.)

Chris Lang | REDD-Monitor | 13th April 2012

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Millions Against Monsanto: The Food Fight of Our Lives

Finally, public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back

By Ronnie Cummins | AlterNet | April 11, 2012

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Zvonimir Atletic

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Marx and Engels and “Small Is Beautiful”

Environmentalism and socialism have not always been on the best of terms. In the 60s and 70s, for example, there were fierce polemics between the two

by Samar Bagchi, John Bellamy Foster, and Fred Magdoff | Monthly Review | Feb 1 2012

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Fuel to Burn: Now What?

The reversal of fortune in America’s energy supplies in recent years holds the promise of abundant and cheaper fuel, and it could have profound effects on what people drive, domestic manufacturing and America’s foreign policy

By JAD MOUAWAD | The New York Times | April 10, 2012
Jesse Lenz

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Out of Africa (and Elsewhere): More Fossil Fuels

The world’s largest energy companies have big plans for Mozambique

By MARK SCOTT | The New York Times | April 10, 2012
A rig near the village of Lesniowice in Poland, where Chevron has been exploring for shale gas. Kacper Pempel/Reuters

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11 April 2012

Capital, Debt, and Alchemy

“Capital,” said Nobel chemist and pioneer ecological economist Frederick Soddy,”merely means unearned income divided by the rate of interest and multiplied by 100.” (Cartesian Economics, p. 27)

by Herman Daly | CASSE | Apr 9 2012

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Natural Gas Is A Bridge To Nowhere Absent A Carbon Price AND Strong Standards To Reduce Methane Leakage

A new journal article finds that methane leakage greatly undercuts or eliminates entirely the climate benefit of a switch to natural gas. The authors of “Greater Focus Needed on Methane Leakage from Natural Gas Infrastructure“ conclude that “it appears that current leakage rates are higher than previously thought” and “Reductions in CH4 Leakage Are Needed to Maximize the Climate Benefits of Natural Gas

By Joe Romm | Climate Progress | Apr 9, 2012
Photo by Walter Disney

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The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets

Kevin Anderson explains why he refused to purchase a carbon offset, and why you should steer clear of them too

Nature | 04 April 2012

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08 April 2012

Education in a post carbon world

My local 'newspaper' recently published an opinion piece (Stouffville Tribune, Unions biggest threat to quality education, March 31, 2012) by a Canadian 'business leader' who opines that the reason for a country's success or failure rests with students being well-trained in math, science, and/or technology who can then produce 'intelligent, innovative products', and that the biggest impediment to ensuring students receive the best training are educational unions who resist merit pay

by Steve Bull | Apr 4 2012 by Zero Growth Now! (Canada) in Energy Bulletin | Apr 7 2012

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Debating the Future of Our World's Water

Achieving water democracy is surely a terrific opportunity to fix governance problems from the local to the global, but it's one enormous task

By Daniel Moss | AlterNet | April 6, 2012
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ Ilin Sergey

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How to Start Your Own Power Company, Stop Coal and Nukes, and Transform Your City

2011 Goldman Prize winner Ursula Sladek discusses how she became an unwitting energy mogul -- and a global environmental hero

By Sven Eberlein | AlterNet |March 28, 2012
Photo Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize

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07 April 2012

Fly and Be Damned

Fly and be Damned gets underneath the well-known facts about the unsustainable nature of the aviation industry and argues for fundamental change to our traveling habits

Zed Books | 13 March 2012

Fly and be Damned: What now for aviation and climate change by Peter McManners
23 February 2012 – Paperback - ISBN: 9781848139749 - 192 pages




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Getting Somalia Wrong?

Somalia is a failed state, representing a threat to itself, its neighbours and the wider world

Zed Books | 13 March 2012

Getting Somalia Wrong: Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State by Mary Harper
9 February 2012 – Paperback - ISBN: 9781842779330 - 232 pages




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Growing Food Demand Strains Energy, Water Supplies

The northern region of Gujarat State in western India (map) is semi-arid and prone to droughts, receiving almost all of its rain during the monsoon season between June and September. But for the past three decades, many crop and dairy farms have remained green—even during the dry season

Jeff Smith | National Geographic News | April 6, 2012
india-water-pumping.jpgA man irrigates his field with an electric water pump east of Gauhati, in northern India. Excessive water pumping has strained both water and energy supplies in India, China and other hot spots around the world. Photograph by Anupam Nath, Associated Press

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Habitat sacrificed to warn the world

The man who signed the permit that allowed 1600 hectares of carbon-rich peat forest and orang-utan habitat to be razed and turned into a palm oil plantation agrees his decision was ''morally wrong''

Michael Bachelard | The Sydney Morning Herald | April 6, 2012


Abundant … up to 300 orang-utans lived in the Tripa forests. Photo: Pat Scala






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To finance change, finance has to change

In an era of growing worldwide disdain at any mention of their ilk, did you ever wonder how bankers might feel? Would you believe that there are some amongst them who put central focus on ethical values? And that their banks have ended up delivering higher returns than some of the world’s biggest financial institutions?

by Carol Smith | OurWorld 2.0 | April 6, 2012

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03 April 2012

A Tour of the New Geopolitics of Global Warming

Climate change is already shaping conflicts around the world--and not for the better

By Joshua Zaffos and Daily Climate | Scientific American | April 2, 2012
Earth's northern hemisphere with sea ice and cloudsARCTIC ICE: Earth's northern hemisphere with sea ice and cloudsImage: Wikimedia Commons/Tryphon

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Indonesia court refuses to rule on peat swamp case

An Indonesian court has thrown out a lawsuit concerning the development of peat swamp forests that was brought by conservationists who fear for the fate of orangutans

The Associated Press in Times-Standard | April 3, 2012

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02 April 2012

As Fukushima Worsens, US Approves New Nukes

Nuclear Regulatory Commission OKs New Nuclear Plants in South Carolina

Common Dreams | March 30, 2012
The Vogtle nuclear power plant, which was given the first license since the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in 1979

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Massive Public Protest Spur France to Ban Plantings of Monsanto's MON810 GMO Corn

Last November, French authorities lifted a longtime ban that prohibited French farmers from planting MON810, a move that spurred nationwide backlash and protest

Jonathan Benson | Nation of Change | 1 April 2012

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31 March 2012

As Norway funds rainforest conservation, its pension fund invests in companies driving deforestation

At the same time that it is committing hundreds of millions of dollars a year to protecting rainforests, Norway is investing more than 13 billion dollars a year via its pension fund in dozens of companies linked to deforestation, alleges a new report from Rainforest Foundation Norway and Friends of the Earth Norway

mongabay.com | March 30, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

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Indonesia opposition parties block fuel price hike

Leading Indonesian political parties said on Friday they will oppose a government plan to raise fuel prices unless oil prices climb further, dealing a blow to the ruling party's efforts to control a swelling budget deficit in Southeast Asia's largest economy

Reuters | Mar 30, 2012

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Barefoot College and Microformers shine as innovative power solutions

Institutions like India's Barefoot College, which teaches women how to run and repair solar installations, and projects like Microformers, which converts old microwave ovens into transformers, show ways to generate cheap electricity in poor regions

By Pete Mercouriou | Global Envision in Christian Science Monitor | March 30, 2012
People install solar panels on the Saint-Michel health center and a fish hatchery in Boucan Carre, Haiti. The panels will provide the town with a dependable electricity supply for the first time. Only a quarter of Haiti's 10 million people has regular access to electricity. In 28 countries, Barefoot College is teaching people to harness solar power for electricity. Dieu Nalio Chery/AP/File

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A World Bank President Who's Not a Crony or a War Criminal?

On Friday, President Obama announced that he is nominating physician and Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank. This likely appointment was greeted with approval by many long-time critics of corporate globalization. And it came after an unprecedented level of debate about who should be the institution’s next president

By Mark Engler | Foreign Policy in Focus | March 30, 2012

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Expanding our moral universe

The United Nations University International Human Dimensions Programme recently ran a writing contest with a focus on the human dimensions of the Green Economy. Young scholars from all over the world were invited to submit their articles, with those from developing countries particularly encouraged to take part. Our World 2.0 is pleased to share the winning entry by Joy Merwin Monteiro who is currently completing his Ph.D. at the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore

by Joy Merwin Monteiro | OurWorld 2.0 | March 30, 2012

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30 March 2012

Up in smoke: ecological catastrophe in the Sumatran swamps

Fires raging unchecked in an Indonesian peat swamp forest could wipe out the remaining Sumatran orang-utans which live there, conservationists are warning

The Independent | 30 March 2012

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28 March 2012

The solar envelope: how to heat and cool cities without fossil fuels

Architects all over the world have demonstrated the usefulness of buildings which are heated and cooled by design rather than by fossil fuel energy

by Kris De Decker | Mar 26 2012 by Low-tech Magazine in Energy Bulletin | Mar 26 2012

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Global oil risks in the early 21st century

The Deepwater Horizon incident demonstrated that most of the oil left is deep offshore or in other locations difficult to reach. Moreover, to obtain the oil remaining in currently producing reservoirs requires additional equipment and technology that comes at a higher price in both capital and energy. In this regard, the physical limitations on producing ever-increasing quantities of oil are highlighted, as well as the possibility of the peak of production occurring this decade

by Dean Fantazzini, Mikael Höök, and André Angelantoni | Mar 27 2012 by The Oil Drum in Energy Bulletin | Mar 27 2012

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“REDD is just a project that the industrial countries use to try to keep their economic benefits”

Interview with Tejo Pramono, La Via Campesina and Elisha Kartini,Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI – Indonesian Farmers Union) at SPI’s office, Jakarta, February 2012

By Chris Lang | REDD-Monitor | 27th March 2012

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End of coal power plants? EPA proposes new rules

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed the first-ever standards to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants -- a move welcomed by environmentalists but criticized by some utilities as well as Republicans, who are expected to use it as election campaign fodder

By msnbc.com Staff | MSNBC | March 27, 2012
This coal-fired power plant is used by the city of Chicago, which last month decided to close it down by the end of 2014. A second coal plant will be closed by the end of this year. Chicago is the only large U.S. city with coal-fired power plants operating within its city limits. M. Spencer Green / AP

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A Clearer Picture of Tropical Carbon

Tropical forests, alongside boreal forests and wetlands, are prime ecosystems for storing carbon. Now, researchers have created a new high-resolution map of carbon storage in tropical forests that could play an important role in effective forest management

By DYLAN WALSH | The New York Times | March 27, 2012
Above-ground biomass in southern Asia. Dark green indicates the highest potential for carbon storage.Woods Hole Research CenterAbove-ground biomass in southern Asia and Oceania, based on data gathered by laser satellite technology. Dark green indicates the highest potential for carbon storage.

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26 March 2012

Do you believe in climate change?

This may seem like an odd question for a climate scientist to ask, but it is one I am constantly asked now. The typical discussion starts: “I know that the climate is changing, but hasn’t it always changed through natural cycles?” Then they will often give an example, such as the medieval warm period to prove their point

by Vicky Pope | OurWorld 2.0 |  March 26, 2012

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Palm oil case against 'Green Governor' in Indonesia heats up

Environmental activists have launched an urgent appeal calling for a "just decision" in a court case that has pitted Aceh's "Green Governor" and palm oil developers against efforts to save endangered orangutans in a Sumatran peat forest

Rhett A. Butler | mongabay.com | March 22, 2012
Sumatran orangutan in the Leuser rainforest. Photo by Rhett Butler.

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For peat’s sake, we need an overhaul of forestry aid

On 9 September 2007, Australian Ministers and the Indonesian President announced a $100 million Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership (KFCP). This would involve, it was declared, protecting 70,000 hectares of peat forests, re-flooding 200,000 hectares of dried peatland, and planting 100 million trees in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. What has happened to a project that was promised, as Minister Downer put it back in 2007, to make “a very real and very practical contribution to improving our environment” and yield “immediate and tangible results”?

By Erik Olbrei and Stephen Howes | Reneweconomy | 22 March 2012

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Popping the carbon bubble

How much ‘unburnable’ carbon is there on the world’s stock exchanges? Last year, the Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) published an analysis asking this question. CTI compared the global ‘carbon budget’ needed to stay below a rise of two degrees Celsius in average temperatures (above pre-industrial levels) with the emissions potential of the proven coal, oil and gas reserves owned by listed companies

James Leaton | Climate Spectator | 23 Mar 2012

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Japan left with one nuclear reactor after shutdown

Japan has shut down another nuclear power station, bringing it a step closer to suspending atomic energy, following the Fukushima disaster

BBC News Asia | 26 March 2012
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station is not currently in operation

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This March, at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC, I saw a documentary on the destruction of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, once the world’s fourth-largest inland lake. Soviet planners and decision makers fifty years ago decided to divert the two main tributary rivers of the Aral to grow cotton. Starved of fresh water inflows, the Aral Sea has shrunk to half its original surface area and lost 75% of its volume

by Brent Blackwelder | The Daly News | March 26, 2012

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RIP Exxon Valdez

For some Saturday’s Anniversary would have been a painful reminder of the reckless behaviour of Big Oil

Andy Rowell | Oil Change International | March 26, 2012

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The Delusions of Economics: The Misguided Certainties of a Hazardous Science

In “The Delusions of Economics”, Gilbert Rist presents a radical critique of neoclassical economics from a social and historical perspective

Zed Book | March 2012

24 November 2011


ISBN: 9781848139220
224 pages
216mm x 138mm


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25 March 2012

World’s First 6-MW Wind Turbine Constructed Offshore

The world’s first 6-MW offshore wind turbine went up in the North Sea this week. Wind company  REpower and C- Power NV, a Belgian offshore development company, installed the wind turbine, the first of 48 for the Thornton Bank II wind farm, which is being constructed approximately 28 kilometers off the Belgian coast

by Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica in Climate Progress | Mar 25, 2012

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Green energy alone won’t save the Earth without system change

The most popular techno-fix for global warming is green energy. If energy companies would only deploy wind, hydro, solar, geothermal or nuclear, then emission-intensive fossil fuels will eventually disappear. But will that actually work?

By Ian Angus | Climate & Capitalism in Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal | March 21, 2012

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'Greed is the Beginning of Everything'

In a SPIEGEL interview, Czech economist Tomas Sedlacek discusses morality in the current crisis and why he believes an economic policy that only pursues growth will always lead to debt. Those who don't know how to handle it, he argues, end up in a medieval debtor's prison, as the Greeks are experiencing today

SPIEGEL Online | March 23, 2012
Czech economist Tomas Sedlacek: "The demands of people are the curse of the gods." Czech economist Tomas Sedlacek: "The demands of people are the curse of the gods." Gunter Gluecklich / DER SPIEGEL

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24 March 2012

Blood, sweat and fears: the research scientists in Borneo's rainforests

Louise Murray joined an international team of research scientists in Borneo, where burrowing mites and enraged elephants are just part of a day's work

Louise Murray | guardian.co.uk | 23 March 2012
Research scientists in the Borneo rainforestTimm Döbert, Terhi Riutt, Ed Turner and some field assistants at work in Borneo. Photograph: Louise Murray for the Guardian

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