Skip to main content

Home/ Groups/ Sustainable Energy
Hans De Keulenaer

IndustRE: Flexibility for variable renewable energy in energy intensive industries - Yo... - 1 views

    The combination of demand-side management in industry and renewables provides a powerful recipe for decarbonisation.
Arabica Robusta

Climate Change Messaging: Avoid the Truth » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Na... - 0 views

  • Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger published the op-ed “Global Warming Scare Tactics” in the New York Times on April 8. Participants in recent debates over climate change may recognize their names. They’re the guys who run the Breakthrough Institute, a pseudo-contrarian “environmental research organization.”
  • While occasionally on point in its charges against the big organizations, the essay (based on interviews with mostly white male leaders of large national groups) had nothing to say about the environmental justice movement, or other grassroots groups led by women and people of color. It neglected as well the environmental movements of the Global South, today the heart of the climate justice movement.
  • Is fear of disruption of what Habermas calls the life-world the sole inducer of civic action? Of course not: social movements also cohere around other shared, negotiated understandings, identities, diagnoses of problems, and assessments of opportunities. Might fear paralyze rather than mobilize? Yes: in cases when the perceived threat appears impervious to resistance, and when commitment to the cause flags over time. Fear-based campaigns require a tangible evil: a draft card, a nuclear plant cooling tower, a polluting facility’s smoke plume, an Operation Rescue picket line.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Of the massive, coordinated, ongoing effort by Exxon-Mobil, the Koch brothers, and the Heartland Institute (et al.) to do to climate science what the Tobacco Institute did to cigarette science, Nordhaus and Shellenberger have only this to say, “Some conservatives and fossil-fuel interests questioned the link between carbon emissions and global warming.”

    There’s no mention of how under- and mis-educated TV weathermen have been central progenitors of climate change skepticism. There’s no acknowledgement of how Big Coal, Oil and Gas have bought off local and national legislators, stalled attempts to put forward even wimpy programs (like cap and trade), or underwritten NPR’s gushing embrace of fracking.

Arabica Robusta

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate review - Naomi Klein's powerful and ... - 0 views

  • Much of this book is concerned with showing that powerful and well-financed rightwing thinktanks and lobby groups lie behind the denial of climate change in recent years.
  • Klein interprets the marginalisation of climate change in the political process as the result of the machinations of corporate elites. These elites “understand the real significance of climate change better than most of the ‘warmists’ in the political centre, the ones who are still insisting that the response can be gradual and painless and that we don’t need to go to war with anybody… The deniers get plenty of the details wrong… But when it comes to the scope and depth of change required to avert catastrophe, they are right on the money.”
  • Klein is a brave and passionate writer who always deserves to be heard, and this is a powerful and urgent book that anyone who cares about climate change will want to read. Yet it is hard to resist the conclusion that she shrinks from facing the true scale of the problem. When I read The Shock Doctrine (Guardian review headline: “The end of the world as we know it”), I was unconvinced that corporate and political elites understood what they were doing in promoting the wildly leveraged capitalism of that time, which was already beginning to implode. The idea that corporate elites are in charge of the world is even less convincing today. The neoliberal order has recovered, and in some countries even achieved a spurious kind of stability, but only at the cost of worsening global conflicts.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • Another problem with pinning all the blame for climate crisis on corporate elites is that humanly caused environmental destruction long predates the rise of capitalism.
  • Though she identifies the prevailing type of capitalism as the culprit in the climate crisis, Klein doesn’t outline anything like an alternative economic system, preferring instead to focus on particular local struggles against environmental damage and exploitation. In many ways this makes sense, but in a global environment of intensifying scarcities, giving priority to local needs is unlikely to be a recipe for harmony. Whether in the Congo in the 1960s or Iraq at the present time, internecine conflicts – exploited and aggravated by the geopolitical stratagems of great powers – have led to a condition of endemic war.
  • Throughout This Changes Everything, Klein describes the climate crisis as a confrontation between capitalism and the planet. It would be more accurate to describe the crisis as a clash between the expanding demands of humankind and a finite world, but however the conflict is framed there can be no doubt who the winner will be. The Earth is vastly older and stronger than the human animal.
Arabica Robusta

The Anthropocene Myth | Jacobin - 0 views

  • Who’s driving us toward disaster? A radical answer would be the reliance of capitalists on the extraction and use of fossil energy. Some, however, would rather identify other culprits.

    The earth has now, we are told, entered “the Anthropocene”: the epoch of humanity. Enormously popular — and accepted even by many Marxist scholars — the Anthropocene concept suggests that humankind is the new geological force transforming the planet beyond recognition, chiefly by burning prodigious amounts of coal, oil, and natural gas.

  • The important thing to note here is the logical structure of the Anthropocene narrative: some universal trait of the species must be driving the geological epoch that is its own, or else it would be a matter of some subset of the species. But the story of human nature can come in many forms, both in the Anthropocene genre and in other parts of climate change discourse.
  • Giving short shrift to all the talk of a universal human evildoer, she writes, “We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe — and would benefit the vast majority — are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • So how do the critics respond? “Klein describes the climate crisis as a confrontation between capitalism and the planet,” philosopher John Gray counters in the Guardian. “It would be be more accurate to describe the crisis as a clash between the expanding demands of humankind and a finite world.”
  • It is perfectly logical that advocates of the Anthropocene and associated ways of thinking either champion false solutions that steer clear of challenging fossil capital — such as geoengineering in the case of Mark Lynas and Paul Crutzen, the inventor of the Anthropocene concept — or preach defeat and despair, as in the case of Kingsnorth.
Arabica Robusta

Why the GOP's Attack on Obama's Climate Plan Will Probably Fail | Mother Jones - 0 views

  • But for now, there's a pretty good chance today's hearing was just a warm-up round for a much more serious fight yet to come. At this point, says Sierra Club chief counsel Joanne Spalding, the EPA's opponents "are trying to derail a train that's still in the station." 
Arabica Robusta

Water, Capitalism and Catastrophism » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names th... - 0 views

  • Taking the holistic view, one can understand how some of the most basic conditions of life are threatened by a basic contradiction. Civilization, the quintessential expression of Enlightenment values that relies on ever-expanding energy, threatens to reduce humanity to barbarism if not extinction through exactly such energy production.
  • or every farmer or rancher who has leased his land for drilling, there are many homeowners living nearby who get nothing but the shitty end of the stick: pollution, noise and a loss of property value.
  • What gives the film its power is the attention paid to people like Stevens who organized petition drives and showed up at town council meetings to voice their opposition to fracking. They look like Tea Party activists or Walmart shoppers, mostly white and plain as a barn door, but they know that they do not want drilling in their townships and are willing to fight tooth and nail to prevent it. For all of the left’s dismay about its lack of power, the film’s closing credits reveal that there are 312 local anti-fracking groups in Pennsylvania made up of exactly such people who will likely be our allies as the environmental crisis deepens.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • In the collection “Catastrophism: The Apocalyptic Politics of Collapse and Rebirth”, Eddie Yuen takes issue with an “apocalyptic” streak in exactly such articles since they lead to fear and paralysis. A good deal of his article appears to take issue with the sort of analysis developed by Naomi Klein, a bugbear to many convinced of the need to defend “classical” Marxism against fearmongering. Klein is a convenient target but the criticisms could easily apply as well to Mike Davis whose reputation is unimpeachable.

    Klein’s latest book has served to focus the debate even more sharply as her critics accuse her of letting capitalism off the hook.

  • While I am inclined to agree with Malm that it is the drive for profit that explains fracking and all the rest, and that the benefits of energy production are not shared equally among nations and social classes, there is still a need to examine “civilization”. If we can easily enough discard the notion of the “Anthropocene” as the cause of global warming, the task remains: how can the planet survive when the benefits of bestowing the benefits of “civilization” across the planet so that everyone can enjoy the lifestyle of a middle-class American (or German more recently) remains the goal of socialism?
  • Ironically, this was the same argument made in the NY Times on April 14th by Eduardo Porter in an article titled “A Call to Look Past Sustainable Development”. He refers to the West’s environmental priorities blocking the access to energy in countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia now flocking to China’s new infrastructure investment bank that will most certainly not be bothered by deforestation, river blockage by megadams, air pollution and other impediments to progress.
  • Yuen’s article is filled with allusions to Malthusianism, a tendency I have seen over the years from those who simply deny the existence of ecological limits. While there is every reason to reject Malthus’s theories, there was always the false hope offered by the Green Revolution that supposedly rendered them obsolete. In 1960 SWP leader Joseph Hansen wrote a short book titled “Too Many Babies” that looked to the Green Revolution as a solution to Malthus’s theory but it failed to account for its destructive tendencies, a necessary consequence of using chemicals and monoculture.
  • To think of a way in which homo sapiens and the rest of the animal and vegetable world can co-exist, however, will become more and more urgent as people begin to discover that the old way of doing things is impossible.
Hans De Keulenaer

Renewable energy in Europe - approximated recent growth and knock-on effects - European... - 3 views

  • This report introduces several methods the European Environment Agency (EEA) has developed for assessing and communicating early RES growth and the important knock-on effects that RES growth has on the energy sector and related areas. The report provides specific information at EU and country level on estimated RES progress in 2013, estimated gross avoided carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and avoided fossil fuel use due to the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, as well as an assessment of the statistical impacts of growing RES use on primary energy consumption.
1 - 20 of 3224 Next › Last »
Showing 20 items per page