Browsing articles tagged with " Distribution "

The Uncomfortable Truth

The time has come for you to see
That love is something else you practise it to be
The line is long
For you and me
That leads us to the very debt of our hearts
We’re still on the surface deceiving ourselves…

The Uncomfortable Truth  by NNEKA

This is a reworked old post. I hope that it did not lose it’s ‘punch’ in 15 months while it gathered 2657 page views in Think About It Water . I am inspired by Somnath’s comment in my last post ‘ Eradicate Excess Wealth alongside Poverty ‘ where he suspected my content as hard core communism, almost Pol Potish.

Any suggestion about examining limits of personal wealth is decidedly unlikable. Pol Pot is a fair measure of such distaste. Possibly communism as well. Read more >>

Eradicate Excess Wealth alongside Poverty

The world leaders will discuss sustainable development, the bedrock of 1992 Rio vision this June in Rio+20. A greater political convergence is urged by the UN for the matter because the ‘needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ has not gained much traction since the 1992 conference – largely because countries continued to equate development with economic growth, and sustainable development languished as a fringe environmental concern. Twenty years after Rio 1992, “sustainable development remains a generally agreed concept, rather than a day-to-day, on-the-ground, practical reality,” says a report by the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability.

May be Millennium Development Goals were set up prematurely, too? Read more >>

Why a Doughnut Now?

Kate Raworth Photo : IISD http://www.iisd.ca/

Kate Raworth is a Senior Researcher of Oxfam Great Britain. In a recent discussion paper she has proposed a metaphorical doughnut as a safe and just space for humanity to thrive (Full discussion paper can be downloaded here ). ‘Can we live within the doughnut?’ Kate asks, presenting a visual framework – shaped like a doughnut – which brings the concept of planetary boundaries together with the complementary concept of social boundaries, creating a safe and just space between the two, in which humanity can thrive.

​Kate argues primarily from the perspective of social equity and the foreword of her discussion paper says, ‘ Humanity’s challenge in the 21st century is to eradicate poverty and achieve a prosperity for all within the means of the planet’s limited natural resources. In the run-up to Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, this Discussion Paper is an exploration of what such a model of prosperity might look like.’ It also says, ‘ Moving into this safe and just space demands far greater equity – within and between countries – in the use of natural resources, and far greater efficiency in transforming those resources to meet human needs.’ Read more >>

Limits To Growth And Beyond – Part 1

In my post ‘ Darker side of growth ’ in European Journalism Centre I asked a question: In a pond if lotuses grow such that every next minute they double and if this minute the pond is half full, how long will it take for the lotuses to fill the pond?

While it sounded like a quiz to some, I intended to impress my readers about the scary aspect of exponential growth in any finite system. Such growth is certainly runaway and anything designed to grow in that manner is easily unsustainable. I cannot take Kenneth Boulding lightly. Meanwhile I found a more impressive audio visual way to carry the message home.

Read more >>

Can Water Dissolve Geo-Political Boundaries? Part 2

Transboundary Water Conflicts

Transboundary Water Conflicts are different from Water Conflicts. Water Conflicts are commonest of social and territorial disputes between ‘users’ of water in history. You can imagine the definition of ‘users’ as extensive as you want. Water is required for consumptive use (drinking, sanitation, washing, agriculture etc.) but it is also required for fishing, drainage, navigation, industry and ecology. The list of beneficiaries can be massive and for rivers at least the context of river basin can extend far from the flowing rivers. It is easy to understand that for such a valuable resource, different groups of people on account of their strategic locations of varying degrees of benefits will have differing interests which may conflict. Read more >>

Can Water Dissolve Geo-political Boundaries? Part 1

Water can dissolve material boundaries – well known

Water is known as universal ‘solvent’ as it can dissolve a lot of substances. This is a scientific fact but even if not very clearly realized, this scientific fact works subtly in our cultures and societies since prehistory. The whole idea of cleaning things by washing and letting the dirty water flow into streams or seas works on the idea that given sufficient ‘dissolution’ the ‘dirt’ will be rendered harmless. This is not untrue so to say, as it is easily understandable that when the concentration of a solute becomes negligibly low, the solution is considered effectively harmless and suitable for human use. For less scientifically oriented:

Solution = Solvent + Solute Read more >>

The Holy Grail Of Water Security

Water Security is a situation of reliable and secure access to water. When we project this definition on a national perspective things start to get really complex. Reliability of water source is dependent on few factors:

  • Population growth
  • Food production
  • Climatic change and variability
  • Land use
  • Water quality
  • Water demand
  • Sectoral resources and institutional capacity
  • Poverty and economic policy
  • Legislation and water resource management
  • International waters
  • Sectoral professional capacity
  • Political realities
  • Sociological issues Read more >>

Climate Change And Future Of Technology

“There can be no absolute reality, there can be no absolute truth”.                                  -Kevin Warwick

While we discuss the Climate Change mitigation through economic, social and political options available to us and also on being innovative to embrace a new life-style to lower our carbon foot-prints, technology, or more accurately low emission technology becomes one important aspect of that discussion. I do not personally feel that a blind faith on a technological ‘cure’ of Climate Change is wise, but science and technology have always remained one great window of human ingenuity and they can certainly come handy for effectively combating Climate Change. Read more >>

Why Occupy Wall Street When Your Life Is Not Yours Really?

About three years ago, when I was writing on Climate Change in THINK ABOUT IT platform run by European Journalism Center, I tried to address the waste problem of our consumer society by proposing ‘ want not, waste not’ . An interesting discourse followed, I could sense few skeptic grins and few eye-brows up in curves – but there were few who also saw my rationale. Sometimes you know the truth but you prefer not to confront it, because that’s not fashionable or politically correct. I love to be guileless. Read more >>

Consumption Ethics – A Utopia?

As questions are coming up increasingly regarding the constraints of Growth in a world of finite resources, there should now be some ethical limits of personal consumption. The consumer economy feeds on popular demand, sometimes the demand seems to be ‘manufactured’ (bottled water industry) and incredible choice of consumption that encourages one to consume without almost no sense of reasonability. In the past, I had a brief stint with TED Conversations and I pitched this idea to see what reaction it could possibly bring. There were not many reactions, everyone who chose not to challenge the idea preferred to circumvent the crux of the issue – a voluntary resignation from the consumer race. Perhaps the most honest sounding comment came from Simona Stoicesescu (yes I am not misspelling the last name) where she asked: ‘Why cannot everybody be wealthy? It is not limited stock. We are creating value. Wealth can be used to create jobs for people, meaning, chances for discoveries, solutions for bigger problems, wealth is good.’ While I disagreed with Simona, I would complement her with honest engagement with the question, though the connotations of wealth she was using was very different from what I was putting on debate. Another TEDster, Anshul Pandey discarded my idea (of a consumption ethic) as ‘Utopian’. Read more >>

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All opinions are solely those of the author. Reader's discretion necessary for using any of the contents of this website. (c) Pabitra Mukhopadhyay 2011
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