Browsing articles in " Energy "

Limits To Growth And Beyond – Part II

Affluence is a relative term in societal contexts because in each society standards there are rich and poor. But there are few in the world, as many from North as from South, who are rich by any standard. Similarly, despite raised standard of living, there are under-privileged people in both the developed and developing nations, people who lack jobs, health security, education, food and home. And there are a large number of people under famine, malnutrition, water and sanitation stress and vulnerable to diseases and death. When world economy collapses and industrial output plummets down the curve, it is the most vulnerable section of humanity that receives the mortal blow first. But for now, the Limits to Growth are felt by the affluent societies of the developed world more than the developing world.

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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.

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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 >>

The Final Choice

Last evening, in a friendly discussion with a scientist friend of mine, my idea of combating Climate Change by conscious human choice to change life-styles (with a drastic reduction of consumption) along with a conserver economy (with resource re-distribution to reduce stark differences in life style standards between the poor and rich nations – tackling poverty, malnutrition, lack of education amongst others) and effective environmental governance (managing deforestation, habitat loss, species extinction amongst others) came under serious scrutiny and criticism. While this is hardly a subject that can be discussed over a cup of coffee, the main objections that my learned friend put forward were these:

a) Human choice, in the context of life in general, is hardly conscious. A conscious choice demands a perfect informative perspective, which is a near impossibility. Therefore, humans can not consciously reduce consumption by sacrificing life styles they have gotten used to.

b) A conserver economy, by definition the one that produces just enough to be consumed by population with practically zero waste and with an emphasis on spending within means, is a freakonomy, particularly looking at a world obsessed with growth.

c) Effective Environmental Governance is an ‘ideal’ concept, not necessarily valid in a world which is far off from a consensus about the scale of the damage and it’s accountability between nations.

The questions are by no means trivial. I feel compelled to answer them. Read more >>

Why Solar Is Not Going To be The Future of Sustainability

This is in response to Line Leonhard’s proposal for giant solar energy generation plants in Saharan Africa somewhat in line with DESERTEC proposal, my doubts and extended clarification of both Line’s and my position on the issue. I promised her a full blog post on the issue, our differences and a possible convergence of ideas.

First off, I need to appreciate Line’s free thinking and audacity of hope. In my book she scores a perfect 10 for thinking outrageously originally. I am not here for mere reporting, and it’s a privilege to see human mind work creatively and ideas emerge like crystals. My objections and disagreement with Line’s ideas are based on views and not on spirit. In fact I liked her post very much and recommend it to everyone ( Invest in Sahara – Why Don’t Ya ?). 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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