Canadians could free themselves from oil imports, but will they?

Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights

You are not alone if you think it's odd that Canada--the world's ninth largest exporter of crude oil and petroleum products and the main supplier of oil imports to the United States--is itself a longtime oil importer, importing more than 40 percent of its oil needs this year. That may be set to change.

archived October 21, 2012

Why natural gas isn’t likely to be the world’s energy savior

Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World

We keep hearing about the many benefits of natural gas–how burning. But people who are counting on natural gas to solve the world’s energy problems are “counting their chickens before they are hatched.”

archived October 20, 2012

Inequality or equality?

Cecile Andrews, City Living Seattle

The wealth gap in this country is huge and growing larger. What surprises me is that we’re not looking more deeply into the issue. We don’t really understand how big the wealth gap is and what wealth inequality does to us.

archived October 18, 2012

Nature's matrix: Linking agriculture, conservation and food sovereignty

Ian Angus, Climate and capitalism

In any discussion of biodiversity and species extinction, someone insists that overpopulation is the problem. More people equals more farms equals less wilderness equals more extinctions. Life is a zero-sum game: you can have people and farming OR wildlife and biodiversity, but not both.

For a convincing antidote to such views, I highly recommend Nature’s Matrix, an important book by ecologists Ivette Perfecto, John Vandermeer and Angus Wright.

archived October 19, 2012

Igniting a learning revolution

Isak Stoddard, Eva Friman, Ingrid Rieser, and Sara Andersson, Solutions Journal

"If still more education is to save us, it would have to be education of a different kind: an education that takes us into the depth of things." E.F. Schumacher

archived October 19, 2012

Transition Chicago and Accelerate 77: working with Chicago’s Communities

Naresh Giangrande, Transition Network

I was recently in Chicago, America’s great mid western city, doing a Train the Trainers for US folks, and had the opportunity of talking with Karen Snyder of Transition Chicago, and the Institute for Cultural Affairs (ICA).

archived October 19, 2012

Degrowth offers alternative to global consumer culture

Worldwatch Institute Staff, Transition Voice

If everyone lived like the average American, according to the Global Footprint Network, the Earth could sustain only 1.7 billion people — a quarter of today’s population — without undermining the planet’s physical and biological systems. Over-consumption in industrialized societies and among developing world elites causes lasting environmental and human impacts.

archived October 19, 2012

Bioplastics: Are They the Solution?

Sarah "Steve" Mosko, Culture Change

ImageBioplastics are simply plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, like plants and microorganisms, whereas conventional plastics are synthesized from non-renewable fossil fuels, either oil or natural gas. It’s a common misconception, however, that a bioplastic necessarily breaks down better in the environment than conventional plastics.

Bioplastics are nevertheless marketed as being better for the environment, so how do they really compare?

archived October 19, 2012

Karuk Tribe: Learning from the First Californians for the Next California

Manuel Pastor, Alternet

The three sovereign entities in the United States are the federal government, the states and indigenous tribes, but according to Bill Tripp, a member of the Karuk Tribe in Northern California, many people are unaware of both the sovereign nature of tribes and the wisdom they possess when it comes to issues of climate change and natural resource management.

archived October 19, 2012

ODAC Newsletter Oct 19

ODAC staff, Oil Depletion Analysis Centre

Oil prices remained steady this week as the closure of the Keystone pipeline in the US to address possible safety issues balanced bearish news on the Chinese economy. Beijing reported that Q3 saw growth slow to 7.4%, compared to the same period last year.

archived October 19, 2012