Daily Archives: February 1, 2014

Davos 2014 – The Global Science Outlook

E120, e130,

Davos 2014 – The Global Agenda 2014

E120, e145,

Evening Notes February 1, 2014


Viewers respond to our food waste report.

E120, food-matters,

Approving Keystone XL could be the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency | Michael Mann

A State Department report fails to take into account the full climate impacts of Keystone XL. Who is Obama protecting?

Michael Mann  theguardian.com, Friday 31 January 2014 16.37 EST
I have made my position on the Keystone XL pipeline quite clear. Approving this hotly debated pipeline would send America down the wrong path. The science tells us now is the time that we should be throwing everything we have into creating a clean 21st century energy economy, not doubling down on the dirty energy that is imperiling our planet.

A Keystone XL protester in 2011. Photograph: Nati Harnik/AP

Now that the State Department has just released a final environmental impact report on Keystone XL, which appears to downplay the threat, and greatly increases the odds that the Obama administration will approve the project, I feel I must weigh in once again.

The simple fact is this: if Keystone XL is built, it will be easier to exploit fossil fuel reserves large enough to drastically destabilize the climate. A direct pipeline to refineries and global markets makes the business of polluting the atmosphere that much cheaper and easier.

The only truly accurate examination of the pipeline would include a full cost accounting its environmental footprint. It needs to take into account how much energy is consumed in refining and transporting the crude from oil sands. It must acknowledge that the pipeline would lower the cost and raise the convenience of extracting and exporting the incredibly carbon-intensive deposits of oil.

There are two main issues at stake in the Keystone XL decision: path dependency and US leadership. Path dependency is the term use to describe the fact that once a policy is put into place, it then constrains future options to those within that policy framework. More simply, the choices we make now determine what choices we get to make in the future.

A classic example is the “qwerty” keyboard layout. Even though this layout may not be the most efficient, it was the first one, and so it became the standard. New keyboard layouts would have to compete with an established format, meaning consumers would have to adapt to a new system they had no experience with. On the basis solely of legacy, inferior standards or policies remain in place, more or less out of inertia.

So, looking through the lens of path dependency, what does the Keystone XL project look like?

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Davos 2014 – Rethinking Global Food Security

World Economic Forum

Published on Jan 31, 2014

What environmental, societal and economic forces are reshaping the global context for food security?

Dimensions to be addressed:
– Changing climate and weather patterns
– Addressing demands of an emerging global middle class
– Strengthening efficient agricultural value chains

· Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria
· Shenggen Fan, Director-General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA; Global Agenda Council on Food Security
· Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Bharat Krishak Samaj (Farmers’ Forum India), India
· Ellen Kullman, Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, DuPont, USA
· Michel M. Liès, Group Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Re, Switzerland

Moderated by
· Rajiv J. Shah, Administrator, US Agency for International Development (USAID), USA; Young Global Leader Alumnus

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Tools for Citizen-Scientist Research – Keystone XL Pipeline – Documents

A “Google Scholar” search of articles related to Keystone XL pipeline.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics