Why is my rent so high? Mon Oct 31, 2016 18:51 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Review of Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises by Anwar Shaikh Sun Oct 30, 2016 16:21 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Electoralism vs Abstentionism (Or: Why You Should Run For Office) Fri Aug 26, 2016 17:07 | Slyvia Smith
Centrism extremism: how horseshoe-politics silences brutality Sat Jul 02, 2016 18:25 | yeksmesh
Of Tankies, Trots and Social Democrats Thu May 12, 2016 23:41 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
RTEs Mary Wilson: A woman with some brain…
Irish journalism: Suffering from a serious malaise Anthony
Brian Cowen: A political idiot Anthony
Hell at the Gates: A propaganda exercise Anthony
Breaking: New minister for investigative judges to be appointed Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Putin sends ?Chechen? special operation forces to Syria Fri Dec 09, 2016 05:26 | The Saker
This SITREP was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/putin-sends... Very interesting news today: according to the journal Izvestia, Russia will be sending operators from the so-called “Chechen” special forces battalions
Moveable Feast Cafe 2016/12/08 ? Open Thread Thu Dec 08, 2016 21:30 | Herb Swanson
2016/12/08 21:30:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Syrian War Report ? December 8, 2016: Russia Deploys Military Police To Syria Thu Dec 08, 2016 15:20 | The Saker
The 2016 ?Saker man of the year?: the American ?basket of deplorables? Thu Dec 08, 2016 14:42 | The Saker
Yeah, once again, I am going to engage in that silly business when I pretend that my blog is a “respectable media outlet” and, as such, to give myself the
His own man ? or someone?s puppet? Wed Dec 07, 2016 18:05 | mod editor
This comment was chosen by Mod KL from the post “Is Donald Trump really only a showman who will prepare the USA for war?”. The moderator feels this comment is
The Saker >>
Notes on Judge Harding-Clark?s Report on the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme. Thu Nov 24, 2016 17:50 | Máiréad Enright
The Practical Implications of Miller v SSEEU for Brexit: Nine Reflections Thu Nov 03, 2016 16:30 | Fiona de Londras
Having Our Voices Heard ? the Official Languages Act foreshadowing the Recognition of Irish Sign Lan... Wed Nov 02, 2016 09:35 | admin
Benefit Sanctions and Coercion Within the Irish Welfare System Thu Sep 22, 2016 13:38 | Cliodhna Murphy
The rights of the unborn: a troubling decision from the High Court? Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:42 | Máiréad Enright
Human Rights in Ireland >>
Cuba Flies Lone Flag for Sustainability
Thursday October 11, 2007 23:10 by Tech1.0
According to a new study on ecological sustainablity published in New Scientist, Cuba is showing the way on life in a post-oil world.
(from last week's New Scientist - I'm publishing this in the inter-national public interest...)
"We don’t need environmental evangelicals to tell us that sustainable development is a good idea. Yet, if that is our goal, we are heading in the wrong direction - with the exception of Cuba. So says the first study to examine the ecological impact of changing lifestyles around the globe.
We don’t need environmental evangelicals to tell us that sustainable development is a good idea. Yet, if that is our goal, we are heading in the wrong direction - with the exception of Cuba. So says the first study to examine the ecological impact of changing lifestyles around the globe.
An international team led by Mathis Wackernagel of the Global Footprint Network looked at how the living conditions and ecological footprints of 93 nations have changed in the last 30 years.
They used the ecological footprint (EF) index, a tool devised in 1993 by Wackernagel and William Rees, his PhD supervisor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. EF quantifies the area of land required to provide the infrastructure used by a person or a nation, the food and goods they consume, and to reabsorb the waste they produce, using available technology. This value can then be compared with the resources that are actually available to people on a regional or global scale. EF has become a popular index, and was used recently, for example, by conservation group WWF to calculate that two more planets would be needed to support everyone in the world in the manner of the average UK citizen.
However, rather than just measure consumption, Wackernagel and his colleagues wanted to measure how close countries are to developing in a sustainable way. The problem is that “sustainability” is an elusive concept. “Nobody dares to say what it actually means,” Wackernagel told New Scientist. “We believe we provided a robust measurement.”
For each nation with reliable data, they calculated how many planets would be needed to support the global population if everybody adopted that nation’s lifestyle as it was in 1978, and in 2003. They then expressed each figure as an Earth-equivalent ratio (EER) and plotted each value against the nation’s corresponding UN Human Development Index. The index is a score of between 0 and 1, and is a function of a country’s average life expectancy, adult literacy, level of schooling and per capita GDP.
To develop sustainably, the researchers assume a country must have an HDI of at least 0.8 and a maximum EER of 1 (see Diagram). A lower HDI would mean a nation is not developing adequately, while a higher EER means it is gobbling up too many resources.
By looking at each country’s historical trajectory, a clear pattern emerges. People everywhere have a better lifestyle, but their footprint is growing at a rate proportional to their wealth. Developed countries in particular have done very little to reduce their impact. Only one nation, Cuba, is developing sustainably, and probably not for long (Ecological Economics, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.08.017). “Cubans have high life expectancy and literacy, and were forced into a smaller footprint because of the oil embargo,” says Wackernagel. “But they are now economically more successful, and will tend to use more resources.”
Critics point out that EF calculations do not take into account issues such as pollution from certain toxic chemicals, and place too much reliance on others, such as carbon footprints, which may be alleviated by the invention of new technologies. Even so, “it’s a broad indicator of the direction things are moving, and it’s an excellent tool for communicating to the public and decision makers,” says Jan Vernon, who reviewed the validity of EF for the UK government.
The study, therefore, carries a credible message: we have all moved away from sustainability, and the world has entered ecological overshoot. “We have not taken sustainable development seriously,” Wackernagel concludes.
New Scientist link
Measuring sustainable development — Nation by nation (sciencedirect)
and for more on this theme check out the fascinating documentary below,
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil