A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability
Vol. 12, No. 5, May 2016|
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
Best Practices for Solidarity and Sustainability
1. Local, National, and Global Citizen Movements
"The term Global Citizens Movement (GCM) refers to a profound shift in values among an aware and engaged citizenry. Transnational corporations, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) remain powerful actors, but all of these are deeply influenced by a coherent, worldwide association of millions of people who call for priority to be placed on new vales of quality of life, human solidarity, and environmental sustainability. It is important to note that the GCM is a socio-political process rather than a political organization or party structure." Global Citizens Movement (GCM), Encyclopedia of Earth, November 2007.
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Peter Willets, UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, 2006.
- Global Citizens Movement (GCM), Encyclopedia of Earth, November 2007.
- Earth Charter Initiative, ECI, 2009.
- The Widening Circle, TWC, 2011.
- The Access Initiative, TAI, 2011.
- Advancing a Global Citizens Movement, Paul Raskin, Kosmos, Spring-Summer 2011.
- Moving Planet Worldwide Rally, 24 September 2011.
- Here's What The Wall Street Protesters Are So Angry About, Henry Blodget, Business Insider, 11 October 2011.
How to Turn the Power of the Wall Street Protests into Real Reforms
by Brent Blackwelder, Daly News, 24 October 2011.
This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement, David Korten, Yes! Magazine, 16 November 2011.
- Signs of the Times, Jessica Lehrman, Grist, 26 November 2011.
- What Does it Mean to be a Global Citizen?, Ronald C. Israel, Kosmos Journal, Summer 2012.
- The Global Citizen Manifesto, Global Citizen, 25 June 2014.
- Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement, WBGU, 17 September 2014.
- Global Poverty Project (GPP): Where Will You Be In 2015?, GPP, 2015.
- The Global Citizens' Initiative (TGCI): Building A Sustainable World Community For All, TGCI, 2015.
- Young Environmental and Social Development Practitioners, YoungProfsNet, 30 June 2015.
PEOPLE'S ACTION AT THE EARTH SUMMIT
Occupy Rio+20 - People’s Petition
We, members of the Occupy movement and civil society, highlight the critical window of opportunity at the Earth Summit to vastly scale up political, financial & public response to the environmental, social & economic crisis of our time, & to raise ambition to the level that science demands. We are exceeding 3 of 9 planetary boundaries (climate change; biodiversity loss; changes to the nitrogen cycle) and our economy has outgrown the ecosystems we depend on. We denounce debt-created money and demand urgent regulation for a steady-state economy. We vow to respect and protect the beauty and diversity of life on Earth, realising our interconnectedness with nature. Governments, corporations and financial institutions must wake up and dramatically prioritise people & the planet over abusive exploitation for short-term profit & “growth”.
In defence of our rights, freedoms & future, we call for:
1. A direct participatory democratic UN: inclusive rights-based global decision-making; open-source communications. Prioritise youth, women, marginalised voices & civil society formally in negotiations.
2. Ending corporate capture of the UN: end compromising partnerships & transfer of officials. Exclude business lobbyists from talks. Expose & prohibit the bullying & bribing of poor nations by rich nations.
3. Realisation of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by increased cooperation, commitment, funding & resources, strengthening the Millennium Goals (MDGs) & cancelling unjust poor country debt.
4. Peace & demilitarization, democratising the UN Security Council, a binding global arms treaty, SDG on peace & conflict, nuclear disarmament by 2030 & transfer funds to local sustainable development.
5. A Financial Transaction Tax, abolition of tax havens & a Global Carbon Fee on extraction of fuels, to transparently & equitably fund life-saving adaptation solutions, prioritising resilience & climate justice.
6. Ending fossil fuel subsidies now & extraction by 2020. Invest in non-nuclear Renewable Energy for All: global wind/solar/small-hydro/geo-energy; efficient stoves; zero carbon global electricity by 2030.
7. Outlawing Ecocide as the 5th International Crime Against Peace: prosecute destruction of ecosystems e.g. tar sands, oil spills, mountaintop removal, fracking. Protect the commons & Rights of Mother Earth.
8. Zero deforestation of Amazon rainforest by 2015 & globally by 2020. Rejection of pricing & trading nature, including forests, water & the atmosphere; and rejection of offsetting damage/destruction.
9. Food & water sovereignty & security. Ban land grabs. Protect Indigenous peoples’ land rights. Switch support for biofuels & industrial, chemical & GM agriculture to small organic farming & permaculture.
10. Indicators beyond GDP: measure wellbeing, participation, environmental health, socio-economic equity, gender equality, employment, provision for needs/services, protection of rights, & peace.
This is what democracy looks like. This is Harmony with Nature. This is the Future We Need for a just, resilient, thriving world. Join Global Days of Action on June 5th & 20th to raise our voice to challenge & bring hope to Rio+20.
A high priority of global citizenship is education, either informally through personal contacts and public means of communication such as the internet, or more formally via programs sponsored by educational institutions. At a time when both developed and developing nations seem to be engulfed in political and financial corruption, education in noviolence is especially important. If a global revolution is coming, let it be a nonviolent revolution!
If a global revolution is coming, let it be a nonviolent revolution!
2. Education for Sustainable Development
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) worldwide - at all levels - is a high priority. UNESCO has a worldwide program, but universities and other educational institutions must contribute. The family is the best school of sustainable human development.
- Sustainable Development Solutions Network: Educational Resources (SDSN.EDU)
- UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
- The Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University is offering the following educational resource:
The Social Science Library (SSL), which is a contribution to the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development, contains over 3,400 full-text journal articles, book chapters, reports, and working papers in Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Social Psychology, Sociology and Political Science. To browse the SSL collection online, click here. Note: This resource is also available in UBS/CD format.
To inquire about getting/distributing this resource,
visit the GDAE SSL website or write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The EveryAware Project, European Union. "EveryAware is an EU project intending to integrate environmental monitoring, awareness enhancement and behavioral change by creating a new technological platform combining sensing technologies, networking applications and data-processing tools."
- Global Systems Science Education, University of California - Berkeley. "Global Systems Science, a science course for grades 9-12, focuses on science-related societal issues. 12 books, teacher guides, and software can support a 1-year integrated science course or supplement existing biology, physics, chemistry, Earth science, or environmental science."
- Climate Change Education. "Portal Web Site Dedicated to: Global Warming Education, Climate Change Science Education, Science, Solutions -- Directory of Vetted Resources & Programs. For Teachers, Students, Parents, Families, Education Programs, Everyone."
- Global Warming for Kids. "Great links for kids on global warming, climate change, etc."
- DegrowthPedia. "A new collaborative platform for information and education about degrowth."
- Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation. "Promotes awareness of the importance of sustainability education to help schools and school districts make sustainability an ongoing part of education."
Contributions to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, Walter Leal Filho et al. (Editors), Peter Lang, January 2012.
- Teaching Aids on Controlling Climate Change, Bert Metz, European Climate Foundation, 16 January 2012.
- Education for sustainable development – preserving linguistic and cultural diversity, UNESCO Media Services, 20 February 2012.
- Themed Edition on
The Geography of Sustainabilty, Journal of Sustainability Education, March 2012.
Education booklets on Sustainable Development, Green Changemakers, March 2012.
- The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development, Earth Charter, Peace University, Costa Rica, 27 March 2012.
- Global Education for Gender Equality and Sustainable Human Development: Making the Connections, Aurora Javate de Dios, Knowledge Lover, 16 August 2012.
- Beyond 2012: The Future We Want “To Create”, UN CSD Education Caucus, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2012.
- Smart Education: KOMUNIKI Launches Pro Bono Global Education Initiative with eBook-based trainings for iPad, iPhone, Android, PC&Co, Komuniki Project, 23 January 2013.
- Sustainability: Environmental puzzle solvers, Amanda Mascarelli, Nature, 27 February 2013.
- How not what: teaching sustainability as process, E. Melanie DuPuis & Tamara Ball, SSPP, Winter 2013.
- Climate Change Coming To Classrooms, Jennifer Ludden, NPR, 27 March 2013.
- Promote Girls Education: Global Education Campaign, Alula Berhe Kidani, Sudan Vision, 19 May 2013.
- Post-2015 Focus on Sustainable Development: How Education and Learning Can Play a Role, Allison Anderson, Brookings Institution, 20 May 2013.
- Sustainability Matters in the Battle for Talent, Jenny Davis-Peccoud, Harvard Business review, 20 May 2013.
- Importance of Education for Sustainable Development, Ajita Nayar, EWF-WWF, 29 September 2013.
- The Virtual University Environment & Sustainable Development (UVED), Open Education Europa, October 2013.
- , UNESCO, Paris, 2013.
- The Age of Sustainable Development - Course Description, Outline, Video, and References, Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University, 21 January 2014.
- A University for Sustainable Development, Mary Joy Simpao, Philippine Information Agency, 20 February 2014.
- Education for Sustainable Development, Casey Danson, Global Possibilities, 25 February 2014.
- Educating for Sustainable Development, Hirotsugu Terasaki, Global Geopolitics & Political Economy, 25 February 2014.
- Ready for the Age of Sustainable Development? This Free Online Course Will Get You Sorted, Sustainability Leaders, 15 March 2014.
- FAQ: Education for Sustainable Development, UNU-IAS, 17 April 2014.
- Sixth Annual Sustainability Education Symposium at Prescott College, Journal of Sustainability Education, Prescott College, 16-17 May 2014.
- 2014: The State of the Field, Journal of Sustainability Education, Prescott College, Spring 2014.
- Interactive Introduction to Sustainable Development – Board Games and Interactive Lectures, Jon-Erik Dahlin, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, Scheduled for Fall 2014.
- Producing postgraduates for sustainable development, Munyaradzi Makoni, University World News, 22 August 2014.
- Sustainable Development Goes Massively Online As EdCast Launches With Sustainability Expert Jeffrey Sachs, Jonathan Shieber, Tech Crunch, 3 September 2014.
- Programs on Education for Sustainable Development by the Earth Charter Initiative, SWEDESD, 23 September 2014.
- How can education systems become equitable by 2030?, Pauline Rose and Benjamin Alcott, HEART, August 2015.
- Shaping the future we want: Education for sustainability, GIAN-Ecology, EcoJesuit, 31 August 2015.
- Education: A Strategic, Systems-based, Integrated Sustainability Initiative (ASSISI), Catholic Earth Care, Australia, GCCM, 30 October 2015.
ESD best practices should include practical (and field tested) means to advance public policy for sustainable development. It is hoped that ESD will overcome the ambiguity of the term "sustainable development" to make it clear that infinite growth in a finite planet is a practical impossibility in the long-term. What really matters going forward is "sustainable human development."
3. Net Energy and Energy Return on Investment (EROI)
At each point in the energy supply chain:
NET ENERGY = ENERGY GAINED - ENERGY SPENT
(in energy units, eg., MegaJoules)
ENERGY RETURN ON INVESTMENT = ENERGY GAINED / ENERGY SPENT
Thus, Net Energy and Energy Return on Investment (EROI) -- or Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) -- are conceptually the same measure. Generally, EROI is closely correlated with "financial return on financial energy investment" -- a measure of financial return in dollars -- as long as "constant [year] dollars" are used.
ENERGY RETURN ON ENERGY INVESTED (EROEI, also abbreviated as EROI)
"Energy Return on Investment (EROI) refers to how much energy is returned from one unit of energy invested in an energy-producing activity. It is a critical parameter for understanding and ranking different fuels. There were a number of studies on EROI three decades ago but relatively little work since. Now there is a whole new interest in EROI as fuels get increasingly expensive and as we attempt to weigh alternative energies against traditional ones. This special volume brings together a whole series of high quality new studies on EROI, as well as many papers that struggle with the meaning of changing EROI and its impact on our economy. One overall conclusion is that the quality of fuels is at least as important in our assessment as is the quantity. I argue that many of the contemporary changes in our economy are related directly to changing EROI as our premium fuels are increasingly depleted." Charles Hall, Introduction to Special Issue on New Studies in EROI (Energy Return on Investment), Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 10, 7 October 2011.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF ENERGY RESOURCES
As the time window of opportunity may be shorter than expected, it is imperative to work out short-term energy strategies in conjunction with long-term strategies. A 2009 study by Richard Heinberg and the Post-Carbon Institute includes a comparative analysis of 18 energy sources according to 10 criteria, as follows:
Searching for a Miracle: ‘Net Energy’ Limits & the Fate of Industrial Society|
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, September 2011
3) Natural gas
7) Wind Power
8) Solar Photovoltaics
9) Active Solar Thermal
10) Passive Solar|
11) Geothermal Energy
12) Energy from Waste
15) Tar Sands
16) Oil Shale
17) Tidal Power
Criteria for comparative analysis:
1) Direct Monetary Cost|
2) Dependence on Additional Resources
3) Environmental Impacts
5) Potential Size or Scale of Contribution
6) Location of the Resource|
8) Energy Density
10)"Net Energy" or "Energy Returned on Energy Invested" (EROEI)
The tenth criterion, "Net Energy" or "Energy Returned on Energy Invested" (EROEI), is critical: "This
measure focuses on the key question: All things considered, how much more energy does a system
produce than is required to develop and operate that system? What is the ratio of energy in versus
energy out? Some energy “sources” can be shown to produce little or no net energy. Others are only
A summary of the results is as follows:
Comparison of Fuel Sources, Post-Carbon Institute, 2009
"The present analysis, which takes into account EROEI and other limits to available energy
sources, suggests first that the transition is inevitable and necessary (as fossil fuels are rapidly depleting
and are also characterized by rapidly declining EROEI), and that the transition will be neither easy
nor cheap. Further, it is reasonable to conclude from what we have seen that a full replacement of
energy currently derived from fossil fuels with energy from alternative sources is probably impossible
over the short term; it may be unrealistic to expect it even over longer time frames.
"The core problem, which is daunting, is this: How can we successfully replace a concentrated
store of solar energy (i.e., fossil fuels, which were formed from plants that long ago bio-chemically
captured and stored the energy of sunlight) with a flux of solar energy (in any of the various forms in
which it is available, including sunlight, wind, biomass, and flowing water)? ...
"Based on all that we have discussed, the clear conclusion is that the world will almost certainly
have considerably less energy available to use in the future, not more, though (regrettably) this strong
likelihood is not yet reflected in projections from the International Energy Agency or any other
notable official source. Fossil fuel supplies will almost surely decline faster than alternatives can be
developed to replace them. New sources of energy will in many cases have lower net energy profiles
than conventional fossil fuels have historically had, and they will require expensive new infrastructure
to overcome problems of intermittency...
"How far will supplies fall, and how fast? Taking into account depletion-led declines in oil and natural
gas production, a leveling off of energy from coal, and the recent shrinkage of investment in the
energy sector, it may be reasonable to expect a reduction in global energy availability of 20 percent
or more during the next quarter century. Factoring in expected population growth, this implies substantial
per-capita reductions in available energy. These declines are unlikely to be evenly distributed
among nations, with oil and gas importers being hardest hit, and with the poorest countries seeing
energy consumption returning to pre-industrial levels (with energy coming almost entirely from
food crops and forests and work being done almost entirely by muscle power).
"Thus, the question the world faces is no longer whether to reduce energy consumption, but how.
Policy makers could choose to manage energy unintelligently (maintaining fossil fuel dependency
as long as possible while making poor choices of alternatives, such as biofuels or tar sands, and
insufficient investments in the far more promising options such as wind and solar). In the latter case,
results will be catastrophic. Transport systems will wither (especially ones relying on the most energy intensive
vehicles—such as airplanes, automobiles, and trucks). Global trade will contract dramatically,
as shipping becomes more costly. And energy dependent food systems will falter, as chemical
input and transport costs soar. All of this could in turn lead to very high long-term unemployment
and perhaps even famine.
"However, if policy makers manage the energy downturn intelligently, an acceptable quality of life
could be maintained in both industrialized and less-industrialized nations at a more equitable level
than today; at the same time, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced dramatically. This would
require a significant public campaign toward the establishment of a new broadly accepted conservation
ethic to replace current emphases on neverending growth and over-consumption at both
personal and institutional-corporate levels."
These conclusions are confirmed by many independent analyses done as far back as the 1970s and as recent as January 2012. The data is noisy, but the signal is always strong and always the same: barring a technological miracle (or an "act of God") it does not appear possible to replace fossil fuels with any or all of the renewable ("clean") sources and maintain the same rate of energy flow through an industrial economy. This brings to mind the applicability of the precautionary principle to the energy availability situation worldwide.
EROI TRADEOFF ANALYSIS FOR TRANSITION PLANNING
With proper funding, it might be possible to use biophysical input-output analysis to explore energy policy tradeoffs going forward. For a given year, let
X = n-dimensional total production vector ($)
U = n-dimensional final demand vector ($)
A = NxN matrix of direct inputs (i.e., aij = input from industry i to industry j)
Note that the n industries include the energy extraction, production, and delivery sectors, as well as the pollution abatement and environmental remediation sectors. The basic Leontief equation for total required production is
X = AX + U
X - AX = U
(I-A) X = U
X = (I-A)-1U
Let, for a given energy resource r,
Y = n-dimensional industry energy input vector (i.e., production energy intensity vector, y=1,...,n, in joules/dollar), and
Z = n-dimensional public consumption output vector (i.e., consumption energy intensity vector, z=1,...,n, in joules/dollar)
Then, for the total economy,
is the total amount of energy resource r (in $ . joules/$ = joules) required by the economy during the year, taking into account both direct and indirect inter-industry energy flow requirements; and
Ey = X . Y
is the total amount of energy resource r (in $ . joules/$ = joules) used by consumers of all products during the year.
Ez = U . Z
One problem with input-output analysis in economics is that the interindustry coefficients are in dollars of input from industry i to dollars of output by industry j. Given the volatility of monetary issues (inflation, deflation, politics, etc.), data in dollars are always problematic. From the perspective of biophysical economics, it would be preferable to use coefficients in physical units, i.e., the ratio of units of industry i input to units of industry j output. This would allow for analysis of technological tradeoffs with much of the "noise" filtered out. Dollar conversions can then be applied to translate EROI results (in biophysical units) to financial return on investment in dollars. While input-out models provide a static "snapshot" model of the economy at a given point in time, the biophysical coefficients could be formulated as functions of time in order to take into account the time required for technological changes to be implemented.
Given the technological complexities and social risks of a transition from a high-EROI to a low-EROI economy (as painfully experienced, for example, in Cuba during the early 1990s and North Korea during the early 2000s, both due to unanticipated oil shortages) it is arguably reasonable to spend significant effort (and dollars) in developing better analytical tools to ease the pain.
OTHER ANALYTICAL METHODS FOR ENERGY POLICY ASSESSMENT
The input-output method of analysis is static, i.e., it is based on a "snapshot" of the economy at a given point in time. It is most useful when detailed (and short-term) comparative evaluation of specific energy sources and technologies are required -- oil versus coal, oil versus wind, oil versus solar, etc. Even in such cases, the data refinement effort pursuant to make the interindustry coefficients time-dependent may or may not be possible.
A broader analysis may be required in order to include long-term dynamic interactions between social, economic, and environmental variables in conjunction with plausible energy transition scenarios. Then analysis at a higher level of aggregation might be indicated, and it may be more expedient to use simulation models such as Limits to Growth -- with "resources" more specifically reformulated as "energy resources" -- to examine the repercussions of the transition from high-EROI to low-EROI economies and lifestyles. There is a need for "Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil." This is the kind of analysis that will be attempted with SDSIM 2.0.
The social-economic-ecological system is too complex for any single method of analysis, or any combination of existing methods. The best practice is to start with the policy questions or issues to be addressed and use the method(s) that would yield the best insights for consideration by citizens and policy makers. In this regard, the recently emerging method of behavioral economics is promising and may be useful to capture changing patterns of human decision-making during the transition from high-EROI to low-EROI societies.
Another good practice is to recognize that modelers are scientists, not policy makers or problem solvers. Modelers are scientists using models and simulation experiments to test a hypothesis under "controlled" conditiones that may or may not to amenable to replication in the real world. There must be constant dialogue between scientists and decision-makers. But conflating science and decision-making generally exacerbates confusion and seldom leads to practical solutions.
- Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment, Green Design Institute, Carnegie-Mellon University, 1997-present.
- IPAT Equation (Ehrlich's Equation),Marian Chertow, Encyclopedia of Earth, 18 November 2008.
- NAICS Industry Classification, BEA, US department of Commerce, 1997-present.
- Transition Scenarios, Global Transition Initiative (GTI), 1996-present.
- World Energy to 2050: A Half Century of Decline, Paul Chefurka, The Oil Drum, 10 November 2007.
- Powering Civilization to 2050, Stuart Staniford, The Oil Drum, 28 January 2008.
- Benchmark Assessment of Sustainable Engineering Education, Center for Sustainable Engineering and EPA, 2008.
- Energy Return on Investment (EROI), Nate Hagens, The Oil Drum, Part 1 of 6-1 April 2008, Part 2 of 6-8 April 2008, Part 3 of 6-15 April 2008, Part 4 of 6-22 April 2008, Part 5 of 6-29 April 2008, Part 6 of 6-14 May 2008.
- Continuously Less and Less—The New American Reality, Chris Clugston, Wake Up Amerika, 2009.
- Searching for a Miracle: ‘Net Energy’ Limits & the Fate of Industrial Society, Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, September 2009.
- Center for Sustainable Engineering, Partnership of Syracuse University (lead institution), Arizona State University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas at Austin, 2009-present.
- Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil, Charles A. Hall and John W. Day, American Scientist, Vol. 97, May-June 2009.
- Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, Tim Jackson, Earthscan, 2009.
- World Energy Consumption, EIA USDOE, 2010.
- The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment, Richard H. Moss et al., Nature, Vol. 463, 11 February 2010.
- Earth System Science for Global Sustainability: Grand Challenges, W. V. Reid et al, Science, Vol. 330, 12 November 2010.
- Increasing Global Nonrenewable Natural Resource Scarcity—Prelude to Global Societal Collapse, Chris Clugston, Wake Up Amerika, 2010.
- The Second Law of Economics: Energy, Entropy, and the Origins of Wealth, Reiner Kümmel, Springer, 2011.
- Energy and The Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy, Charles Hall & Kent Klitgaard, Springer, September 2011.
- Special Issue: New Studies in EROI (Energy Return on Investment), Doug Hansen and Charles Hall, Guest Editors, Sustainability, October 2011.
- Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation (Open Textbook), University of Illinois & CNX, November 2011.
- Working Paper: Ever-increasing Nonrenewable Natural Resource (NNR) Scarcity, Chris Clugston, Wake Up Amerika, December 2011. Available via email request.
- Forthcoming Book: Scarcity—Humanity’s Final Chapter?, Chris Clugston, Wake Up Amerika, January 2012. Available via email request.
- Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air, David Mackay, Cambridge University, 8 January 2012.
- The Essentials for the Necessary Transition to a Renewable Energy Economy, Jon Ryan, AlterNet, 15 January 2012.
- What EROI tells us about ROI,
Chris Nelder, SmartPlanet, 15 February 2012.
- Net-energy (EROEI), Peak Oil denial & Oil Shale hype - Part 1, Peak Oil News, 24 February 2012.
- Net-energy (EROEI), Peak Oil denial & Oil Shale hype - Part 2, Peak Oil News, 26 February 2012.
- Net Energy and Time: a critical review, Luis de Sousa, European Tribune, 25 March 2012.
- Oil Sands Mining Uses Up Almost as Much Energy as It Produces, Rachel Nuwer, Inside Climate News, 19 February 2013.
- Spanish Solar Energy: A model for the future?, Nanowerk, 4 March 2013.
- Energy return on investment - which fuels win?, Mat Hope and Ros Donald, The Carbon Brief, 20 March 2013.
- Behind the Numbers on Energy Return on Investment, Mason Inman, Scientific American, 11 April 2013.
- Low energy return on investment (EROI) need not limit oil sands extraction, Adam Brandt, The Oil Drum, 10 June 2013.
- Energy Products: Return on Investment Is Already Too Low, Gail Tverberg, The Oil Drum, 1 August 2013.
The implications of the declining energy return on investment of oil production, David Murphy, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 2 December 2013.
- A Framework for Defining Sustainable Energy Transitions: Principles, Dynamics, and Implications, Sgouris Sgouridis and Denes Csala, Sustainability, May 2014.
- EROI -- A Tool To Predict The Best Energy Mix, James Conca, Forbes, 11 February 2015.
- The hidden reasons behind slow economic growth: Declining EROI, constrained net energy, Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights, 5 April 2015.
- What’s the EROI of Solar?, Ramez Naam, Ramez Naam Blog, 4 June 2015.
4. Financial Transaction/Speculation Taxes
Financial transaction/speculation taxes are a disincentive to excessive greed in pursuing financial transactions of dubious social value, such as the so-called "financial derivatives."
- The Benefits of a Financial
Transactions Tax, Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), December 2008.
- Financial Speculation Tax, CEPR, 2009.
- Here's Why The Financial Transaction Tax Won't Work, John Carney, Business Insider, 9 November 2009.
- Facts and Myths about a Financial Speculation Tax, CEPR, 2010.
- Time to Tax Financial Speculation, Sarah Anderson, Yes! Magazine, 9 February 2010.
- A General Financial Transaction Tax – Motives, Effects, Revenues and Feasibility, Stephan Schulmeister, European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), 13 January 2010.
- Liberals Continue to Push for Financial Transaction Tax, Ronald Orol, Common Dreams, 17 February 2010.
- Regulating Derivative Markets To Meet Real Needs, Angus Cunningham, Authentix Coaches, 2010.
- Taxing Global Public Bads, Stephany Griffith-Jones and Paul Bernd Spahn, The Broker Online, 6 October 2010.
- Financial Transaction Taxes - A Double Dividend, Paul Bernd Spahn, The Broker Online, 6 October 2010.
- Financial Transaction Tax Might Fix Host of Ills, Ralp Nader, Bloomberg Business Week, 15 July 2010.
- Financial Transaction Taxes: Assessing their role in Financing for Development and the International Financial Architecture reform agenda, Aldo Caliari, UN-NGLS, 2010.
- Support the Financial Transaction tax in the European Parliament!, Europeans for Financial Reform, 26 January 2011.
- Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) Factsheet, CIDSE, June 2011.
- Cut Wall Street Down to Size With a Financial Speculation Tax, Sarah Anderson, The Nation, 8 June 2011.
- Frequently Asked Questions on the Financial Transaction Tax, Party of European Socialists, 24 April 2011.
- Financial Speculation Tax: Serious Tool for Long-Term Deficit Reduction, CEPR, January 2011.
- Financial speculation tax could cut deficit, Ben Rooney, CNN, 24 January 2011.
- Financial Speculation Tax Introduced, FOE, February 2011.
- The Financial Transaction Tax for People and the Planet: Financing Climate Justice, CIDSE, June 2011.
- Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) Factsheet, CIDSE, June 2011.
- Financial Speculation Tax Could Help Heal America, James Parks, 22 July 2011.
- Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), Wikipedia as of 24 July 2011.
- Cut Wall Street Down to Size With a Financial Speculation Tax, Sarah Anderson, Common Dreams, 27 July 2011.
- Financial world dominated by a few deep pockets, Rachel Ehrenberg, ScienceNews, 15 August 2011.
- UK to be left isolated, lose out on billions in public spending, as FTT goes ahead, Max Lawson, Ekklesia, 19 January 2012.
- Cardinal Turkson calls for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) for the common good on the eve of EU summit, CIDSE media statement, 26 January 2012.
- Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal, Peter Gleick, Forbes, 27 January 2012.
- Financial transaction taxes as a human rights imperative, Center of Concern, Social Watch, 16 April 2012.
- Financial Transaction Tax: A Human Rights Imperative, CIDSE, 20 April 2012.
- A Financial Transactions Tax for the Future We Want, ITUC-CSI, 22 June 2012.
- Europe Authorizes “Robin Hood Tax” on Financial Transactions, Sarah Anderson, Yes!Magazine, 25 January 2013.
- Who Needs Money Anyway? Towards Resilience, Sustainability, and a Healthier Means of Exchange, Ken Banks, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, 26 June 2013.
The following section is about reforming tax codes so as to protect the integrity of the human habitat. The following is a excerpt from one many recent reports calling for taxing financial transactions to support the transition to clean energy:
Reclaiming Power: An energy model for people and the planet, Friends of the Earth,|
2 December 2011.
"New research by Friends of the Earth presents an alternative energy model that would tackle climate change and enable everyone to gain access to energy.
"Our current energy model is not working:
- Our dependency on fossil fuels is driving dangerous climate change
- Our traditional energy model fails to serve 40 per cent of the world's population adequately
- 1 billion of those without electricity will never be reached by expanding national grids
"Friends of the Earth proposes an energy model based on a system of global feed in tariffs whcih guarantee cash back for local renewable energy generation. This model would help to:
- Tackle climate change by shifting energy away from polluting fossil fuels
- Deliver low-carbon, decentralised energy
- Address poverty and development through universal access to clean, reliable, affordable energy
- Rapidly lower the cost of renewable energy technology, making a low-carbon transition easier and cheaper worldwide
"This mechanism should be publicly funded by rich countries who have committed to help developing countries adapt to climate change
"Sources of funding could include:
5. Shift to Land/Resource Value Taxes
There are taxes that focus on depletion of natural resources ("depleter pays principle") and/or the deterioration of natural resources ("polluter pays principle"). One key tax reform proposal that deserves further consideration is the "Land Value Tax" (LVT), originally proposed by American economist Henry George in 1879. The underlying concept is to shift tax burdens from earned incomes to unearned incomes via taxes on the usage of land/natural resources.
An International Declaration on Individual and Common Rights to Earth|
Originally composed and declared at a meeting of the
International Union for Land Value Taxation held in 1949
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM EARTH RIGHTS
We hereby declare that the earth is the common heritage of all and that
all people have natural and equal righs to the land of the planet. By the term
"land" is meant all natural resources.
Subject always to these natural and equal rights in land and to this
common ownership, individuals can and should enjoy certain subsidiary rights
These rights properly enjoyed by individuals are:
These individual rights do not include:
- The right to secure exclusive occupation of land
- The right to exclusive use of land occupied.
- The right to the free transfer of land according to the laws of the
- The right to transmit land by inheritance.
The Economic Rent is the annual value attaching to the land alone apart
from any improvements thereon created by labor. This value is created by the
existence of and the functioning of the whole community wherein the
individual lives and is in justice the property of the community. To allow
this value to be appropriated by individuals enables land to be used not only
for the production of wealth but as an instrument of oppression of human by
human leading to severe social consequences which are everywhere evident.
- The right to use land in a manner contrary to the common good of all,
e.g., in such a manner as to destroy or impair the common heritage.
- The right to appropriate what economists call the Economic Rent of
All humans have natural and equal rights in land. Those rights may be
exercised in two ways:
- By holding land as individuals and/or
- Sharing in the common use of the Economic Rent of land.
The Economic Rent of land can be collected for the use of the community by
methods similar to those by which real estate taxes are now collected. That
is what is meant by the policy of Land Value Taxation. Were this community
created land value collected, the many taxes which impede the production of
wealth and limit purchasing power could be abolished.
The exercise of both common and individual rights in land is essential to
a society based on justice. But the rights of individuals in natural
resources are limited by the just rights of the community. Denying the
existence of common rights in land creates a condition of society wherein the
exercise of individual rights becomes impossible for the great mass of the
WE THEREFORE DECLARE THAT THE EARTH IS THE BIRTHRIGHT OF ALL PEOPLE
MISSION – "The Earth Rights Institute (ERI) promotes an approach to development that is ecologically, socially, economically and culturally sustainable. Through initiatives in education, research and advocacy we act to end wide-scale poverty worldwide, secure a culture of peace and reverse environmental degradation. We insist on the importance of empowering communities of the global south to manage and direct their own development, conceiving strategies and cultivating expert knowledge at the local level. Instead of training experts in methods and theories originating in a foreign context, models for local development should be taught in a local context. Ultimately, theoretical and practical study of improving the lives of people of the Global South must be anchored in the Global South."
EDUCATION and RESEARCH – ERI’s Living Labs,
located in sub-Saharan Africa, provide the opportunity for hands-on
education in sustainable development. We create a space of exchange
between villagers, students, researchers, professors and experts
from both Africa and around the world. Our EREV program offers
fully accredited academic study abroad semesters in sustainable
development and microfinance. This program joins teams of
Senegalese and international students for a semester long program
in which students work with local communities of a partner
eco-village to design and implement development projects. We now
offer a summer program through the University of California Los
Angeles. For more information visit Earth Rights Ecovillage
BUILDING ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES – Much of our work focuses on the promotion
and implementation of the Eco-village, a model of development which
encourages communities to minimize their ecological footprint
through conservation and effective use of natural resources, such
as permaculture and Jatropha plantation. Eco-villages are a model
that supports healthy human development. In accordance with the
social norms and values of each community, eco-villages govern by
consensus decision-making, based on an active choice to respect
ADVOCACY - ERI participates in and organizes
awareness and advocacy campaigns that promote a healthy and
sustainable world for all its inhabitants. ERI advocates a fair
market economy, and is concerned in large part with land rights and
land value capture/taxation policies that promote easy access to
land and ownership, fundamental elements of sustainable development
To learn more about Land Rights issues and how you can
make a difference sign up for the Earth Rights
Institute Land Rights online program
SHIFT FROM PROPERTY/INCOME TAXES
TO LAND/RESOURCE VALUE TAXES
"Most taxes distort economic decisions. If labor, buildings or machinery and plants (factories) are taxed, people are dissuaded from constructive and beneficial activities, and enterprise and efficiency are penalized due to the excess burden of taxation. This does not apply to LVT, which is payable regardless of whether or how well the land is actually used. Because the supply of land is inelastic, market land rents depend on what tenants are prepared to pay, rather than on the expenses of landlords, and so LVT cannot be directly passed on to tenants. The direct beneficiaries of incremental improvements to the surrounding neighborhood by others would be the land's occupants, and absentee landlords would benefit only by virtue of price competition amongst present and prospective tenants for those incremental benefits; the only direct effect of LVT on prices in this case is to lower the unearned increment (reduce the amount of the socially generated benefit that is privately captured as an increase in the market price of the land). Put another way, LVT is often said to be justified for economic reasons because if it is implemented properly, it will not deter production, distort market mechanisms or otherwise create deadweight losses the way other taxes do." Source: Land Value Tax, Wikipedia
- George, Henry. Progress and Poverty, 1879 (available online at the Library of Economics and Liberty).
- George, Henry. Protection or Free trade, 1886 (available online at the Library of Economics and Liberty).
- Wenzer, Kenneth, Land-Value Taxation: The Equitable and Efficient Source of Public Finance, Kenneth C. Wenzer, M E Sharpe Inc, 1999.
- Hartzok, Alanna. The Earth Belongs to Everyone, Earth Rights Institute - Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2008. See pp. 190-192 for data on global maldistribution of wealth.
- Gaffney, Mason. George's Economics of Abundance, GroundSwell, March-April 2009.
- Resource tax? Green new deal? Or new social contract?, Ariel Salleh, Online Opinion, 1 June 2010.
- Simplifying Britain's Tax System, Ethical Economics, 17 November 2010.
- Council of Georgist Organizations. An Introduction to Georgist Philosophy & Activity, November 2010. Web Site as of 29 May 2011.
- The Henry George School of Social Science (HGSSS). The Henry George School of Social Science, Note: Founded 1932. Web site as of 30 May 2011.
- The Henry George Institute. Understanding Economics, 1995-2011. Web Site as of 29 May 2011.
- Agrarian Justice beyond Henry George's Single Tax, Keith Gardner, Liberty Revival, 24 September 2011.
- Are We Headed For a Land Value Bubble?, Kent Thiesse, CSD Blogs and Opinions, 26 July 2011.
- Modernizing Henry George, Herman Daly, CASSE, 19 July 2010.
- Resource Value Tax (RVT), Herman Daly, CASSE, 6 June 2011.
- Storing Water for a Dry Day Leads to Suits, Felicity Barringer, 26 July 2011.
- Stewardship Economy: Private Property without Private Ownership, Julian Pratt, Lulu, 24 November 2011.
- Even Without Eco-Rights & Land Rights Enforced, Clark Williams-Derry, The Progress Report, September 2012.
- What's the Fair Price for Land Rent?, Jon Donison et al, The Progress Report, October 2012.
- End Polluter Welfare & Monopoly Welfare, Bernie Sanders, The Progress Report, October 2012.
- A Land Value Tax: an idea whose time has come, Jack Chadwick, Georgist News, 16 January 2013.
- Because the Land Is Ours: The Rights of Mother Earth vs. Carbon Trading, Tory Field and Beverly Bell, Other Worlds are Possible, 15 September 2013.
- Oil Discoveries Feed Our Habit, Don’t Heal the Planet, Staff, The Progress Report, 22 November 2013.
- The Global Debt Catastrophe, Staff, The Progress Report, 31 August 2014.
- Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World, Martin Adams, North Atlantic Books, 25 May 2015.
- The Economist—the World's Premier Business Magazine—On Funding a Basic Income, Jeffery J. Smith, Progress, 25 May 2015.
- If We No Longer Force People to Work to Meet Their Basic Needs, Won’t They Stop Working?, Scott Santens, IEET, 26 May 2015.
The Georgist News|
Serving the Earth Sharing Community
The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
New York, New York, USA
Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World
Author: Martin Adams. Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Synopsis by the author: "What if we lived in a world where everyone had enough? A world where everyone mattered and where people lived in harmony with nature? What if the solution to our economic, social, and ecological problems was right underneath our feet? Land has been sought after throughout history. Even today, people struggle to get onto the property ladder; most view real estate as an important way to build wealth. Yet, as readers of this book will discover, the act of owning land—and our urge to profit from it—causes economic booms and busts, social and cultural decline, and environmental devastation. Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World introduces a radically new economic model that promises a sustainable and abundant world for all. This book is for those who dream of a better world for themselves and for future generations."
Assuming that land/resource value taxes are set high enough that they yield as much public revenue as property/income taxes, how is this revenue to be distributed back to all citizens?
6. Guaranteed Basic Personal Income
Source: Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)
Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research|
Karl Widerquist, Jose Noguera, Yannick Vanderborght, and Jurgen De Wispelaere (eds.)
Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, August 2013
Review by the Basic Income Earth Netwok News:
Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research presents a compilation of six decades of Basic Income literature. It includes the most influential empirical research and theoretical arguments on all aspects of the Basic Income proposal. According to the publisher, it presents the best theoretical and empirical arguments for and against Basic Income. It includes unpublished and hard-to-find articles. It is the first major compendium on one of the most innovative political reform proposals of our age. It explores multidisciplinary views of Basic Income, with philosophical, economic, political, and sociological views. It features contributions from key and well-known philosophers and economists, including Tony Atkinson, James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, Erick Fromm, Andre Gorz, Claus Offe, Philip Pettit, John Rawls, Herbert Simon, Philippe Van Parijs, and many more.
- Common Ground-USA. Common Ground USA, Since 1997. Web site as of 30 May 2011.
- George, Robley E. Socioeconomic Democracy, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS), 2002.
- de Wispelaere, Jurgen and Lindsay Stirton. The Many Faces of Universal Basic Income, The Political Quarterly, 2004.
- George, Robley E. Different Possibilities for the Magnitudes of the Two Democratically Set Bounds of Universally Guaranteed Personal Income (UGI) and Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth (MAW) in the practice of Socioeconomic Democracy, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS), 2008.
- George, Robley E. Introduction to a Democratic Socioeconomic Platform, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS), 2009.
- George, Robley E. Ramifications of Socioeconomic Democracy, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS), 2009.
- Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), Note: The Basic Income Earth Network was founded in 1986 as the Basic Income European Network. It expanded its scope from Europe to the Earth in 2004. Web site as of 30 May 2011.
- Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) Network - USA. The U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) Network, Note: Started 1999. Web Site as of 30 May 2011.
- World Bank forum on Gender-equality produces more votes for Basic Income than anything else, USBIG, 6 October 2011.
- Basic Income - Summary, IEET, 28 January 2012.
- The Unconditional Basic Income Economy - Part 1, IEET, 29 January 2012.
- The Unconditional Basic Income Economy - Part 2, IEET, 29 January 2012.
- Towards a Guaranteed Basic Income?, Peter Wicks, Future of Humanity, 10 March 2012.
- The Basic Income Grant (BIG) is
Government’s Responsibility!, BIG Coalition Namibia, March 2012.
- European Citizens’ Initiative for Basic Income, BIEN, 2 May 2012.
- GDP only one facet of our well-being, Greg Fingas, Leader-Post, 24 May 2012.
- North American Basic Income Guarantee (NABIG) Congress, Almaz Zelleke, IEET, 31 May 2012.
- The imperative need for social dividends, J. Pascal, Natural Finance, 4 June 2012.
- Experts support the idea of guaranteed income in Canada, Carlito Pablo, Vancouver Free Press, 7 June 2012.
- Basic Income Around the World: Horizons of Reform, Edited by Matthew C. Murray and Carole Pateman, International Political Economy Series, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 10 August 2012.
- Reports on the 14th BIEN Congress, Munich, Germany, September 2012.
- BASIC INCOME: Basic Income would cure most of our current economic problems, Bipedal Joe, USBIG, November 2012.
- CITIZEN-OWNERSHIP DEMOCRACY: Where citizens get a direct and equal share of the country's wealth, COD-Democracy Blog, November 2012.
- Many options exist for raising revenue in a smart and progressive manner, Rebecca Thiess, Economic Policy Institute, 18 April 2013.
- Thinking Utopian: How about a universal basic income?, Mike Konczal, Washington Post, 11 May 2013.
- How Big is Big Enough: Would the Basic Income Guarantee Satisfy the Unemployed?, L. Randall Wray, EconoMonitor, 9 July 2013.
- Martin Luther King's Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income, Matthew Yglesias, Slate, 28 August 2013.
- Rethinking the Idea of a Basic Income for All, Bruce Bartlett, New York Times, 10 December 2013.
- Is Minimum Wage Another Distraction? Let's talk Basic Income, Shall We?, Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV, 6 March 2014.
- How To Combat Inequalities Produced By Global Capitalism, Guy Standing, Social Europe, 12 May 2014.
- UNITED STATES: New Political Party Endorses Basic Income Guarantee, Josh Martin, BIEN, 2 June 2014.
- A Brief History of Basic Income Ideas, Scott Santens, BIEN, 6 June 2013.
- Basic income movement gaining momentum worldwide, Ahn Hyo-sang, The Hankyoreth, 12 July 2014.
- Report from the 15th Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network, Karl Widerquist, BIEN, 17 July 2014.
- Universal Basic Income: Something We Can All Agree on?, Paul Hiebert, Pacific Standard, 31 July 2014.
Universal Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Ed Dolan, EcoMonitor, Real Clear Markets, 6 August 2014.
A Universal Basic Income and Work Incentives. Part 1: Theory, Ed Dolan, EcoMonitor, 18 August 2014.
A Universal Basic Income and Work Incentives. Part 2: Evidence, Ed Dolan, EcoMonitor, 25 August 2014.
- The Pragmatic Case for a Universal Basic Income, Ed Dolan, Milken Institute Review, Third Quarter 2014.
- Basic income: the world's simplest plan to end poverty, explained, Dylan Matthews, Vox, 11 September 2014.
- Universal Basic Income as the Social Vaccine of the 21st Century, Scott Santens, Union Square Ventures, 5 February 2015.
- The Basic Income Debate: Political, Philosophical and Economic Issues, Daniel Raventós and Julie Wark, Counterpunch, 21 August 2015.
- Universal Basic Income Will Likely Increase Social Cohesion, Scott Santens, The Huffington Post, 22 October 2015.
- The Case for Universal Prosperity (Part 1), Michael Hrenka, IEET, 27 October 2015.
- The principled and pragmatic case for a Universal Basic Income, RSA, 16 December 2015.
- Guaranteed Basic Income: What happens when we give every American a free paycheck, for life? The answer may surprise you!, Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online, 4 January 2016.
- Christopher Pissarides, a Nobel Laureate, argues for UBI at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Toru Yamamori, Basic Income News, 6 February 2016.
It's Time to Consider a Basic Income Guarantee, Richard Reeves, Real Clear Markets, 23 February 2016.
- Why Basic Income Must Become the New Frontier for the Global Labour Movement, Neil Phlip Howard, European University Institute, 29 February 2016.
- The Social Network and Basic Income, Scott Santens, 5 March 2016.
- The Danger of the Universal Basic Income, David Rotman, MIT Technology Review, 11 March 2016.
- Humanity Needs Universal Basic Income in Order to Stop Impeding Progress, Scott Santens, Huffington Post, 5 April 2016.
- All of the problems Universal Basic Income can solve that have nothing to do with unemployment, Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, 24 April 2016.
Work dignifies the working person, and quality work even more so. This applies to all kinds of work, from the most humble to the most exalted. The objective of guaranteed basic income is not to induce laziness but to liberate people from a salary system that incentivizes conformance rather than creativity. To ensure that this is the case, quality standards are needed.
America is running out of jobs. It's time for a universal basic income., Ryan Cooper, The Week, 9 September 2014
INTERNATIONAL: Basic Income makes unprecedented political progress, Liam Upton, BIEN News, 15 December 2014
The Next Big Social Idea: Unconditional Basic Income, Mathew Schmid, The Huffington Post, 22 December 2014
Why Environmentalists Should Promote a Guaranteed Basic Income, Cameron Roberts, Alternatives Journal, 23 December 2014
SPAIN: Popular Initiative for Basic Income Ends with 185,000 Signatures, Stanislas Jourdan, Basic Income News, 16 March 2015
FRANCE: Opinion Poll Shows 60% Support for Basic Income, Stanislas Jourdan, Basic Income News, 21 May 2015
To Lift Quality of Life and Economy, Finland Champions Universal Basic Income, Jon Queally, Common Dreams, 6 December 2015
Finland's Basic Income Plan Would See All Citizens Receive 800 Euro A Month, Daniel Tencer, The Huffington Post Canada, 7 December 2015
Could a basic income solve the biggest challenge of the digital economy?, Andrew White, The Guardian, 25 January 2016
Switzerland Will Hold The World's First Universal Basic Income Referendum, Ben Schiller, Fast Coexist, 5 February 2016
NAMIBIA: Basic Income Grant to be submitted for Cabinet approval, Zephania Kameeta, The Namibian, 25 February 2016
Creative Citizen, Creative State:|
The principled and pragmatic case for a Universal Basic Income
Anthony Painter and Chris Thoung, RSA Report, 16 December 2015
There is an increasing global conversation about the idea of a ‘Universal Basic Income’ – a universal weekly payment to all eligible citizens. Finland, the Netherlands, Canada and Switzerland are all looking at the idea. Meanwhile, it has been gathering interest amongst the US tech community who fear the social impacts of rapid technological change. But is it simply a Utopian vision or could it work it practice?
The RSA has been looking at the idea as a possible replacement for the current tax and benefits system. In this report, Anthony Painter and Chris Thoung outline what a Basic Income could look like in practice. They conclude that there is a strong practical case for the Basic Income – it underpins security, replaces the complexity of the current system, and provides a platform for freedom and creativity.
Our economy will face enormous technological change with significant social consequences. An ageing society needs to support carers. Moreover, the current welfare state is increasingly intrusive, complex and ineffective. These drivers suggest that we are nearing the point when a fundamental rethink is necessary.
The report outlines the RSA’s model of Basic Income. This model manages some of the negative distributive consequences of traditional Basic Income schemes. It redistributes towards those with families – especially young families. What this means in practice is that there could be an easier transition to a Basic Income system.
Beyond support for Basic Income as an idea and a model, the report recommends that, like the Netherlands, a Basic Income pilot is established in the UK at city-wide scale. It is then that the proposed benefits could be rigorously tested.
Read the report online
Find out more about our work on Basic Income
7. Industrial Quality Standards and Best Practices
All humans have a propensity to cut corners. Regardless of how income is taxed (Section 5) and returned (Section 6) to tax payers, there is a continuing need for quality standards in all kinds of human work, and all kinds of industrial production and consumption. Methods and tools for this purpose have been developed in such fields as industrial engineering, operations research, and system dynamics. Industrial engineering is specifically concerned with improvements in manufacturing productivity and efficiency. The International Standards Organization (ISO), an agency of the United Nations, has veveloped a comprehensive set of standards, guidelines, and best practices. The IEEE, and other professional organizations, have developed useful quality management standards for manufacturing, health care, education, and other professions.
- International Standards Organization (ISO)
- List of ISO Standards, Wikipedia as of 14 February 2014.
- ISO 9001 - Quality Management System, ISO, 2005.
- ISO 9126 - Software Engineering - Product Quality, ISO, 2001.
- ISO 14001 - Environmental Management System, ISO, 2004.
- ISO 14040 -
Environmental management -- Life cycle assessment -- Principles and framework, ISO, 2006.
- ISO 14067 - Greenhouse gases -- Carbon footprint of products -- Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication, ISO, 2013.
- ISO 25010 - Systems and Software Engineering - -- Systems and Software Quality Requirements, ISO, 2011.
- ISO 26000 - Social Responsibility Guidelines, ISO, 2010.
- ISO 50001 - Energy Management System, ISO, 2011.
- ISO International Classification for Standards (ICS), ISO, 2011.
- Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, NIST, 2011.
- Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, NIST, 2011-2012.
- Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence, NIST, 2011-2012.
- Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, NIST, 2011.
- Case Studies on Good Practices in Nature-based Climate Change Adaptation, Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network (ELAN), 2011.
- Special Issue on Sustainability, ISO Focus+, January 2012.
- ISO 20121 - Event Sustainability Management Systems, ISO, 2012.
- The 5 Commandments of Product Sustainability, Alex Loijos, Environmental Leader, 27 March 2013.
- Get ready: Sustainability reporting becoming inevitable, Mike Wallace, GreenBiz, 3 May 2013.
- Energy Management Systems Are Critical for Large Industrial Companies to Remain Competitive, Navigant Research, 23 July 2013.
- Code of Practice for Sustainable Development, World Federation of Engineering Organizations, September 2013.
- Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, Accounting for a Sustainable Future, Jean Rogers et al., website accessed 25 September 2013.
- World Standards Day: ‘International standardisation central to development’, Shamsul Islam, The Express Tribune, 15 October 2013.
- The Value and Impact of Building Codes, Ellen Vaughan and Jim Turner, EESI, 17 October 2013.
- Are environmental management systems just greenwash?, European Comission, SFPE, 7 November 2013.
- ISO 37120: Sustainable development of communities -- Indicators for city services and quality of life, ISO, 2014.
- The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Sustainable Development, Leela Kumar, SSRN, 17 April 2014.
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development: Vision 2050, Jackie Willis, The Guardian, 15 May 2014.
- Preparing for ISO 50001 Energy Management: Energy Management In Small And Medium Scale Industries, University of Twente, announced August 2014, scheduled for November 2 - December 11, 2015.
- Keeping Up With ISO, Chuck Harrington, Jera Sustainable Development, 28 August 2014.
- Are Firms Prepared for ISO 14001 Upgrade?, Environmental Leader, 8 October 2014.
- Social and Environmental Standards, UNDP, 1 January 2015.
- Development-Oriented Corporate Social Responsibility, Volumes 1 and 2, Dima Jamali, Charlotte Karam and Michael Blowfield, Greenleaf Publishing, July 2015.
- Big Growth Ahead for Energy Management System Sector, Carl Weinschenk, Energy Manager Today, 16 February 2016.
- North American Governments Announce Pilot Program to Accelerate Regional Adoption of the Energy Management Standard ISO 50001, U.S. Department of Energy, 27 April 2016.
What about quality standards for financial institutions? ISO 9000 could be used, but it would seem that the financial services industry should have a dedicated five digit standard. ISO-26000 on social responsibility is a guideline, not an auditable standard. Both stricter regulation and auditable standards are urgently needed for the global financial system.
Quality standards should ensure that dangerous biotechnologies are not used, even if they are financially profitable:
Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms: When Science and Citizens Connect|
National Academy of Sciences, United States of America, 2015
"In a world where science is interpreted through a variety of lenses--including cultural values and political dispositions--how can scientists engage with members of the public to empower decision-making and participation in public policy? The development and application of genetically modified plants and animals, also known as GMOs, has been the subject of multifaceted societal debate by some stakeholders, including scientists. This report summarizes the discussions and presentations that took place at a workshop held in January 2015 by the Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences."
8. Transferring Subsidies from Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy
The transferring of subsidies from the fossil fuels industry to the clean energy industry is understandably a sensitive political issue. The fossil fuel industry is enormously powerful. The age of fossil fuels has practically run its course. However, the temptation to keep producing and using "cheap energy" is very strong regardless of environmental consequences. The United States of America has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol because "it is bad for business." The "easy profits" derived from the exploding manipulation of worthless financial assets is also bad for business, but not yet recognized as such by the general public. Subsidies are tricky business, and there seems to be a paucity of expertise about the societal cost of subsidizing pollution-intensive industries.
- Federal Energy Subsidies: Energy, Environmental and Fiscal Impacts, Doug Koplow, Alliance to Save Energy, 1993.
- Federal Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Case Study of Increasing Transparency for Fiscal Policy, Doug Koplow and John Dernbach, Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 26:361-389, 2001.
- Analysis of the scope of energy subsidies and suggestions for the G-20 initiative, IEA, OPEC, OECD, and WB, 16 June 2010.
- Increasing the Momentum of Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform: A roadmap for international cooperation, Global Subsidies Initiative, 21 July 2010.
- Measuring Energy Subsidies Using the Price-Gap Approach, Doug Koplow, Earth Track, August 2010.
- Phase-out Fossil Fuel Subsidies,
Mark Halle, The Broker Online, 6 October 2010
- Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Bali to Copenhagen Project, IISD, 2011.
- EIA Energy Subsidy Estimates: A Review of Assumptions and Omissions, Doug Koplow, Earth Track, March 2010.
- Scoping Suggestions for NAS Review of Effects of the Tax Code on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Doug Koplow, Earth Track, April 2011.
- Fossil Fuel Subsidies: A Closer Look at Tax Breaks, Special Accounting, and Societal Costs, David Sher, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, 23 June 2011.
- The Market Is Lying: Why We Must Tax Carbon, Not Subsidize It, Rinaldo Brutoco and Madeleine Austin, Truthout, 8 July 2011.
- International Energy Agency Warns Of Ballooning World Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Muriel Boselli, Reuters, 5 October 2011.
- Banks That Broke the Economy Also Lead on Financing Coal Plants, Sustainable Business, 1 December 2011.
- Time to End Fuel Subsidies?, Will Hickey, Yale Global, 7 June 2012.
- Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications, IMF, 28 January 2013.
- The Energy Game is Rigged: Fossil Fuel Subsidies Topped $620 Billion in 2011, Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute, 27 February 2013.
- IMF: Want to fight climate change? Get rid of $1.9 trillion in energy subsidies, Brad Plummer, Washington Post, 27 March 2013.
- Arab states need to end energy subsidies to create a ‘new relationship with oil’, Vesela Todorova, The National, 28 October 2013.
- Fossil Fuel Subsidies Costing Rich Countries $112 Per Person, Will Nichols, BusinessGreen, 7 November 2013.
International Monetary Fund Says Fossil Fuel Subsidies Cost ~$2 Trillion Annually, Sophie Vorrath, RenewEconomy, 29 April 2014.
- Fossil Fuels Face the Prospect of $30 Trillion in Losses, Giles Parkinson, RenewEconomy, 29 April 2014.
A Flaring Shame: New Report Exposes Hidden Fracking Subsidy, Lukas Ross & Kate Colwell, Common Dreams, 30 September 2015.
- How Cheap Oil Is Accelerating Investment In Sustainable Energy, Philip Killeen, Worldwatch Institute, 14 March 2016.
Fossil Fuel Subsidies Costing Rich Countries $112 Per Person
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen, 7 November 2013
"Average fossil fuel subsidies in the world's richest countries have reached $112 per person, draining national treasuries while undermining international efforts to avert dangerous climate change, according to a new report from the Overseas Development Institute. Fossil fuel subsidies are costing the 34 OECD countries between $55 billion and $90 billion a year, with the highest level of subsidies in Russia, the United States, Australia, Germany and the UK. It calculates that each of the 11.6 billion tons of carbon emitted by the top 11 rich-country emitters in 2010 came with an average subsidy of $7 a ton - around $112 for every adult in those countries - locking the world into a high-carbon future while failing to benefit poorer people."
A Flaring Shame: New Report Exposes Hidden Fracking Subsidy
Lukas Ross & Kate Colwell, Common Dreams, 30 September 2015
"A new, peer-reviewed, report from Friends of the Earth brings to light one of Big Oil’s most overlooked subsidies: royalty-free flaring on public and tribal lands... Royalty-free flaring is both a dangerous addition to climate disruption and a de facto subsidy for the oil industry... For over a century Big Oil has been subsidized to the hilt with everything from tax breaks to royalty free-leasing. To that list we can now add natural gas flaring -- and it has to stop... Focusing on the national epicenter of the flaring boom in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, the new report, “A Flaring Shame: North Dakota & the hidden fracking subsidy,” uses data directly from Bureau of Land Management to reveal the exact amount of gas wasted by individual companies... The original data provided by the BLM is available here."
9. Fostering and Deploying Clean Energy Technologies
There are many short-term strategies to incentivize the development and commercialization of clean energy:
- Financing Clean Energy
- Triple Bottom Line (TBL)
- Towards the Sustainable Corporation: Win-Win-Win Business Strategies for Sustainable Development, John Elkington, California Management Review 36, no. 2 (1994): 90–100.
- Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, John Elkington, New Society Publishers, 1998.
- Triple Bottom Line (TBL), The Economist, 17 November 2009.
- The Paradox of Power in CSR – Organizational Conflict, Krista Bondy, TBL Magazine, 29 November 2010.
- Triple Bottom Line, Wikipedia as of 27 July 2011.
- The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It Work?, Timothy F. Slaper and Tanya J. Hall, Indiana Business Review, Spring 2011.
- Energy System Optimization
- Energy Systems Optimization, Slide presentation by Aristotelis Giannopoulos, 2009.
- Optimization in the Energy Industry, Josef Kallrath et. al., Springer, 2009.
- On-Line Economic Optimization of Energy Systems Using Weather Forecast Information, Victor M. Zavala et. al., ANL (USA), 2009.
- Industrial Energy System Optimization, UNIDO (UN) web site as of 28 July 2011.
- Industrial Energy Analysis & System Optimization, LBL (USA) web site as of 28 July 2011.
- Industrial energy efficiency and systems optimization, REEEP-UNIDO, Module 17 as of 28 July 2011. For links to all the modules, click here.
- Energy Optimization in Process Systems, Stanislaw Sieniutycz and Jacek Jezowski, Elsevier, 2011.
Energy Efficiency Policy and Carbon Pricing, IEA, 2011.
Combining Policy Instruments for Least Cost Climate Mitigation Strategies, IEA, 2011.
- Largest Zero Energy Community Opens in US, Sustainable Business, 18 October 2011.
- International Energy Agency (IEA) and Energy Business Council (EBC)
From the IEA website:
"Does growth in North American oil supply herald a new era of abundance - or does turmoil in parts of the Middle East cloud the horizon? How much can energy efficiency close the competitiveness gap caused by differences in regional energy prices? What considerations should shape decision-making in countries using, pursuing or phasing out nuclear power? How close is the world to using up the available carbon budget, which cannot be exceeded if global warming is to be contained? How can sub-Saharan Africa's energy sector help to unlock a better life for its citizens?
Answers to these questions and a host of others are to be found in the pages of World Energy Outlook 2014 (WEO-2014), released on 12 November 2014 in London.
Bringing together the latest data and policy developments, the WEO-2014 presents up to date projections of energy trends for the first time through to 2040. Oil, natural gas, coal, renewables and energy efficiency are covered, along with updates on trends in energy-related CO2emissions, fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies, and universal access to modern energy services."
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