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Sustainable development

Is Costa Rica the world’s happiest, greenest country?

Ariana López Peña writes: Costa Rica was the most environmentally advanced and happiest place on earth last year, followed by Mexico, Colombia and Vanuatu, according to the Happy Planet Index, which measures life expectancy, well-being, environmental footprint and inequality to calculate nations’ success– all areas where Costa Rica’s government has made significant effort and investment.

Wellbeing and sustainability: irreconcilable differences?

Modernity’s dominant narrative of material progress– which represents an industrial model of development–gives priority to economic growth and a rising standard of living. It is being increasingly challenged by the alternative narrative of sustainability, which seeks to balance social, environmental and economic priorities and goals to achieve a high, equitable and lasting quality of life.

The mismeasure of progress: Is the West really the best?

Western liberal democracies dominate the top rankings of progress indices. But are they the best models of development when their standard of living is unsustainable and their quality of life is, arguably, declining? Only when environmental impacts are given significant weight, as in the Happy Planet and Sustainable Society indexes, does this ranking change substantially.

Science and the scientist in a changing climate

Is sustainability an idea, a science, a philosophy or a way of life? The premise of this article is that sustainability is all of these and more. Furthermore, science and technology of both today and the future must be re-visioned to understand and enable sustainability, writes Radha Gopalan of the Coordination Council, Food Sovereignty Alliance, India.

Can India afford an economy obsessed with GDP growth rate?

Conventional economic analysts argue that achieving adequate human development indicators require a country’s economy has to grow continuously at an appreciable rate;  but, a densely populated and resource-constrained society such as ours cannot afford to ignore the implications of high energy and material consumption (which will be a consequence of high growth of the economy).

A Green Development Manifesto for Kerala

This first of its kind Green Development Agenda for Kerala was collectively drafted by green collective Paristhithi Aikya Vedhi, and has been submitted to the leaders of the main political parties in the fray for the upcoming Assembly Elections in May. It was released on 30th March by Dr.V.S.Vijayan, Member, Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel.

Towards Energy Democracy: A Vision Statement

Unlimited growth and consumerist culture is incompatible with a finite world. We call for an urgent paradigm shift, from the currently dominant model of consumption-led development, to creating frameworks of human and ecological well being. This transition should be defined by the principles of sustainability, equity, and justice. (Adopted at the Bijli Vikalp Sangam, Bodh Gaya)

Make (Or Break) In India: Down to Earth special issue ahead of the Union Budget

The Union Budget 2015-2016 will be presented in amid dwindling fortunes of the NDA government. Agriculture is already on a downswing while the economic slowdown is perceptible – all this when nine states are going to polls in 2016-17. Down to Earth presents a series of analyses of the  Union Budget from the environment and development perspectives.

Odanthurai – Tamil Nadu’s energy self sufficient village

Times of India COIMBATORE: Just a fortnight after the civic body elections, a village panchayat in Coimbatore has decided to offer free electricity to its residents within the next five years. Having already won international acclaim through its unique welfare schemes and energy self-sufficiency drives, Odanthurai near Mettupalayam has begun efforts to develop a corpus

Sustainable Development: Stories from those making it possible

A publication by FLEDGE, Chennai From the Preface: While a large amount of time and energy is spent on deciding the future of sustainability using the Rio+20 outcome document ‘The Future We Want’, limited space is available for local communities to tell their stories on how simple, on-the-ground initiatives are being pursued enabling them to

Breakthrough Institute: An Ecomodernist Manifesto

The Breakthrough Institute From the Introduction: To say that the Earth is a human planet becomes truer every day. Humans are made from the Earth, and the Earth is remade by human hands. Many earth scientists express this by stating that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans.

News update

India Struggling Between International Image & Equity at Lima Climate Talks Dispatches from COP 20, Lima by Kabir, What’s With The Climate Indian government delegation is warming up for a test match like scenario at COP 20 in Lima. It seems that India in coordination with other developing countries will push for Adaptation, Adaptation, and Adaptation

Roadmap for Sustainability, Equity and Peace

Note: Paper to be presented by Sagar Dhara, one of the founder-members of Peak Oil India Group, at the XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress, Aligarh Muslim University, 27-31 December, 2013 What is our share of energy in nature?  How should we distribute it? Search for a roadmap to a sustainable, equitable and peaceful human society Sagar Dhara1 To