Note: Sagar Dhara, one of the founder-members of the Peak Oil India group, will coordinate the session on energy at this upcoming conference at Aligarh Muslim University.
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
27-28 Dec 2013, 2 pm onwards
As part of the
XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress, Aligarh Muslim University, 27-31 2013
Human society faces unprecedented challenges today. Global warming, peak oil, overdraw of energy from nature, rapid deterioration of the environment and of life support systems, and extreme inequity threaten to tear the fabric of human society to shreds. Their impact—rise in global temperatures and variation in precipitation and their attendant consequences on every aspect of the environment, food and water insecurity, mass hunger, deprivation and disease, lawlessness, and possibly a civilizational collapse.
The clutch of solutions suggested so far—sustainable development (whatever that may mean), trickledown effect, renewable energy, etc—has not delivered so far and it is difficult to imagine that they will do so in future. Sustainable capitalism is an oxymoron as it is based on individual greed and economic growth.
To become sustainable, equitable and a peaceful society, humans must power down by at least 60%, become solar beings, distribute energy equitably and manage it democratically. For this, global outlook must change from Gain maximization for a few to Risk minimization for all species. The formulation of sustainability indices and a wide public discourse for short and a medium term programmes for such a transition should be conducted.
Central to this problematic are two questions: What is our share of energy in nature? And, how should we distribute it so that we become a sustainable, equitable and peaceful society?
Some of the solutions are clearly local—solar water heaters on residential buildings, more public transport and encourage cycling, neighbourhood schools, defining sustenance income, and heavily taxing income that allows luxury expenditure, having impacted people do impact assessment, encouraging local currencies, bicycle share systems, etc. And some of the solutions are global—moving towards soft borders and finally no borders, reducing energy consumption by 90% in North America and 75% in Europe, Japan and Australia, defining a single sustainable energy index for all regions of the world, abolishing banks, standing armies, shrinking cities, etc. Some of these solutions have been implemented and some of them are termed ‘wild.’
Yet there is need for a lot more public discussion that needs to be done on the kind of programmes we need to become a sustainable, equitable and peaceful human society, who will be the change agents, how will change happen—people’s groundswell, civilizational collapse, democratic election of a suitable party.
This brainstorming session is an attempt to further such a discussion. The workshop will have a few speakers introducing different aspects of the topic and lots of open discussion time. It is an informal meeting.
If you are a romantic and dare to be part of this brainstorming session to make a brave new world, come with an open mind: On: 27-28th Dec afternoons, 2 pm until the last guy drops of exhaustion, To: Room(will send later), Aligarh Muslim University
Session coordinators: Sagar Dhara, Soumya Dutta
Helplines: Vinay 0 77990 47312, Sagar 0 94404 01421, Soumya 0 92137 63756.
Download the conference brochure here
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