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‘The Cause Is Us’: World on Verge of Sixth Extinction
By Andrea Germanos, Commondreams.org
A new study published in the journal Science has shown that human activity has driven current rates of species extinction to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate. “This important study confirms that species are going extinct at a pace not seen in tens of millions of years, and unlike past extinction events, the cause is us,” stated Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

UN: ‘Time running out’ to stop rising CO2 levels 
From UN.org
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, the United Nation’s weather agency confirmed, warning that time is running out to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions. “This threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance and reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming our planet,” the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported.

US shale boom is over, energy revolution needed to avert blackouts
By Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
In 2012, the global energy watchdog International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast that the US would outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production thanks to the shale boom by 2020, becoming a net exporter by 2030. The forecast was seen by many as decisive evidence of the renewal of the oil age. But the IEA’s  World Energy Investment Outlook released this week confirms that ‘the party’s over’ – it has lowered US production projections, demands urgent investment. [Note: A contrary view on the above article can be found here]

Peak Oil Revisited…
By Brian Davey, Feasta.org
Conventional “legacy” oil production peaked in 2005 and has not increased since. All the increase in oil production since that date has been from unconventional sources like shale oil or natural gas liquids that are a by-product of shale gas production. This is despite a massive increase in investment by the oil industry that has not yielded any increase in ‘conventional oil’ production but has merely served to slow what would otherwise have been a faster decline.

Is Peak Car the metric for us too?
V. Sumantran, The Hindu
Total global vehicle sales climbed from a level of 66 million units in 2009 to a level of about 82 million units in 2013. India contributed about 3 million to that total. Their postulation is that by the next decade, global vehicle sales will breach 100 million units and by then will face several factors that will cause this figure to have peaked.

Can the Modi sarkar chart a green road to growth?
By Jay Mazoomdar, Firstpost.com
Two decades of blinkered double-digit growth has made China an environmental disaster and necessitated such desperate efforts at recovery. There is an obvious lesson in the Chinese experience for India’s new government keen to emulate and overshadow the big neighbour’s growth story while facing the same environmental challenges.

Obama unveils historic rules to reduce coal pollution by 30%
From The Guardian
The Obama administration unveiled historic environment rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants by 30%. The new rules, formally announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, represent the first time Barack Obama, or any other president, has moved to regulate carbon pollution from power plants – the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change.

U.S. Wars In The Middle East: A New Age Of Hydro-Imperialism
By Garikai Chengu, Harvard University
Water is to the twenty-first century what oil was to the twentieth century: the commodity that determines the wealth and stability of nations. People who think that the West’s interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria are only about oil are mistaken. Broadly speaking, Western interest in the Middle East is becoming increasingly about a commodity more precious than oil, namely water.

New Environmentalists Are Taking Bold Actions and It’s Working
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Alternet.org
No longer dominated by the traditional “Big Green” groups that were taking big donations from corporate polluters, the new environmental movement is broader, more assertive and more creative. With extreme energy extraction and climate change bearing down on the world, environmental justice advocates are taking bold actions to stop extreme energy extraction and create new solutions to save the planet. These ‘fresh greens’ often work locally, but also connect through national and international actions.

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